Which Member is Most Popular?

Recently, I have begun to think about people’s favorite member of the band.  I’m sure that part of the reason I have been thinking about it is because I’m missing tweets from my favorite.  No, it isn’t Simon!  Perhaps, I have been thinking about this because I have seen a tentative release date for John’s book.  (According to Amazon UK, it is supposed to be out on September 20th and has the title, “A Million Little Seductions.”  What do you all think about that?!)  Maybe, it is because Rhonda’s favorite really has changed or because the topic of favorite band member came up the other day with our question regarding best friend or stylist.  Anyways, it seems to me that people still have favorites but that the favorites in Duranland has changed.  That’s my theory, anyway!

 Back in the 1980s, I’m willing to bet that John Taylor was the big favorite.  He was featured on quite a few magazine covers.  I’m not saying that others weren’t but he seemed to get the most.  I don’t have any statistics to back this up but I do remember hearing somewhere that the Smash Hits with John on the cover in a swimming pool from 1982 was the biggest selling issue.  I also remember him winning a lot of best looking contests or polls.  After that, I would have definitely said that Simon was the close second.  A lot of the fandom seemed to be split between these two.  Just to be clear here.  These are my observations.  I don’t have facts to back up my statements, just my memories!  From there, fans either liked Nick or Roger.  Nick girls seemed to be more artistic, possibly more Goth.  Roger girls seemed to be more traditional who liked the quiet guy.  Andy came last, at least with the people I talked to about this back in the 1980s. 

Now, I’m not sure if this observed hierarchy has remained the same.  It seems to me that Roger’s popularity has increased dramatically since the reunion.  I wonder why.  Some of the guesses I have for this are that people appreciate Roger a lot more since he was gone, people think he aged super well, people’s tastes have changed since they have grown up, or people appreciate the fact that Roger seems to be a lot more approachable than he was.  For example, I know that I have seen Roger out and about after a show.  I have also heard a lot of others say the same thing.  On the same token, I would say that John has lost fans or isn’t as many people’s favorite anymore.  Again, I could make guesses as to why.  Maybe people don’t think he has aged well.  He doesn’t seem that approachable with fans in person.  He tweets but isn’t going to show up at a bar after the show.  Maybe fans want their favorites to be reachable.  As kids, we never expected this but now we might.  Since we are now able to show up at their hotels or at bars or clubs that they hang out, we expect or request their presence. 

That said, there still does seem to be a definite John side and a definite Dom side on stage.  People still openly request to be on John’s side, for example.  I know that when we were selling our tickets for the UK, the tickets on John’s side seemed to go faster.  Does that mean that he is still the most popular?  I don’t know.  How can we tell?  We can check follow numbers on twitter.  As of now, here are the twitter stats:  Simon has 56, 412 followers.  John has 32, 517.  Roger and Nick aren’t on twitter.  Roger does have 20, 830 fans on facebook.  Okay.  What about on DuranDuranMusic?  There, John leads with the most posts in his area of the message board followed by Simon, Roger and Nick.  How should these statistics be interpreted?  Maybe Simon has more followers because he is the most well-known and non-fans follow him?  I don’t know.  Maybe John fans are more obsessive on DDM or maybe more of them are members there.  Again, I don’t know.  Then again, there are a lot of groups on facebook dedicated to Nick.  Maybe this is where all the Nick fans go.  Maybe that is done because he isn’t on social networking sites. 

Maybe the hierarchy of favorites hasn’t changed over the years.  Maybe John still is the favorite.  Maybe he did lose some fans or maybe Roger has increased his fanbase.  I just don’t know.  So, I’ll leave it to you to answer.  Who do you think it the favorite band member for most of the fans?  How can you tell?

-A

22 thoughts on “Which Member is Most Popular?”

  1. I think you are right that it's John. Not based on any data just a gut feeling.

    I also think Andy and Warren have passionate followings because it's felt that they gave the band some measure of legitimacy in each of their tenures…e.g. Duran would get painted as a girlie/teen band, but you see them live and Andy would be jamming on the guitar and give them an edge…as for Warren, just the fact that he (and Nick) were the creative glue that kept the band going for the 90s engendered some loyalty from a segment of the fan base.

    I think Roger is more popular now because he finally looks into the camera and talks! And agree that Simon has always been a close 2nd to John, and then #1 during John's absence.

    Who's Dom?

