Today is the kind of day where a blog is written for June 18th rather than July 18th. sigh I am a genius – one who cannot read a calendar well, apparently.
It’s quiet in Duranland, which in my mind, isn’t a bad thing, really. It’s July. It’s vacation time for many. In fact, if this were any other year, I would be on vacation myself! Alas….my vacation will come later, after we move and I’m (hopefully) sitting on my new patio, overlooking stately oak trees. I don’t have a lot to mention today, despite knowing that Duran Duran has performed many times on July 18th over the years. So, I decided to take another look at Lovebox, because on this date in 2009, they performed a full set at the festival.
Here’s a clip of A View to a Kill – I chose it because Mark Ronson appears with them, and because I love the “Fatal Kiss” arrangement.
And, because it is one of my favorite songs performed live, here is Sunrise. It is labeled on YouTube as Reach Out for the Sunrise, and was filmed by a then-9 year old (not my child, but someone else’s)…but that’s fine, right?
That should provide a few moments of escape on this fine Wednesday. In the meantime, I’m going to spend some time working on the house this afternoon, and thinking about where I wish I could be going on vacation this summer. Cheers!
I enjoy setting up the question of the day on this blog because I like doing the polls myself and I learn from them. This week, I noticed an interesting result. As probably most of you know we have been asking about video preferences. While we had asked this question before, we haven’t done so since the most recent videos from Paper Gods came out. Generally, I feel like I have a sense of which videos Duranies prefer. For example, I expect New Moon on Monday to be popular based on previous surveys, word of mouth, etc. Earlier this week, I asked which video people preferred between Sunrise and Electric Barbarella, Interestingly enough, Electric Barbarella won by a LOT. In fact, more people voted in that poll than the rest of the week’s combined. What’s up with that and which video do I prefer and why?
Do Duranies really prefer the video for Electric Barbarella over the video for Sunrise? I’m not really sure despite the result of the poll. Obviously, the verdict was decided by the people who voted and not all Duranies vote on this site. If I asked again, I wonder if I would get the same result. What if I asked in a different way or with different fans? What if I went to Facebook groups and asked or busted out the question on message boards? Anyway, I have to wonder why we had so many more votes that day and why for Electric Barbarella.
Let’s take a moment to watch that video before I add my thoughts about this video:
All right, I’m just going to say it. I don’t like this video. I might even go so far as to say that I really dislike it. It is definitely one of my least favorite Duran Duran videos. (Don’t send hate mail. I can be a fan and not like one video.) I won’t lie. It isn’t even a favorite song of mine. While I appreciated the connection to Barbarella and to the band’s history, it isn’t enough for me. Some of you might say that my dislike for both the song and video probably has something to do with the lack of John Taylor. I’m sure that you might be somewhat right. That said, I like Out of my Mind (the song mostly) and that doesn’t have John.
While the song doesn’t cut it for me, the video is WAY worse. If this was the only video that I saw from Duran, I would not be a fan. First of all, the video is too predictable. It feels to me that it is follows the song too precisely. The viewer isn’t forced to think or ponder anything as it is all spelled out. I’m also not a fan of the premise. Here’s a “woman” that can be bought and then directed to do whatever via a remote control. Of course, I realize that it is a “robot”. Still, the message is too close to objectification of women and that makes me uncomfortable. Some of you might be pointing out that Duran often uses women in their videos. That’s true. I don’t find most of those women to be seen as objects. The woman of Rio, for example, holds the power over the guys. Even the women of the Chauffeur aren’t objects. One might even argue that they don’t need men at all. Some might say that the models of Girls on Film show how awful models in real life can be treated. I think the use of women and how they are shown can be explained, for the most part, in their videos except for Electric Barbarella.
Sunrise is very different. Let’s watch that video to compare:
As you might imagine, I really like this one. I don’t know that I would say that it is one of my ultimate favorites but I enjoy the heck out of it. I love that the focus is the band. It tells the story of each member traveling to come back together. The storyline is not obvious but fits not only the song but what was happening with the band at the time. Yes, I also appreciate that it featured the Fab Five, too. It wasn’t just Simon, Nick and Warren like Electric Barbarella. It also captures a part of the band’s history with the reunion.
