Tag Archives: Sing Blue Silver

Hammersmith 1982 – So much has changed, yet stays the same.

It used to be that I enjoyed watching concert videos of Duran Duran because I wasn’t able to see many shows, particularly those from the 80s. I didn’t go to my first Duran Duran concert until 1989, so these concert videos represented a world that I was not involved with, and I often felt like I was on the outside looking in. Even so, I would watch whatever I could find, over and over again in fascination.

Nowadays, I watch them almost incredulously. It is difficult for me to make sense of who they were then versus who they are now. I don’t know if that will make sense to many of you. I suppose in some small way I see them differently now? They’re not on quite as high of a pedestal (assuming they are in fact on any sort of pedestal at all). I see Simon in these videos, for instance – and I see this untouchable, unattainable, enigmatic, person. I didn’t know him, I never met him, and he may as well could have been in a dream rather than reality. That’s how Duran Duran was for me as a child. I still don’t know Simon, but I’ve stood with him in a picture. I’ve waved to him. He’s REAL now in a way he wasn’t then. The band is just a little more real to me as a whole. Even so, I still have a hard time watching these videos and reconciling the fact that the people in this video are the same people I go to see perform now.  It isn’t that the band has changed, it is that I see them differently, I think.

I am the first to admit that when I was ten, the hero-worshipping going on in my head and heart was huge. They may as well have been knights in shining armor. I proudly hung their posters on my wall, and believed they could do no wrong, even when I was presented with evidence that may have proven otherwise. At the time, they were exactly what I needed them to be, because I was a child. I needed and wanted that fairy-tale existence, and although sometimes I will slip and say that I wished I had met them in the 80s, I realize that it would have completely destroyed me to have done so. The unfair expectations that I would have placed upon them would have been enormous. No one could have possibly lived up. When I watch old performance videos like Sing Blue Silver, those old feelings are stirred up a bit. Those memories and feelings behave more as childhood nostalgia than pure hero worship these days, but to be fair there’s still some gushing going on. I mean, I am still a fan.

On the other hand, in adulthood, I think my feelings now are more along the lines of fondness and deep respect. How can I help but not respect Simon, John, Nick and Roger? They’ve stood the test of time, not only with me, but with millions of people worldwide. That’s mind-blowing in this day and age. I don’t giggle when I see them, unless of course I’m about to be hosed down with Simon-spit (and I’m not really sure I giggle about that at the time…I’m too busy ducking for safety!). I think that might be a side-effect from writing the blog, but I’m really not sure. I just know it is hard to see the John Taylor in Sing Blue Silver or even in videos like “The Reflex” and make sense of the fact that yeah, that’s the same John Taylor that I see onstage now. The struggle is real and my brain does not compute.

So much has changed, yet so much really is the same, I suppose!

In 2009, EMI released videos of these early shows, including Hammersmith 1982. I thought it would be fun to watch some of the clips again today. I couldn’t find the concert in entirety so I just chose several to watch. Enjoy!

 

-R

Duran Duran at Birmingham University, 1979

On this date in 1979, Duran Duran played at Birmingham University. It was the seventh public show they played (according to duran duran.com), and it was the second of two shows at the university in November.

It is hard for me to imagine what gigs must have been like back then. (and that’s not ONLY a comment on how long ago it was, after all, I was nine at the time! :D) All of the lighting, video, light-up risers and things we enjoy now were mostly nonexistent at the time. I highly doubt the crowds were quite the same, since this was before the days of Rio and Sing Blue Silver. Even so, while I can’t really regret not being there….I absolutely wonder what it must have been like!

Particularly today, as I log on to Twitter and am greeted with photos from JT in Red Square and group photos on a balcony in Moscow, I think about the long, arduous road to get to the present. I have to think, knowing how the band feels about nostalgia in general, I don’t think they’d change a single thing along the way.

Lately, when it comes to writing the blog, I’ve thought more about where the band has been as opposed to where they are going. I think that’s because for me, nostalgia IS part of the game. I’m a blogger, and my gift isn’t in seeing what is coming ahead, but rather, what we have in our rear view mirror. With #DD40 in our sights, it isn’t a bad time to think back over the course of Duran’s career. Maybe I’m a bit biased as a fan, but I think they’ve had an incredible run.

Even so, I’d be lying if I didn’t say I wished I could have been at these Birmingham University gigs at the beginning of their career….and I’d give my eye teeth to know what they’re planning for their 40th anniversary! 😀

Off to listen to Katy Kafe – highlights tomorrow!

-R

 

Do You Remember the day Planet Earth was released?

