Tag Archives: Simon Le Bon

Hold On To The Memory

Welcome to Wednesday! I don’t have a lot to chat about today, so I’m just going to cover a couple of quickies before closing shop to do some chores around the house. Not fun, but necessary!

Do You Believe In Shame is 30 years old! Stop the madness!!!

On this day in 1989, Do You Believe in Shame was released. This is a song that I never really thought I’d hear live, but it was played in 2009 at The Pearl (Palms Hotel) in Las Vegas. As Simon introduced the song, I remember he mentioned the passing of Michael Jackson.

The song was the third and final single off of Big Thing. The meanings behind the song are fairly universal – meaning just about anyone can understand the place it comes from. At the time Simon wrote it, however, he attributed the meaning to the loss of three friends: Alex Sadkin, Andy Warhol and David Miles. 30 years, really???

As the Lights Go Down on vinyl – get yours this Saturday!

Next up, Record Store Day! Don’t forget that is this Saturday! We Duran fans have a special “hunt” going on – and that is for the vinyl edition of As the Lights Go Down. I don’t think it will be difficult to spot with its pink and blue cover! (although there are only 5500 copies available. Worldwide!) This is a 3-sided pink and blue LP, which admittedly – I’m a sucker for the colored vinyl – the 4th side is etched. The recording is from way back on the Sing Blue Silver tour in 1984. Happy hunting!!

That’s it from me today!

-R

Repost: Paper Gods, The Book

Today, I’m taking a self-imposed break. I saw that DDHQ had asked fans for their favorite tour book, and remembered how much I loved the one for Paper Gods. As you can see below, it is far more than just your average picture book commemorating a tour!

Have a wonderful Monday and I’ll be back tomorrow!

-R

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I needed a diversion from reality last night.

So, I cracked opened the Paper Gods book that my ever-fearless partner-in-crime-and-everything-Duran-Duran sent me for Christmas!

cover

When I opened this particular present, I was delighted because I’d heard it was well-worth the £20, and I hadn’t ordered it myself because I just wasn’t sure I needed it. I own a few of their tour books from the past, and while they’ve always been a sort of “Oh, that’s really nice to have”, I wasn’t positive about this one. All I could think of was that it was 120-pages of photos, and did I really need a book of photos in my collection? I wasn’t sure. I wanted to see more of it in person before making a decision and I didn’t know when or how that might happen. Sometimes, a book like this needs a little previewing, you know? (It’s too bad DDHQ doesn’t know a fan website that could do that kind of thing for them every once in a while…..) So when I opened the gift and marveled at how big the book really is…and then began thumbing through it, I realized just how much I needed a book like this in my collection!

And…it’s not really so much of a tour book, although there are certainly a plethora of pictures in there (even some of Dom, Anna, Jessie & Simon W!). I would describe this book as being sort of the Encyclopedia-of-Anything-You-Wanted-to-Know-About-Paper-Gods-But-Figured-You’d-Never-Be-Able-to-Ask.

First off, the book is big. It’s not your basic 30-page tour book that’s mostly pictures (although yes, there are plenty and I mean that).  At 120 large format pages (13.25″H x 9.5″W), it’s a bit of a monster…and I mean that in a fantastic way!

bookwidth

There’s actual writing in this one, and not just a welcome note from the band or anything like that. There are interviews, thoughts, feelings…lists of words or phrases I can’t quite figure out yet (but trust me I am enjoying the process of trying!), and I’m not even halfway through it yet! Each of the band members gives a full-length interview about the book (and believe me, these are not short answers to questions), and they also interviewed Nile, Ben Hudson and Josh Blair. They even talked creative with Nick and Alex Israel, the artist who did the front cover of the album!!  I AM IN HEAVEN AND I’M NOT COMING BACK!!

I love that they took the process of recording this album and thought to have a book made for people like me.  People who basically dreamt of being a fly on the wall during the entire painstaking process: everything from those first jamming sessions at Dom’s studio down to seeing their reactions to the art for the cover.  The book is really something very special, indeed.

If the interviews and writing doesn’t grab you, the photos certainly will. This book is art…and if you needed to have large format photos of each of the band members, here they are for you to gander at will. I really love how each of the band members has a black and white full-page headshot, along with what I can only describe is a sort of silver “giclée” shadowing overlay printed on a heavier, plastic-like sheet. Way cool. And if you like stickers – they’re included too!

stickers

As I said, I haven’t even read through it all yet. I had to stop myself at 11:15 last night because I needed to get some sleep, and even after I put it down I kept thinking about what I’d read. In many ways that Amanda and I will get into later as we dissect this book from cover to cover on the blog (oh yes – it’s happening), I think the book makes me see the album with a completely different set of eyes, and I’m curious if my ears will pick up anything different too.

My only problem with this book is simply that they really should have marketed it differently. It’s such a great piece of Duran-memorabilia, you’d think they would have gone to more trouble to alert the fan base to it, you know? Seems like they could have used a resource…such as this very website, thankyouverymuch…to get some enthusiastic words out to the fan base and beyond. Amanda and I have a certain knack for grabbing the attention of the fan base when it comes to things like this, and let’s face it..the book is also a freaking steal at £20. (That is $28.91 USD as of this morning)

Let’s just talk about that price for a second before I settle back into my chair and read a bit more: for less than $30.00 US, you can have a large format, coffee table-sized book on Duran Duran (It is paperback). Everything from what some  might describe as “lickable” photos (I certainly wouldn’t say that..,coughs…but hey… I may have heard the term used before somewhere…) to in-depth discussions of the music and process. For the more abstract-minded amongst us, there are poems and lyrics and lists to read and ponder, as well as the aforementioned photos, both posed and from live shows (from the last year). I can’t really get over the value on this one – it’s the best bang for your buck I’ve seen in quite a while.

