Duran Duran & the Coachella Music Festival 2011

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Duran Duran ROCKS Coachella!

I wasn’t planning necessarily on attending the Coachella Music Festival 2011, especially since tickets for it sold out the day they went on sale.  However, since one of my favorite groups of all time, Duran Duran, was playing, I did not rule out the possibility of trying to get in to see them SOMEHOW or another.

I was lucky enough to attend a private party held by the Radio Station Mix 100.5 at a local hotel for Duran Duran. I’ll say LUCKY! I got some great photos of the band members up close, AND I actually got a photo taken of me in between Nick Rhodes and Simon Le Bon along with John Taylor and Roger Taylor, and three other Duran Duran fans, which I am looking forward to seeing on the radio’s website.

In the meantime, I shot this photo of lead singer and frontman Simon Le Bon as he entered the room to the stage where they would answer questions from the audience which had been pre-written on cards.

Simon Le Bon, lead singer and frontman for Duran Duran

The band members sat on the stage and answered the questions with typical dry English humor as well as a sense of warmth and gratitude.  Roger Taylor, the drummer, especially expressed his appreciation of Duran Duran’s invitation to the Coachella Music Festival, saying it was a highlight of his career with Duran Duran.

Duran Duran was one of the hottest rock and roll bands in the 1980s, and they were early pioneers in stylish music videos for their songs which aired on MTV. They were glam rockers with catchy tunes that were rock-based and dance-inspiring. Their luxurious lifestyles that included yachts, private jets, models, partying in style in all the hotspots, also caught the imagination. Their hit “View to a Kill” was featured in one of my favorite James Bond movies by the same title.

Since the 80s, they have periodically staged “comebacks” and now they have a new album called “All You Need Is Now”.  I have the CD and have listened to it several times since I received it yesterday at the private party and it is great! They have returned to their roots– the catchy, rock-dance-pop sound that made them hugely popular in the first place. I highly recommend it!

Here is a group shot I took of the guys on stage, as they amused the adoring audience.

Simon Le Bon smiles at me! 🙂

One of the fun questions that was posed to them was, “What did you spend money on as soon as you hit it big financially?”  John Taylor said” a car”; Nick Rhodes said “art”; Roger Taylor said “a Mercedes”, and Simon Le Bon said he spent it “on a long string of beautiful women”, which cracked everyone up. 

From left: John Taylor, bass guitarist; Nick Rhodes, keyboard player; Simon Le Bon, lead singer & frontman; Roger Taylor, drummer

 
After the interview, all the fans there were invited to get up on stage in groups of four to get up on stage with the four members of Duran Duran that were there, and have our photos taken.  What a blast! Here is a photo taken that day of me and Nick Rhodes (my Favorite!).  As you can see, I was tickled pink to be so close to Nick and immortalized in this photo! (Note: I did crop the group photo to show just me and Nick, for fun!)
 
So, after that fabulous experience, I was more determined than ever to see Duran Duran at the Coachella Music Festival, especially since it is 15 minutes away from my home AND especially since I missed Woodstock in 1969! 
 
This year’s festival sold out in one day! And so I was going to have to get creative to attend.
 
I drove over to near the restricted area and parked at a friend’s house.  And trekked over to where many attendees were streaming out, figuring my best bet was to buy a wristband (absolutely necessary for attending! no ifs, ands or buts, as I found out!) from someone leaving.  After all it was the last night, a Sunday, and I figured many would be leaving to drive back to LA so they could get a good night’s sleep before working on the next day.
 
I met about three people who had luck doing just that in my efforts to flag people down to sell me their wristband.  Some paid $80, one paid, $38.  I ended up paying $20! All I had on me was $25 anyway. So, SUCCESS!  Getting the wristband was the main hurdle.  But then there was the seemingly endless, dusty trek to get to the gates into the festival.  Literally, I walked MILES to get there! In high-heeled platforms, which was ridiculous, of course, to wear in the first place to such an event.
 
I heard Duran Duran hit the stage. I was anxious to get in! Finally I got in, but wait! At first the chip in my wristband failed! OH NO!  But then– YAY! On came the Green Light when the guards scanned it again.  OH my God.  All this high tech stuff is freaky.
 
So I limped and sprinted across the fields toward the sounds from the stage where Duran Duran was playing, and there they were and there I was. GOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAaaaaaaaaaLLLLLLLLLLL!!!!!!

John Taylor with Roger Taylor on the Big Screen

They sounded great, and looked great. The crowd was enthusiastic and many sang along with the band, showing that Duran Duran has fans from all age groups.

