Sunday, October 14, 2012

Lessons Learned 2 of X

I remember my first fan of DDTTRH was my wife, Claudia.  That will always be special to me.  I was happy too when I found early committed fans (like Anitra and Jason) who were willing to give of their time for the cause.  After Anitra and Jason there were Kandice, Josie and Christian.  I don't want to forget to mention Jake as well who has helped us in our most recent past with Youtube videos.

We've had our challenges as well, and these challenged mostly had to do with human resources.  Once we started to grow, I realized there was a need to delineate tasks associated with DDTTRH.  The Youtube piece was overseen by Jason and the Artist interview piece was Anitra.  Then Kandice became in charge of the petition (we nicknamed her fondly the 'Petition Duchess').  Christian's talents were on making websites and he had the extra charge of reaching out to other Duran fan sites to ask their support (if you go to 'Fansites' under the heading 'The Effort' most of those sites there he helped spread the word to).  The other thing we felt we needed early on was a logo to represent our effort.  To do that we had a logo contest and there were many who entered.  It was Nabeel from California that won.  He created our first logo:

The other thing we felt we needed was a Rock Hall Liaison.  This would be someone who hopefully had connections with the Rock Hall that could reach out to committee members and let them know about us.  Someone volunteered for that position.  She started off fabulous.  In fact, given that we were doing research on Duran Duran (mainly on bands that were influenced by them and where Duran Duran was mentioned in media), we needed someone to write up something about how Duran Duran has been involved with community service.  She did an amazing job on a writeup to this effect.  You can see it at our website under the Duran Duran--Community Service link. 

The next thing I was working on with her was a letter which we would present to various persons on the Rock Hall committee letting them know about us.  We went through a draft and a final version, but nothing went farther.  It got so bad the not hearing from her, that after repeatedly reaching out to her and not hearing from her, the rest of the staff and myself decided to let her go.  I found out later that she had taken an extra job and had no time to help out.  To this day I wish she had just said something instead of just not communicating.

I still have that letter by the way--any volunteers to send it out to people on the Rock Hall committee?

Then there was what happened with Nabeel.  He had a serious car accident.  He was hit by a UPS truck and from talking with him, I believe it damaged him extensively.  I had conversations with him after his accident and I could tell how down of spirits he was.  Then there was a point where I didn't hear from him again.  Others of the staff were concerned about him and also tried to reach out, but nobody heard anything back.  To this day we don't know what happened with Nabeel.  He will always have an important place as part of the history of the DDTTRH effort...particularly in giving us our first amazing logo.  We let Nabeel go after not hearing from him for a long period of time.

There were other challenges too.  I had one guy who was interested in helping to be our Blogging Specialist.  I trained him and everything.  Then, I remember there being floods in his area and he told me he no longer had time to help (which is fine--I was happy he at least said something).  I tried to get someone else in his place, and there was a promising candidate to do it, but that petered out quickly. 

Then there was the matter of trying to call City, Country Representatives.  One of them we called and I was hoping they'd be more 'asking us what they can do' vs. us 'telling them what to do'.  We also needed help to translate our blogs to different languages.  Several signed on and when I gave them work to do, nothing came back.  There was someone (Mr. Mystere we call him) that was very helpful with French translations...but he was an exception to the norm.  Another exception was Radio Creme Brulee--we were excited when Pranav (who owns it) reached out to us and was willing to represent Chicago.  I actually met Pranav in Chicago when I was on a business trip.  We had a great chat on ideas of how to promote the effort.  It led to our first Youtube promotion which so far has been fairly a success.  In fact, it was thanks to that discussion that I had the courage to reach out to Katy who works with Duran Duran who gave us signed posters (and she was very happy to do it).  Pranav has not been able to help us as much as he wants too...but something I appreciate about Pranav is that he has told me upfront how busy he is and while he wishes he could do more, he does what he can.

This is really all we wanted from people, and still do.  If they can't help, don't say they can and then quit.  If they start and can't help, let us know, please be upfront with us instead of not communicating straight up with us.  We understand that everyone has lives and is busy.  If you want to help, great, give in what little ways you can...we would appreciate that.  But just 'don't give' because you think you're being inconvenient to us or know you can't give more than you think we expect.  What I'm trying to say is that any little effort you do is appreciated, because all the little efforts eventually will add up to something great.

