Simon gives some info on the state of things with his voice problems. He'll be doing a MRI scan today.

He posted this on twitter yesterday: "There has been a little improvement to my voice in the last 3 wks. This I'd put down to the inflammation on my vocal folds clearing up. There is obviously some underlying problem which is not shown by laryngoscopy. I really appreciate the concern being shown by so many of you. I'm also aware that worry and anxiety work against my recovery, so I'm really trying to remain positive. It's difficult to stay relaxed when you feel like fighting hard. I'm doing an MRI scan tomorrow."

 

It's Girl Panic in London!


above pics in the montage taken by Daniela

 

 

Pics courtesy of @thisistherealJT and @stefanodolce


June 10, 2011 Update

The band has just finished shooting for the Girl Panic! video. The glamourous video has been directed by Jonas Åkerlund at the Savoy hotel in central London. As previously reported on Grazia magazine's website, some of the greatest top models were involved in the project: Cindy Crawford , Helena Christensen , Yasmin Le Bon, Eva Herzigova and Naomi Champbell performed in the video as Duran Duran [a little Robert Palmer tribute we assume, with the girls playing like in the Addicted to Love video].
Stefano Dolce and Domenico Gabbanna did a special guest part in the video and photo shoot for Harpers Bazaar [the magazine will feature a behind the scenes photo reportage on the video shoot].

John's reports:

"So I drove the Rolls up and down the embankment a few times. Crawford in the back. No accidents. Sigh of relief from the risk."

He also said something about the release of the video

"it's going to be serialized, virally.. leading to a premiere later in the year"

Simon tweets:

"Back from the most amazing vid shoot that I have ever seen. Dir. Jonas Åkerlund pulls it out of bag. Whooosh"

 

The guys celebrates Nick's Rhodes 49th birthday with a glamourous after-shooting party at the Savoy Hotel in central London. That's a very little pudding Nick!

Hopefully these two days of glam and fashion have helped the band to lift the mood a little bit... since my last post a full Uk tour has been cancelled but most of all everybody in Duranworld is worried about Simon's voice problems and his health. To paraphrase Nick Rhodes, the last few weeks have been "a little tumultuous..." Berlin has been postponed two times and the Uk tour will be probably rescheduled in November/December 2011. The first five shows of the european tour have been postponed and we still don't know how this situation will affect the remaining scheduled shows but I guess everybody, at this point, is prepared for the worst so it won't be a surprise for anyone if the band will be forced to postpone some more shows to make sure that Simon gets better and returns at his best and with his voice 100% recovered.

The band has our total support, Simon in particular!

Simon explaines what's the problem with his voice on a recent blog entry published on the band's website:

"It’s over two and a half weeks since the moment in the Cannes party set when I went for a high note, i.e. the “Woah” before the “yeah” in ALL YOU NEED IS NOW and it wasn’t there. And it hasn’t been there since then. I reckon I got 6 semi-tones wiped off the top of my range and to be perfectly honest with you, nobody, myself included, has really been able to explain what has happened. It’s quite difficult not to obsess; it’s very difficult not to worry about it.

musicrooms.net reports: The singer even visited five specialists during one day in an attempt to find a solution, but has admitted that “it’s quite difficult not to obsess” as he rests after picking up the illness late last month. As a result, Duran Duran had to postpone a series of dates around the country, but the 52-year-old Simon is still no nearer to solving his problem – and has no idea when his voice will come back. Simon took to the pop band’s website to write to fans, saying that he believes he has had “six semi-tones wiped off the top of my range and nobody, myself included, has really been able to explain what has happened”. He added that “it’s quite difficult not to obsess” because “it’s very difficult not to worry about” his lost voice. Incredibly, Simon has spent “an awful lot of time seeing specialists”, with the Hungry Like The Wolf star visiting “three otorhinolaryngologists, a speech and voice therapist, a vocal coach, a physiotherapist and, of course, my super-osteopath brother Jonathan Le Bon”. Duran Duran are, however, hoping to be back on the road for a forthcoming tour of continental Europe, while the cancelled British dates will be rescheduled before the year is out.

 

‘Ces’t La Vie’, ‘Asi Es La Vida’, ‘Shit Happens’

I hoped to deliver you reviews and pictures of the Berlin and London shows... I hoped to write about their great performance, the amazing stage [news!: the band has been rehearsing in a large scale stage and theatre productions studio rather than the usual studio so I assume the stage and the lighting they had for the Uk tour were massive], about their new look and so on... but I can only report about my recent meeting with the guys in London, in the days when they announced the O2 postponement and when they probably decided what to do with the rest of the Uk tour. Roger describe that day, the 27th of may, on his blog, below an excerpt:
"There we were in West London on the eve of our ‘jewel in the crown.’ Songs were rehearsed , the band was coming to the boil , last minute tweaks on our state of the art lighting rig and screens were being carried out by seemingly scores of technicians running around in every direction, when Simon turns to JT and I with a quiet, pained expression that screamed “this is not going to happen.” After weeks of rehearsals and touring the U.S in preparation for this moment it seemed an incredibly cruel blow …not only to Simon , the band , the crew, the management , the promoters and, of course, the thousands and thousands of fans that had booked tickets , flights , trains and changed the whole flow of their lives to come to see Duran Duran play for 2 hours…these people I really feel for.