Like nearly everyone reading, I own a lot of Duran Duran books. I’ll go one further and say I own a lot of books period, but particularly within the realm of fandom and music history of this particular band  – I own a lot. This is a book that any fan of Duran Duran should have in their collection, and I’m thrilled (and shocked!) that they’re not charging the $50 or $60 that the book is really worth, even as a paperback.

Run out and grab a copy while you can! As I said, in coming weeks Amanda and I plan to do several blogs about the interviews and other writing within the book, but I don’t want to spoil it for anyone who is running off to order their own copy right now…so go get it!

Meanwhile, I’m going to settle back in my chair and read Nile’s thoughts on Paper Gods…

-R

If You Want To Stay With Me

Something to let you understand the way I feel

Today is March 28. On this date back in 2001, I went to see Duran Duran in Anaheim. Granted, it probably wasn’t a monumental show to anyone but me. Regardless, every single year I think about that night, and how it completely changed me.

I know that for many of you reading – you’ve seen this story and are sick of it. I get it. The reason I take the time to write about it each year though, is because I think it illustrates just how one single show, event, etc, can change your life. (So buy the tickets!)

Had I not been in the audience at the House of Blues that night, there’s no way this blog would exist. I would have never met Amanda, Jessica, Lisa, Suzie, or Lori. Prior to that night, I’d tucked away memories of being a Duranie right along next to those marked “high school” or “middle school”. Sure, I still loved their music, but rather than having the songs be a vibrant part of my life – they were special memories.

To feel it once again

I still loved them. I mean, whenever I’d hear they were going to be on a talk show in support of an album, I’d be sure to tune in. Most of those shows were during the day, and I was a stay-at-home mom anyway so it worked well. I didn’t deliberately keep Duran Duran a secret, but I also didn’t think to talk about them much. My knowledge of them was rather limited to whatever I’d heard on the radio or read in a book or magazine. It was the kind of thing where I’d say “Yeah, I really loved them back in junior high and high school.” No more, no less.

But then Walt insisted on buying these tickets to see them at the House of Blues. I thought they were a fortune at $65.00 a piece. (Seriously? Someone slap me!) To say I wasn’t excited was an understatement. I tried to talk him out of going several times, even complaining about how we didn’t have a sitter. (Obviously we found one) But the night arrived, and my husband was hell bent that we were going.

It’s just Duran Duran…

I can remember arriving at the venue. It was in Downtown Disney at the time, and we walked up to see a line of people waiting to get in. It was only about 5pm, maybe 6 at the latest, and I was appalled.

“Waiting to get in as though it’s still 1985??? REALLY?!? There’s no way I’m waiting in that. I don’t care how far back we are. How dumb!!”

We went and had dinner at the House of Blues. We found out through our waitress that since we ate there, we’d get in early. I waved her off, laughing.

“It’s just Duran Duran!”

(Famous last words)

We finished dinner and walked right into the music hall, where I announced that we would just stand by the bar. Walt was floored.

“Really? Are you sure??” He shrugged and went to go get us drinks.

Thank you for the fine times

I stood there for a while and surveyed the scene. The floor continued to fill up steadily, but I was insistent that I didn’t need to be in that mess. I could hear them just fine from the back. My thinking was that John, Roger and Andy weren’t even in the band, and I had no idea who in the heck was even playing drums or bass these days. Simon and Nick? Warren? I shrugged to myself. They weren’t my favorites, who cares?!? I just hoped that they’d sound like what I remembered.

I’m not exactly sure when I finally made my way over to about the top of the stairs (going down to the floor), but I suspect it was because Walt insisted. I don’t remember much about him being beside me after that, either – which is pretty funny, and telling.

The band took the stage (although if I remember right, they were way late to do so), and from the second Simon opened his mouth to sing – I was lost to the rest of the world. I was there. In the same room. With Simon! Breathing the same freaking AIR.

Do you remember

Not going to lie, aside from Simon introducing a song at one point by saying it was off of their Pop Trash album (I couldn’t even tell you what song it was – and I didn’t even OWN the album), I have no idea what they played that night. I just know that I was transported somewhere else. I felt like I’d stepped back in time and was reintroduced to someone I’d left behind many years back—me.

Junior high, or middle school, were tough years. Puberty, hormones, just an overall feeling that wavered between being thankful I had friends to feeling awkward and completely alone. Duran Duran had been my saving grace, then. It was the one thing that made me feel “cool” (and I definitely was not). I was included in a group of friends who loved the band as much as I did, and that’s how I managed middle school.

While I hadn’t really discovered boys yet – I discovered Duran Duran. They were safe. They couldn’t reject me, and they didn’t know I was a nerdy kid with frizzy hair that didn’t know the first thing about fashion. I could put posters all over my room, retreat into the safety and warmth of my room, and daydream about meeting them. I was convinced that Roger would fall for me, and that I’d become best friends with the rest of them. Ah, the innocence and naivety of the tween years.

