Duran Duran – Where Art Thou?

by Pixeleen Mistral on 22/11/06 at 9:51 am

concerned Duran Duran fans wonder if the show will go on

by Pixeleen Mistral, National Affairs desk


Three and a half months ago – on August 9th – CNet reported the 80s pop group Duran Duran had discovered Second Life and was planning an “exclusive private island” and events – including a concert – in the metaverse. Keyboardist Nick Rhodes was reported to say the group was “thrilled to be the first band to become citizens of Second Life”, and the boys were “rehearsing now for our first concert there in the coming months”. But after gathering an SL fan group of 450+ avatars – including this writer – there is still nothing to see except press releases and a few builds which seem to be gradually decaying. Did the local music promoters nerf the planned events?

To answer these questions I contacted the metaverse sherpas consultants Rivers Run Red and spoke with Fizik Baskerville – who is leading RRR’s in-world Duran Duran work. Mr. Baskerville claims to be well informed about the upcoming Duran Duran sims and events – but says he can only drop hints because he is under a non-disclosure agreement. This is likely to be a disappointment to the fans I met in the Avalon sim – many of whom are starting to assume there never will be an in-world event. So while Mr. Baskerville tells of a huge 6 sim build nearing completion, and suggests that the pre-opening wait is “a grand treasure hunt.. one leading up to the sims opening up” and that “Nick’s avatar has been leaving messages for the fans, this is part of an overall story” the fans I spoke with are understandably somewhat dispirited.

Fizik Baskerville tells us not to worry

Part of the problem may be what appears to be a lack of coordination between the band’s PR operation and the in-world builders and residents. While there is a large in-world Duran Duran fan group, the Rivers Run Red people are not taking an active role in using the in-world communications tools – evidently because the band’s communications are meant to be handled by the band or their handlers directly – but how connected to the SL community are the band’s PR handlers? Until the sim and builds are completed, the best on offer in-world are hints at what might be found as part of the treasure hunt – although Mr. Baskerville suggests that fans will have to decypher the clues for the sims to open.

the old Nick Rhodes

I tried my own simple treasure hunt, and IM’ed a resident with a promising name I found using the search tab – Nick Rhodes. However, the Nick Rhodes I found has been a resident of the metaverse since 2003 well before Second Life was on any 80s band’s radar. Even worse, this Nick Rhodes was not responding to my IMs – I imagine he is quite tired of being mistaken for another Nick Rhodes. I asked Mr. Baskerville if old Nick Rhodes would have to give up his name for the new Duran Duran Nick Rhodes and was assured that this will not happen – the boys in the band will adopt a corporate last name. Evidently we are headed to a future where corporate identity melds with self in the metaverse at least for rock stars – but is this really much different from RL?

In the meantime, interested fans can study a video of Duran Duran Nick Rhodes’s avatar here and comfort themselves with Mr. Baskerville’s assurances that this RL-SL crossover event will not be a one-shot PR event – and the 6 sim build is nearing completion.

Perhaps the lesson here is pre-announcing events and builds by months may be good for PR outside Second Life, but costs credibility in-world. However, with a small in-world population and an easily bamboozled main stream media, metaverse residents are likely to be left hungry like the wolf not just for Duran Duran but other media players positioning themselves in SL.

32 Responses to “Duran Duran – Where Art Thou?”

  1. Urizenus

    Nov 22nd, 2006

    Good story Pix. Maybe the lesson is that bands can just *announce* a concert and never bother appearing since the MSM eats up the announcement and gushes over the very idea of the event whether it is significant or not and whether it is actually going to happen or not.

    We have thus moved into the next stage of the SL Hype business. The hypervent has given way to the “Conceptual Hypervent” — events that would be trivial or meaningless if they did occur in SL, but can be hyped into The Next Big thing in the gullible MSM *even if* they never leave the dry erase board.

  2. Lewis Nerd

    Nov 22nd, 2006

    I wonder whether Andy Taylor quitting has kinda put the stop on this project. Pity, as I was looking forward to attending a concert. I saw them a couple of years ago and enjoyed it greatly.


