Tag Archives: Nick Rhodes

Lovebox Festival, 2010 with Mark Ronson

Lately, I’ve been feeling a little nostalgic. During my spare time, I have been on YouTube, watching snippets of video from DD shows I went to, or videos I haven’t seen in a while, like “Nightboat”, “Careless Memories”, or even “Falling Down”.  Nearly every day I check our history spreadsheet to see if anything noteworthy pops up that I should share, but it is rare that I’ll sit down and watch videos, much less go in search of them. I guess for me, they might be a needed source of comfort. Or else, I’m just super bored with packing and cleaning. There might be a bit of that, too!

Today I noticed that on this date in history, back in 2010, Mark Ronson played the Lovebox Festival. I realize that might not be so special, but his guests definitely were!  Mark invited Simon and Nick on stage to perform “Record Collection” from Mark’s album with Business Int’l, and then John and Roger crashed the party to play “Planet Earth”.

I am one of those pesky Duran Duran fans that loves Mark Ronson, and I especially adore Record Collection. It is an album that I have to be in the right mood to play, but when I put it on, I’m never disappointed.  I was thrilled to see Simon and Nick performing it with him and yeah, it was another one of those times where I kicked myself for not being there in person.

Sorry for the video quality – I didn’t take it!  I recognized the video owner’s name, and she is a huge DD fan. I can understand her jubilance!  Check out Mark, who can be seen in the back sporting what I believe should be a very recognizable outfit to any Duran Duran fan who has spent any kind of time watching old music videos lately!

The next video, of course, is “Planet Earth”. You may have heard that one before.

Now, this video isn’t necessarily the greatest either, some of it taken from the audience with hands and arms in the way. I love that the camera scans the stage, and if you look closely, you may just see MNDR on stage – she too was involved as part of The Business Int’l for the Record Collection album.

I loved watching these again. It is difficult to believe this happened eight years ago today. I don’t know about anyone else but it only feels like a few years ago at most. Crazy, right?

-R

What is definitive Duran Duran?

Happy Wednesday! I’m sorry for my unexpected absence yesterday. We were having carpeting installed, and we had to disconnect the octopus of wires behind a desk. Unfortunately, that also disconnected our WiFi and disrupted our internet connection until it was far too late in the day for blogging.

I’m also late today, because of a meaningful, deep, philosophical discussion regarding the merits of the song “Drive By”.

Only a fellow Duran fan understands enough to talk about the space a specific song or album occupies. It is rare to find someone who understands and is able to relate such a song to the bigger picture is a gift.

The conversation was simply about why I believe “Drive By” is a definitive Duran Duran song of the Simon-Nick-John-Warren period. Actually, I think its one of the more definitive songs of their career. “Drive By” is definitive of their career during the mid-90s, but does it’s statement go even farther than that?

Let’s consider the period of time. John, Simon, Nick and Warren were defining themselves as another iteration of Duran Duran. This was an era of rediscovery, reinvention, and to some extent – forgetting who and what they once were (as a group). So “Drive By”, a deconstructed, even “now separated, once-conjoined twin” of “The Chauffeur”, is a spectacular example of this period of Duran’s career.

I can point to the cover of “Medazzaland” as another example, granted in a slightly different period. The graffiti-laden image of “Rio” weighs heavily in my mind. I often wonder if they weren’t really trying to bury that bright and glossy 80s magazine pin-up image of the fab five. Let’s face it, there was quite a bit to run from at that point. Maybe they were really over the idea of fans swarming their limos, even if by necessity. Perhaps they were anxious to be accepted as serious musicians. Maybe they were  over being the pin-up dreams of fresh-faced, dewy-eyed teenage girls?  Maybe they saw this new iteration of Duran Duran as being the “anti”1980s Duran Duran?  It isn’t difficult to imagine what they might have been thinking of when picking a cover for “Medazzaland”.

