Tag Archives: Nick Rhodes

➤ Duran rock NASA’s Rocket Garden, feet firmly on Planet Earth

Kennedy Space Centre, NASA, Apollo 50th gala, Nick Rhodes, Duran Duran,

Cape Canaveral concert: Duran Duran celebrating the launch of Apollo 11 in 1969, accompanied by a 300 drone art performance by Studio Drift. (Getty)

WHO ELSE BUT DURAN DURAN – whose debut hit in 1981 was titled Planet Earth – could the Kennedy Space Centre in Florida have chosen to celebrate the 50th anniversary of man’s journey to the Moon in Apollo 11 when Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walked on its surface? On Tuesday the Rocket Garden at NASA’s primary launch centre at Cape Canaveral saw Duran Duran climaxing the Apollo 50th gala day of special events with a headline concert backed by a 16-piece orchestra and 12-voice choir, plus 300 Intel Shooting Star drones flying in formation overhead.

Performing before the Saturn 1B launch vehicle and a platoon of iconic space rockets, Duran were watched by all the surviving astronauts who have walked on the Moon since 1969, plus an audience who had paid $300 a ticket to support the Aldrin Family Foundation. Obviously the British band kicked off with The Universe Alone, followed by a selection of their space-themed hits including Planet Earth, New Moon On Monday, Anyone Out There, Astronaut, and Ordinary World. The Brummie boys capped their 90-minute show with their biggest hit Rio.

Keyboardist Nick Rhodes, who had watched the Moon-landing on TV as a seven-year-old, said: “It was surreal and awe-inspiring. Science-fiction unfolding before us, opening our minds to what mankind was capable of achieving.”

Kennedy Space Centre, NASA, Apollo 50th gala, Nick Rhodes, Duran Duran,

Duran Duran at Cape Canaveral: playing their space-themed hits to honour the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon launch. (Getty)


❏ KSC setlist – The Universe Alone, Planet Earth/Space Oddity, Anyone Out There, Astronaut, Ordinary World, (Reach Up for the) Sunrise, Walking on the Moon (Police cover), Wild Boys, Hungry Like the Wolf, Come Undone, Notorious, Pressure Off, White Lines (Don’t Do It) (Grandmaster Melle Mel cover), Girls on Film, Save a Prayer, View to a Kill, Rio.


➢ More pictures at Duran’s own website

FRONT PAGE

2015 ➤ Pitch now to make a video for Duran’s slinky come-back party single

Pressure Off, Paper Gods, Duran Duran, album, video,UK tour, US tour

Duran reignited for 2015: Roger Taylor drums, John Taylor bass, Nick Rhodes keyboards, Simon Le Bon vocals. (Photograph by Stephanie Pistel)

◼ FILM-MAKERS AND CREATIVE TYPES, Duran Duran are talking to you! Deadline for pitching your treatment to make a new lyric video is Sunday 28 June. When they threw out a free-for-all invitation in 2011, dozens of brilliant music videos resulted from people adapting classic Duran tracks. Now DD are trying something similar for their single Pressure Off, the first from a new album, in another video collaboration with Genero TV – click now to apply.

In September, after a gap of nearly five years, the former house band of the Brummie Rum Runner club’s New Romantic scene launch a new studio album – Paper Gods, their 14th. As part of a recording deal with Warner Bros Records, the album starts the next chapter in the Duran story, and features a host of A-list collaborators who include Nile Rodgers, Mark Ronson, Mr Hudson, Janelle Monáe, John Frusciante, Kiesza and Davide Ross.

➢ Previously at Shapersofthe80s:
2011, Ten killer videos made as tributes
to Duran’s return to creativity

Duran Duran,Pressure Off, Janelle Monae,pop music

Pressure Off features Janelle Monáe

“We found a whole new level of inspiration on this album,” says the band’s keyboardist and aesthetic overlord, Nick Rhodes. “We were talking the other day about artists that have been around for a long time – our contemporaries and some older ones, and there’s only a handful of the latter now, still out there playing shows. And we were saying, ‘What albums did they make this far down the line that we own?’ And that was a difficult one.”

DD seem convinced that this album will be one of the most visceral and daring of their career. A senior editor at Yahoo Music has already given Pressure Off a rave review, saying: “The sexy, slinky, all-around groovy party track is the legendary group’s best single in years. . . The remix-ready cut sounds fresh and modern, even as it traffics in D2’s tried-and-true signature sounds: super-Chic chickenscratch guitars, thick ’n’ gooey basslines, sassy soul-sister backup vocals, irresistibly effervescent chants.” Listen now at YouTube and you decide (no prizes for linking the cocktail of images with DD classic hits). Pre-order Duran Duran’s Paper Gods on iTunes and get an instant download of Pressure Off.

