What Happens Tomorrow

There is a thick cloud of depression in the atmosphere. I’ve noticed it just about everywhere this week – from my house where things just aren’t quite right due to a death in my circle of friends all the to Facebook and Twitter, where fans are generally mourning the end of an album cycle along with the end of a tour, and fear of what comes next – the unknown.  

I know most of you have read rumors and things over the past week. It’s tough to escape them, really. As somebody said on the blog earlier this week, “it’s tough to stop that rumor mill once it starts”. Then this morning a radio segment from Heather’s in Hollywood was posted on  Lite105 fm where Heather talks about Duran Duran canceling their world tour.  In the segment, which I am NOT posting here because of what I’m about to say, she says that when she spoke to John Taylor about this tour, he mentioned that it might be their last.  She then says that she said “Really?” and John follows up with “Well, you just never know”.  Of course the implication that Heather is making…irresponsibly and sensationally in my opinion…is that this was probably their last tour.  Some people will apparently say anything, or make inferences that don’t need to be made simply to cause sensation.  

It’s like doing anything to sell records.  😀

My point of course is to say, never fear, Duran fans. This too will pass, and I’m betting that the band will be back, better than ever. I have faith in that…and you know what? It’s nice to have faith in something these days!

I’d like to share the note that Nick had posted on duranduran.com this morning. I’m posting it here in it’s entirety:

The People we’ve met, the things we’ve seen and the places we have been.
Firstly, I would like to personally apologise to everybody who had tickets to attend the shows which we were forced to cancel during the final week of our world tour. I know how far some of you travel to see us perform and how seldom we reach some of your cities. We never want to let you down. In this instance, it was truly unavoidable. I contracted a virus, which dragged me down and left me entirely exhausted. Although I made it clear to doctors that it was my express wish to recommence the tour as soon as possible, they all strongly advised that I needed to recover properly, which regrettably, meant resting for the remainder of this week.
It was enormously disappointing for everyone in the band and our crew, whom we have worked with over the last twenty months. We were very much looking forward to celebrating the finale in grand style, with you, as this has undoubtedly been one of the most exciting and rewarding periods of our entire career. There is nothing I loathe more than having to cancel concerts. I’m sure you can imagine how much more pleasurable it is for me to see your smiling faces every night when we perform, rather than be isolated in a hotel room, feeling miserable, dealing with endless doctors. I am relieved to say, I have only ever had to cancel a couple of shows, in almost thirty five years, due to an ear infection, but this was particularly hard to come to terms with as it was the last week of nearly two years of touring and we were hoping for a triumphant conclusion. Now it feels incomplete.
From the onset of this project, when we released All You Need is Now in December 2010, we instantly felt electricity in the air. It developed into something we could never have imagined. There have been many highlights: our first time at SXSW, making a live movie directed by David Lynch, Coachella, The Girl Panic! video, A Diamond in the Mind, my extraordinary surprise birthday party (organised by the band and Wendy Laister), the pre-Olympics gig in Hyde Park and frankly, every single show on the tour.
From me and the rest of the band, we want to say a gargantuan thank you to everyone who has worked with us throughout this time. We rely upon you to make it all happen and we know what an exceptional contribution you have all made, which has resulted in us being able to consistently produce some of the best shows we have ever played.
For those of you who came to see us, as ever, you are at the very heart of what has kept Duran Duran alive and kicking for more than three decades. We are so happy you were there to share the experience with us, we greatly appreciate your support and hope you’ll come along for the ride next time. Who knows where we’ll go…
Much love.
Nick
That doesn’t sound like a note from someone who is planning to go away, so once again I say – keep the faith! I thought it was one of the kindest, most thoughtful messages I’ve seen from any one of them, and for Nick to have written it while I’m sure must still be feeling horrible makes it all the more special. 
I’ve never really seen the fan community quite like this, in all of my years of being a fan.  It isn’t just about the outpouring of concern for Nick, or the post-tour let down. There’s a genuine and completely organic sheet of sadness that is covering the community right now.  People are posting pictures and memories on one hand with a mist of uncertainty and wistfulness on the other. It’s really difficult to wrap ones head around what is really going on.  After some thought, a few things that I’ve come to grips with on my own is that the one thing that I had hoped for with this epic album has come true. The band and the fans have finally connected. I can remember complaining here on this very blog prior to the album being released about how the band seems untouchable. None of us (or very, very few) could get anywhere near them – it was as though they were at arms length – like enigmas that float in and out of our lives at random. While that image is very “Hollywood Celebrity-like”, it’s just not what works in today’s world. It’s not like any of us were expecting the band to show up for dinner at our homes (They are always welcome here of course!), but there was that sense of elitism that I just don’t think was very becoming or supportive of the band in the year 2010. (or 2008 for that matter…) We fans were as equally responsible for that as the band though.  Let’s face it, the band had plenty to be afraid of. We used to run after them in their limos.  (Ok, maybe we still do that.  I did point at a particular not-quite band member and wave at them in their SUV one night in Durham…although there was no running involved!)  We used to show up at their hotels. (hmm…) We used to scream for their attention. (Oh wait.) Above all else though, we put them up on needle thin, screamingly high pedestals and expected them to never fall. It would be wonderful to believe that they are really the knights in shining armor we always believed that they were when they were hanging in the form of pinups and posters on our bedroom walls…and perhaps in our most private daydreams that’s how we continue to envision them; but I believe that Twitter and Facebook have helped to make them just the tiniest bit more human. I give the band a huge amount of credit for being willing to extend themselves, even partially, to the fans. We’re still pretty nutty even after all of these years. We still expect far, far more than we could ever give in return. I still will see tweets from people that go a little something like this “I can’t believe John Taylor just RT’ed me!!!  It’s as though we spoke to one another!!” If that doesn’t make people feel more connected, I just don’t know what else would. The band, or members within, have made efforts to mingle with fans when given the opportunity, and it’s those small little things that I think have made the difference.  
It’s different this time. We know they’re going away, and rather than mourning the loss of just seeing them at shows, I see a lot of posts and tweets mourning their absence on a personal level from those precious social media sites. Who knew this would happen back in 2008?? Certainly not I. It’s a very different time to be a fan now. This album has been all about treasuring the moment. At nearly every single show I attended, Simon made a point to explain that All You Need is Now is about just appreciating this little bit right here. He couldn’t possibly have been more correct….and I think that for the most part, we did. It’s a lesson that I am trying my best to continue into my daily life (and if you think that’s easy with three kids and a husband that honestly doesn’t get me…you’re crazy.), and it’s one that I will continue working on for quite some time.  
None of us know if we’re going to get a tomorrow. My friend Laurie most assuredly didn’t know that Saturday would be her last LA Dodger game, and none of us knew that our margarita lunch on Mission Viejo Lake with her would be our last one together as a group of five. These are hard truths for me, but the key here, and this is important, even if we HAD known that, I wouldn’t have done a single thing differently. I know none of my other friends would have either. That’s the same way I feel about this tour in general. I went into this with that same idea – don’t leave anything behind, and have zero regrets.
Facing uncertainty is easy. I don’t transition very well, and the unknown scares me. The beauty of being part of a community though is that we can express these concerns to one another and face them together. It’s yet another silver lining in fandom – we still have one another to lean on.  Lean away!  
-R

18 thoughts on “What Happens Tomorrow”

  1. Rhonda that was awesome. I think everyone is feeling a bit 'uncertain' right now. Thanks for keeping things in perspective and reminding everyone to not get caught up in the rumor mill:)

  2. And, we have JT's book to tide us over!

    The notion that “this tour may be their last” has allowed me to convince my husband that spending hundreds for each show is worthwhile. I just hope I wasn't right this time!

