The Public Face of Fandom
So which Duran fan are you? In Part 1 of Being a Duran Fan, Ruth Galvin considered our inner fan who is lost in a youthful landslide. This predominantly spoke to female fans with a lustful look in their eye, though there was food for thought for us males also seeking a refuge from our ever older world.
Ruth asked us to think about one aspect of our inner, private motivations for being a fan. Today I am considering the more public aspect of fandom, and who it is that is lighting their torch and waving it to all and sundry. By 'public' I mean those fans who have set up something beyond a Twitter account or regular posts on FaceBook and Instagram. They hold a position amongst fans, have a website and what we might call 'a following'.
Obviously this includes sites such as Cherry Lipstick. This article started with your editor having a look at 'the competition'. This quickly became depressing as the competition was often frighteningly good, but something else emerged – who was running these public sites.
An obvious place to start was with Andrew Golub, aka Durandy. He has been described in some media reports as 'Duran's biggest fan', and has been featured on the official website. He is the author of two coffee-table picture books of Duran. His incredibly detailed and lovingly curated archive is something of a tourist attraction for Duranie's visiting Seattle. There is a current petition for him to be the band's official historian.
Salvo Zuppardo, aka Duranasty, produces official-quality special edition web pages of songs / albums (most recently for Out Of My Mind 20th anniversary celebration, Paper Gods tour in Treviso and a tribute to Bowie). The Duranasty website has been running since 2002.
Duran Duran Wiki is an essential resource of Duran information and facts / stats, and is used regularly to check key facts and figures for Cherry Lipstick articles.
The Duran Duran Club Archive is reproducing in beautiful quality all of the fan mail outs from 81-85. Access it via FaceBook.
The Duran Duran Proboard is a place for discussing all things Duran, though it specialises its focus on tours, record releases, setlists and rarities. It's not a pictures kinda place.
The #DD40 fan project that launched in 2017 was an off-shoot from the Proboard and was led by John Archbell, ex-Notorious Duranzine editor (early 90s), who also leads the Duran Duran Rocks website (started 2017) and recently secured a prestigious interview with John Jones.
You will have read about two of the various Duran Duran record collectors on Cherry Lipstick. Guille Ugarte's site is Duran Collection is one of several, and Frank Fevermeer's is called Duran Duran Collection.
On Twitter, a go-to place for polls, chat and suitably frivolous debate is Guy Fans Of Duran. Now in its third year, this is very popular and is extra fun for being so accessible and welcoming.
And then there's little ol' us, Cherry Lipstick. Hello!
So here are a variety of different ways in which fans have celebrated and presented their love of Duran Duran. And the other connection between them? They are all run wholly / predominantly by men. This is not to say they are FOR men (and women are active on the above sites), but men are the ones organising, creating and leading them.
So before we go further, a shout-out to the female-led sites.
We must start with the Daily Duranie, run by Rhonda and Amanda since 2010. It does what it says on the tin – a daily blog and fan poll that uses Duran Duran and their songs as an inspiration for discussing everyday life, as well as their analysis and commentary on all things Duran. They are currently organising a fan-weekend event in Vegas for August 2018.
Morgan Richter has created an awesome site in Preppies of the Apocalypse which has spawned a book. Warning - be prepared to lose hours of your day if you venture in 'for a quick look'. Hilarious deconstructions of Duran videos, both the biggies and lesser known. Plus more on Duran and various topics.
Of this parish, Ruth Galvin has the astonishing in-depth lyrical analysis site Head Full Of Chopsticks, which is now in its second year. It features songs from throughout Duran's career and most recently reviewed Come Undone.
This is trying to consider the current fan activity. To that end, The 80s SLB Fan wrote a lively blog about her favourite member of Duran but ended it at the end of 2017. Woth seeing also the Duran Diaries by the present-on-Twitter @michelle_cs1
Before we go any further, apologies to those missed out. This is not intended to be a fully comprehensive review of the internet, and there are certainly other fan pages all over FaceBook (each country seems to have its own fan-page. Well, at random I picked Argentina, Chile and Sweden and they all did). This also does not consider the wealth of Instagram pages, which certainly appear to be female-led (shout outs to as-seen-in-Cherry-Lipstick @bbamok and @papergoddess).
So what can we tell from this overview? Well, let's start by remembering that Duran Duran predominantly have a female following. It would seem that the girls buy the records, concert tickets and keep busy with activity, but is it the boys who make the most noise in terms of being the public face of fandom? The activity by female fans is often around the personal – meeting the band, sharing photos, talking about the band members (and, of course, the joy of the songs). This more predominately female-style fandom seems to require less of an established 'thing' to hang it on. The male fans are the collectors, the statisticians, 'into' the music. This type of fandom is more likely to get organised, meaning it is more 'out there' and public. Over generalised? Sure. But there's truth in it.
Where does Cherry Lipstick fit in to this? Well, the Twitter analytics state that 70% of our 460+ followers are female. This (at a fair guess) is probably representative of Duran Duran in general. The question then is who is the most active for CL. On the website, there have been about 25 different names who have written for Cherry Lipstick. And it's about 50/50 between men and women. You will be judge of how well gender-balanced the contributors are, or whether that matters – or if you had even thought about it before.
We are all Duran Duran fans and enjoy showing our fandom in different ways. This means that you don’t have to make the front row of every concert, have the Alaskan 12” edition of The Reflex, or even know every song ('As Seen From A Distance'? Never heard of it before Ruth mentioned it). And hopefully there's something for you at Cherry Lipstick.