January 5, 2013 | Happy New Duran Year to all of you! First post of the year, so it has to be a massive one! It has been a while since the last full installment and I know many of you, duranasty.com friends, have been looking forward to it as I got many email and personal messages over the past few months. Life has kept me busy and with little changes in my job and the kids growing up things have become increasely intense.

Thanks to you all for your patience in waiting this, hopefully rich and interesting update which features a selection of the best things I have put together for you since the last installment. So, starting from making the point of the current status of the band, their upcoming projects a look to the future, we then get back exactly where duranasty has left recounting the band's history, right at the beginning of the last leg of the world tour which marked also the end of the 'All You Need Is Now' project.

In duranasty.com usual style the update is filled with comments and reviews from the fans, highlights from the recent online media, official statements and comments by the band members... I like to put things in perspective and have a full picture putting together all the little pieces from the puzzle. I want to thank all the people who, in a direct or undirect way have helped out to build up this page.

I want to start this new update reporting the words of our wise drummer, Roger Taylor, who delivered trough the pages of the Post Gazette, an honest picture of the Duran status and where the band is up to. His realistic and hyperbole-free comment sumps up two years of really hard but fantastic work.

"We didn't have any huge massive expectations," Roger says of All You Need Is Now. "This record, it was done in a very kind of punk way. We released the record to the public though iTunes. We didn't have a major label involved in the release.
We got involved in the digital online stuff. It was kind of between us and the fans. The record seemed to have hit home with the hardcore fans, and it grew from there."

"We survived 30 years now and we have more respect that we ever have.
We get good reviews of our concerts now, which is... we never used to get that.
Life is good."
Roger Taylor

He continues: "We've been to every corner of the globe, it seems. We've been to Australia, the Far East, the U.K., we've been to Europe, Eastern Europe. It seems like there's nowhere we haven't been on the back of this record. It's been a total gift and surprise at this point in our career to have a record and tour that's been accepted so well all over the world."

We're so busy looking forward, and these things can pass us by a little bit. We're grateful we can celebrate 30 years in the music business. We thought it might last a year, two years, five years, when it got going. Grateful is the word you think of, 30 years of doing what you love and what you started out with as your passion in life."

"We worked hard for the respect we have"

That's what happens when you stick around long enough. It's like actors, if they make movies for 40 years, they finally get the respect they deserve. Thank goodness, it's not like a painter, where they have to die before they get respect," he says laughing. "But it's great to feel that."

We had so much spit from the critics early on, but we learned to survive despite the lack of critical acclaim. We were painted as plastic posers, a video band, clotheshorses and whatever. It's great to know that the songs have outlived the clothes, outlived the videos and what went with the packaging. It feels really good to have that respect, and I think we worked hard for it."

Roger puts into persperctive the work they did with producer Mark Ronson

You don't want to be a pale imitation of yourself. You don't want to be creating exactly what you were creating in the early eighties. You have to have some contemporary spin on the sound, and Mark Ronson came in with that. He won a Grammy. He worked with Amy Winehouse. He came in with that real hip contemporary thing about him and that was thrown into the mix. He created something that was very unique and very 2011.


 

The band will re-team with Ronson for the next album in March 2013

"I’m thinking maybe this is going to be the best album we have ever made
and we’re also open for summer business" says John

Nick Rhodes talks about the future of the band with the Chicago Reader | late 2012 | "If anyone had asked me three decades ago, well, do you think you're still going to be doing this, do you think you're still going to be in a band, I would have just laughed, because you never know whether you're going to be in a band for more than three months. Even three decades later—yes, of course, we're planning already next year and we're very excited about going to the studio again, but the bottom line of it is, you never know when somebody's going to change their mind or make a different decision..."

So, even though the band is on a well deserved break [more about this below] the guys are already planning the band's next moves... According to John the band had a conference call with Mark Ronson recently. He reports on the official site "All systems are go for a return to work in the studio first week of March. I could not be more excited about that" he says.

And it's also very reassuring his answer to the question [from Guitar World]:

What does Duran Duran have planned for next year ?