➢ Duran Duran 2015 tour dates at their own website – The four-man Duran line-up is set to headline at Bestival, in the UK, in September, and a trickle of European tour dates kicked off this week in Barcelona and The Hague, following up with the US and UK before climaxing in December.

➢ Previously at Shapersofthe80s:
1981, Birth of Duran’s Planet Earth — when other people’s faith put the Brummies into the charts

FRONT PAGE

2013 ➤ Duran’s Rhodes exhumes a 90s art-rock project that anticipated the downside of the internet

Duran Duran, Nick Rhodes, TV Mania, albums, photography, Bored with Prozac,

Never ask an artist “Why?” An inner Rhodes and another Cuccurullo, step up to brand their new project, TV Mania

➢ Nick Rhodes will exhibit a collection of original photographic works for sale at The Vinyl Factory Soho, London W1F 7BE, March 8-April 5. The collection, entitled Bei Incubi – translated as Beautiful Nightmares – will feature 20 Polaroids, and more than 30 original photographs and prints that have all been taken and signed by Nick.

❚ THE PHOTO SHOW celebrates the release on Monday of Nick Rhodes’s new experimental electronic album Bored with Prozac and the Internet? in a collaboration with former Duran Duran guitarist Warren Cuccurullo. Originally created in the mid-90s for the Broadway stage as the music to a “bizarre TV soap opera”, the tracks tell the tale of Cathy and Ray (named from the cathode ray tube) and their two children Sassy and Snoop, a fame-hungry family who give away their freedom to scientists in exchange for reality-show fame.

Bored was culled from a collection of tunes recorded when the band were between day jobs. Using samples from such sources as The Outer Limits and the British TV show Planet Fashion, TV Mania’s pastiche of cool beats and melodic hooks proved surprisingly prescient.

“It was innocently masquerading as an art-rock project, but there was a deep concept behind it all,” Cuccurullo says. “We were envisioning a world where a family would give up their day-to-day privacy and allow their existence to be televised to the masses, and this was two years before Truman showed and four years before Survivor. Now everyone is giving away their most intimate details online and on reality TV.”

“In 1996 the internet was still in its infancy,” Rhodes adds. “I was fascinated by communication and how things were becoming more instant and this was decades before all the sites we have now to communicate in different ways.”

A few months after Rhodes and Cuccurullo finished recording Bored with Prozac, a series called Big Brother hit the airwaves. “We looked at each other in absolute disbelief,” Rhodes says. “It was an idea that was in the ether at the time. We decided to lock it in the bottom drawer whilst we changed the story.”

➢ More details at TV Mania’s website

TAYLOR’s TALE FROM LOST SOUL TO HUMAN BEING

 John Taylor, Duran Duran, interview, books, video, In the Pleasure Groove,

John Taylor grilled for Google… Click on pic to run video in another window

❏ Also published today: John Taylor bassist and cofounder of Duran Duran can now be seen on video visiting Google Los Angeles last November to discuss his frank autobiography In the Pleasure Groove: Love, Death and Duran Duran. [Click on the pic to run video in another window]

Taylor tells his audience: “I have to fight to hold onto my memory these days, because there’s so much info coming at me… I started formulating an idea for the book, which is in three parts. There’s growing up in the 60s in the Midlands of England and becoming ‘John’… It’s a coming-of-age book, watching this little kid, an only child, and how he got into music. I had to find it for myself, at that time, 12-13-14, where the desire to remake my identity was so strong, and music in the UK had a lot of very strong personalities: David Bowie, Freddie Mercury, Rod Stewart, Bryan Ferry. And for a kid who was not really connecting with school, I started connecting with these guys.

“The second section is hysteria and that’s really about the first five years of the 80s, this wild ride Duran Duran took. Then the third part is about becoming an adult human being … some of the more profound highlights of the last 15 years: losing parents, gaining children, marriages, divorces, all of that sort of real-life stuff. But through the lens of an ex-popstar.”

FRONT PAGE

➤ Step up Dr Nick Rhodes, honorary scholar at Luton in Beds

Love the New Romantic outfits! Popstar Rhodes today with the eggheads of Bedfordshire. Photo courtesy Gerard Franklin

➢ From the newsdesk of Duran Duran:

❏ Star names from the worlds of music and cinema joined hundreds of graduates from the University of Bedfordshire at ceremonies today in Luton. Duran Duran keyboard player Nick Rhodes, music producer Peter Asher and film producer Katy Haber were among those being honoured during graduation week at St Mary’s Church. Each received an Honorary Doctor of Arts degree.