Would never seem to end

High school began much of the same way. I was still a total nerd with frizzy hair, but I’d gotten into marching band. In high school, marching band became my haven (although even there, I was one of the nerdy ones). I had no idea how to flirt with the boys, was disgusted by the girls who did, and instead of learning – I did the opposite by befriending them all. One of my friends would giggle and act like an idiot at our local pizza parlor hangout, whispering about her then-boyfriend with our other friends in a corner. Me? I’d sit with him and the other guys at a table, and we’d talk like normal people. I couldn’t ever understand why the boys would always fall for girls like my friend, and never ones like me, though.

Naturally, that changed during my high school years. I had boyfriends. I suppose I finally learned how to flirt without feeling like I’d lost IQ points in the process. My hair stopped being so frizzy. While I never quite became a fashionista, I did settle into my own style and owned it. Sort of.

College was more of the same. I gained and lost friends, all the while learning who I really was. I changed a lot, and not necessarily for the better. By then, Duran Duran had been all but completely shelved. My posters gone, my childhood bedroom became someone else’s as my parents moved out of the area and I lived at school. I just don’t think I ever noticed just how much of myself I was leaving behind in the process.

To feel it once again

I didn’t recognize how different I was until I saw Duran Duran that night in 2001. I’d been functioning for so long, I didn’t see it.

That’s just it though. I functioned. Something was always missing. I lived, but not fully. I loved being a mom, but secretly I wondered if that was really all there was left for me. Rather than search or start asking questions, I just settled into what I had. This reads so pathetically as I’m typing it – but it’s exactly how I felt at the time.

Going to that show on March 28, 2001 opened up a door. In some ways, it feels a little like an escape hatch! I became reacquainted with this inner-Duranie that I thought was gone forever. I really like her, too. There’s a fierceness, a sense of bravery, and even a bit of fiery independence somewhere inside of me that peeks out every now and then, at her insistence. She’s not willing to just settle, no matter how often I try to stuff her back into the box and explain that I can’t just restart my entire adult life over again to suit her.

At your liberty

I think that’s a lot of the reason why I keep writing this blog. Sure, sometimes finding topics of interest is tough. I’ve been writing for eight years, and the words don’t always just float ever so gracefully to the surface. While this blog serves as a sort of tribute to being a fan, it also gives a little justice to the inner-Duranie each day.

…as if I could ever really forget her.

-R

South Africa Interview from 1982

Life sure has a way to swing from one extreme to the next, doesn’t it? Last week at this time, I was finishing up my second winter break of sorts as I had four snow days in a row. Those days were pretty chill. While I checked off some items on my to do list, it was done with minimal stress. Since returning to school/work, I have been running around like a chicken with my head cut off with campaign work taking up just as much time as my teaching job. This means that by Thursday night, I’m beat. I was even supposed to go to a meeting last night but opted not to due to slick roads and exhaustion. The results for this blog means that I cannot be super creative or even probably decently articulate. I’m settling with a “good enough” attitude. I apologize in advance. I hope to be on my game more tomorrow.

Rather than attempt a topic that is super thought-provoking or funny that would not go so well in my current state, I figured it might be better to check out an interview. By interview, I mean a Duran Duran interview. Yes, it will be random because that will be fun. I’ll share the interview in a second and then share my thoughts about it. I’m sure those conclusions will be amazingly uninterestingly but what the heck. If I haven’t alienated you yet, maybe you will put up with just a little bit more.

Somehow, I managed to find an interview that I haven’t seen and I don’t think I have shared on here before. According to the video description, this is from South Africa in 1982. Fascinating.

Ignoring the very quiet audio, I’m not surprised that the first real question had to do with video. Simon’s statement about how they had to do something new to get attention and how they are going to be the first video band made me think. While I totally get why he said that as they were getting lots of attention because of their videos, I wonder how long it was until he wished that he had answered differently. I remember countless interviews where they talk about how much longer it takes to make a song vs. a video and that they wished that people focused on their music more. Sometimes, saying something that seems good at one time ends up coming back to bite you in the butt.

Interestingly enough, the next time Simon speaks he gives an answer that does not sound dated in that they are trying to broaden their audience. Heck, he could say the very same thing today. After all, I’m sure that there are a lot of women in the front these days with lots of guys further back.

The last part that caught my attention was the discussion about America’s musical tastes. Simon talked about how America just seems bored of the “rubbish” music that is out. (In 1982, I don’t know that I would disagree with him especially when it comes to mainstream, Top 40 radio.) The funny part is that Simon said something along the line of how once the U.S. hears the new music coming out of the UK, that it will catch on quickly. He really wasn’t wrong. I wonder how he knew that. How could he tell?

This was not my favorite video (mostly due to the poor volume) but I enjoyed it, nonetheless. I thought it was cool to see Roger looking about as relaxed in an interview from that time period that I have ever seen. It is fascinating about how many of these questions might be asked today and how they might respond exactly as they did then for some questions but not for others. What did the rest of you think?

-A

And We Swayed: a Look Back at Daybreak in 2011

On this date in 2011, Roger and Simon did a brief interview on Daybreak – a morning talk show in the UK.

