December 7th, 2012Duran Duran
Guest post by Paul Cuddihy
The dilemmas of teenage life seem, at the time, to be insurmountable ones that adults just don’t understand. I laugh about it all now, of course, and especially when my own children pour out their own tales of woe and worry – I laugh inwardly, I hasten to add! Outwardly, I try to be sympathetic.
My parents must have done the same with me. Certainly, when I was 16-years-old back in 1982, the great problems of my life, in no particular order were:
1. How do I keep my place on the school football (soccer) team?
2. How do I pluck up the courage to ask Maxine O’Neil out on a date?
3. How can I pretend to my dad, who is a Maths teacher, that my studies are going well and I don’t need any extra tuition from him?
4. How do I get to see both Duran Duran and ABC in concert when I can only afford to buy a ticket for one of them?
Both bands were scheduled to appear in Glasgow, within a week of each other, at the famous Apollo venue in the city. Duran Duran were playing on October 31st and ABC on November 5th. For reasons that have been lost in the mists of time, I opted for the latter and so used my hard-earned cash from delivering newspapers to purchase a ticket to see ABC.
I have to confess that every time Duran Duran have come to Glasgow since then, I have gone to see them, and I enjoy each concert more than the last one. I think that’s because it reminds me of being a teenager again, and a lot of memories come flooding back… of a time before marriage, children, mortgage, middle-age, grey hair – no hair!
Sometimes I’ve thought back to 1982 and wish that I’d chosen to go and see Duran Duran rather than ABC, to have seen them at the height of their initial success – it was the Rio Tour – and then I could compare them now to then.
Yet, maybe I made the right choice? ABC as a band never stood the test of time and so I was able to see them while I could, whereas Duran Duran are still going, and still going strong. I still listen to their albums, I still go to their concerts… after a few drinks, I even get the acoustic guitar out and sing a version of Rio which, in my head, sounds fantastic… that may be the wonders of alcohol, however!
So when I occasionally hear an ABC song on the radio, I remember that 16-year-old who only had enough money to buy one concert ticket… and whose parents probably laughed at such a dilemma.
And just for the record on my other teenage dilemmas:
1. I just about managed to keep my place on the school team – only because there were only ever eleven players who turned up for the game.
2. I asked Maxine O’Neil out, she said yes, and we went out for a few months.
3. I told my dad I was fine with Maths and didn’t need any help. I sat the exam. I failed it. My dad didn’t talk to me for a week after I got my results. He laughs about it now, though.
Paul Cuddihy lives near Glasgow with his wife, Karen, and three children, none of whom are Duran Duran fans, although he did manage to drag Karen along to a Duran Duran concert last year. She enjoyed it! He’s a journalist and works for Celtic Football Club, while he is also a published author, having written a trilogy of historical fiction novels set between Scotland, Ireland and America. They’re quite good! His Duran Duran highlight is hearing Secret Oktober live at a concert a few years ago. He also plays the acoustic guitar. He’s okay at that! Say hi to Paul on twitter and check out his website at www.paulcuddihy.com.Tags: Duran Duran, Glasgow, Paul Cuddihy. ABC
October 22nd, 2012Duran Duran
Please allow me to introduce myself. My name is Scott Kathan. I’ve been a DD fan since ’81 (first concert was them at The Greek; 7/27/82). Top 6 fave songs: Late Bar, Pretty Ones, New Religion, Too Late Marlene, Land and Beautiful Colours. Fave member? Nick, of course.
I have composed scores of mental blogs about Duran Duran, but this is my first tangible, public writing about the lads from Birmingham.
Since the tender age of a mere 19 summers long, I have been more than a fan of them. Not anywhere near obsession, mind you… but I’m far from apathetic when it comes to the band.
As you may have already surmised, it’s not easy for a male in today’s society (both then and now) to be an avid supporter of Duran Duran. I’ve even been beaten up for admitting that John Taylor is a very attractive man.
All kidding aside, there is a time in all people’s lives when you experience something that resonates on your heart’s frequency…or when you know, in that split second, that you will remember this moment for the rest of your life. The first time that I heard D², I heard/felt this almost-audible “click” in me, as if something profound had shifted the bedrock of my soul.
I would be so bold as to say that I “get” Duran Duran; but much more importantly, they “get” me. Don’t ask me how it’s possible, it just is. Some things are better left unsleuthed. When I heard my first DD song (“Friends of Mine”, in case you’re wondering), I sat there stunned. My unspoken thoughts…verbalized, tangible, audible? Someone who thinks the way that I do? Inconceivable!
And not just the lyrics, either. The overall composite there-ness of the band. Evocative, shiny, sexy, wry, honest and English. Enough stream-of-consciousness words to be able to wonder as to meaning. Spot-on grace notes on all 5 fronts. Perfectly meshed, sung and produced, this music, replete with caramel swirls of audio ecstasy… simply incredible.
Music will speak to you… if you are willing to listen. There’s been many a time where I’ve repeated a DD song to catch a lyric, and couldn’t do so. However, when I drop the intensity and just listen… or even listen bemusedly, that’s when the aforementioned lyric or chord or sound gets into my soul via my ear. The little-known phenomena of psychoacoustics plays a large part on all DD records. Well, at least that’s my opinion.
I don’t like to compare DD releases to each other. I suppose it’s the fact that each of the albums stand (or fall) alone on their own. Most folks will invariably compare to Rio, which is doing the band and themselves a disservice. Close your eyes, open your mind and wipe the audio slate clean. Each new listen to any song from them allows me to take the trip all over again.
