Duran Duran

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RPF Fandom
Name(s): Duran Duran
Scope/Focus: Members of the band
Date(s): 1980, 1990s
See also: Duranie
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Duran Duran are an English pop band founded in Birmingham, UK and were hugely popular around the world in the 1980s, with a long string of hit singles and music videos running from their first album in 1980 and peaking in 1984-85. Side projects, legal squabbles and the emotional costs of fame dampened the band's momentum at that point, as the music world evolved around them and some fans moved on to different musical tastes or busier lives. Roger Taylor and Andy Taylor left by 1986, causing fans to worry and grieve; Andy was replaced by new guitarist Warren Cuccurullo.

The band (in various incarnations) has continued to make music steadily since, some of it quite commercially successful (especially 1993's "Ordinary World"), and though they never achieved the same juggernaut mass appeal as they had at the beginning, they retained a core of loyal fans. In 1997, John Taylor left the band as well, taking a segment of the fanbase with him as he explored a solo career. In 2003, all three (unrelated) Taylors returned for a reunion of the original five members for one album and tour, leading to a resurgence in the size of the Duran Duran fandom; Andy left the band again during the recording of a second reunion album.

The band currently consists of singer Simon Le Bon, keyboardist Nick Rhodes, drummer Roger Taylor and bassist John Taylor, supported by session guitarists. Previous members include guitarists Andy Taylor and Warren Cuccurullo; drummer Sterling Campbell was an official member for one album. Before the band found Simon Le Bon to serve as their permanent singer and lyricist, vocalists Stephen Duffy, Alan Curtis, Andy Wickett, Simon Colley and Jeff Thomas each took a turn at the microphone.[1]

Fandom history

Fans of Duran Duran sometimes refer to themselves as Duranies. The official fan club, run out of the band's hometown in Birmingham UK, was simply called the "Duran Duran Fan Club", and issued periodic newsletters and organized events.

Early fans were club-goers and followers of New Wave and dance music around England, but promotion for the first album release in 1981 led to swiftly growing fan base. A large portion of their fandom during their meteoric rise from 1981 to 1985 was teenage girls, as shown in the documentary Sing Blue Silver. Fans followed the band on MTV, VH1, and through promotional appearances on television, radio, as well as in newspaper articles and in music, entertainment and teen magazines. Many recorded TV interviews and musical performances on VHS tapes, and compilations of these recordings were eagerly traded amongst each other, along with photos, clippings, and fanzines.

Fan-organized conventions included theICON, Durancon, Secret Oktober, and Durandemonium.

The band inspired numerous Duran Duran tribute bands. Unknown fan musicians also created a convincing fake demo recording of the band's Seven and the Ragged Tiger album.

Zines

Duran Duran fans created many fanzines, distributed through the mail and at fan gatherings before and during the early days of the Internet. Often, zines that stopped producing print issues simply evolved into websites, with the same staff and contributors offering the same types of content.

Widely read print zines included:

Internet

The Tiger-List logo

The first Usenet post to mention "Duran Duran" was made in May, 1982.[6] The band did not have its own Usenet group in the rec.music hierarchy (which required an approval process to create), but eventually the group alt.music.duran-duran was created in 1997(?) in the more freeform "alt" hierarchy.[7]

In 1992, Scott M. created the mailing list Tiger-List on a college server, and announced it at rec.music.info;[8] in 1995 it was moved to its more permanent home at the Indyramp servers.[9] It was the first discussion mailing list for Duran Duran, and for several years the only one—it was one of the central places for newly-online fans to make friends, discuss music releases and media coverage, coordinate concert plans, trade merchandise and memorabilia, and much more.

When America Online launched in 1992, the Duran Duran Lives and Room7609 chat rooms became early real-time hangout spaces for Duran Duran fans. By 1994, John Taylor and/or his wife Amanda occasionally dropped in to the AOL rooms to chat with fans, and the band as a whole did occasional promo chats on AOL, Compuserve, and Prodigy—all of which moved so fast that almost no one could read or type fast enough to hold any sort of coherent conversation.

The first Duran Duran fan site, "The Duranie Connection" created by Kapil M., went online in October 1993. It was later combined with Kim B.'s "Carnival" Duran Duran database site to form Dr. Duran Duran.

Soon other technologically-minded fans began experimenting with creating their own fansites on private or college servers, on AOL, and web hosts such as Geocities, Angelfire or Tripod, loosely tied together through mutual promotion and webrings. "Duranie Creativity Webring" in 1999 was the first one devoted to fanfiction; a few years later "Tarnished Halo" was set up as a separate slashfic webring.

Email-based mailing lists and forum software for websites that did not require owned hardware or deep technical knowledge to set up allowed the creation of fan communities dedicated to specific tastes (specific band members or side projects, fanfiction, etc.) The band's ups and downs through the 1990s and 2000s (and the maturation of its fan base into busier phases of their lives) led to waves of expansion and contraction in the number of active sites, lists and forums.

