November 17th, 2016 | One week ago the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers handed out their Golden Note Award to Duran Duran in London, at the ASCAP Awards. The event, held at London’s One Embankment, on 10th November also recognized artists Jess Glynne and MNEK with the Vanguard Award.

Other awards included: songwriters Amy Wadge for her collaboration with Ed Sheeran on “Thinking Out Loud”; Anthony Hannides, Michael Hannides, Levi Lennox and Joe Garrett for Zayn Malik’s “Pillowtalk”; and James Newman for his Calvin Harris collaboration “Blame”.

Duranasty.com was among other media invited to document and report on such an historic moment in the band's career. It doesn't happen everyday to be honoured for the real essence of your job, an award for songwriting that recognize the prolific work of this band, as longevous authors in the music business for four decades.

John Taylor couldn't attend the event but Simon, Nick and Roger did their best to represent the band with the media and the audience; for over 40 minutes on the red carpet they answered to the questions of different online news and music websites. Then they posed, smiled, sucked-in their cheeks, for the cameras of the photographers.
The guys and their ladies [Yasmin, Gisela and Nefer] all looked so elegant. Simon wore a dark blue metallic single breasted jacket with a rocking Punk Master t-shirt. Roger a classic black suit, enlightened by a bordeaux handkerchief in the jacket, while Nick wore a very cool purple velvet jacket.

They were all in good spirit [who would have imagined that just few days later they would have been involved in a High Court copyright battle?!]. They looked in good shape and in the mood to party. It was a tremendous moment to see them receiving the award, walking down the stairs [at the sound Last Nigtht In The City] with Simon ahead doing the victory sign, when ASCAP President Paul Williams, after a great introduction, called them onstage. For sure a night to remember in the Duran Duran history. This special page as a testimony to celebrate such a unique and well deserved recognition.

 

While accepting the award, Simon Le Bon
called the honor "the cherry on the ice cream"
of the band's successful career.

 

 



Iconic Duran Duran, honored with the prestigious Golden Note Award,
with ASCAP President and Chairman Paul Williams.
   

 

“Getting an award for songwriting
is probably the best thing
we can possibly get an award for.”

Nick Rhodes

 



I think that each one of the songs
we've written means a lot to us,
some of them a lot more than perhaps
the ones that have become hits

Nick Rhodes

 

 

 

 

“Strong melody has always been incredibly important, and Simon’s voice
is naturally very melodic.”

Nick Rhodes

 

 


“I do have a piano at home and play sometimes.
I love working things out. If I hear a beauliful melody,
I like to go and figure it out—‘Oh, it’s that key! Interesting.
Now where does it go? because when someone wants a beautiful song,
the progression feels very natural, even though the best ones are surprising.
You make it feel natural and seamless.
The Beatles and Bowie were as good as anyone at that.
I love listening to piano music.
particularly Chopin’s Nocturnes”


Nick Rhodes

 


“We can paint a different picture every time”


 

Nick Rhodes said: "I don't know that it's necessarily important, but it's a real thrill because actually you're being honored by a society that represents a lot of other songwriters and performers and that stuff really matters quite a lot - that and what the public thinks, more so for us always, than actually what the critics thought".

He continued: ”We make albums, we've always tried to strive for every song being as good as it can be, and we've done for every song to be a single anyway.

You want a dark and shade and light in an album, you want to be a journey really, and I think that each one of the songs we've written means a lot to us, some of them a lot more than perhaps the ones that have became hits.

Getting an award for songwriting is probably the best thing we can possibly get an award for, it's always nice to receive somebody saying "Yes, well done, here is a price!", but actually songwriting award really means something.”






Below: Duran Duran (minus John Taylor) with - from left - Membership UK/Continental Europe Simon Greenaway, Director ASCAP President and Chairman Paul Williams and ASCAP Executive Vice President,
Membership John Titta.
   

 

 

 

ASCAP president Paul Williams acknowledged in a statement that “in addition to their brilliant songwriting, Duran Duran have continued to innovate across the board,” noting their use of new technology to revolutionize the music video and their sartorial flare when working with fashion legends.