Rather than examining the song, or any one song, under the Duran Duran microscope, lately I’ve been thinking about the broader context. I’ve considered the changes in their sound over the years,  such as the rearranged, heavy jazz sounding brass and horn version of “Hungry Like the Wolf” or “Burning the Ground” – the remix to put a final period on 80s era Duran Duran.  I’ve pondered the more obvious, recent style changes, like the full, production-heavy pop sound on Astronaut compared to the deep urban groove of Red Carpet Massacre, or retro sounding All You Need is Now, along with Paper Gods.  Individually, each seeming to be a stroll down a different musical lane, but collectively – what do they really say about this band?

To some extent, I tend to believe the band has spent a great deal of time and energy running from what they (and critics) believed they were in 1984. We can say they’re not comfortable sitting upon their laurels, and we can claim that they are not easily satiated, creativity speaking, and I don’t think we’d be wrong. However,  I don’t think it hurts anyone to examine the deeper motivation of what might drive them.

Recently, during the BBC takeover night of DD television a couple of weeks back, John admitted that the critical comments from music journalists back in the day have bothered him up until very recently. This was not a surprise to me, other than being shocked at his utterance of the words out loud for all to hear. Amanda and I have been talking about that for years now – we’ve written about it many times on the blog, and I think we both cheered when we heard John say the words. Of course it bothered them. I get it! I very much appreciate his honesty and vulnerability. Accepting, and even respecting that one nugget of truth gave me such a different perspective on their career. It is like finally having the big picture come into focus. I just love them.

This is a band with an image based on the proverbial double-edged sword. On one side, they were incredibly successful because they appealed to teenage girls. They never said no to being the – poster boys of the 1980’s. In fact, they welcomed it, and we welcomed them! On the other side of that sword though, somewhere down deep, they secretly aspired to reach the recognition, acclaim and respect that comes from critics and other musicians. Screaming girls are wonderful, but perhaps having respect mattered too. Could we really blame them?

That isn’t to say the band’s career has been a giant folly, or that they were wrong to explore. Not in the least, and I want to be clear on that. In my mind, the fans are the ones who have made out the best on this deal. This band is still hungry. They are still in search of whatever is out there. With each new album comes a newly discovered Duran Duran. I just happen to believe the motivation to do so comes from something a bit more definitive.

-R

New Wave: Dare to be Different Review

Have I mentioned how I love summer?  I’m not a fan of being outside or of the bugs and sunburn that follows but I do appreciate having time to do things I want to do but cannot during the school year.  One of the things on my list was to watch New Wave:  Dare to be Different, the documentary about New York’s WLIR radio station that played the heck out of new bands, including a lot of band’s that fell under the New Wave/alternative category.

I didn’t grow up anywhere near New York so I didn’t get to enjoy the radio station for myself.  No, I grew up near Chicago with a strange relationship to radio.  When I was little, I tuned into B96, the local Top 40 station.  By that point in the 1980s, Duran was already huge so they played a lot of them along with the other popular early/mid 80s artists.  More alternative artists were not played, however.  Then, in 1985, I moved further away from the city.  This new town lacked any real radio stations to speak of.  Years later, when I was in high school, I discovered that I could get some Chicago stations very late at night and some of them did, indeed, play more alternative.  Once I had that lifeline, I swear my life turned around.  Anyway, so I can definitely appreciate how a radio station could mean so much to people.

This well-organized documentary definitely gave a history of the radio station and the context with which it was created.  WLIR was born in 1959 in Long Island and changed formats a few times until in 1982, it embraced new wave/alternative.  While the station chose this new direction to stand out, to avoid being lost in the shuffle, it ended up creating something more than a radio station.  The documentary showed how it began a culture of sorts that affected both bands and fans until they lost their FCC license.

