Tag Archives: Simon Le Bon birthday

Heroes Inducting Heroes

Those words are all remainders

Hello Monday! I solemnly swear this is not an April Fools post.

(I must admit considering the possibilities of writing a piece on the gem-like qualities of “Read My Lips”. However, I decided that today required something a little different. I’ll leave that other task to those slightly more inspired!)

Instead, this is a post that I have been itching to write since Friday. My heroes inducted heroes of their own into the Rock and Roll Music Hall of Fame. Distance, and lack of invitation or tickets kept me from being there myself (of course!). I just waited patiently, curious about what John and Simon would say about Roxy Music.

Sitting here at home, social media was abuzz with activity. Duran Duran fans flitted from one platform to another, building their arguments for why Duran Duran should already be inducted. I saw many suggest that it was even insulting to John and Simon for needing to lend their kind words to such a ceremony. Was that really the case? I thought about that a lot over the weekend.

Echoes growing in the heart of twilight

Much has been written and said about the Hall of Fame over the years. Read any article about the nominees of any given year and you will find a plethora of opinionated fans responding below. Words such as “politics”, “overrated”, “underrated”, “joke”, “overlooked” and “ignored” dot the comments like punctuation in a grand essay on the history of rock music.

It would also be true that Amanda and I – perhaps more me than Amanda – have lent our voices to the side that says none of it matters. And really, the Hall of Fame doesn’t “matter”. It is no different than any other sort of recognition in that sense. The notation is wonderful to have, but it certainly isn’t the kind of thing one should campaign to receive.

Whether or not a band or artist has been inducted into the Hall of Fame does little to vindicate, or validate. My opinion is simply that the band’s history – in this case I mean Duran Duran’s – speaks for itself. An induction into the Hall of Fame isn’t going to suddenly convince anyone of their greatness. By the same token, I am not saying they aren’t worthy of such an honor. I just don’t happen to believe they need me, or anyone else, to beg or campaign their peers to bestow such a distinction.

Awaken all those whispers

Getting back to Friday night – it was a different story. John and Simon were asked to induct a band that is as important to them as Duran Duran is to me – or likely anyone else reading. Roxy Music was their inspiration, and a driving force behind their career. While my
“career” as a blogger is “slightly” less fortuitous, I am indeed a fan. Duran Duran is 100% my inspiration. Obviously. So, I can fully imagine their joy, admiration, respect, and honor in taking the stage for Roxy Music. Even as I strained to hear their speech on a YouTube video, it was plain to see their pride. My emotions swelled. After all, my heroes were inducting their own heroes. The thunderous applause when they took the stage was all I needed to remind myself of one thing – Duran Duran is loved by many.

I also felt something very different while listening to John’s tale of waiting backstage at the Odeon. He and Nick were there in 1974 (I was four years old at the time – which makes me laugh!!), listening to Roxy Music’s soundcheck. It was as though I were listening to a friend tell a story about fandom. In fact, I am nearly certain we’ve all done similar things over the years. Who wouldn’t have run to the back of a venue if one could hear Duran Duran soundcheck? For example, I remember waiting in 95-degree heat outside of the backlot venue for Jimmy Kimmel Live. I could hear Duran Duran play “You Kill Me with Silence” live for the first time. Adrenaline coursed through my veins because in a few hours, I knew I’d be in front of them for the first time in a couple of years. So exciting!

John spoke about seeing the black Mercedes pulling up, band members rushing out, piling into the car and speeding away. More than once I’ve been amongst the gathering of fans at the back entrance of a venue, waiting to see the band emerge. The thrill is intoxicating, and John communicated those feelings like…well…like any other fan I’ve ever met.

This brings me to one thing I feel most confident in saying about John. He knows what being a fan is like. I don’t think he’s entirely forgotten what it feels like to be one of us. During the four and a half minutes or so that he spoke (their entire speech was just under nine minutes I believe), he conveyed the feelings I have whenever I see Duran Duran. A thrilling mixture of pride and joy, adrenaline and emotion, inspiration and comfort flow through me – every single time. Seeing John and Simon speak of the very same things that have kept me engaged with Duran Duran over the years reminded me once again, we really are not so different.

All these faces look the same to me

John and Simon were not two men forced to eat a generous slice of humble pie while inducting Roxy Music into a club that has not accepted them. No, these were two men overjoyed by being able to recognize the band that made Duran Duran what it is today. These were two fans inducting their heroes. To say otherwise completely defeats the messages that John and Simon were trying to communicate. Everything they said, all of the body language present that night indicates just the opposite: they were proud to be there.

