Tag Archives: The Cosmopolitan Las Vegas

November 2017 Katy Kafe with John Taylor!

Not much makes me happier during a lull than an invitation to listen to a shiny brand new Katy Kafe pop up in my news feed! This month, John takes a quick time out to chat with Katy, and I’ve got the highlights from the November 2017 Katy Kafe for you. Keep in mind, this is purely what I picked out, and with DD40 coming up – it might be time to get a membership to DDM so that you can stay up with all of the news that is sure to come!

What’s happening?

John comes to us from “the studio” in London, where he is working with Nick on a side project. Now whether this side project is the musical they’ve mentioned before, or something else, I’m not sure. John just says “it’s very different from what they’ve done in Duran Duran”…and I guess we’ll have to wait to hear more about it.

He mentions that they are going to be in Moscow (which they were earlier in the week) for the BRAVO award announcements where the band got back together and performed.

Ring in the New Year, Vegas-style

Katy also mentioned the upcoming Eve before New Years Eve show in Las Vegas, and asked John if he likes performing on New Years Eve. Emphatically, John answers with a quick, “YES” saying that he likes not having to worry about what he is going to do to entertain himself that night, and then almost just as quickly he adds a hasty, “but this is not on New Years Eve, it is the 30th, which means New Years Eve is still a problem that will have to be worked out.” Katy asks the question I was wondering myself, and that was whether or not John would stay in Vegas for New Years, to which he said he doesn’t know yet.

Apparently, Duran Duran has played on New Years Eve quite a bit over the years, citing the Savoy show in ’82 or ’83, and then the shows they did just outside of Washington DC last year in National Harbor. The band likes being on stage for New Years, and well….we really kind of like having them there, too!

There was a quick mention of whether this was really a final, final, Paper Gods date and John corrects Katy, saying that no, Paper Gods is finished. This is a standalone date. That leads to the obvious (Well, it’s obvious to me, anyway) follow-up about the set list. Will it change? John contends that they have to “err on the side of crowd favorites”. So, if you went to any of the Paper Gods shows and enjoyed hearing songs like Rio, Hungry Like the Wolf, Girls on Film, and any of the rest of those hits that have been in previous set lists, there is good news: you’re gonna love this one too! He does say that it might be less interesting for diehard fans – and while I can’t disagree, I can say this: most of us already know this, and guess what? WE BUY TICKETS ANYWAY.  Why? Because it is exactly the type of party we all want to be at, and the party is what we make it!

Just imagine what we’d do when/if one of them came out and said it would be a show that no diehard should miss?!?

I shudder to consider the stampede…or how Ticketmaster might “handle” the demand.  Moving on…

What about 2018?

Here is what I find most interesting about this band: every single band member has a different story about the studio, and it’s comical! Since August, I have heard they’re going into the studio at the end of the year for something “fun” from Roger, something about going in after the new year from Simon, and now John says they’re “hoping” to go back in…with no real time specified.

So I don’t think anyone really knows. And that’s fine. Odd, but fine.

John does say that an album next year is unlikely. Given my experience as a fan of this band, I’d go one farther and say it’s nearly impossible. I’d be shocked, probably to the point of needing oxygen, if the band actually came out with even ONE SONG this year, much less an entire album.

In the meantime, John says they’re talking about the possibilities for recording a new album, including who they might be looking to collaborate with, or where they will record – insinuating that perhaps London might not be the birthplace for the next one.

This led to a question from Katy who asked if the band were to stumble upon that perfect song right away, would they release a stand-alone single or just wait for the album. Speaking purely for himself, John said maybe – citing that the marketing isn’t very good for one song. You don’t get TV or magazines for a single song, typically, so the promotion isn’t quite there. He surmises that they just have to be open to whatever happens.

Paper Gods

Looking back over Paper Gods, Katy wants to know if there are any songs that John wishes they had played. He mentions two that he wishes they had played more: “Universe Alone”, which they played towards the very end of the tour (and I have often wondered why they waited so long), and “You Kill Me with Silence”, which they only played once, at the Jimmy Kimmel show in Los Angeles.  He says that it is hard to find a spot for mid tempo songs in the live show because you only want 2 or 3 of them.  I get that, although I think YKMWS was overall a difficult song for Simon because of the wide vocal range it requires.

