February 27, 2012 | Hi all! It's been a month since the last site installment and I'm so glad to finally deliver this new one... updates are becoming increasingly rich, long and full of stuff just because our band is active and productive, so there's always a lot to report about and share with you all. Hope you like this new way [extensive posts], undertaken by a year now, to report about the most relevant and interesting Duran things, rather than single news posts which can be easily and quickly shared on social networks.

It is a real pleasure to inform you that this month we celebrate the 10th anniversary of duranasty.com, it seems yesterday that I started this site switching from writing Duran reports and reviews for photocopied fanzines to writing on a html editor... trying to put into practice my first knowledge of web design. Here we are 10 years later.

Hope you enjoyed the ride that made us go through an exciting reunion, three albums, different collaborations, three world tours, many lifetime achievements and a lot of little big things in the duranuniverse.

I just want to thank all of you who have supported the site over the years and have shown appreciation for what I do. So thank you!

 

Duran Duran Tours Planet Earth

"In these difficult times, we want to spread a bit of optimism,"

February 16, 2012 | What a great way for the guys to start 2012 with a successful tour in the old-cold continet that touched Switzerland, Austria, Germany, Belgium and Slovakia. This was just the first leg of the Euro tour, the second will probably happen between june and july 2012... there are many fans all over Europe holding their breath for the official announcement of the full tour!

In march the guys will hit the road again, and we just think that this new part of the World Tour will be even more exciting than the previous one, since they'll be playing in places where they haven't toured in a while or cities that they have never visited on tour. Check out below, the list of the upcoming shows:

So this year it's all about touring, nothing official has been confirmed yet about Europe except the July 27 show at the Théâtre Jean Deschamps in Carcassonne [France] but according to the recent comments the guys have made via social networks and/or talking with the fans seems sure that the Euro tour will happen in june... and not later than july!

In the recent blogs the guys says:

Roger: most looking forward to in 2012: more Duran Duran shows. We are hitting the rest of the world, Australia, Italy [where we are always received so warmly], Far East and more DJ gigs along the way.

John: looking forward to going to Australia, re-scheduling our shows in Italy and going to all the places we missed in 2011.


Check out what longtime Duran live-engineers Andrew “Snake” Newton and Charlie “Chopper” Bradley says to Prosound about the current Duran Duran tour:

“While the current Duran Duran album has been out for a year now, the tour shows no signs of stopping. “We’ll be rolling through to next summer—a Duran tour is usually a year and a half,” said Chopper. Snake explained, “After all, they’re popular everywhere, so there’s nowhere we don’t go; it’s not the U.S. and England and that’s it. No, it’s three trips to America, a couple blasts around Europe, Hong Kong, Asia. With these guys, it’s a worldwide audience.”

Duran Duran All You Need Is Now Pan Asia Tour

March 08 Sevens Stadium Dubai, United Arab Emirates

March 10 Indoor Arena Singapore, Singapore

March 12 Olympic Hall Seoul, South Korea

March 14 Asia World Hong Kong, Hong Kong

 

6 shows in Australia!

March 17 Brisbane Entertainment Centre Brisbane

March 19 Rod Laver Arena at Melbourne Park Melbourne Vic

Mar 20 Adelaide Entertainment Centre Adelaide

March 24 Sandalford Estate Perth

March 27 Sydney Entertainment Centre Darling Harbour Nsw

March 31 Tempus Two Winery New South Wales

 

and 5 in South America!

April 28 Brasilia, Brazil Nilson Nelson

April 30 Rio De Janeiro, Brazil Citibank Hall

May 2 Sao Paulo, Brazil Credicard Hall

May 4 Buenos Aires, Argentina Luna Park

May 8 Santiago, Chile Espacio Riesco

 

Please visit the Duran Duran Fan Community at Duranduranmusic.com for pre-sale dates/times.

 

What about Europe? Italian tour: maybe a long and epic one?

 

Here is what we can say about the Italian tour and again, this is not official check out duranduran.com for an upcoming announcement!
  • During a recent chat we had in Bruxelles, Nick said he would love to play 8 shows in Italy [eight! when he said that I had to ask him to repeat it because I couldn't believe my ears!]. That doesn't mean that Duran will play 8 shows for sure... it would be so good! We really hope they'll manage to do it but of course we also know that isn't easy to organize such a big tour, especially in a country like Italy. That's something that Nick would really love to do. I think this could be another demonstration of gratitude toward Italy and the many die hard Italian fans. Often things just don't happen because they depends on many factors, starting from not finding the ideal venue to not reaching the agreement with the organizers. Let's just keep our fingers crossed!
  • Mr Rhodes said also that the Italian tour will touch Italy from North to South, in particular he expressed much enthusiasm for a date that is still in the works and it might take place at the fabolous Ancient theatre of Taormina in Sicily. A spectacular venue which is frequently used for operatic and theatrical performances and sometimes for pop concerts. Last year when Roger came to Taormina to play a deejay set he loved the theatre and I personally told him to inform the guys about such a wonderful venue and to consider about playing there... Nick highlighted the difficulties in organizing something in historical venues like that... so nothing is confirmed yet but from his radiant smile you can bet that it's something he would really like to accomplish and of course we do hope they succeed. Nick also added how much he loves Palermo, were he spent a summer vacation back in 2007... [we just wonder if that sentence can be translated as Palermo could be an alternative date to the Taormina one?] and expressed appreciation for the whole southern Italy from Calabria up to Rome. He clearly has still in mind the successful show the band played in Reggio Calabria back in 2008.
  • Rumors: that's the only way I can call these since they come from very well informed fans who have been talking to the people around the band... so rumors are that negotiations for 5 dates are almost finalized and possible cities are Milan, Rome, somewhere in Veneto... it could be Piazzola sul Brenta which, according to the italian local newspaper 'La Nuova Venezia', will happen this summer [this was one of the 3 shows the guys were supposed to play last year but were forced to cancel due to Simon's voice problems] or it could easily be the fantastic Arena di Verona which, at some point last year, was one of the venue in talks.
  • The possibility that the Arena di Verona show will actually happen is high and seems confirmed by two trusted local online magazines, corrieredelveneto.corriere.it tgverona.it, which in recent articles about the Arena programme for the summer ensure the presence of Duran Duran for july 16th. Exactly 32 years after the very first Duran Duran show with Simon on vocals [which took place at The Rum Runner, in Birmingham, on july 16th 1980]. We won't go any further... that's all we know, so if you guys reading this want to see with your own eyes how big is Duran Duran in Italy and you want to enjoy a perfect holiday in some historical italian cities I think it's about time to start thinking about having a trip here, you'll love it!
  • Ok, I know I'm not giving you any other news about other European dates, the topic just did not come into the discussion with Nick but I'm sure the band is working on a full set of shows across Europe. I can add that, there's NO chance that the band will be playing on Eilean, the boat used by Duran Duran in the Rio video, on the Jubilee weekend as suspected from some fans after reading this article published on The Telegraph. I personally asked about it to Nick in Klosters... he didn't know anything about it, he was aware about the boat coming to London, but nothing else, and when I said that there will be a band or orchestra playing on each of the 1,000 boats cruising the Thames he said with a laugh "No way"... "We'll not be playing on that boat, it's impossible! it's too small to hold a band and their instruments!" He was so funny saying that! We all know how much Nick loves boats... yes, when they are tied to the dock and he can have a drink on the deck!
  • In a couple of occasions John mentioned that they are working on returning to Germany to play some more shows over the summer and for sure there will be a show in Madrid.
  • We have some positive news also for the US friends as during our chat with Nick, he mentioned that they will probably be in USA in august.

So march will be full of shows and we'll have a lot to look forward to from a mediatic point of view with new interviews, pics and reports from Australia, Korea, South America and so on. So before we turn the page of the Duran Duran book to read another chapter we want to look back at the first leg of the Euro tour. So this new installament will be filled with all the regular current news [just below] and reviews, pics, scans and interviews regarding those two incredible weeks of european shows. Enjoy!

small pic on the left: Nick during our chat in Bruxelles

 

Current News and tidbits

 

The second draft of the John Taylor autobiography is done. The book will be out in September

 

According to John Taylor the second draft of his autobiography is done. In a recent tweet he said "due to finish it by March". As reported in the article [above] published by Little, Brown Book Group, John meet the editors and members of the trade on february 22 at the basement bar in Soho House.

John Taylor's editor, Antonia Hodgson said that John is very excited about publication. "He’s been working extremely hard on the book and I know he’ll put all his energies into promoting it in September."

John says "After seven days on the word processor I am happy to be delivering the second draft of my book. Completion gets closer. Last night in Soho I had a great time at my first meet and greet with members of the UK book industry.
Heading west for 10 lazy days in la-la land with Gela before the Duran Duran Pan Asia tour starts up in Dubai.