    It doesn't seem like anyone is committing one way or the other. But if anything, I doubt the band would want to end Duran on this note.

  3. After the cancellation of the remainder of the shows on the tour, I have to admit that we did talk about what no fan wants to even contemplate – what if this was/is their last tour?

    I don't even want to think about the possibility that this was it for them, or that the show I went to Friday night, which unexpectedly turned out to be their last show on this tour, might have been their last show ever?

    I honestly can't see them not doing something with their music in the future. I can't imagine putting away something that has been part of your life for more than 30 years, that you clearly enjoy doing, and never revisiting it again,ever.

    That being said, it's been one heck of a ride over the last 18 months with the band, and I am just glad I could be part of it! Time for them to enjoy some well deserved rest and relaxation – they've earned it. I am sure that the fans will be waiting for their return (whenever that might be)!

    -Susan-

  4. I've been one big ass grump this week, and I believe part of it is due to my Duran comedown. I was truly riding high last week getting two more shows in, and meeting up with people. The night of Portsmouth, I was really sad back at the hotel room. The fear of when will I get new music & a tour hit me. I only just started to go through my photos last night.

    I was happy to read Nick's incredibly thoughtful note, makes me feel better knowing that he is on the mend (and yes, I got a little teary-eyed). It is amazing the transformation the band has had with socializing with the fans. Simon jumping out into the audience and pulling people on stage (in all of the shows I've been to, never seen that until last year). Heck, they were even saying hi to repeat concert going fans on this leg of the tour. It really made me love them even more, knowing that they are recognizing some of us.

    Back in April 2011, at a local radio acoustic performance, John talked about how social media brought a lot of fans together (reconnected me with old Duranie friends), I'm so thankful for that. I've loved meeting new people, having silly fan-girl chats, and even having non-Duran related one's (what?!). So I know, I will make it through to the next round of whatever the band throws our way. Bring It Boys! In the meantime, I will make due with silly chats, live recordings and the amazing back catalog of the music I so very much enjoy (except Shotgun ;p).

    Sorry for the essay, I've just been brooding the hell out of this for a week now.

  5. I really hope you're not right either Suzanne. As I keep saying: I am not done yet!!! I agree though, this isn't the note the band wants to end on…and I have to keep going back to what John said not more than a few weeks back: they are going back into the studio in February. Sure, Nick became ill – but I have to think it's nothing that serious, and hopefully this ride hasn't come to an abrupt stop. -R

  6. Hey, we WANT you to post here. That's the entire point, so don't be sorry.

    You're saying everything that I'm saying here…THIS is the relationship we've been waiting for, and now we've got it. I can't imagine that after a break, the band won't want more.

    I'm just going to hold onto that for a while and hope for the best. -R

  7. Nick's note was very thoughful and lovely. It's too bad they didn't get to out with a bang but they have a lot to be proud of.

    I have no clue what that lady was talking about – the band doesn't seem remotely like they want to retire. They seem very up for the future. I understand she's supposedly basing it on something John said, but well, you can't always listen to John when he says things like that. LOL He exaggerates sometimes. I'm sure what he said was just meant in the sense that you can never tell when you're last tour will be. Not everyone gets to prepare a big farewell tour(to be honest I'd rather they didn't do one, I'd rather they just sort of stop and “fade away” from the touring scene, hopefully not for at least another decade:)).

    The band knows this because they've had friends who've died unexpectedly, Robert Palmer, Michael Hutchence, etc. While I hope John wasn't thinking thoughts like that in answering the question, the point is you don't always know.

    PS: I'm pretty sure Simon brought people up on stage at some points during the 2005/2006 tour, I've seen videos on youtube of fans up on stage introducing him during that time period.

  8. I just want to point out that I've seen Simon have people introduce him way before this tour, and so whether he invited them on stage or not (and I think he did if I remember right), the fact is – he gets involved and I love that.