For this date in Duran history, we’re going back to nearly the beginning. For many of us, it might have actually been the beginning of our fandom, because on this date in 1981, Duran Duran released Planet Earth. No, I wasn’t there at the very beginning, since I was only about ten and the US didn’t quite catch on at first.  What about any of you from the UK? Are there any Rum Runner regulars amongst our readers?

Many readers probably know that Planet Earth is the favorite song of my counterpart, Amanda. It is also the first song I ever heard by Duran Duran (special thanks to KROQ’s own Rodney on the ROQ!).  It is strange to admit, but I remember a time when Duran Duran was so new that Planet Earth felt really out there and obscure. It was as much dark as it was light, which is what really hooked me, I think! I liked the edgy feel, but it wasn’t so weird that I couldn’t get into it. Even so, I remember those early days of occasionally hearing the band on the radio, before the times of Tiger Beat and Bop!, well before “Rio” made its way onto Top 40 radio, and certainly before the words “Sing Blue Silver” ever came across my lips.

That was the beginning, and it happened 36 years ago today.  (I think I counted wrong…because that seems impossible.)   Do you remember?

-R

Do You Remember? DD at Wembley Arena, 1983

On this very date in 1983, I was thirteen, which put me in eighth grade. (it took me a remarkably long time to figure that out this morning…) I was somewhere in the middle of “I’m nervous about growing up” and “I know more than my parents do about everything”.  Ah yes. When I put it in those terms, I remember the time and age perfectly! Additionally on this very date in 1983, Duran Duran played Wembley Arena.

Just a month earlier, Seven and the Ragged Tiger had been released, and this show was one date of five at Wembley Arena. The tour was named Sing Blue Silver….perhaps you’ve heard about it over the years.  Beginning in Australia, these dates in the UK took place just before the band headed off to Japan and then on to Canada and then the US.

(Sometimes, I just have to wonder how these tours get planned. First to Australia and then to UK and then back to Japan and on to the states?? Were they trying to kill the band??)

The excitement surrounding Duran Duran was nowhere near diminishing here in the states, and I have to imagine that also held true for the UK.  This is the part of my “Duran Duran history” that is foggiest for me. I lived in the states, far removed from the “inner-happenings” of Duran Duran.  I didn’t attend any shows prior to 1989, and for me, the Sing Blue Silver tour is still sort of an enigma. It’s like a dream that I’ve only witnessed from afar! So, if any of our readers went to the shows at Wembley Arena or were in the UK during this period—I’d love to hear from you in the comments. The memories weave a great story!

Duran Duran, Wembley Arena, December 20th, 1983.  Do you remember?

-R

 

Duran Duran History – Sing Blue Silver

Today’s Duran Duran history takes us back 3 decades to 1984 when Duran Duran’s Sing Blue Silver premiered in the UK.  As we all know, Sing Blue Silver is the documentary covering the band’s tour of North America in that same year of 1984.  It is probably the best known of any Duran Duran DVD.

Here’s the entire thing via YouTube:

What are your favorite parts?

-A

 

Happy 30th Birthday Arena!

There are some anniversaries that just seem monumental, and this is indeed one of them. Thirty years ago today, Arena was released. We won’t talk about how old (or young) I may have been at the time, but I have distinct memories of Arena’s release. To begin with, I’d heard Wild Boys on the radio. If there was ever a quintessential “Duran Duran sounding” song of that period, Wild Boys surely met the mark. Little did I realize that it would be the last song the “Fab Five” recorded together until the days of Astronaut, but isn’t that always the way it is? You don’t realize something is really over until it just IS. There’s rarely a huge sign waved at you to pay attention and not miss anything – you only see those signs in hindsight as you wonder what could have happened and where everyone went. Laughingly, I remember getting the album and being a little disappointed that it was just live versions aside from Wild Boys – I was young and didn’t quite get it, I suppose. Additionally, I remember reading that the album was recorded “around the world 1984”, and I knew that meant it was recorded on their Sing Blue Silver tour…the tour I had missed due to some overprotective parents and a budget I couldn’t quite understand at the time.

For me, these products: the Arena album, the Sing Blue Silver VHS tape (and now DVD), Into the Arena (board game, which I never owned but had on my Christmas list…), As the Lights Go Down, the Duran Duran video album and of course the Arena movie were all symbolic for me. They represented the (then) unattainable dream of getting to see Duran Duran. The band was on a completely different playing field in a completely different stratosphere than I was as a young teen growing up in Covina, California. I didn’t think I had a hope in the world of ever seeing them in concert, much less ever standing in front of them, face to face, having an album signed or being able to tell Roger Taylor that he was in fact, my favorite. I look upon that time and space – the Sing Blue Silver tour – with a great deal of reverence. I built that time up to be so much more in my head. For many years I remained at least partially convinced that had I been to any show on that tour, I may have actually met the band, been invited backstage, and become instant friends. I would have followed through with my own dreams of becoming an orchestra conductor and being principle clarinetist for the LA Philharmonic. All of my hopes and dreams would have been realized had my parents simply bought me a ticket to a show, dammit.

