Yesterday’s winner: Like an Angel
Which song has BETTER LYRICS: Secret October or We Need You?
Yesterday’s winner: Like an Angel
Which song has BETTER LYRICS: Secret October or We Need You?
I am apologizing, but I don’t think there’s ever going to be a year when I don’t take a second to fondly remember the first time I saw Duran Duran on UK soil. Self-indulging?
That’s the thing, this is a fan blog. It is myblog. It’s totally self-indulging. So I’m doing it.
On this day in 2011, Duran Duran played the Brighton Centre in a very windy Brighton. I can remember walking back from the venue to the hotel, the wind had quite a bite to it that night! I don’t even know why Amanda and I tried to do that – it was very clear we were going to get lost from the onset, which we did. Thank goodness we found a cab, otherwise we might still be wandering around Brighton, or blown out to sea! I loved traveling to Brighton along with other parts of England and Scotland, and I will never be sorry I went. Not even for a moment.
I still can’t quite believe Duran Duran broke out “Secret Oktober” that night. I’m forever grateful. After all the crap we went through to get there, it was such a wonderful moment and lived up to every possible expectation I could have had, and then some. I stood there pinching myself through half the show. I don’t know when I’ll have the opportunity to go back to the UK (and if I do go, whether or not I can be convinced to come back home!!), but I encourage anyone and everyone who has the chance to go. I had my own experiences, but the fact is – traveling changes ones view of the world. Even if that just means traveling from one state to another, I believe it makes a difference.
Our world is such a crazy and different place now, six years later. I am just thankful for the opportunities I’ve had and the friends I’ve made along the way. It is good to take the time to think back, not just because I had a uniquely wonderful experience, but because I’m grateful. That trip changed my view of a lot of things, not just about the band but regarding my life in general. So sure, for those who want to see the negative – yep, I’m bragging. For the people who really matter, they know that trip, along with the one earlier that year was a life-changer, and quite possibly saved me. I am grateful.
So, who was in Brighton Centre loving every second of “Secret Oktober” with me that night?? Anyone??
A couple of weeks ago, I blogged about an idea I had. This idea was a simple one–that I was going to take time to think about moments when I experienced real joy, related to my fandom. These moments might happen when the band is around and they might occur when they are not around. The idea was to acknowledge those times when I stopped for a second or two, looked around and realized that, in that moment, I was truly happy. Those moments might not be big or small and they might not have been perfect but something was happening that made my heart feel full. I have taken some time in the last two weeks to think of these moments. Some of them I knew right away and others took longer to pop into my head. Here are five of those moments, in no particular order. I’m certain that there were more but I’m going with these. Then, next week, I’ll share five more.
1. Singing Hungry Like the Wolf at Howl at the Moon on Bourbon Street in New Orleans in September 2004.
This moment happened on the second night of the Friends of Mine Convention. At the time of the convention, I had just returned to the Duran fandom and felt like I had taken a huge risk in going to this convention. After all, I had never traveled for fandom before and didn’t really know anyone except for the person who went with me. I knew that this would be a moment that would either cause my fandom to grow or to fade. Luckily for me, I had an absolute blast and met so many amazing people, including Rhonda. It was a turning point, indeed. While I didn’t know that at the time, I knew that I was having an absolutely amazing time when we were at the piano bar, Howl at the Moon. We had finally convinced them to play some Duran and there we were, late at night, singing loudly and proudly to Hungry Like the Wolf. I felt like I had found my people.
2. Secret Oktober in Brighton in November 2011.
As many of you know, Rhonda and I flew to the UK in the spring of 2011 to see Duran play in their home country, only to have the shows canceled on us due to Simon’s lost vocal range. At the time of that trip, both of us felt fairly certain that the band was done and Simon would never sing again. Of course, we didn’t dare utter that thought from fear that it would be true. Thus, when the band was able to perform again, we didn’t hesitate to go back, to try it again. Brighton was our first show of that tour, which will always make it magical but when we heard the first notes to Secret Oktober, it transcended even that. Rhonda and I looked at each other in shock and awe before hugging like goofs and turning our attention back to the stage. Magical, indeed.