I learned a lot by watching this documentary.  One aspect of the station that earned my respect is how the station was able to introduce the New York area to a lot of amazing bands, including Duran Duran.  They did this in a variety of ways, according to the documentary.  First, they embraced imports from the UK.  I loved that radio stations employees would go to the airport to meet the planes that carried records from London.  Clearly, they recognized that the UK was the center of a lot of great, new music then.  Second, they didn’t follow the usual directions from record labels, which wanted to dictate when a single should be released.  Instead, WLIR played songs when they felt like it.  Lastly, they also spent a lot of time just combing through cassettes listening for songs that were gems.  I totally appreciate forward thinking, dedicated people willing to put the time and work into something like new music.

Of course, the fact that this station was willing to play these new bands definitely helped the bands find success.  On top of selling more albums, bands also began playing to bigger and better venues.  One thing that the station did was have what was called, “Screamer of the Week.”  The idea was that fans could vote on which song ranked as best song of the week, which led to heavy rotation.  Apparently, Duran had 13!  When I heard this, I had to smile.  I remember that MTV used to do something similar where people could call in and vote for the favorite video.  One time, I ended up calling like 25 times to ensure that Save a Prayer would win.  Needless to say, my parents were less than thrilled once they received their phone bill.  Oops.

If I didn’t think that this station was cool enough, I loved when I found out that the fans of the station developed a culture.  People’s hairstyle and clothes began to shift to more of the New Wave look.  They began regularly attending clubs that played the music they were hearing on the radio.  Soon enough, other radio stations followed.  Clearly, the “anyone can do it”, punk attitude appealed to more than just listeners in the New York area.

Beyond the great history represented in this documentary and the fabulous music that was played, I have to acknowledge that I enjoyed seeing our friend, Lori Majewski, featured as well as one Mr. Nick Rhodes.  The best part of Nick’s appearance?  I adored the story he told about the first time that the band landed in New York in 1981.  According to Nick, they were super excited until the limo turned away from Manhattan, towards to Long Island.  That said, they spent a lot of money using the vending machines in the Holiday Inn there.  That is a pretty hilarious image!  I wonder what those vending machines sold!

The documentary created a longing for me for other entities that are willing to buck the system.  This station didn’t need to follow format or expectations.  The DJs played what they wanted and weren’t afraid to show what they thought and felt.  For example, one DJ played I Want to be Sedated by the Ramones over and over again after Reagan won a second term as President.  As the documentary ended, I felt a wave of sadness that this type of radio station seems long gone, but I also felt pure joy in just being a part of the generation that appreciated New Wave.  I feel fortunate in that I was a kid in the 80s.

If you have a chance to see this documentary, watch it.  You don’t have to be a native to the New York/Long Island area to enjoy it.  Plus, did I mention that it has great music and Nick Rhodes?  Those are two great reasons, if you ask me!

-A

Rob Fincham of The Purple Lights in the studio with Nick & John!

Alright, music fans – have you ever heard of The Purple Lights?

In full disclosure, I had not. I really do try to keep myself up to date and educated. However, as it was once described—the internet is a super fat pipe, and I am but a single, very thin, straw. I miss a lot. I would need to make it my career in order to even have the time to begin scratching the surface. Sounds like a great job, but not one that I am meant to do, I’m afraid.

I am more than willing to be enlightened, particularly when said group tweets out a photo in the studio with Duran Duran. Off to the internet I go, in search of knowledge and hopefully a track or two! My first stop is Soundcloud, which has a few tracks. I tentatively hit play and prepare myself.

Here’s the thing: I’ve learned a few things about myself since beginning the blog nearly eight years ago. One of those things is that I tend to be the cynic between the two of us, and if someone is going to give a bad review—it’s probably going to be me. I’m blunt to a fault, and I sometimes react with a knee jerk rather than be contemplative. So, I’ve learned that sometimes, it really IS better to sleep on things (and maybe even a few times!!) before publishing. Imagine that! Live and learn.

Every time Duran announces studio time or collaboration with someone, I worry. Is the sound going to be something I can actually champion? In my position, it is very easy to fall victim to being so overly critical that it does zero good for anyone. Overthinking, judgmental…maybe even a bit unfair at times. I’ve done it all and then some. It’s fine to have an opinion, and it is fine not to like all of the choices, but by the same token, I need to give it all a chance and not react before I think. Easier said than done.

