L'un des premiers articles sur Duran Duran

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L'un des premiers articles sur Duran Duran

Message  NudeSpoons le Mer 23 Mar - 1:20

En mars 1981, Smash Hits créait l'évènement en affichant en Une de son bimensuel le groupe Duran Duran, qui n'a alors à son actif qu'un seul single, "Planet Earth", entré dans le Top 20.

L'évènement en question, c'est que seuls deux membres sont en couverture, et ce ne sont ni le chanteur, ni le guitariste, ni même le bassiste...

Non, il s'agit du clavier et du batteur, en l'occurence Nick Rhodes et Roger Taylor Wink

(il me semble que ce "petit évènement" est signalé dans le DVD qui décortique "Rio", mais j'ai un doute...)

C'est en anglais, mais rien d'insurmontable pour ceux qui maîtrisent un tant soit peu la langue.

Au passage, Visage et Spandau Ballet (oui, déjà !) en prennent pour leur grade... et on ne peut pas dire que les Duran Duran aient tort !

Si j'ai toujours aimé Visage (avec ses qualités et ses défauts), j'ai toujours eu du mal avec Spandau Ballet silent

An almighty crash shatters the peace five minutes after I enter the cluttered office of a Birmingham nightclub to talk to Duran Duran. The crash is the sound of a large mirror falling to the floor, and for a moment the image of imminent success seems in danger. Seven years of bad luck ? But the thought soon fades - when the band get together their bubbly self-confidence is simply overwhelming.

Since the release of their debut single PLANET EARTH on EMI a month ago, Duran Duran have concentrated on rehearsing the job of sounding good and looking right for the glare of publicity. A lot of time has been spent waiting for the next video take, for interviews and photo sessions.

A lot of time has also been spent in trains and cars between London and Birmingham, home to most of Duran Duran and to the Rum Runner, the nightclub owned by their managers, Paul and Michael Berrows.

Duran Duran have been described by some people as an extension of the Blitz scene outside London and bracketed alongside Spandau Ballet and Visage. It's true there are undeniable links : music with a disco-influenced bass line, and Perry Haines, sometime associate of both Spandau Ballet and Steve Strange, acting as their "style consultant".

But despite occasional hints that the other bands are regarded as rivals (Visage don't really exist anyway and Spandau Ballet are often eclipsed by their audience), the band regard themselves very much as having their own scene.

The Birmingham scene, says Paul Berrows, started before the one in London, but all agree that it isn't about what happened first. The point is that none of them copies each other.

The scene in Birmingham is centred around the Rum Runner. When the Berrows brothers took over the club a couple of years ago, they opened up on Tuesday nights to the sounds of Bowie, Roxy Music, Sparks, Split Enz, Kraftwerk, Cockney Rebel and others.

Before long the Rum Runner became the new focus for assorted post-punks and posers who were looking for something more suited to their tastes and the "scene" took off from there.

By this time Duran Duran were already in existence. Founder members Nick Rhodes and bassist John Taylor remember playing with a rhythm unit and a clarinet to a surprisingly tolerant punk audience at Barbarella's a few years ago.

Drummer Roger Taylor joined eighteen months ago after a chequered career with various local punk outfits, while Andy Taylor (none of the Taylors are related) packed his bags in Newcastle in response to an advert for a guitar/synth player.

Last to arrive was Londoner Simon le Bon, who'd dropped out of Birmingham's drama college and was recommended by a barmaid. Vocalist Simon has also written all the lyrics so far recorded, both on the single and on the album planned for release in May.

What Duran Duran have in common with Visage and Spandau Ballet is perhaps that they responsed to the need for their own kind of music in the clubs. But that's about as far as it goes, says Nick, who believes that "scenes" develop independantly and that they don't spread from one place to another.

It is also true that the bands share a preoccupation with make-up and fashion. Simon is currently decked out as a Mexican bandit, complete with gunbelt and headband. Roger and Nick go in for light coloured baggy suits that seem innocent and decadent at the same time while John, who occasionally roughs up his hair in an attempt not to look too pretty, inclines towards bright shirts, flowing scarves and leather jackets.