In the decades since, I think I’ve been nearly rehabilitated. I’m at least fifty percent convinced, for instance, that even if I’d gone to the show and stood near my seat (most likely up in nosebleed because I know that at the time my parents had very little “extra” money to speak of), I still wouldn’t have met any of the band members.  I doubt my life would have changed much, but there’s still that lingering “What If”.

That “What if” is probably one thing that has continued to drive my fandom for all of the years since Sing Blue Silver. I know that when the original band ceased to exist, and as we went through Warren, Steve, Sterling, Wes…etc… I never once felt that sense of closure or contentment. I felt like I’d missed my chance. A chance at what? I have no idea. I just knew I’d missed out on something amazing. Let’s face it: seeing your favorite band live is something that everyone needs to do at least once (and some of us need it 30,40, 50 times!!).  By the time my opportunity arrived in 1989, I couldn’t help but feel like I was getting the consolation prize. Sure, it was great seeing Duran Duran live…but it wasn’t really Duran Duran unless all five of them were there.

When the reunion was announced, I made sure that I wasn’t going to miss out again. I know from reading message boards, Facebook and meeting countless of you along the way – the things I’m writing and sharing today are not new. There were many of us who missed out in the 80’s that have had their chance since. That lack of closure we once had is probably gone now, but we’re still emotionally driven. For many, the band helped to usher in adolescence or the teen years.  We were at least as emotional about the band as we were about life. The screaming teenager we thought we’d left behind still shows up every once in a while. None of us want to miss the next show, next appearance, or next meet and greet. Those emotions drive our fandom.

In the thirteen years post-reunion (announcement, in 2001), I’ve been in front of the band long enough to have an album signed AND had nerve enough to tell Roger Taylor that he was always my favorite, and I was really glad he came back. (He responded by saying “That is really sweet, thank you.” with a huge grin….some things you just never forget)  I’ve seen quite a few shows, and I’ve been overseas to places I honestly and truly never even dared dream I’d go. I still believe Duran Duran is on a completely different playing field in a stratosphere far, far away from me. Even with social media, they still seem incredibly unattainable or unreachable, and let’s face it – given some of our emotional behavior, that’s probably for the best. I continually marvel at the people who do whatever it takes to get near them, whether it’s getting to know the right people, standing in enough lines, or paying enough money.  I can barely manage to get myself to the shows I do without trying to show up every single time there is a possible appearance somewhere, so I applaud those who can make the extra effort. Sing Blue Silver, Into the Arena, As the Lights Go Down, the Duran Duran video album, the Arena movie and naturally the Arena album are still somewhat enigmatic to me. They still manage to collectively represent a period of time when much of the world (as well as the band) was a complete mystery.  They symbolize a lot of my adolescent hopes and dreams. The memories that come along with Duran Duran, Arena, Sing Blue Silver and other things continue to drive my fandom. I’m not chasing after childhood (or rainbows, as they say…), but I revel in those memories as much as I thoroughly and completely enjoy everything that has come along since.  Happy Birthday, Arena.

-R

Guest Blog – Duranie Positivity Challenge

By PamG

There’s one of those challenges/memes/chain letters/trends going around Facebook lately that asks you to post several positive things every day for a certain number of days, and then tag a few of your Facebook friends to do the same. I’ve seen quite a few variations of it, but the gist is the same.

I’m in the middle of this challenge on Facebook now. It got me to thinking: If I had to do this challenge and keep it Duran related, could I do it? Could I limit myself to just three things every day? Could I do it for seven days in a row? Heck, I know ladies behind the Daily Duranie website can do it because they’ve been essentially doing that every day! The website itself is a daily source for reminders of all the positive things that the band brings to our lives. I think I’m up for the challenge.

So here is my list of just three ways Duran Duran has brought positivity into my life.