    PS-just kidding…

  2. I agree with the thought maybe among durannies online fandom it's John, but the general public it's Simon. I know non durannies who like their music but who couldn't even name the other members. On aside note, in the 80s I was a Simon and John fan, my best friend was an Andy girl, my sister was John, and my mom was for Simon…lol…guess it depends on the person. This past October I saw them at MSG (2nd row) and brought a friend who likes them but has never seen them live (and isn't a durannie) and her comment to me after the show? Wow he's really good looking in person. She was talking about Simon. (Btw I did give her AYMIN and the live CD as a prep for the concert, and Careless Memories and Sunrise are her gave songs…after that one comment she said they sounded really good)

  3. Well Amanda, I would say it's Simon, just by listening to the applause in show when they present the band member. Nick and Simon are the soul of te band. John is an important part too, but many of his fandom is for his beauty more than is musician part (ridiculous for me, I love him as a musician he can be ugly it would not change my mind on him). Roger being the quiet one isn't as popular and he was away for a long time. Andy surely isn't the most popular having let down the group two times. Warren was popular I think, the guitar player always is popular and he was by far the best guitar player. Sorry for Rhonda, but Dom isn't a member yet. 😉 So I stick to my applause hearing, Simon is the most popular.

    Pat

  4. It's true, Dom has not been given his official title of “band member” just yet. He's been playing with the band for over 7 years, been on multiple tours, written for multiple albums….and I have seen Dom with the band more times than I saw Andy and Warren with them COMBINED. For me, that's enough to say he's part of the group…but yes, I know many fans who continue to wish and split hairs. I feel for me to some degree, because they are missing out…but then again, I am one of those people who liked Dom from day one, and I never needed to have him be called a member to feel like it was acceptable to support him.

  5. My iPad hates the blogger comment engine… I wanted to also comment on Simon being the most popular. I think that for most people who are not diehard fans, Simon is the voice of the band, and he is the one that IS Duran Duran, to many. It's probably one those of us who follow them with any kind of religious-like behavior that recognize it takes far more an just Simons voice to make it DD. back in the 80's though? I think John was definitely the most popular. He was on the magazine covers (Tiger Beat and all!), and at that time, it was my generation…teenyboppers that we may of been, who loved them. I have even read where there was a certain amount of friction between John and Simon with regard to their popularity…and of course the number of women they would attract.the beauty of this band though, from day one and continually even today, is that all five (four) members had their own fans. It is fairly unique, to at least some degree, to have a situation where each band member be attractive, personable, and have a sizable group of fans of their own right….even though my favorite happens to be the one guy who hasn't been around since the 80's.

  6. I would say that John is still the favorite. Over the last 28 years I must have asked people a million times 'Who's your favorite' and 'John Taylor' is the answer I have heard back the most often. I wear my Duran Duran shirts out in public all the time, and the comment I hear the most is 'Is John Taylor still hot?'
    I sigh and reply 'Yes, but Simon is still hotter'
    I tend to center myself in a Simon universe out there in fandom, and somehow the JT Army STILL manages to infiltrate. I say it all the time 'You JT girls are everywhere!'
    and then I heave a great, big LeSigh…….

  7. Interesting comments.

    This is my POV. When I first discovered the band in the 80s, it was Nick I first fell in love with. Then I sort of waffled between Nick and Simon and John, but think more so between Nick and Simon–maybe because my best friend at the time had a thing for John and I felt funny about him being my favorite too! Who was married also played some part of who I liked at any given time, being the naive teenager that I was. Never had a thing for Andy or Rog, even though their posters were on my wall.

    It pretty much remained a steady rotation between Nick, John and Simon. Nick was the artsy one, John was the handsome one, and Simon, well he often proved the most entertaining of the bunch.

    Today, it's pretty much the same, a Nick-John-Simon thing, though I greatly respect Roger as a musician, and love Dom's guitar playing. Simon still gets the audience eating out of the palm of his hand, ever the showman, which I love seeing.

    My husband, who came with me to the shows, and didn't really know their music beyond what he had heard on the radio, made the point of saying that for him, Simon (voice) and Nick (keys) were really the keys to the sound of the band, which I thought was an interesting observation.

    -Susan-

  8. What I was trying to say last night was that there's really no wrong answer to the whole question of favorites, and we're very lucky that way with this band. I have to say that for me, I don't personally care for this topic in general because I feel it tends to dissolve itself into “who is the most important member of this band” I know the point Amanda was trying to discuss though, and it's appreciated.

