Political or Not?

About a week ago, DDHQ posted a picture of John Taylor where he proudly displayed his “I Voted” sticker along with the #votelikeyourlifedependsonit. As you all can imagine, social media exploded with reaction to both the photo and to the hashtag, as many took his mask wearing and hashtag to be indicative of which presidential candidate he supported. I question many of the comments and commenters, but one comment that I have seen over and over again both in reaction to this photo and to other similar photos in recent years is how Duran has never been political and how those fans hope that they wouldn’t be now. So is that true? Has Duran never political before?

In thinking about that question, I will present a few pieces of evidence to say that they have been political.

First Piece of Evidence: Obama Supporter

Clearly, John Taylor had a favorite presidential candidate in 2008. (By the way, he was not a citizen then but did become one in order to vote by the 2016 election.) Okay, so that was one time that he had an obvious preference and that was one guy, one band member. Anything more recent? Anything that features the band, as a whole?

Second Piece of Evidence: Edge of America/Immigration

What about this video that was released right before the 2018 election and has a pro-immigration message or, a “you cannot really stop immigration” message.

Third Piece of Evidence: Songs/Lyrics

If those two examples weren’t enough, there are a number of songs that I could list as political in nature. What about a song like Too Much Information that tackled the Persian Gulf War media coverage of the early 1990s? What about Drowning Man, which was also featured on the Wedding Album? That song literally talks about Uncle Sam, a nickname to describe the U.S. What about God? That song is about President Reagan and the Iran-Contra Affair of the 1980s. Heck, even a song like Point of No Return, is political in discussing moves after the 9/11 terrorist attack. I could go on and on.

No, Duran Duran is not often thought of as a political band. They are not like U2 or countless others who are known for their political stances. Part of that, of course, is the assumption that people have about Duran being a party band and they are that. However, bands can be more than one thing. After all, can’t we all be more than one thing? I will use myself as an example. I’m a Duranie. I’m also a teacher. I’m also a political organizer. Isn’t it logical then that the same can be true for our favorite band?

So, why is it that people don’t see this? Is it because they just see the images that have presented for decades like them on the boat in Rio? Is it because they are, generally, way more subtle about politics than a band like U2? Could it be that some people don’t want to see it or that it is so infrequent that people can dismiss my examples and more? I don’t have an answer but I suspect that many of the people wishing that Duran would not say or do anything political are those who are more likely to disagree with their political stances.

On top of that, I do see the comment that celebrities should not be political at all, that their job is just to entertain. To me, that argument is unfair. Celebrities are people, too. They have the right to their opinions like any of us do, especially if they are someone like John who lives here and is a citizen. Yes, some might say that their opinion is often based on not knowing a lot (which is an assumption, at best), but that is a LOT of the general population, too. If we are really going to go down that road, I could argue that only people like me with a backgrounds in history and political science should participate in the democratic process, but that is the opposite of democracy. I don’t believe that. I believe that all voices should be heard.

So, on that note, I cheer John Taylor voting and I love that DDHQ shared the picture. I’m also okay that Duran is political, at times, and in their own way. Yes, perhaps, I can say that because we seem to be on the same side, politically. If you don’t cheer it, that’s okay. I would just be honest that you don’t want that reminder that you might not be on the same side. I know if it would be hard for me, if I was on the other side.


By Daily Duranie

Once upon a time, there were two Duran Duran fans. One named Amanda, the other named Rhonda. Over many vodka tonics, they would laugh about the idea of one day writing a book about their fan experiences. While that manuscript is still being composed...Rhonda thought they should write a blog. (What was she THINKING?!) Lo and behold: The Daily Duranie was born.


  1. When I saw them in concert in both 1989 and 2005 (I saw them other times as well) they definitely spouted a political view. In 1989 there was a comment about disliking Reagan and in 2005 they got on stage and denounced George W Bush and the Iraq War. They also had people from Amnesty International there. I saw them other times in concert and don’t remember politics but do those time. I have no doubt that John Taylor voted Biden because he was an Obama supporter and mentioned voting for Hillary Clinton. He also mentioned becoming an American citizen to vote. Ironically, Donald Trump is supposedly a fan (or was). I generally vote for one side (the same one as you) and most of the artists I like tend to favor that side. I probably would still like artists on the other side if they weren’t nasty about it. Most of the artists who are outspoken on the other side aren’t artists I listen to anyway. It also depends on who the other side and why they liked them. If someone liked a candidate because they were a horrible person (sexist/racist/homophobe) then I probably wouldn’t listen to that artist anymore.

