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Posts Tagged ‘Duran Duran

Girl Panic: Duran Duran Returns To Rude Bits, Seductive Scenes

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Duran Duran likes naughty fantasies.

Other bands get busted for drugs or tossing television sets out hotel windows. After thirty years in the music business, Duran Duran gets banned for music videos even in the anything-goes 21st century.

In the glitzy nine-minute video “Girl Panic,” Duran Duran, played by legendary supermodels, depicts tongue-in-cheek debauchery in a sleek London hotel.

Naomi Campbell, who plays lead singer Simon Le Bon in the video, wakes up surrounded by svelte women clad in various lingerie bondage get-ups. A gorgeous girl French-kisses – gasp! – another beautiful girl.In one scene, fashion divas Cindy Crawford and Yasmin Le Bon enter an elevator with drummer Roger Taylor, who plays a bellhop. A few seconds later, the women exit, and Taylor looks a tad, well, rumpled and confused. What ever did those girls do to him?

Hard-core raunchy, the video isn’t. But MTV and VH1 apparently consider it too racy for their viewers’ peepers as the two channels have banned “Girl Panic.” It’s perplexing given some of their previous programming such as “Skins,” which was eventually cancelled because advertisers’ reaction to its depiction of sex and drug use by teens.

The channels also criticized the video’s “blatant product placement.” Hmm, yes, so do major motion pictures (Ever seen a James Bond movie?) and Lady Gaga videos. (Hello, “Telephone.”)

Women, who make up the overwhelmingly majority of Duran Duran fans, dream of luxury and escapism. The Savoy Hotel, where “Girl Panic” was filmed in June, whisks a Duranie into a bedroom world of champagne and afternoon sex. So what if the video features a Rolls Royce, Louis Vitton luggage and Swarovski crystals? Duran Duran raised their fans from a young age to desire the ultimate things in life.

They also gave us on healthy dose of eroticism in our teen years.

In their first banned video “Girls on Film,” myriad steamy scenes transpire in a wrestling ring as the band plays their instruments in the background. Two girls in gauzy lingerie engage in a pillow fight while straddling a whipped-cream covered pole and surrendering to a kiss. In another scene, a woman in a white fringed cowgirl outfit rides a man-horse in a black G-string before leading him off-stage on a leash. Yes, the video contained some rude bits. It made Duran Duran famous in 1981. It made their fans tingle.

For MTV, the band generated a shorter, tamer version of “Girls on Film.” Still, the X-rated version lingered on the shelf at a video store. Duranies and adolescent boys, whether they admitted it or not, figured out ways to see the “night version” of “Girls on Film” numerous times.

The Chauffeur,” too, became legendary among Duranies. Never released on MTV, the 1982 black-and-white video tells the story of two beautiful female lovers, clad in black garter belts and bustiers, meeting clandestinely in an empty parking garage. The band doesn’t appear in the video, but every Duranie who watched the video knew that to fall into bed with a member required an initial investment in silk stockings and fuck-me heels.

“Girl Panic” brilliantly pays homage to both videos with hat-tips that only a die-hard Duranie can spot. But fans, or Duran Duran for that matter, no longer needs MTV or VH1. As someone tweeted, “Do they even show videos anymore?” Duranies who want to study “Girl Panic” repeatedly can unlike in the days when we camped in front of the television set for hours waiting to see “Save a Prayer.”

It certainly doesn’t hurt that MTV, which Duran Duran helped place into music history, dissed the new video. Any publicity, especially the provocative kind, is good publicity. Here’s predicting that the ban will undoubtedly lead to today’s teens – and their Gen X mothers – sneaking peek after peek of “Girl Panic” on their iPhones.

Written by suziparker1313

December 8, 2011 at 7:59 pm

Posted in Music, Pop Culture

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Birmingham Calling: Duran Duran … Exhibited?

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Not everyone dreams about a vacation to Birmingham, England.

But Duranies do.

Birmingham is to a Duran Duran addict what Liverpool is to Beatles fans. Duranies long for a time machine to travel to the legendary Rum Runner, the night club where Duran Duran formed in 1978.

In a Duranie’s imagination, Birmingham is a mythical place where Brummies drink in pubs, boys dash out in eyeliner driving Aston Martins and girls have a chance to land in bed with a dreamy lead singer.

Birmingham natives say that is far from the truth, but it’s hard to convince a Duranie.

John Hemming, director of the Birmingham Music Heritage project and a rock historian, knows a lot about the British city. Hemming runs a website focused on the city’s musical history, and he is currently helping to organize an exhibit featuring Duran Duran in Birmingham.