John says that he still feels the album was the best since their reunion, but quickly says that he knows they always say that. (and they do, but I get it. Besides, if you didn’t think you were improving as a band, wouldn’t you have quit by now?? Funny how clearly it all makes sense now as opposed when I first asked about why they say that!)

I know there are fans out there that completely disagree, and some that herald Paper Gods as being the best the band has ever done. There is no accounting for personal taste, I suppose. John adds that he doesn’t want to put down the others, citing both AYNIN and of course, RCM. I’ll just say that we all have our favorites, and from the outside looking in, I think the band learned a lot from Paper Gods. They grew professionally, and perhaps personally. That’s not a bad thing after thirty-five years in the industry. John ends by saying that while the album “took some doing”, they’re all “quite proud” of something that is definitely a “Duran Duran album”.  A thought that is neither stupid, nor self-indulging. John is right when he says it ticks off all of the boxes of what one would expect from Duran Duran, whether it is your favorite album or a little less-than. It’s quintessentially Duran, and we like that!

Simple, short and sweet – John bids his farewell until the year-end Kafe, which we are rapidly approaching. Does not seem possible!

-R

 

 

 

 

 

I Must Have Flowers in my Brain

I have no business going to Las Vegas in December.  I should not be going to that Duran Duran concert on December 30th.  Nope.  It is completely not logical.  The concert ticket was ridiculously expensive and the hotel room isn’t much better.  On top of that, the flight is going to cost me an arm and a leg from what I can tell.  The timing isn’t great either.  It is in the middle of winter break, a break that is super short again this year.  My to-do at home is a mile long as I get nothing done during the school year.  If all that wasn’t enough, I have been to plenty of shows.  Heck, a lot of you are probably thinking that I have been to way more shows than I should.

I could start listing all of the reasons that it “makes sense” to go, including that I don’t have to worry about work, that I get to see Rhonda and our other friends, and that going to a Duran show is a blast.  Work is a significant reason.  I could say that I deserve a lot of fun after working 10-12 hour days, at least 6 days a week since September 5th.  Besides work, I don’t have a lot of other responsibilities as I don’t have a family beyond the parents and nieces.  All of that is definitely true and they are all good reasons, but I admit that it isn’t the whole story.

When I think about what going on tour means, visions of groups and friends fill my head.  Memories of hanging out in bars or dancing in clubs with a whole bunch of people flood my consciousness.  While Rhonda and I definitely admit that our fan community (like all other fan communities) is not perfect.  I do not and will not like each and every fan and the same is true about me.  Competition too often gets in the way of genuine interaction and friendship but there is still something special with being on tour, at least for me.  It means being accepted.

Throughout my life, I have stood out from the crowd and not really in a good way.  I have been viewed as someone who is different.  Heck, many of you reading this probably recognize that, even through my writing.  I can come across as cold, calculating, closed off when I am just observing and thinking through things.  Many cannot relate to the way I analyze everything and write in a more serious way no matter the topic.  My passions, including politics, history, women’s studies, are not always easy to put up with.  I get all that.  I recognize that my life is different than a lot of other people our age.  I don’t have a husband.  I don’t have children.  A heck of a lot of time is spent on working and on politics.  Not everyone is into that.  I’m okay with that, but I also know that it is hard for people to relate to me.  As a kid, this really bothered me.  I was relieved when Duran Duran entered the world because it meant that I shared something that a lot of other people did.  Instead of being a total outsider, a part of me fit in.  The same is true now as an adult.  Being on tour means that I have a few days to fit in, to be accepted, to be a part of a group that I don’t get much in “real life”.

Speaking of my wacky personality characteristics, I’m sure it comes to no one that I tend to overthink everything.  I also put a lot of stuff on my shoulders as my responsibility and I feel guilty as heck when I take a break from those responsibilities.  Even Wenesday, when I was home sick (those presales often cause bad headaches, upset stomachs, etc.), I had checked into work before 10 am.  I was so worried about my classroom that I didn’t get much sleep the night before.  Thus, when something comes up that requires me to take a break from a responsibility or two, I struggle to go through with it.  I cannot tell you the number of times that I have gone back-and-forth with calling in sick when I’m actually sick.  I swear that my brain goes through every detail, every affect.  I envy those people who can just be decisive about things that affect their work lives.  I suck at it.  Funny enough, Duran is the one thing that pushes me out of this.  I don’t let myself think too much.  I just go with what I want within reason, of course.  The excitement overrides that voice of responsibility.  Maybe some of you think that is not a good reason to go, but, for me, I appreciate the break.  Of course, the break from thinking non-stop also happens on tour.  I don’t think too much then.  I just feel and react and live.

