I did debate a few different topics but I came back to this one for several reasons, first of course there is my 30 year crush on a certain bass player who like a fine wine has aged rather well, but then there is the band dynamic as a whole.
Duran Duran was formed in 1978, despite various members leaving at different times to pursue personal projects and for various personal reasons, the band has not only endured but gone from strength to strength. Their fan based comprises of all ages, from those who like me fell in love with them as teenagers to those in their teens and twenties who grew up with mums playing it at them while declaring the 80’s to be the best decade for music ever (we just won’t mention the clothes.)
The reason though I am talking about them today is not specifically about their music but rather longevity in general. There are few bands, artist or authors that stand the test of time over their own life time. An author like Jane Austen may be read for hundreds of years but success in her own lifetime was a very different matter, in terms of actual books published she does not have the sort of volume produced by many authors today, consider JK Rowling wrote more Harry Potter books than Austen did novels. While we know Austen’s life was cut short by illness it is unlikely she would have written more than another three or four books given the restraints placed on her by the age she lived in, likewise if you consider the Bronte sisters. Then consider more modern authors, someone like Stephen King who has an impressive catalogue of work, King was my introduction to adult horror as a teenager, I loved his books but there came a point where I drifted away from him, for me one too many novels set in Castle Rock diminished my suspension of disbelief.
For a person or group to remain successful within their own life time they need to diversify, develop and evolve, stagnation is something a modern audience will not forgive. If every song sounds the same, eventually people will look for something different no matter how much they love the band, but it is a double edged sword because within the development there must always remain a thread of the reason your fans loved you in the first place.
In any form of entertainment it is hard enough to get a break and requires a great deal of luck whether you are a musician, and artist or a writer, but once you have that lucky break it is sheer hard work and determination which will decide your long term success.
If we are lucky those who join us on our journey will grow with us, the clip I picked is taken from a concert the week after I saw them, I chose to see them on the home leg of their tour in Birmingham, I waited thirty years to see them live and will not be waiting that long again.