What Should Fans Expect from the Band

Yesterday, I brought up one of, what I consider to be, the taboo subjects in Duranland:  What should Duranie be expected to know.  Another taboo subject that seems to come up again and again in Duranland is what fans expect from Duran Duran.  Let’s face it.  We all expect many things from the band but they are definitely not the same and I may not understand why you want thing x from them and I might not understand what you want thing y from them.  So, let’s talk about what we, the fans, expect from Duran Duran.

First, this goes without saying, but, we all want good music from them.  Will we all agree as to what that is?  Nope.  Yet, how much of their material should be deemed good?  Should we expect every album or every song to be at a certain level of quality?  For example, not everything is going to be as good as Leopard but everything should be as good as All She Wants Is.  I don’t know.  Is it fair to expect, at least, every other album to be good?  Perhaps, we want every album to have a certain vibe to it?  I don’t know.  This seemed to be a particular issue during the Red Carpet Massacre days.  There seemed to be quite a bit of tension in the fan community.  Yes, some of it was between the fans who liked the album and those who didn’t but there was another kind of tension as well.  Some of that tension was between the fans who thought/felt we should always support Duran, no matter what, and others that thought we should be able to criticize the band and their music. 

Second, should we expect the band members to be on social networking sites?  If so, should they be on both facebook and twitter?  Should they participate regularly; and how do you define regularly?  What if they are only on social networking sites when they are going on tour or trying to sell an album?  Is that okay with us?  While this question might, again, seem like one with obvious answers, it isn’t.  Some fans feel like band members should be on social networking sites as this might be considered part of the job in 2012.  Others feel like it is a great thing that they are and that it enhances the connection between band and fans, but that it is not necessary.  Their only job should be to make music and try to sell it by going on tour, promoting songs/albums, etc.  So, I’m asking.  What should we expect of them?  Let’s have that debate about what is fair and reasonable.

Third, should we expect the band to want to meet fans?  In what capacity should this be done?  Should the band have meet and greets at every show?  Some shows?  Why or why not?  What about in public?  Should the band welcome fans when they are out at a bar or a club?  What about at their hotel?  Should they be approachable then too?  Then, when meeting fans, should they be willing to sign autographs and/or take pictures?  Should there be limits?  Again, on the surface, this question about the band meeting the fans doesn’t appear to be one that would create friction, but it does.  Some people feel strongly that the band should be left alone in public.  Others are passionate about the idea that part of their job is meeting fans and being willing to sign autographs and take pictures.  Then, likewise, those two sides may get annoyed or bothered by the fans on the opposite side.  So, let’s really talk about what we expect from the band.  It would certainly stop some potential bad feelings if we knew what people thought about the issue. 

Lastly, what should fans expect when it comes to the team surrounding Duran?  Should they be held accountable, even if they are far removed from organizations like Artist Arena, or should we understand that they don’t oversee every little aspect of Duran Duran?  Some fans obviously expect that Duran knows and does something about the people that are working for them.  Others think that they have a lot on their plate so they can’t pay attention to everything that is happening.  Perhaps, both sides get annoyed with each other then.  One side thinks that the fans who complain to Duran about their team are being negative and the other side thinks the positive fans are naive and being taken advantage of. 

So, readers, I ask you.  Where do you sit with the question of the day?  What should we expect from Duran?  What about those fans who don’t agree with you?  How can we get consensus about issues regarding the band?

-A

11 thoughts on “What Should Fans Expect from the Band”

  1. Thanks for always thought provoking blogs! Today, I am just catching up and processing from yesterday. Since my brain doesn't process as quickly since the injury, and too many questions at once causes a reaction akin to the computer freezing up, I will wait and respond later. Good questions. Maybe I will just answer one. Or is it like Pretzel M&M's–I can't eat just one (answer just one question).
    Deb

  2. Part 1: 1.Should we expect every album or every song to be at a certain level of quality?

    No,then it would be boring for them and for us. I believe that the band values their art and talents.I like that not every song sounds the same as in some bands.They are not afraid to experiment with new sound,new producers,etc. Quality is subjective.

    2.Is it fair to expect,at least,every other album to be good? Perhaps,we want every album to have a certain vibe to it?

    It is unrealistic to expect this from any human being.People are unpredictable by nature and that’s what makes each day different.If the sound were the same,it would seem contrived and formulaic,almost as if the band(or any for that matter)was just going through the motions to get paid.If there’s anything I expect from DD is that the sound will be different on each album. If I wanted the same,there are lots of artists whom I could choose from to be completely bored by.