So, while I should not be going to Vegas for all the reasons I listed above, I am.  The desire to fit in, to have fun, and to take that mental break overrides the logic of not going.  Now…I gotta figure out a flight there and back.

-A

The First World Problem of Front Row

So the pre-sale for Vegas is tomorrow. Amanda and I, along with our touring buddies, have a plan. The general plan is simple: get tickets.

Let’s be honest here, shall we? I mean, I’ve already admitted I’m an addict—so really, there’s no holding back now. Why bother? I’d love front row. Who wouldn’t? There isn’t much that is more intoxicating than being in front of the band and having them lock eyes with you. Unless of course you’re a straight guy, of course. Somehow, I don’t think it’s the same for them in that respect and hey, that’s cool. But truly, to be there, in the moment, with that electricity swirling about in spitting distance from the stage (yes, I said that), is something special.

Is it worth $500 or more, though?

(I winced as I typed that, just so you know.)

Here’s the thing – I know that some people will pay $500 or even more and not even blink. I have actually come close to paying it myself. Sometimes though, I have to wonder if I’m being stupid about the entire thing. It’s a lot of money. a LOT. Is it better to do one or two shows and have awesome seats, or is it better to do ten shows and sit back about ten rows? It’s the question I tangle with each and every time concerts are announced. Fifteen years ago, I would have bought ONE VIP ticket for the entire tour. The rest of the time, I would have sat wherever I could get tickets, and that likely meant back in the second or third sections away from the stage. Having seats in the 13th row would have been amazing!! But then in 2012, something miraculous happened. I ended up in the front row at a show. The first time, I was so in awe, I stood there, frozen to the rail. The second time, I let myself go completely and it was the best concert experience I’d ever had, until the next time it happened…and the next.

I’ve been in second and third row, too. The feeling is incredible. And addicting. Obviously. But its expensive. Not as cost prohibitive as the front, but the sticker shock is still painful. As much as I appreciate the intensity of the fan experience from front row,  there is a small part of my brain whispering furiously at me that I should have NEVER sat in that front row (or even second or third row) to begin with, because now that I’ve been up there, nothing else lives up!

#firstworldproblems , right? I know. I’m lucky to have even had the chance, don’t get me wrong. Some people in the world have no clean drinking water, and I’m here writing about feeling like I’ve got to have front row. It’s freaking annoying of me, and how dare I have the audacity to address such a trivial thing. Yep, all of that is 100% truth.

Guess what? Right now, you’re reading a daily blog about being a fan. I’m writing it, but you, my friend, are reading it. Welcome. Try the Kool-Aid, it’s great!

So the struggle is real for us, the Duran Duran addicts. I’m assuming there might be a few more than just me out there in the world, circling about. I don’t actually know what will happen tomorrow (isn’t there a song about that??), but I do know that I’ve already got a hotel room booked, and other plans made. Even if I were to end up with zero tickets in my cart – which is always a possibility – I’m still going to Vegas that weekend. I’ll be the seat warmer at the bar, and that might actually be more expensive for me than going to the show in the long run! (Actually, that’s the excuse I’m gonna use when my husband asks about the price of my tickets!!)

-R

 

 

 

 

 

My Name is Rhonda, and I am an addict.

 

My name is Rhonda, and I am an addict.

On Tuesday I ran across a rumor. You may have heard or seen it yourself, although I didn’t see many people talking about it. Apparently word was out that Duran had plans to play at The Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas on December 30th. Like many of you, I rolled my eyes. Sure they were coming all the way back here again this year, I thought. Definitely. Just as soon as they send me a personal invite.

I put down my phone and began my typical morning tasks: coffee, feeding my zoo, and getting myself to work in a timely manner. I begin thinking about this rumor more and more as I finish greeting students at our gate in the morning and walk back to my “office”(which is actually a library and I sit at a folding table…which is the OPPOSITE of glamorous).