"We’ve made tentative plans to start work on a new album in March. Mark Ronson is going to be on board to produce it. We like touring in the summer so we’re open for summer business. Of course, anything can happen but we’re working towards that end."


One of our greatest strengths is that we write democratically, as a team

About working with Mark again,
John recently said:
"I think it’s something that he wants to do as much as we do. It’s unusual to get that much enthusiasm from a producer.
I like the idea of doing another album with him. I feel like we’ve had a different producer on every album we’ve done for the last 20 years"

We’re at the age where we really need direction says John

John Taylor to the Ocregister | Do you think letting a younger producer/musician like Mark Ronson take the studio reins for All You Need Is Now gave everyone a creative boost?

Massive. The thing is, we’re kind of at the age where we think we know it all. Actually, we’re at the age where we really need direction. But there’s so few [producers] that we all trust. Finding somebody that we all believe in and are prepared to put our faith in [is rare]. We did that to an extent with Timbaland [on Red Carpet Massacre], but he just wasn’t ever gonna hit the spot. I shouldn’t compare it, because it was a very different situation. Mark undoubtedly was the right man for the moment.


"I'm very very happy that we are gonna be working with Mark Ronson again. We all feel that it was the best combination we had in many many many years.
He clearly understand us well, and we had a lot of fun togehter so that is a good sign.

Nick Rhodes, November 2012


In November 2012 Nick said during the KatyKafe: "We had a chat, a little conference call to Mark Ronson about starting to schedule the new album which we are going to commence work in March next year, I think we all be ready at that point, it's good after being out on the road for the best part of 20 months to take a break and clear your head."
"I started to sort out my photography archive but by march, whatever we are all doing in the meantime, our focus will become our next album."

I'm very very happy that we are gonna be working with Mark Ronson again. We all feel that it was the best combination we had in many many many years.
He clearly understand us well, and we had a lot of fun togehter so that is a good sign.

"It will be done when it's done" says Nick

John and Nick might start writing few lyrics for the new album to speed up the process

We haven't really discussed direction... about writing... as ever we are going to try to make it faster then the last album, you never know, it will be done when it's done. I'd love to get an album done in 3/4 months. I'm quite good at working very fast, I think the hardest thing is for Simon with lyrics, but we decided we may split the map a little bit earlier this time as John and I will start write a few [lyrics] early, in that way we might go speed up the process, 'cos there's a lot of pressure trying to think of new ways to say things with songs and to create something that captures people's attention, something new sounding... I'm always surprised and happy to hear a great new lyric.

Inspiration for the new album

Nick discusses also the possibility to write music starting from a specific concept and says: "one of the ideas that John and I have at the moment, which I want to release out of this little track door, has to do with writing a whole selection of songs about one very specific subject or person to be precise.
I like the idea of it because I think taking somebody's life and writing about that gives you good material to find different ways of looking at things, that's a possibilty. Don't think we have suggested it to Simon yet, but John and I like the idea."

A nice picture of Nick and Mark taken on 5 October 2010 when Ronson received the Q 'Innovation in Sound' award


The next album might be a little more funk says Nick

According to a recent interview to Nick the band hadn't really talked about the new direction the album might take but Nick thinks "it would have to be a logical continuation of All You Need Is Now,"
Maybe, says Rhodes, "something a little more funk... something with one's eye on Notorious actually..." (source citegay.fr)

Nick discusses inspiration [Chicago Reader ]

What inspires you these days?

Well, inspiration, it's such a difficult one, isn't it? Because I think if we knew exactly where it came from, then I would bottle it and sell it for a lot of money, and there'd be a long queue every day—we'd never close.
But personally I know where some of it comes from for sure. It can be a conversation that I just had with a friend; it can be something I saw on television or read in the newspaper; it can be a painting or a photograph that I've seen; it can be a book that you've just read, a movie you've just watched; it can be a child's drawing.
It's really the things that you're surrounded with and how you interpret them and what kind of emotional impact that they have on you. For me to be inspired personally to write a piece of music or a lyric, then I definitely need to have had something that has affected me in a way that's enough to want to create something relating to that.