    -R

  9. Rhonda, I was just playing with you about Dom. I have to admit at first I was not happy with his work but he did a lot better this year. Filling the shows of Andy and Warren is not an easy task and I don,t think it is easy for him not being a member. In another way I understand the band not being in a hurry to do so. They had been into so many different lineup in the past.

    For the beauty of the guys I think that more than plastic beauty they are beautiful people. John is probably the most human a bit fragile, and always very open. They are not pretentious, always laughing and playing. And I believe that what make those guys so fascinating if that the years go on and they have the same passion about music and art. There isn,t another group like them and when they are together they make great music.

    Pat

  10. You are so right about there being no wrong answer. I think a lot of it just has to do with personal preference. I have to say though, I think you might tend to see the John-Nick-Simon triad the most simply because for a while there it was the three of them. -Susan-

  11. Oh no worries Pat – I was just explaining myself! 😀 😀 I did see your comment and laughed, but I knew you were kidding me. There ARE fans out there though that do split hairs about that. I had many people ask who my favorite was when we were in the UK, and I'd say Dom and Roger – and they'd typically comment that Dom wasn't a member. Then I'd give them my shocked face, and go back to enjoying the show or whatever. It's OK, they can wait for him to be a member to acknowledge him (I guess) and then they can tell me all about how wonderful he is. LOL

    @Susan – you are right, there were years when it was just the three of them…I'm just glad that there were 4 and 5 at times so that there was enough to go around! 😉 -R

  12. I think the two favorites are definitely John and Simon. I have a lot of Duranie friends who aren't active in the Duran social media world, and they are pretty much ALL John fans. I've been a Nick girl from birth (practically), and you nailed the artsy/goth description. Honestly, though, I've always been glad that most fans are in either the John or Simon camp because I do not like to share. 🙂

    As for Dom and Warren, I have never been able to consider them “real” members of the band. For me, it'll always be the original Fab Five, no matter what. That doesn't mean I've resented them, or don't appreciate their contribution to the band. I just don't consider them on the same level as Nick, Simon, John, and Roger.

  13. I will tell you the same thing I say to everyone about Dom, Pamela –

    “That's OK…I don't like sharing either! So, more for me!” ;D Thanks for commenting, and I appreciate your sentiments! 🙂 -R

  14. For me during the 80s, the most popular (in order) were: John, Simon, Roger, Nick, Andy. The ranking was based entirely on looks (ah well…such was the priority of a hormonal teen). Still, I loved and appreciated each one for what they contributed musically to the band.

    Now that years have passed, I've grown up and the guys have aged, the looks criteria isn't as important as it once was (although, I must say the guys look quite well overall). I'm more interested in their personalities and how approachable they are. In that regard, I've definitely drawn closer to Simon and his charisma. Meeting him in person just intensified my feelings. He also has the slight edge because he posts the funniest/most insightful tweets. John is still my sentimental favourite despite a few fashion missteps (*ahem*). Anyway, I'm more interested in what he has to say and in his bass playing. Nick has kept the creative fires burning and is always open to fans. Roger…I'm just so glad he's back!! And he's talking!! Yaaay!! Dom…visually, he strikes me as a Bryan Adams clone (not that there's anything wrong with that!).

  15. Rhonda, I'm all for you loving Dom. But I think it's more than “splitting hairs” to say he's not a member of the band. My first DD show was the Medazzaland tour in '97. I had been a lifelong fan but never to got see them live until then. So…from '97-'01, the only bass player I saw was Wes…he played on multiple tours (Up Close, Pop Trash, Medazzaland) and was listed as a session player on Pop Trash…but he clearly wasn't a member despite all that. Very similar with Dom…yes,he did get writing credit on specific songs on AYNIN but that's it–he did not contribute to RCM (beyond being a session player). Until his name is added under the “Duran Duran are” on the liner notes, he simply is not an official, full-fledged member of the band…no more than I would be a full member of this blog even if I posted on every topic multiple times, corresponded with you via e-mail, etc…it's still your blog until you add me to the masthead.

    But hey–there's nothing wrong with loving Dom or rooting for him, and he is quite visible w/ the band (much like Warren was in the late 80s before being inducted…snicker snicker I know how much you LOVE his name being brought up).

    Now I wonder what that's like, when you're finally inducted into Duran…that would be a funny SNL skit…”these are the ten commandments of Duran: 1) Thou shalt not rush to put out an album…2) thou shall not allow the new album to sound like the last one 3)see #1 again-take your time analyze every note! ….

