Twitter-a-thon!

Apparently, John Taylor was one busy guy on twitter yesterday.  I came home after meeting colleagues for a few drinks to discover a TON of tweets from the Bass God himself.  After grumbling about how I’m never home when he is tweeting, I got a snack and sat down to read what he had to say.  Obviously, I wasn’t that excited by a lot of his tweets but I did notice some of them, for sure!

The first thing I always look for in John’s tweets is news about the band and he did not disappoint on this front.  He mentioned that he would be meeting up with the other guys next weekend.  (Did he mean this weekend, July 30th, or next weekend, August 6th?!)  He was also asked about US tour dates that we had all been hearing rumors of but have seen no evidence of.  His statement was that he had dinner with their agent and that they would be announced soon.  Okay.  So, there are tour dates.  Good to know.  Of course, there is a big part of me that wonders about Simon.  Will he be able to sing at shows?  Do we know that for sure?  Are they waiting to announce until they do know for sure?  How will they know for sure?  Then, of course, I wonder about when these dates will be.  People need sometime to plan and venues certainly need to book well in advance.  They really can’t wait too long if these dates are going to be in September/October. 

Beyond the current Duran news, I noticed a few questions about Andy and a few questions about music.  I have to admit that I was surprised by the questions about Andy.  People wanted to know if he missed Andy (said he did), what he thought about his parts (liked them) and whether or not there is discussion about Andy rejoining the band (none).  I can understand fans thinking about Andy and even missing Andy as many fans really think of Duran as the Fab Five.  Yet, I also wonder how many times John gets asked questions about him.  It seems like he gets more questions about Andy than he does about Warren, for example.  It also seems to me that nothing is going to change on that front.  Andy isn’t rejoining the band, but neither is Warren.  Duran is what it is now.  That said, I think it is natural for fans to want to know about Duran’s past, which is probably why someone asked about RCM.  The question there was about John disliking RCM.  His response was that he never said that he didn’t like that album.  Here’s the thing about that question:  John may or may not like that album or any other album Duran has done but he isn’t going to say that he doesn’t like it even if he does.  He still wants to sell copies of it and who would buy an album that the artist himself doesn’t like?  Interestingly enough, he later stated that he didn’t like music that was “soulless contrived bullshit”, which I thought was interesting since that is what RCM represented to a lot of people. 

Beyond the Duran or music related questions, I noticed some questions about religion/faith, addiction, swear words, and gay marriage.  I’m always fascinated by these types of questions.  I definitely understand wanting to get an insight into John’s thinking and opinions.  As a John fan, I want to know as much as I can about the guy.  That said, I’m always sort of uncomfortable by these questions.  They seem too personal or too far removed from his job, his role.  Plus, I always worry about fan reactions to his answers.  What if his opinion on gay marriage is the exact opposite of the person who asked the question?  What if his religious ideas are very different from yours?  Is he in danger of offending people?  Yeah, I think he is.  I always feel like he can’t win with these questions.  It makes me wonder how he decides which questions to answer.  Does he just look at the next question or does he pick out ones that he likes?  It also makes me wonder what kind of questions fans should ask.  Should we really ask personal questions?  Do we have a right to?  Yes, I realize that there is freedom of speech.  I’m not arguing that.  Of course, we can ask whatever we want.  He can answer whatever we want.  But should we ask whatever we want, even if it personal?  Should we put him in a position to feel like he has to answer something that is beyond his job?  I don’t have the answer to these questions.  It is just something I think about after this twitter sessions.  It is food for thought.

-A

Challenge Update:  Day 14 (Favorite performance clip) Results
There were many great performance clips chosen!  The most popular ones were Wild Boys from Working for the Skin Trade, Come Up and See Me (Make Me Smile) from Hammersmith, Save a Prayer for Amnesty International in ’87, All She Wants Is from Hong Kong ’89 (JoSi!!!!), and Late Bar from Songbook.  If you haven’t seen these clips, I suggest that you check them out.  Good, good stuff!!!

8 thoughts on “Twitter-a-thon!”

  1. He was ON FIRE last night! He responded to two of my tweets. I asked him if he ever wore prescription glasses anymore, and he said he'd had Lasik surgery a few years ago. (Which I'd suspected, but it seemed too personal to just come right out and ask him that, so I went at it a different way.) And then I sent him a link to an old picture I found of him on Getty images, looking at a copy of Time magazine with the giant headline “COCAINE WARS” on the cover. He has a very goofy look on his face, and he seemed to get a kick out of seeing it. I don't know if he remembered it at all.

    I do think people ask him some REALLY personal stuff, esp. about his political/religious views and ideas, but he has absolutely NO obligation to answer any of it. The volume of questions that get thrown at him is huif he didn't like. I'm sure he has offended some people, and it's up to them if they can get over it or not.

    We crave this personal connection with them, but then are we really prepared to accept the person we find? I haven't been disappointed yet, in fact I think it's made me appreciate him even more.

  2. Call me a cynic, but I'm convinced that people who put themselves in front of the public have a taste for it, a need for it. It could be any need really–the need for attention, or a need to generate buzz for a project. And since the tweet sessions turn out to be a large interview by hundreds of Barbara Walters, I don't really see how it's any more intrusive than doing a one-on-one interview.

