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Timeline:1980

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The Duran Duran Timeline
<< 1979 1980 1981 >>

Duran Duran begins its quest for fame in earnest as the band gains a pair of managers, a club gig at the Rum Runner, and a national tour with Hazel O'Connor. In December, the band signs a contract with EMI and begins recording their first album, the self-titled Duran Duran.

Date Event


Jan Duran brings their demo tapes to Paul and Michael Berrow at the Rum Runner, who hit it off very quickly with John and Nick
Jan Paul & Michael agree to give the band rehearsal space at the Rum Runner, and book them for a few gigs
Jan John works the door at the Rum Runner; Nick deejays for £10 a night; Roger works as a glass collector (busboy), and polishes mirrors after hours
Jan Warren forms Missing Persons with Dale and Terry Bozzio, later joined by Patrick O'Hearn and Chuck Wild
Feb 1 Fashion: Aston University, Birmingham, England (with Duran Duran, The Dumb Blondes)
Feb 18 Duran Duran: Nashville, London, UK
Mar 12 Fashion: Rum Runner, Birmingham, UK (with Duran Duram)
Mar 25 Duran Duran: Holy City Zoo, Birmingham, UK.
spring The Beat films a video for their song "Mirror In The Bathroom" at the Rum Runner
spring Alan Curtis doesn't like either of the Berrows, and Jeff Thomas never does get along with Paul, so Alan and Jeff leave the band
 ? Andy returns from a European tour
Apr 26 Band advertises in the Melody Maker music magazine for a "Live-Wire Guitarist" <This is the legend, but in actual fact the wording of the ad reads : LEAD / RHYTHM GUITARIST (Ronson, Manzanera, Gilmour) Stylish / powerful / inventive to join band with financially strong management. the ad appears on page 42 in the left hand column.
 ? Andy answers the ad, then sells some of his belongings for a train ticket to Birmingham for the audition
May 2 Andy impresses John with his guitar chops and Nick with his professional experience; he's told the singer's "on holiday" and is adopted into the band
May Andy begins polishing mirrors, painting and cooking burgers at the Rum Runner for cash; he floats among friends' couches and beds as he gets established in Birmingham
 ? Roger works in a factory to make ends meet
 ? The Berrows buy new keyboards for Nick, and a new bass for John
 ? Another singer, Oliver Guy Watts, works with the band for less than two weeks
 ? Fiona Kemp, now a barmaid at the Rum Runner, recommends band to Simon, and vice versa
 ? Simon phones Michael Berrow, who arranges an audition with the band
May 11 Simon wears pink leopardskin trousers to his audition; he and the rest of the guys discuss favorite bands, play "Girls on Film", discover that Simon's poem "Sound of Thunder" fits "virtually perfectly" on top of a song framework already on tape, and they agree to try each other out for the summer
May Band prints tickets for first show with Simon and Andy, for six weeks hence
June Simon writes final lyric to "Tel Aviv" (later stripped down to an instrumental) and "Underneath the Clocktower" (never recorded)
June Duran Duran signs official management contract with Paul and Michael Berrow
June The Berrows and the band form the Tritec Music company (named after the triangular-themed bar inside the club); it uses the Rum Runner office upstairs from the club as its official address
June John and Nick sit in the Rum Runner and lay out their plan for world domination:
  • Hammersmith Odeon by '82 (They first play there July 9, 1981)
  • Wembley Arena by '83 (They play five nights, December 18-23, 1983)
  • Madison Square Garden by '84 (They play two sold out dates, March 19 & 21, 1984)
Jul 5 Duran Duran: Edinburgh Summer Festival, Edinburgh, Scotland
According to Duran Duran: Their Story, this was the first show with the classic lineup, but John Taylor says the band never played this festival
Jul 16 Duran Duran: The Rum Runner, Birmingham, England
The first show with the classic lineup, per SLB
Jul 19 Duran Duran: Duran Duran: Cedar Ballroom, England
Jul 22 Duran Duran: The Holy City Zoo, Birmingham, England
Jul 29 Duran Duran records "Girls on Film" and "Tel Aviv" (with lyrics: released on Duran Duran (2 CD/DVD)) at the 24-track AIR Studios in London while Japan are recording Gentlemen Take Polaroids down the hall; Michael Berrow plays sax on the recording
Aug 6 Duran Duran: The Rum Runner, Birmingham, England.
bootlegged on Rum Runner
Aug 27 "New Religion" written
Sep 16 Duran Duran: Hosteria One, Birmingham, England
Oct 3 Duran Duran: Aston University, Birmingham, England