So I listen to the first song on Soundcloud. “Not Alone”. The music is great. It’s got a real groove to it, which isn’t too surprising since they call their brand of music, “Groove Rock”.  I hear everything from pop, heavy or even acid rock to reggae influencing their music, and I like it.   I can’t wrap my head completely around who The Purple Lights remind me of, but they definitely remind me of something I’ve heard before. Maybe a bit of Hot Hot Heat?  Interestingly enough, I also hear a bit of early Killers in there somewhere too. I like it. Modern, but approachable, and the music is outstanding. Musicianship matters!! I’m definitely on board with this.

Of course, we have no idea why Rob from The Purple Lights was in the studio with Nick and John. Could it have been about the musical? New album? Something else?? We never know for sure. We also never quite know if it’s going to go anywhere. It’s the joy of the process, right??

No matter, it’s beginning of what is sure to be a year or more of pictures or inexplicable pictures being tweeted that include people I’ve never heard of in them. I’ll I scratch my head in wonder, and head to my trusty Google search bar. It’s the one thing I can count on for sure from Duran Duran—with every single album, I learn something new. I can appreciate their drive to expose themselves (and in turn, their fans) to new musical direction.

Nick with Rob (The Purple Lights) Fincham and John, courtesy @ThePurpleLights Twitter

 

Can’t wait to see where this goes!

-R

Happy Birthday Nick!

I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to get this blog done.  This week marks the last week of the school year for me, which means that I had to grade over 100 essays and clean up my room within a week.  Luckily, I finished those tasks this morning, allowing me some time to wish my favorite keyboardist a happy birthday!!!

To celebrate Nick’s birthday, I figured it might be fun to share some of my favorite Nick clips.  Let’s start with the first song that really caught my attention as far as the keyboards in Duran goes:  Save a Prayer.

Yet, the first time I remember paying attention to him as a person was in the following video:

There was just something about Nick’s look in this video that I loved.  Funny story.  I loved it so much that I decided to go as Nick Rhodes for Halloween one year.  I, of course, chose this video as the one to model myself after with the black pants, blue shirt, white tie.  As I went around my Chicago suburban neighborhood, most people had no clue who I was.  Needless to say, I felt sad that I had to explain myself to all these people.  The people typically reacted by saying, “Wait.  You are a girl dressed like a boy who is dressed like a girl?!”  Clearly, they lacked some knowledge on a great deal, including the fabulousness of one Mr. Nick Rhodes.

Another video that I adored Nick in was New Moon on Monday.  As many of you know, it is my favorite Duran video of all time.  While I know that the band might not love it, but I do.  There is so much to love, including the storyline of the band members being a part of a resistance to an authoritarian regime.  I adored watching Nick and John working together with the older woman.  It gave me a sense of the strong friendship between those two.

Besides those clips and some of my favorite scenes in the classic Duran documentary, Sing Blue Silver, involving the game, Galaga, I don’t think I appreciated Nick as much as I should have as a kid.  No, it took until adulthood to do so.  I think it started with the Astronaut EPK, especially when the band members describe Nick about 4:40 in:

I loved this EPK because you could hear both the love and the honesty from each member about each band member.  Roger called Nick a “perfectionist” but he did it with a clear and obvious smile.

Around the same time, I began to go “on tour” or traveling to go to multiple shows.  I had heard so many stories from other Duranies about their experiences with the band that I desperately longed for a story or two myself.  Luckily, I had a chance to see the band in person outside of the concert venue in the summer in 2005.  While I lucked out in getting both John and Nick’s autograph then, Nick was the first band member who stopped to actually chat with the fans hanging around.  To say that he was friendly and approachable would be an understatement.  He readily agreed to photos and autographs to anyone who asked.  I was thoroughly impressed as he truly did not need to do any of that, especially after a show.