I was proud to watch them, if even after the fact. I can’t imagine what it must have felt like to induct their heroes. Oddly, I almost think it is more of an honor to be the one inducting than it is to be the one inducted. After all, how many people get the opportunity to gush over the career of a hero?

Well, besides this blog, anyway…and to have the heroes actually listen? I cannot imagine ever being quite so lucky to have the honor.

I must be chasing after rainbows

So, to my fellow fans commiserating over Duran’s obvious absence in the Hall of Fame – it was no insult for them to be there that night. Never think that. Instead, I earnestly recommend focusing on the obvious pride they took while inducting Roxy Music. Sometimes, the real rewards don’t come packaged in a trophy or plaque, or in ways we might easily notice. Taking those accolades from the band purely because we fans don’t like the box is unfair. It does a great disservice to the very people we admire most.

-R

Happy 60th Birthday Simon!!!

I woke up this morning feeling like I was supposed to do something or that today is important for some reason.  What the heck could it be?  What could be so important on October 27th?  Should that date mean something to me????  I don’t think it has anything to do with Duran, right?  If it did, I would, for sure, remember, wouldn’t I?  Of course, I would, right?

So, anyone doing anything fun this weekend?  I bet those guys in Duran aren’t doing anything special…oh wait.  Crap.  Today does mean something!  It is not only a Duran member’s birthday but it is a big one.  A monumental one.  On this date sixty years ago, our favorite lead singer and yours was born!!  This is definitely one birthday that I’m happy to acknowledge and celebrate.

As a kid, I have to admit that I first took notice of Simon out of all the guys.  He is the lead singer, after all!  While I’m not sure which song or video I first heard or saw, I am willing to bet that it was Hungry Like the Wolf.  Clearly, that video is designed for Simon to be the hero, the adventurer, the James Bond character of sorts.  I remember just thinking about how cool and brave he was!  I would never cross the bridge that he did or hang out in that water.  Nope.  No way.  I am one big ‘ole scaredy-cat.

This, of course, was followed up with lots of other videos and live clips that were equally as amazing.  By the time Seven and the Ragged Tiger came out, I would have declared myself a Simon fan, a Simon girl.  Shocking, I know.  While I admit that this did not last, thanks to John Taylor and the video for the Reflex, it wasn’t like I no longer liked him.  I probably would have even said he was my number two then.  Goodness, we have all seen Simon in New Moon on Monday and the Reflex, right?  I especially liked him being the leader of the resistance in NMOM.

Of course, his coolness factor continued through the 1980s and 1990s and even until the 2000s.  In fact, even he was still so cool to me that when the reunion rolled around and I began to think that it might be possible to actually meet the band after hearing so many stories that I assumed that he would always be off limits.  He just seemed so dang rock star to me, then!

During the Astronaut days, I had the chance of seeing Simon out and about.  I never even attempted to approach him.  In fairness, part of it was the fear that I would be rejected or worse.  I couldn’t handle that so I claimed that I didn’t want to ever meet him or suggested that my fandom was better than that.  It is funny how we say and do things to protect ourselves.  Fast forward to the Red Carpet Massacre era and to a little cd signing event in Chicago in 2007.  I figured that this would be my best chance to “meet him” without fear of rejection.  After all, this was an official event.  I wouldn’t be bothering him outside of a venue or at a hotel.  During this signing, I would face Simon first.  I avoided thinking about that by being on the phone with Rhonda up until the last minute.  In fact, I was so focused on the conversation that I didn’t bother to undo the plastic wrapping of the cd in order to get out the insert for them to sign.  As I stood in front of Simon trying desperately to open up the cd as quickly as humanly possible, I couldn’t believe how ill-prepared I was.  Not good.  Finally, he says in an impatient voice, “Just give it to me.”  Initially I thought he was being mean but after looking at his signature along with a heart, I think he was trying to put me out of my misery.  The experience made me wonder.  Did I have this guy all wrong???

Then, 2011 happened.  As I’m sure you all remember, 2011 was the year of All You Need Is Now.  It was also the year that Simon lost his voice.  Suddenly, I felt concern.  I felt sympathy in a way that I had never when it came to Simon.  Being Mr. Cool Rockstar meant that he didn’t need concern, at least in the back of my mind.  With his vocal loss, I found myself viewing him in a much more human way, in a much more complex way.  This feeling was only reinforced by a million once Rhonda and I flew over to the UK only to have all of our shows canceled.  Instead of being angry, I felt protective, which only grew when I saw the man stand in front of me and other Duranies explaining that he didn’t think he would be able to sing.  I saw his humanity in a way that I hadn’t ever before.

