The More Things Change…the More They Stay the Same

Duranland seems to be in a slight frenzy this weekend over Nick Rhodes’ birthday.  No, it isn’t that people are still wishing him a happy birthday.  It isn’t that.  People seemed to be done with that on Friday.  No, what has gotten so much attention this weekend is his party!  Based on everything I have seen and heard, this seems like it was quite an event!  Pictures of the party are all over facebook.  Heck, even dd.com posted about it!  DD.com’s post described how Nick thought it was “extraordinary” and listed many of the celebrities in attendance.  The pictures posted that I have seen included pictures of various band members along with other guests.  According to dd.com, the event took place at Hamilton Gallery in London.  If my google search is correct, this gallery focuses on photography, which would make sense for Nick Rhodes. 

Now, it seems to me that neither this party nor the fans’ reaction to this party is any different than any other time in Duranland.  Both seem to be rather predictable.  First, no matter where Duran is at, career wise, financially wise, they still manage to throw or be at quite the parties.  I, obviously, wasn’t anywhere near this party or any other party that they have been a part of in their 30 years plus career.  I just find it fascinating that they are still involved in such elaborate affairs.  Perhaps, this says a lot about the band, but I suspect that it says a lot more about Nick.  After all, he has always been the band member to be out and about at elegant affairs.  He is the one who is most often spotted at art shows, at gallery or movie openings, at fashion events or some other but equal type of events.  Thus, this type of event seems fitting, seems normal for Nick.  I’m not judging it other than pointing out that this is common for Nick.  I’m sure it is also more common for the rest of the band in comparison to boring people like me.  Thus, no matter if the year is 1984 or 1994 or 2012, Nick is still being Nick.  What is more interesting to me is that the official website and those who run the news articles felt it necessary to post about it.  It isn’t really news about the band.  It doesn’t get me excited for the upcoming shows this summer or make me think about the fact that they are going back in the studio in 2013.  Why do it then?  Do they want the general public to think that nothing as ever changed and that the band parties at glamorous events with other celebrities?  Does it help their image somehow?  I’m not asking Duran to change.  I’m just wondering why the official website wants to post about this. 

The fans are still being like themselves, too.  Many, perhaps even most, of us have moved past just liking Duran for their looks, if we ever did.  We are far more interested in talking about the music now than we might have been in 1983.  Back then, conversations surrounded a variety of topics related to Duran and only a small percentage might have been about the music.  Perhaps, a lot of fans spent time talking about the videos or some interview they saw or read about.  I’m willing to bet that a lot of us talked about the latest photos to come out.  Heck, I’m sure that a lot of bought one magazine over another based on the pictures included.  I can tell you that I, personally, compared centerfolds, how many pages focused on Duran and more when deciding which magazine to purchase in the grocery store.  After all, as a kid, I had a pretty fixed budget!!!  Anyway, it is fascinating to me that this party of Nick’s is getting so much attention from fans now in 2012.  Is it because we still get all giddy with the latest photos?  Is it because it gives us proof that they are alive and doing well?  Is it because we are so thristy for any Duran news at all?  In all likelihood, it is a combination of all of the above.  What does that say about our fandom?  Has it changed?  Has it evolved at all? 

It seems to me that events like Nick’s birthday bash brings all involved in Duranland back to their roots.  For the band, it means partying with fabulous, famous guests at fancy places.  For fans, it means that we try to find the pictures from the events to get all excited about.  Is this good for us, fans?  Is it good for the band?  Do these events not matter at all?  I leave that for all of you to decide.

-A

*Edited to add:  I just watched a video on DDM that was a member only video with Roger talking about Nick’s birthday.  He talked about how every guest needed to paint a picture or submit a photo.  Why didn’t the official site talk about that?  To me, that is very Nick Rhodes.  No, instead, the official site focused on which celebrities were in attendance.  If they really felt it necessary to talk about who was there, why not include the artwork they gave?  Again, to me, that would have celebrated Nick’s birthday more.*

6 thoughts on “The More Things Change…the More They Stay the Same”

  1. I don't know, is it really any different from when Simon turned 50? The website posted the video of him getting that awesome gift from his bandmates, which just like Nick's “art gallery event” was very fitting for Simon.

    As I recall the big birthday party itself(what was 50 of his best friends? I seem to remember it was something like that) was featured in a fashion magazine–Vogue maybe?, it was like a 2 or 3 pages of pictures).

    They are celebrities after all, so it kind of makes sense for The Big Five Oh to get some attention and in Simon and Nick's case they were first and the last to past the 50's threshold so maybe a bit of extra attention(though I think I sort of vaguely remember something about Roger's 50th party in a magazine but I'm not sure if that was mentioned on the band's own website in anyway)

    I guess what I'm saying is, it's one of those life thresholds so it makes sense both for the band's website to make a point of it and for the fans to be interested. It's only natural. Lots of people make big deals of their friends and family members big days and for fans, the band members probably hold a special place in their heart(though hopefully not on the same level as actual family and friends:) so it's nice to live a little vicariously looking at the pictures of how they celebrated. It's getting attention because it's pretty natural, imo, that the people who make the music are also important to fans and we like to see them enjoying themselves with their own family and friends(I hope:))

  2. The blurb posted on dd.com mentioned all of the celebrities that attended the party. This is very different, IMO, from showing the rest of the band giving Simon his birthday present. One seems more personal and the other…

    I think it is totally cool for family, friends and fans to get all excited by this important birthday. I would have been more excited for a video like the one with Simon. I prefer personal over famous. It's cool, though, if others disagree with me.

    -A

  3. I think it just depends on the guy. I don't remember near the coverage when Roger turned 50 and maybe that's because his personality isn't quite as “social”. I remember the records they put together for Simon – primarily because I thought the idea was so cool. I have almost zero memory offhand of John's. Nick is different though. He seems to be out and about a lot, and a party for him with his friends – however famous they might be – seems appropriate. I guess I didn't think too much about the website posting about it because it was Duran news. No, it wasn't directly about the band – but the band did take part, and I liked that they shared it with us. It's still news. -R

  4. The photos I saw were very 'society magazine', and seemed very in keeping with the party crowd Nick socialises with. My first encounter with him was at one such party (I was working the bar, I hasten to add!) and he – and Simon – do often seem to pop up in the party pages. So I'd say it was situation normal. Just glad they managed to keep it a secret from him!

  5. Yeah but as I said it's fitting for Nick. Nick's into that sort of stuff, both as a participant and the study of it. Those people may be celebrities but they were also guests of his party(ies) and a lot of them MADE Nick gifts, they made artwork for him, that is personal. He's friends or at least long time acquaintances with a lot of those people.

    Simon's thing fit Simon, Nick's thing fit Nick, imo, including the mentioning of celebrities. It's also much easier to film a video of Simon's(which I still sometimes go back and watch, it's such a sweet thing, both the gift, which was brilliant and thoughtful, and Simon's reaction, he was so thrilled and touched) than to make one of Nick's, which would be crowded and busy and spread out over a large area.

  6. Makes total sense to me… I think it's great that we were able to see any of what was done for each person, and I think you're right: Nick's party was as perfect for him as was Simon's albums, and I'm sure whatever was or was not done for Roger and John was what they wanted to have happen as well.

    50 is a big milestone that I'm not all that excited about reaching myself… 40 was weird enough! 🙂 -R

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