John Frusciante Connection
New element in the Duran Duran receipt
gonna be Red Hot Duran
don't know the story behind John Frusciante's involvement in
the new Duran album but it's easy to think that the key element
in getting him on board was the friendship and mutual respect
between Taylor and Frusciante.
Those guys, as reported back in 2010, have worked together on
the Swahili Blonde album, to be precise, John played bass and
co-wrote "Tigress Ritual" [2009–2010
Blonde is an experimental musical project formed in Los Angeles,
California in 2009. Founded by former 'WEAVE!' drummer and
vocalist Nicole Turley, violinist and bassist Laena Myers-Ionita,
Duran Duran bassist John Taylor and multi-instrumentalists
Stella Mozgawa and Michael Quinn.
Former Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist and Turley's husband,
John Frusciante, performs guitar on the band's recordings,
and did perform alongside the group at their debut performance,
while he was briefly a full-time band member.
The project is described as follows: "Swahili Blonde
concocts a potion from the blood of Motown, Delta 5, James
Chance, and The Slits only to pour it all over a dance floor
with Frankie Goes To Hollywood synth goo."
point of contact between Frusciante and Duran Duran is the fact
that Swahili Blonde is currently signed to Manimal Vinyl,
the same record label behind the new Duran Duran tribute album
[which includes Rio, the controversial version by Moby]. Manimal
was founded by fashion editor Paul Beahan,
one of the closest friends of John Taylor.
album is gonna be more than grand,
is gonna be epic!
can actually understand why Nick Rhodes likes to define the
album grand, not only for the music but we
think the term is appropriate also for the talented musicians
collaborating on this project...
list is getting longer and longer... in fact surprises are not
talented musician might be invoved. But only time will tell...
The band say they are "thrilled with the results"
of collaboration with former Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist.
blog post on the band's official website published on April
24th was posted to clarify rumours circulating online about
Frusciante's involvement in the band's upcoming studio effort.
In the statement, published on the official website, the group
state that they had wanted to keep news of the collaboration
under wraps but were forced to confirm it by circumstance.
working together, Frusciante is not in the studio with the members
of Duran Duran, nor are there plans for him to tour with the
group in the future.
are all such big fans of John’s work and are honoured
to have him adding his magic to the record!
guitars sound incredible on the tracks"
guys about the Frusciante collaboration
The statement reads as follows: "We were holding this exciting
news because we were hoping to give you full details when we
announced, but as word has leaked out, catching us rather off
guard, we wanted to confirm… yes it’s true, the
extraordinarily talented John Frusciante has indeed been doing
some work from his home base in California on our new album.
The tracks have been going back and forth via the internet,
and we are thrilled with the results. We are all such big fans
of John’s work and are honoured to have him adding his
magic to the record! There are no current plans for John to
tour with us, but his guitars sound incredible on the tracks."
has remained active since his departure from Red Hot Chili Peppers
and recently started a new band with Omar Rodriguez-Lopez of
The Mars Volta/ At The Drive-In. Earlier this year he also streamed
his latest solo album 'Enclosure' via a satellite in space.
it's Dom Brown out of the game? Surely not,
according to Duran Duran's HQ who replied via twitter to a fan's
was also part of the the super-group of musicians who played
at John Hitchcox and Phoebe’s wedding. The group included
Simon Le Bon, Nick Mason, Guy Pratt from Pink Floyd and Gary
Kemp from Spandau Ballet [pic below].
screenshot from Guitar Player and Consequence of Sound websites
which, in their articles about Duran Duran's new album, they
both cite duranasty webzine.
That was nice and quite surprising. We have always had recognition
from the fan-base but it's quite admirable that some relevant
media still watch and is sensible to dedicated fan-sites, the
logical evolution of the old phoocopied fanzines. Thanks a lot
Le Bon doing some funny faces for the fans's cameras, London
was great seeing Simon, Nick and Roger away from the
super-group of musicians at John Hitchcox and Phoebe’s
played greatest hits from each of the artists repertoires.