 

TVMania's opulent and intriguing boxset will be released by The Vinyl Factory in a few months in limited edition deluxe vinyl and standard gatefold vinyl.

 

. "It has a story, a cast of characters, all kinds of strange observations about a modern family trying to deal with the onslaught of technology, designer drugs and the like"

Nick Rhodes

"The music was great to revisit, it really makes me smile"

Warren Cuccurullo

During my chat with Nick I asked him if with the release of the TV Mania album there will some kind of promotion, I had in mind the two extraordinary live events in support of the release of the Devils album, Dark Circle, the Harvey Nichols private party and the Cologne show videoed for Arte-tv. The answer was "no, there won't be any promotion because the album is going to be out in a few months and there's no time to do anything like that" [since the Duran Duran tour will be going on]... "I'm quite pleased with the album packaging" he said...

Andrew Day [Medazzaland and Pop Trash art] says "I’m working with The Vinyl Factory on producing what promises to be quite an opulent and intriguing boxset. I’ve comissioned Vania Zouravliov and artist Stephen Cornell to provide some of the exquisite content. A work in progress cover is below. Due to be released later this year." [as reported in this update]

I've just spoken to Warren about the upcoming release, here is what he has to say.

Salvo: So Warren, TVMania is going to be be finaly out in a few months...

Warren: Yeah, finally... 16 years later.
we've been getting all of the packaging together for a limited edition deluxe vinyl, a more standard gatefold vinyl, & getting some tracks ready for remixers...
The music was great to revisit, it really makes me smile.

We're looking for a fall 2012 release, can't wait for all of you to hear it.

 

"I have been discussing the grand overdue release with Warren and having consulted our astrologists, psychics and landscape gardeners, it seems as though this year things may allign." Nick Rhodes

"Recording Magazine" from 1997 Nick and Warren talk about TV Mania

Can you tell us more about TV Mania, about their upcoming project?

Nick: Warren and I were working together on some ideas-we were talking for some time about doing a completely different sort of project from Duran Duran.

We started with electronic songs that turned out very well. It turned into an idea for an extremely modern cyber-soap rock opera. I came up with the title, 'Bored with Prozac and the Internet?' [laughs]
And from that I built a whole story, and Warren and I pieced it together over the past year and a half. It's turned into quite a monster. It will be three single albums of music, and that will form the whole piece. The first album is done, and the second two albums we've been working on side by side, and they're a long way along. We hope to have the whole project done in the next year to 18 months. It's been very exciting. It has a story, a cast of characters, all kinds of strange observations about a modern family trying to deal with the onslaught of technology, designer drugs and the like.

Warren: We do a lot of singing on the album, Nick through the Studio Vocalist, and I do the straight singing. Nick's girlfriend sings. Most of the stuff is samples from television. We've lined up a singer named Neil Carlill from a band called Delicatessen, who'll be doing some stuff for us on the later albums, and a couple of other guest singers.

Three TVMania facts

  • Warren and Nick wrote and recorded over 60 songs
  • The music is very experimental, consisting in large part of found sound recorded from radio and television
  • Rhodes once described it as a “social junk culture triptych opera” with a loose storyline

...and I like this quote

You‘re still very enthusiastic about playing!

"The way I look at it, I keep myself completely lit, completely straight and if you‘re not growing, then just go to bed and go to sleep! People like Chuck Berry, Muddy Waters, the Beatles - no one knew if they would stop playing music and a lot of great singers and players are still doing it.

People thought rock music was a fad but music is a lifetime obsession, you‘re always trying to attain a goal. If you‘re a professional musician, you do it because you have to pay the bills unless you inherited a fortune!

Giving it up is impossible! You eat, sleep and breathe it...”

Home & Studio Recording March 1992

 

The Wedding photo-album: Tokio calling for Simon and Yasmin...

 

  • Photo News | Noriko and Nick Wood Wedding | Pics above | As reported here back in November Simon and Yasmin went to Japan to attend Noriko and Nick Wood's two days wedding in Tokio. On the left a pic of Nick and Simon taken in Portland in September 2011.
  • Dom Brown signs record deal for his new album | Trevor Horn has signed Dom Brown to publishing company Perfect Songs. Brown’s CV includes soundtracks, solo albums and – for the past five years – guitarist and co-songwriter with Duran Duran. His recent songs include All You Need is Now [iTunes No. 1, co-written and produced by Mark Ronson) and Girl Panic! (scoring 5 million hits on YouTube in two months]. In the midst of touring the world as part of Duran Duran, Dom is actively co-writing with new and established artists.
  • Duran Duran on Glee | As reported here Duran Duran, after some long and intense negotiations, has cleared two — possibly three — tracks for the hit Fox series. And it’ll be the Brothers Anderson who’ll have the privilege of performing said ditties — as a mash-up! A show source says the Duran Duran number will be “very sexy and fun and big,” adding that Bomer is a “big dancer,” and that Darren Criss, who plays Blaine, is a major Duran aficionado who “has long hungered for some of these songs.

 

English men and ladies in New York for California Eccentrics

Simon and Yasmin attended the launch of Pam and Gela's new fashion label Skaist-Taylor in New York early this month. They event took place in the underground parking garage underneath Lincoln Center.

"Simon LeBon seemed to be enjoying the Skaist-Taylor presentation just a little too much. "This installation is great," he told DNAinfo. "I like looking at good looking girls, I like looking at clothes and there's an element of performance art I get off on." The Duran Duran frontman was on hand to support bandmate John Taylor's wife Gela Nash-Taylor and Pamela Skaist-Levy, the founders of Juicy Couture, in their new venture. "This model, Thea Richards is fantastic,” LeBon raved. "Oh my God, the energy she brings to shows is amazing. I thoroughly enjoyed myself today." We think he's got a bit of a crush on Keith Richards and Patti Hansen's little girl.

The duo called the fall collection “California Eccentrics” and put a mix of chunky knits, scarf-print dresses, tweeds, flared-leg trousers and track suit-style tuxedo pants on the runway. Snakeskin shorts were paired with a peasant blouse. They didn’t hold back on the gltz, including a crystal-covered bomber jacket and a gold lame top-and-shorts set. “This is all what we love, what we wear,” said Nash-Taylor.

 

Nick Rhodes and Maria Suvio [Aka Nefer] front row at many shows during the London Fashion Week

The couple have been spotted by paparazzi almost everywhere during the London Fashion Week, starting from the Vivienne Westowood to Pam Hogg's shows then out and about. So good to see our keyboard player smiling and happy. Get one more nice pic of the couple walking in the street by clicking here and check out this cool video [featuring Nick] of the Westwood show.

 

Duran Duran, Hungry for Innovation, Teams with SF Arts Nonprofit

Excerpt from the article published here | Okay, pop quiz: what does a SF digital arts organization Grey Area Foundation for the Arts and '80s pop icons Duran Duran have in common? An interest in data visualization, it turns out.
A fortuitous meeting during international travel led to an unusual collaboration between the local group and the aging megastars.

Josette Melchor, founder and executive director of GAFFTA, and Rachel Masters, co-founder of Red Magnet Media, both attended the Digital Life Design [DLD] conference in Munich in 2011 and met during a layover. Masters’ company had been working with Duran Duran to increase their online presence, and they were interested in creating a data visualization project. GAFFTA brings together coders and designers to create art based around digital culture.

A year later, the Here Right Now project was debuted at the same place it started: at the 2012 installment of DLD.
Duran Duran commissioned GAFFTA to create a website that solicits users to riff on simple ideas by uploading their own data. Duran Duran hasn't shied away from technological advances in the past: they were one of the first rockbands to heavily integrate video into their live stage shows.

“They wanted to find a way to visually represent what different people around the world thought about certain things at different times – what they needed, what they wanted and how that changed over time,” wrote Kristen Hawley, digital stratgey consultant at Red Magnet Media, in an email.

check out this video of the DLD 2012 Conference with John

Pics on the right: on January 30 John Taylor & Simon Le Bon were interviewed on the TV show Gottschalk in Berlin.

''My idea of a hot spot is a really cool vintage record store, or a modern art gallery, or a rare-book store. If I can find all those three things within walking distance of the hotel while on tour, then that's truly a hot spot. If they're open late, with a good coffee bar nearby, then it's a very hot spot.''

John Taylor, Jan 2012

 

"That was fourteen of the most intense Duran-Days I can remember" John Taylor, February 2012

First Leg of the Euro Tour

Jan 21 - Alpine Polo Club, Klosters, Switzerland
Jan 23 - Gasometer, Vienna, Austria
Jan 24 - Tonhalle, Munich, Germany
Jan 26 - Haus Auensee, Leipzig, Germany
Jan 28 - Westfalenhalle 2, Dortmund
Jan 29 - Forest National, Brussels, Belgium
Jan 31 - Columbiahalle, Berlin, Germany
Feb 1 - Incheba Arena, Bratislava, Slovakia

 

Klosters: lost in a snow filled sky...