As in any relationship (and if you are a Duranie, make no mistake…this is definitely a long term thing), there’s give and take. One of the things that I constantly forget is that the band ages at the same rate that we do. It’s probably as much of a learning curve for them as it is for us. Yes, as fans, we put them where they are today… and in reciprocity, they have affected all of our lives as well. Can you imagine what that must be like? To know that millions of people are going to listen to your creation/output? Man, I’m glad I’m along for the ride!
I wouldn’t be so pretentious as to say that Duran Duran are the clockbeat of my life, but I will say that they are unknowingly responsible for the quantization of it. Time and time again, when I felt like no one cared or would listen… I KNEW Duran Duran would be there for me. It’s a quiescient feeling of peace to know that. No matter what, I’ll never be alone. No one can take them away from me.
A few examples of greatness: from the Saudadian guitar work of “Land” to the percolating random note generator prevalent in “Rio” to the bent, looped vocal slur in “Still Breathing”, the perfectly placed (out of time, no less) rimshot in “Breath after Breath” to the bass slide in “Hold Back the Rain” (Kershenbaum re-edit, of course)…these things exist. They are there for us to experience. Frozen in waveforms for perfect preservation.
Kudos and thanks to all of you in the band. Past member or present, you were/are part of something incredibly special…and personally, my life has changed for having DD in my heart.
Oh, almost forgot…the meaning of the title of this blog. When people ask me why I listen to them…or what I see in them, I have an invariable answer: “It’s Duran”. Non plus ultra…mirabile visu.
October 6th, 2012Duran Duran
Guest post by Fraser Levey
Back in March I had an idea.
Well, I should codify that statement. I probably had several ideas, but most of them involved what I should have for lunch.
One of those ideas was good though. I was watching the Duran Duran video for Rio.
Here it is:
Good isn’t it?
Anyway, I wondered if anyone had ever got John to sign a copy of that magazine he was reading during the solo bit of the video.
Then a plan hatched in my brain. John Taylor tweeted that he was writing his autobiography, so he must be going to do a book tour, right? Ah…
Well, I was straight off to the Internet to find out about the comic.
“Fightin’ Army was a bimonthly war comic published by Charlton Comics from 1956–1984 (though it was primarily a reprint title from 1978 to the end of its run). Telling fictional stories of the United States Army, it was a sister title of the other Charlton war comics Fightin’ Air Force, Fightin’ Marines, and Fightin’ Navy.”
Brilliant, right? Which one was it though? When did they film the ‘Rio’ video?
Hmm.. Off to the Duran Duran Timeline.
Excellent. Lets try looking for the April ’82 edition of Fightin’ Army on Ebay then, shall we?
Found it, bought it, got it.
Now all we have to do is wait.
Now here is where @jamievjb comes into the picture.
He, being the lovliest man in the world, buys me a ticket to see John do a book reading in Manchester.
Here we are, waiting.
We make a cute couple, huh?
John Taylor’s book, In the Pleasure Groove: Love, Death and Duran Duran, is well worth a read. You should definitely get it if you like Duran Duran or ’80s music in particular.
Well, it was made clear that John would not sign any memorabilia, which is fair enough, Waterstones needed to get 500 odd books signed, and if everyone got him to sign a t-shirt too, it would take all bloody night. So that part of my plan didn’t come off.
But what did happen was probably even better.
I showed him the comic and asked which page he was reading. He laughed, and asked where I’d got it from. He then said that he’d just had it pushed into his hands and he coudn’t remember what was inside.
I put the comic down next to him whilst he signed my book, he looked at it, grinned and said ‘I should look like this’.
They say never meet your heroes. Rubbish… just make sure you choose ones like John Taylor.
Bloody nice bloke.Tags: In the Pleasure Groove, John Taylor
September 17th, 2012Duran Duran
Yesterday, John Taylor made his first appearance at DDU in Second Life. JT read from his new book, In the Pleasure Groove and was gracious and charming during an extended Q & A session. Our good friend Johnny Beane thoughtfully taped (almost) the whole thing for those of us who were too busy in our first life to attend.Tags: In the Pleasure Groove, John Taylor
July 30th, 2012Duran Duran
Tags: carsten windhorst, Duran Duran, Hyde Park, Olympics, Paulo Nutini, Snow Patrol, Stereophonics
One of the proudest moments ever for Duranies worldwide took place last Friday in London’s Hyde Park, where Duran Duran played to over 50,000 people to mark the opening of the 2012 Olympic Games. Our hearts swelled as the band represented England amongst three other UK bands (Snow Patrol from Northern Ireland, Stereophonics from Wales and Paolo Nutini from Scotland).
Duran Duran opened with “Planet Earth” and went on to totally nail some of their biggest hits, including “A View To A Kill” and “Save A Prayer.” “The Reflex” was accompanied by a fly over from the Red Arrows, and Simon Le Bon dedicated “Ordinary World” to “the whole world,” adding, “may we have a peaceful games.” Duran Duran also showed off “Girl Panic!” from their latest album, All You Need is Now.
Simon wore an instantly iconic “Union Jacket,” dreamed up by John Taylor and designed by the legendary Antony Price, who has been outfitting the band for nearly thirty years. Click HERE for the full story of how the jacket came to be, as told by Duran Duran’s on-tour wardrobe stylist, Jeffrey Bryant.
We’ve had the great pleasure of watching the band evolve over the years through the lens of rock photographer extraordinaire Carsten Windhorst, who was on hand to shoot these incredible photographs. Click HERE to see Carsten’s full gallery from Hyde Park.
Click HERE for a free audio download of Duran Duran’s Olympic Ceremony concert in Hyde Park.