The set list included “Rio,” “Ordinary World,”
“Gold” [with Gary on lead vocals] as well as renditions
of “Satisfaction,” “Walk on the Wild Side”
and “Midnight Hour.” "It was great to hear
Simon singing these classic songs" said Dom on a recent
The grand finale consisted of Pink Floyd’s “Another
Brick In The Wall” and “Comfortably Numb.”
the pic: Simon, Gary kemp Nick Mason, Dom Brown and Guy Pratt.
bride says to Hello! magazine: "Simon was incredibly
quiet during dinner. He was hardly eating and he didn’t
have a drink,” recalled Phoebe. “ I adore Simon.
He i s one of the oldest and dearest friends of our relationship,
but I was beginning to wonder wheter I had offended him. ”Little
did I know that this is what a lead singer in a band does
to prepare himself before going on stage.”
of the Duran bits here
| No song titles yet? According to Nick Rhodes, one
of the earliest songs the guys wrote wrote for this album is
called Valentine's Stone.
report posted on the DuranDuran Message Board,
eightblack talks about a new song called Universal
and about the tracks they had just recorded with The
Voce Chamber Choir [Ed. in February]: "John said
they were working on 3 songs with the choir, he said fairly
slow songs, but anthems."
songs were very Duran, quite slow, the choir sounded amazing.
Nick said he wanted to get the choir all in black and video
it, John said 'Gavin' [Ed. Elder] recorded some footage the
other day but it was not very good"
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
Le Bon | Creem magazine interview
on the new Duran album: Mr Hudson says:
"It's the future"
will be trying out the seaboard on the new
Duran Duran album"
ROLI Seaboard is a radically new musical instrument that reimagines
the piano keyboard as a soft, continuous surface. The Seaboard’s
polyphonic pitch bend, vibrato and per-note dynamic changes
are all available, marrying the intuitiveness of a traditional
instrument with the versatility of digital technology.
Continuous touch enables you to sound a note and then take it
on a musical journey, modulating its pitch, volume and timbre
through one continuous gesture.
The unique form of passive tactile feedback offered by the Seaboard
makes it easy to sense the slightest change in pressure, thus
offering a far more organic experience than traditional aftertouch.
March, Nick and John meet the team who created and developed
the Roli Seaboard. The guys says: "We will be trying out
a demo model on the new Duran Duran album and are excited to
be collaborating with the team at an early stage by testing
one of their other remarkable forthcoming products”.
Hudson has recently tried the seaboard, he says: "I can't
play this thing very well but it's the future"
this album has replaced his previous TD-20KX kit [used on the
band’s last album and tour] with a new V-Drums TD-30KV
electronic drum kit. John
has been spotted arriving at the studio with the bass used on
the Rio album [far left picture].
In the keyboard pic: Nick Rhodes, Roland Lamb and John Taylor
with a Seaboard
Storia dei Duran Duran"* goes
on and on!
Rhodes, the keeper of Duran's flame and archiver
When I met Nick I gave him some Duran Duran items I thought
he didn't have in his Duran archive. This is not the first time
I give to Nick some vintage, unsual, and hard to find Duran
Duran books for his collection, because I know he really appreciate
this kind of stuff as he's the one who, more than others in
the band, keeps files of the Duran memorabilia published around
time I gave him different things, a nice scrapbook that I made
for him filled with vintage articles and clippings [it was nice
and funny to look and listen to his comments to some old pics,
especially the Arcadia ones when he was sporting the dark hair
hisotry of Duran Duran
Pics of some pages of the italian pop book "La Storia dei
Duran Duran" as posted by John Taylor on his Instagram
and Twitter. Below a very pleased Nick Rhodes flipping through
the pages of the massive book and other stuff... another addition
to the Duran Duran visual archive.
we take ourselves to seriously we can just have a look
at that book and we have a laugh!"
Taylor, May 2014
item that really caught Nick's interest was the italian mega
book "La Storia dei Duran Duran". It was so funny
when I had to explain him that it was called the Duran Duran
encyclopedia and it was published weekly in a period of 4 months
back in late 1987, consisting of 14 single booklets, then bound
together to form a very big book made nearly 400 pages.
a time capsule, something that only the italian marked could
produce... yet another synonym of the mass phenomenon that Duran
Duran were in Italy back in the 80s!