    1. Thanks for bringing other examples of when/how the band has been political. I’m like you in that most of the artists I like do tend to vote for the same side that I do. I admit that it makes it easy for me. Could I like a band/artist that was on the other side? I’m with you on that, too. I could if they were not racist, sexist, homophobic, etc. -A

      1. As for groups who have opposing political views, I like music by Lynyrd Skynyrd, who use a Confederate flag in many of their images and logos. We obviously have opposing viewpoints, but the music is good.

  2. Such an interesting topic! I don’t think Duran Duran is an a-political band, they cover the whole human experience, and politics is part of that. They are generally being subtle about it, I think. Politics, especially in a two-party system, is often a yes or no issue while art is often ambiguous with lots of grey zones. Thankfully, Duran Duran provides lots of those grey zones.
    Maybe I am a bit naïve but what I like about Duran Duran is that they give me the feeling of inclusivity. “No one is getting left behind” as one lyric says it. Everyone is invited to the party, across generations, ethnicity and religious or political stances.
    However I must admit that I was warmed by Johns post on DDHQ, and I understand the disappointment you must feel if you’re a Duran Duran-fan and not on the same side. A strange thing about fandom is that when an artist we follow expresses views opposite of our own, it can cast a shadow on our appreciation of their work. Maybe it’s because we want to identify with the artist so much, and those opposite views make that harder to do.

    1. I think you bring out a very good point. People want to identify with artists/celebrities that they love so much that it must be tough, if they are on different sides. I wish people would just say that rather than be in denial about the band being political. Yes, maybe it is easy for me, since the band and I appear to be on the same side. -A

      1. To be fair, Amanda, I do think it’s easy for you…and let’s be honest, you embrace that. In a lot of ways, I think people who see fairly eye-to-eye with the band all take it as some sort of validation that the band agrees with you. That’s the power of celebrity when it comes to politics, and that’s why they’re used in campaigns. So while you say that you wish people would say that rather than be “in denial” about the band being political, I wish people would just be honest about the validation. It obviously matters, because if it didn’t, we would have ignored John’s picture and not reacted at all.

        For me personally, I couldn’t care less what the band says or how they feel politically. There are a good many things I *do* care about that they say or do, but politics just isn’t one of those things. I can like someone’s music or their work without concern about their political beliefs. -R

  3. I appreciate that Duran seems more subtle in their political views. Unlike many artists, I don’t feel that they are trying to influence me, or demand that I share their views. I am pleased that John shares moments in his life, and voting is an important privilege for Americans. Or dual citizens, as the case may be.

    1. I like how you looked at it as him sharing a moment in his life. Shouldn’t we all be proud of voting?! I think we should! -A

  4. It seems a lot of people forget the Strange Behaviour Tour. I mean it was a HUGE tour and they performed Election Day. It was 1987, over a full year before the next presidential election, but Simon got up, literally behind a podium @ the top of the stage and “preached” about how in this country we had an important election coming and how important it was for us to make changes. It was clear they were not Reagan supporters and wanted us to vote in the other direction, i.e. not for Bush Sr.. I loved that! But then, I was one of the few who were politically involved before I was even old enough to vote. In 1984 I was upset because @ 15 I was not old enough to vote against Reagan, whom I hated because I already saw how his policies were going to lead to a downward slide by allowing rich corporations to make life worse for the “little people”. Yes, I knew back then that we were headed in this direction and wanted to stop it. So it made me very happy to see my favourite band supporting my views and encouraging young people to care and vote.

    Another example of when they spoke out politically that made me so proud was when they recently played in North Carolina when so many other bands had cancelled their shows due to the “bathroom bill”, which discriminated against the LGBTQ community. They not only kept their plans to play, but invited an organization to come gather signatures on a petition and to help register people to vote to try to overturn the new law there. They stood on stage against a backdrop of the American flag done in rainbow stripes to show support. I LOVED them for doing that.

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