 

Waving crowd

They had a great light show as well, especially during their James Bond hit “View to a Kill”.  Simon Le Bon is a top frontman, elegant, with an exuberant personality and understated charisma.
 

Simon Le Bon

After Duran Duran played, I stuck around for a while, listened to a song by the following band the Strokes, but decided to then check out some of the art.

Attendees relax under a giant bug sculpture

After a while the melange of sounds and glowing lights and rambling people made me feel like I was inside of a giant video arcade.  I was more an observer at this festival than a participant.  After all, this is the Woodstock of this generation, not mine, but I was happy to observe and be a participant even at a limited level.  It was great people-watching and a beautiful evening under the full moon and bright stars on a warm desert night.

I loved the wild and creative spirit, but it was highly organized, much more so than Woodstock was, obviously!

Fortunately, on the way out, a nice young couple on a golf cart took mercy upon me and gave me a hair-raising ride across fields, down dirt roads and through the crowds to one of the main roads that was closed off.  They dropped me off, and I discovered I still had at least a half mile to walk down the corner where my indulging husband would be able to pick me up.

He took forever, because in his words, “it was like a police state” getting through detours and checkpoints, to find me.

All in all, it was an unforgettable experience, and alot of fun, in spite of my aching feet which are only now recovering.

I am grateful that I was able to have this experience, and I am glad to be able to share it with you!

The Coachella Music Festival helps to put this wonderful desert on the map, including for people who are looking to buy real estate.  This is a beautiful spot on our planet earth, and it is very reasonably priced, especially at this time.  As more and more people discover this area, more people will want to call the desert their home, at least for part of the year.  As a full-time realtor, I can help you find your piece of paradise here!

Where the City Meets the Beach: Marina Del Rey

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Houses on the Grand Canal of Marina Del Rey

I received an e-mail flyer about an exciting Broker’s Open House in a $1.695 mil condo in Marina Del Rey the other day, so I decided to go check it out.  It was going to be filmed for a show on HGTV, which added another layer of excitement to the adventure.

When I pulled up, I saw that they had a valet service for the brokers! We don’t see that very often, if ever, out here in the desert for Broker Open Houses!

The outside of the building was bland, the stairs leading to the hallway to the door of the condo, likewise unimpressive.  But once inside, one was transported to a Balinese fantasy with designer finishes on three floors, and lush greenery outside the balconies.  The only problem is that the other condos in this older building had not been similarly updated and jazzed up, but maybe they will follow suit eventually.

The TV camera crew was there filming the scene of realtors exploring the condo, or chatting in the kitchen area, and the realtor who was hosting the open house was the image of a young Hollywood star.

Even though I was not a “local” realtor, everyone was very friendly and talkative.

I spoke with someone who owns a fabulous, fully furnished Mediterranean three story home, with a rooftop deck, on the Grand Canal  which was across the street from the condo where the open house was. He and his wife are leasing it, asking for $12,500 month, and so if anyone reading this is interested, please contact me, because I can arrange a tour of it if you are seriously interested in leasing a property in this prestigious area, just 4 minutes away from the beach.  Many celebrities and dignataries have leased this home long-term, so it is a wonderful opportunity.

Not only is it so close to the beach, but to the south, there is the largest man-made marina with many fine restaurants, but to the north, it is bordered by Venice Beach and is an eclectic, established neighborhood with many cafes, restaurants and boutiques.  The hip Abbot Kinney Road, lined with boutiques and eateries, is a short stroll away.

An attendee at the open house gave me a hot tip, that just around the corner was another party at a brand new condominium called Lattitude 33, comprised of three mid-rise buildings.  Is mid-rise a word? Well, they aren’t quite high rise. These modern condominiums seemd to me to be a good value, starting in the low $800s.

Entering the courtyard of Latitude 33 for the party

The party was great for people-watching and swelled in size as the night went on.

Great people watching!

There was a silent auction of surfboards that were painted upon by artists, starting off at $400, all to benefit the charity “Heal the Bay”.

The sunset from the second story exposed hallway was spectacular!

Marina Del Rey Sunset

The band that played was very talented and I hope to see them at the Emmy’s someday winning an award.  The name of the band is Makepeace Brothers, and the two lead singers and guitar players are actually THE Makepeace brothers, that is their real name. And some of the songs they sang were about peace and love.

At about 9:30 pm, things wound down and it was time to hit the road, back to my beloved desert.

Keep in mind, if you or anyone you know is looking for a fabulous house to rent in this fabulous area, please contact me for more information.