Duranalysis: My Own Way

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Ingrid Richter said…
Duran Duran, glitter bombs and the Highlander in a video?! What's not to love!
Cheryl Kraynak said…
Oh my goodness, what a sorry video! I don't think I've ever seen it, and I remember the song differently. The video version seems to have a faster tempo, with a notable Disco influence, so I wonder if there was another mix on one of my records. Maybe I have a live version on a 45 or something and I'm recalling that...

I'm just about through reading Andy's bio, and you're right--it's a great read. I noticed the part where Andy says Russell Mulcahy also did Elton's "I'm Still Standing" video (the one with DWTS's Bruno Tonioli in it). I always loved that video.

Glad to know about Julie Anne's blog. I'll be checking that out more. Andy sure didn't portray her as being very likable. I would have loved to see the stripper joke on Nick during that concert that Andy described!

I sure wish John or Simon would write a book. I think John would be the one most likely to do so, but it would be nice to hear the stories as they are remembered from "Le Bon Land."
Morgan Richter said…
Cheryl, yeah, the version of the song in the video is different than the one that appears on the US release of Rio -- faster and less polished. Apparently it's an earlier version in the video.

Andy sure didn't portray her as being very likable.

No, he didn't. Still, she seems quite fun and charming on her blog. I think it helps that they all have become, like, full-grown adults since those days (I adore Nick, obvs, but I don't doubt Andy's view that he could be a royal snot at times).

I sure wish John or Simon would write a book.

Me too. My sister and I brainstormed a while back about what their respective memoirs would be like. John's would be sweet and heartfelt and kind of hokey ("And as I stood on my hotel balcony, finally coming down off my epic four-day coke-fueled bender, I saw the morning sun rise over the Eiffel Tower, and it dawned on me that things were going to be all right"), whereas Simon's would be cheeky and hilarious and riddled with lies, and would probably result in countless libel suits ("As she climbed into the hot tub with another bottle of Cristal, Princess Diana said, 'Simon, I've never met anyone quite like you. Let's call Madonna and see if she can join us!'"). Both would be incredibly awesome.
Cheryl Kraynak said…
Yes, Julie Anne seems quite a nice lady on her web site. I love her posts about Andy Warhol and photographer Norman Parkinson.

You're too right about how John and Simon's books would read. Makes me think of Andy's story about Simon offending Victoria Beckham, telling her about his dreaming of her skirt in a more flamboyant way than he should have.

I pulled out my Live Aid DVD to see the Duran2 and Power Station performances and was totally miffed when I discovered they didn't put Power Station on the DVD (of course, it's not the same without Robert Palmer anyway) and they cut "A View to a Kill" out of Duran's set.

Thank heaven for YouTube. I noticed Simon's bum note isn't quite as described in the preface of Andy's book, but it's still cringeworthy.

It still cracks me up the story of how the guys had to convince the record company to release "The Reflex" after they feared it was "too black" !!! HAhaha!
Morgan Richter said…
I think Simon has described missing that note on "View to a Kill" as his most embarrassing moment ever, poor guy. Speaking of Live Aid, did you ever see the Classic Albums episode on Rio? It aired on VH1/VH1 Classics in the US, and it's also available from Netflix (both on DVD and instantly streaming). It's a pretty good production -- recentish (2008) interviews with all the guys minus Andy, plus interviews with their former managers, their representatives at EMI, etcetera. Anyway, they interview Bob Geldof, who, despite his surly reputation, seems like an absolute sweetheart and is a surprisingly fierce and loyal defender of Duran Duran. It's kind of fascinating.

Fun link: photographer Denis O'Regan, who traveled with the band on tour in the Eighties, has some of his fantastic photos of the boys on his site here. Poor Roger gets kind of overlooked, as usual, but O'Regan has some of the best shots of Andy I've ever seen (and Nick and John and Simon look great, as always).

(Okay, one more link: Aw, man, did you see John and Nick's sad, grim little YouTube video that they released today about the postponed UK tour due to Simon's laryngitis? They seem crushed, and so terribly apologetic. I wanted to send them a basket of adorable puppies or something, just to cheer them up.)
Cheryl Kraynak said…
I'll have to check out that Rio documentary. I've never disliked Bob Geldof except for the fact he's kind of squirrelly looking.

I can't get Denis O'Regan's site to work on my computer. Maybe I'll try at the library.

I *did* see John and Nick's announcement yesterday and I think they don't have to worry about what the fans think, except I agree that some fans' travel arrangements might really cost them.
I think the fans just want Simon to be better.
This same thing happened last year when a-ha was on their farewell tour. Morten lost his voice a couple times but the band decided they didn't want to cancel any dates and the shows went on, and Morten had the fans sing the parts he couldn't croak out himself.