I rewatched the interview (linked here), thinking about how different things are now from when the interview was done. One of the interviewers had asked them if they thought All You Need is Now was an album they could have seen themselves making thirty years earlier.

It was an odd question to ask, really. I mean, thirty years prior to All You Need is Now, they were practically kids, just barely scratching at the surface of their career. Who really thinks that far down the line? Simon answered as I would have suspected, by saying that they never really thought more than two or three weeks ahead back then.

What *was* interesting though, especially in hindsight, was how Simon characterized their working experience with Mark Ronson. He said that Mark was charming, and that he had a way of getting you to do things that you didn’t want to do. I don’t know why I never quite picked up on that vibe before. The comment was made in reference to recording All You Need is Now, as though maybe the band wasn’t quite 100% on board with making an album that was such a step back to the band’s earlier days, musically.

I have to wonder if the band’s opinion of the album evolved at all after it’s release and seeing the reception from fans. The band always seemed to like the album, or so I assumed. However, seeing these interviews now, eight years later, I have to wonder if they really did like it as much as we did. AYNIN came directly after Red Carpet Massacre, which did not receive such a warm welcome at the time. Did the recording of AYNIN felt too much like a giant step backward?

Ah well, something to think about, I suppose. I’m looking forward to seeing what they’ve got up their sleeves for this next round!

-R

Bowie and Time

Am I sitting in a tin can

It’s hard to imagine, but we’ve already been surviving on this planet without David Bowie for three years. Some say that’s when it all really went to hell….

I’m not so sure I’d go as far to make that claim. However, I know a good many of my friends – including those in that band I tend to talk about here and there – that might! I don’t know where those three years went so fast, but they did.

And here we are.

Find yourself in the moment

Also on this date, but in 2011, Time Magazine published a short Q&A with Simon and Nick, on the heels of the release of All You Need is Now. Here, by the grace of the internet, is the link!

Time Magazine Q&A with Simon and Nick

I read through it as there’s only a few questions. I just have to take a second to marvel at how much my own prospective has changed between 2011 and now. The very first question is in regard to the vision of AYNIN as the “imaginary follow-up to Rio“.
Simon explains that Mark Ronson comes from a fan perspective. Mark guided them to create something that truly was the follow up to their second album. Apparently the third album (SATRT) disappointed Mark as a kid.

I remember hearing all about this over and over during the interviews/press junket for AYNIN. It was all about the “follow-up to Rio” back then. What I didn’t pick up on though, was how artfully the band would put that characterization in Mark’s corner. Rather than accept ownership and say that they wanted to make their own imaginary follow-up, they really hand that over to Mark. I’m not saying that wasn’t indeed the case, but in hindsight – I think the wording may have been very telling.

Like a diamond in the mind

In subsequent interviews since then, particularly during the release of Paper Gods, the band has always been careful to say that they already went “back” for AYNIN, and they wouldn’t want to do that again. I think they know that the album was a fan favorite, but I have often wondered if they felt that it was a bit TOO contrived in parts. I’m thinking of “The Man Who Stole a Leopard” or as I think of it – “The Chauffeur, with Different Lyrics”. I like the song, mind you, but it is VERY close, musically, to “The Chauffeur”. Then again, there are other songs on the album, like “Safe”, or even the title track, that definitely hold up on their own and don’t even need to be characterized as a follow-up to Rio.

I’m still tickled I was able to find the the Q&A online, because if nothing else, it gets me thinking about what they could possibly be cooking up for the next one. Obviously, it is incredibly early in the journey. I can’t imagine they’ve had too much time in the studio to do much – but I still enjoy the wide open feeling of possibilities ahead. It is a good way to begin my weekend, which starts NOW.

Until Monday for me…

-R


Year End Katy Kafe 2018 with Simon

This is it, the final year end Katy Kafe. This one focuses on Simon and his list of the top moments of the year. I have thoroughly enjoyed each and every one of these and Simon’s does not disappoint. Before I dive into the usual highlights, I recommend going to listen to the Kafe yourself over at DuranDuranMusic.com. Then, you can enjoy it as much as me.

As soon as the kafe began, I could tell that this was going to be a fascinating kafe as Simon explained about slow fruit, which is like a plum but lots smaller. It grows in the UK, which of course is connected to his drink of choice, slow gin. My only reaction to this is that I learn something new everyday. After a few minutes of this, Katy asked about the event of the year. Simon’s reacted by singing a song, a vaudeville song. Well, then. Nope. This kafe was not disappointing. I’m not sure how this is connected to world events but okay. Of course, Simon’s personal event of the year was the birth of his grandson. It is clear that Simon loves, loves, loves taking care of his grandson who is now 6 months old and starting to utter lots of sounds and noise. Now, he would like more grandchildren! Simon also mentioned that the band is back in the studio as a big event. (Yes! Agreed!)

Simon’s movie, “All the Money in the World” was one that he thought was great. (I hadn’t heard of it but it sounds interesting. It is the story of the kidnapping of John Paul Getty and trying to get the family to pay the ransom.) Apparently, there is also a TV version. Interestingly enough, he has not seen Bohemian Rhapsody or A Star is Born. As far as TV goes, he mentioned “A Very British Scandal.” I remember hearing about this, which is about a political leader’s gay affair. Simon says that it is a “must be seen”. He also liked a series called, “Killing Eve.” Currently, he is watching “The Little Drummer Girl.”

