In my continuing quest to keep moving forward, I decided to see what else has been going on or connected to Duran Duran this week besides the big story. Typically, when I see something Duran related and lack time or energy, I just save it to refer back to it. So, that is where I started this afternoon. What the heck did I save? Ah, yes. My friend shared an article from deadlines.com about a TV show in development. What is the TV show called Juicy Stories about? This is how the website describes it:
Juicy Stories is the story of how two women in their 20s created the iconic “Juicy” tracksuit and turned their $200 investment into a billion-dollar business — and a life-long friendship. Inspired by the lives of Skaist-Levy and Gela Nash-Taylor, Juicy Stories tells the tale of two women who made clothes, made mistakes, made babies — and made one of the most iconic brands of the 1990s, Juicy Couture. These “Juicy Stories” — both aspirational and sensational — flash back to Los Angeles in the 1990s and are narrated on camera and in the present by the real Pam (Lawfor) and Gela (Serafino), still business partners and best friends.
For those people lost, Gela Nash-Taylor is John Taylor’s wife. According to the article, which you can read here, the show was inspired by the memoir, The Glitter Plan, written by Pam Skaist-Levy and Gela Nash-Taylor. (Fun fact: Rhonda blogged about that memoir here.) Now, I admit that I know very little about the history of Juicy Couture and, unlike Rhonda, I did not read the book. That said, I can appreciate the idea of celebrating both female friendship, which is clearly an important piece of the story, as well as successful women. It sounds like the show will feature mostly women, which I can applaud.
But on to the important stuff! If this is about the story of Juicy, will John Taylor also be there? Indeed, Gela’s husband will also be a character on the show. In fact, he is described in this way, “Gela’s sexy, charismatic, actor/musician husband.” What is interesting or perplexing or curious, depending on how you look at it, the characters playing Gela and Pam will be called “Gela” and “Pam.” Yet, the John character will be called, “Drew.” Huh? I wonder why. I think that is weird. So, who is the guy who will be playing John/Drew? His name is Tanner Stine who is also in Impulse, Here & Now and Zac and Mia. I won’t lie. My knowledge on actors is way limited so I have no idea if this guy can act well or not. He looks like this, though:
Does this guy seem like someone who could pull off playing John Taylor? Here is a video of the show, Impulse, in which he plays Clay.
I have to admit that I’m not sure. First of all, he is really young. Second, he has really blue eyes, which does not match at all. Yet, in fairness, I’ll admit that I have a hard time imagining anyone being good enough to play John Taylor. I’m a bit biased.
Now, I admit that this isn’t typically a show I would turn in to, despite the female focus, but I probably will just to see how this guy does. I am curious to see how John will be written and portrayed. There does not appear to be a date for a premiere and the show is only in development so my guess is that we will have to wait awhile. Hopefully, it will be worth the wait.
It’s Monday, and there’s another year-end Katy Kafe up at DDM, this time with the ever-delightful John Taylor! Don’t worry if you haven’t listened because we’ve got the highlights.
John Taylor on “Do They Know It’s Christmas”
As done with Roger, Katy opens the Kafe by asking about Band Aid. John talks about how the song is a testament to Bob Geldof’s entrepreneurial spirit and Midge Ure’s musical talent. He describes the experience as being “rare” with sublimated egos. The song itself? John Taylor calls it a “good pop song that hasn’t gone away”, going so far as to say it was the best pop song of the era. Can’t totally agree, given that Rio et. al was also of that time…but you know, “Do They Know It’s Christmas” holds its own. John also comments that Peter Blake‘s sleeve artwork is some of his favorite.
John Taylor – Favorite Album of 2014
John Taylor was less-than-thrilled with the albums this year, and begins by saying he doesn’t really know if there was one that was his favorite, although he does mention Mark Ronson’s song “Uptown Funk“, feat. Bruno Mars as being the song of the year. Eventually though, John mentions a particular compilation of Elvis Presley songs as being music that has come to be important to him. Up until this past year, John liked the early Sun Records recordings that Elvis had done, but on this particular CD – “From Nashville to Memphis 1969”, in particular a song called “This is My Story”, struck John. So there you have it, music fans. Want to know what has inspired John this year? Get hold of some Elvis and go listen!