Looking back to that time with Nick, I realize how important this was to my fandom.  I found myself falling for the band even more, which I didn’t know was possible.  Just as important, I trusted that the band consisted of great guys who deserve the love and support from the fans.  Instead of accepting this amazing moment as the peak of my fandom, I wanted more.  This led to more shows, more tours, and even actions like writing this blog.  Had the experience gone badly, I might have been turned off from fandom, from Duran Duran.  Instead, the opposite happened.

In more recent years, I have adored Nick’s parts in both All You Need Is Now and Girl Panic.

As many of you know, Rhonda and I were lucky enough to be able to wander through Brompton Cemetery where Nick’s part was filmed.  It was a definite highlight for me.  Beyond being a completely cool cemetery (and very different from American cemeteries), it also was the sight of a hilarious moment for Rhonda and myself.  As we began to wander through, the clouds opened allowing it to not only pour but also to hail.  So imagine the two of us running and searching for any sort of shelter.  When we found a place, the only thing we could do was to laugh hysterically, knowing how ridiculous we must have looked like.

Then, there is Girl Panic.  I won’t lie.  Nick’s part might be my favorite.  His dialogue and conversation amuses me.

So on this day, I channel all of my appreciation into wishing Nick an absolutely fabulous birthday and hope that he has the best year of his life.

Happy Birthday, Nick!!!

-A

Thursday News Mash-up: This is where it starts

LOTS of news to report today…

Duran Goes Dutch. Maybe.

First of all, I made a small, yet significant error in yesterday’s post. Apparently, Duran Goes Dutch is not a bootleg, exactly.  Unless of course the copy you have in your collection is in fact a bootleg.  Got it?

Yeah, me neither. Apparently, there are two different versions of Duran Goes Dutch. One is apparently an official version, made to look like a bootleg (Why?!?), and another is actually a bootleg. (Again I ask, why?!?)  I have no idea which is which, nor do I know if mine is a bootleg or not because it is currently packed somewhere. Ask me again in six months.

Punkmasters Does it Again!

Patty Palazzo has more creativity in her pinky finger than I do in my entire body. To prove it (not that she needed!), she released a few designs as an advance, certain-to-whet-the-appetite sneak peek into her new collection, due out on June 24. Get your credit cards ready, Duranies. I bought three!  I only stopped there because, well, Retirement 2.0…. and I figured I’d save some for all of you. Besides, June 24th is coming….

Check out the video Patty shared on Facebook, and turn up the volume while you do it, because I hear a certain John Taylor was responsible for the awesome soundtrack.

 

If creating soundtracks for Punkmasters wasn’t enough…

John spoke today at an event I would have easily given both of my eye teeth to be at, the Brilliant Minds Symposium in Stockholm. He gave a keynote speech that I am hoping will miraculously show up on YouTube. What is the Brilliant Minds Symposium about, you ask? According to dd.com, it is a new thought and leadership forum debating the convergence of humanity & technology. I love this stuff! Let’s face it, if Duran Duran doesn’t break my bank, I could easily get the job done by traveling the planet in search of these sorts of events. I’m doomed.  DDHQ posted just a couple of photos of John’s keynote presentation, and I was especially drawn to the words behind him. In one photo the words “Here and Now” were in the background, and in the next “Gatecrash Intimacy”.  Now I’m really curious! No matter, it is indeed exciting to hear about John’s involvement, and I’m hopeful that we hear more about the experience in the weeks ahead. (hint, hint!)

We have a Glam-father!!!

After reading numerous rumors yesterday that Simon’s daughter Saffron and her partner Benjamin had welcomed a baby into this world, Simon himself posted the news several hours ago on Twitter. Saffron had a baby boy, and apparently both mom and baby are healthy. Who could ask for more than that, really?  This is wonderful news for the entire Le Bon family, and of course we wish everyone all of the health and happiness in the world. It is hard to believe that we’ve not only watched as Simon and the rest of the band have had children, but now we’re seeing the children having children.

We’re really kind of lucky to have had the band around this long, you know??

Simon tweeted that we can now refer to him as the Glamfather… I love it!

