The Duran Duran Demo Tape Incident

Posted: August 19, 2010 in Commentary, Party 934 Podcast
Tags: , , , , , ,

Back in 1993 I was living in Las Vegas and trying to make it as a rockstar. Yes, really. I was the drummer for local stars Secret Sanity, and we worked harder than any band i’ve been in, before or since! We’d rehearse 5 days a week, play shows every weekend and constantly write & record new material in the studio we built ourselves. It was exhausting, but great fun, and we were determined to “make it”, whatever that means…

A couple of us were huge Duran Duran fans at the time and they’d just released their great “Comeback” album, self-titled, but nicknamed ‘The Wedding Album‘. My buddies Rob, Phil & I got word that they’d be performing on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno in a couple of days, so we put the wheels on the pilgrimage bus and headed to Burbank, CA. I’d never been to a television show taping before, so it was exciting on many levels! We managed to secure tickets (which is difficult to do) and made our way into the studio. I was struck by just how small the theater actually was! They make it seem so big on TV. Anyway, we came armed with our demo tape, just in case the opportunity arose. This is something ALL bands keep on them at all times, for that special unplanned moment.

I also remember how loud the crowd was, including myself. I was screaming like a girl, but not necessarily for the band, it was because i was trying to get myself on TV! I was taping the show back home, and i wanted to immortalize myself. My moment came when Jay mentioned The Philadelphia Phillies in his monologue. They were my favorite team since childhood (now replaced by The Mariners), and i gave out a thunderous “Wooooooooooooohhhhh”. Everyone else was quiet since he hadn’t said “Duran Duran” or “John Taylor” or whatever. When i watched it later, it was just barely audible, but it was there!

So the band finally came on towards the end (i don’t remember who else was on the show that night) and played their brand new hit, “Ordinary World”

It sounded much better in the studio, i mean, what’s the deal with TV sound guys? Oh well, here’s Duran Duran doing the obligatory interview portion…

Cue commercial. I remember The Tonight Show Band playing through the whole commercial break, which i’d not realized they did. Then the band were back on! These were the days when bands would play 2 songs for appearance! Nowadays they fill that with some stupid jokes instead of giving the audience something real. Anyway, here’s “Planet Earth”

So the show ends, and everyone on stage just kind of hangs around, chatting each other up. It was time for us to make our move!!!! Except about 300 other people had the same idea. Everyone was trying to get down to the stage to meet their heroes, or crushes, or flavors of the month. Whatever, we were on a mission! After standing in human traffic for about 10 minutes without moving, i was ready to give up and call it a night. My buddies on the other hand were not. Then, IT happened! We were standing about 50 feet away, immobilized on the stairs. I could see the band, and Nick had his back towards the crowd with his arm around someone talking. I noticed that the dude in front of us also had a demo tape to give, which for some reason made me realize how ridiculous it was to try and get down there. He must’ve been about to give up as well, as he just THREW HIS TAPE down to the stage. I shit you not, it landed right in Nick Rhodes‘ hand! Fuck me! I’ve illustrated how ridiculous it was below…

The crowd around cheered! Nick realized he was suddenly holding something that only moments ago hadn’t existed to him. He gave it a look over, looked up to the crowd, made eye contact with it’s incredibly lucky owner, nodded & smiled, as if to say “Hey, Thanks, I’ll give this a listen and give you a call!”. Fuck. We left. I mean come on! From that point on, it was known as the 3D.I., or the Duran Duran Demo Tape Incident…

I’ve often wondered what became of my lucky neighbor. Was his tape any good? Is he a big star now? Did anyone actually listen? I mean, it was such a lucky shot that the least Nick could do was give it a listen. Whomever you are, if you should happen to read this, please let me know?!?!

Party Mixologist
Party 934

  1. […] loves You…AND Duran Duran Categories: Commentary, The Dose, What's New LikeBe the first to like this post. Comments […]

  2. bekik says:

    When I was in college, I sneaked onto REM’s bus and put my demo tape in their stereo…never heard back. 😦

  3. Matt Freemon says:

    Great story! I can attest to how much this band worked at it…I was thier manager! I think I had given up by then and moved on cause I do not remember the jay Leno incident. But I will tell you, it is tough business period. They were a great band, and deserved success, thier timing just wasn’t right for thier style.

  4. Aaron says:

    I had a friend at the time Joe tubal who sang your lead vocals. Any idea where he is now, last I heard he joined a band called the Toeheads.

    • toezoo says:


      Yeah he’s in the Midwest somewhere. Cleveland or Detroit I think. He’s on Facebook. Joe spelled GEO Teubl

  5. Mistab24 says:

    Great story! I actually just discovered Secret Sanity in 2017 and absolutely love them!

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