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Rant Of The Day THIS RANT 05/07/96

Rant Of The Day is where I get to mouth off about whatever I feel like for however long I like. Theoretically, I'll update my whinge/opinion piece every weekday; in practice, maybe not so often.

Celebrity slagoff #1A: Simon Le Bon and Dolores O'Riordan

As a lurking member of Tiger-List, the mailing list devoted to Duran Duran, I recently became aware of a lingering feud between Simon Le Bon, the leather-clad DD singer and poetic demi-god, and Dolores O'Riordan, the lead singer of Irish angsters the Cranberries. Now, while I'm not sure a lot of people know (or care about) this, there are actually quite a few connections between the Cranberries and Duran Duran. In late 1993, the Cranberries (yet to achieve worldwide megafame) acted as a support band to Duran Duran. Let me quote from the band's own press history:

They remain in America as support for Duran Duran's latest Arena tour, but the tour is cut short after vocalist Simon Le Bon falls ill. The Cranberries quickly arrange extra US club dates owing to their already spiralling popularity.

[Note for Duran freaks: the capitalisation on 'Arena' is a freak of the PR process and not a belated and inaccurate reference to Duran's 1984 tour album/movie of the same name.]

Subsequently, Dolores O'Riordan married either John Taylor's bass technician or the assistant tour manager (it depends on who you ask). In September 1995, Dolores and Simon duetted on the Cranberries track 'Linger' at a charity concert in Modena hosted by Italina pasta-sex-opera freak Luciano Pavarotti.

Despite these ongoing encounters, Tiger List erupted in flames when one poster revealed that Dolores had said a few disparaging things about Mr Le Bon on a national television program concerning being 'forced' to duet with him. All kinds of vicious witticisms were exchanged, as well as a few theories regarding the enmity between the Irish and the English.

None of this would have mattered much to me had I not accidentally scored an invitation to the Cranberries' press conference at the start of their tour last month. (They've since had to go home when Dolores injured her leg, but that's another story.) Anyway, I saw this as a rare opportunity to discover whether the story was true, or whether O'Riordan had been quoted completely out of context. So I crowded myself into a small room at the Sebel Town House with a lot of other journalists and waited to ask my big question.

The first surprise was that I didn't have to. Rumours of on ongoing unpleasantness between the two camps apparently stretch further than the warm centre of Duran fandom; someone else asked the question before I could.

The second surprise was what Dolores said. However, to find out about that, you'll have to tune in on Monday . . .


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