Wednesday, September 23, 2009

faith in this colour

There's been lots of exciting news this week, the most joyous being the report that EMI plans to re-release three more Duran Duran albums: the first album, Notorious, and Seven and the Ragged Tiger.

"If you think the Fab Four sound great check out the sound on the Fab Five’s new edition of Rio, we think it’s the best one yet, and don’t miss the Live at Hammersmith DVD. We hope you all enjoy it. Oh and before we forget, we’ve got some real treats coming your way with special editions of the first album, Seven And The Ragged Tiger and Notorious in the first half of next year.
Love and kisses, The Duran Torch Carriers at EMI."

While both the first album and 7ATRT have already been remastered, Notorious is long overdue for a sonic overhaul. EMI has done a fantastic job with the recent Rio re-issue, with luscious packaging, a booklet, and 2 CDs with treasured demos. (I've had the audio for some time but am waiting with the rest of the US until it comes out here on October 6, along with the Hammersmith Odeon '82 video.) If EMI puts the same effort into these upcoming releases, they will be a real treat. I'm especially excited about 7ATRT... perhaps the mystery of that alleged "Seven and the Ragged Tiger" demo supposedly sung by Andy will be laid to rest. Here's to hoping the re-issues will be as thoughtfully assembled as Rio and will actually be released next year.

Another interesting tidbit from this week is the announcement the Simon has contributed to a new book called "The Atheists Guide to Christmas" by Ariane Sherine. Simon states at, “There was a campaign in England, about a year ago, which caused quite a big stir. There were signs on buses that said “There Probably Is No God.” This, of course, was very controversial. I read some interview with the girl who started the campaign, and she said she’d done it because there was a radical fundamentalist group going around saying something like, if you don’t believe in God, you’re damned and will be going to hell, so she thought she’d have a go back at them. Suddenly, she had all these death threats, and it became quite a story. 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. When the News mentioned she was also a contributor at the Guardian, I called up and left her message there. She called me right back and told me all about the book, and all the people she was speaking to – celebrities, authors, comedians, the great thinkers of our time, etc. I offered to do an interview with her, and that’s how I ended up as a contributor to THE ATHEIST’S GUIDE TO CHRISTMAS by Ariane Sherine. I’ve also done a vocal for the audio book version. I am a concerned Agnostic – which means I sit on the fence a little bit because it’s too arrogant to say there is no God. I am willing to become a believer if someone could prove it to me, but I am not going to take other people’s word for it. A lot of my thoughts are in this book and it will make a great Holiday present for people – the book is quite funny and intelligent and it will get you thinking."

Given that my personal faith revolves around Duran Duran, I am very interested to hear Simon's views on faith. By no means am I saying that Duran Duran are gods... clearly they are mortal, have flaws, and make mistakes as we all do. However, apart from the love of my friends and family, the knowledge that Duran Duran are making another album and planning another tour is what keeps me ticking. Faith is faith, and I feel that we need find it in whatever we can. Mine happens to have great hair and dodgy dance moves, but still perfectly valid as a personal motivator and comforting in times of need.

Perhaps the book will show that Simon shares a similar view. In the Red Carpet Massacre on Broadway playbill, it said, "Although confirmed in the Anglican Church, Le Bon describes his spiritual standing variously as "a confirmed atheist"; "godless to the bone"; "not actually sure"; "if there's free wine involved — count me in"; and "I never really did like pork anyway, and if it's good enough for Esther (Madonna) — call me Isaac."

How Simon became involved in this book is also intriguing, as it reminds us of how influential the fans are on the band. The things we do and say makes a direct impact on how they behave and what they produce. Knowing that the survival of our object of faith is directly affected by our behavior is the source of many tizzies and conundrums within the fan community. Before I get too deep, I will save those thoughts for another post. Instead, I will leave you with some photos of Nick looking really fabulous at London Fashion Week.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

this is how a road gets made

They say that the average person has between 150 and 475 thoughts about Duran Duran each day. It is possible that my pendulum swings towards the high end of that estimation. No one can really say for sure. I do know that I have much to say about them. So much, in fact, that I'm afraid it necessitates a blog.

For instance, today I came across some recent photos of Simon Le Bon. He appears to be in the throes of some kind of errand. Simon performs his daily business in a sporty silver Audi, dressed in a casual-chic-yet-sporty sort of outfit and wearing the whitest shoes I have ever seen. His hair looks like maybe he didn't wash it that day, but it only serves to make one imagine that it smells extra good like that. Simon is holding a plastic shopping bag, an element of the picture that does not seem right somehow... the bag is too common, too flimsy... but I will not begin to surmise what is in it. That would just be getting carried away. I do have limits... but this is my blog, and I will set them.

Figure of eight... it was our year... it always was.