I love the beginnings—I think we all do—when we start the process of an album, as we’re going to be starting next spring, because we start out and you always think, ‘This is gonna be the one; this is gonna be the masterpiece!’

And you get into it—you start getting ideas and going ‘Yeah, that one, and that one and that one.’ And you get a couple of months into it and maybe you finish one, and you go…‘Yeah—that wasn’t quite what I wanted. But still, hey! There’s all these other ideas!’
John to Prosound

“I like getting in a studio. I like creating new music to get on a stage and performing it in front of an audience.”
John Taylor

 

"We'll record the next album and then see where we are" says Nick

John to Bay Bridjet | Where does Duran Duran go from here?
JT: We just keep writing, don’t we? You know, we just step back into the studio and start writing more songs.
Mark Ronson is going to produce the next album. Which is very nice, because I don’t think we’ve had the same producer for a couple albums since the first two albums. He knows us as well as we know him.
We’ve got the same band, which is unusual for Duran Duran because usually there seems to be some sort of change that takes place between albums – either the drummer or the bass player or the guitar player. We’ve got a stable line-up. It’s the same group of guys who made All You Need is Now.

Dom Brown, has really fit in well! Fantastic. We’re really lucky to have him. I love Andy and it was great to be on stage with him. But I have to say that Dom’s energy and his youth relative to ours – he’s just 40 – makes me really enjoy playing with him. He brings a lot of energy to the team. JT to the Orange County Register

Groove is in the heart brothers!
John Taylor has teamed up with Roger and Dom Brown on December 12th 2012 "to spread a little jam".

John continues: "I’m thinking maybe this is going to be the best album we have ever made. I have to think like that, even if it’s delusional. It’s always possible. You’re dealing with energy and chemistry. It’s like catching a spirit in the air. It’s difficult because we write together, and we protect that process.
One of our greatest strengths is that we write democratically, as a team. But it also has its downsides. It can be a clumsy way to work, at times. But everybody’s happy to work that way.

 

Duran Duran has taken an extended break until March 2013

"It's good to take a break and clear your head" says Nick

 

 

 

“Nick is a workaholic, one of the most driven men I know, and he just hit the wall. He was having fainting spells, it was very frightening."John September 2012.

With the premature ending of the North American tour the All You Need Is Now project, which has seen the band on the road for almost two years, has come to an end. Our favourite keyboardist and keeper of the Duran Duran flame fell ill in August while the band was on the road in America and his health issues prompted the band to scrap the six remaining shows of their tour.

The band members were all extremely disappointed, as that was the final leg of their world tour and more than anything, they hate to disappoint their fans.

A break we need to take! John

On august 25 John said:
"This is not how we want to end this wonderful, amazing tour. Mixed feelings re: impending end of tour. Today, aching and tired, am thinking it is a break we need to take!"

Simon: "It leaves a big hole"

On August 31th Simon writes: "It's taken a few days for me to come to terms with the premature ending of our tour. After nearly twenty months on and off the road... It's terribly hard on many of our followers who've organised their time, to come and see the closing of the tour. It leaves a big hole. Of course, the No. 1 concern for all of us, is Nick's recovery. I can tell you that all the support he's receiving is very much appreciated. We all feel your frustration and we thank you for your undertanding.

We were hoping for a triumphant conclusion. It feels incomplete, said Nick

On August 30th Nick speaks out trough the pages of the band's official website: "I contracted a virus, which dragged me down and left me entirely exhausted. Although I made it clear to doctors that it was my express wish to recommence the tour as soon as possible, they all strongly advised that I needed to recover properly [...] I am relieved to say, I have only ever had to cancel a couple of shows, in almost thirty five years, due to an ear infection, but this was particularly hard to come to terms with as it was the last week of nearly two years of touring and we were hoping for a triumphant conclusion. Now it feels incomplete".

It was “frightening” Nick was having fainting spells, John says.

