I like to believe that my timing is pretty good. If I want to be on time, I can be. This time, though, I’m even a little early. What am I early for? I’m early in wishing my partner-in-crime, my fellow blogger and Duranie a HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Tomorrow is the actual day but Monday’s aren’t my day to blog, typically. On top of that, I will also be at work for at least 12 hours as I put in a full day and hold four hours of parent-teacher conferences after. Thus, I’m using my Sunday blogging opportunity to write a little blog, celebrating not only my best friend’s birthday but also to cheer the friendship that we have.
In looking back at a friendship that began in 2004, I recognize that we have shared quite a few emotions and a number of significant events together. I believe that strong emotions and significant experiences help to solidify friendships so that they can endure the up and down nature of life and relationships. This blog, then, will attempt to shed light on some of those feelings and events.
One thing is for sure—a lot of our friendship has been fueled by our shared excitement for Duran Duran happenings. Looking back, this began in December of 2004 when a flurry of phone calls took place surrounding upcoming tour dates supporting the reunion album of Astronaut. I still recall the feeling of pure joy in calling Rhonda mid-day later that week to report that I indeed was able to acquire VIP tickets for us for the Chicago show in March 2005. Of course, this type of activity has been repeated countless times since. The most recent being when the band released the video for Last Night in the City, inspiring repeated viewing and a little video review, which you can see here:
In many cases, those feelings of excitement translate to pure joy when the anticipation becomes reality. For us, over the years, generally, the joy has come from screaming, singing and dancing at a Duran Duran concert. It might even come when we squee over DoJo. The first one was in Chicago and the last one was in Chula Vista, California, with shows in between in various locations like the Northeast, the Southeast and even the UK.
Of course, our fandom has been more than video releases and concerts. A lot of our fandom has been about talking, thinking, discussing about all things Duran. I think of countless examples of times that we have watched or listened to something together. Last year, for example, we exchanged a series of text messages as the lyrics to different songs on Paper Gods sunk in. When we really paid attention to the lyrics of Last Night in the City and realized that the words described how we feel on tour, then the album began to take hold. Years earlier, we viewed the brand new video for All You Need Is Now together, squeed in delight and picked apart the images we loved the most. Sometimes, our need to discuss take place at strange times like when the video for Girl Panic came out. I couldn’t wait to talk to Rhonda about how smart the video is so I called her from my classroom during my brief lunch hour.
While our friendship has often surrounded fun and good times, we have also experienced moments of extreme worry. We grieved when Andy left for the second time, for example. Another instance was when we felt for that we were facing the end of Duran Duran when Simon lost his voice in 2011 and the UK spring tour had to be canceled. There we were in the UK, having flown for four shows and getting none. Instead of staying away from all things Duran, we ventured out to the band’s studio where we witnessed Simon explain that he didn’t think he was going to be able to sing followed by John’s look of devastation. Like others there, we put on a brave face. Rhonda and I did what was logical. We went for ice cream to drown our sorrows in dairy and sugar.
Unlike almost all of my other friendships, Rhonda and I took a very brave, but risky step to do more than just be friends. We decided that we would work together. Sometimes, this decision brought us closer together when we faced challenges and bonded over a shared realized that only we could understand what we experienced. Other times, we pushed and pulled against each other, wanting to dig in our heels about something or another while at the same time reaching for compromise. I look back at some of those moments and realize that the push and pull always brought out the best in us even if it wasn’t always easy. Yet, we weren’t afraid to have those little disagreements, knowing that our foundation as friends was strong. Clearly, we have worked well together on this blog, with fan events, with a convention and even with writing, despite any and all setback. Truly, I didn’t just gain a friend but someone that helps me bring out the best in me.
The thing is that a lot of friendship surrounds fun. Sometimes, our hard work has led us to celebrate. At other times, it is simply being together that brings fun, whether in person, on the phone or via Skype. Luckily, many of our in person good times have been at Duran shows. I won’t lie. We have held many “all night parties” and enjoyed many “cocktail bars”. At the end of day, there isn’t much better than having a vodka tonic or two and laughing over some ridiculous quote that one of us had uttered.