'We could've been anything we wanted to be with all the talent we had.' Bad Guys


Simon Le Bon started his speech joking with Paul Williams [ASCAP president]: "Ladies and gentleman, Paul Williams! Seriously, seriously to be presented with the award by the man who wrote, [he sings] 'We could've been anything we wanted to be with all the talent we had.' Hey Paul, do I get the job?

 

ASCAP President and Chairman Paul Williams introduces the band.

   

 

“You know artists need to be able to spend their time writing and recording and performing, not chasing around people who owe them money”

Simon Le Bon

 

 



"We're so proud to be here tonight." Simon continues "We've had the most amazing year. We released our album, 'Paper Gods,' last September, two Septembers ago. We went on the road. We've played nearly 50 dates in North America, had a great tour of the UK, played in Europe. And we go stronger, going out next year as well.

This career that we've had since I joined the band in 1980, these guys have been doing it since 1978. I'm not aging you am I? Oh by the way, John Taylor, he sends his regards. He loves you all very much. He's in L.A. having some work done. I'm kidding! He sends his regards. He's really happy and very proud to be part of this organization.

I've got to say, ASCAP, it does something very important. You know artists need to be able to spend their time writing and recording and performing, not chasing around people who owe them money. And without ASCAP, we wouldn't have the chance to live and work the way we do. Anyway, a career that's gone on for 35, 36 years up to now, we've had an amazing ride. This is the cherry on the ice cream. Thank you!" he told the crowd.


 



“The secret to our longevity?
I think songwriting is the simple answer.”
Nick Rhodes

 

 

>> Click on the circular thumbnails to access the pictures
   


We’ve enabled ourselves to stretch wherever
we liked and people would accept it
as Duran Duran
.”

Nick Rhodes

 

Nick Rhodes on songwriting and the band's vision.

What’s the secret to your longevity?

Nick: “I think songwriting is the simple answer. Because if you have a chemistry together that works well for songwriting, then you always get something very different as a band than you would get writing as a solo artist. There’s a different kind of tension in music that’s pulling in different directions written by several people. And so we did realize quite early on that we had this unique combination of energy, and what each person brings to the sound. There isn’t somebody else where that I think “Oh, I wish that was our drummer” or “I wish that was our singer.” We’re very, very flexible and we set our boundaries incredibly wide early, early on.

You look at an R&B band who just writes in that style, and there’s a lot of limitations. For us, we’ve looked at everything. We’ve enabled ourselves to stretch wherever we liked and people would accept it as Duran Duran. I think if we hadn’t done that early on, it would be much harder to move with the times.

One of the most important things about being a band is that you’ve got your own identify, that you know who you are and that you’ve got a voice — a unique voice. Because if you can’t carve out that space for yourself, then you’re in this vast ocean with all the other people swimming for survival and trying to get their head above water and get noticed. A lot of it gets drowned.

The vision for the band was always to be something that went against the grain of what was going on but always kept our sound, individually, meaning that certain things that each of us like. Strong melody has always been incredibly important, and Simon’s voice is naturally very melodic. He’s got a big range, so we have that flexibility.
I like electronic pulses and synthesizers, I like soundscapes, so that was a big part of what I bring to it. And John and Roger are able to play many different styles — funk, disco, rock, punk — whatever it is we require, but they’re a very, very tight polished rhythm section. And rock guitar and funk guitar gave us so many colors in the palate. We can paint a different picture every time with them.”

Salvo with the guys proudly showing their Golden Note Award. Below some behind the scene from the party.
Nick and Nefer chatting away with friends and Dom Brown, who also attended the event with his wife.










Special thanks to the one and only, Nick Rhodes,
for the lovely chat and for wanting to take this photo of me holding his Ascap Golden Note Award.
You never fail to surprise me, Nick!





 

 

 

Special thanks to ASCAP, Nick, Simon and Roger.

 

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