Back when Duran Duran first reared their perfectly coiffed, heavily hairsprayed heads in the early ’80s, they were the absolute epitome of new wave cool, inspired by Bowie androgyny, Eurodisco glam, Chic‘s funky groove, and Roger Vadim‘s ’60s sci-fi sex thriller Barbarella.
But over the past few decades or so, Duran Duran sadly seemed relegated to the oldies circuit, forever doomed to play solely to audiences of nostalgic thirty- and fortysomething women hoping to relive some school dance memories during the encore of ‘Save A Prayer’.
But then something happened. It turned out that it wasn’t just females who grew up fawning over these Boys On Film. All sorts of modern-day music fans still harbored fond feelings for D2, and some of them started bands (the Killers, Franz Ferdinand, and No Doubt are just three examples of groups who’ve walked in Duran’s Capezio’d footsteps).
And one of those now-grown-up fans was unabashed Duranie Mark Ronson, who made producing D2’s best album since the ’80s – the fittingly titled, just-released All You Need Is Now – a true labor of love and critical success. Now Duran Duran are officially the coolest band on Planet Earth again.
If you still have doubts that Duran Duran are hipper than any other band half their age, consider Wednesday night’s Unstaged concert at the Mayan in Los Angeles (attended by celebs like Moby, Marilyn Manson, and Mark’s DJ sister Samantha Ronson), where the band celebrated the release of AYNIN with an allstar concert directed by, of all people, avant garde filmmaker David Lynch.
“He’s kind of getting into doing remixes, and he did a remix of ‘Girl Panic’ which is the new single from the album,” said gracefully aging D2 bassist John Taylor about this unexpected artistic friendship. “Which was great, we loved it; it was totally different to anything any remixer would do traditionally.”
This led to the Lynch-directed Unstaged concert, where guest stars Mark Ronson, Kelis (on the AYNIN track “The Man Who Stole A Leopard” and “Come Undone”), My Chemical Romance‘s Gerard Way (on “Planet Earth”), and the Gossip‘s Beth Ditto (on “Notorious”) joined Duran Duran onstage for a one-of-a-kind livestreamed event.
“[Lynch] just dived in…and it’s so deep and unusual and unsettling…not like anything any of us have seen before,” raved John.
They’ve been around for three decades, but truly, with a resurgence like this, clearly all Duran Duran need is now.