You might ask why this is important to blog about?  One of the reasons that has caused rifts and problems in our group is essentially this...the lackluster or 'lack-of-follow-through' commitment of some of the fans to DDTTRH.  We even had one representative, who was to represent us in California.  He said he had connections with some famous people and it was thanks to him that we received an email of support from a friend of the band's.  Then, he had offered to present shirts to the band with special messages to the band on our behalf.  I was less disappointed about him falling through on the t-shirts than I was with the dropping off from committing the support (or at least being upfront with me on reasons why).  I actually enjoyed my conversations with him and I was looking forward to somewhat of a friendship...but I've tried and tried to reach out to him and its as if no one is there.

And the other thing that was troublesome was when I asked Kandice if she could help with the representatives and when she reached out to him and others, she was not contacted back.  It was almost as if they felt as they were being treated 'less' because I was having another valued member of our staff contact them.  I never understood this and don't to this day.

Or perhaps you are of the camp that since a couple of members of Duran Duran have said they don't like the Rock Hall (though haven't said explicitly that they would not accept nomination [:--had to put that in there), that we should just do nothing to raise awareness about the band.  It doesn't matter to you that the band's friends and many other have shown support for DDTTRH.  You of all people should know that the band avoids trying to be recognized for the great contributions they've done for the music industry.  I believe that if they were nominated, they would be gracious about it.  I mean--if they were totally against the Rock Hall (which I believe they're not), why would they donate historical pieces to them?  Did you know they did that?

You don't have to go very far in the fan community before you meet someone who 'wants a piece' of Simon, Roger, Nick, or John.  I mean, who wouldn't?  DDTTRH is different than gives you an opportunity...different than any fan group out there...the opportunity to give back to the band that has meant so to all of us...thats what its always been about.  Take away everything else...the imperfections of the people serving in DDTTRH...the structures and organization...the promotions...the 'Rock Hall' in our name....whats left is its sole mission.  We seek to raise awareness of a band that had made history and continues to do so.

Next time....
  • Learn about other unique challenges that we've had at DDTTRH.  Some of them, I admit I unintentionally caused...some I admit I have no idea on earth why they happened, or why they were a source of such contention.
  • The next blog will also set the stage for the blog about 'The Epiphany' and why that was so important to DDTTRH and changing who we are.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Lessons Learned, Blog 1 of X

I don't know how many blogs it will take, but it doesn't matter really.  Things need to be said and I am the one at DDTTRH, besides Christian, that is left to say them.  In the end, I'm hoping you will all see what DDTTRH is really all about and will be willing to join with us (whether here or at DDWW) as we romote Duran Duran.

I started out DDTTRH for one main, innocent give homage to a band that has truly blessed my life with the gift of their music.  Though some may question it, I have listened religiously to Duran Duran ever since the first time I purchased their Seven and the Ragged Tiger album.  And the story I told of when I shared their music to my parents in the car, and my Dad said to my Mom..."listen honey, this is alternative music" is absolutely true and will always be a fond memory of mine.  I knew then as I know now that Duran Duran's music is special.  Its unique and different.  And it disappoints me sometimes when Simon says that they are the ultimate party band...almost saying that their music is 'just party music', when to me its so much more.  Their music has transported me to places I could never go to in my life and given me an art form to appreciate that I have and continue to appreciate as it is released.

And I will be honest and say that I only went to my first Duran Duran concert last year.  It was an amazing moment in my life, one I will never forget.  And it was me that was outside the venue where it took place passing out fliers for people to sign the Rock Hall petition.  I was grateful of Maria Sbrocco as well who helped me that the rain.  What a great example of a fan that truly saw what DDTTRH was about and who, through her honest efforts, believed and did something for the band that meant so much to her.  How exciting it was that day as well to have the press involved and have them film me doing something good for the band.  I will say though that I was disappointed that they angled the story as if I was the only one doing it and was a bit of a 'crazy' fan...the press will find ways to do that I suppose.  No matter...I am proud to say that I am a Duranie and am not ashamed of it.

