Tag Archives: NASA

2019 Year End Kafe with Roger

Last week, I began my catch-up with all things Duran with listening and blogging about the year end Katy Kafe with John. These year end ones tend to include the band member’s top book, movie, TV show, Duran moment and more. I missed all of them during our break so I thought it would be good to take time now to listen and blog. This week, I’ll cover Roger’s. As always, I’ll share what stood out to me but there will be a lot I will miss. If you want it all yourself, please head over to DuranDuranMusic.

Event of the Year:

Roger could not come up with a world event but his personal event is Aston Villa get back into what sounds like the playoffs called the premiership . While I’m not a big fan of football/soccer, I get fandom. I would be super excited, for example, if the White Sox made the playoffs and my dad would be over the moon! What I’m most amused by is Roger wondering why people get all excited by sports fandom. I think fandom is fandom. I could explain fandom. 😉

Favorite Movie:

Roger really liked Apollo 11 since they did the anniversary of the moon landing. It brought out his interest in the space program again. Katy tells a very funny story about going to the premiere with Simon and Nick back in the day when she might have had a bit much to drink and had a conversation with Tom Hanks.

TV Show:

Roger discussed the mini-series, When They See Us, about the Central Park 5 because it was so sad and so well-done.

Favorite Music:

Mark Ronson is Roger’s choice for the best of the year. Rhonda brought me that album for Christmas and I have been listening to it quite a bit so Roger’s choice definitely makes me smile. He also mentioned the Elton John movie and how that made me check out more of Elton’s music this past year.

Favorite Duran Duran Moment:

The choice for our favorite drummer was, indeed, playing at the 50th anniversary of the moon landing. It was such a historical event and then they made the anniversary such an “incredible moment” with the accompanying musicians and drones. (I do wish that I could have seen it but…that general admission deal is tough, especially in Florida in the summer.) He also discussed how they are working in the studio and experiencing some “real highs” with that!

When to Hear New Duran:

The band is hoping to be finished around March! (Wow! Of course, I’ll believe it when I see it. Yet, I’ll still be hopeful.) He describes it as more organic (real drum and bass) and very different from Paper Gods. (That sounds good to me!)

Looking Forward to 2020:

“Releasing the album!” Of course, he also mentions the Isle of Wight show. On top of that, he acknowledges that there are a lot of calls to play in the UK.

Overall, Roger’s Kafe was short, sweet and positive, which made it nice. He also made me more excited about what the new album might be like and I found out that he loves cappuccinos. Who know?! Fun stuff!

-A

CNN Interview with Hala Gorani

Did you see the interview with Simon and Nick on CNN yesterday? They sat down with Hala Gorani to promote their upcoming rocket-fueled show at the Kennedy Space Center later this month. It has been quite some time since I saw an interview with Duran Duran on CNN, so I was excited to see it. Naturally, in every interview there seems to be the inevitable point where the same questions seem to get asked. This used to drive me crazy. Often, I’d exclaim, “Is there NOTHING else that you can ask?” in complete frustration. I’d think to myself…or even tweet, “This is a band who has been around for forty years, and we’re still asking them about favorite songs and lines of lyric?”

As a self-proclaimed die hard fan, it’s easy for me to sit back and say all of that. Sure, I could get mad about it, and rest assured – I have. There’s been time spent feeling anger and frustration because journalists can’t ever seem to get past the simple questions and dig a bit deeper.

So what does “The Reflex” really mean?

Yesterday though, I didn’t feel any of that. Even as Simon fielded the question about what “The Reflex” means—and still did not give an answer—I just smiled. At the time, I didn’t think about how many times I’d heard or seen that question come up before. I just thought about how Simon was answering it this time. When Gorani asked why the band still made music, it didn’t frustrate me at all. I loved that Nick talked about how they don’t like making the same album twice.Simon described how one of them might play something that reminds someone else in the band of something new they’d come up with, and that after awhile it starts to feel like a candy floss (or cotton candy for us American folks!) machine that keeps building and building. I can’t get mad at any of that.

It is 100% true, die-hard fans could probably ask all the deep, soul-searching questions. What I think we tend to forget though, is that we die-hards represent a very small percentage of the viewing audience. You’ll never convince me that Duranies outnumber average, ordinary, viewers for CNN, and it is those average people that interviews cater to. Maybe someone watched that interview yesterday who hadn’t seen the band in years and didn’t even know they’re still around!

Don’t believe me? Well, nearly every show—particularly those that have me flying somewhere—I run into at least ONE person who says, “You’re going to see Duran Duran? I didn’t even know they’re still together!” Then, without fail – they break into the chorus or the doo-doo-doos from my favorite song (and yours), “Hungry Like the Wolf”. As I always say, it’s the song that will outlive us all.

Doo-doo doo-doo….

Yep, I think we’ve all felt like we could do a better job asking the band interesting questions. It is easy to feel annoyed. It is also very easy to miss the real point and heart of the questions when you’re annoyed. The peace comes when you hear the same questions being asked over and over, and somehow – you’re still able to find joy.

At this point in this band’s career, when many of their peers have retired, quit, or just plain given up – Duran Duran is playing at the Kennedy Space Center. That fact alone, blows my mind and I sure hope it blows yours, too. I love listening to Simon explain – over and over – that he’s never going to explain “The Reflex”, and that he wants to keep Duran Duran going for as long as he can. Simon shared that he sum of all the parts each member brings adds up to so much more than each of them could do solo. Their interviews, regardless of what is being asked, still make me smile. That’s where I find my peace, and my joy.

-R

“Hold Back the Rain” for Astronauts in 2001!

Most Duranies seem to recognize a space theme within Duran Duran. Songs like “Planet Earth”, albums like “Astronaut”, and the alien manning synthesizers back on the risers, all support the idea. But did you know that Duran Duran even helped NASA once?

During the summer of 2001, the Space Shuttle Atlantis was due to land at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida after a 12-day mission to the International Space Station. At the time, they were still assembling the space station, and so there were many of these missions taking place. In fact, there were 3 spacewalks on this particular mission.

The shuttle was due back on July 24, but Mission Control was concerned about the landing due to poor weather. Yet, they really needed to get the shuttle back on the ground.  So, who and what did they turn to in their time of need??

Duran Duran and “Hold Back the Rain”, of course! They played this song for the shuttle crew, motivating them for a safe landing in bad weather. The shuttle made it back on the ground without a hitch, and this mission became another part of history, so they say.

Unfortunately I can’t seem to find a NASA clip of it being played for the astronauts on YouTube, but I do have the 2017 performance from the Fox Theater in Oakland. I was in the audience that night, and nearly lost my mind. It was a thrill to have it included in their set that night.

The power of Duran Duran. Even NASA gets it!

-R