Nick Rhodes is being recognised for his contribution to the music industry as a songwriter, performer and producer. Katy Haber, who starred in films such as The Getaway and Cross of Iron and co-produced sci-fi classic Blade Runner, is recognised for her outstanding career in the film industry. Producer Peter Asher is being recognised for his distinguished career in the music industry, working with global stars such as Cher and Neil Diamond.

FRONT PAGE

2011 ➤ Spandau and Duran square up for battle just like the old days

Spandau Ballet, 2009, press conference, HMS Belfast, pop music, free CD

Spandau Ballet in 2009: answering our questions at their reunion press conference

❚ EVEN AS A UNIQUE CD COMPILATION of Spandau Ballet’s landmark hits is set for massive free distribution with The Mail on Sunday next weekend, Duran Duran announce a global concert live online at YouTube only days later, along with their own album release on CD. It could be the 80s all over again when the two arch-rival bands vied for the title of leaders of Britain’s New Romantics movement. So which veteran band will score the bigger hit in 2011?

Duran Duran, 2011, All You Need Is Now, YouTube, live stream, pop music

Duran Duran earlier this year: US and European tours, plus a live concert stream. Picture courtesy duranduran.com

Spandau’s special-edition CD features 12 tracks — half, including True and Gold, are remastered from their originals, with six live tracks coming from their show at London’s Sadler’s Wells in 1983, including the club anthem Chant No 1. The cover-mounted disc will be delivered free across Britain with every copy of the MoS, presumably because its marketing director expects Spandau to boost the paper’s circulation well past its average of 1,924,589 copies. Last Sunday Gary Kemp recalled the 80s for MoS readers: “It was madly competitive as we were all tribal. Duran Duran wanted to be more successful than us, we wanted to be more successful than ABC, or Culture Club, or Duran themselves. We spurred each other on.”

Duran Duran, David Lynch,poster,YouTube,Amex, Unstaged,concert, Los Angeles,Meanwhile today, Duran Duran announce that David Lynch — fabled director of the movies Eraserhead and The Elephant Man — has been enlisted to direct a live DD concert to be streamed online on March 23/24 to launch the second season of Unstaged, a music series sponsored by American Express and Vevo. Amex has pushed this internet venture to team breakthrough artists with influential filmmakers using interactive social media as the outlet (full details at Billboard).

During a Facebook Live chat from SXSW John Taylor admitted that how Lynch intended to video the show was still a mystery but “we know it’s not going to look like any concert film has looked before”. Audiences around the world will be able to switch between the director’s high-definition main stream and alternate “Lynchian” artistic viewpoints when they tune into YouTube on Wednesday in the US at 10pm EDT / 7pm PDT — which is Thursday at 02:00 UTC. The concert will also be rebroadcast for the UK on YouTube at 7pm on March 24. (Check here for regions where Unstaged will be viewable live. The Los Angeles concert will then remain online for a month.)

Can Duran attract a bigger audience than Spandau’s 2million Mail readers? With their US tour starting this week, DD’s comeback album is released in the US as a physical disc next Tuesday. The video of its title track All You Need Is Now has scored 629,689 views since it was posted on YouTube on Dec 20, so it’s anybody’s guess how many fans will tune in for the live webcast. What’s yours?

WHAT THE RIVAL BANDS SAY

Talking up the imminent free CD, Spandau Ballet told last week’s Mail on Sunday what the tracks meant to them…

Spandau Ballet, Reformation tour, John Keeble, Dublin

John Keeble: Dublin sound-check as Spandau’s Reformation tour kicks off 2009

Martin Kemp “We gave Instinction to producer Trevor Horn who really turned it on its head. It became a monster.”

Steve Norman on Lifeline “We knew we couldn’t stay an underground band for ever – the mainstream pop charts beckoned and we knew we had to deliver. Cue smiles and kisses to camera!”

John Keeble “Only When You Leave was the lead single from the Parade album as the band established a more rock-based edge. It opened doors to a new group of fans and gave me the chance to rock a bit harder on the drum kit.”

Tony Hadley “Sadler’s Wells was one of the best venues for us. It was an intimate gig and perfect to showcase tracks from our album True, such as Foundation – a slice of white soul-boy funky pop – Communication – a great upbeat number – and Pleasure, which really captures the essence of the era.”

Duran Duran ,All You Need Is Now,Nick Rhodes, video

Nick Rhodes: last November's video for the comeback single, All You Need Is Now. Courtesy duranduran.com

Over in the States, Duran founder and keyboardist Nick Rhodes discusses the David Lynch webcast with Billboard today:

“The stranger it is, the more beautiful it will be. What appeals to us very much about working with David is that we like the way he thinks about things and how he’s always gone out on a limb to make things different. He works completely outside of the system, and that’s what we try to do. I think the combustion between us and David should create something that nobody’s ever seen before, something mysterious and magical and surprising.”

FRONT PAGE