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Richard Blade Q&A

December 13th, 2017

We never re-print a whole member exclusive Fan Community Q&A, but Richard Blade’s was such a great read, and well, it is the holidays, we thought we’d post it on duranduran.com in its entirety.

Enjoy!

1. Tell us a little bit about yourself. Where did you grow up?

In the south of England, in a little seaside town called Torquay – about 300 miles from Birmingham and the Rum Runner. Because Torquay was popular with English tourists, or holidaymakers and we call them back home, there were a lot of clubs playing cool music and that’s where I got my start as a DJ.

2. A lot of people know you currently as a DJ on Sirius Radio but you’ve had a long and illustrious career. How did you get started on radio?

My first full-time radio gigs were in America. Prior to that, I toured Europe – Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Spain etc.. as a club DJ and those were WILD times. When I came to the USA I was hired at a hard rock station in Bakersfield, then I moved to San Luis Obispo, KNAC in Long Beach and my big break came when I was hired by KROQ in Los Angeles, a station that LOVED Duran Duran.

3. In the 80s you landed at KROQ in LA and also had a video show on KTLA. What was that time like for you?

Very quickly after I was hired by KROQ I was asked to audition to host a music video TV show called MV3. I landed the job and throughout the 80s I was on regular broadcast TV every day hosting MV3, then Video One, Video Beat, the CBS Music Video Countdown and many more programs. It was a really fun time and gave me the opportunity to become friends with many amazing artists and bands in the music world – particularly Duran Duran.

4. When did you meet Duran Duran for the first time, and what was your impression of them?

I first met Simon at the Roxy in 1982 when he brought a ‘white label’ of Rio before it was released to play in my DJ set. I interviewed the band several times for radio and TV and we became close after I hosted their worldwide press conference at the Magic Castle (more below) in February of 1984. We’ve been friends ever since and I’ve spent a lot of time with the guys on both sides of the Atlantic.

5. On your website for your new book, WORLD IN MY EYES, Simon references the Magic Castle – what is that about?

The press event at the Magic Castle was crazy! The venue itself is a private club for magicians and it was chosen to host Duran Duran because of the ‘magic’ they were working on the charts around the world. It was the twentieth anniversary of The Beatles arrival in America in February of 1964 and DD were being compared to the ‘Fab Four’ as the ‘Fab Five’. Reporters came from all over the world to ask the guys questions and the bedlam in the room was so deafening that I had to threaten to shut down the press conference just so the guys could be heard. tI was a remarkable day and is captured brilliantly in the movie ‘Sing Blue Silver’.

6. What are some of your memories of Duran Duran in the early days of their career?

They very quickly became one of the biggest bands on the planet and as such EVERYONE wanted to talk to them. I was amazed at how kind and giving they were with their time. There were days when I was with them when they literally didn’t have a free second as they were rushed from interview to interview, to meet and greets, appearances and radio stations, but through it all, they remained friendly and open and always gave 100%. That won my respect and admiration and confirmed that the deserved their status as rock stars.

7. In the 1980s, did you know how influential you would be to new wave artists?

In a word, “no.” I knew I was in a fortunate position to help bands get their music exposed to the audience but I didn’t realize that as time passed so many people would credit and thank me for doing what I loved to do, and that is finding great music and play it on the radio. To me, it was doing my job and I was just fortunate to be able to be there and do it and have access to such great music that some many artists were making at the time.

8. Are there any acts you thought would be huge and never made it in the States?

There were a few that should have had more success like Go West, Heaven 17 or Blancmange. They found a fan base in certain cities in America but for some reason were not able to break about and become bigger stars. But they made some awesome music.

9. You took some time off and moved to the Caribbean in the early 2000s – you focused on writing. How did you decide you wanted to do that?

I quit radio and TV in April 2000 and walked away from everything to teach diving in the Caribbean because it had been a dream of mine since being a child. Just as Simon loved being ON the water I loved being UNDER it. I had an amazing time there with my wife for almost three years but finally, Los Angeles lured me back.

10. Tell us what inspired you to write your book WORLD IN MY EYES?

Fans and listeners had been asking me to write a book for many years and finally I decided it was time. I put together three demo chapters and sent them to several publishers and one jumped at it so suddenly I had to sit down and commit to the project. I knew it would be a trip but I had no idea had deep the experience of writing would take me.

11. Every chapter is written after a song title – how did you decide which ones to use??

Even though the book is about more than music, music is such a strong theme in it that I wanted that reflected in the chapter titles so I decided to name each one after a song. I wanted the title to reflect the theme of the chapter so “Cities In Dust” describes growing up in post-war Britain with bomb sites everywhere, whereas “Wild Boys” was perfect for my wild times with Duran Duran.

12. What is your favorite part of the book and why?

The early years, touring Europe and the crazy times in the clubs. It was my very first taste of having fans and reliving those moments through the writing brought them back to life for me.

13. Did you find writing it to be cathartic or difficult?

It wasn’t difficult but it was emotional. I cried – a lot – while writing World In My Eyes. I cried at my father’s death and my mum’s, but living through it again made me feel closer to them. The book also has a theme of my three great loves and to be able to relive those loves, including meeting and falling in love with Terri Nunn of Berlin, and then my wonderful wife, Krista, filled me with joy. It also reinforced the memories of the great times with Duran Duran, George Michael, Morrissey, Depeche Mode, Pet Shop Boys, my dear friend Michael Hutchence and so many others. It truly was a unique and moving experience.

14. Did your pal John Taylor give you any advice?

Yes, I went over to John’s house to go over some of the timelines of the experiences I had with Duran Duran and JT advised me to lay out all my photos – there are more than 100 in the book – on a big table and use them to come up with the flow for the book. John was 100% right on that call, and coupled with all the press cuttings on my escapades it allowed me to get the dates not only down to the day but also sometimes to the exact hour that they happened.

15. What’s next for Richard Blade?

Continue to DJ with SiriusXM and to play live at gigs around the world. As I am writing this I’m getting ready to DJ at a show tonight in Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic. I’ve also been approached by two different producers who want to take the book to Netflix, Amazon or Hulu with thoughts of making it into a four-season series. If that were to happen it would be very exciting.

16. And we ask all of our subjects this question –what is your favorite Duran Duran video and why

Duran Duran spoils you with choice when it comes to videos, the band has made so many landmark mini-films. Just for personal reasons, I have to choose one that DD and Capitol Records gave me as an exclusive to play on my video show. No one else at the time had it, not MTV or Friday Night Videos, just us on Video One. It comes from “Rio” and it’s a great dance track full of energy and color. It’s Duran Duran with “My Own Way.”

You can get Richard’s terrific book, WORLD IN MY EYES on Amazon and learn more via his website, http://richardblade.com.

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