September 13th: Don’t even know where to start as there are so many things to say and report about the crazy Duran Duran italian tour so this is gonna be a fully dedicated report to the much awaited italian summer tour. I think the band enjoyed their Red Carpet Massacre tour in Italy because it was... let's just say different: a mixture of vacation and work anyway. They had attention from all the local newspapers and some national ones but of course not as much as they had during the 2005 reunion tour. Below some of the main features in the local papers.

I’d define this italian tour a low profile one for some aspects [the promotion for example was poor], with a mixture of big venues but also small ones with low capacity. Not huge audience in the small cities but of course big ones in Milan, Rome and Reggio Calabria [this last one was a free show]. One show was even cancelled, the Naples one [officially because the Italian promoter’s main production truck, carrying all of the essential components for their concert, broke down en route between venues, making it impossible for the production to reach its destination in time. Editor note: insiders and local press from Naples says that the band had to cancell the show because they didn’t sell enough so they prefered to pay the penalty].

Italian Red Carpet Massacre Tour 2008: typical italian hot summer + a very hot band, an explosive mixture to get the Duran Duran fever!

The set list

The Valley | Rcm | Nite Runner | Hungry Like The Wolf | Planet Earth | Falling Down | Come Undone | Skin divers | The Reflex | Save A Prayer | A View To A Kill | Electroset: Last Chance/All She Wants/Leatherette/I Don't Want/Skin Trade/Tempted | Notorious | Girls On Film | Ordinary World | Sunrise | Wild Boyz | Encore: Rio

The guys all enjoyed the beauties that Italy offers, from the beaches to Arts and culture. Nick spent most of his free time resting in his hotel's suite and sleeping, haven’t seen him that much around, in Rome he showed up at the hotel's bar and had a long chat with the fans till the early hours in the morning [Rome was also defined by the band the best show of the italian tour ]. The other guys enjoyed hanging out on the beaches and going out for dinner.

pictures above: some action on stage, Dom and John... what a feeling! Dom showed to the italian crowd all his talent and stage confidence. He looked perfectly integrated in the band.


Tour diaries

The band arrived in Italy on the 14th of july, a day earlier the Mantova show. They flew in trough the Verona airport but they didn’t go to Mantova, they prefered to relax in the beautifull Sirmione, a wonderful country on the side of the Garda lake where John did this interview for check it out!

All the shows went down very well, with no particular problems except for the Reggio Calabria one where the big sound went completely down during A View To A kill and after some minutes of silence the band had to leave the stage and came out ten minuets later to play the electro set [they did play AVTAK once again at the end of the show]

below three reportage pics to describe the madness that still in 2008 surrounds the band in Italy



Above pics: the band In Reggio Calabria, few minutes before the stage kick-off.

Below: Amber Le Bon claps and dances at Duran Duran's Ravenna show at Pala De Andrè.

During the entire tour the guys, including the musicians and the crew were absolutely lovely to the fans, especially Simon Le Bon who really was in his best mood. Because of the sun and the sea maybe?! His daughter Amber joined him during some of the north Italian dates. The band, for their Ravenna show, prefered to stay in Rimini [wich is a mass tourism kind of city by the sea] maybe just because Nick wanted to stay at the Rimini Grand Hotel [internationally known as the Fellini hotel because the famous italian director used to have his own suite there]. Few days later Simon told me how much he disliked the kind of places like Rimini where beaches are soooo full of people that you can't even move around. He told me he likes more “hippies” beaches.

In Milan the band played to a huge crowd at the Idro Scalo, but even if it was a big concert in a major city the press didn't notice much the presence of the band in town. John in the backstage met some representatives of the Juicy Couture shop in Milan and they had quite a meeting about some new Juicy stuff. In the pics below John shows off with pride his Red Carpet Massacre shirt to some of the Juicy people.

Above pics: John Taylor with Jeffrey [who cares about Duran's wardrobe on tour] backstage in Milan meeting some representatives of the Juicy Couture shop in Via della Spiga 20, Milan.


Duran in Calabria

chatting away with Simon Le Bon in his speedo. Close up and personal

The highest point on this tour to me was my stay in Reggio Calabria where I spend three days in the wonderfull Costa Viola on the Stretto di Messina canal, on the extreme south of Italy just in front of Sicily, where the band actually relaxed some days in a wonderfull resort. The marvellous scenery and the very confartable hotel offered many occasions to speak to the guys but the big surprise during those days was Simon! I rediscovered a very talkative and friendly Simon Le Bon, haven’t seen him like this in a long time. I spent lots of time in his company, having lunch on the side of the swimming pool, having a drink at sunset at the bar wich was located just on top of the reef watching the Stretto di Messina, then again after the show till the early hours of the morning.


John Taylor and the canadair

John Taylor on the 22th was completely fascinated about the job a canadair was doing to to extinguish the fire that was burning some forest not far away from the hotel. We could see the whole operation from the terrace, it was spectacular! John, Dave and Greg [the tour manager] keept on watching the canadair going up and down for about half an hour.

