One more Bucket List item removed: Meeting Simon Le Bon of Duran Duran; here’s my playlist


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Hi Blog. Coming out of’s Summer Vacation briefly with some good news:

Long-time readers of know what a deep appreciation I have for ’80s band Duran Duran — which is still putting out good albums chock full of good music (see below), and touring to full arenas. I was at the Blaisdell Arena in Honolulu tonight to catch them (for the second time, the first back in Canandaigua NY on June 26, 1987). Good seats, great setlist. This was their first time playing in Honolulu (they cancelled a previous date in 1994 due to lead singer Simon Le Bon losing his voice), and as the last stop on their current tour (they spent a few days recuperating on-island), they put on an excellent show to a rapt crowd.

And, I’m proud to say, thanks to mutual friend GB, I got a backstage pass. And met and briefly chatted with Simon Le Bon. As they say, pictures or it didn’t happen:

I’m going to treasure this memory for a lifetime, as I have been following DD assiduously since 1982. Thanks GB. And thanks Simon.

As for people who still think Duran Duran peaked in the mid-1980s, I challenge you to listen to my iPod’s “Damn Good Duran Duran” playlist. (And in terms of musicality, I also challenge you to listen to John Taylor’s bass line on the song “Rio” as an isolated track, and tell me it doesn’t rank up there with Geddy Lee or Tina Weymouth.)

Here’s the playlist, songs in the order I play them. You can find them on YouTube if not on iTunes:

  1. Last Chance on the Stairway
  2. Serious
  3. A View to a Kill
  4. Late Bar (2010 Remastered Version, from the Deluxe Version of their first eponymous album)
  5. Too Late Marlene
  6. My Own Way (Night Version)
  7. Khanada
  8. Come Undone
  9. Breath after Breath
  10. Point of No Return
  11. Land
  12. The Flame (as Arcadia)
  13. What Happens Tomorrow
  14. Reach Up for the Sunrise (Ferry Corsten Dub Mix)
  15. Girls on Film (16 Millimeter Mix)
  16. Only in Dreams
  17. Box Full o’ Honey
  18. Winter Marches On
  19. All You Need is Now
  20. First Impression
  21. Do You Believe in Shame?
  22. Anyone Out There?
  23. Late Bar (Live at Hammersmith Odeon, 17 December 1981)
  24. New Religion
  25. Before the Rain
  26. Still Breathing
  27. The Chauffeur
  28. Ordinary World
  29. The Man Who Stole a Leopard
  30. Watching the Detectives
  31. Is There Something I Should Know?
  32. Last Night in the City
  33. Playing With Uranium
  34. Be My Icon
  35. Shadows On Your Side
  36. Crystal Ship
  37. Michael You’ve Got a Lot to Answer For
  38. El Diablo (as Arcadia)
  39. Lady Ice (as Arcadia)
  40. The Universe Alone

Very few of these were chart material.  Many are deep album cuts, very rewarding to fans.  But at 3 hours 15 minutes you have a lot of good stuff from a band you’ve probably thought was merely fashion and hair.  Give them a listen.  And maybe you’ll know why I’m such a devoted fan after nearly 40 years of their existence (and 52 years of mine).  Dr. Debito Arudou

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10 comments on “One more Bucket List item removed: Meeting Simon Le Bon of Duran Duran; here’s my playlist

  • There is more. What was ther last hit, with Nile Rogers?
    Pressure? Getting Rogers and the backing vocals really enhanced the sound of the song.
    It seems that every time he plays, Rogers comes up with a hit, thanks to his bassline.
    In Japan, I saw the British documentary of their whole career on Music Air.
    It was really MTV that drove their popularity in the US.

  • Baudrillard says:

    @Derek, “Liberty” was definitely a low point”- DD said that. Debito, thanks for posting the bass link to “Rio” in isolation; its certainly complex, but in fact I think the real version is more staccato and complex than what this guy is playing.

    NB. Notice DD dont play in Japan much these days, post Fukushima? I think it rattled them, and theyre not stupid enough to fall for “Safety Japan” and they dont need the money.

  • Loverilakkuma says:

    Not a big fan of them, but they deserve a lot of respect for sure. The only bands I can come up with in terms of career-length, I think, are Black Sabbath and Judas Priest(both from Birmingham).

  • Listen to Pressure Off when Le Bon is singing. Rodgers has a distinctive way of playing the guitar that sounds like a bass or is in a low key. I can’t describe it, but it works, and he did stuff on Notorious and the Reflex.

  • Baudrillard says:

    Hey Debito, did you talk to Le Bon about Japan and your work? He would probably agree with a few things, I read another DD member was quite cynical about it there, said “they treat you well, as long as you leave when you are supposed to” as quoted in “Juice” magazine which is the whole Nj assimilation issue.

    But Le Bon has a bit of a vested interest in Japan and not ruffling feathers, as he co owns a studio there called Syn Production, mainly making musc for corporate ads or clients, but also looking for ways to make money in other markets (as the pie in Japan continues to shrink, especially the crumbs for gaijin).

    He’s been appraised briefly by my friend who introduced us, I think. He knew me by name. We talked briefly about DD music (specifically “Point of No Return” and “Still Breathing”, the last two songs on their Astronaut album, which provided me great comfort at a very painful time in my life), not Japan. It was a very brief conversation; there were many people in the room. It was a very nice meeting and Simon is a very nice guy.

  • Baudrillard says:

    @ Debito, ok rather than waste the opportunity; they are getting less and less opportunities due to gaijin exclusion. Contact his partner Nick Wood at Syn, see if that is the case. Its also a fascinating case study as they have to tailor the music (arguably dumbing down) to Japanese tastes; you probably wont ever hear much of the music they produce outside Japan as it is so far removed from the DD sound.

  • I wanted to see them in Osaka last week.
    But the prices..seriously???!!…I bet if they knew what was being charged SLeB would have kicked up a fuss.

    Great Band…but 2 man a ticket??!!!

    — A decade ago special front-rows with backstage passes were 3 man. That’s some inflation of regular ticket prices since.


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