3. Agua Caliente show in March 2017.
This has been a tough year for me and it was especially tough in those first couple of months. One reason was that Rhonda and I weren’t communicating as we normally do. We felt distant from each other and I desperately fretted that our friendship was slowly dying. When the shows at Agua Caliente were announced, I knew that I had to go. I figured it might either be my last tour or it would turn things around. Both shows were amazing but the second night, up front, felt like everything was right again. At the end of the show, I posted the following on my personal Facebook, “The truth is that I love this band more than I can say. I can’t imagine never seeing them again. They bring me joy…” Indeed.
4. Laughing hysterically at Tempo Cafe in Chicago in March 2005.
While the convention in 2004 brought me my people, the spring Astronaut tour made Rhonda and I touring partners for life. We saw two shows that weekend in Chicago and Milwaukee. After the second show, we ended up needing food and caffeine at like five in the morning. Tempo Cafe was the only place in downtown Chicago that we knew was open twenty-four hours a day. After waiting for forever to get a seat, once we got our food, Rhonda and I could not stop laughing. I have no idea what the heck was so funny but we laughed and laughed and laughed until tears were flowing. I knew then that when we get together, laughter will always follow.
5. Hail storm in Brompton Cemetery in London in May 2011.
When Rhonda and I went to the UK for shows that did not happen, we promised ourselves that we would not just sit around and feel sorry for ourselves. We were going to make lemonade out of lemons. Thankfully, friends took sympathy on us and gave us some info on where some Duran landmarks are located, including Brompton Cemetery, the one featured in the All You Need Is Now video. We spent one day following this mini-tour, including stopping by the very cool cemetery. The funny part is that every time we got near a Duran specific place, it would thunder and rain like you would not believe. We wondered if the gods were trying to tell us something. By the time we hit the cemetery, we were ready for whatever. Whatever is what we got. No sooner had we entered through the gate when it started to storm. This storm included some significant hail. We ran until we found shelter, laughing all the way, as we were certain that we looked like drowned rats.
Now that I have five of my fandom moments that have brought me joy, I ask that all of you do the same. I want to read everyone’s very cool moments related to their fandom. I guarantee that my week will be better off because of them. Then, next week, I will share five more to round out my ten joyful fandom moments.
Yesterday’s winner: Of Crime and Passion
Which song has BETTER LYRICS: The Seventh Stranger or Secret Oktober?
Yesterday’s winner: Secret Oktober
Which song has BETTER LYRICS: A View to a Kill or New Moon on Monday?
Yesterday’s winner: The Seventh Stranger
Which song has BETTER LYRICS: Secret Oktober or Wild Boys?
Do you ever get the feeling that you’ve completely lost the plot? I’m right there with all of you feeling that way today. Like many, I’ve noticed the stylish instagram pics that DDHQ has posted of Wendy Laister’s (DD’s manager) son and his buddies wearing the “latest in DD fashion”. I commented on it before because quite a few fans were upset. My position is that I don’t care. Sure, if it gets kids interested – by all means, who am I to argue?
That said, sometimes, I really think the message gets lost in translation.
Here’s an example: on one hand, we’ve got the kids wearing the DD gear, and the band seems to enjoy playing festivals. I’m no genius, but I think it’s probably fair to say that those types of things are designed to help to get this band heard by a younger generation….like the generation of my kids. On the other hand, they’re playing places like Capri for very secretive, very private parties for billionaires. Nothing like perpetuating that air of exclusivity that I grew up recognizing to be part of Duran Duran. I’m not complaining, either. In fact – that exclusivity was one of the many things that intrigued me about Duran Duran. The idea of jetting off to Sorrento and Capri, the private parties, and even the “untouchableness” (probably not a word, but it is today!!) of this band, were all things that attracted me to this band from day one. Well, maybe since the Rio video. These are all things I’ve said on this blog before, correct? But does it attract millennials? Aren’t they all about access (hence social media)?