Rather different is Andy who, though he wears stylish shirts and leather trousers for cameras and gigs, is wearing a denim jacket with a faint outline of a Thin Lizzy logo. This, he says, belonged to his younger brother who was into Thin Lizzy until I pulled it off the back of his jacket.

But the look, as important as it is, comes second to the music and this is something that they clearly feel sets them apart from the London scene. Duran Duran don't hide the fact that they're looking for success and they're positive that their success will be built on the quality of their music, not on some carefully constructed image.

We don't really feel it's necessary to mouth off to people about how good this is going to be and why we're going to dominate the world, says Nick. It's not necessary. We'd rather just wait and let people listen to the music.

There are, according to Simon, no hidden meanings to PLANET EARTH.

It's been labelled as a sci-fi thing but it's not really got much to do with that. The fact is that at one point I just had this idea of what it would be like if you were coming in and seeing this place for the first time.

In my head was also the idea of being born, but at an age and with the kind of mentality where you can actually see what's going on. It's all about waking up, really.

Aliens in their own world. Shades of THE MAN WHO FELL TO EARTH ?

But the album, they say, will give a much broader idea of their music. To prove the point, they play the tape of a track called TEL AVIV. This slow, slightly swaying track was built up in layers, each instrument using the basis of the previous ones, with an elaborate strings arrangement performed by members of the London Philarmonic & Symphony Orchestra's.

By the time Simon came to record the vocals he discarded the lyrics he'd written in favour of a decidedly Middle Eastern wail. The depth achieved in this layered structure is impressive ; it's certainly far removed from the easy disco of PLANET EARTH.

Their music, Duran Duran say, is constantly developing and has already moved on from the album which has still to appear. It's there, they maintain, first and foremost for enjoyment and they put no restrictions on their search for good entertainment.

Any influence can be used if it fits well with their own style and cover versions of songs by Donna Summer, Sparks, Cockney Rebel, Bowie and even MEIN HERR from the musical CABARET have all been considered.

While the band will pay tribute to these and other artists, they don't rave about any heroes. And while Nick even sees certain hippy influences returning, they deny that it's a revival.

It's not drawing on the hippy thing, says Simon, it's drawing on the same thing that the hippies drew from. Remember that we weren't around in the sixties.

Duran Duran are the new entertainers and they're more than happy to defend their apolitical image. Yes, they say, it is an escape : a lot of people were forgetting how to enjoy themselves.

Simon emphasises the point :

Nobody's actually going to get anywhere by worrying. The post-punk rock, conscientious music, the people with a social message, the guys who got up on stage and preached - you've got a very small, converted audience who will enjoy that, in a masochistic kind of way.

Nick responds to a vague question about politics :

We're not apolitical. We do have our own political views, but as a band we don't feel that it's necessary to bring politics into our music and preach it to other people. I think everyone should have their own views, as opposed to taking someone else's.

Together with their management team, Duran Duran form a tightly knit group with clearly defined roles. They know what to expect from each other, respect each other's contributions and rely on each other for support through the pressures of an increasingly demanding programme.

The band are now well into their first headlining tour to support PLANET EARTH. World tours have already been mapped out by Michael and Paul Berrows, the caring, ambitious parental figures to whom any member of this little family can turn in time of need and who cushion the band from the business problems.

Any thoughts that it's all too perfect, that there's no room for error, are dismissed with blithe offhandedness.

Obviously you can't be too specific, says Nick of their plans. If suddenly the single goes gold and platinum in Germany then we'll go there.

Self confidence obviously isn't going to be a problem.

It wasn't always like this. Eighteen months ago at Birmingham University, before Andy and John joined the line-up, they found themselves double booked with a rugby club party.

It's so happened, Nick recalls, that the rugby club first, second and third teams and the reserves and the basketball team all turned up. And they didn't want to listen to Duran Duran, they wanted to sing KNEES UP MOTHER BROWN. Paper plates and sausages started flying towards us and then it graduated to ashtrays and glasses.

Finally they had to give up when the microphones were pushed over and war broke out.

Afterwards, adds John, people came up to us and said "It's nothing against you personally - it's just that we wanted to have a good time tonight".

Now at least Duran Duran can expect audiences whose idea of a good time is Duran Duran.
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NudeSpoons

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Date d'inscription : 21/03/2011
Age : 28

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