Tag Archives: Rolling Stone

Headline Shows and Hall of Fame

Welcome to another fun-filled work week! today, I have two main topics for discussion: Andy Taylor, and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Andy, Andy, Andy!

For those who haven’t been paying attention, I am here to catch you up a bit. Not long ago, out of a heavy fog over the horizon, stepped Andy Taylor, guitar in hand. During the weeks since, he has been fairly active on social media, catching us up on his career, and little bits and pieces of his life (his grandson is clearly the apple of his eye!).

Andy has been working occasionally with Reef. Andy cites meeting Reef vocalist Gary Stringer as he (Gary) agreed to do vocals for Andy’s upcoming album. In turn, Andy stepped on stage at Glastonbury with them, and has now announced another show. This time, he’ll be doing a full-set with the band on November 7th during Hard Rock Hell in Great Yarmouth. Reef is a hard rocking band, and it isn’t exactly a surprise (although very welcome!) to see and hear Andy performing with them.

If that weren’t enough, Andy has announced his own solo headlining show – his first in 30 years! Serving as today’s reason I continue to kick myself for not living in the UK, he will be performing at the 100 Club in London on November 27th. Gary Stringer (Reef) will be on vocals, along with a whole new band to back Andy. The show is in support of his soon-to-be-released album on BMG Records. Let’s hope there are more to follow! Tickets will be available on Live Nation at 10am on Friday morning (that’s 10am UK time!)

Should any of our readers be attending his gig, we would be overjoyed to have someone willing to write up a quick review for us here at Daily Duranie. Send us an email if you plan to go!

One window closes, and a Hall opens up…

While I recognize that for fans outside of the US, chats of Hall of Fame might seem silly, I would simply remind that America has it’s own history with rock and roll. As such – the Hall of Fame is at least noteworthy on a blog owned and operated by Americans.

Over the years, Amanda and I have been contacted more than a few times to throw support behind public (but fan-organized) efforts to get Duran Duran nominated for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

On one hand, we’ve always been supportive. Of course we’d like to see the band recognized for their career! Who wouldn’t? That said, we’ve never publicly gotten involved with such efforts beyond mentioning them here and occasionally tweeting about it here or there. We’d been told many times that the band recognized the politics behind the organization (Hall of Fame), and as such – it hardly seemed worth the effort. Sure, of course they’d like to be recognized. I can’t imagine they would have turned down the offer to be inducted, had it been extended. That said, there were some organizational roadblocks in their way, and it likely seemed that there were better ways to spend their time. We understood those concerns and issues, and chose to follow the band’s lead. After all, if they didn’t see the need – who were we to say otherwise?

That party line held for a long time, up until last year when Duran Duran were invited to induct Roxy Music into the Hall of Fame. What most fans may be unaware of is that nominated bands/artists who are chosen to be inducted do not necessarily have a choice of who actually inducts them. As I understand, bands such as Roxy Music give some suggestions for whom they’d like to have induct them, and then from there – the board and organizers of the HoF make the final decisions based on a variety of criteria, including what might make the biggest ratings grab.

For Duran Duran to even be given “stage time” at the induction was a huge stride. In the past, such a thing probably would not have happened, for a variety of reasons…not the least of which being the man in charge.

Jann Wenner is the current chairman of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The HoF was invented in the 80s alongside Ahmet Ertegun (Atlantic Records), and Seymour Stein (Sire Records). Jann is the co-founder of Rolling Stone magazine, and set the tone for the types of bands and acts who were nominated and inducted…to say the least. Wenner’s own heyday took place during the 70s. The Hall of Fame hasn’t necessarily championed the cause of many black acts over the years, although some have certainly been included, pushed through by Ertegun. Stories of ballots being destroyed by Wenner, and rallying for favorites are not unusual.

Unfortunately, these tales have done little to prove that the Hall of Fame is anything more than a ridiculous popularity contest. However, last week it was announced that Wenner would be stepping down. During the past years, he has withdrawn from public eye, given up day-to-day operation of his precious magazine, and seems to be retiring.

Equally interesting is the replacement for Wenner as Chairman of the HoF, John Sykes. For his place in the music world, Sykes helps run iHeart Radio, but more importantly to Duran fans – he helped to invent MTV and VH1. He seems to be well liked, and with any hope he will right some of the wrongs that took place during Wenner’s tenure.

While I do believe it is time for bands like Duran Duran to be inducted into the Hall of Fame, make no mistake – there are many other bands and artists that should already be in there. Even though there might be an open door, there’s a long line to get in.

-R

Rolling Stones Continuous History of Rock & Roll

On this date in 1983, Duran Duran’s “Girls on Film” was featured on a radio album called “Rolling Stones Continuous History of Rock & Roll”. It was show #85, and it was released by ABC Rock Radio Network on this date.  It was meant to be aired on the various stations within the ABC network, and if you look hard enough for it online – you’ll find copies floating around.

The show itself was entitled “The British Rockers”, which seems appropriate, and was an hour-long program. It featured songs from the 1960’s up to 1982.  The album was used for license broadcast in the USA on this date, and was even issued with cue cards for presenters. So, if you listened to the broadcast in Los Angeles, for example, your local radio host would be presenting the broadcast in the same format with the same script as the host in New York.

“Girls on Film” was included on this album, and as fans will remember, it did not chart during its initial release. Rolling Stones Continuous History of Rock & Roll: 85, having been released in 1983, took place just as the song, and the band itself, became wildly popular here in the states.