Since we started this effort, DDTTRH, it hasn't been an easy road.  There were two that came on and believed in what this effort stood for...Jason and Anitra.  Jason, for family and time reasons could not stay with us, but is still to this day one of our supporters.  Anitra has done amazing things to jump-start the effort...interviewing bands and artists that were excited to speak up for the band...artists excited for the chance to do so.  Kandice joined later, along with Josie.  Both of these ladies have done and did amazing things for DDTTRH. 

Kandice...our Petition Duchess...who tirelessly reached out to fans to sign the petition and followed up with every interview Anitra did to make sure they signed and told their friends.  When Kandice left, it was a hard day for me.  She recently sent me a binder with all the work she did.  It was a very thick binder too!  As I went through it, I imagined her working hard on something because she believed in it...and her commitment was palpable in those pages.  This was one of the reasons she was given a leadership title with DDTTRH...because she was so committed and dedicated.  She could always be counted matter where help was needed.

And Josie has done amazing work for us too.  Always willing to edit something that went out, so we wouldn't be embarrassed with our bad English.  Josie to me represents that quiet, yet always there kind-of-person who is honest about what she can do and will give where she can...and is willing to 'do anything for the boys' as she says to me.  If only there were more Josies out there.  If only there were.

And that leads me to Christian.  If it wasn't for Christian, we wouldn't have the amazing websites we do today...for both DDTTRH and DDWW.  When I first met Christian I think we argued about a post he did on Madonna.  I remember taking down his post because it was offensive and I remember telling him that we needed to be careful about how we spoke of other artists on the site.  And I never told him this, but in my mind back then I was imagining Madonna, who is likely on the committee choosing artists for induction, actually seeing that post and getting angry about it.  I was probably being silly, I know, but back then I was a different person than today...before the Epiphany happened (after my first Duran concert) and before I had formed a relationship with Anitra, Kandice, and Christian.

Next time...
  • Learn more about the challenges we've faced at DDTTRH and things I learned from 'The Epiphany'. 
  • The next blog will also be a set up to the important things I learned about different kinds of Duranie fans out there and the bitter-sweet experiences that came to light because of those experiences with them.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Our new NUNO

We promised you some exciting changes and happenings this June 15th's another one....our NEW DDTTRH LOGO!!!!!

When we asked NUNO (our graphic artist friend and supporter from Portugal) to make us a logo, we told him the following..."The new logo must embody our new mission of focusing less attention on the Rock Hall and more on Duran Duran. The logo must be forward looking and visionary, with the idea that our effort is trying to bring to light the Duran Duran of NOW and the amazing contributions that Duran Duran has made to music history, fashion, art and media culture. To me the logo must say that Duran Duran is hip and classy for today and must be inviting to people who have either never heard of the band or are curious in learning about what they've been doing lately."

Further, we told him it needs to look good on a t-shirt.

I think NUNO out-did himself...check this out...I am proud to present, Duran Duran to the Rock Hall's new official logo...

And here's what it looks like on a t-shirt...pretty cool, eh?

Thanks so much for being our fans. In the next week or so, we will look for a t-shirt supplier so that we can let you have the amazing opportunity to wear it!



Kirk, Christian, Anitra, Kandice

PS--to learn more about NUNO, please visit him at these sites:

You can also check out an interview we did with NUNO at the beginning of 2011...

To learn more about Duran Duran to the Rock Hall (DDTTRH), please visit our hub site at

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Who else but us will carry on Duran's torch?

When I think of Duran Duran playing for the Olympics in 2012, I cannot help but think of the Olympic torch. That torch that is carried from the birthplace of the Olympics, Greece, to the spot where the games are to be played (this year London).

Never mind that the feats of Duran Duran since their inception 30+ years ago are of historical significance, worthy of the kind of stories that made Greek heroes and heroines worthy of myth and legend. Year in and year out this band has played for us and given us adventure, hope, self confidence, and through their music joy and happiness that has enriched our lives. In effect, they have crowned each of us who have been their fans with music worthy of the olive wreaths awarded to Olympic victors.