Last, but certainly not least

I just wanted to chime in with my own good wishes for another happy and healthy year on this planet for Mr. Nicholas Rhodes.  Yes, you are The Controller, and yes, I do believe you’re at the very least alien…and probably vampire too. (Can you be both? I say yes!) In any case, I wish you the nap you likely deserve, and as much art, good health, laughter, love and kindness as you can stand in a year.  I do hope you and the band won’t stay away for too long – I miss seeing your knowing grin as you peer over the top of your keyboard rig down into the audience…particularly during Hungry Like the Wolf, but throughout the show as well. Happy Birthday Nick!

 

Until next week, I’m off!

-R

 

 

June 2018 Katy Kafe Highlights!

It is time for a special June 2018 Katy Kafe with one of June’s birthday boys, Nick Rhodes!

Record Store Day

Katy began the Kafe asking Nick about Record Store Day. Nick hopes they continue to offer something for RSD, saying that they did the Budokan show as a strictly limited item, and they wanted to do something unexpected. Nick collaborated with John to choose the songs from that show, and then they worked with Japanese artist Tadanori Yokoo along with John Warwicker to do the cover.

As an aside, Katy and Nick briefly chatted about filming the show from the Budokan. Nick says that this film is currently in editing and should surface at some point later this year!

Tim Berners-Lee

He is the inventor of the World Wide Web, and Nick met with him a month or so ago at a screening of the film about the trajectory of the internet.

ForEveryone.net film on PBS (only available to stream in US at the moment!)

Nick suggests everyone watch the documentary. I’ve seen it myself and it is well-worth your time. The web is changing, and unless each of us stands up to protect it, the way we use it today will soon cease. Take the freedom seriously and educate yourself.

One note to make here: I don’t know if even Nick is aware, but he and TimBL (as he is also known in Silicon Valley and the web world) share a birthday! 

Nefer’s Birthday in Venice

What started as a simple diner to support a charitable foundation grew into a somewhat more sizable and lavish Gothic-Glamour themed gala!

Nick didn’t say a lot about the party, and much has been mentioned about the way certain magazines referred to Nick as Nefer’s husband and so forth. I’ll cut to the chase: nothing was said.

Surprise, surprise.

Update on the Musical

According to Nick the first draft of the musical he has been writing with JT is finished, and they’ve been in talks with various people to decide what to do with it from here. Although it was written to be a full stage production, there are plenty of other options, from a virtual “experience to Netflix, Broadway and beyond. They are exploring all avenues to decide what is best.

Cayman Islands KAABOO

Nick said it sounded fun at that time of year (February of 2019). He mentioned that they haven’t put in many concerts this year because they’ve all been working on other projects that will hopefully see the light of day over the next 18 months….I suppose we will all stay tuned!

Nick also commented that maybe, just maybe later this year there might be a concert or two. He didn’t commit, but he did say that they have nothing on the calendar as of yet but that you never know. In this day and age, there is no reason to plan 100 shows two years in advance. Doing a few shows here or a one-off there can be planned fairly quickly.  Then he talked about how this year they might not be doing many but next year (2019) they’ll do a few more, then the following year (2020) quite a bit, and the next year (2021 by my count) even more!  He actually sounded open to the idea of doing shows later this year though, which, in my opinion – isn’t a bad sign!

My advice? Don’t hold your breath…start saving your pennies (or dollars) and don’t give up hope!

Residencies, anyone?

John had mentioned he would be open to a residency in Vegas at some point, under the right set of circumstances. So Katy posed the same sort of question to Nick. Much to my surprise, he was open to the idea. All kinds of opportunities exist to do different sorts of things in Vegas, and it is manageable cost-wise. He’s not adverse to the idea, but did say that something like that would need to be different to what is already being done (of course!). Nick isn’t interested in being in Vegas for a year, but shorter runs would be fine.