They couldn’t possibly come back again, right? Even IF they are, there’s no way I’m going. After all, its New Years. I can’t see them playing one show. One show? That’s dumb! It’s so much hassle to bring equipment here… Nah, I can’t see it. And even IF this is true, there’s no way I’m mentioning this to Walt. He’s at his wit’s end with this stupid band as it is. 

I get on to attendance, clearing out old files, and setting up new students in my system. It is kind of slow day, the first I’ve really had this school year, which is weird.  I decide to send Amanda a text, because yes – I am an addict.

I hesitate to use the words “Duranie Alert” in my text because A. it’s just a rumor, no matter how solid my friend thinks it is,  and B. that’s like pulling the fire alarm when there’s not really a fire. It seems funny to watch everyone scramble at the time, but in the end, somebody is sitting in the principal’s office and the next time you really NEED to sound the alarm, maybe no one will respond. So, I just tell her what I know. I suspect she takes extra long to answer because she’s laughing at the very thought of this show seriously happening, (not at all because she’s actually trying to do her job or something, right??)  I know better than to think she’d actually believe such a thing. I mean, it’s ridiculous, right?

She sends back a text, saying that if it’s true, we should go.

Go? What do you mean, GO? It’s the freaking holidays, Amanda! Have you lost your mind?!? There’s no way. 

Then I think back to last November. She made plans to go to Maryland without me. It was painful, but there was no changing my husband’s mind or the lack of cash in my bank account then. This year isn’t a ton different, but if they were playing in Vegas, I might be able to just drive. I mean, it’s only four hours. What’s four hours? Nothing, when you’re an addict.

No. There’s no way. We’re paying for both kids to go to school. Money is always tight around the holidays. Besides, we don’t even know if they’re really playing!! 

So I do what any normal person might. I break the news to my husband over dinner. Poor guy is in the middle of chewing when I casually mention the ridiculous rumor of Duran Duran playing on the 30th, and quickly follow the comment with “But of course I’m not going to go. I mean, that’d be crazy. I have a husband. It’s the holidays. We spend New Year’s Eve together every year…even if we don’t go anywhere or do anything and it’s really boring…..” I trail off, waiting for a declaration of war, or stony silence, which in our house, is basically the same thing.

“Would you want to go spend that time with your friends and I could just figure on doing something else?”

I pinched myself under the table to make sure I wasn’t dreaming, but he was serious. I laugh it all off, because this has to be some sort of trick question. If I say “Yes”, I’m the world’s worst spouse (probably already true). If I say “No”, then I’m stuck at home for sure. I’m also half-wondering why he’s so eager to let me go and what it means by ” doing something else”, but I let that go. 

I answer by not answering. “Let’s wait and see if this is really even a thing. It’s probably not even happening.” I roll my eyes and laugh, probably a little too nervously, and a little too heartily now that I think about it. He looks down his glasses at me, which DRIVES ME NUTS. I try not to grimace, and smile back at him.

The next morning, which is Wednesday, I get up and am greeted by a text from Amanda.

I checked hotels last night—I should not have,  but they weren’t too bad.

The plane ticket will be expensive but I won’t worry about that.

Wait, we’re at plane tickets already? We don’t even know if this show is happening!!

I answer back saying something about checking hotel prices and how that’s going to be a fortune, and mention that I’m seeing other cryptic messages from Duranies. We agree to keep a look out, and we both get back to work.  I send out a random tweet. Why? Because I’m an addict.

“TMW you start planning in advance for the thing you said you weren’t going to do yesterday.”

People “like” the tweet, which makes me smile.

I assume these people don’t realize that I’m an addict. Then again, maybe they know.  It’s fine, I know I am, too. I’ve got it perfectly under control. Totally. 

Amanda and I text throughout the day because the more I’m seeing, the more convinced I am that something is happening. That same friend who broke the news has now called The Cosmopolitan and is told that they don’t book corporate shows during that week.  Also during the day, I’ve taken the time to contact our two travel buddies and shared the rumor about the show we have no idea will happen.

One of our friends lives in Vegas and is very skeptical this show is a “thing”. Even so, she’s going to check in with some friends she knows and see if they’ve heard anything. While all of this is going on, Amanda and I have texted back and forth hundreds, if not thousands of times. Oddly, very little cursing was done. Most of it was me explaining why I simply cannot go, and then proceeding to make plans to attend. All the while Amanda is saying that she’ll believe the rumor when she sees it from DDHQ. Then we make plans on when we’ll arrive and where we’ll stay, and whether or not we think our friends are going to join us and split the cost of the room.  We divide up our in-room alcohol Costco-run, and talk about to-go cups and lids that fit. Why?  Because that’s how we roll, my friends.

