In the pic from left: John Taylor, John Perry Barlow, Electronic Frontier Foundation; and from World-of-Warcraft producer Blizzard Entertainment, Blizzard officials Frank Pearce and Mike Morhaime.
Ocotber 31: John Taylor was one of the panelist who spoke at UCLA's 40th Anniversary of the Internet celebration, hosted by Prof. Leonard Kleinrock, on October 29, 2009. The conference marked the 40th birthday of the Internet, which was created on Oct. 29, 1969, at UCLA when a team led by Engineering Professor Leonard Kleinrock successfully linked a campus computer at Boelter Hall with a machine at Stanford. Kleinrock predicted decades ago that the resulting connectivity would one day be a household product, like electricity, but said he never guessed that the Internet would be used to connect people to people, instead of people to machines. The logistics of the conference itself revealed how far the Internet has come: Although 200 people attended in "real life," as speaker John Taylor from the band Duran Duran put it, the live webcast attracted more than 51,000 viewers, an uncounted number of whom submitted questions to the speakers via Twitter. Many more watched the conference via the online video posted after the event. The speakers revealed how their early forays into web technology resulted in creating new communities. Taylor now blogs on Duran Duran's fan site but he was a veritable pioneer who began selling music via the web before practically anyone else.
October 27th 2009: Wishing Simon a great 51st Birthday!
We love you
October 17: Exclusive | For collectors and paper-lovers only | Patty Palazzo reveals to duranasty.com some juicy details on the look of the new Duran Duran calendar for 2010 available from november in the duran.com store|
Hi Salvo, here's what I can tell you on the calendar... firstly I'm very excited about it! :) I had a lot of fun designing it as it was quite different than the other calendars I've done. The photos of the band were taken by Kristin Burns [she took some great band photos that are part of the "Red Carpet Massacre" CD package as well as the tour programme for the RCM tour * editor note: the three small pics above-left are taken from that old job], and they were all shot from the band's West Coast mini-tour this past summer [Seattle, San Francisco, Saratoga, Vegas and LA]. Rather than using the usual one photo per month, I incorporated A LOT of Kristin's photos in a more collage-based design, with many photos working together on a page telling a visual story. The photos themselves are a combination of live on stage, behind the scenes backstage, and photos of the guys during their downtime on the road. What is great about Kristin's photos is that they take on a documentary feel and I was inspired by that, so it sort of dictated where I wanted the overall design to go. The look has definitely moved away from the RCM splatters, etc... as the band are moving into a new period, however, as there is no album 'look' yet, this is a more stand alone design. What I like though is that this calendar is a snapshot, a mini tour book of sorts, of the band's summer tour. Look out for it in the Crewe Issue/DD.com store most likely in November! [Simon's close up pic from my photo archive - taken in '97]
Talking about paper goods I also have to report about the new Denis O'Regan Duran Duran book! On his website he says: "as of 2009, a limited edition book is in production with Duran Duran"! Here is what Denis told a while ago to my friend Christian, author of the unofficial Duran Duran biography Glam Pop Party published in Italy in 2006 [these tidbits extracted from the unpublished interview are another exclusive of this site]
Denis says: I first met the band in around 1981 - John told me that he knew of me and my photographs from NME. He was very friendly and I liked him. From a photographic point of view the band looked great. [...] When they split I spent more time with Power Station than Arcadia, mainly because I spent more time with John anyway. I live in London but but I saw John at the NYC apartment quite a bit in 1986. It was big, modern, stylish, quiet, with a great view - I found a buyer for him when he sold it. [...] The photo shot in Marrakesh in 86 came about because DD were flying there for a French TV show. I suggested that I came along to take some pictures because of the location. Very many magazine covers and features appeared - I liked the light and the photographs. The guys looked great. [...] I've got a lot of unseen Big Thing pictures - in fact many unseen DD pictures. I have also some unseen pictures of the Caravan tour - I suppose there are fewer pictures after Sing Blue Silver because the budget wasn't there to take me on tour for long. [...] In 1990 I invited John & Amanda to Lake Como for a Formula One party - I had introduced them and knew them both before they knew each other. They had a good time - it's a beautiful relaxing place. [...] I wasn't always in touch with the band, even though Simon lives very close by - not much happened between us in the Nineties although I stayed in contact with John, then in 1999 Andy again [we set up one of the first music download companies together]. I got back in touch with everyone in 2003, had lunch with John in London and joined them at rehearsals - it was really great to see them all together again and I loved hearing them play in a tiny rehearsal room. Fantastic! I'll work with the band on an official book this year - a major biography. I'll probably provide pictures for the anthology.