 

My plans to see at least a couple of shows of the Euro Tour changed over the months since the rescheduling didn't fit my work and family commitments so I had to give up the Berlin show 'cos was happening in the middle of the week, but I feel lucky to have been able to enjoy two shows over two different weekends, Klosters and Bruxelles. Both experiences weren't easy, the first one because of the heavy snowfall [Over 50cms fell over the weekend!] and the second one for the general strike that hit Belgium and forced me to delay my return one day after the show.

Two very different kind of shows | I guess the first one wasn't even considered part of the tour by the band themselves since their performance was part of the Altitude Festival, Klosters's first ever music event. The event coincided with the Klosters Snow Polo tournament where international players competed during a five-day. And the organizers were cool enough to give a team the name Duran Duran, in purple uniform; sadly they lost.

The guys played a shorter but intense set, 14 tracks but and of course without their cool stage set. Having said that I'm so incredibly happy I chose this show for many reasons, first of all because it was quite a singular event with the guys playing inside a tent, so in a quite intimate show where I easily managed to get a great front row/center stage spot. Secondly because I had a chance to taste a bit of the VIP and glamour atmosphere sourranding the hit event of the whole day that was the charity dinner in support of the Sentabale, last but not least I really enjoyed staying in Klosters, a picturesque Swiss ski resort famous for its royal connections, it was like being inside one of those Christmas postcards, know what I mean?

The Daily Mail reports: "Simon Le Bon’s appearance at the Snow Polo was in doubt after the Duran Duran singer, his wife Yasmin and daughter Amber, 22, were held up by a car crash on their way to Chalet. A source says: ‘It started snowing so hard, their chauffeur-driven car was getting snowed in. Their chalet staff had to be drafted in to dig them out. It was all hands on deck, but Amber and Yasmin had heels on so didn’t get stuck in

During their stay in Klosters the guys stayed at the £5,600-a-week Chalet Chesa Falcun, that was so close to my hotel that the same night I arrived in Klosters I bumped into Tara Palmer Tomkins, whose car was stuck in the snow, who asked me directions to get to Nick Rhodes's house. Quite a surreal situation! In the evening I managed to see the guys arriving at the charity dinner and take pics of them on the red carpet, or I should say *white* carpert considering that was snowing... it was a perfect ending to such a cool adventure to have a chance to say hello to the guys, have a quick chat with them and meeting an icon such as Annie Lennox who smiled and posed for my camera.

Thanks Nick for looking at the right camera!

Arcadia 2012?! Why no John you might think?! The photocall was improvised on their arrival... it was too cold and raining/snowing so John had already gone inside when they were asked to pose for the photographers.

 

Under the umbrella: Roger and Nick, Simon and Yasmin, Amber and Dave all going into the VIP tent were the charity dinner took place

Annie Lennox poses with Simon and John. Annie during her impromptu performance of Sweet Dreams. In the fourth polaroid Amber, Dave, Yasmin and [if you look closely] Nick - partially hidden - with Tara.

 

Above pics taken at the charitity dinner. Just above the guys playing an impromptu version of Ordinary World with the talented French duo Elona Kane.

 

The highlight of the Klosters events that weekend was the charity dinner in aid of Sentebale. The ambassador for the cause was Annie Lennox, who spoke movingly on behalf of the charity.

Among guests, Jeremy Hackett - founder and chairman of British designer menswear company Hackett London- who says "I am pleased to hear they raised a considerable amount in the auction - one Gentleman forking out CHF 8,500 for the privilege of owning a Hackett personally tailored suit.

Hackett continue "I bumped into Simon Le-Bon, who's band Duran Duran had been playing earlier in the day and who's impromptu renditions of their hits raised even more money, an extraordinary man in an ordinary world."


Tara, Not an Ordinary Ex

Tara Palmer Tomkins recounts: "Had a wonderful weekend in Klosters at the end of January with Duran Duran. N.B. Girls, always keep good relationships with ex-boyfriends. In this case, Nick Rhodes was the perfect host, and Duran Duran gave an outstanding performance at the Klosters Snow Polo tournament. At the dinner for Prince Harry’s Sentebele charity , I bid 10,000 Swiss Francs for Annie Lennox to sing live."

"She is beautiful, hardly any makeup, no mic, one of the best 3 minutes of my life as she sung Sweet Dreams. All the money raised goes to provide support to the orphans and vulnerable children who are badly affected by the HIV/AIDs epidemic Lesotho in Africa so every Franc was money well spent. Simon, also sung, acoustic Ordinary World, and I was rocking out backstage with Amber and Yasmin le Bon."

Tara came to see the Duran show and stayed in the photographers area dancing and singing like a proper duranie.


Tournament head of marketing Celeste Neil reports about the event: "Well done to all teams taking part at this teurnament — this year we experienced everything from record levels ef snow falling on Friday evening to Duran Duran and Annie Lennox singing unplugged in the VIP tent! The charity evening in aid ef Sentebale added a new level ef glamour and fun te the tournament, with attendees including the British pop stars Duran Duran who had played live en the Saturday 2th afternoon on location at the polo at the Altitude Festival."

"The evening also saw a thrilling auction to raise meney for the charity and the Annie Lennox singing an acoustic version of "Sweet Dreams" at the table for the highest bidder, whilst super model Yasmin Le Bon and her daughter Amber cheered her on Simon le Bon's acoustic version of `Ordinary World". Much fun was had all round and it was indeed one efthe most memorable Klesters Snow Polo tournaments te date!"

A festive atmosphere in the tent when Simon and Annie started to sing

Umbrellas and hats: the guys on the arrival at the snow polo charity dinner sheltering from the snowfall.

The organizers were cool enough to give a team of the snow polo the name Duran Duran, in purple uniform.

Still can't believe that Annie Lennox gave me that beautiful smile. Lovely!

 

Cool Klosters photo gallery

"Trying to capture the energy and the awesomeness of the band on stage" #1

Duran Duran's frontman Simon Le Bon came on stage with a silver jacket, he looked a bit like Marty McFly in "Back to the Future"

[quote from a review published on a German newspaper]

 

 

Ordinary World still represents a strong element of the more intimistic part of the Duran Duran show

 

"Thanks for the cheese",

John at the end of the Klosters show to the crowd stunned at the smell of raclette cheese in the marquee

 

The guys rocking the house in Klosters

 

Art Attack in Vienna and Munich!

 

Vienna Gasomenter | A show not only for the only the local people but in the crowd there also many Slovenes, Croats, Czechs, Poles and even Romanians.

A local newspaper the day after the show reported: "singer Simon Le Bon shows us that he still has a great voice, constantly jumping and flirting with the audience, he knows how to lead the show in the right direction. Nick Rhodes on keyboards somewhat hidden in the darkness only did a few comments into the microphone [a slight criticism of contemporary art that is too often based only on repetition and it is often performed by machines, not people] one of them was the prelude to "Blame the Machines".

John Taylor reports via twitter from Vienna and Munich | "Culture vulture attack! Nick and I catch brilliant Schiele expo at Vienna Leopold Museum."

"Another DD culture vulture strike! Entire band takes in the old masters at the alte pinakothek in Munich, Germany. Highlight for me was upper floor rooms 4 and 5: Fra Lippi, Da Vinci, Tintoretto, Raphael and Del Sarto. Also Boucher's wife's bum and his painting of Madame Pompadour. We all found the early dutch and german religious paintings highly amusing, Nick particularly liking horned tailed devils tempting the deeply religious."

 

Bruxelles: Forest National, a home ground for Duran Duran

"Forest National quite the gathering of the clans. Fans from UK, France, Italy, Scandinavia, Holland and of course, Belgium."

John Taylor, January 2012

Until the very last minute my trip to Belgium to see the guys playing their show at Forest National, one of the european temples of live music, was in doubt because of the general strike affecting flights and all all kind of transports. In the end I managed to change my flight postponing my return, so on January 29th I was ready to see another Duran show.

So glad I managed to attend this 'cos it was such a great show with the usual production, on a large stage, great lighting and all and a packed Arena.

The boys were very surprised by the warm reception and the great enthusiasm they got from the audience. The guys were so amazed by the audience response that they decided to add Rio as encore at the end of the show, which wasn't on the original setlist.

As John noticed, in the Bruxelles crowd there were group of fans coming from different parts of Europe, that gave to the show a great a sense of euro-globalization and loyalty of the die-hard euro-fanbase.

The guys played masterfully every track from the dramatic opening song, Before The Rain, very theatrical in its live rendition with black and white images flowing behind them to the colorful and festive Girls on Film and Rio. So glad they played The Man Who Stole A Leopard, a high point of the show which involves the audience with the clapping but of course I wouldn't have despised Carelles Memories in the set [that they actually played in Dortmund]. Girls on Film with an improvised jam session and Simon diving into the crowd was great too see!

