Tag Archives: Roger Taylor

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

Front Row Podcast and Friendship

Do you listen to a lot of podcasts?  I don’t but I have many friends who love them.  That said, I’m always open to listening to one if it features members of Duran Duran.  Last week, the BBC Podcast called, Front Row, included a ten minute (or so) segment with John and Roger Taylor.  Of course, the purpose was to advertise the two TV specials, Something You Should Know and Boys on Film, that aired on Friday.  Whenever something airs outside of the U.S., I always worry that I won’t be able to see/hear it.  Luckily, though, a friend ensured that Rhonda and I could!

The Front Row podcast began by sharing the fact that the famous author, Neil Gaiman, first published work was, indeed, a biography of Duran Duran.  (That book costs a lot of money to buy, BTW.  Right now, you could buy a copy on Amazon for a cheap $157.)  Anyway, the podcast continued by discussing some of the highlights and lowlights of Duran’s career to introduce Roger and John.  The conversation, much like the documentary, runs in chronological order of the band’s career, obviously starting in the 1970s.  Interestingly enough, in describing punk, John talked about how the youth of that time were rebelling against their parents, the war generation.  That sort of made me sad as the World War II generation accomplished a lot like defeating fascism.  Nonetheless, I understood what he was saying.  Roger followed up talking about how all the family in his family held manual labor jobs.  In looking at his life, he acknowledged that just a couple of changes in his life or the band’s and he, too, could have been a manual laborer.  He’s really right.  Little moments and choices add to one’s life and any changes could make a big difference.

From there, they go on to discuss other topics, including the influence of glam and technology, the affects of having female teen fans, creating the James Bond theme song for A View to a Kill, the split in the mid-1980s, and advice for the young.  Which topic do you think caught most of my attention?  Yep.  I was most interested in what they would have to say about having female teen fans.  The interviewer directly asked if having female teen fans hurt the band when it came to the critics?  Roger acknowledged that it did.  He commented that it put them in a box with critics which resulted in having the music overlooked.  I don’t disagree with him at all.  That said, I wanted more.  Maybe I felt compelled to go deeper so I yelled  out in my living room the following (like Roger could hear me):  “Why is that Roger?  Why does having female teen fans mean that the music would be overlooked?  What would critics assume?”  So, what did  I mean about all of that?  Simple.  If a band has a lot of female teen fans, the assumption was that the band could not really play.  The only reason that female teens would like a band is because they were cute, not that they were talented musicians.  The implication, of course, was that female teens couldn’t judge music.  They weren’t smart enough, according to (probably) male critics.  Obviously, I think those assumptions are a bunch of bull.  I’m not sorry that I was a part of that group of fans, but I am sorry that sexism towards their female following hurt the band with the critics.

Overall, I enjoyed the podcast even though I wished it was longer and that I might have chosen a few different questions.  For example, I don’t think I would have asked about A View to a Kill because I have heard/read a lot about that.  I appreciate the discussion of the band’s origins but I would love to hear them analyze the reunion, for example, or the music industry.  All of that said, I completely appreciate our friend, Debbie, sending the podcast to us.  It means the world to us to know that there are people who know/understand how much we love Duran and want to be able to enjoy all media about the band.  It reminds me of what is really great about fandom when fans look out for each other.  Thanks again, Debbie, for both the podcast as well as the reminder.

I loved having new Duran stuff to write and talk about this weekend. Definitely added some joy when it was most needed.

-A

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

 

Looking Back to 1983

The other day DDHQ tweeted this:

I saw it when it was tweeted but had no idea what it was about.  Sadly, I didn’t have much of a chance to look closer at it.  I had a sense that the quote about the band lacking a private life was something said in the 80s but I didn’t even notice that People was listed in the tweet.  Now, because it is the weekend, I have had a chance to actual click on the link.  If you haven’t done it, I recommend it.  You can go here:  “Duran Duran Was ‘Hungry Like the Wolf’ for Stardom-And Then Came Along MTV.”  