In an interview with the Huffington Post John Taylor said it was “frightening” to see his friend suffer fainting fits. He tells “Nick is a workaholic, one of the most driven men I know, and he just hit the wall. He was having fainting spells, it was very, but he saw a doctor, and was made to rest. His immediate treatment was to do as little possible, for as long as possible.

The gruelling touring schedule... Will the band actually consider to play more performances in fewer places in the future?

More interesting statements comes from the Huffington Post interview to John, here an excerpt: Taylor agrees that at some point the band will have to refine their gruelling touring schedule... "More performances in fewer places - you can see why Elton and Rod love their stints in Las Vegas, but at the moment we still love touring, so we'll record the next album and then see where we are, and in the meantime look after each other."

"We don't have plans to work as a band until the New Year, so now he needs to look after himself"

Taylor admits that Rhodes' plight shook him up, particularly after they'd had to cancel shows earlier on the tour due to Simon suffering throat problems. "If Duran Duran is a plane, Simon is the nose-cone, in fact his voice is the nose-cone, and we work like One Direction, we go for it.

"So Simon went down at the beginning of the tour, and Nick went down at the end, and it could have been me or Roger [Taylor]. It's a warning for all of us.

"Nick always says we're an aristocratic band with a working class work ethic, but you just never know if you're coming back. We didn't know.
"One show gets cancelled and you think 'okay', then it's a second one and suddenly the tour's over."


 

Nick is completely recovered and he's already working on some projects

Duran Duran has been a vehicle for all of us within the band to be able to express ourselves in many different ways with the things that we like to do. So obviously there is the songwriting and the live performance, but then we've got to work with some of the greatest artists in music, film, photography, fashion—and those sort of collaborations are part of what we've done and kept the whole thing exciting for us. Chicago Reader

Duran Duran fans are relieved to know that Nick is in good health, even Simon recently said:

"He's completely recovered"

He has been very active in the London party scene with his girlfriend Nefer Suvio and busy planning the future of the band and cultivating his own interests such as photography and music collaborations... He's enjoyng life in London, the city that he won't ever leave as he says in The Telegraph article published in late August. Below an excerpt.

"I’ve lived in London for more than 30 years. Before moving down from Moseley in Birmingham, my perception of the city was as somewhere both enormous and hugely exciting.
Turns out, I was pretty much right – and I still feel the same way now. I like to walk everywhere I possibly can and, from where I live in Chelsea, can be in Kensington and the West End in no time. I suppose I’m part of that south-west London versus north London contingent. But, as much as I love the area in which I live, I’m very fond of Islington’s antiques shops, as well as small galleries such as the Whitechapel in east London.

I like wandering around town; I’m rarely recognised. Although, it’s not as if I draw attention to myself by wearing my pink satin suits – they’re strictly for when I’m on stage. No one bats an eyelid. Londoners are so cool you can just go about your business unbothered. I formed Duran Duran when I was 16 and moved to London two years later, in 1980. The commute back to Birmingham, after gigs and meetings in the capital, was getting a bit much.
I didn’t know London at all. So I moved near Manchester Square, where our record label was based. Being so close meant I could hound them every day. I lived above a dentist who would leave sets of false teeth lying around in the hallway – they were waiting for me when I came back at night.
London during the Eighties was terrific and wild – exactly as I’d imagined it. That said, it’s still spectacular now – and in many ways even better. The one thing that has changed beyond recognition is the food. There were very few great places to eat back then, but now London is the restaurant capital of Europe. There are more Michelin stars here than in any other city, meaning we’ve finally overtaken Paris.
New York is the only other city I spend any amount of time in. But while it’s exciting, it builds to a point of exhaustion – meaning I come back to London for a break. Unlike a lot of artists, Duran Duran have stayed here whatever weather or tax regime the capital has thrown at us. We’re a quintessentially British band and I think if you move too far from your roots you lose something essential. I love my life in London and won’t ever leave.


"30 years of Duran Duran has been what has prevented me from doing movies and doing more photography and writing a book and whatever else it might be that's in my head, because there simply isn't enough time."