This new understanding of Simon combined with my love for the song, Before the Rain, which I think really captures Simon’s true genius.  The lyrics are such that they can be interpreted in a variety of ways.  For me, it spoke to a time in which I lost my grandma and beloved cat right before my profession came under attack.  Lines like  “I hear the silence waiting to fall” and “a stormy summer” really spoke to me during this time.  The song provided comfort when I needed it.  Not to mention the fact that I loved this as a show opener.

Then, there’s the most recent era surrounding Paper Gods.  This is when things really got fun.  If you read Rhonda’s blog from Thursday, you know what I’m talking about.  Basically, we enjoy the heck out of giving Simon a hard time.  Of course, that has taken a variety of forms.  Maybe it means that we hide or turn our backs when he is about to spit during White Lines.  Perhaps, it is shown when we decide to paint our shoes green to match his.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yes, clearly, we enjoy giving him a hard time but we think he likes to give it right back to us.  For instance, there was the time in Paso Robles when he came to the edge of the stage with his mouth beyond full with water during White Lines.  He watched us as our eyes widened before we started searching for some sort of cover before he then swallowed the water and laughed.  Yep.  We laughed right back.  Truly, some of my best moments of being a fan has been when we are either giving him a hard time or vice versa.  It doesn’t have to be serious, after all, does it?

On a more serious note, while I’m thankful for all the wonderful words and songs that Simon helped to create, I’m more thankful for the little things that he has taught me about myself and how to approach life.  I learned to have fun even with people you look up to.  I learned not to be so fearful of rejection.  I also learned about the power of being openly vulnerable as I watched Simon openly grieve his mother’s passing at shows in the summer of 2017.

On that note, I want to celebrate this big birthday by watching one of my favorite Duran clips ever which is Simon’s 50th birthday gift.  Then, I asked that people share their favorite Simon performance or lyric.  It would be cool if we could get at least 60 favorites!

Happy 60th Simon!!!!  Hope it is filled with lots of happiness and love!

-A

Happy Birthday Simon!!!

As I started thinking about this blog, I wondered if I have ever done a birthday blog for Simon.  I cannot remember.  It is possible but none really sticks out to me.  Birthday blogs feel a little more pressured than a usual blog.  After all, I feel like I have a do a really good job, which is kinda silly.  Fans are all ready giving their birthday wishes on various social media so it is not like I’m really unique in this message.  Yet, for some reason, I want to do a really good job with this blog.

As our readers know, we like to give Duran Duran a hard time.  We tease those we love and I suppose that we really love Simon based on how much we enjoy giving him a hard time.  How did we get here and why?

Let me start at the beginning.  When I first became a Duran fan, I found myself drawn to Simon.  After all, he was the singer.  He got a lot of attention and was shown a lot on videos and interviews.  Then, as everyone knows, I saw John Taylor in the Reflex video and my kinda-sorta favorite shifted over to John, which is where I have remained for the last 33 years.  Despite becoming a John fan, as a kid, there was still love for the rest of the band members.  This love would never have meant giving grief or teasing any of them individually or as a group.  Nope.  As a kid, I believed that I loved everything that the band did (even if I didn’t).  I didn’t know that fans can approach fandom differently.

When I returned to this fandom as an adult, I found myself surrounded by fans who enjoy teasing the heck out of the band, even if the band never knows or hears it.  Let me give you an example.  In 2005, Rhonda and I went to Vegas with a few friends to see the band perform at Andre Agassi’s Grand Slam for Children, charity concert.  During that weekend, there were many jokes told about all the band members but especially Simon.  Goodness, we even declared “Le Bon” our password that weekend and ran around the MGM Grand yelling that password just for fun.  At the time, I never event thought about why he was our main target.  Now, I realize that he makes it so easy to give him grief.  In thinking about my job as a teacher, I recognize that I’m in a similar vein.  The students like to give me a hard time but they do it with love, especially after seeing how much I  like to give myself a hard time.  Maybe, when it comes down to it, it is easier to give him a hard time rather than admit how much we admire, appreciate and even love him.  I’d like to think that the case with many of my students.

In the last couple of years, our teasing has taken on a new art form.  Simon makes that relatively easy, though, from his dancing as seen here…

…to the clothes he wears.

Simon is on the left, of course!