What better way to celebrate this band than to pass their music and legend on to future generations? I find it disturbing today that many are still 'stuck in the 80's' with Duran Duran and still many more do not even know who this amazing band is. Even worse is that when a great new album is released (like All You Need Is Now) the radio stations continue to play the same music from the same artists over and over again--like tickets to an amusement park ride whose satisfaction factor diminishes after a few rides. If you think of the epic contributions this band has given the music industry in the last 3 decades and the millions of fans that they have across the globe, one wonders what could have 'dimmed the light' that once glowed so brightly for this band? Was it the media and the critics? Was it simply changing history, people's tastes changing, and the changing landscape of music? Could it also be it be that the band just doesn't want the attention...given the harsh criticism they've had in the past and given their attitudes about receiving recognition for what they've done? The song 'All You Need Is Now' seems to hint at this attitude...'Everbody's gunnin for the VIP section...but you're better off in runnin in the other direction'.

Or could it be that a torch has been burning with this band, a light has been on, but this light has not been shared outside the tight knit Duranie community? Therefore, when this generation of faithful fans passes, so will Duran Duran. This band will be forgotten and the world will not care. Their contributions to the music industry will simply become myth and dismissed by the writers of history as unimportant and trivial. And all the critics and people that put this band down will be laughing and saying 'we told you so'.

Some may think that the band does not need the recognition, does not want the recognition and these people do not see the point of doing any kind of awareness-raising for them. What does it matter if new Duran Duran fans are being created today and their music does not reach and enlighten new ears as the generations pass? The band had its moment, and they certainly don't need the money.

Does anyone honestly think that this is what the band wants? Seriously people?

If you had put your life and soul into music as an art form (which Duran Duran clearly has done), would you not want it to be enjoyed and appreciated for years and years to the great works of Picasso, Rembrandt, or Monet? Would you not be proud of your music if it could listened to by the youth of today and appreciated just as much as it was when you first began releasing? Wouldn't you want to know if your music has inspired other musicians to create music of their own? In a recent UK Heart Radio interview, when asked for a story about how the band has inspired people...Simon Le Bon said this..."When we received our Brit Awards, Justin Timberlake came onstage and presented us with the award and he said, 'The reason I am here is these guys. They inspired me to get into music.'...that is enough for me."

I can honestly say that I appreciate the band's humility and wanting to run “in the other direction from the VIP section.” And I appreciate Simon's attitude of wanting to know that his band inspired a musician to him to get into music.

Inspiration and legacy though, like a torch, cannot survive in a vacuum. It needs oxygen to burn brightly and it’s up to us, as Duran Duran fans to be that oxygen to keep the torch burning. It’s up to us as fans to help pass the torch on to future generations so that Duran Duran's music can be appreciated and inspire many more musicians for years to come.

That’s why at DDTTRH, we are doing something special in the next 2 months (before the Olympics) to invite Duran Duran fans to share their voice about this band that has meant so much to them. We hope that through this, people that search Duran Duran during the Olympics can find our site and read, listen, and see some the great things you have to say about them. Further, we are providing an outlet that is not associated with the Rock Hall to do it.

On June 15th, we will be announcing something exciting at DDTTRH...a breath of new oxygen for the global fan community that I know you will be excited about. As you know, June 15, 1981 was a special day for Duran Duran...the day they released their first album. This day will be special again in 2012 (31 years later) and as fans we can make it special. Please watch our sites on this special day to see how you can help pass the torch on for Duran Duran in a special way.

Kirk, Christian, Anitra, Kandice

Picture source:

Inspiration and a torch, cannot survive in a vacuum. It needs oxygen to burn brightly and it’s up to us, as Duran Duran fans to be that oxygen to keep the torch burning.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Interview with Jen Chaney, Washington Post

Jen on the 'red carpet' at the recent Oscar awards

She writes for the Washington Post. She has been writing Celebritology since 2006. Recently, she had taken time out of her busy schedule (covering Hollywood movies, TV, following whats trending online in popular culture, and interviewing stars) to talk about Duran Duran to the Rock Hall:

Since Jen Chaney did us the favor of covering DDTTRH, we thought, why not cover her? In this interview, Jen talks to us about Celebritology, about Duran Duran (and her favorite band member--and there's a funny story about would not want to miss!), the music industry, the Rock Hall, and advice for us as we continue trying to raise awareness of Duran Duran. I for one had so much fun talking to Jen--I hope you enjoy this chat I did with her and will follow her on Celebritology. ~Kirk, DDTTRH

Kirk, DDTTRH: I read that you have been writing for Celebritology since 2006. Before that I read you were a web producer at the paper and what led you to Celebrity was blogging about movies, TV, then live blogging with Liz Kelly about the show LOST. My question to you is, how exciting is it to be doing Celebritology and was it something you always wanted to do and you prepared yourself for it, or was it something you discovered about yourself that came out for you as a surprise?

Jen Chaney: Before I answer your excellent question, let me clarify a little bit about the background that led me to Celebritology. As you noted, I was a web producer before I started writing for the blog full-time. But I was also doing a lot of writing about entertainment and pop culture - including, in fact, this piece about Duran Duran ( I started contributing to Celebritology more regularly when Liz Kelly -- who created the blog originally -- and I started doing our dueling analyses of "Lost." The partnership worked out so well that in 2010, I joined the blog as a full-fledged partner and left the producing part of my job behind. Liz, much to my chagrin, left the Post the following year, which left me to anchor the blog, with a tremendous amount of help from Sarah Anne Hughes.

So, to more specifically answer your question, my work on Celebritology evolved over time in a way that made it seem very natural, as opposed to something for which I needed to prepare. However, writing about pop culture and entertainment for The Washington Post was literally my dream job when I began my journalism career after college in the mid-1990s. And my fascination with pop culture was born when I was in elementary school. So for both of those reasons, doing this job is something I have prepared for, and hoped for, my whole life. As absurd as it may sound, the job can be demanding. But it also affords me the gift of being able to talk with the filmmakers, TV stars and musical artists whose work I admire. I am thankful for that gift every day.

Kirk, DDTTRH:  I don't know about you, but when I talk to people about Duran Duran they seem 'stuck in the 80's' with the band and many haven't really seen or even paid attention to the amazing things the band has done since then. In fact, one of the reasons we changed the mission of Duran Duran to the Rock Hall (to focus less on the Rock Hall and more on trying to raise awareness to what Duran Duran has done for music history throughout
their career up to today) is to take a step back, to be less like other groups just pounding on the Rock Hall's doors and becoming disappointed, and to focus on promoting the band in many other ways and bringing to light valuable research on the band so more people will pay attention.

Your question is--what do you think could be done to raise more awareness for Duran Duran so that more people have the opportunity to see how legendary they really are?

Jen Chaney: Changing perceptions about the band is a challenge. Some people will always see them a certain way and not much can be done to change that. Having said that -- and I think your Duran to the Rock Hall site has done this -- it could be helpful to continue succinctly listing the significant things the band has done since the '80s. For example, number of songs that have charted, number of successful tours, induction into MTV VMA Hall of Fame, number of contemporary artists who have performed onstage with them, etc. Almost like a one-sheet that summarizes all the things they have continued to do. Again, I don't know how many minds that will change and I feel like your site has already done this, but it's something to consider disseminating more widely. Also, posting the equivalent of blog items on the site around the time of significant Duran anniversaries (Duran-iversaries?), like the release of "Sing Blue Silver," or when "Ordinary World" came out, etc. will provide constant reminders of the band's significant achievements.

The truth is that the band's greatest cultural significance obviously happened in the '80s. Duran Duran was the key band of the music video revolution, a revolution that, in my view, transformed American popular culture on a massive scale that transcended pop music. It's very hard to divorce them from that, and that's why most people seem "stuck in the 80s" when it comes to them. But the music they made in the decades that followed demonstrates that they were not a one-decade wonder, and speaks to the longevity I mentioned above. That's the value of evangelizing about the band's work since the birth-of-MTV era.