Simon and I chatted about everything from personal to public refering to Duran Duran’s next projects, from travels to foods and so on. First of all he congratuleted me about my second paternity [my wife and I discovered to expect our second baby early july, so it was a fresh news when I told him about it] and gave me advices about growing up sons and expleined the differences about little boys and girls… in his opinion the girls are quiter when they are young but they might give some problems when they grow up. Having three girls I think he has got all the right to tell his own opinion, don’t you think so?! He’s very proud of his three daughters, we talked a bit about them. They are good at school and he told me that Tallulah is into fashion design, she loves to draw fashion sketches and has got a unique style he says and she’s very good in art! He said that Amber enjoyed her vacation in Italy with him, while Saffron was on vacation in Greece right in that moment. After the tour he said was going on vacation in Ibiza then in Croatia.


Relax, take it easy...

While we were admiring the sicilian coast from the terrace of the bar where we were drinking our cocktail [he actually ordered 2 beers] I told him that Taormina is a beautiful place and there's a great greek theatre [open to lyric and pop concerts], I also added that they did an awfull mistake not playing there during this tour. Hopefully they won't miss the chance to see Taormina next time they tour Italy. I also told him about the Etna Vulcan, and we talked a lot also about the Eolie Islands [in Sicily] that we could see from the terrace… even John was interested in them and asked me the names as he couldn’t remeber the name of one of them. It was Panarea, I thought he would have liked to go there on vacation. Simon told me he sailed on the Stretto di Messina two times, last time he did was with Michael Berrow on his boat Bolero.

Rock and Roll qualities: John Taylor and Dom Brown rocking out in Reggio for 50.000 adoring fans

Simon told me that he was making a list of the best Rock and Roll singers for Rolling Stone magazine, so we discussed and commented on the names he had on top of his list: David Bowie, Patti Smith, Michael Hutchence [he said that Michael had a greeeaat rock and roll voice and attitude] Jim Morrison, Oasis, Barry White and many many more that I can’t even remember. We discussed if Prince and Bono had the Rock and Roll qualities [I mentioned Coldplay, but he said they aren’t good enough to be on his list].
I asked about the cancellation of the Naples concert, I said it’s a pity… now that Berlusconi saved us from the garbage invasion and cleaned it up… of course I was ironic mentioning Berlusconi as i knew he met him at the Briatore wedding and I was curious to see his reaction… I had a laugh talking about Mr. Berlusconi [a month later I discovered that he attended a dinner with the premier in Sardinia and he also played a song at the end of the dinner]. Simon wasn’t too sure if Mr Berlusconi was of the Centre/Righ or totally Right... so we talked a little bit about our government. He didn’t elaborate much on the concert cancellation, he was very disappointed but he couldn’t do anything about it, just felt soooo sorry for all the people who flew in and got days off and hotels. He just said how difficoult was for the band to play in Italy in the early years as veryone wanted their part of the cake and there was no way for the band to earn any money ‘cos they were all eaten by the people working in the business, so if they wanted to play in Italy [in the early 80s] they had to do it almost for free, kind of mafia he said.

We also talked about the possibility that Duran Duran did the new soundtrack for the James Bond movie “Quantum of Solace” and he confirmed that Alicia Keys will be doing the main song. He said was happy he didn’t have to write a song with the words “Quantum of Solace” ‘cos he really doesn’t like the title, and kept repeating “What’s Solace?” “What does mean Solace?”, then started to give different interpretation of the term. We also talked about Duran Duran’s imminent projects, the private show in Sardinia on agoust 12 and how expensive was to get a table for that night. He was aware of what Zucchero [the italian singer] did last summer at the same event/venue [he went on stage completely drunk and called bitch a woman who was text messaging during the show]. We had a laugh about that as I told him “Simon, don’t do the same please”.

Since MTV's Trl that week was airing live from Reggio there was a rumor circulating about a possible presence of Duran Duran at the show so I asked Simon if they were going to appear there and the answer was "No fucking way!". His explicit answer gave me the chance to tell him that "MTV's audience nowdays isn't their target anymore, in Italy [as elsewhere] MTV is just a very teen-ager oriented tv where you can only see adolescents oriented tv shows and bands like Tokio Hotel". He agreed with me.

From our chat emerged that the band might do some work in London this autumn maybe before they leave for South America. I also asked if there might be a chance that some of the stuff off from Reportage will ever see the light, he said “you never know, if so we should solve some issues with Andy first”, so I asked [if they ever release it] will Andy come back on board? The answer was “isn’t that easy for anyone”. Then I expressed my opinion, he listened and seemed very interested in what I had to say. I told him that I couldn’t see Andy Taylor happy in Duran Duran anymore, well, not from day one, I said “Andy belived in the reuonion for a short time and he seemed genuinely happy from 2003 to 2004” [at least at the public events and concerts] when you got all the acknowledgments that we all know”, so I listed them:, the Mtv award, the Brits award, the Q award, the Ivor Novello, the Ondas and so on. Even if he didn’t make any comment I could read on his face that I wasn’t too far from the truth. I soon left this subject cos I didn’t want to bore him, I wanted to keep the chat fresh and easy.