I have a few questions remaining. First, am I the only one who likes the Sunrise video over Electric Barbarella? Am I the only one who finds the video for Electric Barbarella a little distasteful? Then, if I am not the only one who prefers Sunrise, what do you make of the vote showing a vast majority favoring the other? I guess one thing is true. The Duran Duran fan community never ceases to amaze me or make me think.
Yesterday, I wrote about some things I am thankful for. I decided a visual was in order.
I’m going to apologize to my male friends out there, should you be over the whole “gawking at the band” thing. I have decided that life is entirely too short to worry about what some of you may think. I’m gonna do this the way I wanna do it…period. If the band didn’t want us to look at them, they’d perform behind a damn wall.
So with that in mind, here are some of the more visual things I am thankful for, on this lovely Thanksgiving Day. Enjoy!
I think this thumbnail alone speaks volumes and says everything I need say.
On the other hand….
(and I could have posted just about any video from Dom…I just like this one, and it’s his solo stuff, so enjoy!)
Back to Duran Duran…
Oh look, another thumbnail with Roger. 😀 No seriously, I am thankful for this video because it is with all five, and it is the five that I grew up identifying as Duran Duran. There is no more joyous of a video than this one for me, to be honest.
I love this video. I am thankful that Nick decided to be a pain in the ass and chew gum, too. You go on with your bad self, Mr. Rhodes.
So much to be thankful for in this one I do not know where to begin. Well, there’s John Taylor, to begin with… and Simon. What? I need therapy.
Ah yes, therapy. This might work. I am thankful for this video because regardless of what the band or the director had in mind – I have my own personal meaning for all of it. And Dom is in it. :)It’s
It’s Late Bar. It’s semi-recent(ish). Oh, and Dom is in it. To be honest, I don’t even know if he played well. Does that matter right now?
There’s a lot of memories here for me. I saw the studio they filmed this at (the tin foil was still on the wall), I walked through the cemetery Nick walked through (it also thundered, lightning and hailed which was amusing), and I saw some of the other sites in the video too. Plus – all we really need is now, isn’t it?
Happy Thanksgiving everyone. Welcome to the holiday season, 2016 (we are almost through this blasted year!)
Yesterday students arrived at the school I teach at for the first time this year. (I know that this blog is supposed to be about Duran fandom. This post will get there, too. I promise.) The beginning of the school year is always a little rough and this year is no exception. There are always changes and adjustments that need to be made no matter how much summer planning was done by school staff. In my case, this year, it is all about my class rosters and how many students I have.
For those not in the know, I teach 4 sections of freshmen United States History (along with the very welcomed Women’s Studies). This means that I spend most of my day trying to get 14 and 15 year olds to engage in activities and discussions surrounding U.S. History from 1865 to 1945. It is not the easiest task in the best of circumstances. This year, though, my class lists are pretty messed up. I have a small class that I’m team teaching with a colleague. Then, I have two HUGE classes. One of those classes I am also teaming with but not the other one, which makes no sense. I also have 25 more students than my colleagues, which is beyond not cool since we assign a lot of essays so I’ll be grading until the cows come home. Even weirder, still, is the fact that I have a class that has 25 boys and 5 girls. A lot of those boys have a history of getting themselves into trouble, on top of it all.
While the scheduling seems random, I would not be surprised if I was assigned the class of what I would lovingly call “naughty boys” because I have a long history of success with kids who fit that description. Part of me appreciates the weird sort of compliment. The other part of me just worries about being exhausted for the next 37.5 weeks. Therefore, it is pretty obvious that I’m going to need some energy, some motivation, something to keep me going. As with everything else in my life, I find myself turning to music, Duran Duran music. Can Duran give me what I need to be a successful teacher this year?
In order to see if Duran’s music can get me through, I have selected some songs that should work to motivate me.
The reasons for this song seems obvious, yes? If I’m going to have a class of “wild boys,” then the song of the same name better keep me going! I specifically chose the one with “Relax” in the middle because I will need to remind myself of that a lot!
This song will be used not so much for motivation but for validation. A teacher’s life in the present day United States is typically filled with a lot of “paper cuts,” both literally and figuratively. This song acknowledges that paper cuts of some form or another exist, which I often need and appreciate.
The thing I love about this song is how optimistic it is. I think most teachers need to feel that optimistic, that hope in the beginning of the year and I am no exception. Many, including myself, need to “feel the new day” as a positive. I chose the John version of the song because…well…I like his version for obvious reasons and because I stop thinking or worrying about anything else when I’m watching it.
