Tag Archives: Simon Le Bon

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

 

As the Planet Turns Into the Light

I had a good day yesterday.

Before I dive into that statement, I want to acknowledge that I am lucky to live in the US. While I know why the band plays here, I can’t help but feel badly for the rest of the fans throughout the world. One can reasonably understand why things are the way they are, and still not like it. I am very lucky to live here, and I’m very sorry that business for the band is such that economically – they play here because they need to.  I wish it were different.

The crazy thing is, the real joy I felt yesterday wasn’t from scoring tickets to a show. Quite honestly, I didn’t get anything myself from the pre-sale but an empty basket. Over and over and over again! However, it is true that my friend Lori is a guru when it comes to getting tickets on Ticketmaster (and before her, it was Suzie that came to the rescue for last year’s show), and without them I’d be scrolling Stub Hub or even the reseller’s marketplace on Ticketmaster.  It definitely wasn’t the ticket buying that made me smile yesterday.

I actually spoke to Amanda for the first time since July! What was so strange, yet comforting, was that we dove back in without really even skipping a beat. It was as if no time had passed. We talked about the band. We talked about a possible meet-up/welcome party/mini-convention for the weekend. We talked about politics (we are more alike than different), we even talked about sexual assault and feminism. I think what made me smile most yesterday was how normal everything felt, particularly after nearly a year of life feeling everything but. I am lucky to have a friend like her.

We planned. We talked about what we’d like to do that weekend. Yesterday, we focused on something other than campaigning and moving. For me, that was glorious. It’s weird, because for the past eleven months, I haven’t thought too much about Duran Duran. Yes, I write the blog on the days I need to write it, but once I’m done composing a post, I really have to move on with my day. I’ve had to focus on my family’s needs and put my hobbies aside. Secretly, I’ve wondered if I was just over Duran Duran.

That’s the silver lining of hiatus, or quiet times when it comes to this band. For two straight years (if not more), I think both Amanda and I felt like we were “all in”. We lived, ate, and slept Duran Duran! Once the tour ended (and I mean the real tour – not these one-off, two off dates), we went back to our regular lives. We picked up on other things. Maybe that’s our idea of balance. I don’t know. We don’t even work for Duran Duran, yet sometimes I really wonder if it’s not some strange sort of indentured servitude going on here!

I think I’d forgotten the joy I get from just being a fan and doing my thing. Sure, we can talk about how the set list never seems to change these days, or take up bets on whether the set and costuming will remain. There are real discussions to be had about Ticketmaster, and ticketing in general, and how it ruins the experience for fans. I’m not sorry I’m going to see Duran Duran in Las Vegas though.

I’m excited to see my friends. It will be great to be with my people again, strolling around with our to-go cups and lids. Again, I feel so lucky to count these women within my small circle friends. I am eager to be in the audience for the gigs. My adrenaline will kick in, and I’m hoping the memory of my past year will be put to rest. I can’t wait to see Simon, John, Roger, Nick, Anna, and of course Dom. I’ve missed them. We’re definitely doing parties of some kind at the Hard Rock. Watch this space for details. If you’re not already coming for the shows, maybe a mini-Duranie convention will entice you to make the trip.

Yesterday was the most joyful I’ve been since last December. It hasn’t been an easy year, but I have real hope that things are beginning to look up.

-R

 

More about those Duran Fragrances!

Yes, you too can smell like they sound, Duranies.

I have always wanted to use that line on someone! Who knew that if I just waited long enough….my perfect opportunity would arrive! 

Honestly, I’m not sure that’s even a compliment or what it would smell like, but today Duran Duran, in conjunction with D.S. and Durga, have released four Duran-inspired fragrances, available exclusively at Liberty London.

The most curious part of the equation here is that the band approached the fragrance house. (which is located not in England…but in Brooklyn. Brooklyn, New York.)  Who would have guessed that the band would ever be into the idea of putting their name on a fragrance bottle?!?

According to the press release, available to read on DD’s website here, Simon worked with David Moltz (the perfumer) to create each scent – there are four – each named after a song in a different eras/decades of the band’s career. Yes, there really IS a 40th-anniversary connection here, subtle as it may be.

Simon says the scents are “brave, original, cut to the heart and ring like glass”. Is he right? Inquiring minds want to know!

Here are the notes from each fragrance, taken from duranduran.com:

FRAGRANCES

(notes from perfumer David Moltz)

HUNGRY LIKE THE WOLF, 1982. smells like it sounds

“I insisted on this song from the 80’s (although there were so many that would have worked!) The fragrance is animalic and captures some of the scenes in the video – the market, the jungle at night. It is furry, wolfy and badass!”