The item itself is a typical product of the pop-culture so it's
both amazing and kitsch at the same time... but for sure enjoyable.
Why kitsch you would ask? Because of the hundreds of illustrations
made by popular illustrator Tino Cavagnoli,
who sometimes, copying the pics, did a nice job but often the
illustrations turned the guys into monsters. Nick was quite
amused about the book "We don't have this for sure! Thanks
a lot Salvo!"
illustrations were both copied from real photographs and invented
[to describe situations that are not documented with real pics]
such as Simon wearing the infamous pink leopard-print trousers,
arriving at his audition at the Rum Runner, accompanied by Fiona
to the studio peeps, the guys had a great time going trough
all those pages and pics that evening and they had a big laugh
as Roger told me later that evening: "Oh Salvo, we had
such a good laugh today with that book, yeah! that's hilarious,
thank you so much!"
Josh, the sound engineer said that they couldn't stop laughing
and John was so amazed - to my big surprise!- that he tweeted
pics of some pages.
day after, when he saw me, he said: "When we take ourselves
to seriously we can just have a look at that book and we have
was so glad to provide some fun in the studio, I just hope I
didn't distract them so much from their work that day!
that occasion, I could talk once more with Nick about the Duran
digital archive. I ha already a brief chat with him about this
back in March, but it was so interesting that it was worth asking
So he told me that they are building up a digital archive about
all Duran Duran stuff. there are four people working on the
project and have already digitalized 6 thousand items.
I asked what's the purpose of such great work, if it's going
to be used for an exhibition, a book or something else.
He said that he doesn't know yet what all these images will
become but he said that is important to get this stuff available
Musical | I asked Nick a little
update about the musical that he and John are working on. I
just asked if the work is progressing or if it's in stand-by
mode due to the Duran album priorities, he said that the work
is actually going on, in between the Duran session.
I also asked if it will be something that we'll be able to see
in theatres or any other type of stages. He said that he doesn't
know yet on what kind of platform the musical will be released
but he seemed quite sure that theatres are one of the main options.
projects | I also asked Nick if there's any news about
his Bei Incubi book and other photographic
projects. He said the book is going to be published this year
and he added more...
new Nick Rhodes exhibition!
Nick is working on another photographic exhibition,
hopefully to be held in November. So I asked if this new project
is based on old photographs taken from his extensive archive
[Nick has been profesionally taking photographs for over two
decades] or if is new stuff. He said that is completely
new, so I -ironically- replied "We don't like
the past Nick..."... "Oh no, we like the past Salvo,
we do like the past very much, but this is something completely
the right Simon holding his printed copy of duranasty
webzine, that's the installment fully dedicated to his
work as actor and singer that I published back in October
to celebrate not only his 55 birthday but also to celebrate
his 50 years on the scene. He said "I'll give a good
read to that!"
the above pics some moments with John | That's the moment when
I gave John his presents, a personalized t-shirt and mug.
Below the moment when I gave Simon the personalized mug that
I made for him. The sentence printed on iy was actually his
twitter profile introduction phrase "consummate unproffesional,
hopless neuro-mantique and invertebrate bad speler". He
loved it so much that he said "this has to come home with
Below, in the first picture Simon, the motorbike-mechanic and
me looking at some rare picture of him
on his Ducati motorbike taken in 1992 (another of my presents)
Taylor: Ben is bringing what we were
looking for: a new flavour...
confirms once again the groovy and up-tempo vein of this album
album is gonna be finished by the summer, that's for sure!
We'd like to have something out for the fans before the end
of the year, maybe in October, possibly something being release
in some way.
The album early on 2015. That's what we're aiming for,
but I'm pretty sure about that."
Mr Hudson a new boost of energy came into the room"
one of the recent KatyKafe Roger comments positively on the
work done with Mr Hudson. Roger says: "He's great, fantastic...
we met him thanks to our management, Wendy called us and said
'There's a guy, Ben Hudson, he's a great producer, is really
hot right now and he wants to work with you guys'. We said yeah,
send him down.