"My God, it's quiet and beautiful and peaceful like the eye in the middle of a hurricane, I wanna dive into that!"

Simon le Bon, Bruxelles, January 29, 2012

My personal highlight from this show are the two hit singles from The Wedding Album, Ordinary World which Simon dedicated to the families of the victims of the Costa Concordia incident in Italy [dedication that he did in Munich too, check out a video of this moment] and Come Undone, which I found particulary touching, for a personal renewed interest and rediscovery of the lyrics of this beautiful song which still represents a strong element of the more intimistic part of any Duran Duran show.

It was nice to see the guys after the show at the bar and chat with them in a very relaxed and informal situation, still inebriated by their fantastic performance and by the effect of a couple of Sauvignon blanc glasses.

 

Before they left Bruxelles the guys were kindly asked to sign the hotel's guestbook, and they all did. Here is the page of the book.

 

Cool Bruxelles live photo gallery

Trying to capture the energy and the awesomeness of the band on stage #2

 

"The work rate has increased for Duran Duran over the years. Live shows have become such a big part of our job, partly because we now depend on them for more of our income.

Simon Le Bon, January 2012

 

In Vienna Nick did a few comments into the microphone [a slight criticism of contemporary art that is too often based only on repetition and it is often performed by machines, not people] one of them was the prelude to "Blame the Machines"

"We get the most fantastic audiences pretty much everywhere we go"

John Taylor, February 2012

"Wild Boys is always a good one to perform as it gets such a good crowd reaction and is so powerful. I also like performing whatever song we close the show with- I love the climax and listening to the crowd go wild. I’m exhausted after we finish performing but also enervated, it’s a mix of emotions"

Simon Le Bon, February 2012

 

More Fan reports from Europe

I want more Duran Duran! by Anu Poukka from Finland

 

 

A chilly January weekend in the central-Europe queuing for GA concerts, not ideal, but it was well worth the effort knowing that the hottest band on the planet would heat up the audience in a matter of minutes. All You Need Is Now tour must be one of the best tours Duran Duran has played!!

I had been lucky enough to see three UK shows in December, and this time I was really looking forward to seeing how the show has developed for the European leg of the tour.

Dortmund – Audience was shouting, roaring and dancing, as soon as the lights were dimmed. The party was on!! After the first 2 songs Simon greeted everyone in German: “Guten Abend, Dortmund! Westfalenhalle! ZWEI!”, and that really broke the ice. The band looked relaxed and confident, and sounded solid! It is a pleasure to see them smiling at each other during the show – as if complimenting one another of a job well done - ‘I liked that bit!”.

The evening was magnificent! The energy that the band picked up from the audience just fired the engine to full capacity! You could see that the band was happy with the show and enjoyed playing!

After the concert a small crowd was waiting for the band at the back entrance in Dortmund. Are they still in or not? And yes! Even if it was quick meeting while they walked into the waiting cars, it is always breathtaking to meet them in person. John and Dom walked straight in the cars. Nick, Roger and Simon took time to talk and sign CD covers, photos, concert tickets, etc. I thanked both Nick and Roger for the wonderful concert and amazing evening, and Nick replied “We thought so too!”

Dortmund Set List

Before The Rain / Planet Earth / A View To A Kill / All You Need Is Now / Too Bad You're so Beautiful / Come Undone / Safe / The Reflex / Girl Panic! / Tiger Tiger / White Lines / Carelles Memories / Ordinary World / Hungry Like The Wolf / Sunrise / Wild Boys [Encore] Notorious / Rio

In the pic Simon and Anu

The shower... in Bruxelles!

Brussels – Wow! What an evening! I have never experienced such a crowd! Almost a full house that was on their feet screaming from the first sound of Return to Now, and did not stop even when the band left the stage! Simon greeted the crowd in the beginning both in French and Flemish, and prior Girls of Film he acknowledged all the travelling fans he had seen in the audience during the evening. and yes, I screamed at ‘We’ve got Finland’ – our flags had been seen!

There were changes in the set lists, and you could see from Simon’s dancing that he was enjoying the evening – you know, the more excited he gets the funnier the moves and his facial expressions get!

Brussels Set List

Before The Rain / Planet Earth / A View To A Kill / All You Need Is Now / Blame The Machines / Come Undone / Safe / The Reflex / The Man Who Stole a Leopard / Notorious / Girl Panic! / Tiger Tiger / White Lines / Ordinary World / Hungry Like The Wolf / Sunrise / Wild Boys [Encore] Notorious / Rio

Both shows were fantastic! The lighting and screens are used differently in each song. The band also uses several tapes on the screen – and sometimes you realize there is so much to see that you hardly even look at the band! I think the All You Need Is Now stage set is very clever, and seems to be easily adjusted to both small and larger venues. Could well be that this is their best tour ever! And how do they sound – powerful, energetic, intense!

My personal favourites?Too many!

Dortmund - Too Bad You’re So Beautiful. It is so much fun to sing this one back to the band. And of course we all try to catch an eye contact - I'm a hostage to that face of yours!

Meeting the band after Dortmund concert – Unexpected, relaxed, quick, and I’m in cloud nine!

Brussels - We got an extra song as a starter for the encores - part of the audience started singing the song known as the "po-po-po-po song" [a chorus used mainly in the italian stadiums during football matches which is nothing more than the refrain of 2003's Seven Nation Army song of The White Stripes] and then suddenly everybody was singing the same tune! When the Band walked back to the stage, singing/humming never stopped - Simon picked it up, Roger started drumming, and Dom added guitar into it - and this went on for a while. It was a great jam session, a very special moment!

Over 14 minutes of GOF in Bruxelles!

check this | and this [ full version]

 

"This has to be the best German touring experience Duran has ever had. A short but sweetly perfect tour."

John Taylor, Jan 2012

 

Change of the set list – When seeing more that one show, it's always great to hear different songs. I loved that Leopard was added to the set list in Brussels. And that in Dortmund Notorious was played as an encore with band intros while in Brussels it was played earlier so that Girls On Film could be played as encore with intros.

 

My six seconds with John! – And when it happens to you, you know you could faint on the spot! John caught me singing White Lines in Brussels, and he kept nodding and smiling at me. I found a You Tube tape afterwards and counted totalof 6 seconds under his watchful eye. I could not have lasted a second longer…

 

Roger thanking the audience in Brussels – When Simon introduced Roger during Girls On Fim, he began his drum solo - stopped – stood up behind his set, waved and smiled – and the crowd went wild!! Only then he continued. I have never seen him doing that in a concert before, and that if anything was a clear sign that he really had enjoyed the Brussels concert!

Travelling with friends – One of the most enjoyable part of Duran gigs, meeting old and new friends, fans from various parts of the globe, first timers, experienced tour veterans, facebook friends, tweeters – mixed crowd of Duran enthusiasts. As John tweeted afterwards from Brussels, and the same thing can be said from Dortmund with the addition of at least Germany and Austria: “It was quite the gathering of the clans."

Until next time! I may be a deluded fool but still, Fascinated!

 

 

3 shows in 4 days and a cool meeting with the guys in Leipzig!

Rie Stavis from Denmark reports

Jan 27th, 2012 | After a good night’s sleep after the show the night before, I made my way to the hotel I knew the band was staying at in Leipzig. I arrived around 11 am but didn’t expect too much but needed something to do before taking the train to Dortmund at 2.40 pm.
Few other fans I knew were there. We were sitting at a table in the coffee bar where you didn’t have to pass if you came from the rooms but we had a good view of what was going on. The others told me about the strike in Belgium the following Monday and that it would be bad with no flights, trains or buses and road blocks. I was just about to call my airline to sort things when John came down. He was waiting for someone [who turned out to be Simon] and he came over to us.

He was being really nice. He asked if we enjoyed the show. I told him I was from Denmark and he asked where in Denmark. I asked for a photo and he said “sure” and I got a nice one. Then I asked him to sign my All You Need Is Now cd and he asked if my name was spelled with an e or an a and signed it with love, John. He told us that the next European dates probably would be in June.

I asked him what they were doing about the strike in Belgium and he goes “What strike?” and we told him about it. He seemed concerned that they might have to go by road to Berlin. Then Simon came down from his room. He didn’t see us/didn’t bother and left together with John – they were going to a museum.

After a little while Dave came. Apparently they were all supposed to check out at noon and he seemed annoyed that nobody showed. When Simon and John returned it was planned that they would all go and see a church but the rest of the band didn’t come to check out.