    But good manners should prevent us from asking deeply personal questions to a stranger. However, I think that John probably doesn't seem like a stranger to a lot of people. He's been a part of our lives for so long that we feel as if we know him, and are therefore entitled to perhaps be a little more personal than we otherwise would be.

    Simon said in an interview that Twitter's been great for them, since it allows them to interact with the fans in a way that's more comfortable for them. I suppose that if John wasn't comfortable with it, we wouldn't see him as often as we do. (and I'm glad we do see him!)

  3. I agree with you. Semibold. John is so free and vulnerable, how can you not love him? The more he shares, the sweeter he seems. Sometimes I can tell that he has to justify answes to questions he has fielded on Twitter, and I feel badly for him. Just an example of not being able to please all the people all the time.

  4. Sometimes I have to wonder if some fans are regularly connected to what's going on the Duran Duran front because they ask questions where the answer is readily available (either on DD's website, well-known answers from present/past interviews, previously covered topic). I can see where a NEW fan may be just discovering stuff that veteran fans already know so I'll give 'em a break. Yet, I suspect some people ask questions ALREADY KNOWING the answer but just wanting to get John's attention to reply to them personally.

    I'll admit some questions that people ask make me roll my eyes because they're so…ugh (you know what I mean)!! Yet he answers them. Meanwhile, there are some really interesting questions raised and they go unanswered. I can imagine that it's a challenge for him to answer every response because he gets so many but still…
    How many times has he been asked, “What's your favourite ______?” after JT has plainly stated, “I don't do favourites”? How many times must someone post “How's Simon's voice”? Well, f*ck people, WAIT FOR HIM (Simon/JT/dd.com) TO TELL YOU INSTEAD OF ASKING EVERY FLIPPIN' DAY!!

    Twitter is hyped as this new way for celebs and fans to interact directly with each other but in reality, this access can be both a blessing and a curse. There are obsessive, crazy people out there just as there are some really sweet, fun individuals to encounter. I get the impression that only a select few fans seem to “get through” (usually the person[s] that post the most replies/questions). I don't have tons of things to say or ask John so I'm content to read what others tweet instead but I doubt I'd get a reply anyways. Always the same batch of people getting responses. It can get boring/frustrating at times.

    Asking personal stuff: I can understand the curiosity but I generally wouldn't initiate probing into such personal areas. However, if THEY bring up certain topics during the course of conversation, then I think it's fair game for open discussion. I dunno…I think it's unfair for them to be expected to divulge their innermost thoughts when most of us wouldn't dare do the same thing if pressured by complete strangers. It's a fine line–giving one's true opinion may affect your career or upset people so it may be more prudent, on a professional level, to keep one's mouth shut. If you're willing to handle any sort of consequence as the price for speaking your mind, well, that's fine. If there's any alignment between myself and the DD members, I'd rather find it in their music than their personal views because I'm less likely to be disappointed.

  5. Amanda and I have spoken in depth about this false sense of familiarity we have with the band. The fact is yes, we've known them for years as far as they've been on our bedroom walls, we've seen their interviews, watched them age, etc. However, that's where the familiarity ends for 99% of us. They don't know us, they don't know anything about us other than we're a fan. To assume that just because they've been a part of OUR lives that it somehow entitles us to be more personal seems to be a bit of a stretch. John is extremely kind when he answers political, religious or other questions we throw at him, but I don't think we can safely assume that Simon, or anyone else in the band would react the same. Ultimately yes, it's up to him to decide what he should or should not answer, but I have to wonder why it's so incredibly important to some fans to continue to ask such questions. – R

  6. I like to think of myself as a fairly polite person who tries not to make other (famous or not) people uncomfortable…but not everyone chooses to stay within boundaries. Some people are just unmindful of boundaries and common courtesy. Like madame duran, a lot of the questions/comments to JT make me cringe. Logically, you're right, it is a stretch to assume that because they've been a part of our lives it entitles us to be more personal. But I don't know what other explanation there is for the personal/political questions.

  7. Lots of great comments!!!

    @semibold-I, too, have not been disappointed by John at all. I wonder if everyone can say the same, though. I suppose the more he shares the greater the chance for both disappointment AND reinforcement of people's fandom. The reality is that we became fans because of his music not his personality or political views.

    @LaodiceanDD-I wonder if all celebs do grave attention. Maybe they think they do. Maybe they do sometimes. I suspect the reality of being a celebrity is much different than the fantasy.

    @Madame duran-I wonder why people do ask questions about info that is already available. I guess I'm more of a person who only asks questions that I really want to know. I don't keep asking questions just to get him to respond. I think that is being respectful of his time. I do agree with you that if he brings a topic up himself then it is fair game.

    -A

  8. @laodiceanDD – I totally agree with you, and you're right – I'm absolutely convinced that the reason people ask such questions is that false, one-way sense of familiarity. I think social networking in general helps to even further that – we see what he posts, we're able to comment, and I'll bet many assume he reads it all. I know I comment to Roger and Dom on Facebook, and so naturally I must assume they read, right? (well, no – actually I don't assume they read. I answer as though they do, but the truth is that I answer assuming other FANS will read, but that's just me.) Regardless, count me among those who openly cringe at times when the fans get started – whether it's online OR in person. 😉 -R

We (Amanda and Rhonda) appreciate discussion and differences of opinion. We respectfully ask that you fully read the blog before bitching us out. If you're only here to take us down a notch, note that we moderate replies (meaning we're not printing rude comments). Thanks a bunch!

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