    3.Some of that tension was between the fans who thought/felt we should always support Duran,no matter what,and others that thought we should be able to criticize the band and their music.

    To me,it is not an either/or stance.I think both are possible.I can support the band no matter what AND be able to criticize them and their music.

    4.Should we expect the band members to be on social networking sites?

    I think the band has learned that times have changed,and that in order to reach fans and sell records,social networking,iTunes,YouTube,etc. are a new vehicle for promoting the band.Of all the band members,it surprises me most that Nick has not taken to it as he is so tech savvy musically.JT has been the one to jump on the bandwagon first.It’s great that Simon is beginning to engage now that he has his iPad.I just think it’s a good fit for them,and a sign that they have kept up with the times,whereas other bands have just rested on their laurels and not personally engaged with fans through social networking,choosing to hand it over to management instead.

    5.should they be on both facebook and twitter?

    I personally would like them to be on both equally,as I am only on twitter.content posted on one to be available on both.I say,whichever medium those band members feel most comfortable with using,if at all,is what they should use.

    6.Should they participate regularly;and how do you define regularly?

    I think that band members should be participating every moment of their day to the point of even doing it while on the toilet,even mid-concert.I think they should reply to every single post and tweet and think my/our comments are the best thing in the world.That they want to follow me,hang out with me,become my friend, invite me to dinner,on tour,make me a 2nd wife.

    7.What if they are only on social networking sites when they are going on tour or trying to sell an album? Is that okay with us?

    How dare they use social networking to do anything than to love me and their fans?Don’t record stores sell albums?

    8.What should we expect of them?what is fair and reasonable.

    They should worship us as without us they would not be where they are today.

    9.should we expect the band to want to meet fans?

    Of course.Isn’t what it comes down to?Being a fan comes with certain entitlements,especially old timers who are hard core fans.Devil horn wearing,sign makers,boob flashers,panty throwers,home tattoo bearing,vanity license plate carrying members and many more.

    10.In what capacity should this be done?

    Anywhere it is convenient to me as a fan. Anywhere I want to be that is in their space.

    Stay tuned for Part II, Deb

  3. Here's part II: 11.Should the band have meet and greets at every show?Some shows?Why or why not?

    this is obvious.Meet and greets should be held in every city they tour,whether before or after the show,the day before the show,the day after the show.Heck,even on vacation with their family,when there is no show.It is their duty since as I said earlier,we MADE the band,they OWE us.

    12.What about in public?Should the band welcome fans when they are out at a bar or a club?

    Fans have an all access, 24/7/365 pass to the band.If at a bar or club,they need to pick up the tab,too!

    13.What about at their hotel?

    Yes.And I should be able to have a key to their rooms.

    14.Should they be approachable then too?

    Of course.They should be grateful we love them. They should bow at our feet for loving them so much.

    15.when meeting fans,should they be willing to sign autographs and/or take pictures?

    Certainly.And,if I invite them to my home,my birthday party, etc.,their RSVP should be an enthusiastic yes!And they will play.

    16.Should there be limits?

    Of course not.We own them.There are no boundaries.

    17.what should fans expect when it comes to the team surrounding Duran?

    The customer(the fan)is always right mentality.

    18.Should they be held accountable,or should we understand that they don't oversee every little aspect of Duran Duran?

    if the management team,whether close or removed, does not honor the customer as being always right,the customer will go elsewhere.

    19.What about those fans who don't agree with you?

    I believe all fans “should” and “must” be on the same page regarding these issues and agree with my beliefs about these expectations.

    20.How can we get consensus about issues regarding the band?

    Just believe everything I say and then there will be consensus,because I,as a fan,know the band.Those that KNOW the band,know what fans should believe about issues regarding the band so consensus can be achieved if we just follow suit.

    Deb

  4. LOL Great posts debvphd. 🙂

    As I see it though there cannot be a consensus. There is no such thing as consensus in fandom. Everyone has different ideas. I also agree it is entirely possible to be both supportive of the band and critical of, say, an album you don't like. What's not right, I think, is to act like it's some sort of personal betrayal if the band tries something musically that someone, as a fan, doesn't like. The band have done plenty of things I don't like over the years musically(most of Medazzaland and Pop Trash for example LOL), I've never take it as some sort of personal betrayal or claimed that the fact they did it meant they were creatively bankrupt or selling out though.