"Did I see your flat last night?” Simon Le Bon

A little later Simon returned but not John. He was standing outside and one of the others said that if I wanted to talk to him I should better go outside. Nobody wanted to come with me and I didn’t want to go by myself. After a bit of “begging” one of the girls joined me. We went outside. Simon was standing talking to Simon Willescroft. I went up to him and asked him politely for a photo which I got. I said to him “you saw my flag last night?” [I brought a Danish flag to the gig and at one point he pointed at me and smiled]. He misheard and asked very surprised “Did I see your flat last night?”. I repeated the question and he said “yes, I saw your Danish flag” and smiled. Then I asked him to sign my cd. He said he liked to sign black on black. He signed it with his name and a little heart and I put myself together to ask if he would sign it for me and added “I’m getting demanding now”. He laughed and signed it “for super demanding Rie”. The other girl got a picture with him too and then we said goodbye and left him be and went back inside. The time was now about 1 pm. I don’t exactly remember what happened then but I think they all left to go to the church...

Can you please take another one? Roger Taylor

Roger was the first to come back about 40 minutes later. A couple of the other fans went to talk to him but again nobody else wanted pictures. I went to ask him to sign my cd and get a photo. I took one and he said “I think I closed my eyes, can you please take another one?” which I did and the second one turned out very nice [rarely that they are concerned about how your pictures turn out].

John joined us at our table he was very nice

Shortly after John returned and signed a couple of autographs for some fans outside. Took a few photos and went back to the others inside. I just got back to my seat when John decided to join us at our table and sat down – he was being even nicer than before. Asked if any of us needed tickets for any of the shows, but we all had our tickets. The others asked if they played Dortmund before and he started talking about a TV-show they once did there. I told him that it had been very cold yesterday and he said I ought to be used to the cold being a Dane [yes, John but even if I come from a cold country I don’t tend to stand out in the cold for hours].

“What does general strike involve? Nick Rhodes

Nick, Simon W and Dom were back now too. They didn’t join our table as John but stood nearby. I went over to Nick to have him sign the CD and to get a photo, I got Dave to take it. After that he came over to our table but didn’t sit down. Someone asked if he would take off his sunglasses but he refused and said that it wouldn’t do either of us any good. We talked a bit about this and that including the upcoming Belgian strike asking “What does general strike involve?” [Nick, that’s kind of in the word “general”].

They were leaving soon and Simon was still not back and the band went outside to wait for him. Anyway, he came back and they got ready to get in the cars. We didn’t go outside though. They were all there but Dave came back in like he was looking for somebody and someone said to him “you know, Andy is not in the band anymore!” and he laughed.
At 2 pm they left for Cologne [they were not staying in Dortmund] and it was just the right timing for me as I had to make my way to the station for my train to Dortmund. I had first class and it was nice just to sit and relax and “absorb” everything that happened. I arrived to my hotel in Dortmund around 9 pm after a long and exciting day.

Here my highlights of the tour:
Leipzig: The beautiful venue by the lake; Having 1st row; The great support band called A Silent Express; Simon inviting a Brazilian fan on stage to start off “The Reflex”; “Being Followed” instead of “Blame the Machines”, Simon acknowledging my Danish flag; Meeting the band the day after the show.
Dortmund: Meeting up with good friends; Having 1st row again – this time center; Again the great support band A Silent Express [think I’m becoming a fan]; “Too Bad You’re So Beautiful” and “Careless Memories”; Got a tweet shown on the screen during “Tiger Tiger”; Saying goodbye to the band when they were leaving the venue.

Brussels: Meeting up with everybody, getting 2nd row despite quite a lot of VIP’s with early entrance; The amazing crowd; Simon dedicating All You Need Is Now to all the fans who are following them for a long time; Getting a personal tweet on the screen for “Tiger Tiger”; Before the encores when the crowd spontaneously starting singing “oh oh oh oohh” and the band followed the tune; The whole of “Girls on Film” – the long version with band introductions.
The place was fuming and Simon mentioned all the countries he knew were present [including Denmark]; The fun I had with my new Dutch friends after the show [I went with them to Holland so I could fly from Holland instead of Belgium because of the strike].
After seeing Duran Duran 50+ times I must say they are better than ever. I will never get tired of seeing them live and I’m already looking forward to more dates in the summer.

 

Simon tells about being on tour for weeks with the guys and their foibles

Do you all get on? Does anyone have any travel foibles?

We all get on really well and it’s fun to travel although we are all different.

 

  • Roger likes to sleep, he sleeps all day and anytime he can. Being the drummer he uses up so much energy he needs his rest!
  • John has to have music in his room at all times. Nick is funny, so funny, he doesn’t like anything brown. He hates the colour brown. So if he gets a brown room he has to move and get a non - brown room! He is such good fun to go out with too.
  • John and Nick tend to do our travel research so they will find out all the good places to go before we get somewhere; find the art galleries and films to see and get us invited to cool things.
  • I’m boring! I have to look after my voice so I steam a lot to keep my vocal chords in shape and do my exercises- you have to look after yourself whilst out on tour

 

A Silent Express and Duran Duran

 

“When we started out as a band we never could have imagined being the support act of famous performers like Duran Duran. They’re amongst our heroes!

It’s a dream come true in the most classic way. We are four guys from Holland who enjoy a great passion for music and are all vinyl collectors. When we started collecting, the first records we bought were the Duran Duran ones. I still remember very well how we were totally blown away by the songs on ‘Notorious’, they so very much inspired us.

We want to thank Simon, Roger, John and Nick for this incredible opportunity and can’t wait to share the stage with them!”

You can learn more about A Silent Express by clicking here

 

“Dobrý vecer, Bratislava! Dobrý vecer, Slovakia!”

Bratislava | Incheba Arena in Bratislava has a capacity of about three thousand people and it was packed for the Duran Duran show! The band's performace suited to the smaller venue. The guys were warmly welcomed at they arrival [check out a funny video uploaded by the guys of duranduran.sk]. The show was great as reported in this review.

 

New interviews in support of the upcoming shows in Dubai and Australia

 

Interview originally published on expatwoman.com | Gail interviews Simon Le Bon ahead of Duran Duran's concert in Dubai. Here’s what Simon has to say about the weather, dogs and their first public gig in Dubai...

Simon Le Bon arrives at the Stella McCartney Special Presentation at 13 North Audley Street during London Fashion Week Autumn/Winter 2012 on February 18, 2012 in London.

Have you ever visited Dubai or the Middle East before?

Blimey yes! We came years ago to perform at a corporate event for a magazine launch. It was a long time ago and we stayed near the amazing Burj Al Arab. We are really looking forward to performing our public show in Dubai for the first time though.

What are your plans while you are here? Things you’d like to see and do?

I’d love to find some art galleries to have a look at while we are in town and also to go out into the desert- we didn’t get chance to do that last time we were there…

Where is home these days and tell us about your dogs? We see you tweet about them

Home is Putney SW15 - has been for 20 years - it’s a bit chilly here today but lovely crisp weather! The dogs are loving it! We’ve got 3 dogs a Boston Terrier called Cecil who’s really clever, he can do the Times Crossword; Tinka who’s a psychopathic Chihuahua, she hates all other dogs and only loves people - we think she thinks she’s a human; and Luigi, our pug, who loves to eat, eat, eat - that’s what Pugs do! We’ve also got 2 cats, so it’s a total menagerie here and with 3 daughters who think they have a divine right to fill the house with furry pets we’ll probably end up with more.

What is it like touring in a band these days? Is it massively different from the 80s?

It’s very different touring today as we have changed. We are a lot better at it now; we’re more grown up, more focused. In the old days it was a lot about the after show parties, which was ok for a while- now it’s more about the performance and the music.

In the old days the screaming from the audience was so loud you couldn’t even hear the music sometimes. It took us some time to get to that stage though. The change to that cacophony was gradual but we took it in our stride.

What’s your favourite song to perform and why?

That’s a hard one; every song is good to perform. Ok if you push me it’s White Lines because it’s not a Duran Duran song and we have fun with it. Wild Boys is always a good one to perform as it gets such a good crowd reaction and is so powerful. I also like performing whatever song we close the show with- I love the climax and listening to the crowd go wild. I’m exhausted after we finish performing but also enervated, it’s a mix of emotions.

We’ve been doing some great shows recently and ever one is getting better and better which is such a great feeling. Our audience is such a mix of ages we have our younger fans and a big chuck of the 30 to 50 age group and they are all loving our concerts.

What do your kids think about “dad being in a band”?

My 3 daughters love me being in a band. They all love music so much- one has even got her own band. All 3 are properly trained in music as was their choice- they wanted it. They think I’m lucky that the music comes naturally to me as it does to them. They do criticize me a lot though, they might say we didn’t like your shoes dad or you were a bit out of tune on that part, or a bit sharp!

Will the concert be a mix of old faves and new material? What should the crowd expect?

As we did a corporate in Dubai before this is our first public gig and we will be playing all our hits, people want the hits! We are touring our new album and our new songs have been received extremely well which is very positive. We’ve had one of our most successful videos ever with Girl Panic, although it’s hard to compare with The Reflex etc. as there was no Youtube then! The amount of interest in Girl Panic is unbelievable though. So we’ll be playing a mix of old and new and some things you won’t be expecting us to play.

