The Music’s Between Us or Is It?

For the past week or so, the Daily Duranie has been doing a theme of sorts by telling our stories of meeting the band and having guest bloggers tell theirs.  When Rhonda and I originally discussed how we would handle the blog during the summer and with our real life plans, we came up with this theme.  We also came up with another theme that we thought a lot of people would want to read and talk about, which was people’s favorite show or a show that really meant something to them.  In reaching out to our Duranie community, we asked people if they wanted to write guest blogs about these two topics.  We received 8 guest blogs in total.  How many of them were for favorite show?  One.  That’s right.  ONE.  Some people’s meet and greet stories talked about shows but they also talked about meeting one or more band members as well.  This, of course, got me thinking (What doesn’t? some of you might be thinking.)  I immediately wondered why we would get more meet and greet stories over concert stories.  I would suspect that there are a LOT more people who could talk about concerts.  After all, by this point, I think there are a lot more people who have been a Duran show than have met the band.  Am I right in that assumption?  You tell me.  So, if it isn’t about number of concerts vs. number of meetings, what is it about?  Is meeting the band so much more exciting than going to a show?  Is meeting the band what it is all about?

One thing is certain.  It is much more difficult to meet the band than it is to go to a show.  Now, I know that some of you could point out that it is hard to get either because they never come to your neck-of-the-woods.  Very true.  My point is that it is easier to get tickets to a show than meet the band, in general.  First of all, all it takes (ignoring any geographical challenges) to get a ticket to a show is money.  One cannot buy a meet and greet.  (I hear the arguments here.  Yes, money might help but it isn’t like buying a ticket.)  If people would be able to, then I’m sure a lot more people would have met the band.  Assuming that meeting the band is a more unique situation, this could make it more worthy to talk about.  Yet, I don’t have the feeling that “meeting” the band is as unique as it could be.  Now, I haven’t taken any sort of poll but it seems to me that while a lot of people haven’t met the band, a lot have.  More than half of the fanbase?  I don’t know if it is that high, especially depending on how one’s defines meeting, but I suspect it is higher than 10% of the fans who are reading this blog, commenting on our daily questions, and really participating in the fan community.  So, while I think it is rare, it isn’t that rare.  On the other side of the coin, I’m willing to bet that a lot of people can talk about their favorite Duran show.  Heck, I bet most of us hardcore fans would have a show or 10 we could talk about.  Clearly, if we continue to go to more shows, at least one show must have been good.  Why don’t people want to talk about it?  Isn’t Duran’s music interesting?  Aren’t their performances note-worthy?

I don’t have the answer.  Is the band or members of the band more important than their music?  I doubt anyone would openly say that.  I’m sure that most people would argue that they love the music first and foremost and there is no reason to doubt the truth to this.  Yet, the music isn’t what seems to grab people’s attention.  Maybe, this has more to do with fame and celebrity than it does with Duran, specifically, or Duranland.  Would the same be true for people who went to see many plays with one’s favorite actor or actress?  Would it be more notable to meet that actor than it would be to see those plays, no matter how fabulous the performances, storyline, set, etc. are?  Maybe.  Yet, at the same time we were posting those wonderful meet and greet stories, I heard from fans who had a bad meet and greet.  Some examples were that the band members didn’t seem to want to be there.  They didn’t look at people or talk to anyone.  Other people mentioned how they didn’t even acknowledge fans who had been waiting for them.  This leads me to ponder something else…we, as fans, know that the music is consistently good.  When you are seeing them perform live, the assumption is that they will do well.  The expectation is high but one that Duran continues to meet time and time again.  Meeting them, on the other hand, is filled with such high expectations, usually years or decades in the making.  There are so many emotions connected that when it goes well, it is understandably important to note. 

This leads me to my last question and, maybe, a better question for Duranland.  Which would be better or more important to you (without judgement):  Having a bad meet and greet or attending a great show?  I, personally, feel like I answered this one, in a way.  In 2011, I had the chance to be at a bar with a number of members of the band after a show.  I didn’t say much to any of them (not my style) but I was thrilled to be standing near Dom and Roger.  Yet, that show will not rank as one of my favorites.  Why?  The concert itself was fine.  Decent.  The problem was that the show didn’t wow me and the people I was with could have really cared less.  Yet, in the UK, I didn’t see any members of the band after the shows and I had an absolutely amazing time.  It was a tour of a lifetime.  Clearly, being around the band didn’t make it so special.  What made it special was how good the shows truly were (mind-blowing!!) and being surrounded by my best friend and other really fantastic people.  That’s what did it. 

What about the rest of you?  What matters to you more?


13 thoughts on “The Music’s Between Us or Is It?”

  1. Great question. I think it depends on what you're looking to get out of the show or experience. Sometimes it's about the performance (For example, last year's Mayan Theatre show). Sometimes it's about making new friends and reconnecting with old ones. Sometimes it's about dancing your a** off (I went to the Borgata show last year and hardly watched their performance but yet I had the BEST time dancing with friends throughout the entirety of the show! Yes, I may have been a bit inebriated, but still!)And sometimes, it's about the whole experience. The infamous Baltimore show back during the Astronaut tour was a multitude of desires for me. (1) It was the first time I was traveling for a show (2) It was my first time meeting all of the friends I had made on the DDM boards back in the day when it was fun (3) It was about possibly meeting the band.

    That show still goes out in my book as the best Duran experience ever (and not because I intro'd Simon that night!) because I met so many wonderful friends, including one friend in particular, who has become one of my dearest friends, and I have that show to thank for it.

  2. Tough choice. But as much as I would like the opportunity to meet the band (not that is likely to ever happen in this lifetime unless hell freezes over), if I were forced to make the choice, I would choose the great concert experience over a bad meet and greet.

