Well, they are an all male band, but that’s not what I mean. By boy band I mean fake teen group. I’ve made this little section of my page to explain something. Listen closely: Duran Duran are real musicians! I get extremely pissed when people bunch them in the same group as N’Sync, Backstreet Boys, 98* and the like, or teen idols from the past like David Cassidy, Leaf Garret, New Kids On The Block, Minuedo and so on. That is such crap! Ok, this is the basic outline of my argument against that:
Teen Idols like N’Sync are manufactured. [People actually get paid to find five guys, total strangers, and morph them into a boy band. The first time they meet is in a casting office.]
As for Duran Duran, founding member John Taylor had been friends with Nick Rhodes since they were about ten years old. They later met Roger Taylor in their home town of Birmingham. An add in the newspaper caught Andy Taylor’s attention. Despite their reluctance to have yet another Taylor in the band, Andy soon joined, because as John Taylor said “He had a practical knowledge that none of us had. I mean we knew how to match lip gloss and eyeliner, but he could change guitar strings, and get a Ford van started if it broke down on the motorway”. They were the house band at a club for a while, and one day a bar maid said she’d bring her boyfriend in to audition. Her boyfriend turned out to be Simon LeBon who supposedly showed up in purple leopard skin tights (which he denies). The eighties most influential band was on their way.
Teen Idols have song writers write their hits for them. [So when your favorite 98* stud sings about how much he loves you and wants to be with you forever, its really a middle aged pedophile talking. Ok, so he might not be a pedophile. But the point is, its someone else talking for them. Half those guys have no concept of what they’re singing]
Duran Duran write, sing and play their own stuff. Plain and simple.
Teen Idols’ songs are targeted for a female, teenage audience. [Every single, solitary song is about love. Oh, excuse me. Every once in a great while they will sing about their mommy’s or how cool they are... “Backstreet’s back... Oh No!” Not that I don’t love my mommy. I do.]
Duran Duran have sung a variety of different songs. They have done a song for a James Bond Movie ( “A View To A Kill”). They have done a song based upon a classic novel (“Wild Boys”). They’ve sung a sci-fi-ish song about earth’s desolate future (Planet Earth). They’ve also sung songs like “Ordinary World”, “Is There Something I Should Know?”, “Notorious”, “Come Undone”, “Save A Prayer”, “Union Of The Snake” (the list goes on and on), all of which have nothing to do with teenage heartbreak, mommy’s or being cool. They wrote a song called “I don’t want your love”, which is a nice way of saying get the hell away from me. They’ve also sung songs that trendy bands wouldn’t dare touch like “Girls On Film”, a song about porno flicks, or “Electric Barbarella” a song about a guy who is infatuated with an electric doll he buys at a show, and later screws.
Wannabe boy bands always sing bubble gum pop. [Its nauseating. They never spread their wings. Never a bit of electronica, punk, folk music. Even some good ol’ rock and roll would be refreshing.]
Contrary to popular (uninformed) belief, Duran Duran are not merely pop singers. If you have actually sat down and listened to a record of theirs you would already know for a fact that their music is actually a mixture of pop, rock, glam rock, hip-hop, punk, disco, techno, and funk, (and more recently some elements of metal) thankyouverymuch.
Teen Idols are unoriginal. [They don’t come up with new concepts. They have the same drab style as the last band to come and go. They don’t dare try anything risky or new. There videos are always one of three formats: Romantic (I’ll never break your heart), comedic ( I Drive Myself Crazy) or a failed attempt at whatever is cool at the moment (Larger Than Life).
Duran Duran first appeared around the same time of the music video. They were the first group to really utilize, and fully understand the potential of the new art form. Their videos were full of color, vivid images, action, dancers, beautiful women (not to mention their beautiful selves *grin* ) exotic locations, and still are to this day full of imagination and creativity. They admittedly would go on location, with only a vague, unplanned general idea of what to do and just go for it. They never knew what would emerge. They were not afraid to take risks. For example, their video for “Girls On Film” was so extreme, the BBC, and even MTV banned it. I DEFY N’Sync to make a video that gets banned from MTV!!
Boy Bands eventually go away as the members age, get married and fall into drug abuse. Its a music history fact, cold, hard, you can’t escape it.
Duran Duran have been playing for twenty years. They survived the early nineties when most eighties bands disappeared of the face of the TV screen, and dropped out of the airwaves. While not really old, they are not young anymore either. All are in their early forties, late thirties. They’re music remains strong, and they scored a hit in I believe it was 1999 with Electric Barbarella. You can’t pin they’re continuing success on teenage girls anymore, the boys have all grown up.
To sum up, boy bands are when big business guys come together, say “lets find five ‘cute’ guys, teach them to sing whether they can sing or not, teach them how to dance, tell them how to move, how to talk, how to dress, how to act, give each one a separate personality (the sweet one, the bad one, the smart one...etc.), write songs for them and push them onto a stage in front of millions of ignorant, hormone crazed, love sick teenage girls.”
Duran Duran is when a group of talented, creative, very inspired and very determined (and I mean they really worked their asses off to become famous) guys who write and play their own songs, who are competent enough to manage themselves (they fired their managers sometime in 1985 and took over themselves), who aren’t afraid to be who themselves, and who actually are cute, unlike certain trendy bands of the nineties and early 2000‘s.
When Andy Taylor first became part of Duran-Duran this was his impression: “There was a working class guitar player, a guy with poetry, a make-up school, a synthesizer lesson, and they had a base player, drummer”. Yet, they turned that into a fantastically successful band, all on their own. Next time you hear “Hungry Like The Wolf” on the radio, “A View To A Kill” on a James Bond soundtrack, or see “Rio” on MTV, please don’t automatically turn it off. Actually listen to it. They’re not fake, they’re not all dance beats and no substance. Duran Duran’s reputation as just a teen idol pop band, is not necessarily justified. As Niles Rodgers (record producer) so aptly put it “Little kids like cool stuff as well as big kids. But what happens when its too many little kids, the powers that be always go "eh, they suck".
And as what Nick Rhodes once said: “Record Company’s like bands that are for boys. Duran Duran is for girls and boys. And anything in between.”
Duran Duran wants you to Screw It