  3. Prokofy Neva

    Nov 22nd, 2006

    Great story, Pixeleen, and you have redefined the virtual. The virtual need never actually *happen* as in “RL events*. It can remain forever poised in the world of all possibilities as eternal potentiality. I think those of us who have spent many years study St. Thomas Aquinas and trying to figure out the difference betweent he imminent and the…um…what was the other thing called again? the latent? no…the transcendant! Yes! Well, such latter-day Thomists and ponderers of Plotinus et. al. will now find the actuality of virtuality to explain everything they always wanted to know.

  4. mrlk perry

    Nov 22nd, 2006

    it was probably done with all best intentions etc – but as soon as you get corporate music involved, the lawyers and accountants get involved and it drowns itself in its own ineptitude

    great idea but im not holding my breath

  5. JoJa Dhara

    Nov 22nd, 2006

    I believe in the work of RRR and we most not forget that the Duran sim is not the only project they have. They all doing their best. But i think it has nothing to do with pr stuff etc…but the way SL is grown…how many resets did we have lately… i can even think something could be delayed because of the band had to change because of a member left….

    no i really enjoy the waiting and understand it takes a little longer…and it is possible to communicate with RRR if you like…

    I must say while waiting and see how the team works I learned al lot of SL..even start to build myself and then your really understand how difficult it can be….and i am really looking forward indeed how they solved my biggest question of all..how can there be a real SL concert with so many people on a sim..without chrashing ;-) ???….we just wait and see how that magic works….and in meantime…we just take care of the lovely fish that they left us behind and now great chairs to sit and wait…and even though it is just a fish ..it became a centorpoint of us meeting.. making new friends and most of all have parties!!!
    I can only say… RRR team and Duran..goodluck!!

    and the clues????….i have not a clue at all!!! but just love the voice ;-)

    JoJa Dhara

  6. Urizenus

    Nov 22nd, 2006

    Maybe they found that Gorillaz did this in Habbo Hotel back in the summer of ’05, and they figured it’s been done, “we won’t be the first.”…

    WTF am I saying? Not being first never slowed down a hypervent — you just *say* it is the first.


  7. Chrissy Welinder

    Nov 22nd, 2006

    I am one of the DD fans you are obviously talking about in the article above. But I cant agree with you at all! I dont know who you spoke to. But I spend and spent a lot of time in Avalon. Maybe the most of all DD fans in here. And I just can tell that we dont feel dispirited at all. We all here at Avalon enjoy the love and passion the RRR team puts into this DD project. And we are very thankful for the fun and excitment we experience here. There is something new for us to explore and to discover almost every day!!! And Mr. Nick Rhodes sweetens our waiting time with his messages. Moreover we all here gained so much new friends and have so much fun together. So Avalon is not all about waiting for Duran only but a beautiful place for beautiful people to meet. So thanks to Duran Duran and thanks to the RRR team for creating such a great place for us. Be sure we loooooooooooooove you all.

  8. eva

    Nov 22nd, 2006

    what will all you snarkers do with such a cheery post? this ‘chrissy’ person has obviously got to be stopped…. she *likes* something and doesn’t even seem to be hating on those who don’t.


  9. Misty Signals

    Nov 22nd, 2006

    Articles like this make me laugh. I’ve been in Avalon since the end of August. I’ve seen how everything has unfolded, how the RRR team have taken care of the fans and like all the other fans, can’t wait for the band but the fans have to keep themselves occupied with other things on here as well.. What happens when the DD sim opens and we’ve all explored it?? Do we think the band will be hanging around there everyday….of course not…So for the fans who are here souly for DD, go back to the message boards and wait for word that the sim is finally open….Bottom line..the band will be here when they get here….whenever that may be..they’ve had a bit of a rough road of late but in the overall scheme of things we should ALL be used to the Duran waiting time. Don’t forget, they’ve just completed a mini tour and are in the studio….We are ALL so selfish…We want the album, we want the concerts, we want them in SL….HELLO PEOPLE…they ARE human….Have a little patience….