Ocotber 16: The band takes a little break from the new album recording session to attend some social events| John Taylor and Gela Nash-Taylor with Duran Duran and their families attended the launch party for Juicy Couture's flagship store in central London on October 13th. The store is located in Bruton Street in Mayfair.
On the 14th of October Nick and John have been spotted with their ladies at the Frieze Art Fair private view at Regent's Park. At the fair John showed interest in a Richard Prince collage [source]. The same day Nick and LouLou attended the No Love Lost new paintings by Damien Hirst private view held at The Wallace Collection, Hertford House while John and Gela attended Tatler's 300th Anniversary Party, at Lancaster House [pics below are taken at the mentioned events]
Ocotber 10: Exclusive pics | On October 7th Nick and LouLou attended the Louis Vuitton Pret a Porter show as part of the Paris Womenswear Fashion Week Spring-Summer 2010 at Cour Carree du Louvre in Paris. The same evening the couple attended the John Galliano fashion show Spring-Summer 2010. The couple has been seen kissing and hugghing tenderly in front of the of the Ritz Hotel in Paris on the 8th of October.
So Mr Rhodes is finally dating somenone his height... ;)
Ocotber 7: 42 atheist celebrities, comedians, scientists and writers give their funny and serious tips for enjoying the Christmas season. Last year, Guardian journalist Ariane Sherine launched the Atheist Bus Campaign and ended up raising over GBP150,000, enough to place the advert 'There's probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life' on 800 UK buses in January 2009. Now Ariane and dozens of other atheist writers, comedians and scientists are joining together to raise money for a very different cause. The Atheist's Guide to Christmas is a funny, thoughtful handbook all about enjoying Christmas, from 42 of the world's most entertaining atheists. It features everything from an atheist Christmas miracle to a guide to the best Christmas pop hits, contributors include our Simon Le Bon with is first published work of prose "Losing My Faith", an account of how he stopped believing.The full book advance and all royalties will go to the UK HIV charity Terrence Higgins Trust. Ariane Sherine, the author of the book, is a comedy writer and journalist. She writes for The Guardian. She was also a Duran Duran fan back in the days... as Simon reported in his blog "When I saw her on telly I thought “Hang on, I know her!” – she used to hang outside of Warren’s house in 1996 when we were making a record! I remember I really liked her and thought she was smart – so I wanted to get back in touch to lend my support."
Ariane was kind enough to show me some pics of her with Simon, she says: "one is taken in March 1997 in Battersea [when I was aged 16, Simon was 38 and the band were recording Medazzaland] and one taken 12 years later in August 2009 [we are now aged 29 and 50] in HarperCollins, Fulham!"
Below some personal reflections I picked up for you from the 5 pages prose written by Simon. I suggest to read the full piece to discover and understand this unknown side of Simon Le Bon, it's a must for all the Simon fans. The whole book really deserve a read anyway.