Kirk, DDTTRH: I agree with you that many are 'stuck in the 80s' with Duran Duran. In fact, I think part of the reason too is that the music industry has lost the ability to cultivate artists and promote them over a long period of time. I can't tell you how disappointed I was when the new album All You Need is Now was released, and I expected to hear some of the new songs on the radio. There was nothing. It didn't seem to matter how AMAZING some of these new songs were, they seemed to just stay in the rut of playing the same songs by the same artists over and over again. I don't know if you had the chance to read the article I wrote for Andy Taylor's website, talks in more detail about my thoughts on this subject. Here is the link:

My question to you you think the music industry could do more to cultivate and promote artists over a long period of time?

Jen Chaney: I think the music industry could do more to cultivate artists. In pop music there has always been a tendency to embrace the new thing; as a general rule, a big pop band has a short period of time to reign before getting pushed aside for the next big thing. Certain artists have managed to find longevity despite that -- Bruce Springsteen, U2, the Rolling Stones, Madonna, to name just a few. I think Duran Duran has done pretty well in that regard, too, considering that most bands fold up the tables and go home after a decade or so.

Older adults -- let's say late 30s and up -- are more likely to buy a physical CD than younger people are. These are the consumers who can keep the music industry going strong. Why was Adele such a huge success? Her music appealed to a wide spectrum of age groups -- high schoolers listen to her, but so does my mother-in-law who likes Michael Buble. Finding young artists with that appeal, and continuing to nurture veterans who fogies like us still know and love, is a really important way for record companies to navigate a challenging economic future. A quick scan of this week's top-selling artists shows that Springsteen's latest CD is currently in the top 10, as is Whitney Houston's greatest hits. Van Halen's new album also has been on the charts for seven weeks now, and was in the No. 2 spot at one point.

It's also worth noting that catalogue sales do quite well, because people still long to hear the great, timeless music that was made 20, 30 or 40 years ago. That means those artists are still relevant on some level, even if we only want to hear the old favorites.

Of course, some artists just lose their creative edge after a while. It's not like every band deserves to stick around indefinitely because not all of them can continue to crank out great music. In fact, I would say few can. But I think it would be wise for the industry to foster more of those relationships. Nostalgia has a magnetic effect on our musical tastes, and it breeds lifelong loyalty to certain bands, whether it's Van Halen or Duran or the Backstreet Boys.

Kirk, DDTTRH: Do you think as I do that perhaps the music industry is missing the mark in really understanding and building artists across that they could generate more long-term and meaningful profits over time?

I don't know if you feel the same way I do, however I think there are many artists (not just Duran Duran) that are playing great quality music today that the music industry just misses out on. And its a shame too, because I feel the general public is being given a disservice because of this prevalent short term business focus the music industry seems to have (especially since much of the music out there today lacks the kind of artistic quality that bands like Duran Duran put into their craft).

I think I sort of addressed this in my answer below. I think they may be missing the mark with some bands, but not with others. As I said earlier, some bands just may not have it in them to keep going over a long period of years, either due to personal issues or a desire to do something else with their lives or whatever the case may be. In terms of the issue of respect within and outside of the industry, I think we'll see more respect for Duran Duran and bands like them as more of the baby boomers retire and move on. Most Gen Xers have a certain reverence for the music of the 70s and 80s; obviously opinions differ on which bands were more significant or talented, but I think anyone who was young during that time doesn't need to be convinced that a group like Duran Duran was a huge deal.

The other thing worth noting is that thanks to the Internet, a band doesn't necessarily need a company's support to continue making music for their fans. Social networking and the capacity to independently produce CDs make it possible for any band to stay in the game, albeit on a smaller level than they might with a major marketing push from Sony. But when a group has a strong following, it's very easy to see that online and that could motivate a smart executive to reconsider signing or promoting an artist if they see a lot of interest and revenue being generated already.

Jen with John Taylor (her favorite!)

Kirk, DDTTRH: Well--for the Duranie fans--I must ask this one. Who is your favorite Duran Duran member and why? I know you've mentioned Duran Duran in several of your articles. Are you a big fan of the band?