He came down for the day and there, we had just the most amazing
session, it was a new boost of energy that came into the room,
we had a bit of meeting, one particular song we've been working
on worked really well.
We didn't really know much much about his background... and
he's from Birmingham so it's even better... he's a fan, it's
a similiar vibe to Mark Ronson really, he's got this background
really of liking the band, he really appreciate what we have
done, our musical history. he's
bringing a new flavour, which is what we were all looking for,
we were all looking for that new flavour and he's bringing that!
plans for dj sets at the moment, Roger told me | When I asked
him if there's any deejay set in the horizon he said that he
knew I was going to ask about that... of course I said, as many
of my Duran-friends keep asking when he will came back to spin...
got this really slow groovy song with an amazing chorus..."
Roger, let us dream about the new stuff!
the work done with Mr Hudson Roger says: "The first track
was slow but is still groovy, Ben knows a lot about the dancefloor,
so we got this really slow groovy song with an amazing chorus,
that's the first song we did together, and now we're doing something
faster, a little bit bit up tempo, still groovy stuff...
like football | We've got this body of material, each
song is fighting for its place in the team.. when we get to
the end of the process, we gonna pick up the best players, it's
a like a football team, they are all fighting for a place in
the the final line up. Once we get to the end of the process
we'll pick up the strongest 9, 10, 11, 12 tracks out of this
body of work that we have done.
Taylor, scent of the past
were the hard times of Duran Duran. We didn't have a penny.
If I was with Duran Duran, maybe they wouldn't have achieved
the success they have now, it would have been different.
Jeff Thomas, London 1985
lesson of Pre-Duran History with Roger
My present to Roger was a rare photograph of him playing drums
in his first proper band, The Scent Organs.
It was an amazing moment as Roger didn't have that picture
and he loved it. He wanted to explain to the fans who was
Jeff, I knew already of course... but it was great to get
such a reaction and bring back some old memories.
This little anecdote give me an input to post a quite rare
interview from my magazine archive: an interview to Jeff Thomas,
the only ever released, as far as I know. Enjoy!
Jeff and the Scent Organs!
This is amazing! Where did you get it?
I've never seen this, I do have one but I can barely see myself
in that one, isn't very clear like this one is...
how old was I in this pic? 12 maybe?!
Did you know Salvo, Jeff was my school mate and later on
he became the lead singer of Duran Duran?!"
Of course I know Roger...
never published online!
Unseen pics of Jeff Thomas!
and translation by Salvo |
printed text was in spanish so this piece has been translated
twice: originally from english to spanish, then from spanish
to english. I suppose the final result has probably lost something
in the double translation.
Summer 1985 | Jeff Thomas,
24 years old, left Duran Duran in 1980, when the band was just
In his apartament, in south London, Jeff is watching Live Aid,
thinking of his old friends and the time when his friend Roger
and him formed the Scent Organs.
many know Jeff, Super Pop magazine discovered him and just after
a few weeks since somebody told us about him, we thought it
was a great opportunity so we went to London to meet him and
eventually discover more about the early years of our favourite
is attractive, very thin, with long dark hair and very pale
skin. Sitting on the sofa of his living room, which is filled
with several boxes of guitars and where also stands mannequin,
tucked in a corner, Jeff start to tell his story: I met Roger
Taylor when I was studing in Birmingham. We started our band
and decided to call us The Scent Organs.
used to wander around all the Bormingham clubs such as Barbarella
and the Rum Runner.
the latter we met and John Taylor and Nick Rhodes, who were
trying to start their band, Duran Duran. At first, Roger and
I, thought we could ask Nick to join the Scent Organs as keyboar
player, but the group broke up. One day John and Nick told me
that I had the 'look' for their band..."
Jeff decided to join Duran Duran as the lead singer, even though
Roger and him didn't exactly knew what to expect from them.
thought John, that everybody still knew as Nigel, was too 'green'
to properly play the set. John was a lanky boy with acne and
a quite peculiar way of dressing. It's amusing to see the profound
transformation he has experienced. From Nigel, the teenager,
to real sex symbol.
doesn't stop talking, it seems like he really needs to vent
about all those memories.
and I used to live in a small apartament, but the rest of the
band still lived with their parents. These were the hard times
of Duran Duran. We didn't have a penny.