 

 

*Fan*tastic Interview with Simon Le Bon | Cream Magazine

Interview originally posted here | Antonino Tati caught up with Simon Le Bon to discover a man who’s come somewhat closer down to Planet Earth than he appeared to be in the heady 1980s, but a diehard pop star just the same who talks of way-out lyrics, heady partying, sampling rappers, and still seeing girls walking hand in hand across the bridge at midnight…

Tell me, Simon, do the lyrics come first to you these days, or the music?

The music tends to be the first thing. I find it easier to write lyrics when I get a feeling from the music as to what theme to write about. Music is evocative; it creates a mood and it inspires the words.

The lyrics on your past couple of albums seem less obscure and ‘arty’ than on your earlier albums – where you used to sing about ‘union of the snakes’, ‘dancing on valentines’, and my favourite, ‘smelling’ like you ‘sound’. Was the fairly schizophrenic poetry back then part and parcel of the New Romantic thing?


I just felt back then that it was okay to create these kinds of impressions, and to use words at random but to create some kind of odd feeling. A lot of the time I didn’t really know what I was on about: I just liked the sounds of the words together. I mean, “I smell like I sound” felt like a really animal thing to be saying, and I often just let my instincts lead me there. These days I think the mood has generally changed. I don’t think you could get away with those kinds of lyrics, really.

That’s kind of ironic since society has gone into this state of, shall we say, split personality, what with the internet and the information overload we’re subjected to. You would think the timing was right for more of your old style of mixed-up lyricism to be appreciated; yet here you are writing songs with more narrative and sense.

Well you’ve hit on the whole on the whole idea of what the new music is about really: the mingling of art and commercialism.

Those old lyrics, coming from any other band, and listening to them in retrospect, would appear absolutely inane, but coming from Duran Duran, they seem somewhat profound and as though there was some message to have been found amid the miscellanea.

Some of those lyrics were bits coming from personal places, and some were just from my imagination. Union Of The Snake came from my reading this book about tantra and the whole idea of kundalini: the sleeping snake inside the man. Tantra’s a belief in the practice of kundalini yoga. As in tantric sex…

I must say, sex and a high level of decadence seem to be persistent themes in Duran Duran songs. Sometimes it sounds like you enjoy watching decadent sex to the point of seeing people, particularly women, faulting from it. Like the woman who asks for too much and gets it hard in the end of All She Wants Is, or the subject in Lady Xanax (from the Pop Trash album) who has stayed out all night and now has cracks in her makeup.

Well, Nick wrote the lyrics to Lady Xanax so it’s actually got a lot of him going on in it. I just kind of fine-tune the songs so that they ‘sing’ right. It’s interesting because Nick has a very different point of view to mine.

So ‘Lady Xanax’ could almost be a pseudonym itself of Mr Rhodes? Nick’s certainly brought a lot of ambiguity to the Duran table.

He has.

Back when there were five...
Do you look back over 25 years, ponder your juxtaposing relationship with Nick, and go, wow, that’s a long time for two very different pop players to be getting along?

We tend not to look back generally because it’s kind of sad to see how few of us are left now. There’s only us and Depeche Mode and U2 left from that whole time, really.

Interesting you should put U2 in that category and not acts like Pet Shop Boys or New Order, even while they’re in as different a genre to you as U2.

Well I always saw New Order as a carry-on from Joy Division, coming from an earlier, different period.

Initially, there was some industry backlash toward you, however a lot of contemporary music makers did grow up with your songs and appreciated them enough to have paid tribute to you by covering them later down the line. We’re talking Hole, Nine Inch Nails, and Smashing Pumpkins on stage. Kylie Minogue, Ben Lee, and Powderfinger on record. Surely it’s flattering to have these latter day artists giving the thumbs-up to you?

I always thought it was odd that Duran Duran were dissed so much by the serious music papers, particularly in the UK, because we were making good music, and when the people who really count, that is the record buyers, who then grow up and form bands of their own and cite us as influences, it feels right and makes sense to us that we’re not being ignored anymore. It’s in much the same way that we cited bands and artists as our influences like David Bowie, Sex Pistols, and Chic. Coincidentally, we ran into Kylie Minogue in New York recently after we were just talking about her. She did a very fine version of The Reflex with Ben Lee, didn’t she?

Indeed, although I’d like to have seen a waterfall cascade over our Kylie on video.

Wouldn’t we all have!

Your songs have gone beyond being covered by other artists, and have leaked into alternative genres: Notorious was sampled for P Diddy’s Born Again, and samples of Save A Prayer appeared throughout Shut Up And Dance’s Save It Til The Mourning After. Do you like all this cross-pollination of music that’s occurring more and more?

I’m pleased with it. One’s ultimate aim as an artist is to get into people’s consciousness by whatever means possible, and getting on the Diddy song and getting through to a whole bunch of people who may never have bought a Duran Duran album, getting it through their brains even if they don’t know it’s Duran Duran, is part of the equation for us. Music’s been getting more and more diverse over the past few years, and now it’s coming together again. When music’s very disparate and there’s different styles going on at the same time, there’s no one thing that really unites everybody, and it doesn’t seem to work so well for the general collective consciousness. But when you get something that everybody likes; that cuts through different groups of people, it focuses the culture just a little bit more at that time.

You’ve kept the release of original studio albums consistent, on average delivering a new one every two years…

 

I’m too lazy to actually figure out how many but [someone] said 13 the other day so I’m just repeating. There’s the first album. There’s Rio. There’s Seven And The Ragged Tiger. Notorious. Big Thing. The Wedding Album. Thank You. Meddazzaland, Pop Trash, Astronaut, Red Carpet Massacre, and the current one All You Need Is Now. That’s 12.

There are actually 13. You forgot Liberty.

It’s very easy to forget Liberty.

Forget one of your own albums? At least the creative on Liberty was lovely: lots of final genuine Eighties looks. Are you happy to see the Eighties come and go in fashion?

We’re a culture of revival anyway, but I don’t think it’s necessarily the same people who were doing it in the Eighties; kind of getting out the old gear and going, “Hey, those were the days”. This is a whole bunch of new people, who were two-years-old back then, thinking, “I want to try this too now”.

You’ve been quite fortunate having a close association to the fashion world via wife Yasmin. Do you talk business with each other; you about music; she about what’s happening on the catwalk?

No, actually.

I keep reading in the English press and online that ‘Simon and Yasmin are on the A-list again’. Do you still do a lot of the premiere and party thing?

We have a load of unopened mail. There is a fashion scene that we’re a part of, and there’s a music scene that we’re a part of, and yes we get invited to glittering openings and things like that. But we kind of ration it a little because if you go to too many of those things and you end up all over the pages of sodding Hello magazine, you feel like you don’t own yourself after a while. Also, I just don’t like to be portrayed that way all the time. I’d rather be thought of as a guy who goes up on stage, and writes and records music, than someone who goes to an endless list of parties. Don’t get me wrong. There’s a bunch of fun to be had. You’ve just got to find the right balance, because if all you want to do is go out and get trashed, it’s not a lot of fun after a while.

Did you get trashed too often in your headier days of fame?

Not really. I think we coped with the whole thing remarkably well. What we managed to keep together was our sense of humour. When you come from the background that we came from, which was working class to middle class, there’s a lot of guys around you, keeping your feet on the ground. As soon as you start losing your grip on reality, somebody somewhere starts taking the piss and it brings you back down to earth. With a bump.

One final question, Simon. Do you still see them walking hand in hand across the bridge at midnight?

You definitely do. On Putney Bridge, just close to where I live.

 

Highlights from recent interviews: John Taylor

John Taylor interview to DerWesten newspaper [some interesting quotes translated from the german article]

  • We are not a "greatest hits" band and not a revival act. We work very hard to be a contemporary band. And we almost sound better live than in 1984. Every night we go out there and want to deliver nothing less than our best show.
  • We have our permanent place in pop history. That's cool. A side effect of getting older is that you will increasingly be an example - in a positive way.
  • Until a few years ago I was the only one wearing glasses in the band and was always called "four eyes" . Now I have had my eyes lasered and the four others now all need glasses. That is ironic!
  • In the 80 years you were always voted as the "Sexiest Male pop star"... But how did you feel when you were of the rankings for the first time?
    Taylor: I think I'm even more attractive now than before [laughs]. No, actually I'm very shy. The girls always thought that behind my exteriority I hide a lot more. If they only knew the truth ...