Notes include leather, atlas cedar, cade, sandalwood and patchouli.

COME UNDONE, 1993. immaculate dream made breath & skin

“A sexy song and a sexy scent! It smells of body secretions – musks, hot breath and possibly illegal substances…….!”

Notes include oil of saffron, coca leaf, geraniol and tonka.

SKIN DIVERS, 2007. love in an aquatic landscape

“Using Calone (a molecule created in the 1990’s) to help convey a drenched love affair.”

Notes include seaweed, blue water, ylang ylang, vetiver and bergamot citrus.

YOU KILL ME WITH SILENCE, 2015. cold, silent northern woods in torment, smoke and ice

“A cold and smokey Arctic wood fragrance. It uses Nootka tree and wintergreen extract to achieve a bitter woody note that conjures the feeling of being frozen out by a loved one in a fight – like in the song.”

Notes include smoke, cistus, ice and incense.

Before anybody grabs their plastic and heads out the door – the prices aren’t for the faint of heart. Wanna smell like a VIP? It’s gonna cost ya. The fragrances (like everything else DD seems to release these days, are a “limited edition” at 500 pieces), are priced at £68 each for a 10 mL oil-based rollerball bottle. Let me do the math for you, that equates to $89.30 USD.  As my dear accountant friend and fellow Duran fan Jeff said today on Twitter, ” I can tell you that amounts to a cost of £28,800 per gallon, or $37,713 per gallon.”

Who wants to go in on a gallon or two with me??

I’m kidding.

I am wondering though, about those folks who have called Duran out on the proverbial carpet for “selling out” in the past. Is this just more of the same, or something different?

-R

Classic Pop Special Edition: The Mark of Greatness and Swimming Against…

Today marks the second to last blog about the Classic Pop magazine special edition for Duran Duran’s 40th Anniversary.  In this blog, I’ll cover two articles:  The Mark of Greatness and Swimming Against the Tide.  The first one focuses on the 2010s including the band’s work with Mark Ronson while the second one is all about Stephen Duffy, the guy who could have been lead singer.

The Mark of Greatness:

Right away, this article made me think.  The author describes how All You Need Is Now made a lot of fans happy in 2011 bu that Paper Gods helped to “turn the heads of those youngsters.”  Interesting.  How do they know that?  What evidence will be shared, I wondered.  Of course, I love Paper Gods but…I am not sure that I see a lot of kids or younger adults into it.

The article describes the making of AYNIN with the band meeting with Mark ahead of time to discuss the vision for the project.  This got me wondering.  Is that not the case of the rest of the albums?  I have always heard/read about how the band goes into the studio and jams until something rises to the surface.  That system seems the opposite of having a vision.  Which is better?  I, for one, loved how AYNIN turned out so maybe planning is?

According to the article, that vision went so far with All You Need Is Now that Ronson had created rules that were stuck to the walls of the studio in order for the band to follow them.  I had never heard that before but I have to admit that the image makes me smile.  No matter how experienced, people need reminders.  Mark claimed that he was a “mouthpiece for 10 million Duran Duran fans.”  He definitely was for me, which I will always be grateful!

Of course, the rest of the album discussion surrounding AYNIN included a song by song description with all of the various contributions from Kelis to Nina Hossain and more.  I will tell you this much.  Reading about All You Need Is Now definitely made me want to put that album on and listen to it.  I remembered how amazing an album it really is (at least in my opinion!).

The article does touch on promotional activities including the band’s appearance for One Night Only in the UK to Unstaged, a concert film produced by David Lynch.  It does mention about how the tour stopped in the summer of 2011 due to Simon’s vocal loss but then matter-of-factly states that the tour resumed in November (I think actually was October) like it was no big deal.  Maybe, in hindsight, it seems like no big deal but it was huge to those of us who lived through that time.  I know that I was not the only one worried that Simon had lost his voice for good and that Duran would be done.

From there, the article goes into the making of Paper Gods.  That said, the vast majority of this piece surrounded AYNIN.  Is Paper Gods too soon?  Historians might say so but music journalists?  Not sure on that one.  Likewise, I’m not sure that the article proved that millennials really bought into Paper Gods.  Some did, for sure.  Many?  I don’t know.

Swimming Against the Tide…:

This article did what I expected it to do.  It gave a little background about Stephen Duffy then dived into information about the Devils before describing some of his various projects over the years.  I, for one, haven’t listened to a lot of his work.  How about the rest of you? Have you listened to his stuff?  What do you think of it?

In the article, he makes reference to the 40th anniversary.  I wonder if he and other former members would be included.  Now, Stephen Duffy is not very controversial but what about the ones that are?  Then, I wonder about how they would be included or should be.  It will be interesting to watch.

-A