Looking at all of these emotions that we have experienced together, I also have to appreciate the little moments. I look back at all the times we were in a car driving to or from a show. Those moments were filled with listening to Duran while creating what we thought would make a great setlist. Other little moments that I have enjoyed include going to art museums together, dancing to 80s music at a club, or simply talking or exchanging emails.
On this day then I celebrate our friendship and the person, the friend who puts up with me and who has shared all of these emotions with me. My world would be a lot smaller, a lot less fun and a lot less happy. On that note, then, I wish her the happiest of birthdays and many more to follow! I also hope that all of you wish her a HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!
For months, the topic of the Duran Duran’s set lists has been a frequently talked about one throughout Duranland. Many people complained and we took note. In fact, we then spent months asking people various questions in an attempt to understand what fans really want in a setlist.
We asked the following questions and got the following results:
What songs have you never heard live and which one would you like to hear live the most? Like an Angel
What songs have you rarely heard live and which one would you like to hear live the most? Hold Back the Rain
What songs have you heard live a lot and which one would you prefer that they left out? Hallucinating Elvis
What songs out of the recent set lists have you heard a lot and would prefer that they leave out? What are the Chances
Which song would you just love if the band added it to the setlist? New Religion
Then, of course, I asked people to send me their lists of the 17 songs they want to hear most in this blog here. The most common songs were:
Planet Earth All You Need Is Now New Religion Wild Boys The Chauffeur New Moon on Monday Save a Prayer Pressure Off Hold Back the Rain Nice Union of the Snake Before the Rain Come Undone Rio What Are the Chances A View to a Kill Paper Gods
Based on all this information, I’m going to attempt to create the setlist that fans most want to see. Obviously, I acknowledge that this isn’t very scientific. I also readily admit that my doing this shows that I’m a little geeky. Okay, I’m a lot geeky, but this kind of thing doesn’t hurt anyone, right? That’s what I figured.
I’ll start with the most recently used setlist then will substitute, add and subtract as necessary. The songs that people want them to keep based on the list above, I will underline.
Paper Gods Wild Boys Hungry like the Wolf A View to a Kill Come Undone Last Night in the City What Are the Chances Notorious Pressure Off Planet Earth Ordinary World I Don’t Want Your Love White Lines Sunrise New Moon on Monday The Reflex Girls on Film Save a Prayer Rio
Now, that I know the songs to keep, I will begin to substitute where I can.
Hold Back the Rain will replace Hungry Like the Wolf
New Religion will replace Last Night in the City
All You Need Is Now will replace Notorious
Like an Angel will replace Ordinary World
The Chauffeur will replace I Don’t Want Your Love
Nice will replace White Lines
Union of the Snake will replace Sunrise
Before the Rain will replace The Reflex
Girls on Film is the only left that people felt could be removed. For the sake of this exercise, I will just leave it.
The new setlist then would look like this:
Paper Gods Wild Boys Hold Back the Rain A View to a Kill Come Undone New Religion What Are the Chances All You Need Is Now Pressure Off Planet Earth Like an Angel The Chauffeur Nice Union of the Snake New Moon on Monday Before the Rain Girls on Film Save a Prayer Rio
Now, I’m sure that many of you reading this (maybe most of you? all of you?) disagree with some of these songs. I know that I do. (Really–Come Undone???? Still??? A View to a Kill????) Yet, I did my best to combine a lot of fans’ wishes, hopes, desires surrounding the setlist.
The next question then is what about the order?! 😉
Yesterday’s winner and the last of the setlist winners: New Religion
After asking many questions about what songs to add or subtract from the setlist, we are ready to move on. I will post a blog this weekend with all of the setlist results and what the setlist should look like based on the fans’ votes.
Until then, let’s start the new set of questions. Which cover do you like better: Ball of Confusion or Boys Keep Swinging?