  16. LOL – I'm not really sure I want or NEED Dom “inducted” though, and that's really my point. It doesn't matter to me that he's not “official”….because I'm not really sure what being “official” would really get him in the long run. If Dom left the band tomorrow, I'd still be a fan, and I know plenty of others who would still be fans – it just happens we came to know him from playing in Duran Duran. That doesn't mean I don't know or enjoy his solo work – I actually own all of it and love it. So it's not as though that would suddenly go away, and given what I saw with Warren, what is the point of being a band member if that can suddenly be pulled out from under you anyway? Seems to me that it's more important to other people that he NOT be called a band member than it is to me to give him some sort of title as though it makes him royalty. I just don't care, is basically what I'm saying here. (no offense to your comments) I'm just explaining where I'm coming from with the splitting hairs statement… as if the day he is suddenly called a member that's the day when everyone is somehow given permission to admit he exists and that they like the guy. I just get bored following rules like everyone else…and I typically go for the underdog or the quiet and shy ones. ;D -R

  17. I was at the MSG show! Seats not nearly as good as yours' but it did re-energize my fan-girling of Duran Duran, and Simon in particular.

  18. It depends on how one measures popularity, I guess. Someone might be more popular in one way and someone else most popular in another. I know my favorite has never changed. 😀

    I do think in general more non-fan people know who Simon is. For one thing he's the guy the reviewers mention the most. To this day I've seen it referred to as “Le Bon and the boys”, “Simon Le Bon and the rest of the band”(I think it doesn't hurt that he has a memorable name).

    Also, there's a reason Simon's the front man. He's got tons of charisma and he's really good at it. That's a big part of why he got the job in the first place. It's why Dave Ambrose who signed them to EMI thought Simon was “an absolute star” when he first saw them. He's also got a really, how to put it, unique personality and I think some of that just sort of comes off him. I remember back in the day as a teenager just being fascinated, wondering how his mind worked–it was like this whole other world. 🙂 LOL Having gone back to read some of his tweets and blogs, I'm glad that it often still seems that way. 🙂

    That's actually something I think he and Nick share–obviously everyone is one-of-a-kind and unique in their own special way, but to me, personality-wise, they definitely come across as your “eccentric genius” kind of guys, in their own totally different ways. I'm also thinking of something Nick and Andy, of all people, both said at entirely different times – which was basically Simon has to deal with a lot of crap. Nick said it in answer to a question about best and worst traits of fellow band members in the early 90's, and Andy mentioned it in his book during a passage where he was giving an example of Simon's big mouth/lack of filter getting himself into trouble. He mentioned that often people would be rude to Simon for no reason at all, like just walk to up to him and say cr@p. It's like sure, unfortunately, Simon can be a total ass as times but even when he isn't, there often seems to someone who wants to start stuff. So how I interpret these things is he's got an energy about him, one might be attracted to it or repulsed(so to speak) by it, but he get's one's attention, one way or another.

    Plus….he IS really good looking, as the 2nd row MSG Anonymous above's friend mentioned. LOL He's got those mesmerizing blue eyes and that incredible smile. If he was an actor(I know, he actually was one at one time even if that career didn't quite work out). Anyway, if he was an actor, I'd say Simon “pops” off the screen. I don't know, I guess he might not have popped off the screen as an actual actor–but I'd say he does the equivalent as a front man.

    Back in the early-mid 80's, I have to say I remember Simon being on plenty of magazine covers, I don't remember John having a lock on them, like “ten covers for John, 3 split between everyone else” or anything like that. I always had plenty to choose from in any given month, trying to decide how to spend my allowance. 😀 Simon was on covers all the time, there were always pin ups of him in the magazines, there were always interviews to read, watch or listen to. Let's put it this way, I was always rather competitive when it came to my crushes(erm…I guess I still am LOL) but I never felt even remotely threatened by John's popularity back then, because there was lots of Simon to choose from, all the time, it was never “Damn, another interview with John!” or “Damn ANOTHER pin up of John, how about giving someone else a chance”. 😀

    I'm not saying John wasn't the most popular overall, he definitely was, but I think Simon was a definitely close second. 🙂 The way I look at it is that John and Simon wouldn't have had much of a rivalry if Simon wasn't at least a solid contender for the title. 😀

  19. Wow, Anonymous!!!! I couldn't tell who YOUR favorite member is! 😉 I only tease because I know what it is like to have a favorite as well! In all seriousness, I think one of the thing that is fabulous about Duran is that there seems to be someone for everyone! Thanks for reading and posting!!

    -A

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