Rumours awake in such lonely crowds


"And who should say I am Sir Oracle,

And when I ope my lips, let no dog bark!”

The Merchant of Venice


“We’re all in this together” is about as true for Duran fandom as it is for Covid. There is a projection of a hierarchy of information about the band that funnels through unofficial channels more elusive than Pablo Escobar’s supply chain. Chances are, if you’re reading Cherry Lipstick, you are not a shark, gobbling up all the juicy inside info. You’re a bottom feeder (assuming the sharks credit you with having a brain at all).


On Saturday 31st July (yesterday), it was leaked on Facebook that the next Future Past track to be released was a Chai collaboration called ‘More Joy’. The news quickly percolated through Twitter and the Duran Forum. Though the source was highly evasive, it was specific enough to assume it might be at least partially true.


Personally, I’m quite intrigued to hear this track. Chai seem to be highly competent musicians who aren’t afraid to take a few risks, though lyrically they are immensely simplistic. I laughed at the prospect of the stars of Donuts Mind If I Do writing this new track. Will it be Chai style? “More joy, hello boy, I’m a woman, not a toy, soy mujer, soy boy, sing it with me, more joy”.


This was the extent of what I could do with this highly controversial rumour: have a laugh. Others used it to double down on their anxiety / sexism / ageism about the band collaborating with a group of unknown Japanese women. There was a third more noble option suggested to me by a journalist - to discuss it privately amongst ourselves?


God forbid! This was something new to talk / joke about after six years of Andy vs. Warren convos. Even it’s untrue.


More importantly, the private discussion proposition talks to a conceptual Inner Sanctum of fandom: those that have inside info and those that don’t.

There are a number of fans who very proudly allude to having “private discussions” about Duran Duran. Heaven forbid us bottom feeders, would ever have access to all this ever-changing and unsubstantiated stories concerning the business rollout of Future Past!


Would you be part of that conversation? Some time ago, I might have had “apprentice stripes”. Not now.


I am now outside the circle of trust. The only reason I ever was half there was because I fed egos within that ‘elite’ fandom. And honestly? Apart from DM drama involving a bit of infighting between various fans and their personal altercations with DDHQ, I learnt precisely NOTHING of substance. Zero. Nada, that was not already in the public domain.


Take when Nick was missing from the Paper Gods tour for several months in 2016: not once did I see the real reason why. Many professed to know it and chastised others for guessing all the while reminding us THEY knew. That was the important part of the message, not the information itself which quite rightly was not shared, but the exclusivity of it and the ability to remind others that not all fans are made equal.


If Duran asked Chai to provide vocals for a mash-up of Dancephobia and Yo Bad Azizi, it would have more integrity than this latest 12” remix of “most special fan”.


Here is the breaking news: There was and is no inner sanctum - other than the one we construct ourselves by feeding the egos of those who claim exclusivity.


This is not to say fans know nothing. Certain fans work in the industry and have kept professionally schtum. The leak of the name ‘More Joy’ suggests others have been more ethically elastic. Every legitimised rumour has these Chinese whispers origins where there is a breach of trust in those who surround the band. Rumours that are later legitimised are rare enough.


Then there’s the rest of it. Let’s look at the recent Future Past “fan exclusives” from “a reliable source”:


1. It will be a 10-track album. No, wait. A 15-track album.

2. The second single will be a floor banger from Giorgio Moroder; then we heard Give It All Up (not a single).

3. This is to be followed we are told, by this new Chai collaboration, due to drop a week and a half ago (except Simon was interpreted incorrectly on Whoosh), then Thursday past, and now this Thursday coming.

4. More Joy is, apparently, accompanied by a magna video. It is also, “not the single”.

5. The Moroder “banger” name will be released via a fan exclusive with Duran’s blessing on Monday. No, Wednesday, Oops someone else leaked it online this morning (Sunday) and it is definitely called Anniversary.

6. Just to be clear, More Joy is a “non-single with a video” this Thursday, as the source, apparently always claimed.

7. September will see five tracks from Future Past before the Moroder track. An anthology, a double album of Reportage, and a special 0.5 track record day special from the bulging DD Vault. Some permutation of the album will make up 15 songs; every track without a W in it, plus the exclusives on the Japanese import, minus the bonus tracks on the American superstore version.

8. Oh, actually wait: Katy Krassner has rather sensationally intervened this Sunday evening directly and clipped the wings of that one! Anniversary is NOT the Moroder track! (Just to be clear, this one actually happened!)


[And depending on who you listen to the album isn’t finished (JT), or is sitting in acetate form on Erol Alkan’s vintage turntable.]


Watching how the Chai / Moroder “exclusive” has unfolded has been highly entertaining. It appears that all information has come via alternative channels, whilst the remainder was either a reflection of the disarray in camp Duran, or horseshit from attention-starved keyboard warriors. I’m guessing it’s a bit of both. It is possible the “inner sanctum” have access to some of the ever-changing facts on Future Past’s roll-out, and it’s Duran who have a flexible plan. After all, Simon refused to divulge the name of #DD15 on Radio 2, eight hours after we all bought it in pre-sale.


But as information feeds go, this is probably a link too many in the supply chain, and the integrity of said information is compromised. Rumours feed on mystery and exclusivity. They rely on smoke. I am reminded of when Jay from the Inbetweners, playing the hard man, bought cannabis (it was tea) for his friends. This was all fine until someone suggested, rather than smoking it, they could drink it:

Do not make tea with DD fan exclusives. It compromises the ego of the mule. You’d have to hope that DDHQ saw the writing on the wall here and certain quarters needed the wind taken out of their sails. That they took back possession of their own story by letting a leak appear elsewhere. That they took the tea leaves out of the joint, dumped them in a cup and added boiling water. Now that’s refreshing!


 

Our latest 32-page print fanzine is still available, alongside various other digital download goodies (many free) at the Cherry Lipstick Store




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