Hold Back the Rain
This song always reminds me of being on the road, being on tour with “no time to worry.” While the school year gives plenty for me to worry about, I need to remember that there are times, moments when I don’t have to worry. I will need to recall fun times of this past summer and hope for more in the future when things start to weigh me down. This song will allow me to go to my happy place when I need it!
Of course, the school year features breaks and the summer when the pressure truly comes off. This song will me to remind of that during the long stretches without breaks.
All You Need Is Now
While breaks are always welcomed, I have to remember to appreciate the now and live in the moment. While teaching is never an easy gig (I just read a stat that states how teachers make about 1,500 decisions in a day or more than 4 decisions in a minute!), I also want to appreciate the moments that remind me of why I got into this field to begin with and why I stay. I have already had a few this week, such as when I saw some former students who ran up to give me hugs.
So what about the rest of you? What Duran songs do you use to motivate yourself or to keep you going even when you are exhausted? Which songs keep you going at work? I would love to see everyone’s lists!
Today is June 8th, which means it is a very special date on the calendar, and we allow ourselves to take a moment to celebrate National Best Friends Day!!!
Ok, I’m kidding. It’s Nick’s birthday!! Happy birthday Nicholas. I suspect you’re spending it well in Verona Italy, where I hear it is very hot today. (Actually, I read that from a friend who visiting there from Finland, and I suspect that her idea of “hot” and mine may be quite different. But just in case, I hope you’re enjoying the lovely weather.)
I don’t know if it’s just me, but it seems as though with each passing year, we are celebrating these dates at a far more accelerated pace. I would swear I just wrote one of these blogs – and I think I completely missed Roger’s birthday altogether!! (thanks to our writing schedule)
So, since we are celebrating, I decided I would share a few of my favorite Nick videos today, so here we go!
Arcadia – The Flame
[Reach Up for the] Sunrise
A very happy birthday to you, Nick with many wonderful and healthy years ahead! See you in July!
On a day where precious little seems to be happening in the land of Duran, I’m lucky to have stumbled upon a news item worthy of discussion.
There is an article being circulated by a few news pages on Facebook about a man who wrote his daughter an excuse for being late to school. Here’s the note:
Now, I realize that in the note he’s comparing Bruce Springsteen to God. I also recognize that for many readers, this is not a realistic, or even possible comparison, regardless of the reason. I’ll leave you all to debate that particular comparison or topic amongst yourselves, on your own forms of social media.
Instead, it had me remembering the time I took my own daughter out of school to go meet Duran Duran in Hollywood. At the time, Heather was eight, and she was in third grade. I should also mention this was at the signing for Astronaut, which came out in 2004. I’ve written about meeting the band, but I don’t know how much I actually said about just being with Heather for the experience. (I may have written some along the way, so I apologize if you’re reading and thinking, “Get over it, Rhonda. Who cares?!?” For the rest of you, this is new!) Not only was it Heather’s first time meeting Duran Duran, but it was mine too…and it was the only time either of us met them as a full group.
There are moments that happen in life when only later while reflecting do you begin to recognize their significance. That night is one of those times for me. During this particular period in 2004, Heather was getting heavily involved in dance. It was a huge commitment for everyone because I could never go anywhere without considering who would get her to the studio and back home at night. In addition to the time commitment, I felt like I was really losing my daughter in a lot of ways. Rather than spending quality time with me, she was being taught by circumstance to consider the studio her home, dance teachers and classmates her family. I missed her, but I recognized that dance was her passion, even at the tender age of eight. In the meantime, I’d planned a Duran Duran fan convention in New Orleans, met new friends, got involved online, and basically branched out on my own, trying to find and get reacquainted with the person I was prior to being “mommy”.
Along came the announcement of the signing. I wavered quite a bit before making the decision to go. Hollywood is a trek from my house (I almost never drive up there because I hate the traffic), it was during the middle of the week – twice – once to buy the album and get the wristband, another trip to actually meet the band for the signing, and I knew that trying to make the schedule work in between all of the other responsibilities I had was going to be impossible.