  1. They still love to perform live. Whether you see them performing in a video, on TV, or live in person, you can tell that they aren’t just going through the motions. For a band to continue to tour like they do, they really have to love it.* I’ve heard many artists say they really feed off the energy from the crowd, and to me there’s no doubt that Duran is no exception. Maybe it’s because they have such a loyal fan base. Maybe it’s because they’ve been together so long. I’m not sure it matters. I think the audience brings so much enthusiasm to the shows that the band can’t help but feed off of us. And they reflect it right back to us. I’ve been to a lot of non-Duran concerts in my life, and by far the most engaging have been Duran shows. Whether it’s Simon demanding that the audience sing louder or John’s invitation to clap along during “Planet Earth,” they certainly pull the audience into the performance. They are seasoned professional musicians who know how to work a crowd, and I love every minute of it.
  • I bet there are some occasions where the live show has been less than stellar for a variety of reasons. Hey, they’re human. No, really, they are. I know we’ve all had “off” days at our jobs, right?
  1. They still make amazing videos. I don’t need to tell you about their historic video collection. When they released the video for Girl Panic in 2011, I was mesmerized. To me, all the parts fit together in this one: the role reversals, the black & white vs. color visual explosion, the interviews, the Swarovsky crystals, the wink-wink moments (“I am not a member of Duran Duran”), all of it. I’m not sure who gets the credit for the concepts, but my praise goes to Jonas Akerlund for directing such a classic and beautiful Duran video. I wonder what hypnotic video we will get for something from the new album?
  1. They don’t seem to hate photo shoots. We know that their good looks helped them rise to MTV fame in the 1980s. And along with that “pretty boy” image came many, many photo shoots throughout their career. We saw a glimpse of one of those photo shoots during “Sing Blue Silver.” And even recently they’ve shared some photos from an InStyle magazine photo shoot, in advance of the big Fashion Rocks show on September 9. From all of us who grew up with bedroom walls filled with Duran Duran posters and carefully torn-out magazine pages, as well as the those of us who have photos of band on our screen savers or phone wallpapers, thank you.

If you’re like me, I’m sure you could come up with three (thousand) more sources of positivity for you. How does Duran Duran bring positivity to your life? Tell us in the comments!

PamGPamG has been a Duranie since the early days of MTV. In addition to all-things Duran, she also enjoys music documentaries, pop culture trivia, and live concerts of any kind. Her Duran dream would be to journey across the pond and see the band play throughout Europe. After waiting over 25 years to see Duran Duran live, she saw her first show in 2011 and it changed her life.

DDAD14 Wrap Up!

So…..about that Duran Duran Appreciation Day-Sing Blue Silver viewing party….

Did you all have fun? We thought it went really, really well! We weren’t involved with the planning for the event this year, and I think that David and Elisa did a great job coming up with the initial idea and implementing it! We had a great time and it sure looked like everyone else who participated did as well. I have to admit that when I first heard about it, I wasn’t sure how it would go over, because things like this really just depend on the level of participation from fans. I was astounded at just how many fans were online and interacted on Twitter, and I know that Amanda felt the same on Facebook. I had a great time (maybe TOO good of a time), and as I contemplate the possibilities of detox this morning, I can’t help but smile through my self-inflicted agony. (If I ever suggest a drinking game again, someone should shoot me.)

I read somewhere that there are tentative plans out there to somehow do this as an “in-person” event next year up in the San Francisco area, and I think that for those who can get there, it would be great. But for the rest of the world, my hope is to plan the party so that more people beyond the US can participate.  There isn’t ever a perfect time for everyone, but we were thinking that maybe doing a day-long (12 hour) event, with a clear list of what we’re watching along with the start and finish times for each, published in advance of the day along with links of where to purchase what we’re watching or where to find it on YouTube if you need,  so that way if you’re not able to join in for one, you can catch the next…or one later in the day.  And I won’t be doing a drinking game. Probably.  So you should probably plan now to take the day off (and maybe the day after!) next year.  August 10, 2015….mark your calendars.

One thing that made this particular #DDAD14 special for me was that I was here in Madison, Wisconsin with Amanda. Normally I’m at home, and my family, while semi-tolerant of Duran Duran, is not the same as spending time with Amanda and appreciating the band we love. It’s funny because when I first planned this trip out here, it didn’t even enter my mind that I’d be here for the holiday.  I just knew we had a lot of work to do and that this was the time I could run away from home.  I’m so glad I was here with her because what is normally a day where I spend about five minutes “appreciating” the band along with everyone else online throughout the day became a party.  Duran Duran has a funny way of doing that, don’t they?

Last night I tweeted to the band that the power of what we fans are able to really do is AMAZING, and that they should be so proud.  They didn’t respond, but I hope they at least saw the tweet.  Their fan base was out in force last night, and more importantly – we truly were screaming from the rooftops about how much we love this band. How many bands, after over thirty years in existence, still have THIS strong of a fan base?  Not many.  Not many at all.  Just think of the positive things we could do for this upcoming album if given the chance and right direction.  Just imagine.

What a great day.  Can we do it again, say, same time next year?!?

-R