 

Tidbit: Nick remixes MNDR

  • Nick is currently collaborating with MNDR on some remixes of her brand new album. Do you remember this interview of MNDR to Nick published in late 2010? Check it out, it's worth a re-read!

MNDR: Literally a masterpiece. Why do you think synth music has become popular again?

Nick: I suppose, the one thing Mark and us definitely have in common is that we believe that synthesizers can create something unique and beautiful that other instruments can’t. To me that’s the realization that a lot of people are starting to have now, maybe through soft synths and computers, but those that really do fiddle around with analogue gear and get to grips with it discover something incredibly special. I don’t think it’s necessarily a backlash against the guitar thing, it’s more of a realization that these instruments really do something different.

 

Tidbit: Did you know that the little picture below has been sold at auction for $ 5,000?!
It was taken by Andy Warhol!

 

Tidbit: Nick and Nefer seen always together during the party season in London

The Mail - Richard Kay: Duran Duran star's new Rome antics with Italian stylist who looks like his ex-wife | By Richard Kay

Duran Duran star Nick Rhodes's latest squeeze is an Italian beauty 20 years his junior who bears a striking similarity to his ex-wife.
Nick, 50, introduced former office worker Maria Suvio, 32, at a champagne party in Le Caprice for the Vogue On Designers book.
'Its too early to say if I'm in love, but Maria and I are close,' he tells me.
'The couple met in the five-start Hotel de Russie in Rome and have spent the year travelling together.

'Our eyes met across a crowded lobby,' laughs Nick. 'Her exotic look and sense of style attracted me immediately.'

Businessman's son Nick was married to the U.S.-born Younkers store heiress Julie Anne Friedman for eight years, but divorced in 1992.
Their daughter Tatjana, 25, is a successful St Martins-trained designer.
Maria, meanwhile, has a new job and a new name — Nefer.

'She is now a stylist,' says Nick, the only band member who is single. 'Everything is going great. But we're not living together.'


Simon is on the longest break ever taken since he joined the band

Some fans have commented with skepticism the band's decision to tour USA for the third time on the same album [March/April 2011, September/October 2011, August 2012] and they felt that the Olympic show could have represented the perfect and triumphant conclusion that the amazing All You Need Is Now tour deserved.

During the summer shows in Europe fans have witnessed some of the greatest performaces the band has ever delivered in their entire career. The guys were fantastic on stage, absolutely breathtaking, they have reached the highest level on every aspect of the show, musically and visually. Apart from that off stage the guys semed exhausted, probably tired of all the travelling in the hot european summer and the usual media/fans attention to them reserved in every city they landed.

it’s so exhausting, the traveling and the playing at shows is really all that I have got the energy for (towards the end of the tour) says Simon.

During a chat a couple of friends and I had with Simon at the begining of the italian tour, he expressed his disappointment about the behaviour of the fans who usually book a room in the same hotel were the band stays, sometimes invading not just the hall but also spaces where the guys could actually relax. He expressed his need of privacy and said: "when the band is on tour the hotel is like our home, we need our privacy". I told him how much I care about him and the guys and I would do anything to protect the band. I asked him what could I do to help him out and he said "I like you guys, just put the word out that it isn't cool anymore to book in the same hotel where the band stays". He insisted that they have had fans booking in the their hotel everywhere they have been travelling, from Argentina to Asia, from USA to Europe. During the italian tour Simon has been lovely with the fans waiting to see him outside the band's hotel. I'm glad he talked openly about something that he doesn't like anymore and I'm sure that all the interested Duran Duran fans are wise enough to understand his message.

"If you carry, if you push it too hard, if you go straight back in, you might get to the point where you decide that “I never want to do this again.” And I don’t ever want to get to that stage.
So that’s why I insisted on this rather long and luxurious break."

