Duran Duran's groundbreaking Strange Behaviour tour of Italy was sponsored by Jeans Uniform and promoted by David Zard, who passed away today; his legacy includes an incredibly successful career.
Below, John & Nick comment on his passing.
"Very sad to hear, David was such a great guy. The tour he promoted was one of the most fun we did, in large part because of his charm and sense of humor. Italy has lost one of its great music men." - JT
"David was a fearless innovator, always looking for a new way to present live performances. I don’t think anyone else in Italy would have been able to stage the stadium tour he promoted for us when we first worked together. We were in unchartered waters as no other artists had played at many of the venues he had booked, ambitiously covering most regions of Italy…
Things were going surprisingly well given the level of chaos, until we reached Bari, when it all became slightly more complicated. I remember sitting in my hotel room on show day and randomly switching on the TV to see what was going on, even though I barely understood a word of Italian. I was shocked to see a live news feed from the stadium we were scheduled to play at in a few hours time, where it appeared that David was being arrested by the police. I immediately contacted our tour manager to see if he knew what was going on but he had no idea and it took a while before the story unravelled. The telephone suddenly started to ring, I sensed an air of panic, my first question was, 'Has David been arrested’ vaguely answered ‘We don’t think so, at the moment’ I countered with ' Is the show going to happen?' The response was a swift ‘Yes, but it is going to be a very unusual set up’.
In grand Italian style, there had been some considerable drama about arrangements and it had been decided that the football club did not want spectators on their pitch as it was raining heavily and they were concerned about damage to the turf. The carefully negotiated compromise, was that they would accommodate the entire audience in the stands instead of on the pitch, so this meant that our front row was effectively the length of a football pitch away from the stage. Thankfully, the audience was all around the side stands too and despite the bad weather, thrilled that the show was going ahead. David emerged at the hotel, ruffled but not discouraged, far from pleased with the result he insisted on repeatedly offering to go to jail if necessary as a means of protest to this great injustice. Once we had a chat, everyone agreed that perhaps we should make the best of the situation and play the show for the fans - David seemed rather relieved. He took a deep breath, adjusted his jacket and prepared for an impromptu press conference to announce the details. As he was walking towards the cameras, he was still offering to go to jail over the principle, if it would help!
We all laughed a lot and although it was certainly a unique show, it went extremely well and will forever remain in my memory along with David’s steely resolve, warm heart and big smile. He pioneered the road map for how concert tours could be staged in Italy and undoubtedly opened the doors for many artists, certainly Duran Duran were lucky enough to be one of those and we are eternally grateful to David for the opportunity he gave to us. He will be greatly missed." - Nick