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Five Go On a Strategy Away Day

All of the way downtown on 20th December 2017, an important meeting is taking place at DDHQ between the Duran boys and their manager, Wendy Lassiter...

WL: Thanks for coming guys to discuss the 40th anniversary celebration, hang on where’s Ni...?

Skype incoming call, a vision appears all pale faced with hair scraped back in a what a could be mistaken for a scrappy man bun.

JT: You’re shitting me, it’s the ghost of Christmas past. Andy, for God’s sake, you could have at least tweeted you’d died!

An irritated expression emerges on screen, as fine cracks emerge through the face mask.

NR: It’s me for crying out loud! This kakapo excrement face mask has to set for another 10 mins - just don’t make me smile.

JT: You’re full of caca alright Nick, you were meant to be here 30 mins ago.

NR: My face will be ten years early in half an hour?

Collective sigh

WL: Okay so DD40, any ideas boys?

SLB: I could take my shirt off like I did in Sri Lanka, just imagine the number of people who would have happier Mondays and a good night's sleep on social media. I’m prepared to offer up my body, it would be a community service.

NR: I have the perfect embouchure to play the pan pipes.

SLB: emba..wha?

NR: The manner in which the lips and tongue are applied to the instrument to make it sing. I’ve been told I’m a natural.

Roger coughs uncomfortably, Nick purses his lips in demonstration then swears as loudly as the parrot shit on his face cracks.

SLB: And I can play guitar... we might eh.. simplify the chord structure, really strip it back, raw, yeah, that’s it, raw, ....two, three chords that make you weep with their purity... and umm ....

Roger, quiet until now, chimes in...

RT: Let’s add the bodhrán, it’s a traditional Irish frame drum, like a large tambourine but you play it with a little single stick called a tipper.

JT: I’ve got a tipper too, but I bet it’s larger than yours Rog!

RT: I drank something in a smoke-filled tepee at Electric Picnic, purple, delicious and now I’ve realised there’s as much pleasure playing with one hand as two.

JT: hang on guys, wait, I can’t see Kanye okaying this, I’ll just give him a quick buzz...........damn, it’s engaged..... let me run it by Justin Bieber, he has a lot more experience with kids than us.

WL: We need a producer in studio, John, not a nanny... well, a nanny who’s down with kids and can deal with lots of band secrets and shit...

NR: Shit? Shit!! (Nick runs off to wash his face and re-coiff).

WL: Look guys , there’s no guarantee we won’t have to go independent with DD40 like we did with All You Need Is Now. Let’s try save a few quid where we can.

RT: I know a guy who is second cousin to Scatman John and grew up in Birmingham. Couldn’t we give him a triangle and speaking role?

SLB: (horrified) No boobs, no visible role, Rog, c’mon Duran Duran 101! ...He can co-produce though, provided he’s under 25..... But hey John, you’ve gone quiet man, who’s gonna play the fucking bass?

JT: Look, as you said Si, the fans are screaming for raw, something I’m gonna play the fucking harp.

Stony silence ensues

Dom: (piping up) Doesn't 'DD40' just sound like a middle-aged bra size on the sale rail in Marks and Spencer’s?

More stony silence

WL: Moving on, lastly, the album cover?

SLB: Well it’s the last ever album... fans will know that when they hear the closing track “last man standing but still breathing facing the universe alone”

JT: I picture empty champagne glasses, knickers, shoes, a vacant bed.

Nick, fresh faced, with only bare remains of parrot shit stuck to his eyebrows, returns breathless to the Skype screen to discuss the artistic direction of DD40.

NR: For a grand finale, what about an album that literally dies in fans hands, - let’s say it decomposes rapidly over 3 months. We can make a special US edition that lasts three years made of flexible plastic, and an entirely translucent edition for Australia and New Zealand that vapourises after two years into thin air.

WL: Perfect. Great well done guys, all sorted. So will I pencil you in for studio time on Monday? We will have the album on the shelves by April 2018.

Roger meekly puts up his hand.

RT: Umm excuse me Miss Wendy? I accumulated some annual leave while I was off from 1985 to 2001. I think it’s about 900 days?

Wendy tosses two diaries in the waste-bin, almost chipping JT’s hair en route.

WL: Well then I guess it’s 2020. I’ll organise a press release to give fans fair warning. Let's book some studio time then for you to re-record Save A Prayer, Rio and Ordinary World...

NR: See this? (he gloats, flashing a fancy watch) You get one of these after 40... sorry, ahem... 38 years of loyal service!

Roger squints across the diamond encrusted face to read the watchmaker’s name “Durantime.” Simon’s mind drifts gleefully off towards the Med, while John’s is filled with tutus. Nick flashes his wrist again in Roger’s direction as the diamonds blind him... Wendy packs her bag and leaves. DD40 planning is parked for another year.

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