Excerpt/highlights from the interview with John | article originally posted here |

  • ''Someone asked me recently about hot spots and I laughed,'' the 51-year-old says. ''My idea of a hot spot is a really cool vintage record store, or a modern art gallery, or a rare-book store. If I can find all those three things within walking distance of the hotel while on tour, then that's truly a hot spot. If they're open late, with a good coffee bar nearby, then it's a very hot spot.''
  • Speaking from Liverpool during a successful British tour, he talks about being ''part of a blended family''. He has a 19-year-old daughter from his first marriage, as well as 21- and 23-year-old stepchildren from his current wife, Gela Nash, co-founder of the fashion label Juicy Couture.
  • ''That's really challenging,'' he says. ''For kids to become themselves they have to work through whatever it was that mum and dad did. In my case, they have to figure out why dad took so many drugs and along the way we may have to try a few out.
  • ''I wasn't able to convince my daughter to go to university. She said to me, 'What are you talking about, you never went.'''
  • ''I remember my stepdaughter saying to me a few years ago, 'Oh my god, they played Duran Duran all night at this club I was at - how crazy is that?''' Taylor says. ''And I'm like, 'So, how did we sound?' And she says - as only your child can - 'Not bad.''
  • ''Every day that you're in the studio with Mark Ronson, you feel good about yourself - you don't feel like an old fart,'' Taylor says. ''You can't underestimate what Mark's presence does for the group's esteem. We've been targets, for a long time, of a sceptical media over whether we're valid today or if we should have thrown it in a long time ago. To have somebody like Mark, who clearly knows what is going on, want to work with us was just fantastic.''

Above picture taken during the DLD conference: discussing what techology does to change the way music is made, performed and distributed. Below John in Bruxelles.

 

 

John live in Bratislava 2012

Excerpt from the interview with John published on Time Out Australia on february 6, 2012

Do you find that the bigger you get the more inane the questions become?
It never seemed like we got asked questions of any real significance. I always used to bemoan the fact that we didn’t get asked the kind of questions that Pete Townshend would be asked. We never got asked for our views on governments and the world economic situation, but then when we do get asked those sort of questions we don’t really know how to answer them.

Well you don’t tend to cover them in your songs.
It’s just a dance that you have to go through really. I mean you always try to make an interview as positive an experience as you can make it. When you’re doing a lot in a row it does start to wear on you, but I think that’s one of those things that you have to be prepared to do if you want to be successful. You can’t really have an attitude about that sort of thing. One of the things that I’m not crazy about – and that none of us are crazy about – is being interviewed as a band.


How does that go?
It’s kind of like pass the parcel, you have to go around and take it in turns. So you can be sitting there for like ten minutes in between comments.
Trying not to roll your eyes.
Well you know, it’s not that everybody doesn’t have something valid to say, I just don’t think any of us really need to sit and listen to each other answer the same old question.

What’s your stance on illegal downloading?
It’s never, ever bothered me. I’m a music fan that didn’t have a lot of pocket money when he was a kid. I bought what I could afford and taped the rest off radio or made a tape from my friend’s copy of the album.

We’ve always done well. We love to write, we’ve got a lot of songs out there and we love to perform. I’m not hurting. I don’t have an attachment to what I call ‘delivery systems’. We write songs and we perform them live – that’s what we do for a living. How the songs get out there into the public domain… it can go either way.
If you produce an album, you produce a CD. I have to think that the latest CD we’ve produced is worth the ten dollar asking price, so I think if you can afford it then it’s worth the money. I think if you buy music – good music – you still get the best value for your dollar. But I feel that a lot of music buyers were burnt a little bit by the CD age. The younger generation… it’s been so easy for them to get music free; I don’t know whether they’re ever going to get their heads around the idea of paying for music. I think songwriters and performers will survive. They just will. Maybe there isn’t as much money in the pot as there was in the mid-70s or mid-80s, but the good writers and the good performers will survive.


Rumour has it you had a bit of a nerdy side as a kid. Has that carried through to adulthood at all?
I’m letting my inner nerd breathe. I spend a lot of time in the country now and I took a walk around the country yesterday with a friend of mine who was telling me what all the trees were called, and what this was called, and I really enjoy that. I’m interested in a lot of things. As a kid I was into war and model soldiers and aeroplanes, but I think everybody in my generation was like that.

 

"On stage with Power Station or Neurotic Outsiders I've never felt truly at home, it was more like being in an hotel. Duran Duran, however, are my home."

John Taylor Fefruary 2o12.

John Taylor interview to Rolling Stone Germany [some interesting quotes translated from the German article]

Was there ever an argument with you or fist fight on stage, as they are in many bands into a myth?
I have to think... no, never. None of us would be selfish enough to see his personal stuff going there.

You've played with other bands. After all these years, why you think it's so special to play with Duran Duran?
Me, along with Roger, Nick and Simon never feel out of place! On stage with Power Station or Neurotic Outsiders I've never felt truly at home, it was more like being in an hotel. Duran Duran, however, are my home. The typical bass lines I play sounds at their best only when Simon, Nick and Roger play with me. We have learned over the years together. That's what makes a band.

 

 

Highlights from various recent interviews: Simon Le Bon

"My vocal cords started to bleed... it was very bad and serious. Luckily enough I did not have to undergo surgery. I had to acquire new vocal techniques so that something like this never occures again"

Simon Le Bon, January 2012

From AsiaOne | Le Bon said: "Nick, John, Roger and I have had some rough edges over the years as Duran Duran. "Eventually, when you've been together long enough, the egos in the band will begin to relax. We've all become genuine friends, which is more than can be said for a lot of bands.

"The work rate has increased for Duran Duran over the years. Live shows have become such a big part of our job, partly because we now depend on them for more of our income.

"I met Yasmin when we were already in a very busy period of our lives, so we are used to being apart for long periods due to work." Le Bon, who has been married to 47-year-old Yasmin for 26 years, revealed that compromise is the secret to keeping their marriage rock-solid, given Duran Duran's hectic touring schedule. He said: "It can be as small as what to watch on the telly, or what we have for dinner. These things make all the difference."

Keeping Duran Duran musically fresh is also of paramount importance to Le Bon. He said: "We don't want to be known as a 'greatest hits band'. "We've always pushed ourselves creatively."

"It's important to keep producing music. If we don't, our creative spark will just die." Duran Duran collaborated with music producer Timbaland and singer-actor Justin Timberlake on the 2007 album Red Carpet Massacre.

"We sort of got pulled by our fans - especially the younger ones - into producing modern, contemporary music over the past two decades." "We started out as a rock band and with [our latest 2010 album] All You Need Is Now, we've finally returned to our roots.

 


Translation of some interesting quotes from the Blick article originally published in German here

 

  • Klosters is one of the favorite places of Prince Charles and his sons. Are you a Royalist?
    No, I'm a Republican. But as a Brit, I have respect for the Queen and her family. If you think that Queen Elizabeth II this year is celebrating its 60th jubilee... is remarkable. I think it is a wonderful queen. I William and Harry at the Diana tribute concert, which was organized by them. I like them both very much.
  • Your last appearance in Switzerland, eight months ago, was at the Energy Fashion Night at the Hallenstadion. How cool is that?
    As long as it's cool, not cold, it's wonderful. Seriously, Zurich was a fantastic experience. We went to eat after our performance in a fine Italian restaurant, then have stayed at the beautiful Hotel Dolder, it was lovely. What happened to me then was horrible. Shortly after Zurich we had a gig in Cannes. In In the middle of the concert I was gone...
  • What has happened? "My vocal cords started to bleed... it was very bad and serious." "luckily enough I did not have to undergo surgery". "I had to acquire new vocal techniques so that something like this never occures again"

 

 

Full press release from international mags and newspapers

 

Click on all the thumbnails to get bigger scans of the original articles. This time you'll find a range of German, Austrian, Swiss, Italian, Slovakian and even Singaporean and Hongkongese newspapers.

At the moment the article above is only available in medium size [so it's unreadeable] but I will hopefully get a bigger scan for the next site update. And a last minute addition: get this!

Since the band will be touring the world all this year, If you want to contribute a scan from your local newspaper or magazine just send it to info@duranasty.com

In the pic Nick and Nefer at a Fashion show, February 2012

 

“Duranasty.com is a fan-site with one step into the past, one into the present and eyes always looking to the future”

"The Duran Duran fans have eyes for visuals and they also have great taste, knowing that I always operate in that ‘artsy’ direction"

 

duranasty is a "duranism" coined by the founding members Nick Rhodes and John Taylor.

Back in the late 90s Nick compared the band’d history to a soap opera, Dynasty, I just loved the way he stared that sentence with that laugh: ‘The life and time of duranasty” that’s where the site’s name comes from.

Back in November 1997, when John was out of the band, he said to a journalist: “We used to say it was like ‘Duranasty’, Duran Duran is like this fucking soap opera.”

 

Given the importance of the anniversary a bit of celebration is due, so check out an excerpt of the interview that this that Kirk of ddrockhall did with Salvo last year [you can still read the full interview here part one and part two]

Kirk: When did Duranasty officially start? Do you have people helping you?

