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!

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Trifecta Perfecta! The Desert, The City & The Beach

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Desert Living, fantastic in the winter months!

Southern California offers such a rich diversity of wonderful places to live! If you have the means, you can choose to also have a second or even third home! Why not?

A home in the desert, whether it’s your primary, secondary or tertiary, is very desirable for so many reasons, as people who have been here know.

During the winter and spring months, it’s simply divine weather here, for the most part.  Surrounded by mountains, groves of palm trees, blossoming trees and colorful flowers in great abundance, what is not to like? Rain is unusual, and so hiking, biking, golfing, tennis, swimming and horseback riding are the order of the day. Or watching polo games, shopping along El Paseo, dining at our many restaurants may be. It’s all up to you! At night, there are the casinos, or concerts and top entertainers at the McCallum Theatre, or take in a newly released hot movie. So much to do, so little time!

The fabulous modern contemporary home pictured above is in Palm Springs, however each desert city offers its own charms and attractions. Palm Springs has the world class cachet and world recognition, but some of the best luxury real estate in the desert can also be found in Palm Desert, Rancho Mirage, Indian Wells and La Quinta.

During the year, you might get the itch for some Big City excitement. What better place to go than the new L.A.Live area, the new Times Square West area, around the Staples Center of downtown LA?

Fabulous new condos in downtown LA!

I explored some of the new condos in downtown LA, and I was impressed! I took the photo above from the pool area of the EVO condos, a 24 story, eco-friendly constructed complex.  The two sister condo buildings at the left of the photo, the Elleven and the Luma condos sold out immediately when they were completed during the hey-day of real estate buying, just before the 2008 crash.  There are some resales in there now, some short sales and some foreclosures, for the bargain-hunting buyers.  However, at EVO, which is brand new construction, there are now only 30 units left to buy.  The great downtown location with all its entertainment venues, along with many amenities that come with the condos, and most importantly, the spectacular views afforded by the walls of glass, combined, make these condos quite attractive indeed! Prices at EVO start at around the low $500,000s.

I understand that it’s mostly owner-occupied in these condos, which attract mostly professionals who work in downtown LA, but also many empty nesters.

To step it up quite a few notches, there are the fabulous new condos at the Ritz-Carlton Residences.  This building can be seen to the far right of the photo above, and is a spectacular, blue-hued tower that sparkles at night.  I learned that they just closed escrow on their first condo residence just recently! About one third of the condos are still available, and most are still waiting to be completed.  These condos with spectacular floor to ceiling views have attracted top entertainment figures in music and sports, as well as those who can afford this level of luxury and want to be in the midst of all the excitement that L.A. Live has to offer.  Don’t forget the Walt Disney Hall is close by as well as too many interesting markets, venues, restaurants and attractions to list here!  Prices start at around $800,000 and the amenities are top-notch, as you can imagine!

Finally, on a hot day, where else would you want to be but at the beach?  And perhaps the most amazing stretch of beachfront properties to be found in the world are in Malibu!

To have a house on the beach in Malibu would be like a dream come true in many people’s minds, and there is quite the variety of homes to choose from along this rarified 27 mile stretch of shoreline.

Spectacular views from this newly built Malibu beach house!

Last time I looked, they were asking $14 million for this newly constructed home with this to-die-for view of the Pacific Ocean.  I have a feeling that if it is still available, it is listed for considerably less.  However it does have a great location on Malibu Road, very near Malibu Colony, which is gated and perhaps the priciest real estate in Malibu.

If you watch the Bravo show “Million Dollar Listing” like I do, you can see that there are spectacular houses on the beach in Malibu listed for in the $5 million range now. Amazing but true!

Now that our MLS encompasses real estate from the desert to the sea, I can help you make your dreams come true, from a fabulous desert getaway, to a condo in the midst of  the excitement of downtown LA, to the best beachfront property perhaps in the world!