    BTW…I would like to send KUDOS out to the RRR Dev team…thanks guys and gals for ALL you do for us….it’s mega appreciated…You all RAWK!!:))

  10. Kira Krastins

    Nov 22nd, 2006

    I think Avalon and SL rocks and can’t wait for Duran Duran to arrive, while we are waiting I for one have met some of the best friends I have ever had so good for you Duran and RRR your the best!

  11. Tonia Brockholst

    Nov 22nd, 2006

    I can only say that I am one of those “waiting fans” (since about August/September)who really enjoys this waiting for the final event. And (against all odds) i still believe in the event happening !
    I guess “the die-hards” will meet each other in avalon even afterwards b/c (or somewhere else) they somehow met friends in here … With the same passion to music !
    You should have really interviewed some of those who are in avalon almost every day :) )! We really don´t feel “left behind” because we enjoy each others company sooooo much …
    And if RRR have to keep their mouths shut for a while, that´s okay :) !!!

  12. Molly Barker

    Nov 22nd, 2006

    First off let me say this…..EVA, where are you in this whole project???? I don’t believe I’ve ever had the dipleasure of meeting you here in Avalon! What does your dislike for Chrissy’s optimistic attitude have ANYTING remotely to do with this article!?? Stick to the topic, please! Anyway, regardless of how long this project is taking, one important factor in all of this that the (Yeah right!) reporter forgot to shed some light on is the fact that the people here, or should I say, fans here actually enjoy being here EVERY day!!!! I stop in several times everyday and I feel I’ve developed some really wonderful friendships with these people, Chrissy included! I love her personality and we don’t dwell on in-world alone…a lot of the time is spent talking about REAL LIFE!!!!!! Who can gather this from a short stint here in Avalon??? I suggest you spend some quality time here with us before you, PIXELEEN (or whatever your name is) go jumping to conclusions! Please research before you report!!! Your so-called findings are unfounded!! Avalon is wonderful and the people here rock!!!! We love DD!

    Bottom line: Watch out! I’m now after your job!

  13. eva

    Nov 22nd, 2006

    Molly, baby! You misunderstood me; I was cheering on Chrissy’s (and your) attitude about this project. I quite like the idea that the space is fun with or with out the famous RL people for whom it was created. Of course you DD fans are finding a way to enjoy the space, that seems to be one of the principles of virtual worlds! (Rather, I was light-heartedly poking fun at the usual Herald posters who seem to have the most fun arguing and hating.) Keep it up lovers and haters, alike.


  14. Urizenus

    Nov 22nd, 2006

    Here is a chat log I lifed from the people waiting for Duran Duran:

    VLADIMIR:What are you insinuating? That we’ve come to the wrong place?
    ESTRAGON: He should be here.
    VLADIMIR: He didn’t say for sure he’d come.
    ESTRAGON: And if he doesn’t come?
    VLADIMIR: We’ll come back tomorrow.
    ESTRAGON: And then the day after tomorrow.
    VLADIMIR: Possibly.
    ESTRAGON: And so on.

    OK, let’s get a little action going on this. I’m taking bets on the following: Jesus returns before Duran Duran comes to Second Life. Godot arrives before either of them. So here are my odds…

    Payouts for first arrival:

    Duran Duran 3:1
    Jesus 2:1
    Godot 3:2

  15. Plum Cheney

    Nov 22nd, 2006

    I’m with Kira, JoJa and Chrissy on this one. Your reporter really should have interviewed people whom are in Avalon on a daily basis.

  16. Molly Barker

    Nov 22nd, 2006

    Eva!! I am very sorry I misunderstood you…I must’ve jumped the gun on this one! Sorry!

    Anyway, again to the reporter, please do a followup article by interviewing some of us, it would do everyone a world of good to know that people reading your articles get the right idea that we AREN’T waiting for God to arrive, just the concert! Thanks and to all my friends, Mollykins luvs ya!!!!

  17. Necronaut

    Nov 22nd, 2006

    Pixeleen, don’t be such a dramaqueen.
    The people at Avalon are having a great time.
    And thumbs up to the RRR-team, you people rock.

