July 6 : I just arrive from a very hot and sunny London where I met the guys at their studio working hard with Joshua Blair [Recording and Mixing Engineer] at the very final stage of the recording session for the upcoming Duran Duran album. This is a fan-site, right? So here's what I do best, a fan report.

Since I was a kid I always loved to pay a visit to the guys at their London studio to show them support or just to have a more human contact with them while they were recording a new album or working on some new project. It's been a while since I last did it and I have to admit that I really missed the feeling of a face to face meeting especially with Nick, Simon and John whom have literally seen me growing up during the latest 20 years or so. I'm delighted with the kind of welcome, sympathy and respect that the guys showed me. Thank you, you have made every single moment so special to me. These very brief but intense meetings with the band have some personal content as well, such as showing them pics of my kids [I won't forget their nice comments!], and so on. I won't bore you with that kind of personal stuff BUT I'll report what the guys told me about the new album and other news.

some close-up of your pretty face, overnight sensation

Nick and John have been great, the two guys stopped for a while to chat and they were cool enough to give some news about the album progress. Nick in particular was very informative. he said: 'the album will be finished in July, then we'll mix it sometime before Christmas'. I asked if they already thinking to someone who could mix it and he said that they'll basically do it and Ronson will help around. The band won't take the full month to finish the album, they might work some more days, maybe a week or so to finish the album. 'We have 12 finished tracks already, 11 with lyrics! Nick says.

Wow, this is such a great news! We all thought that they had only 6 finished tracks and 3 still in progress, also everyone thought that there was still a lot of work to do on the lyrics front. Well, it seems that the recent session has been very productive and the guys are really moving fast forward. The album is almost done!

Nick also confirmed the two tracks with the cello player among these 12 tracks. On july 1st Dom Brown joyned the band in the studio, he brought two guitars. Later in the day Nick told me that Dom had laid some more guitars on the album.

I told John that it would be very nice if they could play at least one show before the end of the year, around Christmas for example, but he seemed skeptical about this possibility, he said that 'realistically it will happen next year', after march, when all things should be ready for the album realese. The band is keeping all so secretive about this album so I didn't bore them asking any question about it, I just listened what they spontaneously said about it.

We also talked about some other Duran related projects going on, Tv Mania for example. Nick confirmed what Warren already told me some weeks ago, 'the album will be released this year, we hope to get it out in October!' Nick said, 'Andrew Day [Medazzaland, Pop Trash... The Devils] is taking care of the artwork and packaging of the album'. Nick also refered to some pics that he saw on duranasty.com [in the Chicanery interview] that they might like to use in the Tv Mania artwork. [what a great surprise to hear Nick mentioning something that he has seen on this site, so glad that he visit it!]. From that we started to chat a bit about that particular photographer, Dean Karr, and the great photographs that he took on the set of the Out Of My Mind video. I told him that I bought some expensive fine arts prints from the photographer and he was very interested in the collection thing... I told him that I have been collecting for 26 years, since I was 12, and he said 'it's a long time Salvo, isn't?' In that moment I had the feeling that Nick actually realized that I have been there for so long, costantly, positive, and always doing my best, as a fan, to promote the band's activities, photocopied fanzines back in the days, a fan-site today.

smiling for cameras from all around the world...hey, not too bad for being all self-taken pics! ;)

With John I also talked about two books... the one that he's writing about Nick Egan's album artworks, and the Denis O' Regan one. John says about the first one ''it's in stand-by at the moment but I hope to write some more in August when I'll be back in LA. It should be out next year'. John continues: 'The Denis O Regan one should be all about pictures of the band taken in '84, the Sing Blue Silver period'.

Simon was very friendly but we couldn't chat much 'cos the first day he had to leave the studio earlier since he had a barbecue with his girls. The next day we talked about our vacations since he asked me what I'll be doing for the summer, and he also told me that he'll take part to a new regatta in agoust [Cowes if memory still serves me]. The new album? 'it's gonna be good!'

Roger was always up for a chat when he came out from the studio to take a breath of fresh air and enjoy the very sunny weather. I asked him if he had heard about Boy George's desire to tour with Duran for the Culture Club's 30th anniversary [news from a recent tv interview on Studio Five - Uk channel 5]. I reported what George said: "I'd love to do a tour with Duran Duran. I think that would be a great gig. Us and Duran Duran. If they're up for it, we're up for it. I'll support them I don't care! It would be great - that would be one hell of a tour". Well, Roger didn't know anything about George's statement so he said "Really? That would be a really good bill!"

On july 1st, when I was about to leave I could hear some 'noise' coming from the studio, Roger, Nick and John were still there listening to some new tracks. When Nick came out, he went straight to me to give one last update, he basically repeated what already said earleir that day: the album will be finished in july for sure, he said, we got 12 finished tracks, among them only one doesn't have lyrics. Roger gave him a ride on his car so before I left I took one last picture of them. You can see in Roger's face the satisfaction for what they have done so far in the studio.

Nick, the mind and the keeper of Duran Duran's flame, with that sweet-tired expression. He made that pose especially for the picture. Seems to say: "another intense and productive recording day in the studio has passed, just few more days to get '13th' completed!". Great! If you want to get more pics, click below!


July 8: On June 27 Roger Taylor and Jake Fonique played a deejay set in Bagnoli - Naples at Arenile Club but it's not all, while Roger and Gisela were in town they didn't miss the chance to attend Boy George deejay set at the Gay Pride party. My friend Christian, who is a journalist, attendend both events and sent me the following report and some exclusive pics, check it out.

"I got to Arenile di Bagnoli just outside of Naples on saturday 26th of june for the Boy George dj set at the Gay pride party. Around midnight Roger, Gisella, Jake and his girlfriend were already there waiting for George to show up. They share the same European tour manager and sometimes they attend each other's sets. When George arrived, late, they exchanged hugs and off he was playing his set of hard-house for a couple of hours.

The following day England was playing for the World Cup and Roger and Gisella wanted to see the match but soon it was obvious that it was a very sad day for the Brits. After the match it was time for soundcheck. So I ended up doing the interview I asked for [more on that in some Italian magazines next month] in the van from the hotel to the Arenile Club. There were some fans already waiting for Roger there and it was quite a mystique-Ibiza style sunset there. Roger and Jake did their thing while people were swimming, the sun was going down and the Save A Prayer arpeggio echoed in the quiete afternoon bay.

Around 10 pm Roger and Jake with their gang got back to the club where they started their set unusually early [it was a sunday night dance after all] and the dancefloor was packed with locals and fans dancing their night away. The set was very well received and I think the duo has really made a mark on those casual liseners who were attending."

Exclusive photographs taken by Christian [Roger meeting Boy George and the dj-set rehearsals]

pic one pic two pic three pic four


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