Duran Duran Fan has a Plan

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Duran Duran fan has a plan

Barrie man helps launch online campaign to get 80's band inducted into rock hall of fame


Jason Henry is hungry like a wolf to get Duran Duran inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

The 38-year-old Barrie man has hooked up with Kirk Harrington, who lives in Cleveland, home of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, to get the British band into the hall through an online campaign.

For Henry, it was just a reflex.

The husband and father of three says there are several reasons why Duran Duran -- formed in 1978 and still going strong -- should be in the rock hall.

"They've been around for 30 years and they've had a huge influence on a lot of the music we even hear today," Henry said. "They're still making albums. They're still working with some of the hottest producers out there.

"A lot of the bands in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame now don't have half of the accomplishments that Duran Duran does, but, for some reason, they've been overlooked," added the Toronto native.

In the early 1980s, Henry's parents bought he and his brother a record player for Christmas.

But what good is a record player without some records?

"They went out and got the two most popular records out there at the time," he said. "One of them was Michael Jackson's Thriller and the other was Duran Duran's Seven and the Ragged Tiger," Henry said.

"Just by chance, it was more or less a toss-up, they said, 'OK, Jason, you take Duran Duran, and Matthew, you take Michael Jackson'.

"It was basically history from there," said Henry, a warehousing and distribution supervisor, adding he's been following the group ever since, including catching a live show a few years ago in Toronto.

Seven and the Ragged Tiger (1983) spawned the hit song The Reflex and Union of the Snake.

But the band came into prominence in 1981 with their self-titled album which featured Girls On Film, followed by 1982's Rio, which included the title track, Hungry Like the Wolf and Save A Prayer.

To this day, the band fascinates Henry on a variety of levels.

"It's the music, the melody," he said. "It's just very positive, uplifting music. To me, it symbolizes having fun and something that's been able to keep its appeal over the years."

There are, of course, detractors out there who would counter that Duran Duran is a pop group with no place in the hall. This year's inductees included ABBA, Genesis and The Stooges.

So, if ABBA's in there, Duran Duran certainly has a harder edge to their music than the Swedish quartet.

"You know, there are a lot of pop bands in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame," Henry said. "They played the clubs and hit the road at an early age, but they're also self-taught musicians who play their own instruments and write their own songs. All the moves they've made throughout the years have been their own.

"They're their own band and they're continuing to evolve," he added. "Their music has changed with the times and it's continuing to change."

The band -- led by singer Simon LeBon, bassist John Taylor and keyboardist Nick Rhodes -- is also credited with revolutionizing music videos, and has reportedly sold more than 100 million records.

Harrington ran with the idea after looking at who had been inducted into the hall and noticing Duran Duran's absence from the list. It then dawned on him that he needed to do something to have them bestowed the honour.

The fan group is now using various social networking platforms -- MySpace, Facebook, Youtube and a blog -- to achieve their goal. They've been able to verify several bands and performers who've lent their support, Harrington said, including Barenaked Ladies, Sting, Nine Inch Nails, David Bowie, Cyndi Lauper and Korn. They've also discovered that actors Vince Vaughn and Drew Barrymore are supporters.

The Internet has power, including Facebook movements to have Betty White host Saturday Night Live (successful), or William Shatner to become Canada's next Governor-General (pending).

"We're trying to get the word out there and some support so we can get them some attention," Henry said, who hooked up with Harrington and created a Youtube video for the cause, and has also become administrator of the Facebook page.

While the Duran Duran fans were expected to lend their support, it's the music community that has been most refreshing, Henry said.

"When you've got bands that have either been influenced by Duran Duran, or influenced them, when you've got them jumping on board, it gives it a whole new meaning," Henry said.

A band is eligible for induction 25 years after the release of their first album. Influence and significance of their work are also considered in their "development and perpetuation of rock and roll." Ballots are sent to a voting body that includes more than 500 "rock experts."

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Courtsy the Barrie Examiner