Let’s just say that he has given us nothing but laughter and fun in the last few years.  You know, it is funny.  If someone asked me, seriously, about what I thought about Simon ten years ago, I’m not sure what I would have said.  I don’t think I understood what I saw or heard about him as there seemed to be lots of stories and rumblings about what he is like when it comes to fans.  I just knew that it would be best to stay away from him as the last thing I wanted was to have a bad story myself.  I didn’t want to think badly of the guy.  Part of me, I think was afraid.  I feared that he might reject me if I ever approached him.  Thus, I always stayed back when others would approach him.  Now, he seems different to me.  I have had a couple entertaining interactions with the guy and I no longer feel afraid of what he might say and do.  Maybe, this is why the teasing is what it has been.  I don’t believe that he would be annoyed or angered by it.  Heck, he might even enjoy and be willing to give it back some.   White Lines, spitting, anyone?!  Again, it reminds me of those whom I have a good relationship with.  They give me grief and I give it right back.  I believe my students and I tease out of love and I know that is the case with Rhonda and I when it comes to Simon.

Now, on this date, I have the pleasure of offering birthday wishes.  I might not have some amazing gifts to give him despite any efforts I might have given.  (Uh…I tried to find some other lime green clothes but couldn’t…)  I’m not really good with sappiness although this blog has turned into that.  EEK!  I will finish up the sappiness by saying that I hope Simon has a happy birthday!  I  truly do hope that it is an amazing one for him and that the day is one where he is surrounded with love and joy.  Now, as my gift, I guarantee that Rhonda and I will do our best to tease him every chance we get, but always in a loving way.  We  toast to him on your special day.  Cheers!

-A

This Week in Duranland – October 27, 2014 to November 2, 2014

It is Sunday and time to summarize the past week in Duranland.  As always, I will pull together information from duranduran.com, duranduranmusic.com and Duran’s and the members’ various social media.

Simon’s Birthday
Monday was Simon’s birthday!  As always, he had a message for everyone in response to all of the birthday wishes.  Did you check it out?  Did you also check out his birthday playlist on Second Life?  What did you think of his choices?

Nick’s Frieze Collection
Like art?  We certainly do and were excited to see some photos from the collection that Nick curated for the Galerie 1900-2000 at Frieze Masters on duranduran.com.

Austin
I’m sure, by now, each and every one of you are aware that Duran played in Austin last night as part of the Formula1 Fan Fest.  Social networking sites have been plastered with pictures and videos of their performance.  What does this say to me?  It is really very, very simple.  We are dying for #duranlive.  If this is how the fan base, both in person and not in person, react to one show, imagine how it would be for a few shows, a mini-tour, or a full-blown tour?!  Anyway, from everything I have seen, the show was a success and the band sounded and looked fabulous!  Seriously, I could spend all day just looking at the pictures and watching the videos posted both by Duran Duran, by fans in attendance or by fans sharing what they have found online.

Here is the setlist that Duran Duran posted:
Austin setlist 14I was surprised to see Psycho Killer on the setlist.  While it is nothing unusual for Duran to throw in a brief cover, this is a new one.  I will be on the lookout for video of that one.  How well did Duran cover Talking Heads?  Did it blend well with Girls on Film?

Now, readers, I encourage you to post the best pictures and videos here! Let’s see the best that is out there!!!

Russell Mulcahy
I love to see Russell Mulcahy get the credit he deserves for being a fabulous music video director.  Billboard.com discussed how important he was to the medium this past week, which you can read here.

1984
Billboard was busy this week!  On top of discussing Russell Mulcahy, they also published the Top 10 Pop Albums of 1984.  Can you guess what made the list and where?!  Check it out!

WIRED Magazine
Nick will be in the December issue of WIRED magazine.  He will be discussing GENEU.  It should be an interesting read!

Rehearsal Pictures
Who doesn’t like to see pictures of Duran Duran rehearsing?  Who doesn’t like seeing new pictures of the band?  I think many fans get particularly excited about seeing pictures when the band has been away from the spotlight.  It reassures all of us that they are alive and well.  Plus, I’m sure that it worked to get everyone excited for that show in Austin!  Check out the latest in dd. com’s gallery!  While you are visiting, check out how the gallery is organized now.  I like the changes!

Alright, Duranies, what did I miss?!

-A

Today in Duran History – Toronto

On today’s date in 2011, Duran Duran played at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto.  This date was included in the All You Need is Now tour.  Neon Trees opened for the band.

Set List:

  1. Before the Rain
  2. Planet Earth
  3. A View to a Kill
  4. All You Need is Now
  5. Blame the Machines
  6. Come Undone
  7. Safe
  8. The Reflex
  9. The Man Who Stole a Leopard
  10. Girl Panic
  11. Is There Something I Should Know
  12. Tiger Tiger
  13. Careless Memories
  14. Leave a Light On
  15. Ordinary World
  16. Notorious
  17. Hungry Like The Wolf
  18. Sunrise

Encore:

  1. Happy Birthday (For Simon!)
  2. Wild Boys
  3. Rio

To top it off, we’ve got a video of the encore:

-R