As far as books goes, he liked “The Stocking Places,” about a guy from a gypsy family who goes on a journey to understand his culture as well as the negative stereotypes about them. The book helped Simon realize that he had prejudice, too, which is helping him to overcome it. To me, that is a major win. He doesn’t typically read non-fiction but this was one that really made him think. A book of fiction that he liked was Reamde by Neal Stephenson. Apparently, he plans on doing a Simon’s Reader about one of the audiobooks that he has listened to/read. Based on some of the books he talked about, I suspect that the next Simon’s Reader will be very interesting.

Simon’s favorite Duran event of the year was watching the BBC4 Takeover Documentary as much as he loved the perfumes. He enjoyed looking back at the band’s history especially since they don’t get that opportunity much as they are too busy in the moment. In 2019, he is looking forward to the next season of Game of Thrones and the shows in February. Before Katy let Simon go, she asked him the same question she asked everyone about when the album…I mean project will be done. He said that they had a great start with a great team but he cannot predict when it will get done. Fair enough.

Like all the rest of these year end kafes, I enjoyed this one as well. 🙂

-A

Finding time for myself – Audible to the rescue!

I’m sorry the blog is a bit late. It is hectic as usual, and I’m typing as quickly as my keyboard allows (my “s” key doesn’t like to work) because I’ve got yet another realtor showing my house today.

Amidst all of this hustle and bustle, I’m having a very hard time finding space and time to breathe. Anyone else? A few weeks ago, during a particularly trying time, I woke up in the middle of the night with what I can only describe as the worst headache I’ve ever had. I felt horrible. My head hurt so bad that I was nauseous, and I was having panic attacks combined with my allergies on overdrive. It was terrible, and the worst part was that I had done it to myself.

I’m a stress case, pure and simple. I worry about everything from selling the house to making sure Thanksgiving dinner is everything my family is used to, never mind that we’re in the middle of negotiating a contract to sell it. I worry about remembering to do Elf on the Shelf for my youngest. (Why did I ever start that?!?) I bite my nails over thoughts of someone falling down the spiral staircase that is in our new house. That is, if we actually can close escrow on the new house. Anxiety, anyone?

A lot of my stress is unnecessary. I have to learn ways to combat the tension. Cortisol – the stress hormone – flows freely through my  body. I’m sure it is why I can’t seem to lose more than four pounds right now, and why my feelings tend to taste like M&Ms.

I’m in this weight loss program, probably from my M&M consumption, and every single week my personal coach asks me about what I’m doing for myself.  At some point, I realized I needed walks as part of my self-care routine. I can’t decide if I really wanted to walk or if I really just needed to give her a good answer. I know I need to sort my thoughts, or even just breathe, but walking? Not so fun.  While I know I benefit from the exercise and fresh air, my frontal lobe also screams that it would prefer to lie on the couch like a beached whale and eat Reeses Peanut Butter Cups while reading a book.  This is a problem.

I really don’t love exercise. I hate that feeling of wanting to quit that comes right before the adrenaline kicks in and I feel fine again. I am not a runner – in fact if anyone ever sees me running they should immediately call the police because I am definitely being chased. I’m not a cyclist or a spinner – the idea of riding a stationary bike in a class filled with people who love to “challenge” themselves makes me want to hurl.  But this stress…

Last week, I had a real “A-ha” moment, and I don’t mean from watching the video for “Take on Me”. I was thinking about how I needed to take my walk, but that I really wanted to read instead. I don’t have time for both in my day – it’s literally do one or the other. For whatever reason, I remembered something Simon talked about in his last Katy Kafe about joining Audible.

When Simon talked about subscribing to Audible, I shrugged it off, thinking that I never have moments to myself to listen to a book. I’m never in the car alone, Walt absolutely hates it when I wear earbuds and listen to anything here at home, and I couldn’t think of any other time I’d use it. Until now.

I listen to music when I walk. It is the one time I can listen to whatever I want without someone complaining or giving me their two cents. I like it, but it doesn’t make me stop thinking about the fact that I’m walking, or that I’m a little out of breath from walking up a hill. The idea of listening to music doesn’t make me want to get up and walk, either. Reading though, that’s a treat for me. I almost never get time to actually read a book, unless it is one I’m reading for school in order to teach the youngest. What if I combined walking with listening to a book?!

A light bulb went on in my head. I immediately subscribed to Audible and found my first couple of books. I went on a walk, and for the first time, I found myself almost sad when it ended. The deal is this: I can only listen to my books when I walk, and this way – I’m very eager to walk each day! So far, it’s worked like a charm. The book lets me forget about the boxes I need to fill, or the dishes I need to wash, and even the vacuuming that I have to get done. I spend about 35 minutes escaping, and it is wonderful! I feel good about getting a couple of miles in, and even better that I’m getting a chance to read whatever I want! It is heaven!

I don’t know how much time I’m going to have to walk during the next 30 days or so, but I’m going to do my best. Dealing with stress IS hard, but having just a little time to breathe and be away from the madness has worked. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still worried about things, but I’m managing. I’m hanging in there, and I am learning to love my exercise time, too!

I’d encourage anyone to try it out – but even if reading isn’t your thing, don’t give up on finding something to let yourself breathe every now and then. Thanks for the tip on Audible, Simon!