    I am not sure how I'd want them to go out, I just know that it can't be right now. At LEAST another decade…they can do it!!! 🙂 -R

  9. Barring some unforeseen circumstance, I feel very confident in saying that there is zero chance that we have seen the last of Duran Duran.

    They are better now as a band than they have ever been. Where else could they achieve the same kind of success that they have right now?
    They need each other and I know they're not ready to give this up at still a relatively young age.

  10. This post was beautifully written! And like everyone else, I cannot imagine this is the last tour Duran will be on. Perhaps the last tour so strenuous… but I feel fairly confident that John's statement was made in the context of AYNIN, and living in the moment. That has been a theme this tour, not only with the music (D'uh!) but also with a lot of interviews the band has given.

    It is amazing the way they have connected with fans this time around. And it is amazing that this old(er) band still has new tricks up it's sleeves, and new ways of capturing the hearts of not only long-time fans but new ones as well.

    It is impossible to say how much, and in how many ways I adore this band. The end of the tour (for me personally missing out on Pittsburgh & Kettering…and I had fab seats!) is bittersweet. Although I will miss the guys over the next year or two, I am so freaking eager for the next chapter.

    And on that note… time to start adding $$$ into the Duran tour savings account =)

  11. I always feel like I have a different take on things. I never get withdrawals because the band never tour my area. That's one way to avoid the melancholy!
    As for connecting with fans – yes, if you are in the areas where you saw them or got close in some way. There are still large chunks of the fanbase waiting for that connection whilst watching the band focus on the same regions once, twice or three times.

    It has been a brilliantly successful era and thrilling to watch from the sidelines, but for my personal experience nothing changed.
    I don't bother putting aside a travel savings fund. As much as I love them, the 25-30 hour flights are a bit pricey and draining.

    So many have been so lucky and it's wonderful seeing the recognition and respect the band have received.

  12. Seven-I don't think Rhinda was referring to the shows or touring to connect the fans to the band. The connection has come from the, reaching out on various social networking sites (twitter and Facebook). This is different than say in 2008 when they toured quite a bit in the same places but many of us felt very distant to them as it felt like there was a wall between us and the band even if we were in the same room. In this case, the shows just reinforced a connection that had already been made.

    -A

  13. Yeah, I've kind of decided to start putting money aside each week so that when the time comes, I will be ready. Ha. I say that every time. 😀 Maybe this time I'll actually do it!! -R

  14. Yeah, I wasn't really talking about the shows as much as I was talking about the social networking. The shows haven't really changed – the band (Simon in particular) has always been REALLY good about getting the crowd involved, reaching out to fans in the audience, that sort of thing. No, the difference this time is that now they're making a very good and concerted effort to chat when they can online through Twitter or just telling us what they're up to with Facebook. That's another dimension entirely, and it's one that can be experienced no matter what part of the world you live in these days – I think the internet is available nearly everywhere in some capacity. I recognize that's only one part of fandom, but in my opinion – it's an extremely important one. In just the last week alone I've ran into quite a handful of fans (both here posting on the blog and on twitter) that have NEVER been to a show before (even though they live in areas where the band has actually traveled) and yet due to the social media, they feel as connected to the band as anyone else…and now they are excitedly awaiting the next tour so that they too can see them.

    -R

  15. Yep, I was refering to social media connection too. Sure there's more interaction – but it still feels like something is missing. A lot of the connection is based around commenting on where they physically are, or previews that are about to happen/happened (eg the ADITM screened at stupid o'clock for many of us – hence no connection there) etc, and it still feels like there's a bit of a missing link. It's a vast improvement and a fantastic experience to have access like this though – I agree.
    Your last sentence there kind of sums it up for me though Rhonda. 'Excitedly awaiting the next tour'…I am not – as I never expect to see them. That's not a sulk – it's a statement of fact based on 30 years. After all these years you get used to watching from the sidelines. It's not worth getting excited about. Excited about knowing they are working, yes. That is wonderful. I never expected anything more, never demand it. I am happy they are still working.

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