"Losing my faith was very gradual. I was confirmed, and I absolutely 100% believed in the Christian God. And then, after a while, it started to change. I started losing my faith when I started trying to figure out what God was: “He can’t really look like us! This whole thing about ”Man created God in his own image”... When it came working out what I really believed in, I realised that, if there is a God, he doesn’t have a personality. He certainly doesn’t have a set of morals - certainly not human morals, wich we impose. And then I started thinking, “Well, what if it’s just people trying to personify life? To personify the fact that there is a matter, and that there is a universe? If there is a God, that’s it. God doesn’t have a brain, God doesn’t think, God is just existence.” For me, the hardest thing about losing my faith was facing the possibility that life is all there is. One of the foundation stones of all religion is people’s fear of death and non-existence. People will do anything and belive anything if they can think, “You don’t really die. There’s somebody up there who says you carry on and you go to heaven.” [...] Part of me would like there to be a God, because part of me wants there to be a parent looking after me. To say, “Hey, it’s okay, it’s all under control. No matter how much you mess up, I’m here to save you.” that’s very natural feeling, very normal. But on the other hand, I don’t think it’s enough. I’ve found I’m more responsable, freer and more liberated living a life without God."
You can order your copy of the book at amazon.co.uk
Ocotber 4: The Birmingham Comedy Festival this year hosts the Abstract Cabinet Show, a public sphere of groups, collaborations, galleries and other phenomena. The Abstract Cabinet Show includes the Premier of a new multi screen film, sound, bass amp and newspaper publication project, Correspondence/Correspondencia, made collaboratively by Mexico City based Laureana Toledo and John Taylor. Fueled by Toledo and Taylor's Super-8 footage of Birmingham and Mexico City - with Taylor filming Mexico and Toledo filming Birmingham - the work is a meditation on local and international constructed space and identity, the sound of cities and an inquisitive meeting of difference, coincidence and shared passions.
Laureana was kind enough to answer duranasty.com's questions. Here is what she told me when I asked to give us some more info about the movie and her collaboration with John:
I'm a visual artist, my practice involves photography, video, sculpture, drawing, writing. In my work there is usually a reference to popular culture, be it music, architecture, painting... it has to do a lot on how information travels, is digested, translated and re-incorporated into our daily lives.
When I was invited to do a piece for Eastside Projects' opening exhibition in Birmingham last year, I knew I wanted to do something that involved John and the role of the bass player in a band-comparing it to the secondary role that a place like Birmingham has, or the role that Mexico has as a peripheral culture center. And also that that feeling could be transported to any other place in the world, and how it is that when we move around, the place where we started gets a different connotation in our memory: our houses move, we change, and the perception of it all starts shifting all the time. But lots of things remain in place.
From there, through a mutual friend, I got in touch with John and we started talking about doing a collaboration. He had never "done" art, but he knows a lot about art and obviously has the sensibility to do it. Although this was done in my platform, his approach to the piece was always very generous. It was very interesting to work with him. And very easy.
This piece is a conversation between two individuals,
two cities, two circumstances. For every sensation or idea you have, there's
a correspondence in another person, in another place.
The piece consists of two films, super 8 transferred to dvd, in which John is filming Mexico City and I'm filming Birmingham. There is a conversation interrupted by music from both cities. There is an amplifier where the bass lines of a Duan Duran concert is heard all the time. There is a newspaper printed with the conversation and a centerfold with the blend of the two cities as one... (John's only 2 seconds in the films, but his bass playing is there, nonstop. And he's one half of the 9 minute conversation.)
[Interview: Laureana Toledo about her collaboration with John Taylor | source bhamcomfest.co.uk]
How did the collaboration come about? I was invited by Eastside Projects to do a piece in the opening exhibition last year. In my ignorance, all I knew about Birmingham, was that Duran Duran were from there. So I thought of doing something related, but not about them directly. In any case, I didn't want to speak to just any member of the band, but rather used the context to get John to collaborate with me. Thoughts went from here to there, one thing led to another, time passed, axioms were discarded, degrees of separation were used and I ended up finding him and asking him to work along. He seemed quite ready to jump in.