As always, I hesitantly tested the waters with my husband. Back then, I was afraid to tell him about events with the band because I knew he didn’t get it, and I knew it would just cause problems. I hate to say it, but I was a pretty wimpy wife back then. I figured I’d mention it at dinner, get the proverbial eye-roll and look of disgust, and then let it go. So I remember very uncertainly commenting about it – just an offhanded, “So, Duran Duran is doing an album signing in Hollywood, can you believe that?” sort of thing. Back then we had a small round table we ate at in my kitchen, and I remember Heather getting so excited. She was overjoyed that mommy would finally get to meet Duran Duran. In her head, there wasn’t even a question whether I’d go, or whether I’d really get to meet them. I was really kind of surprised that she understood the significance at her age, but for whatever reason, she did. She really seemed to understand that for me, this was a once-in-a-lifetime kind of thing, and that I’d waited since I was ten. That kind of made Walt take notice when otherwise, I don’t think he would have spent two seconds even listening. Fandom of any kind isn’t his thing, so I didn’t have any grand designs about having any sort of understanding from him about meeting Duran Duran. Going to meet a band probably seemed like a gigantic waste of time to him. Heather spoke so animatedly about it, saying that she wanted to go with me and how much fun it would be. Walt looked at me and said, “Why don’t you go then?” I am pretty sure my jaw hit the table.
Of course, I knew plenty of reasons why I shouldn’t. Dance classes. School for Heather. Driving up and back. What would I do with “the baby”? (“the baby” at that time was my son…who is now 16, about 5’10” and towers over me….and I don’t even remember now what I did with him that afternoon!!) After a little thinking, and pinching myself that I might actually get to meet Duran Duran, it was decided that Heather would only need miss one morning of school and…miss dance class to go to the signing. (Just to drive this point home: Heather never missed dance class. Not while sick, not while injured, not when friends had birthday parties, or for family functions. Never.)
So we went. It was one of the best experiences ever, and not just because I got to speak to Roger Taylor and tell him that he was my favorite band member and that I was so glad he came back. (Yes, I really did say those words. At least I didn’t tell him that I spent a good part of my days back when I was 12 waiting for him to show up on my doorstep realizing that I was the girl for him. I did have some good sense.) As exciting as it was to be so close to the band that I could tell Simon had seen the inside of a tanning booth at some point and that yes, Nick’s skin really was absolutely flawless…the best part was being there with Heather, and watching her see MY reaction.
How many times do we really get that chance to share something from our own childhood with our children? I don’t mean just taking them to Disneyland or whatever amusement park you spent time as – I mean a real passion. Something that truly defined you, or made you who you really are underneath all of that “Mom” stuff? For me, Duran Duran is very much that “thing”. (I laugh ruefully here, because little did I know in 2004 just how much Duran Duran was about to play part in my life. Little did I know….) I kept sneaking glances at Heather as she looked around at all of the people we were waiting in line with, and watching her reactions as we’d talk about the band. There was no filtering my love (or anyone else’s) or exuberance for the band. She was experiencing my fandom exactly the way I would have shown it even if she hadn’t been there. She saw the good, the bad, and maybe even a bit of the ugly. But the best part for me was that it was something we experienced together.
I shared a part of my deepest, and sometimes darkest, inner me with my daughter. And as a result, Heather has never once…not even a little…ever made fun of this blog or what it has become. Let’s face it, the blog is a pretty easy target. Upon first glance, one might think it’s a cute little love note, or marginalize it to just being a serious symptom of being a fanatic. Two grown women, writing a blog about a band?!? The jokes almost write themselves. I know this, and Amanda knows this. My family (mostly) thinks Daily Duranie is a waste of time, no matter what I share with them about our traffic or the sheer amount of people who thank us or recognize Amanda and I when we’re together at a Duran show. I’ve learned to keep the blog to myself and not share with the family, or if I do share – I just make light of it, because it’s easier than hoping for respect I’ll never get. Not Heather. For whatever reason, and I tend to think it’s because I shared a little bit of what makes me “tick” with her that night, she’s never once made fun. She encourages me, tells me to follow my heart, and does exactly for me as I do for her when it comes to her dreams.
I don’t remember what I wrote on the note I gave to the school for her excuse. I’m pretty sure I didn’t say anything about standing in line for hours to get a wristband to see Duran Duran, though. I wish I had, because I think she learned as much about me that night as I did about her.
An outspoken examination and celebration of fandom!