Roger pic by Faby
After the initial sense of disbelief and searching for reasons , you move onto the next part of the whole process , which is finding a positive way forward . This usually starts with grasping at phrases like ‘Ces’t La Vie’ ‘Asi Es La Vida’ and that most articulate of expressions ‘Shit Happens’, but I am sure that this story will end in a positive way, and I know that all the shows are very close to being re-scheduled later in the year.

 

When Simon’s voice goes, the band goes, we all go. Down and out.

John Taylor in his blog says:

Simon’s voice is the front end of the vehicle, the bumper and the headlights and the chrome badge on top of the hood, it’s the first to go, first to need repair work when there’s some kind of accident or overuse. I can get run-down – I seem to need antibiotics twice a year- but that doesn’t stop the show from going on. Nick needed medical treatment right before the gig in Boston last month, but it didn’t stop the show from going on. When Simon’s voice goes, the band goes, we all go. Down and out.

I have to say, he is handling it with extreme dignity, leading the way, as usual, with his grown-up behaviour. I’d be a basket case by now. I said to him yesterday, ‘This doesn’t mean you can go to the game you know,’ half jokingly, and he was shocked I would even suggest it, ‘That is nothing compared to our game,’ he said, ‘I want to be onstage doing our show..’ And he was quite firm about that.

John Taylor at rehearsal studio, London may 27th 2011. Pic by Fabrizia

 

London report: Simon Le Voice

Nick says "everything's gonna be fine"

My four days trip was supposed to start on day of my 39th birthday flying to Berlin to attend the Duran show at the Admiralspalast. Luckily I got the bad news about the postponement of the show at the airport right before boarding... so I didn't leave. At least it was just a loss of money, not of precious time and energies. I left for London on the 27th, in my bag very few things and lots of hope about the O2 show. Don't Know why but everybody was sure that the O2 show was actually going to happen. While in London I met some cool friends of mine who had flown in from Argentina, Faby her husband Gerardo and their friend Daniel.

We managed to see the band at their rehearsals studio. We actually met Simon who informed the fans about his condition and explained how he couldn't reach the high notes, you could easily see in his eyes that there was a lot going on from an emotional point of view.

On the right Simon and Salvo on the 27th and 28th of may. Below with Nick on may 28th.

"It will be rescheduled" Nick told us, "I know you are all here, so it doesn´t help. But it´ll be rescheduled. He is gonna be fine, it is just boring...The wait and wait and wait but hopefully tomorrow we´re gonna know when the rest of the British tour is gonna happen. Then at least we´ll know. That´s the worst part everyday...."

Nick Rhodes may 28th, 2011

I could listen to him talk for hours, it's always a pity when he has to leave, rushing away to get to some exhibition or party...

Rehearsals studios and a chat with Mr Rhodes

Looking forward... with Nick Rhodes

yes, forward to the new dates later in the year... and to a smashing UK tour!

Our conversation with Simon happened just before he left the studio [with Wendy Leister] to see a specialist... the answer to all our questions was already there, in his eyes. We tried to chear him up and defuse the situation, I said that we had a title for a new Duran song, "All We Need Is Simon's Voice" , he smiled and he nicely said "Me too" while the guys gave him some presents from Argentina. He was amiable as usual.

It was reported that the band had to stop rehearsing after just two songs. At the studio there were all the people who usually work with the band when they are on tour: Security man Dave Casillas, tour manager Craig Duffy, Film maker Gavin Elder, Jeffrey Bryant, who was enthusiastic about the new band's clothes for these new shows, designed by none other than [this is quite a fresh news!] the London fashion designer Anthony Price who worked with the band in 1981 and 82; notable his work for the guys in the Rio era with the colorful silk suits in the Rio video album sleeve.

So everyone was there as the show was actually going to happen, and there was quite a good vibe in the air untill we got to chat with the guys. Dom was still hopeful when he left the studio as he signed my copy of 'Touch The Flames' album with this sentence "Hoping the show happens at O2".

Ok Dom, you can leave me the key, I'll park it for you! Lol

"Is not looking good for tomorrow"

says Roger when helf the rehearsal studio

 

When a man is devastated he just need...

...his daily banana!

"The band members are devastated": they couldn't use a more appropriate sentence - in the press release - to describe the band's feelings about current situation and you could read that devastation it in their faces.

 

Roger was actually the first of the guys who said frankly something that didn't leave any doubt... when I asked how the rehearsal went he said "Is not looking good for tomorrow"... "There's gonna be an official announcement soon."