Jen Chaney: To answer your last question first, yes, I am a fan of the band. My favorite member was always John. When I was in seventh grade, every inch of wallspace in my bedroom was covered with Duran Duran posters and pin-ups. And each night before bed, I kissed the pictures of John in every single one, which was a lengthy process. Why was he my favorite? Yes, his handsomeness certainly had a lot to do with it. But there was a mischievous quality I saw in him, and in Simon, too, who was my second-favorite, that made him more interesting. He had a cheeky sense of humor, too, which I also loved.

Kirk, DDTTRH: What does it mean for you to be a Celebritologist? Any interesting or funny stories you'd like to share with us since many don't get the chance to ever meet or interview celebrities (that must be so exciting!)?

Jen Chaney: Anyone can be a celebritologist, technically, I'm just fortunate enough to call myself one professionally. Really, I wear a lot of different hats: blogger, reporter, film critic, etc. It is a fun job but also overwhelming at times. From the minute I put my feet on the floor and get out of bed, I am on deadline and feel that way until I get back into bed at night. Which is mentally exhausting, On the plus side, I've gotten to go to the Oscars and Comic-Con a few times, I get to see movies ahead of time and I've even been called a chicken shit (good-naturedly) by George Clooney.

I have a lot of stories (the chicken shit one, for example, is pretty good). But I'll tell my John Taylor story since it's most relevant. When Duran was touring around the Red Carpet Massacre release, I wrote a piece about them and got to interview JOhn via telephone. It was mind-blowing to think about how obsessed I was with him so many years ago, and that I had finally gotten a chance to speak with him. So I wrote the story -- it was an advancer that ran before their DC area tour date -- but managed to get on the list to go backstage after the article was written. So I met Simon, Roger and John. I had brought a copy of my article to give the PR person for her records, but she told me to hang on to it so John could sign it. I didn't feel comfortable asking him to do that, but my husband didn't mind. So I got to stand there and watch while John Taylor read the article I had written about John Taylor, which was one of the odder experiences of my life.

Kirk, DDTTRH: I must did a story in Elementary School (from what I read online) on the movie 'Christmas Story'. Do you have any connections to Cleveland or the Midwest? I live in Cleveland and the Christmas Story house is here.

Jen Chaney: I have no connection to Cleveland or the film, other than loving it. It was the first movie I ever reviewed, in my elementary school newsletter.

Kirk, DDTTRH: What advice would you give our group as we continue trying to promote Duran Duran's contributions to music and raise awareness of the band?

Jen Chaney: I have one word of advice for you -- memes. If you want spread the word about the band, the smartest thing you can do is generate viral content that will get passed around online and remind people how much they love Duran. The trick about it, though, is that it can't seem too forced. Whatever you create has to come from a clever, organic place, otherwise it will seem like you're trying too hard. Clearly there are other things you can do as well, but that strikes me as one very specific thing to consider.

Please follow DDTTRH on Twitter!  @DDTTRH

Saturday, March 17, 2012

BIG FUN with Duran Duran Bumper Stickers

There's a very cool store thats close to my home on the east side. Its on 1814 Coventry Road, Cleveland. Here's a view of the street leading up to it...nice weather for St. Patrick's day as you can see...

Once I park and cross the street I walk down the sidewalk to the store front. There's a lot of people dressed in green today and the restaurants are especially busy. If you're ever visiting, you should try Mongolian BBQ.

Welcome to BIG FUN!

BIG FUN is an amazing store, filled with Toys, Games, and Collectibles that are truly nostalgic. I especially like the GI Joe and Star Wars toy section. Ok and the old video games section (I think I might be one of their few Magnavox Odyssey customers). Here's a peek inside...

Today, my mission is the Bumper Sticker counter...and I'm especially interested in the Duran Duran bumper stickers. They are from 1984 and are in decent condition for their age. I especially like the Union of the Snake ones. Are those the California Raisins? I remember those!

They also have these small sticker posters of Duran Duran (though not in as good of shape as the bumper stickers but not bad):

Here are the bumper stickers they have available. I just bought the last blue one for Ladyaslan, our publicist. I also got one for Kandice, Christian and a couple for Durandy Andy Golub, the amazing archivist from Seattle...