John Taylor on Movies…or Television…of 2014
Katy asks about movies this year, and John says he didn’t see many movies, sticking mostly to television. He mentions “Nashville” in particular, claiming to once again be addicted to the show. He says it is the best TV series (ever) about music and likens the songwriting process seen on the show to real life. He also mentions other shows such as “The Knick”, “Orange is the New Black”, “The Fall”…and generally just likes TV!!
John Taylor on Concerts of 2014
Once again, John prefaces by saying he didn’t go to many concerts this year…which is why it didn’t shock me when he mentioned Miley Cyrus. We’ll skip talking about her and move right on to Eminem and Fleetwood Mac, which were apparently very good live. He mentions their longevity and how there’s a sense of camaraderie on stage with them that Katy also sees with Duran Duran (agreed!!). On the other hand, John mentions how back when he saw The Police on tour, they never even used to look at one another – but that they were always that way, as an audience member you could always sense the tension there and it was one thing (of many) that made them interesting.
John Taylor on his Favorite Book of 2014
John didn’t read many books this year, either. (What did he do all year – you’d think he was stuck in this studio this year or something!) He does mention The Glitter Plan, by his wife Gela and her business partner and best friend Pam Skaist-Levy and proclaims this to be the book of 2014.
John Taylor on his Best Event of 2014
In the summer, John went to see The Winter’s Tale and loved it so much he returned to the studio to insist that everyone else go see it. Nick and Simon went and apparently loved it as much as John.
John Taylor also talked about working with Nile Rodgers. For John, Nile really helped to elevate his playing. Nile would play guitar and rather than instruct John as to what to do – John would simply play along, being inspired by Nile. He is the “total musician”, and John is still feeling how playing with Nile changed him. He would love to play songs they wrote with Nile on a stage.
John Taylor on Looking Ahead to 2015
He is looking forward to getting the album out, although it appears we’ve still got quite a wait ahead. John says that the album may be out “In June”, but with some serious hesitation, adding that “It’s possible…” He says they have a lot of work ahead of them to do in order to make that goal, which is nearly the same exact thing he said last year at this time. He said they finished “on a high” this year by getting the first stage of mixes done with Spike Stent and now he just looks forward to Christmas in the UK with friends and family, smelling pine trees and wrapping paper.
Once in a while I do something so completely out of character that it even surprises me.
This time, I read a book.
To be sure, my reading something wasn’t very shocking. I wish I had even more time to read…and I will truly grab anything from political-based non-fiction (I just like reading things from a variety of points of view) to women’s fiction and romance. (And if it has the name “Karen Booth” on the cover I’m sold. Immediately.) However, this time, I actually read a book that at least in part, was centered on fashion. I can tell you the last time that happened. Never.
Anyone who knows me is well-aware that I am no fashion diva. I live in denim and t-shirts (along with sneakers or flip-flops). I make no apologies for that – it is who I am, and while I might not be the most edgiest dresser in the world, I’m comfortable, and that matters! I love art, I adore music, love books…but fashion just isn’t something I’ve ever cared much about. Don’t ask how I’ve stayed a fan of this band for so long…I think I’m more interested in the way they use their artwork and media to convey a message than I am about their clothes (which I realize is part of the story…so I’m not a complete loss), but don’t tell them that, OK? It’s our secret!!
So, back to that book. Believe it or not, I read The Glitter Plan, by Pam Skaist-Levy and Gela Nash-Taylor. Truthfully, I heard about the book from one of John’s tweets (so social-marketing really does work, by the way…), but to be completely honest, I probably would have read the book had I found it on my own (and I would have – I am an avid Amazon shopper!), and here’s why: these are two women – best friends besides – who started a huge, successful company on just $200. I wanted to read their story. They took their passion and did something with it, and that seems to be a common theme here on the blog this week!