Are you a hardcore fan of Duran Duran? I like their music a lot. I'm not a big fan of anyone in terms of following a band around the world, knowing weird information of each member, knowing what school they went to, their parent's names, etc. I'm a music freak, and I always admired John for his bass-playing skills. I like songs like My Own Way, Shadows on Your Side, Lonely in Your Nightmare… mostly, hidden and a bit obscure songs.
What's John's input? He really did half of the piece. Like they say, "takes two to Tango", here it took two minds to accomplish this work. Of course it is done in my platform, but he was always ready to suggest visual and conceptual solutions to my entanglement. I like the fact that he's not used to doing art, but he knows a lot about it, and likes to see a lot of art, so his input was much better than that of many artists. We had a lot of help from other people too, like cinematographer Rain Li in the first part of the filming in Birmingham, and designer Patty Palazzo designing the newspaper insert.
The exhibition is part of the Comedy Festival - is there a humorous element to the piece? I'm not funny at all. And I couldn't think of a worse duo for a stand up comedy! I believe there has been a terrible mistake there [laughs]!
Have you worked with other musicians in the past? [I gather you recently formed a band in Sheffield?] I have worked with musicians. I've also worked with tattoo artists, with architects, with painters. I find a lot of inspiration in music, but also on the funny associations I can get by receiving filtered information. By living in Mexico City, which is a periphery, weird connections are made. Like, for instance, on day discovering that three of my favourite bass players were called John [Entwistle, Taylor, Paul Jones]. I believe that this connection led me to work with a person and not with a celebrity.
Do you have plans to work with John again? What I've learned with this is that you can never know what's going to happen tomorrow.
Projects, 86 Heath Mill Lane, Birmingham B9 4AR
Admission: Free Times: Thu noon-7pm, Fri-Sun noon-5pm; Comedy Night, Thu 8 Oct, 7pm
There is another element [part of the Correspondece/Correspondencia project] the Proximo magazine designed by Patty Palazzo based on rough ideas of Laureana’s and John, printed on pale pink paper in the spirit and remembrance of the old Birmingham ‘Sports Argus’. Patty Palazzo is also launching her own t-shirt/greeting card line. Below you can read the nice email she sent us yesterday:
Family & Friends,
Many of you know I have been working on designing and launching my own t-shirt line for a good part of this year, and I'm happy to say it's finally arrived! Called Punk Masters, it's a line of t-shirts, greeting cards and tote bags all designed as well as hand screen printed by me. The Punk Masters combine imagery and aesthetics from the great classic masters and royalty of centuries past, but punked up, rocked out and living in my world now. I like the idea of combining opposite worlds, all living harmoniously (and humorously) together. My army of one (ie: me) has set up a website (pattypalazzo.com) with all of my goods, plus a few other sections to peruse... all about me of course. No, seriously... that's not true as I've had a lot of help, creative counsel and advise from some great people along the way getting me to this point. And may it continue! I'm happy to invite you all to take a look. If you like what you see, tell a friend! Also, if you feel so inclined, join my page on Facebook. My aim is to keep things exciting and fresh, updated and fun. I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoy creating it all. And, really, how hot would you look in one of my shirts?! Also, for those in the Los Angeles area, a selection of my tees are available at Fred Segal/Ron Herman at 8100 Melrose Ave. With Thanks & Appreciation,
pattypalazzo.com, punkmasters.com, punkmasters.etsy.com, facebook
Great stuff as usual Patty, we love it! Good luck!
Another one to add at his art-book collection to put in the Tuscan Red Room [that's how Nick calls a particular chamber in his house] or maybe he was just looking for some inspiration for the new album artwork?!
October 2: On the 25th of september Nick attended the Private view at The Whitechapel Gallery Book Fair Mile End in London [the Fair presented the work of international artist bookmakers, gallery presses and arts publishing houses alongside a wider associated programme of talks and events]. Nick has been caught by paparazzi having a look at Allen Jones's Projects book. Jones was a leading figure of the British pop art movement and his work has remained very popular. He borrows from pornography and fashion magazines and the resulting work is often both erotic and witty.