“The goal of our project is to inspire future generations of musicians and alike from Birmingham to pick up an instrument and join the many famous bands and artists that Birmingham has produced,” Hemming tells me via email.  “We want to keep the music heritage of the city alive with films, exhibitions and live music.”

Birmingham’s musical legacy from 1965 to 1985, which Hemming has chosen to highlight on his website, includes an eclectic mix of bands and singers – Black Sabbath, ELO, Joan Armatrading, Musical Youth, Traffic, The Beat, Toyah Willcox and UB40, to name a few.

Hemming says that the city’s rich culture has always been – and continues to be – overshadowed by London, Manchester and Liverpool. It’s a place that has struggled with identity issues for decades, perpetually unclear of its place in British history.

“It was one of the first cities ever to face terrorism during the early 70’s so I think the city is still shell-shocked, but I think this has made Brummys the people we are today,” Hemming says.

In 1974, Birmingham was rocked by pub bombings that killed 21 people and injured 182. The British government blamed the IRA. And, in turn, introduced the Prevention of Terrorism Act, which allowed suspects to be held up to seven days without charge and allowed people to be deported from Great Britain to either Northern Ireland or the Republic of Ireland.

But Hemming says, regardless of its past, that Brummys are “quite laid back and friendly.”

He also says that the city’s suburbs may have helped create some of the genius that emerged from Birmingham.

“Apart from the city centre visit the suburbs and then you can understand why the likes Black Sabbath formed and conquered the world…… its a dump!”

In the late 1970s, Birmingham, like much of England, was seeking an escape from gnashing punk energy. A perfect antidote? New Wave.

“Bands such as Japan [and] Tubeway Army were churning out a new sound of synth pop,” Hemming says. “In Birmingham bands such as the Beat and Dexys were breaking big due to the two-tone explosion in 79-80 in Coventry, but in the clubs something different was happening. Peacock Punks as they were called started to challenge fashion and people were making their own clothes and just being so experimental.”

But those who loved fashion didn’t call themselves New Romantics. Instead, Hemming says, media invented New Romantics.

“This was just boys and girls wearing make up and being flamboyant and having fun,” he recalls. “I can remember personally sharing eyeliner with the girls and blusher. In fact if you didn’t wear make up then you were really a geek! The bands in the underground were Fashion and Duran, it was a mix of disco, punk and synth.”

Duran Duran’s launch from the Rum Runner to global sex symbols didn’t happen for every band. Hemming said that one band that should have hit the big time but failed was Fashion. Duran Duran actually opened for Fashion, and Fashion supported the B-52s on the Athens band’s first UK tour.

“They really should have made it big,” Hemming says. “Their second album ‘Frabrique’ went out on the Arista label and made the top 20. The single ‘Move On’ was a great song but lead singer Dee Harris quit the band on the eve of the BBC’s ‘Old Grey Whistle Test’. The band had partied too much and finished themselves before fame and fortune.

But not Duran Duran.

Hemming said he remembers that “Girls on Film” version one was written by former lead singer Andy Wickett while working nights at Cadbury’s.

“He sold the rights to the song to the then management for £600,” Hemming says. “The song was then revisited by Simon who put his own stamp on it. But Andy was paid again by the management to teach Simon how to sing some of the songs.”

The Duran Duran exhibit, if Hemming pulls it off, will focus on the first years of the band leading to their first self-titled album that includes “Planet Earth” and “Girls on Film.” It will explore the band’s early line-ups and various incarnations as they played in clubs around Birmingham.

A documentary featuring interviews with Nick Rhodes and drummer Roger Taylor has already been filmed. Rhodes was a founding member along with bassist John Taylor. A photography exhibit by Paul Edmond is also planned. Edmond documented the early days of Birmingham’s new wave scene at The Cedar Club, Holy City Zoo and the Rum Runner.

Hemming says the exhibit will also feature designs by New Romantic fashion pioneers, Jane Karn and Patti Bell, who dressed Duran Duran at times.

“Patti Bell was renowned for selecting the best dressed to enter the Rum Runner and turning down anyone who was normal,” Hemming says.

For Duranies the most thrilling part of the exhibit, perhaps? Rhodes will donate some of his artwork and photography. Jody Craddock, a premier football player, has also painted what Hemming calls a “stunning portrait” of singer Simon Le Bon.

But don’t ready the passport just yet. Hemming needs money, sponsors and a location to pull off his plan.

“To make this happen we need the correct funding and the perfect location,” he said. “We are looking for funds around the 50k mark to totally offer something special and curate material for such an exhibition.”

Surely, some old New Romantics have a pound or two to spare.

Written by suziparker1313

August 2, 2011 at 12:52 pm