One thing he did mention that I found interesting – Vegas allows for a transient audience. Most people don’t go to Vegas for much more than a weekend at a time. It isn’t like playing to the same people for every single show, which, at the risk of calling myself out since I’ve actually followed them for a week or two at a time, can grow stale, I believe.

Hold up your hands, how many of you would ignore Nick’s comments about playing to different people all of the time and “move” to Vegas for a week or two if the band were in residence??

While Katy asked Nick what he was planning to do for his birthday (He says he may nap!), she also quickly slid the whole “when is the band getting back into the studio” question past him.

The answer?

Surely at some point in the next few months. They have some people they want to work with.

It’s always exciting to hear possibilities. Keeps MY mind off of the boxes piling up in my living room, which I am off to go tackle!

-R

There is Definitely Something You Should Know! DD on BBC Four

I love it when there’s news!

As I checked my email this morning, there were a couple of Google Alerts.  In full disclosure, I typically ignore them. More often than not, the alert is about someone with the last name of Duran, which has gotten really old at this point. This morning though, that was to be the case, as I uncharacteristically stopped scrolling and opened the alert.

My Duranie radar must still be working, because the alert announced that Duran Duran will be taking over BBC Four on June 29th!

At 9pm (GMT), viewers will see Duran Duran: There Is Something You Should Know. According to the press release on duranduran.com, “Back2back Productions has been granted exclusive access to the legendary group. Simon Le Bon, Nick Rhodes, John Taylor and Roger Taylor open up about their extraordinary career, talking more candidly than ever before about the highs and lows they have endured together over the years.”

Yeah, I wouldn’t mind seeing a brand new interview. I miss those guys.

Then at 10pm (also GMT), the band talks about their early inspirations as they look back together over TV programs, music and films that they grew up with from the 60s, 70s and 80s in a show titled, Duran Duran: A Night In.  Also from the press release, John Taylor notes, “Without the BBC, there would be no Duran Duran. Forty years ago this October, the BBC first aired ‘Barbarella’. It was while watching that late-night screening of the Jane Fonda sci-fi epic that members of a burgeoning Birmingham post-punk band decided the name of one of the films characters – Durand Durand – would make for a cool and unusual band name.”

I think this show would be very interesting, particularly since I’m from the US. I’d love to see it!

But wait!

Most fans know that the BBC is in the UK. While there have been a few requests to stream the shows so that fans may watch worldwide, if you’re not in the UK, you’re pretty much out of luck for this one, at least for now. <cue tears>

Invariably, these types of programs eventually make their way onto YouTube or are passed from fan-to-fan, and I think we can probably expect the same for this one in due time. For now, as it should be…no matter how painful it might be to know I’m going to miss out, the UK fans will be able to experience the shows first. Yes, I absolutely believe they should have the opportunity to see it all first. Make no mistake, I am 100% envious knowing that I probably won’t see this material for a while, but certainly not angry or spiteful. There have been many times the US has had Duran Duran playing live shows here, with very little regard to the country from which they were born. The UK is their home, and as John mentioned – without the BBC there would be no Duran Duran.

People get so angry about the silliest things, such as this night of television. I’ve seen so many upset comments this morning!  Sure, I’d love to see these television shows. I love this kind of thing and I have no doubt that Amanda and I would have tried to watch together and we would have had many vodka tonics and laughed our way through it because these guys crack us up every single time.  Experience tells me though, that I probably will still have the chance to see these shows at some point, just not on June 29th. Somehow, I suspect I’ll likely survive the famine. Maybe.

I just don’t think I am exactly in the position to be complaining here. Duran Duran didn’t get their start here in the US. They certainly weren’t born here in America, and they didn’t cut their teeth in some dank and dark nightclub in an alley in Los Angeles or New York. It wasn’t American TV that embraced them first, like it or not.  I can’t be angry about a TV show or two being shown on the BBC, that is for sure.

Their 40th anniversary celebration isn’t over yet. It’s just begun! It is likely that we can look forward to other special events opportunities in the months to come.