    I think they try to do the best they can and their best at any given moment in time is not always the same. Sometimes “their best” is better than it is at other times, and those times are mostly subjective(I'm sure there are people out there who like Medezzaland and Pop Trash more than Red Carpet Massacre, for example, even though I like more of Red Carpet Massacre than those two albums combined:))

  5. I agree with Anon, there's consensus right there!
    Define fan community. If we are talking about the A&R duraniverse, I am fine and dandy.
    The thing about being a fan, as has been a topic of exploration of late here, is that we may all define that differently. Take sports. I grew up in Baltimore. I consider myself an Orioles fan. Do I watch games? Do I go to games where they play the team where I live? Do I own any merch? Do I belong to any social networking outlets to join with other fans? NO. I consider myself a fan because out of loyalty to where I was born and bread. With team sports, that's how it goes.

    Some of you may be saying to yourself “she's not a fan” – but I consider myself one, regardless of being a part of a fan community. Different definitions of what a fan is and how that is expressed by the individual is what makes the fan base interesting and diverse. Who am I to judge one's expression of fandom?

    That's why consensus is difficult, and unrealistic. It presumes that there is an agreed upon definition about what a fan is and how they think, feel, and act. Sounds like a “God complex” to me. I'm not quite sure why consensus is really necessary on matters related to the band, coming up with an agreed upon definition (HAH!) on what a DD fan is, etc.

    I heard a joke today that applies:
    How many psychologists does it take to change a light bulb? One, but only if the light bulb wants to change.

    See, people in the “fan community” would first need to see that there is a need to change. Some people are happy the way things are. Some are not and are not afraid to say so. Others keep silent. Some may be too new to know.

    [I'll spare you all a lesson on Prochaska's theory of Readiness to Change]

    Remind me again what it is that consensus is needed on? suggested?
    We certainly have no track record of consensus in other areas of life outside of the duraniverse. Are we so special that we can achieve something that no party has yet to achieve for long?

    Deb

  6. I defined the terms “fan, fan community and fandom” in the What is Fandom blog post (http://www.dailyduranie.com/2012/04/what-is-fandom.html).

    While people may have different definitions of what a Duranie is, judgement follows from there. I argue that discussions need to happen, that openness needs to happen in order to minimize that judgement, to minimize the conflicts between fans. We aren't even really talking about what it means to be a fan. We all assume ONE's definition is correct.

    As far as there never being consensus in the real world, that is absolutely not true. As a historian, I'll provide a solid example. Consensus was reached during the Constitutional Convention on what the Constitution of the United States of America needs to say, to include. It set up a government that has lasted for over 200 years. Did different members of the convention have to compromise? Absolutely. Yet, they talked and talked and talked until they had a document that they all could agree upon. That's consensus.

    Perhaps, you think that everyone feels welcome in the community. I hear from many, many people who don't feel that way. Thus, in my opinion, something needs to be done.

    -A

  7. Hmm…the only comment I'm going to make here is that in my opinion, music can be (as in it has the potential) to be an incredibly personal experience. When you've had that experience before with a particular band, and then experience new music from that same band and feel as though they've turned a direction that you didn't see coming, I don't honestly know how that wouldn't feel like a personal betrayal at least in part. -R

  8. Wow.

    Here are my thoughts – and you all are (as always) welcome to disagree.

    To begin with, there is an entire area of sociology dedicated to fandom. That's the area in which Amanda and I are both coming from with regard to both our blog and our book. As we've explained numerous times – we are examining WHY people get drawn to fandom, and what makes them continue to stay. I think that in order to understand where Amanda is coming from here, you'd need to know that much.

    Secondly, I think it's a pretty lofty goal to hope for consensus on ANY issue related to Duran Duran beyond “We all like them”. There's nothing stopping us; however, from bringing various topics of concern to light here and talking about them. I'm always amazed at the responses, whether people choose to comment or not – especially when Amanda and I know damn right well that the very same people who read our blog are the same that whisper about a lot of these hot button points when they're not on our blog. We read your status updates, people. We're friends with you. We Know.

    Lastly, if you'd have been reading our blog from the beginning – you'd know that we tend to direct the blog to die hard fans. The definition of fan (and I'm positive we've defined the term more than once here) is widely encompassing, and of course when we're talking about people who read the blog, who go to plenty of shows, who visit message boards (much less are very involved on those boards) are far more intense than just your average fan who might buy a record. Sorry if that wasn't clear before, but honestly – how many casual fans are going to read our blog every single day? I'd argue nil to none.

    I'm not sure that we'll ever come to a consensus on many things – and I'm not really sure that's really what is intended as a function of a fan community of any size, but I do think that communication is key. Amanda and I aren't afraid to rip out the carpeting and expose what needs to be exposed and said, and there are definitely no easy answers (or even just ONE answer) to many of these topics, and that is OK. It's food for thought.

    -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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