Fast forward to 6:32 pm my time on Thursday night. I am sitting in a parent meeting for my daughter’s choir group. They’re planning a VERY EXPENSIVE trip to San Francisco, and we parents are being given the budget. I am sitting, furiously punching numbers into my phone calculator app, hoping to make sense of how I’m going to pay for this crazy trip. My phone rings. Loudly. It’s Amanda…and what is her ringtone?

Oh you BET it’s Planet Earth. She almost never calls, and certainly not at 6:32 pm my time. I have to decline the call, because, well…parent meeting. I know exactly why she’s calling, because my friends, I am a Duranie. I silently shake my head slowly, and try to concentrate on instructions for how to register my child for this trip. My mind, however, is wandering in the direction of the UK. My phone buzzes. It’s Amanda, texting me. I take a deep breath, knowing exactly what she’s going to say.

It is official. That show is happening.

It has been awhile since I could send an official Duranie alert. 

At first, I close my eyes and think of all the things I’d like to say to the band if they were in front of me. Some of those things are not nice, and I admit that. I love them, I hate their planning. I love that they come here, I hate that I’m funding their retirement. I love their music, I hate that I’m addicted to their live show. Well, maybe not “hate”. Strongly dislike?  Disapprove? No… I hate that their shows cost me money. That’s it!  I open my eyes, and see that yes, the meeting is still going on. Am I actually absorbing ANY of this?? Probably not. 

I put my head down and write back, because now my mind has already boarded a plane headed for England (never mind that this is a Vegas show).

I am sitting in a parent meeting for a trip where I am going to have to spend thousands. Good lord.

Eww.

That isn’t okay. 

So of course that show is happening. 

Yep.

She sends me the email she just got, which was sent to anyone who bought VIP tickets for Las Vegas on the Paper Gods tour. Basically, the email was designed to give those of us who plunked down a wad of cash to see the band before a heads up –  we’re gonna have the opportunity to do it all again.  They don’t mention venue or cost, but the date was right, and it’s happening. I read the email, even though I’m still in that parent meeting. I take a deep cleansing breath and respond to Amanda.

I am going to cry.

Of course I didn’t. But I felt like it. Sometimes, it’s hard to be Duranie. I am weak. My willpower is just, well, it’s non-existent. I’m an addict. But I’ve got it totally under control.

The following day is Friday, and it is our normal Skype conference day. Amanda and I are working on a big project – our paper that we will present in March—and so we chat nearly once a week about real things. Not shows, not gossip, just our work. Well, mostly not anything but our work. Mostly.

By the end of the four-hour Skype session, we’d booked our hotel, checked flights, and even booked an extra day so that Amanda isn’t just flying here for two days. I mean, we can’t have that, right?  We talked about what we want to do while we’re in Vegas, who we hope to see….

All for a show that we do not currently have tickets for.

We also did some work.

On Sunday morning, I checked my email. Sure enough, there’s the email from DDM, letting me know all about the show, the pre-sale on Wednesday, and that I might need to consider selling body parts in order to attend, because yes, I’m an addict.

My friend tweets that he’s hearing tickets will be $250 as a base price. VIP Ultimate Front Row is $300 plus ticket price.  That means front row will be a spendy $550.  If he is right, and I have no reason to assume he’s wrong, that’s more than Hollywood Bowl. VIP Gold – rows 2-8, will cost $150 plus ticket price, so that’s a beautiful $400.

How about blood? At this point, I’m willing to donate perfectly good blood and/or kidneys. Anyone willing to buy a husband? I’ve got one!! I might start selling my jewelry collection on eBay, too.  I mean, why not?  Could I sell some of Walt’s tools…I mean, he hardly uses them. He might not even notice! 

I’m sitting here with a couple of questions in my head. One of which is how I’m going to afford this show. The other though is that if the band and Katy already said that the Paper Gods tour is over, does that mean we’re going to get a different set at this show??

I’m an addict. Who else would write 2046 words about a show announcement? I’ve totally got it under control, though.

-R