The link is to an article that appeared in People magazine on December 5, 1983.  Well, I read it.  On one hand, it was exactly what I was expecting and on the other, it wasn’t.  Frankly, I know that Duran faced a boatload of criticism during the 80s and assumed that this article would be filled with insulting language.  While it wasn’t perfect, it could have been worse.  Interestingly enough, the most negative statements came from quotes from critics not involved in this particular article.  A perfect example of this was this paragraph:  “How important was MTV in the rise of Duran Duran? All-important, some critics contend. As David Handler put it: “After all, the clips are a heckuva lot more striking than the music, which is little more than pasteurized, synthesized pop-rock with video launching pads for lyrics.”  What always fascinated me then and still does now, why is having MTV important to Duran’s success a bad thing?  I know that the critics would say something along the lines of how their music should speak for itself but isn’t MTV just a means of getting their music out there?  Is it really that different than appearances on shows like Top of the Pops or American Bandstand?  After all, fans can see what they look like on those shows.

I appreciated the fact that the article featured what I saw as generally accurate history of the band’s formation.  Beyond that, People magazine reported on the recording of Seven and the Ragged Tiger and how their fame had really become overwhelming.  The best line, though, of the whole article, in my opinion, was not the one that DDHQ quoted but the last line.  “We don’t want to be has-beens by the time we’re 25,” said Roger. “It would be the worst thing in the world to go around saying to people, ‘Do you know who I used to be?’ ”  Oh, Roger, if only I could have told him in 1983 that they definitely wouldn’t be has-beens by the time that they were 25 or 35 or 45 or even 55.  People still know who they are.

-A

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

Happy 58th Birthday, Roger!

My favorite original member of Duran Duran has a birthday today.  That alone makes me smile! I love the days when I can gush unabashedly, particularly when the person involved is my favorite.

I have been a Roger-girl from as close to day one of my fandom as possible. The Planet Earth video certainly may have had something to do with it, as would any of the band pictures they’ve ever taken. I liked that he seemed quiet and shy, because I was too. I felt like I was able to relate to him, even though I knew (even as an adolescent) that I was way the hell out of his league. I think that is what made Roger “safe” for me as a crush: there was little chance of being rejected because he didn’t even know I existed, unlike the boys at school who would openly call me “ugly” or gag when I would walk by. (Oh yes, it happened, far more than often than I care admit) If nothing else, Roger was safe to crush on purely because there was zero chance I’d ever meet him.

Like many, I was sad for me, happy for him when he got married, and far more so when it was announced he’d left the band in 1986. I always wondered what happened to him. I’d heard so many rumors, ranging from a breakdown to retirement – I just wanted to know what happened. Of course, we all had the chance to see who Roger had become once they did the reunion tour in 2003.

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I was a little surprised. I don’t know what I was expecting now that I think about it. I suppose he wasn’t nearly as shy as I’d remembered. Still every bit as handsome, though. And then there was that one time I actually spoke to him at Virgin Megastore in Hollywood. According to my oldest, I did everything but propose marriage – but she also has her mother’s gift of EXTREME EXAGGERATION. I just told him I was glad he came back, that he was always my favorite, and then I thanked him for doing the signing because I didn’t think I would have ever had the chance to meet him otherwise. He gave me a huge smile and said thank you for being so sweet, and then I floated away and couldn’t feel my body for two days.

I’ve run into him very sparingly since then, never for meaningful conversation, but I have managed to make him laugh a few times. I’m still a little intimidated by him because…well, he was the equivalent of my Prince Charming in 1980-something. The pedestal he once stood on has long since been knocked over and I’m well-aware of his humanity by now, but there’s something about running into a one-time crush that sticks with me. I think it might be my inner-teenager speaking to me!