    And my reasoning is this. If a meet and greet were that bad, I'd be afraid that seeing them fall off their pedestals (granted its the ones we put them on) might really change how I view the band and their music. The bad experience more than likely be what I would remember most, rather than all the other fun times that go along with being a fan.


  3. Great question and great talking points. I sat and thought a bit before I decided how to respond. Truth is, music is and always has been the most important thing to me. I've gotten to meet the band and say hi a few times now (some good, some great, some not so great) and it was an amazing event to finally meet someone that influenced me so much as a singer. I taught myself how to pick out harmonies from listening to Simon. They raised me to be the audioscape snob that I am. But that circles right back around to WHY they're my idols; the music. Maybe it's easier for me to say that because of age. Maybe it's because I've watched this band take their fans for granted on way too many occasions. I know that over the last three years my priorities have greatly shifted. That shift is realizing how important my friends were to me. I'm sure it's varying degrees of all of the above but even if you take that away, there's one thing that's been a golden rule since I was old enough to put words together: Don't mess with my music. The only times I got good and truly pissed while on our Duran adventures was when someone disrupted the show for us; spilling their drink on us or being so blasted they were being obnoxious. Trying cut into the crowd and stopping to stand right in front of my petite best friend so she couldn't see. Stupid, inconsiderate crap like that. You pay for a ticket to see a band; why in God's name would you wipe yourself out to the point you're never going to remember it the next day? I mean, whatever. It's your money, but it's MY experience you're encroaching upon in the process.

    Anyway… I'm really happy for people that have amazing stories about the band. I have a few too but when it came down to deciding what moved me more to write, it was my time with my two favorite things in the world: My amigas and my music.

    Grey Rzeznik

  4. Grey-I think you and I are on the exact same page! Don't get me wrong, I would, of course, love to have the chance to interact with the band, but I want fabulous shows and times with my friends MORE.


  5. interesting question – not having had the experience of seeing them live yet (that's coming in 8 days – not that I'm counting it down or anything) I am hoping for a great concert experience over anything. I'm almost glad that I didn't get to see them back in my teens, and I think hearing and seeing it through grown up ears and eyes (and from the perspective of being a performer myself now) will give me a better appreciation for the experience as a whole.

    as for meet and greets, those kind of lost their magic for me during the 10 years I spent in radio as a deejay facilitating many of those between artists and listeners. You could always tell when the artist's heart wasn't in it and then you had the fans that forgot that the artist was a person too and it would just go downhill from there. Always reminded me of trying to herd cats…

    Thanks for your great blog 🙂

  6. It is cool that you are counting down to your first show! I'm counting down, too! I hope your concert will be fabulous! You must come back to tell us all about it. As for the meet and greets, I think you hit on a really good point. Does the band like them? Do fans forget that they are people?


  7. Amanda and I talked briefly about this over emails when I was on vacation. On one hand, I get it. Meeting the band is a big deal. Everyone who has had their moment has their story that they want to tell. I have mine; you have yours, and so on. On the other hand, it kind of makes me nauseous – I'm sickened by my OWN actions as much as anyone else's though. I really do believe we forget that these 5 guys are people. THEY ARE PEOPLE. The trouble with that though, is that we don't KNOW them as people, and I suppose that is really the way it's all supposed to work anyway. We know them as enigmas. Fantasies. Idols. We don't really know them personally. We know them strictly as a commodity that has been marketed, sold and treasured by many of us for a good many years now. That's a tough fact to get past, and yet we all want that opportunity. Some practically sell their souls to have the chance, others of us would gladly sign on the dotted line just to have one of them wink in our general direction. How sick are we…erm…am I??? 😀

    I told Amanda that they must feel like pieces of meat at times. That bothers me both as a fan of their music and as a person. It isn't always pretty to look in the mirror. -R

  8. In my experience, I found that it really depended on the genre of music. The absolute best as far as fans & artists?? Country. The worst??? Hard rock. Don't get me wrong, all genres had their jerks on both sides of the “velvet rope”. We have a term in Nashville that you never want to be accused of and that's “germ”. Don't know where it comes from but it means that type of fan who acts like a complete idiot and just makes everyone in the room uncomfortable….
    If I ever have the opportunity to meet them, I would hope that I would keep in mind that they've been on the road for over a year and they're probably exhausted and just ready to go to the house, in the event that they happened to tumble off the pedestal I've had them on in my mind :).
    Can you imagine what that's like?? To have to stand there and be nice and gracious and smile and flirt and what have you when all you wanna do is just get out of there?? But they do it for their fans – most of the artists I dealt with knew which side their bread was buttered on, if you will, and were awesome to everyone. I like to think that Duran would be right up there with the best of them 🙂

    P.S. I wish you two were hitting the Memphis show!

  9. We talked about going to Memphis…we really did, but I knew I was already pushing my luck by announcing that I would be gone for 6 days, so we agreed to cut it back to starting in Biloxi this time. I wish we were able to meet you though!!

    I can honestly say I would hate the schmoozing side of their job. I am moody by nature and I don't know that I could actually pull off the flirting on a constant basis. Who knows though…maybe it would be fun after a while. I'm not sure. I think that it would be incredibly difficult to remember who you REALLY are after months of doing that constantly. It would be an interesting question for them, but I don't know that they could ever really be honest about it – I mean, it's sort of like biting the hand that feeds. (even though I think there are some of us that would completely understand)

    I hope you have a fantastic time – only a few days now!!


  10. 2 days and a wake up, now 🙂 I said today that ONLY for Duran Duran would I brave Memphis during dead Elvis week…

    Maybe next time they'll hit Nashville and we can all meet up!! I'm sure you'll be hearing from me after Friday's show, once I have my pulse back down to normal 😉 be safe touring!

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