If you call, you might talk to Ben! BIG FUN is being nice enough to hold these stickers for DDTTRH for anyone who calls and wants to buy them (and they can mail them to you [:). They are more than happy to help! They can take your order over the phone if you call THIS Monday through Friday (Ben will be there Tuesday he said). You can also ask for those mini poster stickers-they had several of those (though I did not have them held).

Here's their phone number: 216-371-4FUN (4386)
Tell them you're calling about the Duran Duran bumper stickers being held for DDTTRH, they should know about it.

You might also try calling their Clifton Blvd. Store, 216-631-4FUN (4386)-they may have some if these sold out (I do not know).

Here's their website... They also have an email: If they don't accept your email order, you can just email DDTTRH at and we can hook you up.

Well time to go home. I pack my bumper stickers and the Odyssey game I picked up. My daughter wants a toy butterfly she found among all the different toys they have, so we get that too and head home.

Hope you enjoyed this BIG FUN adventure and hope you will be able to snag a bumper sticker before they are gone. Luck of the Irish to you!


Tuesday, February 7, 2012

'Stole a Leopard' Testimonials 1

For those of you not aware, DDTTRH debuted stuffed snow leopards in New York City at the end of last year (our very own Christian Helwig was there!). These stuffed snow leopards are the results of a partnership with the Snow Leopard Trust ( which is an organization dedicated to the protection of snow leopards and their native habitats in Mongolia. 100% of the money you pay for the leopard (less the shipping and collars we make for them) goes towards saving these amazing animals.

Here is the first edition of testimonials from our fans (with pictures). We hope you enjoy them and that you will purchase a leopard for yourself...not because we want you to, but because you are willing to give to save these animals. Savings these leopards goes beyond any kind of trivial things related to Duran Duran or the Rock Hall...its about giving life to animals struggling to keep it. 'It begins and ends with you' to be 'the one who stole a leopard'. ~DDTTRH

Alex Jokubaitis, United States

I love my snow leopards! I kept one for myself, and gave the other to a fellow Duranie who wasn't aware of DDTTRH. She really appreciated it, and got to learn more about the cause. I keep mine (aptly named Simon LeCat) on my desk, and he serves as a daily reminder of Duran Duran. I think the leopards are perfect for any Duran Duran fan. They are a unique reference to a great, current Duran Duran song. They help to also raise awareness of the band and all of their accomplishments, and the cost of purchase goes to a wonderful cause. And on top of that, they are so darn cute!

Terri Simpkin, Australia

When I saw that DDTTRH had very cleverly linked one of the most amazing Duran songs with a most worthy cause I had to investigate. As I now know, not only are the plush snow leopards incredibly cute in their own right, they play a big part in providing assistance to keep the real Snow Leopards off the extinct list. Currently classified as endangered, there are less than 7 000 left in the wild and need all the help they can get. Way down here in Tasmania (no, it’s not the end of the Earth, but I can see it from here!) there’s not much opportunity to see a real Snow Leopard so purchasing a very friendly plush one was the next best thing. And, the clever people at DDTTRH will provide you with a very stylish little collar which you can have personalised (to five letters). In the spirit of the latest album, mine proudly wears AYNIN on his collar.

I urge all Duran fans to consider supporting DDTTRH drive to raise funds for the Snow Leopard Trust. Not only will you be able to connect with Duran’s “Leopard” but you’ll be helping a great cause and, did I mention they are incredibly cute??!!! (BTW mine is currently travelling to the UK as part of my relocation to the other side of the world; too cute to leave behind.) – Dr Terri Simpkin, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia.

Maria Sbrocco, United States

Seeing the AYNIN Duran Duran concert was the greatest night of my life!! It took over 30 years and it was well worth the wait!! I also want to thank you for the opportunity to purchase the stuffed snow leopard animals with the collars through your web site. I have one with a collar that says 'I Simon Le Bon' and another that says 'I Duran Duran'. It is an important cause to save the snow leopards and they are the cutest souvenirs to a Duran Duran concert that I waited all my life for. "The Man Who Stole A Leopard" has a greater meaning than just a song.

To steal your leopard, please visit us at, Enter the Site, and click 'Be the One Who Stole a Leopard'.