On the july 23th Simon had lunch at the side of swimming pool. He came with his plate [mainly fresh fish] toward my table and asked if he could have seat there with me and my two friends. Of course we said yes. He kept on eating his meal with a lot of fresh chili pepper, at one point he was on fire, I could see flames coming out from his mouth… I had to give some of my water! He keept on saying that the secret to eat fresh chili pepper is to take off the seeds. Simon was tooo funky that day, he keept on telling stories, he knows a bit about everything, and most of all said funny things, just like this one: the chlorine in the swimming pool does a reaction with the blond meches and give them a green shading so he suggests [and that’s what he actually does!!] to put ketchup all over the head to take off the green shading from the hair. I couldn't belive my ears.

He keept telling me how beautifull is Scilla [a nice place near Reggio Calabria] and the Castle they visited [even John was enthusiastic about it], when I told him that the Royal Ruffo family used to live there he said “Oh Oh, I had a pee in there… but I double checked no one was looking!” John agreed that the night they spent in Scilla having a dinner and then a walk at the castle was memorable.

Roger and Gisela and then John lunched in the table next to our [along the side of the swimming pool] so we involved them briefly in our chat. I told Roger “you look like you are having a second honeymoon” and Roger said “everyday is a second honeymoon”. The couple actually spent lots of time on their own, relaxing in their bungalow, doing jogging [Roger] and having massages in the Spa.
Simon keept burning his body under the hot sun, swimming in the pool or down at the beach [see the pics from the People from july 27th] and reading his book, John keept listening music, relaxing and text messaging.


The Press Conference

The Press Conference in Reggio Calabria, in a very small room of the Excelsior Hotel was the only direct contact the band had with the italian press during the whole italian tour. They had to do it since it was a local administration's request [who payed the band for the free show]. Days earlier I gave to the local administration's people and the local event organizer all the informations they needed to get in touch with the people who works with the band in Italy so they could have arranged the press conference. The journalists were expressly asked to not ask any question about the cancelled Naples show. The guys were funny and they joked about the fact that Giuseppe Scopelliti, the Reggio Calabria Major, is younger than anyone in the band and they never met a major younger than them.

pics of the band at the press conference in a very small room of the Excelsior Hotel. Below you can see Giuseppe Scopelliti, the Reggio Calabria Major, near John Taylor.

Below pics of the Reggio Calabria show: John doing all his moves during the electro set. For the encore Simon came out wearing the usual Italia blue tshirt and showed also the Reggio Calabria flag that the City Major gave him just after the press conference [he had to detach it from the wall of his own office].

At the end of the show Simon thanked the Calabria audience and also all the people who came from the south of Italy to attend that particular show [he mentioned Campania, Puglia and Sicily] and also had a special thanks to all the italian fans that have been following them on tour city by city up and down Italy.


The italian dream is over.

On the 24th of july the band left Italy from the Lamezia Terme Airport , directed to Malta where they were going to play on the 26th. I said hello to everyone, had a last laugh with John and Dom Brown 'cause John wanted him in the photo with me but when he discovered that he already took one [few minutes before he arrived] then he tryed to push him out of the photo so we all starter to laugh loudly [John and Dom were too funny!]. I gave John the local newspapers with many full pages articles on Duran Duran and translated the headlines for him, Dom also wanted one of them with his pic on so i gave a copy to him too. Before they left, I said something refering to and John said "I remember veeery well your website!". Nick had time to take a picture together, when i asked how are you? he said “I feel better now”, I think he understod that I was referring to the hard time he went through in the latest months. Then I said “it’s Malta’s turn now”, and Nick said “yes and mooore sleeping!"

Above pics: Dom Brown, John Taylor [holding in his hand all the italian newspaper with Duran Duran's concert reviews I gave him], Nick Rhodes and me in Calabria when they were about to leave southern Italy for Malta where they were going to play a successful show on july 26th, meeting their families and have some more vacations.

Below Simon Willescroft and Nick Rhodes few minutes before they left the hotel for the Lamezia Terme airport.

The Italian tour is over, another memorable one! The band left their italian fans with many great memories and some great live music. Some memories [like the one pictured below] will stuck in our head forever. Thank you guys for another great tour! Arrivederci!

The photographs in this report are exclusive property of Salvo [author of the pics, editor and webmaster of] © Except where specified. No commercial use allowed in any form. Copying, distributing, publishing, selling, editing the photographs or part of them, or using them on other web pages or message boards, is prohibited unless written permission of the author. Milan backstage photos by Christian. Beach photos The People. Small group photo with the Major by Morabito. Band with rugby manager by Fir. Amber photos by Morgagni. Thank you.