-R

Happy Early Birthday Simon!

This blog is wickedly late today, and I’ll just say that this is what happens when my youngest gains an unexpected “vacation” during the normal school year. Her learning center closed down, and our schedule hasn’t been the same since!

Speaking of schedules and calendars, it would appear that someone’s 60th birthday falls on a day when I would not normally be blogging. This is unacceptable. So…I’m gonna write a blog anyway. Today. You’re welcome.

The other day, I listened to a Katy Kafe. I found myself smiling. I didn’t know what was wrong with me! I’m still not quite sure. No eye-rolling. No long sighs. Not even a single comment of “What in the hell are you talking about, Simon?”  I’ve gotten soft.

It wasn’t that long ago when I would openly roast Simon on this blog.  I would listen to his frenetic and somewhat scrambled ramblings when he’d join Katy in the Kafe and feel like my head was spinning. I’d tweet afterwards, declaring that I needed a drink. I was convinced that half of Katy’s job was akin to herding cats.  (Well, I still kind of wonder about that….) Yesterday though, I was smiling. Actually grinning while listening to Simon talk about the disagreement over “You Kill Me With Silence” and the set list!

It used to be that we would laugh about how we’d never actually go up and ask Simon to take a picture with Simon. Oh gosh no. I mean, we weren’t supermodels, and he’d never give us the time of day, right??  That continued until one night, well past midnight in Los Angeles. (Didn’t somebody say nothing good happens past midnight?!?)  Not only did he agree to the picture, but he jumped up off of the bench he’d been sitting on with a great big “Hellooooooo!! and when our friend asked if he’d be willing to take a picture, he said “Let’s do this!”  So we did!

I think that was the first night I’d ever been up close to any member of Duran Duran. He remains the only original member of Duran Duran that Amanda and I have a picture with together. Maybe this Simon-guy wasn’t so bad after all??

Once upon a time, I could be in any Duran Duran audience and never even notice Simon glance in our general direction. I knew for sure that I wasn’t exotic or glamorous enough to be picked out of a crowd. I grew fond of saying the band didn’t know my name, and that I’d be worried when/if they did!

People (read: other fans) probably think we’re nuts, but when we’ve been up close to the stage, we’ve seen band members laugh at our antics, and more often than not, that person is Simon.

Pretty sure Simon still doesn’t know my name, and likely not my face… but I have a feeling he recognizes Amanda at this point.

Obviously, I haven’t quite decided what can or should be done about that. Witness protection? Change in hair color?  Stop going to Duran shows?  Hmm….that last one seems rather excessive…given the whole “Daily Duranie” blog and all…

Mostly, I remain amused… as I contemplate what we should do next!

I miss the days of complaining about high water sweat pants on John at shows, only to see Simon and John both show up to an interview wearing some of the brightest sweat pants possible. Coincidence?

So we retaliated. Truth be told, I am still not satisfied with our lackluster reply. We were at the mercy of the Target store nearest the highway we were driving to get back to Chicago in time for my flight the following day. Even so, I’m still a bit disappointed we didn’t find any neon.

 

We’ve even given Simon a rough time about the set list. For example, there was that one time when we realized they left Planet Earth off of their set list. Amanda, being the helpful, kind soul that she is – fixed it! (Yes, we KNOW they didn’t intend to play it that night…that’s the point!)

a harmless suggestion, right?? Photo courtesy of Janet McCabe

The best part of that little tale was that when the band inevitably took the stage and Simon glanced down at his set list – just whom do you think he shot a narrowed side-eyed glance, assuming she had perpetrated the whole scheme?  ME.

I immediately pointed at Amanda, of course.

I guess the simple truth is that since 2011, Simon has become more and more of a real person to me, and not just an image from a video, an album cover, a poster, or a band. He makes the shows, and even the experience of writing this blog while we’re traveling to shows, far more fun. I love that in some small way, he’s able to see that we’re teasing him, and he’s not afraid to give it right back. As he should!

I know writing this kind of thing, where I swear we’ve had some sort of exchange with him, is risky. People either think we’re nuts (probably true), or that we’re exaggerating. No one actually believes that we’ve seen him look our way at shows, or that he’s tried to fake spitting at the wrong time during “White Lines”, just to see what we’d do. I think Amanda and I have done a decent job of even telling ourselves that we’ve imagined most of it, but we’ve gotten to the point where we can’t ignore the obvious. We have fun despite the risk of being thrown in the loony bin, I suppose….that’s pretty much the premise of this entire website!

So yes, he does make me smile, in the same way I do when I hear from some of the guy friends I had in high school. When I watch videos for “Rio” or even “Hungry Like the Wolf”…I see THAT Simon and weirdly, it is very tough for me to reconcile that it’s the very same guy who made sure Amanda saw him wave to her while going into a hotel in San Francisco. It isn’t the same as being “starstruck”, it is that my brain has chosen to compartmentalize it all…and that’s bizarre.

Now, in no way should he think that he’s gotten off easy. Come February in Vegas, when Amanda and I are in our seventh row seats for Friday and fourth row for Saturday (straight out in front of you, Simon – right smack in the middle!), we will be ready and prepared for whatever may come our way. We will be blogging, and probably doing video blogs, as normal. Let the games begin.