I officially finished Andy's bio last night, and I do have a new respect for him, as he does come across as being quite sensible and forward-thinking. I found it very interesting how he questioned the direction "Red Carpet Massacre" was going, and now today when you see Simon doing interviews about "All You Need is Now" -- bringing Mark Ronson on board for that-- Simon mentions that using Timbaland/Timberlake on "Red Carpet M" wasn't the best idea and didn't go over well with the fans.
I hope Andy feels validated.

I feel badly that things ended so ridiculously screwy for him, but sometimes when you hang around too long the Universe has to push you out...with a bang. Makes you wonder if the work visa was truly overlooked...
Morgan Richter said…
I feel badly that things ended so ridiculously screwy for him, but sometimes when you hang around too long the Universe has to push you out

Yeah, it seems much healthier for Andy's overall mental state that he's no longer in the band, poor guy.

Denis O'Regan's site is Flash-heavy and very slow-loading -- I'm sorry you can't see the photos, because they're some of the best of the band I've ever seen. You probably won't have much more luck with this link, but if you can get it to work, it's his home page -- you can find his Duran photos under both the Archives and Portfolio categories. (I've been hunting around to see if they've been archived elsewhere, but no luck yet.)

I hope Simon gets his voice back soon. It seems to have thrown their big summer plans into chaos.
Anonymous said…
@Cheryl Kraynak: Andy's the best example of "He's got a great personality!" :) Especially in a band with striking beauties like John. Andy's only occasionally cute (and today he's anti-cute. He didn't age well!) Reading "Duran Duran: Their Story" (should I burn at this confession?) was the start of it all. His autobiography only deepened it. I know he had a rough childhood, but his tale of his marriage and starting a family only and the way he expresses himself made me a Devotee.

Ultimately, it's his contribution to the music though. It was the Andy-Nick yin/yang that made Duran music so great, to my mind. Just think of "Hungry Like The Wolf" — the trippy, loopy keyboard merged with the guitar power chord — that's Nick and Andy perfectly fitting with each other. Tip the balance one way or another, it no longer quite Duran. In the end, Duran Duran wasn't just about the music alone. For Nick anyway. Now I want to see the Classic Albums feature!

Re: My Own Way. I really liked the speeded-up version on the video. And it was nice to see just a straight up performance video from the guys.

Video that I wished existed: "New Religion"
Morgan Richter said…
Now I want to see the Classic Albums feature!

details-later, you'd probably get a lot out of it. The guys all sit down at a mixing board and go through all the songs on Rio, isolating the various elements. They cover the technical nuts and bolts of making the album, which is interspersed with anecdotes about making the videos and touring. It's done really well. Andy doesn't participate, but Nick and Roger cover his contributions pretty comprehensively (quiet, reclusive Roger has become quite the chatterbox as he's grown older).

Andy's only occasionally cute

Andy cleaned up well, as they say. With his hair brushed and his dark glasses off, yeah, he was capable of attaining cuteness. Being cute seemed to be relatively low on his list of priorities at the time, though...
Cheryl Kraynak said…
I concur with your remarks. I gained respect for Andy if not just for the fact that he seems to be quite sensible and forward thinking. I shuddered to read that the band could have lost everything if he and Nick hadn't wrestled to secure their rights early on, and it still wasn't enough in the end.

Simon would have been too in-the-moment to notice, John was too strung out and Roger was probably turning a blind eye to the whole lifestyle and a future with it.

How odd that the best combination (Nick/Andy) was the most explosive. Too bad Nick's fashion sense didn't rub off on Andy at all. When I was looking at Andy at Live Aid, I realized that Power Station hairdo had to have been his worst.

I got the Denis O'Regan portfolio to work,and you're right--they are quite good photos, some in a style we rarely saw. I did, actually,like the shot of Andy making that face. He is endearing...when you take a look back.
And YES! Don't you just love hearing Roger chatter?! He *does* have a voice!
Morgan Richter said…
I did, actually,like the shot of Andy making that face.

The one where he's sneering while wearing the tank top that says, in teeny tiny letters, "Nosey little fucker"? Oh, yeah. Best photo of Andy ever taken. He should've used that one for the dust jacket of his book.

Don't you just love hearing Roger chatter?! He *does* have a voice!

And he's charming and funny and personable! Who knew?
Meeker128 said…
That is a full blown Amazon Parrot and they bite REALLY HARD.

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