Oct 4 Duran Duran: Cedar Ballroom, Birmingham, England
Oct 9 Pauline Murray, John Cooper Clark & the Invisible Girls: Lyceum Auditorium, London, England (with Duran Duran)
Oct 22 Duran Duran: The Holy City Zoo, Birmingham, England
with Mike Berrow on sax
Oct 24 Duran Duran: Cedar Ballroom, Birmingham, England
Nov 9 Duran Duran: Marquee Club, London, England
Nov Simon decides to stay with the band, drops out of university
 ? Band records "Planet Earth" and "Anyone Out There"
 ? Duran Duran plans to release a 45rpm single with "Planet Earth" and "Anyone Out There" on their own Tritec Music label; they print 5,000 labels with a new Duran Duran logo designed by John Warwicker. Nick now owns the only copy of this record, pressed on acetate
 ? Michael Berrow mortgages his house for 15,000 pounds to finance a support tour with Hazel O'Connor
THE HAZEL O'CONNOR AND MEGAHYPE TOUR
The band lives in a camping bus and earns 10 pounds a week
Nov 14 Hazel O'Connor: Ulster Hall, Belfast, North Ireland (with Duran Duran)
Nov 16 Hazel O'Connor: Dublin Grand Cinema, Dublin, Ireland (with Duran Duran)
Nov 18 Hazel O'Connor: Top Rank, Cardiff, Wales (with Duran Duran)
Nov 19 Hazel O'Connor: Apollo, Manchester, England (with Duran Duran)
Nov 21 Hazel O'Connor: Sheffield University, Sheffield, England (with Duran Duran)
Nov 22 Hazel O'Connor: Lancaster University, London, England (with Duran Duran)
Nov 23 Hazel O'Connor: Colston Hall, Bristol, England (with Duran Duran)
Nov 26 Hazel O'Connor: Top Rank, Brighton, England (with Duran Duran)
cancelled; Simon had a throat infection
Nov 27 Hazel O'Connor: Odeon, Birmingham, England (with Duran Duran)
Nov 28 Hazel O'Connor: Liverpool University, Liverpool, England (with Duran Duran)
Nov 29 Hazel O'Connor: Odeon, Edinburgh, Scotland (with Duran Duran)
Dec 1 Hazel O'Connor: City Hall, Newcastle, England (with Duran Duran)
Dec 2 Hazel O'Connor: De Montfort Hall, Leicester, England (with Duran Duran)
Dec 3 Hazel O'Connor: Leeds University, Leeds, England (with Duran Duran)
Dec 4 Hazel O'Connor: University of East Anglia, Norwich, England (with Duran Duran)
Dec 6 Hazel O'Connor: Dominion Theatre, London, England (with Duran Duran)
Simon Le Bon joins Hazel O'Connor on stage for a performance of "Suffragette City". Later released on O'Connor's "Time" single.
 ? During the Hazel O'Connor tour, a bidding war erupts between three record companies to sign Duran Duran; eventually it comes down to EMI and Phonogram
 ? "Phonogram offered us a better deal, but we were patriotic, we thought EMI, English company, the Beatles... We got appallingly ripped off." -- Nick Rhodes
Dec 8-9 A&R man Dave Ambrose from EMI signs Duran Duran; the band retains creative control over music, videos, album covers, etc. The band earns an advance of 42,000 pounds for album, tour, and video production, and a retainer of 50 pounds each per week.
Dec 8 Duran Duran records "Anyone Out There", "Planet Earth", "Friends of Mine", and "Late Bar" at EMI's studios in London, with recordings released on Duran Duran (2 CD/DVD)
Dec 8 Duran Duran: Marquee Club, London, England
First headlining show after the record deal; standing in for The Associates.
Dec 12 Duran Duran: The Venue, London, England
This gig is sponsored by Rusty Egan, former Rich Kids drummer, now a popular London DJ
Dec 13 Journalist Betty Page of Sounds magazine writes the first article about the band, labeling them as part of the embryonic New Romantic movement involving Spandau Ballet and others
Dec 14 Duran Duran: Bow Wow Wow party, [venue?], London, England
Another Rusty Egan gig
 ? Perry Haines (who co-founded British style magazine I-D, and coined the term "new romantic") takes charge of the band's image
Dec Band records "Planet Earth" and "Careless Memories" for the Duran Duran album at Red Bus Studios, London with producer Colin Thurston
Dec Other tracks for Duran Duran completed at Abbey Road, Utopia and Chipping Norton studios
Dec "I remember two things about recording "Planet Earth". Staying in a horrible hotel in Fulham where I got very sick, and John Lennon dying." -- John Taylor
Dec Duran meets director Russell Mulcahy and Gerry Laffy (then acting as Russell's assistant); Andy asks "what the hell is the guitar player from Girl doing here?", and John and Gerry become great friends
Dec Video for "Planet Earth" shot at St. Johns Wood with Russell Mulcahy
 ? Video for "Careless Memories" shot in Soho, directed by Perry Haines and Terry Jones
<< 1979 1980 1981 >>

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