However, if you want to get a sneak peek at the trailer, take a gander at the link below! I’ve watched it about 50 times now, so that should tell you just how badly I wish I could see the show with my UK friends. So sure, take my envy and laugh your way through to June 29th. If anybody figures out a way to watch the show, don’t forget to whisper it to your good friends Rhonda and Amanda!  We won’t tell!!

Duran Duran Take Over the BBC – Trailer!

-R

 

Personal Jesus 2011 by M.A.N.

In my quest to find something worthy of blogging about today, I stumbled across something by chance that I’d forgotten about. Did you know that “Personal Jesus 2011” by Depeche Mode was released on YESTERDAYS date (in 2011, of course!) featuring production remix by none other than Nick Rhodes?

Forgive me, but I don’t even remember this happening. I’m sure I must have heard about it at some point, but now I’m driven to find a copy somewhere. I researched it online, just in case I was mistaken.  This is an EU 5-track pressing of the 2011 remix version of Personal Jesus. Nick, along with a certain Mark Ronson and Andrew Wyatt (they call themselves M.A.N.) produced one of the remixes of the track.

With that info in hand, I moved on to YouTube, and luckily – I was able to find it. (I’m convinced I can find just about anything on YouTube!!)

I’m not going to review it after only one or two listens (been there, done that….learned my lesson EXTREMELY well, thanks.), but I will say that I had absolutely no trouble recognizing the obvious influences, and I liked it. Very much. I loved the way they put their own stamp onto the song without changing the spirit of the music.

Ok, I can’t even follow my own rules. Never mind. Here’s the link. Check it out for yourself. I dare ya not to buy it if you don’t already have it, and shame on me for missing out the first time!

 

One more note: here is a very good reason why we do the day in history. We learn, and maybe…you learn a little sometimes too.

I’m off to work. It’s my very last day. I’m sad to say goodbye to the kids and my coworkers, but I’m also super excited to be done for now.  I’m hoping to focus on getting this house packed up, and spend some time up in the area we’re hoping to move. I’d also like to do some writing and reworking of this website during the fall and winter. Time is short, gotta run!

-R

To be a Fly on the Wall

Imagine yourself, invisible to those around you, sitting in a studio. Or a hotel room. Or someone’s home. You can see and hear everything around you, but they can’t see you.

Now, imagine that scenario on this date in 1986,  as John Taylor and got together in London to discuss “the next Duran Duran album”.  Keep in mind, this is after Roger and Andy had left the band. Simon, Nick, and John were left to figure out the next step for what was arguably (at the time) the biggest band in the world. Where to go from there?

I don’t think I would have envied their positioning. After all, the higher you climb, the farther the potential fall. At this point in 1986, I was 15 years old. The idea of Duran Duran ceasing to exist, or the idea of “new” people ever being in that band were unfathomable to me as a fan. I am quite certain I wasn’t alone. What to do when two of the original members (as the fans knew) left?  Bring in new people? Continue as a threesome? How would Duran Duran look and sound?  Would the fans still respond?

Important questions, to be sure, and I’m not as certain that the answers were all that clear. Can you imagine what it must have felt like to consider moving forward? Sure, there was probably quite a bit of ego and bravado at the time, given their previous success. I’m also certain that at least in part, they wanted to prove to Andy and Roger that they really could go on without them – and that is likely what motivated and drove them to keep going. Even so, I have to wonder what that first meeting to discuss the next album was like.

We could likely debate all day about the outcome. Notorious, the band’s fourth FULL album (Arena was released in 1984 but was not a full-length studio album), and was their answer to how they would move forward. I can remember hearing the album for first time, just after I turned 16, and saying that they didn’t sound the same. It was just different without Andy and Roger, and to be honest – at the time I wasn’t sure I liked it. Their sound had matured more than my musical tastes at the time, I think. Like many of their albums since, it took me a long time to come to terms and have an appreciation. That’s not a critique of the album, but rather my more-ridiculous musical interests of the time.

Even so, I have often wondered what it would have been like during that initial planning, and certainly not just for Notorious!

-R