Salvo: behind duranasty.com there’s only me, I do it all on my own, I do the writing, the exclusive interviews, the web-and archive reserach, the visuals and the webdesign… it’s a lot of work, believe me.

The site isn’t one of those easy preformatted websites, it’s all designed by me because I want flexibility from a visual point of view and to easily change the design of the page and adapt it to the content from time to time. The Duran Duran fans have eyes for visuals and they also have great taste, knowing that I always operate in that ‘artsy’ direction!

Of course fans help me a lot passing along news and pics, there are regular emailers whom send in updates and web research.

The site started in february 2002. I was freaking out with the news of the Duran Duran reunion, one of the most exciting moments of the Duran Duran history so I had to do something concrete to let the love flow in something cool, an homage to my favourie band.

I had to communicate with the rest of the fan base so this little baby, duranasty, saw the light on february 2nd 2002, the same day Planet Earth was released back in 1981.

It had no claims, there were already plenty of cool Duran fan sites, very professional ones, and mine was just a home-made website and it used a web public service, it was hosted on Geocities!

Geocities was free so it had bandwhith limits. I soon discovered that there was a lot of interest on the site from the fans because when it had too many connections it wasn’t available for some hours as it run out of bandwith.

Old style: the beginning of Duranasty, a screencap dated 2002 and one dated 2012.

So it started like a little tribute to Duran Duran and it soon became something bigger. Getting the domain name was a little success to me as it was the moment when I understood that duranasty became something more than what I had originally projected and expected.

Why did you name the site “Duranasty” and use the payoff “The Life and Times of Duranasty”?

Well, I explained this a couple of times on message boards and I like the fact that isn’t that obvious. The word duranasty is a neologism [or should I say a duranism!] coined by the founding members Nick Rhodes and John Taylor. Nick used that word to describe Duran Duran’s long [and sometime troubled] history during a Duran tv special back in the late 90’s, one of those pre-reunion specials; He just compared the band’d history to a soap opera, Dynasty, I just loved the way he stared that sentence with that laugh: ‘The life and time of duranasty”, that’s where the site’s name comes from. Back in November 1997, when John was out of the band, he said to a journalist: “We used to say it was like ‘Duranasty’, Duran Duran is like this fucking soap opera.”

That word says it all to me, it was the perfect name to give to my webzine, a way to celebrate the history of the band. “Duranasty.com is a site with one step into the past, one in the present and eyes always looking to the future”, that’s the sentence I used in the splash page to celebrate the 30 anniversary of Planet Earth. I think it just declares duranasty.com’s mission.
The site just celebrates the band’s deeds and it often provides stuff such as pictures, scans, all stuff that the fans loves to get, but its stronger aspect I guess are the special pages, the reports and the exclusive interviews, stuff that has been done regularly over the latest 5 years, especially when there was almost nothing to report about, in periods when the guys were slowly recording the album. The site, with its regular updates and its always positive and enthusiastic attitude toward the band has just contributed to keep the Duran flame burning.

Since the newest album has been released, thanks also go to the great promo jobs that Simon, John, Nick, Roger and their team are doing we get daily updates from Duran Duran’s official sites, facebook and now even personal updates from John and Simon on twitter. They are doing such a great job and I just love this kind of instantaneous interaction, it’s just what the fan-base wants, we want to be part of the process and with internet now we are all part of the process and all authors in first person of Duran Duran’s success [ust think what we all did with the iTunes release on december 21!]. I hope they’ll keep this kind of connection and interaction also when things will be quieter and there won’t be much report about.

Above the band live in Bruxelles. Below some recent pics of the guys and Salvo taken during the first leg of the Euro Tour.

 

"I mean I do what I do with the site and the little activities to promote the band just to direct in a positive and concrete direction the great passion for this band that has been with me every single day of my life since I was a 12."

What kind of things have you done over the years to promote Duran Duran? What was before Duranasty? How exciting has that been?

Well, I have done plenty of things as I have always been a very active fan. I used to write for Duran Duran fanzines and helped, through them, to keep the Duran flame alive during the 80’s and 90's. Some readers might remember my regular articles on ADLA [A Duranies Life Association] a very popular international fanzine based in Portugal and The Groove from USA [I was the Italian correspondent], but I also been writing and submitting fresh photographs from London for a number of other fanzines such as the glorious The Icon, and the glossy Medazzaland who later asked me to become an official correspondent and so on.

I loved those fanzines and the passion that was put behind them. Those photocopied pages were a real labour of love. I used to fly to London frequently during the 90s to get fresh news, reports and pics basically from their recording studios or other venues. Warren was great and he was always up to giving updates and recount stories about an album’s progress or even let me listen some of their new stuff at his home in Battersea. Nick was also always kind and available for a chat.

It was a time when the Duran news was mostly filtering and circulating through fanzines rather than teen mags which abandoned the band in the late 80's, it was too early for the internet and there was no official fanclub which closed in 1988.

Duran knew the importance of the ‘zines and they were a lot less secretive than now, they used to collaborate more with fans running or working for fanzines as they knew that those poor photocopies were the only way to stay in touch with their fan-base. It was a great time and I do have great memories of those years. It’s all so different now. The internet has changed it all, now we have all the news we want in real time.

As soon as the internet started I got involved, it was a natural step, I just moved my interest from fanzines to fansites. I loved to contribute news to plasticgirl.co.uk, templeofsaintnick.com and minddilation.co.uk, those early sites were great and we all have to credit them for being the first fansites to support the band giving constant updates.

With sites like facebook it’s even easier now, everyone can post something and suddenly the news will make the tour of the Duran-world. Nowadays, beside duranasty.com I also enjoy posting on the so cool duranduran message board and on duranasty’s facebook page.

In my opinion, with such a over-saturation of news, the risk is to lose sight of the most significant band news as we do tend to mix it all. On the site I try to keep things essential, no personal comments [everyone is entitled to his or her opinion in the various Duran forums and blogs and I just don’t wanna play the opinion leader] or irrelevant news, just things that might be of some interest for the fans, all the rest can be easily found online as we are all good at finding things on the web.

I think a fansite nowadays, with all the news circulating on the internet, only needs to exist if it provides some exclusive content, something different from the official sources to offer to its visitors. Otherwise it would be only a replica of the band’s official site but with a different layout. Having said that, I think I will keep doing the site until I will have time and energies to work on *that something different.* I never liked mediocrity so the day I will run out of those elements will be also the day that duranasty will leave the scene.

But I want you all to know that duranasty.com is just the more visible aspect of my ‘duranity’. I do have some other projects in mind. I have been a huge Duran collector over the last three decades, my collection isn’t build around a specific item, only record or poster for example. It’s a very wide visual/audio collection. Lots of economic efforts and time have been dedicated to it over the years and I think sooner or later will become the main object of my interest as there’s a lot of archiving stuff to do. I could just direct energies to some new projects such as a Virtual Duran Duran Museum or a Virtual Duran Exhibition. Well, just another of my dreams. That would require lots of time and dedication, till then I’ll keep duranasty at its best and hope you’ll keep enjoying it.

That's all?

Yes, That's all folks! Untill Next time!

 


I want to conclude this installment with this funny, humorous but somehow realistic Simon quote:

a bit of auto-irony

Simon Le Bon compares himself to the common cold

GQ 2011 | The one question with Simon Le Bon
How have the obsessive fans changed?

The ardor in many has not cooled one bit.
They all communicate with each other and call themselves Duranies.
They know what hotels we’re staying in. What flights we’re on.
they befriend the travel agent.
Then they bring their kids and their friends to the concert until Duran Duran is like this virus that spreads.


 

Share

Duranasty.com is all about sharing but please when you post anything taken from the site do credit it and please, respect the authors of the pics: when posting them don't remove the watermarked photo credit. Thank you!

 

Important Notice: The Facebook page of Duranasty.com has almost 2000 friends. Since it's becoming increasingly difficult to maintain it with all the notifications, friend requests, etc, I started a NEW Duranasty.com public fb page. The private profile page will go on for a while anyway... I'll keep posting on both pages untill you all be on the new one.

So this is an official invitation: click the "Like" button on the NEW Duranasty Facebook page if you like it and if you want to get regular updates and news about the site activities. Thanks!

new duranasty.com facebook page

 


 

Special thanks to Nick Rhodes, Duran Duran, Warren Cuccurullo and Celeste Carlill.

This page wouldn't have been the same without the help of:

Anu, Rie, Christian, Raffaella, Petra, Ursula, Kirsty, Camillo, Domitilla, Giuseppe, Patrick, Henriette, Markus, Marko and Majo.

Thanks to all the fantastic duranies I recently met on the road. It was great to share all those great moments with you.

 

www.duranasty.com is a fan-site made with passion from a fan to all the fans of Duran Duran on Planet Earth.

No part of this page can be reproduced without crediting www.duranasty.com

contact the editor and webmaster salvo@duranasty.com | the life and times of D u r a n a s t y All rights reserved