Happy Birthday Simon! When I was 12 and watching “New Moon on Monday”, I don’t think I ever let the thought cross my mind that I’d still be a fan of this band so many years later. Youth was so “in the moment”, everything being new, fresh, and instant. I thought we had forever to live, so I never really thought about the future. Here we are, years later – and I appreciate the band, and your hard work, more than ever before. I hope you have a wonderful birthday.

While you’re at it, better work on going for distance during “White Lines”….. if you know what I mean.

-R

 

 

October 2018 Katy Kafe with Simon!

Hello readers! I am sorry I continue to keep skipping out on blogging. I’m finding that it is very difficult to blog while attempting to sell a home along with being a mom, wife, and homeschooling parent unless I want to blog between the hours of midnight and 4am.   My current pay grade here at Daily Duranie doesn’t allow for those hours.

On with the important news: Simon was the October guest in the Katy Kafe! Here’s the thing: admittedly, I’ve gotten a little bored with the Katy Kafe’s lately.  I knew I needed to sit down and listen to it today, and yet I was putting it off…which is horrible. I suppose, in all fairness, I had been hoping for big news when there might not have been much to share on the band front.

That ends today, my friends.

The October 2018 Katy Kafe covered everything from sailing to a song title disagreement, once Simon – because he is Simon to you and I – insisted that Katy call him Charlie, as most of his friends do. I thought this was cute purely because when she called him Simon to begin with, he scoffed and asked her, “Since when do you ever call me Simon?” Katy explained she was trying to be professional and he just laughed. It was a nice exchange, to which I smiled and appreciated.  I highly recommend getting your own membership to DDM so that you can hear it all for yourself!

I tweeted this earlier, but it bears sharing here as well. I don’t know what has happened to me over the past year or two (three or four??).  Maybe I’ve lost what little was left of my mind. Maybe I’ve finally gone off the deep end. Perhaps gasp I’ve gotten SOFT, or have become a complete pushover, but hearing Simon makes me smile. Oh, I’m still going to give him a rough time…but I did smile.

To be clear: I don’t mean smiling in that fan-girly, giggly sort of way. No way. He’s SIMON, for crying out loud. Let’s not go overboard, here.

Moving on….immediately!

The highlights, as I have deemed appropriate:

Smell like he sounds

The taglines are too easy. Katy and Simon begin the Kafe talking about perfume. Simon co-designed the four fragrances from D.S. & Durga, deciding to do one scent per decade. Simon shared that he had someone “very close” to him test the fragrances, and she was not necessarily captivated by them all. This made Simon realize that he couldn’t really expect anyone to love them all, because they are very different. D.S. & Durga released 500 rollerball essential oil bottles for each scent, and the hope is that if they do well, in 2019 they will arrive in other places for those of us interested in a sniff or two!

I had to laugh, because Simon likes that one is named Hungry Like the Wolf. Of course he does…that earned a huge eye-roll from me. He also described each scent:

Hungry Like the Wolf:

Musky tone with forest scents. He even used the word “ecclesiastical” in the description because it reminds him of church incense. (patchouli, anyone?) He says this is very “raw”, and the name appeals to his sense of humor. “Who would ever name a perfume Hungry Like the Wolf?” “Who would buy it?”

I know who.

Come Undone:

Simon believes this might be everyone’s favorite. He says it is very subtle with a sexy, skin-element.

I have no idea what that description might mean, but I know I’m going to have to go and check it out when and if it ever makes its way to America. Is it weird to wear a Duran Duran inspired scent to a Duran Duran concert, right along with a Duran Duran t-shirt??

Yes, these ARE the types of things that go through my head on any given day.

Skin Divers:

Simon regards this fragrance as a day at the beach. He describes it as fresh smelling, like the ocean (not seaweed, but the fresh scent that comes with being out on the water), combined with the scent of a blow-up plastic unicorn that you use for a float.

A. He had me until the unicorn. Then I floated away on a Coppertone cloud of coconut, sand, plumeria and ocean.

B. I have to think that he just means that’s the vision that pops into his head when he smells it, as opposed to the fragrance smelling like…well…plastic.

You Kill Me With Silence:

He says this is deep, intense, woody and smokey-ness. It is dark and brooding. I’m imagining my temper in a bottle!  I’m curious about this one, too. During the description, Simon shared a little bit about the inner-studio discussion surrounding the title “You Kill Me With Silence”.

There were two camps: One that wanted the title as we know it, and another that wanted to go with “Kill Me With Silence”, which has an entirely different feel. I suspect that some may have felt the name was too long – but it is a very good example of how one word can change an entire phrase, or song title!

Sailing

I think many of us who have been around for a while know that sailing is in Simon’s blood, and it makes him the person he is. Recently he has gotten involved in the Tall Ships Youth Trust, which is a wonderful organization where they take kids out and allow them to experience the camaraderie of being out on the sea. They are currently raising money in order to buy their own tall ship.

Simon has also been keeping up with his role as a spokesperson for the Blue Marine foundation. He appeared at the Southampton Boat show for Sunseeker (a boat manufacturer). They decided to get involved with Blue Marine, not only by raising awareness for boaters, but also cleaning up their own manufacturing process. Every little bit counts!

Additionally, each year around this time, Simon comes to the Kafe with tales of sailing races, and this year is no different. After spending family time up in Languedoc, France, he traveled to Cannes to join the crew on Blitzen, a 57′ sloop built in 1938. They raced among similar wooden boats of the same age in the Regatta Royale, among a few others.