The first official Duran Duran website had no forums; they were eventually added during a redesign [when?], and while some of the fan community coalesced there, it was never the only hub of online activity.

[shift of community from forums/lists to social media in mid-2000s?]
[resurgence around 2003 reunion tour?]

Mailing Lists

  • Tiger-List for discussion (1992-2002?)
  • ddfic Mailing List for fanfiction (founded 1998 at Onelist -> egroups -> yahoogroups)
  • Divine Interference (founded at egroups)
  • Friends of Mine
  • Strange Behaviour (founded 2000 at yahoogroups)
  • Taylorbytes (founded at egroups)
so many others! (please add)

Notable fansites

  • Cherry Ice Cream Smile
  • Darran's Duran Duran Site, aka duranduran.co.uk
  • DJOktober's Duran Duran Body Art - archive of fan tattoos (Link)
  • Dr. Duran Duran
  • Duran2.net/Private Collection (Link)
  • Duranasty (Link)
  • Duran Collection - exhaustive discography site
  • Duran Duran Archive - founded 2007 (Link)
  • Duran Duran Diaries (Link)
  • Duran Duran Gossip FAQ
  • Duran Duran Timeline - founded 2000; incorporated into Duran Duran Wiki in 2007 (Link)
  • Duran Duran Toon of the Week by cartoonist Blazingtundra
  • Duran Duran Wiki - founded 2006
  • The ICON
  • The Late Bar on Planet Earth, aka secretoktober.com
  • Lizard King's Duran Duran Site (1997-2010) (Remaining forum)
  • Lonely Satellite - Duran Duran Brazil
  • The Lovely Blue Planet of There - first/largest DD fanfic archive, founded 1995 (Link)
  • MindDilation
  • Privacy - CucFan's Warren Cuccurullo fansite, later evolved into the official WC site
  • Smack Hits - satire site
  • spit on the escalator
  • Tom's Duran Duran discography @ ionpool.net Link

Fanfiction

As in other music fandoms, many DD fan writers were unaware of the fanfiction traditions going on in earlier media and music fandoms (such as Star Trek and Led Zeppelin). Some writers came to the idea of fanfic independently or in small groups, believing they were the only ones to spin fictional stories of meeting the band themselves, or of the band's life away from the cameras, or of alternate universes with the band members playing more fictionalized parts. Since Duran Duran's rise to stardom in the early eighties coincided with the launch of MTV and VH1 24-hour music video channels, the band's creative music videos, played in heavy rotation, stoked the fires for some writers, creating lavish universes with tantalizingly unfinished stories for them to play with.

Meeting other fans through official and unofficial fan clubs, pen pal ads, at concert venues, and in gatherings outside recording studios, hotels and other places the band traveled, these writers discovered that others wrote these stories too, and private drawerfic began to be circulated and traded amongst an interested audience.

"Everyone had a blast doing Bedtime Stories (readings of the smutty bits to large crowds of fellow pervs in cheap hotel rooms) as an unofficial fan convention activity."
-- Tina L.

Some early 1980s print zines acknowledged the phenomenon obliquely, even publishing letters about meeting the band that were sometimes thinly veiled fictional fantasies; other zines ignored, downplayed, or were unaware of this "secret" aspect of the fandom, sticking to gen news, articles, photos and fan art. By the late 1980s some zines (the German Vertigo may have been the first) did start to include gen or mild het fanfiction with their other content. In 1993 the UMF zine devoted to RPF content was launched, often reaching 200 pages per issue; it was also the first zine to include slash fic of the band.

Notable fanworks and creators

Writers of Music RPF in the Duran Duran fandom include:

Artists (traditional and digital):

  • ...?
Feel free to add yourself, and invite others you know to do the same but PLEASE see Fanlore:Identity Protection and try to make contact with the individuals before adding anyone else's real names or fannish pseudonyms—give them the choice of whether/how they wish their pre- and proto-Internet Duran Duran contributions to be remembered!

Given that the band was very active and popular during the pre-Internet 1980s, it would not be far fetched to speculate that many more fanworks focusing on the band exist from this period, though they may be lost to time and/or undistributed.[10]

[The band's opinion of fanfiction/slash fiction?]

Academia

References

  1. ^ As per Duran Duran article at Wikipedia
  2. ^ Duran Archive (Duranies United, Carnival, Khanada, and DUCK)
  3. ^ Music & Culture: the origins of a historical fanzine (in Italian)
  4. ^ There's About page
  5. ^ per the Brotherly Love zine
  6. ^ Usenet's First Post To Feature The Exact Phrase "Duran Duran"
  7. ^ alt.music.duran-duran on Google Groups
  8. ^ INFO: The Duran Duran Mailing List, December 4, 1992.
  9. ^ Tiger-List home page on The Wayback Machine
  10. ^ Any further evidence to this would be greatly appreciated.