  18. Desire Duesenburg

    Nov 22nd, 2006

    I do find it so interesting how the reaction to the article has blossomed. The article and its content is that of what one expects from professional journalists, and is in my opinion; very well written… In responce, there is just to say that perhaps it is the intent of Duran Duran and Mr. Rhodes, that here in Second Life, we can meet as friends and not just as fans? So many are here just to fulfil the desire… to actually come in closer to the personalities that are Duran Duran.

    Maybe we are Duran Duran … I am certain that

  19. Desire Duesenburg

    Nov 22nd, 2006

    Dear Editors,

    I do find it so interesting how the reaction to the article has blossomed. The article and its content is that of what one expects from professional journalists, and is in my opinion; very well written… In response, that perhaps it is the intent of Duran Duran and Mr. Rhodes, that here in Second Life, we can meet as friends and not just as fans? So many are here just to fulfil the desire… to actually come in closer to the personalities that are Duran Duran.

    My closest friend, Ms. Welinder, brought me to the idea, that maybe we have become Duran Duran ourselves in our Second Lives … I am certain that Mr. Rhodes would like to spend more time sharing than just giving here – is this perhaps the message in the “Sealed Envelope”? I am already living this principle here and will always be true to my journey and not just the destination.

    Sincerely Yours,
    Desire Duesenburg

  20. Nick Rhodes

    Nov 22nd, 2006

    Hi :)
    sorry Pixeleen, I usually answer to DD Fan who search for the ‘real’ Nick Rhodes, so I guess i must have been busy.

    So far, everyone have been nice and polite, i even belongs to all the DD fans group cause even if they know i am not him, they have fun having the name in the group.

    I met Fizik in person and in RL at the SLCC, and yes u dont have to worry, Fizik got an answer to this.

    Take care all.

  21. Sativa Prototype

    Nov 22nd, 2006

    Put me down for 20 on Duran Duran Urizenus! Babcock Downs has me hooked on gambling and I like the long shots!

  22. Urizenus

    Nov 23rd, 2006

    I lost my shirt last visit to Babcock Downs, and I swore off gambling. But this bet is a sure thing: Godot before Duran Duran. Take it to the bank.

  23. Prokofy Neva

    Nov 23rd, 2006

    Wow, this is downright scary!

    I am starting to see the shape of the future.

    Big, roiling mobs, crowdsourced, um…”wise” and all those social softwarey stuff, all coagulating on a big corporate-owned island.

    All completely propagandized, spun, controlled.

    All able to speak the corporate hype at a heartbeat, sincerely, movingly, with feeling.

    Mobs of loyal fans turning to big corporate entities to get entertainment, in exchange for “a life,” i.e. “a second life” with room for camping or even elaborate residential housing, perhaps even a little economy with stores to sell rock t-shirts — hey, it’s starting to sound like second life! Only as franchulated.

    The big corporation supplies cars, clothes — maybe even land of your own — or at least big holding pens to socialize in. You wait for attractions and entertainment patiently. In exchange for endurance and loyalty, you are rewarded with being made to feel that you are “interacting” or “are part of the group” and even “making the content”.

    It’s like a company town model, where you will owe your soul to the company store — I’m really not kidding.

  24. bluesapphire

    Nov 23rd, 2006

    Prok, you’re kidding right? You’re saying that the people posting here are not incontrol of their own actions?

    Your double standards are amazing, you run a ‘company’ in SL, and you bemoan commercial activity.

    These are fans and they have a passion, not everyone is a dried up cynic. Let them enjoy.

    When Century21 get that sim rental enclave open, hence the shortage of sims as they have ordered over 400, the better!

  25. Prokofy Neva

    Nov 23rd, 2006

    I don’t bemoan commercial activity whatsoever.

    I’m not for protectionism or keeping big corporations out of Second Life. It’s the way of the world, like RL. You *can’t* keep them out, unless you want SL to be a little snowglobe which will die anyway (that’s what the FIC “no business but my business” pushed so long trying to trample US out of the way, not brooking any competition, and now I see why — they were trying to position themselves for this big windfall coming down the pike.)

