I have a running dialogue with Duran Duran’s manager. Wendy is her name. It’s been a big year for Duran Duran. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with an extraordinary number of fan votes, and deservedly so. And now they are today just being themselves, rolling with the many blessings that have so deservedly come their way. It is a very exciting thing to watch and it is a very big deal.
Look at these guys!
I wrote Wendy earlier: “Can I do anything? And she was like “Not really. They are busy” but write something about the tour!”
That’s the sign of a great manager. Turning down great offers. It is cool that they are slammed. Duran Duran are a tightly wound organization. As a producer and singer in another life, I stand in awe of her and what they have created. It is tight. It is very, very important to protect your people and The Durans are nothing if not protected. I know a bit about the guys and what they need. They are well served for sure, surrounded by people like Wendy who simply have their backs, all day, every day. It’s kind of like a textbook lesson in how music works.
Anyway, again, they are now on tour. A 26 date arena tour and it is getting larger every day with new dates expected to be announced at any moment. They are headlining Bottlerock. Can you believe it? They are still playing arenas and headlining fests. It’s for their FUTURE PAST Record. And my instructions from the aforementioned are to talk about it. So talk about it I shall. It’s a big deal for them. Nile Rodgers and CHIC are opening, which is nothing sort of a total treat. I imagine being in Duran Duran and what that must feel like. For there would absolutely be no Duran Duran were there no CHIC, and they know it. What a privilege. It must be great fun for all. The young brit band Bastille are leading off the evenings — a good choice, because I am guessing there would be no Bastille if not for Duran Duran. Nile is giving Bastille a great gift in switching off opening night to night. Its very Nile.
I’ve written about them a lot, primarily because of gratitude and because they just kick so much ass as a band and I respect it. I’m a bit of a fanboy, I suppose. That’s fine. I learned how to make records from them, actually. There is a big amount of funk in my work and it would not be so if not for Notorious, which is my all-time favorite album. They shaped my young life. I learned about Andy Warhol, whom I actually wound up getting to know a bit, because Nick Rhodes mentioned him in an interview. The Patrick Nagel litho that hangs above me as I write? That’s because of the Rio album. Had to save up for that one. My instructions to hairstylists always involve John Taylor photos. And so forth.
My first hired writing gig was an interview w Rhodes when I was 16 years old. He called me from a fax machine in London that kept getting cut off. I was there for the release of Big Thing in Los Angeles. My life has been strangely on track with Duran Duran’s. And I love it.
And such a delight! They are the happy band and I am always rooting for them, as I am on this tour, which I hope to catch in Washington.
My thoughts as I write are also with Andy. The truest Wild Boy. You may recall that he was set to re-join the band at the Rock Hall induction but a health setback wound up prohibiting it. Pity, because it would have been amazing. A tragedy which the guys handled with typically brilliant aplomb and love onstage that night. Google it if you haven’t seen it. I do not know how Simon kept tears at bay whilst reading Andy’s letter. John nearly lost it.
Anyway. God bless you, Andy. And God bless The Durans. Catch the show if you can…they matter.