Berrow, the Rum Runner manager, gave us permission to use Clubin
the morning to rehearse, but in the evening we had to work at
the bar and we would sweep the ground, but it was fun."
doesn't stop to talk, it looks like he needs to vent about all
and I used to live in a small apartament, but the rest of the
band still lived with their parents. These were the hard times
of Duran Duran. We didn't have a penny.
Berrow, the Rum Runner manager, gave us permission to use Club
in the morning to rehearse, but in the evening we had to work
at the bar and we would even sweep the ground, but it was fun."
still remember when Nick and I started to use make-up. One day
we went to Seldfridges because we wanted to buy the latest eye
shadow and some girl trousers. The store's people couldn't believe
their eyes. Nick also used to steal make-up to his mom.
enough she was very understanding... I sincerely miss those
good times. It was a way to escape from the monotony of Birmingham.
lived our best time travelling around. One night we met up at
the club, and we started to talk about our most intimate secrets.
was very shy and Nick was a very naive. Roger often teased him.
The most flirty in the band were Nick and I.
usde to live in the up-class area of the city. While we were
writing songs in his house, his mom used to bring snaks such
as chocolate cookies and pastries. The frst time it happened
I coudn't believe my eyes, his parents were a wondeful couple."
of a sudden the tone of Jeff's voice change and says: "The
basis of the group was mine. I helped to consolidate what Duran
Duran is now. To me was essential the combination of the band's
image and sound in a whole.. the two elements are inseparable.
More over some of the songs on the first album are mine, there
is a part of me in them.
wanted the group to go on fastly, he hoped for an immediate
a fast success. That didn't happen and, somewhat frustrated,
he left the band to start the drama school in London.
think Simon wasn't a good singer, when he first came to the
club for the audition, Nick and John were looking for a vocalist
and didn't really want to waste time looking for the right person.
Simon told me that they would have taken him if he had lost
At that time there was a story about Simon circulating in Birmingham...
They said Simon entered a clothes shop saying: "I'm in
a band, I want shocking clothes".
denies being envious of his old friends. "If I was with
Duran Duran, maybe they wouldn't have achieved the success they
have now, it would have been different. I don't like the business
around music. I think the group now is very strong and moves
many interests, but at the same time the music business don't
let them develop musically. That's why John and Andy ventured
into Power Station, and Roger, Simon and Nick in Arcadia.
The real driver of group was Paul Berrows. Paul had an incredible
character. He invested so much money in the band and he even
mortgaged his house to finance Duran Duran's first tour.
He used to take us to music stores so we could choose the istruments
we most liked.
directed them and, when they had their first recordings on tape,
he accompanied them to meet the record label, trying to get
the first contract."
Now Jeff, after a year away from the music scene, decided to
start a new group, Man Roeg.
His past with Duran Duran is just a page of his life.
1977 Roger joins punk band Crucified Toad
Scent Organs take turns rehearsing at band member's houses,
until Roger's mother arranges for them to practice at the local
The vicar turns The Scent Organs out of the church hall for
annoying the neighbors.
Thomas was a member of the Scent Organs in the late 1970s, a
band that included drummer Roger Taylor. The shows they played
included performances at Barbarella's nightclub in Birmingham,
where John Taylor and Andy Wickett saw them play.
He was very interested with European life and travel, which
led to Roger Taylor's first trip abroad when he was 19. This
was when both of them traveled to Amsterdam, Netherlands on
the train and spent a week there. Taylor later commented that
they both wanted to live out the promise of the Kraftwerk song
"Trans Europe Express" and the European dreams of
early Ultravox and Simple Minds songs.
In 1979, Thomas joined Duran Duran on Roger
Taylor suggestion and was part of the band's 3rd official line-up.
This comprised of Thomas, Andy Wickett, John Taylor, Alan Curtis,
Nick Rhodes and Roger Taylor. The line-up never performed live.