    No, I don’t oppose a free market. I am, however, going to chronicle it as a terrible erosion of culture when it *is* that — without being utopian about the possibilities for making viable culture. I thin there is such a thing as social responsibility.

    If Century 21 wants to open 400 sims, let them! There is enough business for everyone, if the rate of growth continues, and I think you’re probabably just spoofing on that one, because the last I read, they were only fooling around with Google sketch-up or something.

    The fact is, while at first, something like Ravenglass Rentals can go on providing customized good customer service, in the end, these big companies will kill us off, just like Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble killed off small, offbeat book stores. They will kill us off like all indigenous, small, vulnerable things are killed off in RL. And I do think we should expose and protest this process because SL is supposed to be a better world.

    There are a lot of other ways these companies could be landing with a lighter footprint. They could be using a wider variety of companies for services, and be advertising through malls and ad space inworld more than they do. They could be buying more local goods and not trying to get bulk discounts when the prices are already so ridiculously low in RL terms.

    Ultimately, however, it is happening too fast and there is too much greed and hysteria to imagine it can happen too much differently. I do think it’s important to stand by and bear witness to this sad thing and keep a crime file.

    The people waiting for DuranDuran strike me as more impoverished spirtually than those waiting for Godot, but, perhaps it’s merely the form it takes in this age.

  26. Shawn Birmingham

    Nov 24th, 2006

    Regarding those of us “waiting for Duran Duran” being spiritually impoverished…as they say, “never judge a man until you’ve walked a mile in his shoes.”

    I’m sure that some of them probably are truly spiritually impoverished (but then, the same argument could be used for ANYONE who spends a lot of time on SL on a regular basis).

    As a whole – don’t judge. We’re no different than any other “group” that’s formed on SL. I’d say the only difference is that we all decided to check out SL because of the band (rather than just hearing about SL from friends or in a magazine, etc).

    Being a Duran Duran fan is about more than the band or their music. I think for most of us, it has just as much to do with friendship as the band itself. Spiritually impoverished? No, most fans I know of are outgoing and love to meet new people while “waiting for the band,” whether it’s in RL at a concert or while waiting for a new album to come out or in SL – waiting for the promises to materialize.

    The one thing that non-fans can’t possibly understand is why we wait & will continue to do so. Ask any of us about “Duran time” and then you’ll understand. They always take longer than promised to deliver – but they always come through.

    But above all – for those of us who are still “waiting,” the wait is more about exploring SL and all it has to offer. I don’t think any of us are here just to wait for the band. Not many fans would stick around at a place like SL if there weren’t more to offer than just Duran Duran. I know I wouldn’t. In fact, my original SL “plan” was to check it out & learn how to use it enough that I’d know how to attend the concert when it occurs. It didn’t take long for me to get sucked in. Who can resist a “place” where anything is possible?

    The SL experience is different for each avatar. After all, SL is what you want it to be. I doubt many (if any) of the fans have stuck around just because of the band – we’ve all managed to turn OUR SL into something greater than Duran Duran.

    PS. Forgive me for rambling. I’ve got a cold. I also apologize if I’m not making any sense. It’s hard to explain the whole phenomenon of Duran Duran to those who don’t “get it.”

  27. Mimi Syaka

    Nov 29th, 2006

    I am having the best time in Avalon – regardless of the “waiting”!

    I enjoy dropping in every day and chatting with the friendliest av’s in sl! We’ve all become very tight. We keep ourselves amused by throwing spur-of-the-moment dance parties, interesting chat sessions, and rallies. And Nick Rhodes’ lovely deep voice is not bad either!

    RRR is doing a fantastic job. Avalon is simply amazing, so I CANNOT WAIT to see all of the love and energy they have poured into the new islands!

  28. Desire Duesenburg

    Mar 11th, 2007

    Still waiting… Still watching, and getting excited! Hey! No fan is better than the other – we are the same! See You all on the RRR Islands and have a drink with Nick!