What is Simon’s job on the boat while racing? He trims the main sail, which is akin to working in the engine room on a powered ship, and when the boat owner is not present, he drives the wheel.

February shows and that set list…

Katy wasted no time bringing up the recently added shows in New Orleans and Las Vegas for February of 2019. She specifically asked a question that many have been grumbling about online – these show aren’t really  a part of the Paper Gods tour, so what can fans expect to hear? Will they maintain much of the current set list, or will they change it up?

I felt that Simon’s answer was both pointed…and vague at the same time. He opened by explaining that we should bear in mind that the last “new” material was Paper Gods, and so yes, the show will be based on that. He said they will keep “bits” of that in the set list, otherwise the show will be purely a Greatest Hits set.

Here’s the thing, Duran Duran is not a band that is going to drag out songs that the majority of their audience has never heard. They’re just not going to do that.  Too many people in the audiences have never heard much of anything beyond Rio, Hungry Like the Wolf, Come Undone and Ordinary World. No amount of complaining from fans will change that simple fact. If you are going to any of their shows hoping to hear Faith in this Colour, or Fallen Angel (or FallING Angel for that matter), you’re probably going to be sorely disappointed. I wish they’d have more faith in themselves beyond their hits, and I really wish they’d dig a bit deeper and challenge themselves in the process, but they just don’t.

Part of this is my own fault. I go to a lot of shows. I don’t do just one show a tour. I do many. I go whenever they’re nearby enough for me to sneak away.  I used to complain about hearing the same (or very similar) set over and over again, until I realized that this really is a ME problem. I’m the one going to as many shows as possible. Most people don’t. They go to one show, they hear all of the songs they grew up with including a few they probably never heard before but didn’t mind, and they go home happy. It’s the same thing I typically do whenever I go to a concert for any other band besides Duran Duran, and maybe The Killers or Tears for Fears. As a result of that, I learned to understand that I’m probably going to hear the same or similar set over and over. It is a trade-off, and for me, it is currently one that I am willing to make. I love the band, and I’m happy to hear whatever they want to play.

That doesn’t mean I wouldn’t jump for complete joy if they pulled a rabbit like “Secret Oktober” or “Late Bar” or even “All You Need is Now” out of their hat every now and then, though. I just know not to expect it.  Some wise person once said that expectations are future resentments or something like that….

This is also not a band that particularly enjoys switching up their set from night-to-night, beyond maybe a song or two. As Simon said, Paper Gods is their most successful album since the reunion. It would be utterly ridiculous for anyone to assume that they wouldn’t play any of it. That album is now a part of their history, and given that they don’t have anything new to play – my advice is to expect the same basic set list and be thrilled when/if they play something new. I am looking forward to hearing all of it.

Still gonna roll my eyes at HLTW, though. Old habits and all.

What’s this about studio time??

Katy said she heard a rumor about studio time before the end of 2018. Yes, that’s right…they’re going to actually go back into the studio again, and we get to begin the process all over again.

Yes, I did say “we”. It takes a village, y’all.  Who else is going to wax on, wax off with all of the tidbits of rumor, producers, song-titles, and all of the rest of the good stuff??

Speaking of…

Did we actually just get an album scoop??

Yes, you read that headline right too. Not only do we know that the band is going to meet, chat and begin the groundwork for the next album, but we were given a name.  Apparently Errol Alkan will be meeting with the band as they go back into the studio, and while the word “producer” was not used – I have to kind of think that’s at least the initial plan. They want somebody to steer the ship.

OK, so who is Erol Alkan?

(Come on, you know you were going to google his name, right?) Erol is a 44-year old DJ, producer and remixer. I mention his age because he’s not some wet-behind-the-ears kid, and he has absolutely worked with bands we have all heard of before, both by producing and remixing. Want names?

  • The Killers (he co-produced “The Man” off of Wonderful, Wonderful)
  • Tame Impala
  • Daft Punk
  • Scissor Sisters
  • Franz Ferdinand
  • Depeche Mode
  • Interpol… and the list goes on.

While I tend to think he’s more notable for his DJ/club and remixing reputation at this point, I think he has great instinct and is probably up for the Duran Duran challenge. It will be very interesting to see where this goes from here. Above all, it is outstanding to have a bit of news regarding a new album!

The Birthday

Simon turns 60 on Saturday. I have a hard time believing that. Even while listening to the Kafe today, I had a vision in my head of Simon in his twenties. Age is but a number, right?  He has plans to take over what he says is a very small restaurant, and celebrate with family and friends. As he should. Happy Birthday to you and your dad, Simon!!

Audible

I don’t keep up with Simon’s Reader because I’m too busy reading literature that I have assigned for my youngest (a by-product of homeschooling – there is a lot of reading. Right now I’m pre-reading Little Women). However, Simon has been keeping up with it – presumably in part because he’s subscribed to Audible, which is a subscription based-audio book application through Amazon, or Kindle. He touts the ease of being able to listen while doing anything and everything, which makes sense. In any case, he is going to be doing an “audio” Simon’s Reader very soon – so here’s your chance to catch up if you’ve been missing out!

 

That’s a wrap for the October 2018 Katy Kafe. I can hardly wait for news to trickle in during the coming months!

-R