With Thomas's input into Duran Duran, the song "See Me
Repeat Me" became "Ami a Go Go" (also referred
to as "Amy" or "MM a Go Go"). Thomas left
Duran Duran in early 1980 shortly after Paul and Michael Berrow,
owners of Birmingham's Rum Runner nightclub became managers
of the band.
Source Duran Timeline
Roger wrote this blog about Jeff on the band's official site
back in 2008
Motion on the ‘Trans Europe Express’ and Memories
out of the window as we pull into the station in Amsterdam,
I’m being transported back to my 19 year old self, that’s
when I last arrived at this train station. I was with my great
friend Jeff Thomas (who went on to become one of the early singers
in Duran Duran). Jeff was obsessed with European life and travel,
and we both wanted to live out the promise of the Kraftwerk
song ‘Trans Europe Express’ and the European dreams
of early Ultravox and Simple Minds songs. We boarded the train
in Birmingham and as we stepped out into the continental bustle
of Amsterdam we seemed to be entering a whole new world.
I had never been outside of my native country and at that point
I think I realised that I wanted to broaden my horizons beyond
my small town world. We stayed for a week in some run down youth
hostel beside a street full of shop windows that contained dubious
looking ladies bathed in red light …later that year I
joined Duran Duran, who could have foreseen what the next few
years would bring and that I would be returning nearly 30 years
later under such different circumstances? That’s the thing
about being on the road …you are constantly re-united
with a segment of your past in different cities and hotels across
the world… sometimes things that you want to remember…
others you don’t.
poses smiling with his Scent Organs photograph
'Why did you leave'?
about ex Duran Duran singers... check out what Stephen Duffy
says about Duran Duran and The Devils project in the recent
Classic Pop interview.
Here is an excerpt!
Transcription by Salvo
Dark Circles it was fascinating to hear how Duran Duran might
have sounded, had history been different...
All of the music we did as The Devils was the stuff that John,
Nick and I got together for the Iirst Duran shows, those three
or tour gigs. The newer numbers were taken from material that
I made at the time that I kept editing.
I'd carried this desk For years - it had gone in and out oI
storage - and every time I got it out ot storage I'd open the
drawer and there would be this cassette: one side there was
a Duran rehearsal and on the other side there was the
first Duran gig at Birmingham Art College*.
And then I just happened to be at a Vivienne Westwood
event and I saw Nick tor the first time in 20 or so years. I
went up to him and said "Nick..." and just he looked
up at me and said 'Why did you leave'?
Unfortunately at that point John was sort of divorced from the
group. That would have been great, it it had been the three
of us who started the band. But there's still time. The 40th
anniversary is coming up in 2018, so I'm keeping the year free,
because obviously it's what everyone's waiting for!
The Devils was very strange because obviously we’d led
such different lives, but we just slotted back- it's as it we
were brothers or something. You could never imagine Nick with
a pedal steel guitar, but we had such a load of fun getting
that old gear together. We pretended that the last record that
come out was Remain In Light by Talking Heads, we pretended
it was 1979. We didn’t use any kind of equipment that
wasn't around then.
we did the Devils, John was sort of divorced from the group.
That would have been great, it it had been the three of us who
started the band. But there's still time. The 40th anniversary
is coming up in 2018, so I'm keeping the year free, because
obviously it's what everyone's waiting for!
We'd die to listen to this!
worldwide dvd release
and cinema screenings all over Italy in July
the packashot of the European dvd
will be finally released on dvd on September 26th. At the moment
the dvd is only listed and available for pre-order on the following
online stores: amazon.de
price €17.99, while the dvd has been already released in
Australia on June 12th.
you are on holidays in Italy this month you surely won't miss
the chance to see the Duran Duran and David Lynch movie Unstaged
at the cinema. The film will be screened for 3 days only from
July 21 to July 23 in almost every city of the italian territory.
Just check out this
website to find out the closest cinema to you and enjoy!