I had very little idea of what to expect when I started the book, aside from perhaps a few preconceived notions on my part. The truth is that many many years ago, there was an article in my local paper (OC Register) about Juicy. The interviewer spent an afternoon with Pam and Gela, and he made them sound as though they were the type of women who were brainless, spending their afternoons mindlessly shopping and speaking in baby-talk, trying to be cute. I remember reading in this same article that Gela specifically said that they’d never make their clothes larger than a size 8 because you can’t be glamorous if you’re bigger than that. I’m not going to argue whether or not that is factual at this point (either the quote from my paper or her feelings in general about size, because I don’t know the truth and it really doesn’t matter for this blog), but I’m a size 10 and have been since I was a teenager…and I feel good about my size. No fashion designer has the right to take that away from me, and so it was something I always kept in the back of my mind. Now, maybe some of that is a good description of them in some limited ways (shopping sounds like it might be a hobby, and I can’t/won’t fault them for that), but in others?? So, I’ll just say that going in, my expectations were low, but I had hope.
I’m going to get real here for a second. I don’t know Gela. (I also don’t know Pam, but since Gela is married to John Taylor…well, you get the point.) I’ve never met her, and while I’ve heard stories through the ever-present rumor mill – I would really like to give the benefit of the doubt to just about anyone before making my mind up rashly. Up until today I’d never even heard her voice before, believe it or not! I also know that there’s a certain faction in the Duranie community that is unhappy (I’m being as polite and PC about this as possible) with the use of fur in her clothing line. I don’t run their business, and I *do* support their choice to run their business however they so choose. Period. Additionally, I support MY choice, and YOUR choice as a consumer. But my blog isn’t the place for grandstanding and soapboxing – you all have your own Facebook and Twitter accounts to do that if you so choose. I respect your right to voice your opinions. I also appreciate your consideration and respect for how I choose to run this blog. On the other hand, I wholeheartedly welcome comments about the book. I encourage discussion on the topic at hand, always!
All of that aside, the one thing the book did do (aside from being entertaining!), was inspire. I watched an interview of Pam and Gela this morning – I think was called Good Day Book Club – that’s where I heard them speak for the first time. Gela made a point near the end of the interview to say that one of the reasons they wrote the book was to inspire. She felt that if they could do it, others could as well. It takes passion and drive, and there’s plenty of that on example in the book.
While it’s true that when they’d start really talking about fashion a lot of the names and things they were saying went over my head (who is brainless now?!?), I couldn’t help but be impressed with the mere fact that they were so impassioned by what they wanted to do that they just went with it. Once again it’s a case where some people are just dreamers, and some are doers…and the ones who take the risk are the ones who succeed. Pam and Gela didn’t really have safety nets; they didn’t have irons thrown in the fire in three different spots – they went after the one thing they wanted most. That makes sense to me. If you’re really that passionate about something you do, or if you really want something that badly, you do whatever you have to do in order to make it work. I think that a lot of my life has been spent thinking “What if” instead of “what can I do to make it happen?”…and maybe I’m finally getting to the point where I’m starting to think about what can really be done.
I was surprised when I came to the end of the book. These didn’t seem like women who were hell-bent on making “less-than-petite” women like me feel bad about themselves. They didn’t seem like they were brainless, either. (Uh, hardly.) There was one passage in the book when they talked about going to Taco Bell, and truthfully – I nearly fell over when I read that, and I did have a moment or several when I murmured “They’re just like us. Huh. Who knew?” In fact, there were a lot of times while reading that I thought they sounded very similar to Amanda and I (words I never really expected to type). I kept thinking how maverick they were about the whole thing – they had no idea what they were doing a lot of the time, and they basically just tried to break as many rules as possible. This sounds remarkably similar!
Whatever preconceived notions I may have had of Juicy, of Pam, and especially of Gela, went out the window after reading the book. These two women seem incredibly smart, business-savvy, and fearless. The book was a really fun read, I learned quite a bit, and maybe…just maybe…I’ll pay a little bit more attention to their clothing line as a result, even though at this point, it is way out of my price range unless I decide to never attend another DD show ever again in favor of buying clothing instead.
Let’s not go THAT far….
To buy The Glitter Plan, and I highly recommend that you do…click on the picture!
An outspoken examination and celebration of fandom!