  29. Desire Duesenburg

    Jun 17th, 2008

    +++ News From the Metaverse by Desire Duesenburg +++

    Incredible. since August 10th, 2006, there’s 166 comments. The last on the 3rd of June, 2008 … Let’s just take a balance of what has happened so far with Duran Duran in Second life so far. Here’s a summary of the itsy-bitsy details, for those who may or not be in Second Life:

    1.) The “Fan Hangout” on Avalon opened in August 2006, went through some relocation and interior changes, then shut down in January 2007 …

    2.) Rivers Run Red’s Fizik Baskerville relinquished the “Duran Duran Fan Club” group ownership in Second Life to Donald Sutherland shortly afterwards …

    3.) The Duran Duran Islands have been viewable yet unaccessible to this date. Now and then, little green “blips”, or people present on the islands, can be seen darting about there – building or looking around …

    4.) The “official” Duran Duran Fan Club in Second Life has 776 members …

    … and that’s it. Basically Nothing. There has also been Second Life members who claim that they’ve actually “met” Nick Rhodes’ avatar and perhaps other band members at events or parties. Apparently these can be dismissed as rumors from attention seekers and can not be considered as fact.

    A positive note is the diversity of fan groups that sprouted up after the closure of the Duran Duran hangout in 2007 – dance club groups, wedding party guest groups, groups for concert meet-ups with other Duran Duran fans – to name a few. Interestingly, the largest fan group is Duran Duran Germany, a multi-language and timezone-free group with over 1770 members for newcomers in the metaverse.

    Clubs and hangouts have kept the die-hard fan community united over the past 22 months of waiting for Duran Duran. The “Rum Runner” has undeniably been the meeting point for Duran Duran fans in Second Life since the curtains fell on Avalon. This virtual club is a reconstruction of the historic Rum Runner Club in Birmingham where Duran Duran started its “Global Domination”, as Nick Rhodes modestly states. As a true Beatlemaniac idolizes the Star Club in Hamburg, the Rum Runner is the same for a Second Life Duranie in comparison.

    Hopefully there will be some “real” news soon of Duran Duran in Second Life. There is a widely used phrase in Second Life about Duran Duran and when they will officially get in-world: “Duran Duran Time”. Meaning today, tomorrow, next week or next year – who knows for sure – not even Duran Duran knows! Good news is that Duran Duran will be in Second Life – after spending such enormous amounts of cash for advertising agencies, island purchases and upkeep fees (Duran Duran doesn’t own the 4 islands – the islands own them!).

    See you in Second Life,
    Desire Duesenburg (in-world since August 2006)

    P.S.: I’ll look at this blog and the comments this time next year again and probably die laughing at the responses – this time next year, we could still be waiting for the islands to open!

  30. paul stuchka

    Aug 4th, 2008

    Hi dezz, how are you doing matey?
    Sorry i haven’t been in touch for a while, i got suck into several other metaverses lol!
    great to hear that DD are still interested in sl, we’d all but given up hope of anything ever happening lol, but I’m sure it will, they seem a nice bunch and , if we have met any of them, then i know they are.
    Hope things are well with you and Cosmic?
    I’m back in sl now so hope to see you all soon! :-)

    yours with love lol……..Paul stuchka (aka paul birkenfeld, new av’s name)

  31. Lady Sakai

    Nov 1st, 2008

    LOL… I see you Paul :p

    And yes .. two years and counting still waiting with all the ups and downs of SL

    Yours always

  32. Desire Duesenburg

    Mar 9th, 2010

    Duran Duran Islands Update – Tuesday March 9th, 2010

    1.) Islands disappeared in the beginning of February 2010

    2.) Islands reappeared one by one on the evening of 8 March 2010

    3.) Normally if you try to teleport to the islands (hoping that someone forgot to “lock the door”), the pop-up window reads “Can not teleport. You do not have access to the region”.

    4.) Yours truely has been “banned” from all four Island sims (join me inworld for a real-time pic as proof and to learn more of the source)!

    Greetings to All True Duranians and Last Men Standing!

    Zooming In,

Leave a Reply