These days, Roger is married to the devastatingly beautiful Gisela, and has a gorgeous family. He seems happier and healthier than ever, for which I am thankful. I’ve forgiven him (ha!) for carelessly tossing our Daily Duranie wristband aside all those years ago at Spy Bar. (even though we were able to get Nile and John Taylor to put it on without a problem) I get it. He couldn’t even see us, much less care about what we had thrown to him at the time. I still haven’t ever gotten his sticks at a show. There was that one time he tried to throw them my way, but…it wasn’t meant to happen.  Maybe someday the opportunity will strike, and if not, that’s OK too. I have a feeling I’ll still manage to survive.

No matter what, no one else ever seemed to quite belong behind that drum set in the way he does, and I’m hoping he sticks with it for the long haul. He’s a part of this crazy family whether he likes it or not!

Happy 58th Birthday Roger! Here is hoping for many more healthy and happy years ahead!

-R

 

Memories of Spy Bar, 2013

A few years ago, I took a short trip to one of my favorite cities: Chicago. Duran Duran wasn’t even playing, but I did spend time with my best friend Amanda, who happens to live a couple of hours to the north. Amanda’s birthday is the 29th of April, same as my daughter’s (which is the strangest twist of fate!), so we celebrated her special day a bit early, AND…..we did happen to go see Roger Taylor do his DJ thing at SpyBar. Oh yeah, there was that, too.

Hard to believe that happened five years ago today!  Not only did we dance to Roger Taylor (I can truly say my inner thirteen year old was grinning from ear-to-ear that night!) but we also celebrated his birthday, once the clock announced it was past midnight, making it the 26th of April.

The night was crazy and fun. We had gone in with several others and gotten a VIP table with bottle service.

I think Amanda and I danced most of the night, and I’m not even going to lie when I say I don’t think either of us really knew what we were dancing to most of the time. It didn’t matter. We had a blast anyway.  Then we went out for much-needed pancakes afterward, because who doesn’t need carbs at 2 or 3am??

I miss times like that, particularly when life seems to continue to throw a series of blows – one right after the next. But, memories like SpyBar make me smile, and no – it isn’t because we “met” Roger. In fact, we didn’t!  There was a velvet rope surrounding the DJ platform that we didn’t dare cross, and even when Amanda attempted to toss him one of our Daily Duranie wristbands – he basically threw it aside.  Chances are, he didn’t even know what it was or who threw it. We stayed on our side of the rope and had fun anyway.

I’m not complaining that the band thinks they’re going to go into the studio this year but they don’t know when. Who really knows how long it might be before they tour again? I’m not mad that they’re taking time and doing their own thing this year, or doing corporate shows when they need. My life is so screwed up at the moment that I couldn’t necessarily get myself to a show even if it were in my own backyard. (Perhaps that’s a slight exaggeration, but I think you get the point!)  That doesn’t mean I don’t miss all of the fun that comes along with the gigs and road trips and live music.  Sure, I could (and will) go see other bands this summer, but there’s something special about seeing Duran Duran with my friends.

Life is simpler on tour. Or at a DJ gig, as the case may be!

-R

 

 

April 2018 Katy Kafe with Roger

I have been so busy that I missed the news that a brand new Katy Kafe had been posted this week.  It makes sense since Roger’s birthday is coming up this week.  (Happy Early Birthday, Roger!)  As always, I’ll give it a listen (I suffer greatly for this gig.  Not.) and provide some of my thoughts about what I heard here.  As always, I will not be sharing word-for-word what was said.  Nope.  If you want to hear it all, head to DuranDuranMusic and log in with your membership.

Trip to Peru

Katy opened up the Kafe with a discussion about Roger’s recent trip to Peru to see his wife’s family who lives there.  Apparently, he enjoys traveling there in April because the weather is beautiful and people spend time on the beaches.  (I wouldn’t know anything about this as I just had two winter storms this past week.)  One thing I did learn was that Roger studied French in school but struggles with languages.  (This I can relate to.)  His son, Julian, is trying to learn the language, too, with the idea that he will be bilingual.  Very cool!

Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame:

As soon as Katy mentioned that the recent induction to this year’s crop of Rock ‘n’ Roll members, I took note as this is a topic that seems to come up every year in Duranland.  She then asked if this was a goal of the band.  Roger’s reaction is what I expected with the idea of if it happens, great, but if not, it won’t change anything.  I can understand that sentiment.  Plus, it is probably the best way to approach awards.  Katy thinks it will happen as more New Wave artists are getting in.  Interesting to note that Roger definitely thinks that Depeche Mode should be in.

Elliot’s project:

Roger’s son, Elliot, has a new project, working with Denis O’Regan who was the photographer on David Bowie’s ’83 or ’84 Tour.  Recently, Denis found a lot of backstage photos and Roger’s son is helping to put these photos together in a book.

Return to the Studio:

When will Duran be back in the studio?  Roger’s response, “Definitely this year.”  That said, there is no specific date planned yet.  Apparently, the band is enjoying the down time, which I cannot blame them.  Roger is starting to look forward to returning to the studio now that he has had a break.

Record Store Day:

Roger expressed some excitement about the release of Duran Duran Live at the Budokan, but seemed to be more thrilled with the live DVD that will be coming out about that show/venue.  This did not surprise me as the whole show was shown on Japanese TV.

Birthday Plans:

Roger plans on spending his birthday at home with his family.  Interestingly enough, Roger claims that people who have the Taurus astrological sign do not make a big deal of their birthdays.  I’m not sure about that as a fellow Taurus.

This Kafe was not necessarily filled with a ton of news or insight but it was still enjoyable.  Again, I wish Roger a happy early birthday!!!

-A

Roger leaves the band, 1986

Due to the nature of this about-to-be-written post, please put on the most melodramatic, schmaltzy, sad, music possible, and grab yourself some tissues.

On this date in 1986 – there was a statement released from Duran Duran. Roger Taylor, the white knight, prince of my dreams, my boyfriend-who-didn’t-get-the-memo (or meemo)…left the band.

gasp

And we wonder where and when my abandonment issues started. Hmm.

Ok, in all seriousness, it is true that on this date, a mere 32 years ago,  Duran Duran announced that Roger Taylor had quit the band. For those of us Roger-girls (and guys) out there, it was a dark day. Sometimes, I can hardly believe it happened, given where we are today.

Sometimes, as I read the continued debate over guitar players—who should return, who was the best….who wore blonde hair the best (Ok, maybe not that one)—I wonder why it is/was that I never see the same debate over the drummer.

Do we all agree that Roger is the best?  What about Sterling? What about Steve Ferrone? Joe Travers??

I’m not really trying to start an inferno, here. I am trying to make a point though. Why have we beaten the horse to death (and then some) over the guitarist and not the drummer? I’m sure some would say it doesn’t matter. Others might even say they’ve never thought about anyone else. I wouldn’t disagree with the latter – I can’t even picture another drummer in this band at this point. Maybe that’s just it, there’s no debate necessary here. Roger hasn’t left, and while we appreciate those who carried on in his absence, we know who belongs up on those risers, behind the drum set.

As much as I remember feeling lost and sad when I read about Roger leaving the band, I have a much better memory of the day I realized he had returned. I still smile and chuckle when I think about it, because DDHQ had a new splash page designed for DD.com with a digitalized image of each face of the five original band members. I didn’t immediately recognize Roger.

That’s teenage love for ya.

-R

Spring Break and Songbook!

Happy Spring Break to anyone is lucky enough to have this week off, and that includes Amanda and I! I’ve decided to take some time for myself this week, in which case my posts are likely to be shorter than normal.

With that in mind, do you know what was aired on Sky Works on this date in 2009? Anyone?  Songbook!  I didn’t see this until well-after its airing…but since it has been seven years since it aired, so let’s watch again!

In full-disclosure, I did not have time to watch both of these clips before posting. They were uploaded by two different people but one seems to have more the interview and the other looks to be more of the performances. That said, I can’t be sure they don’t overlap. So, my apologies if they’re not perfect. I’m going to watch now, and you know – if I have to see Duran Duran perform with Dom twice, I suppose I’ll manage. Somehow.  😀

In any case, enjoy!!

-R