Mmmm, that's a nice pretty picture of our lads. But maybe this has all got a bit cosy and easy to like. This is still Cherry Lipstick isn't it - the scourge of all things cute? Time for Day 4 to have a few more chopsticks.
With no apologies for the collapse of 2017-expected visual quality, here is Geronimo to lead the articles that tweak the band's nose again.
It's not gone unnoticed that as the age of their fans has gone remorselessly up, the age of those modelling their merchandise has plummeted. Cherry Lipstick sent Ruth Galvin out to investigate
I quickly shield my eyes as another teenager pops up in my twitter feed in a baggy sweatshirt and peak cap. It's dress down Duran Duran #notmyband.
No hang on, through my fingers there's a captivating bass player whose face is a blessed distraction from his tiger QVC sweatshirt, which is strangely and suddenly growing on me. With great difficulty I replace that beatific face with my own, and the loosening purse strings snap shut once more, a narrow escape for my wallet and wardrobe.
Perhaps for my 39th birthday I could buy that youthful / rockstar indifference and with a hair miracle by Cristiano Basciu, that same sweatshirt would convey more stolen leopard, less ragged tiger. Only in dreams! Those carefully selected couldn't-care-less models represent carefree youth. And Duran Duran symbolise youth - Sign me up! And sex and fantasy - sign me up! and domesticity (eh.. what?!)
Historically in #merchmatters we have been tempted with DD condoms, competing strangely with Duran Duran tea towels. A whore in the bedroom and a maid in the kitchen? DDHQ have you covered.
Moreover, if you believe the marketing pitch it appears your average DD fan has the dress sense of a teenager and the wallet of a retired surgeon. How else to explain the £80 Christmas decorations! I'm surprised they're not offering interest-free credit at that price. OK the band-endorsed Denis O Regan book looks amazing, but sense says that I won't play with it often enough. It's not so much a case of "who do you think you", are but who do Duran Duran think you are?
Yet clearly there is an insatiable appetite for the Duran brand regardless, and fans have been flexing their creative muscle on etsy.com with merchandise that ricochets from tat to tat-tastic; i.e. so cheesy it's almost perversely hip again.
With a slight nod to my etsy finds, I've created my own #merchmatters wish list (DDHQ can you hear me now?)
1. Paper God Charms (bracelet or handbag charms) I can't believe they missed this one.
2. Double D diamanté Stud earrings. I'll commission real diamonds for my 40th perhaps.
3. Shopper bags made from a collage of their albums
4. Wallpaper... no not a screensaver. I want one feature wall to cover in my house (or ceiling once I take the mirrors down) Ideally made old magazine clips.
We all know John would look great in a plastic bag, hell he looks great in a ridiculous sweatshirt. Why not gods in paper boxers. I'll bow to that!
try etsy.com, not the official store, for this and more
13 July 1985 – 32 years ago today – Live Aid.
It is very strange to see Duranie’s commemorating this event with nostalgia today. It is surely the most traumatic event in the band’s history. This is deserving of a longer post, but as we’re here and it is today, here are a few reasons why:
- The last event of the original 5
- All are professionally exhausted
- Most are personally exhausted
- Simon produces the vocal horror show to end all horror shows
- Roger leaves public life for most of the next 20 years
- Various addictions are obvious in their faces and bodies
- They are on at the wrong time in the wrong venue
- What’s that sound? That’s your career speeding away, mate.
But, yeah, the pictures look nice.
AND FINALLY to close Day 4, The Power Station get one day only in the sun as J.R. Kiss gives us Big Love for Arcadia.
My First... Cassette: So Red The Rose, December 1985
I remember buying my first single. I’m not prepared to say what it was. In fact it’s so embarrassing that I have never told my wife, my daughter or my best friend what it was. I’ve tried to erase all traces of it. Only my brother might know - he was there at the time buying his first single which was a much more judicious choice than mine*.
When it came to my first album, I did a lot better. At my local record shop I parted with five crisp pounds for So Red The Rose. On cassette. This is still the only version that I have of it despite the fact that the only cassette player I own is a kind of Walkman with a USB cable to plug into my computer. As a first, I’m quite proud of this one.
I love the fact that while John and Andy were off trying to recreate The Sex Pistols meets Chic, Nick and Simon seemed to knock this pretty fantastic album together in a couple of months in Paris.
I love the fact that they never tried to write a song called So Red the Rose.
I love the fact that the cover is almost like a homage to Rio but without Patrick Nagel’s neat lines and precise symmetry.
I love the fact that while John and Andy were trying to be taken seriously as musicians, Sting, Grace Jones, David Gilmour and others were falling over themselves to play with Arcadia.
I love the fact that there is a certain amount of Duran on it. Missing could have been on side 2 of Big Thing, Keep me in the dark could have been on Seven and the Ragged Tiger.
I love the line that it’s either the best album Duran never made or the most pretentious album ever made.
I love the fact that the relative chart success or failures somehow didn’t seem to matter.
Most of all I love the music. Election Day, The Promise and Lady Ice are all brilliant. The Flame has probably the best video they ever made.
I love the fact that although every album has a dud, a song you skip through, the closest I can come here is El Diablo but even that fits neatly to the style of the album. That’s how good the album is.
In the late 90s after John left, there was the opportunity to write a follow up. I love the fact that they didn’t.
*I only know half the answer. I got Stand And Deliver by Adam and the Ants (AW).