For a long time, I struggled to figure out what to write about because not much was happening in Duranland. This week has been the exact opposite. It feels like a LOT has been happening. Am I the only one thinking that or is it simply because it has been so quiet that it is overwhelming to me? No matter. I love having a lot of Duran activity to think about and discuss. Speaking of thinking and discussing, I wanted to dive a little deeper into the recently published article from the Guardian, even though we mentioned it yesterday on our Vodka Friday which you can watch here.
Has everyone had a chance to read and digest the article? If you have not read it, you can read it here. I have obviously read a lot of articles on Duran over the course of my long-term fandom but it is rare that I have wanted to read one more than once to make sure that I didn’t miss anything. This is one of those articles. I’m not going to rehash it word-for-word here but I did want to comment on a few important points.
Focus on the Future
“Ahead of the interview, there have been instructions from their record label that our conversation must not dwell on the past; instead we must understand that Duran Duran are a band focused on the future.” This is the first line of the article that really caught my attention (aside from Nick’s vaccine preference). I had mixed emotions when I read this line. On one hand, I absolutely understand that desire to focus on the future. After all, they have albums that they will need to sell along with potential concert tickets, merchandise, etc. From an artist standpoint, I get why they would want to talk about their current projects. They are most excited about those and they are what they, personally, have been focused on for awhile now. In Duran’s case, in particular, I really get it. Too often, the only thing that interviewer want to ask about are the 80s and videos, thinking Duran only existed decades ago. So I get it. I appreciate it. Yet, there is a part of me that cringes a little bit there, too. While I definitely do not want Duran pigeon-holed into that 80s band image, I also want to acknowledge their legendary career. Can’t we do both? Interestingly enough, there are some mentions of the past despite that instruction, including the rise to fame and sheer hysteria of the height of Duran-mania. Ugh. That part of their story is interesting but I would have preferred something else. I’m not even sure what. I did appreciate Nick’s quote later on in the article when he said, “One has to accept age with grace,” he says. “While all bands would still love to be 18 years old, you have to embrace your history. There’s no point pretending. The way you just avoid it becoming nostalgia is by rearranging things, changing the visuals and the setlist. We don’t have to play Hungry Like the Wolf every night.” That’s right. They do not have to play HLTW every night or Come Undone or A View to a Kill or…
The Magic of Duran
One part of the article that I really loved is the discussion about the band’s chemistry and the magic that happened when they got and get together. For example, Simon’s quote about his first night with the band really expresses it well, “I thought: ‘God, this is the real thing, this is how it’s supposed to be,’” he remembers. “And I knew that I had to hold on to it as a job, and I had to hold on to those melodies, and I had to hold on to these guys because I knew there would never be anything in my life that was more creative and more immediate and more absolute than being in Duran Duran.” When I read that line, my heart just swelled. That feeling that Simon had decades ago is one that so many of us feel every time we hear a new song or see the band live or listen to an album that they connected with. John backs up the idea that the band is drawn together by saying it happens every time they are away from each other. If that isn’t something special, I don’t know what is.
Meaning behind Invisible
By now, we have all heard or read the origin of the lyrics to the band’s new song, Invisible. As Simon once again explained, it was about a relationship in which one person is not heard and starts to feel invisible, which was broadened to a universal experience of not being heard. John added a bit more, “Taylor notes that in that time, as the world has weathered isolation, upheaval and political protest, the song has acquired new layers of meaning. ‘It’s become enormously resonant,’ he says. ‘And I’m glad that we are not coming back with a party song. That would feel tone deaf.'” I know that some fans were hoping for a fun, carefree, more party type song and I can get that. One can make the argument that people need an escape. While I get that, for me, I am glad that they did not go in that direction. I needed someone to acknowledge what we have all been going through, whether that is some broad feeling of isolation due to the pandemic or something more personal or both. That acknowledgement made me feel SEEN. Yes, I want that sense of fun and escape, too, but I am not there yet. Like many, I’m adjusting, making moves, taking steps and, yes, I’m working hard at being heard, being acknowledged, being seen, being visible. Ignoring what people have gone through is not actually helpful. I thank them for going in this direction. I have a feeling that when we hear some of those party songs that are on the album, collectively, we will be ready to hear and really enjoy them.
Obviously, there was a lot more to this article with some discussion around Andy Taylor, Reportage, downloading music, the 1980s and more. Overall, I loved this article with lots of great content. What did the rest of you think? Did you like the article? Anything in it catch your attention?