It is Sunday! It is time to recap the week! As always, please let me know if I missed anything!
“Lorde’s ‘Hunger Games’ Soundtrack featuring “Kingdom” with Simon Le Bon and Charli XCX
Lorde has curated the soundtrack for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Pt. 1. This soundtrack will feature none other than Duran’s very own Simon Le Bon. Simon has teamed up with Charli XCX to do a song called “Kingdom”. This soundtrack is due out on November 17th. For all the details, check out the press release and this blog post. You can also read an article on billboard.com.
October Collector’s Corner
This month on dd.com, the collector’s corner focuses on Simon and all of his different projects outside of Duran Duran. If you are someone who is a big Simon fan or someone who wants to know the complete history of the band, I recommend checking it out here.
Live from London
Can you believe that it has been 9 years since Live from London was released? I was very lucky to be able to go see this live concert in the movie theater, which I wrote about here.
Apparently, Unstaged is now available on DVD in Australia. Has anyone in Australia purchased it? I would love a review!
Apparently, Roger did a little DJ gig at a charity event for the Duke of Edinburgh in London. This organization focuses on young people from 14 to 24 to help them gain the necessary skills for work and life. I would head to Duran’s Facebook page to see a picture of Roger at work!
Have you checked out the Ask Katy questions on dd.com lately? See what was asked about songs from Seven and the Ragged Tiger being played live and the band’s response here.
Making Patterns Rhyme: a tribute to Duran Duran
Did you see that the entire 22 track album is available for pre-order on iTunes? It is available October 28th!
John Taylor Supporting Henley Recovery Cafe
John was in the news this week for supporting the recovery and peer support program of the Henley Recovery Cafe as he visited and shared his experiences in recovery.
Yasmin’s Birthday Surprise
Check out the band’s Facebook page to see a picture of Simon and Yasmin at Yasmin’s Surprise Birthday Party! We wish her a happy one!
Next week should be a busy one with the release of the tribute album and Duran Duran in Austin! Until then…
As most of us in Duranland know, the band has recently worked with the legendary Nile Rodgers for the new album. This news really made me happy. I mean, really, really happy. Not only does it signal forward progress on the new album, but I’m also hoping it means he’s bringing back some funk on the long-awaited album. And since reading his memoir Le Freak: An Upside Down Story of Family, Disco, and Destiny, I am even more interested in what happens next.
As a child of the ‘80s, I had mostly known Nile as that guy who did the awesome remix for The Reflex and performed with Madonna during Live Aid. Oh, and he had something to do with David Bowie’s Let’s Dance album too, since his name kept coming up during whenever Bowie was nominated for Grammy or VMA awards for it. Over the years, I came to realize that he played a very large role in the music that shaped my adolescence.
When I learned that he had penned his memoir, I knew I had to read it. I didn’t know much about the man, but I assumed he’d have a lot of tales of the 1980s music scene, and of course I was hoping for some new salacious tales about Duran. So if nothing else it might be a good source of gossip and backroom Studio 54 stories.
Little did I know how moved I would be by his life story. For this white girl who grew up in the suburbs, his background was nearly 180 degrees away from my middle-class experience. That wasn’t too surprising. And frankly those are the kinds of memoirs I enjoy reading. Sure, I expected there to be tales of drug use and abuse; that was a pretty safe bet with anyone who was in that music scene. And there was a rags-to-riches story too. But what hit me was how much Nile had survived before the tender age of ten: he was born to a teenage mother, witnessed rampant drug use in and around his home which was constantly on the move, and was sent to live in a convalescent home for his severe asthma. And this was only Chapter 2. This man was a survivor.
Don’t get me wrong: his brutally honest narrative is not a drab, sad tale. Even as he tells the tales of the ups and downs of his life so far, he does it with some humor too. And from the many interviews I’ve watched in recent years, it just seems that it’s part of his survival tactic. Mr. Rodgers’ memoir was published in 2011, not long after he was diagnosed with cancer. He addresses the diagnosis in his epilogue, but continues to publicly share his story on his blog “Walking on Planet C” (http://www.nilerodgers.com/blogs) and his Twitter account (https://twitter.com/nilerodgers). He recently shared that he is now cancer-free, and I wish him good health for many years to come.
Are there spicy tales about Duran in Le Freak? Yup. He speaks to some of his collaborations with them, both in and out of the studio. As expected, Nile also shares stories of other collaborations from the 1970s and 1980s, including Madonna, David Bowie, Donna Summer, Mick Jagger, and Michael Jackson, just to name a few. For a kid like me who grew up on MTV, this book is rich with tabloid-like tales that are like bedtime stories to me.
But in addition to the behind-the-scenes tales, I found myself drawn into the story of his musical collaboration and inspiring friendship with Bernard Edwards. When describing the first time they played together, Nile describes a musical telepathic connection. They follow their musical passions and form the band Chic. It didn’t take long for the disco world to become their oyster. But it’s Nile’s tale of their friendship—including when they drifted apart—that impacted me most. Reading the passage about their last moments together was both chilling and tear-jerking.
What will come of his collaboration with Duran on this next album? Time will only tell. But no matter what, I will be forever grateful for his remix of The Reflex. That record changed my life. Not only is it one of my favorite Duran songs, it was the first 12” record that I ever bought, and it opened my musical ears to the world of remixes. In the latter half of the 1980s I spent countless hours in record stores (remember those?). I still have vivid memories of heading straight to the “E” section of the store, backing up one row to the end of the “Ds”, and then filing through the Duran section for any 12” records that I hadn’t found before. Of all the vinyl I used to own, the Duran 12” singles are among the very small collection I have retained. It is rumored that The Reflex wasn’t even considered as a single off of Seven and The Ragged Tiger until Nile’s remix happened. On behalf of many Duranies, thank you Mr. Rodgers!
I recommend Nile Rodgers’ memoir for anyone who is interested in a story of how music can change the trajectory of a person’s life. Or if you want to read one man’s story of survival. Or even if you just want the behind-the-scenes stories of some of your favorite ‘80s darlings. And of course, it’s also for anyone (like me) who is still hungry for more Duran while we wait for #DD14.
PamG has been a Duranie since the early days of MTV. In addition to all-things Duran, she also enjoys music documentaries, pop culture trivia, and live concerts of any kind. Her Duran dream would be to journey across the pond and see the band play throughout Europe. After waiting over 25 years to see Duran Duran live, she saw her first show in 2011 and it changed her life.
An outspoken examination and celebration of fandom!