Return To Now
All You Need Is Now
Planet Earth (with Gerard Way)
Friends Of Mine
Notorious (with Beth Ditto)
Blame The Machines
Hungry Like The Wolf
Safe (In The Heat Of The Moment) (with Mark Ronson)
Leave A Light On
The Man Who Stole A Leopard (with Kelis)
Girl Panic! (with Mark Ronson)
(Reach Up For The) Sunrise
Come Undone (with Kelis)
Bond Medley / A View To A Kill (with Mark Ronson)
Girls On Film (with all guests)
the Australian packaging of the dvd
of Discs: 1
Region: 4 [Compatible
with all Australian DVD players]
one night only Duran Duran took the stage in Los Angeles with
a historical performance that included some of the most celebrated
guests in music history. Directed by acclaimed filmmaker David
Lynch who brings his own visual style for a truly memorable
fans will complain that the band can’t be ogled over Lynch’s
digital doodlings... the film’s sound,
on the other hand, is
sharply showcasing the reunited band members in fine form.
Review: ‘Duran Duran Unstaged’ - Variety
idea of David Lynch directing a concert movie of Duran Duran
remains far more exciting than the result.
idea of David Lynch directing a concert movie of Duran Duran
remains far more exciting than the result, live-streamed two
years ago on YouTube and currently on the market for distribution
as a feature. Though Lynch appears at the start of the pic to
announce his “experiment,” the surrealist master’s
one trick here is to superimpose depressingly literal, color
representations of lyrics over standard-issue black-and-white
footage of the new wavers onstage. DD fans will complain that
the band can’t be ogled over Lynch’s digital doodlings,
while Lynch completists will grouse that there’s too much
Duran Duran onstage in “Duran Duran Unstaged.”
first feature-length work since “Inland Empire”
in 2006, “Duran Duran” opens pre-concert with a
high-pitched, overenunciating Lynch exclaiming, “I’m
very happy to be working for Duran Duran!” Be that as
it may, fun remains in short supply for the viewer, whose patience
is tested precisely by the auteur’s illustrative images
— a gape-mouthed lupine beast for “Hungry Like the
Wolf,” lights in a freeway tunnel for “Being Followed,”
a spinning globe for “Planet Earth,” etc. Even allowing
for the pressures of on-the-fly direction as required by the
project’s live webcast format, “Duran Duran”
looks exceedingly lazy.
film’s sound, on the other hand, is stellar, sharply showcasing
the reunited band members in fine form on ’80s pop hits
such as “Rio,” “A View to a Kill” and
“Girls on Film,” as well as more recent songs. Smoldering
frontman Simon Le Bon appears particularly inspired on DD’s
Top 10 tunes of the early ’90s, “Ordinary World”
and “Come Undone,” although the latter nearly comes
undone itself as a result of Lynch’s superimposed images
of hot-dog wieners frying and flipping on a charcoal grill.
longtime d.p., Peter Deming, doesn’t do enough to accommodate
the director’s incessantly indulgent overlays, while Noriko
Miyakawa’s editing remains held captive to the wildly
overused double-image conceit. Ultimately, none of “Duran
Duran Unstaged” seems a fraction as psychedelic as one
title appears as just “Duran Duran,” and the film’s
director as Lynch, although some Cannes market screening notices
billed the helmer as one Steve Stone.
Reviewed by Variety at Cannes Film Festival [market], May
20, 2013. Running time: 112 MIN.
An Asymmetrical, Magus Entertainment, Momentum Worldwide,
Digitas, VEVO production. [International sales: Arclight Films,
Beverly Hills.] Produced by Sabrina S. Sutherland, Andrew
Kelly, Michael Goldfine, Blake W. Morrison, Wendy Laister.
Executive producer, Joe Killian.
Directed by David Lynch. Camera [color/B&W, HD], Peter
Deming; editor, Noriko Miyakawa; sound, Dean Hurley; special
effects supervisor, Gary D’Amico.
With Simon Le Bon, John Taylor, Nick Rhodes, Roger Taylor,
Dom Brown, Mark Ronson, Kelis, Gerard Way, Beth Ditto, Whitney
Montgomery, Travis Dukelow, David Lynch.
report: Simon Le Bon, the poet on the bike
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