Track Listing:

 

  • Girls on Film” – Duran Duran
  • “I Saw Her Standing There” – The Beatles
  • “Come Dancin” – The Kinks
  • “Get Off My Cloud” – The Rolling Stones
  • “The Shape You’re In” – Eric Clapton
  • “Eminence Front” – The Who
  • “All Right Now” – Free
  • “Spirits In The Material World” – The Police
  • “Red Skies At Night” – The Fixx

 

Damn It, Le Bon!!!

(Amanda kind of dared me to use this as the title, and maybe you’ll see why in a bit.)

I have spent my day re-writing. A wise person once told me that writing is really re-writing. I really wish I’d listened more carefully because they weren’t kidding. My brain is now fried, so let’s all hope for the best and expect the worst for this particular post!

I haven’t been to a single show yet (well, recently is probably more accurate), and so my excitement has been confined to being thrilled for other fans, and reading the inevitable reviews following a show day.

As I mentioned in my first paragraph, I’m struggling with the basic thought process, so I’m probably going to be more honest and blunt than usual. With that in mind, I’m just going to say it: I always look for Dom’s name in the reviews. Is that wrong? I say no. Most of the rest of the band gets mentioned in each review; but it’s not always that way for Dom, so to see him be mentioned certainly isn’t a bad thing. Likewise when the band is interviewed – typically they are being asked about themselves and their career. It’s really rare to see them asked about their guitarist, so when they are and someone brings up Dom’s talent – I notice.

Imagine my delight when Simon is asked about working with guitar players in today’s edition of The Morning Call.  John Moser conducts the interview with Simon by phone (By the way Mr. Moser, it’s Nile. Nile Rodgers) and asks about how they got together with John Frusciante for the album. Simon explains how they were contacted by John, and Moser follows up by asking Simon if he’s worried about replicating the sound live.

“Well [laughs] we’ve got an amazing guitarist, which is Dom Brown [he’s been the band’s touring guitarist since 2006*.] Dom in very versatile; he’s been a session player for years and years and years before he became part of the Duran Duran setup. And if anybody can do it live, Dom Brown can.” – Simon Le Bon

Exactly.

I know that as a writer, I should be taking “myself” out of this blog – but the fact is, I could have cried in that moment I read that line.  I tweeted my one-word comment and the link out to Dom, because you know what?  He so deserves the kudos. Damn Simon, making me feel all sappy…

But then I kept reading (Yes, I really did stop reading in order to send the tweet to Dom.  I have a very soft spot in my hard-as-nails heart for the guy. If he ever left Duran Duran, I would still be a fan.) I’m glad I went back to the article. Simon was asked a great question about how to walk the balance between pushing the envelope and keeping the “older” (I will try not to take offense at that term) fans happy with newer music.

“Well I think you’ve got to think about all your fans. And the first ones you’ve got to look after are the ones who’ve been with you for years and years and years. You know, those are the people, by the way, who gave [Duran Duran’s 2007 album] ‘Red Carpet Massacre’ the thumbs down, and that’s because it didn’t have that critical mass of following supporting it. It didn’t really make it onto the radio and it wasn’t really a hit because of that.

The next album, 2011’s ‘All You Need Is Now,’ definitely connected with  out fans. They felt it was our and Mark Ronson’s attempt for Duran Duran to reclaim the ‘80s. And that worked really well with our fans – they loved that one.

With this album, we take it as – we realize we couldn’t really do the same thing with ‘All You Need is Now,’ but this band had to develop the idea. And do something – well,  guess that the fans would be proud of. You always want your fans  to be proud of you as a band, because really you belong to them.” – Simon Le Bon

I don’t need to talk about Red Carpet Massacre. That album is the past, and it is every bit as worthy as Rio in their narrative, because both albums brought them to this point. And this point is pretty damn good, I must say.  Instead, I’m thinking about my pride at being a fan. I certainly didn’t know when I was eleven years old that I would still be a fan at forty-five, and yet here I am.  Proud? Without a  single doubt.

This band really isn’t “mine” in the sense that I own them….but on the same token, I feel as though their history IS a part of my own. This fandom is so complicated and messy at times, but it’s home.  For those that don’t know, I’m Italian. We Italians are a funny sort, and family, or, “famiglia”, is very important. Never mind that you may get supremely angry at your family for something as small as calling during dinner and choose not speak to them for the next six months…famiglia is important. This band, as well as the fan community, is my family.  It is home.

 

It touches my heart whenever the band mentions the fans, because although I try to pretend otherwise, I’m really not made entirely of stone. The love is there, and to feel it being returned on occasion sure doesn’t suck.

Then there’s this beautiful interview I read this afternoon on rolling stone.com . Yes, it mentions Lindsay Lohan…again….but I can ignore that purely because Rob Sheffield is saying something that I wish I could scream from the rooftops.

“If Paper Gods were a debut from some upstart band, the buzz would be insane — yet this is the latest from a group that’s been reinventing itself for more than 30 years.” – Rob Sheffield, Rolling Stone

I don’t necessarily always agree with Sheffield, but he nailed it here. If this were any other band, the buzz would be huge. I think most fans believe in this album and know it SHOULD be huge. The question, the struggle, is how to get it there.

All I really know how to do is love the music, love the band, and keep writing.  Amanda and I have always kind of poked fun at Simon here on the blog…and of course there’s that whole “do not spit on us during White Lines” thing. We love him, and we love to tease him.  Endlessly. Mercilessly.  We figure that he’s got most women willing to eat out of his hands, so he can take a couple of Americans giving him a rough time once in a while.

So, when in a single day I read not one but two heartwarming and kind quotes from Simon…it throws me. No, the Rolling Stone interview quote wasn’t from him but I don’t care. I’ve got no Le Bon jokes today. Damn it!!

-R

*Dom has been touring with Duran Duran since 2004, but he wasn’t actually made a permanent member of the touring band until 2006.