Here’s the thing – most of this stuff, I’ve decided, doesn’t matter. I mean, singularly, yes – going to Capri to play a private party matters. Wendy’s son and his friends “modeling” t-shirts matters. Even those festivals matter. Some people like the ideas, a lot of others don’t, but in the end – these things don ‘t REALLY matter, or probably shouldn’t matter, to fans, unless you’re like Amanda and I and feel it necessary to give commentary. <wide grin here> All together, these things add up to one band trying to reach a multitude of different people. Whether that is actually working for or against the band depends upon who you ask, and today – I’m taking a giant step back from that subject because I really don’t know. Does anyone??
What I do know today is that DDHQ posts some sort of an “engagement” type question every day or so on social media. These questions, not entirely unlike what Amanda and I used to post (and still do through our polls), are designed to keep the fan base talking about the band, even when they’re not doing much. Or when they’re traveling from Capri to who-knows-where-before-they-have-to-play-in-Oakland-on-Friday. Today’s question asked what your favorite B-side or bonus track might be.
Before answering, I thought about the question, because I think it’s really very telling, oddly enough. I get the point that we have to keep trying to expand our listening audience (there I go, using the word “we” as though I’m somehow “on the team”….but after this many years being a fan, doesn’t it sometimes feel that way??). The only feasible way to do that is to become relevant to a younger demographic, because the one I belong with is shrinking, both in size and in strength. We don’t buy. (which is part of the reason why they’re trying to market the t-shirts and things to kids to begin with!) But, when they ask questions like this, trying to engage their audience, they’re talking to people like you and I because of one semi-obvious detail:
Millennials, such as my two older kids, don’t really know what a B-side is. They grew up after vinyl. (Although rest assured my kids know what in the hell a b-side is, even though they think the idea of having to get up and flip a record over is dumb. Too bad for them that Sony has decided to start pressing vinyl again!) For that matter, kids today don’t really have the same understanding about what a single might be. To them, they’re ALL singles. You go and buy a song on iTunes. Done. Never mind the bonus tracks!
So, to the young ones that may or may not stumble upon this question and others like it in the future, and may or may not be reading this blog, allow me to help.
Back in MY day, when we trudged through snow, uphill, both ways, to school each day, we had records, which were flat disks with grooves and a hole in the middle. You’d play them on a record player, and a needle would go down into the groove, and as the record spun – music would magically spill out through the speakers. There were two sides to these records: the A side and the B side. Now, I can’t speak for all people here, but in my case – I was convinced that the more well-known songs were on the A side, and the stuff I didn’t really know as well would be on the B. I may have developed this theory back when I was a mere child because when I’d buy singles at the record store (they were also called 45s), the song I’d know from the radio would be on the A side, and the back side would have another song I didn’t necessarily know. Duran Duran was famous (infamous?) for putting an entirely different song – one that wasn’t even included on the full album – on that B side.
As I grew up, I realized that the REAL gems on an album were often on those B sides. And bonus tracks? Well, those are the songs that were so good they couldn’t even put them on the album!! They were like SECRET gems!! (Just go with it, people)
So for many of us “old folk” (I hear some of you talk about us in GA lines or at shows!), the very best songs in the catalog are the B-sides and bonus tracks that they almost never play. Even better? We’d almost rather hear a concert filled with THOSE songs than the stuff many of you have heard your parents play over the years. Hungry Like the Wolf? A View to a Kill? Nah. We want Late Bar or Secret Oktober, or even Virus!
And I’d fall over in a dead faint if they ever pulled out something like Cinderella Ride.
But I digress. If anyone needs help understanding what is or is not a B-side or bonus, I’d direct you to the discography section on the DD website as a good place to start!
Yesterday’s winner: New Religion
Which song do you like better: Secret Oktober or Friends of Mine?
Yesterday’s winner: Secret Oktober
Which song do you like better: All You Need Is Now or Be My Icon?
I apologize for the lack of daily questions during the long weekend!
Last winner: Violence of Summer
Which song do you like better: Secret Oktober or Violence of Summer?