The last two guys to leave the studios were Nick and John, when I asked John if they had any positive news for us he answered with a question "do you think this - refering to the expression on his face- looks positive?", then Nick, shaking his head with such a sad and serious expression told us that they weren't going to play, they told us how bad they felt for us all. John asked to the group of fans to hold on post anything untill the news was officially announced on their website, and we all respected their request. The O2 show was officially postponed one hour later. The day after John wrote this:

"Yesterday was a dark day for our little band of brothers. I honestly felt that my love for him, and our group’s love for our together thing could make a difference. That a miracle would happen and everything would be okay. He would sing, the notes would appear, he would smile, and we would applaud ourselves and our abilities, together, to overcome anything and everything. But that’s not what happened."

"Do you think this looks positive?"

Do you mean your hair John?

On a positive note I'm so glad I got to meet for the first time some some cool friends from around the world, Faby from Argentina, Kitty Amsbry from gimmeawristband, Mario from durancroatia.com, so even if it was a very sad moment those friends brought a smile to my face and together we tried to react positively to that situation.

I wasn't sure what to do at that point, leave London the same night or stay. I actually tried to get a flight the same night but they were fully booked so I stayed in London and spent the evening with long time fan and friend Fabrizia.

On the 28th, actually the 24th anniversary of my first Duran Duran concert [Palermo may 28, 1987] I managed to see Nick and Simon with my argentinian and croatian friends.

Nick was very talkative, he actually gave us a little speach about the current situation, he told us how bad they felt about us travelling from various part of the world but he also had positive words about the future, he said "everything's gonna be fine".

When he was asked about touring Argentina and South America he said "Hopefully later in the year".

I like his optimism, that's what keept the band alive in the darkerst years. I didn't miss the chance to ask some questions, we talked about the Girl Panic! video shooting and the top-models rumors. He said "We are trying to do something special for that one".

Strange coincidence, I asked if they'll be playing in Palermo, in Sicily, as I have heard some rumors about a possible show there over the summer. Only some days later I realized that I asked that question on the 28th of may 2011, exactly 24 years after my first Duran Duran show in Palermo. Nick said: "Palermo is not happening, 'cos there will be a lot of rescheduling and when they offered us we were in Usa."

So Simon, so human.

Simon when he left the studio to see the specialist on the 27th of may 2011

So that afternoon I endend up hanging around with a very good representation of fans who have flown in from Argentina, Croatia, Switzerland, and Germany and we also got to know some italians later in the day. We all shared the same feeling, we were worried about Simon, the lost shows became a very marginal problem in the big picture of the band's situation so nobody was complaing about anything, we were just worried about our one and only frontman.

So after a long chat, with more than a few thoughts and doubts, we decided to try and meet him to show him support and love in a moment that he described as "very low profile". Everyone wanted to show him appreciation and understanding but moreover we just wanted to let him know that he doesn't have to worry about the us, the fans, 'cos we all be there one more time when he'll be able to sing again.

The meeting was fantastic, brief but very significant from an emotional point of view. We tried to cheer him up and I'm glad we managed to put a smile to his face on the day of the most important show of the UK tour. We didn't expect anything so he really surprised that nice bunch of fans by asking "is everybody ready for a bus picture?" so we all gathered around him for the pic and we had a laugh saying [at the suggestion of Simon] "seeeex!" for the cameras.

 

1, 2, 3 seeex!

In the pic (top left to right) Salvo, Simon, Gerardo, Mario, Daniel. Center-front , Faby (with the camera) and Raffaella (blonde) plus the italian girls whom we meet there (left to right: Micaela, Valentina, Martina and Amedea)

Thanks to Dolores for taking such a beautiful picture!

 

Picture Gallery | London Calling

Below some more pictures taken those two days

London, may 27th 2011

coming to meet his fans

 

Despite the situation he smiles for his fans

 

 

 

 

Nick Rhodes may 28th, 2011

 

 

 

Simon Le Bon May 28th, 2011

 

 

1, 2, 3 seeeex!

This message for Simon, posted on duranasty.com's facebook page sums up our feelings, we all send positive thoughts for Simon's recovery and we'd like to express sympathy to our frontman. We just hope he'll let nature take its course to heal properly rather than damaging his vocal chords permanently. True fans and any human being with compassion would understand that things happen beyond our control.

We'll wait a lifetime and Leave A Light On for Duran Duran!

 

thanks to all the fans I met in London especially to the ones whom I spent time with and shared emotions on such an unusual chapter on the Duran Duran's history: Faby, Gerardo and Daniel from Argentina, Fellini Twin Fabrizia, Daniela, Mario and Dolores from Croatia, Raffaella and Petra from Switzerland, Kitty from Usa, Nicole and Alice from Germany and all the nice english girls at the studio.

Thanks to Lanita for your message which sums up everyone's thought.

All photos by Salvo except where indicated: thanks to Faby, Mario, Daniela and Fabrizia for sharing some pics in this report.

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