"I told them I needed six months straight out of the game, for a bit. Just cuz it’s been a really long project. And I think it’s no good just going straight back in, otherwise you know you start to suffer from “all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy” syndrome. And I don’t want to do that. I want to have something to write about. I want to live a bit as well." Simon Le Bon

Signs of Simon's weariness surfaced also in the October KatyKafe:

"I’m very happy that Nick’s doing better actually" says Simon, "He was really, really bad [and that’s all there is to it]. And I’m just so happy that we’re through that.
But, you know, we’ve got so much to look forward to. We’ve got a little break to look forward to.
I think We’re going to get back together in March.
Yeah, I told them I needed six months straight out of the game, for a bit. Just cuz it’s been a really long project. And I think it’s no good just going straight back in, otherwise you know you start to suffer from “all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy” syndrome. And I don’t want to do that.
I want to have something to write about. I want to live a bit as well, you know? I love Duran Duran as much as the next band member but there is life outside of it and I’m experiencing that in as much glorious detail as I possibly can right now."

He continues: "It’s not a problem for me coming off of the road. I’m quite happy off the road. I enjoyed it very much, it was a magnificent tour. We had a lot of fun, went to a lot of places played a lot of great music to a lot of beautiful people. But... after a long tour, there is that kind of sensation that you’ve grown older but no wiser. Because life becomes very simple, very essential because it’s so exhausting, the traveling and the playing at shows is really all that I have got the energy for [towards the end of the tour]. So I don’t really go out and do the places, I don’t go sightseeing, I don’t even see friends apart from backstage after the show. And it’s a bit sad really cuz your life is ticking away and you’re just, you’re just exhausted. You’ve just got enough energy to put together a show.
But I’m not complaining about it, it’s a great job. But there is a time when you say to yourself, “Ok, I’ve had enough of this, I want to do something else.” Even just temporarily. And that’s the thing, you see…if you carry, if you push it too hard, if you go straight back in, you might get to the point where you decide that “I never want to do this again.” And I don’t ever want to get to that stage. So that’s why I insisted on this rather long and luxurious break."

 

Below, a beautiful picture of Simon sailing in Cannes - October 2012, on the right the Le Bons at the Goodwood Revival back in September 2012.

Simon is enjoying his break very much, he has been to India with Yasmin who also did some charity activities over there. He has also been involved in some sailing in Sardinia and Cannes back in September and October.
In Cannes he took part at the
Regates Royale on Eileen. On October 18 on the Eileen website the Captain Log's reports:

"the on Day 3 everybody was keen to perform, especially as we had Simon Le Bon on board who we haven’t sailed with since Antigua earlier in the season. Just over the line at the start we flew around the race course often with the rail in the water."

  • On the left the article published on the italian magazine Vela which reports about the Duran Duran trip to Antigua to visit Eileen. Get your scan here

He also did some charity activities for the Air Ambulance Service such as launched the Children’s Air Ambulance at Coventry Airport and visited one of its fund-raising charity shops in Warwick.

Mr Le Bon said: "This is a fantastic new service that is desperately needed throughout the UK because each year, thousands of seriously ill children need urgent care at specialist hospitals. "However, at the moment, they can face long road journeys, which could be detrimental to getting the lifesaving help they need.
This service relies completely on charitable donations from the general public. It is my intention to do all I can to raise the profile of TCAA and to help raise the money that is so crucial to keeping the service running."

To find out how you can donate log onto thechildrensairambulance.org.uk or contact The Air Ambulance Service on 08454 130 999.

As part of his involvement with the Air Ambulance he also took part at the Business With Pleasure dinner at the Ivy [on 11th October 2012]. It was a relaxed yet star studded networking dinner held in the private room of one of London's most famous restaurants with 60 other guests.

Check out some cool pics of Simon taken during the Business With Pleasure dinner. Click on the banner below!

 

 

Picture above: Simon the sailor in Cannes, October 2012. Below a beautiful picture of Simon the ambassador taken in November at the the London Heliport in Battersea.
After launching the new Children's Air Ambulance for critically ill babies and children at the London launch event, Simon flew over to the Children's Air Ambulance headquarters in Coventry to attend a launch party there.


TVMania: "Our lead vocalist is the TV"

In 97, I remember taking it to record labels and publishers, their astonish look, the look of shock horror and absolute disbelieve on their faces when I said 'This is what I'd like to put out'. Nick Rhodes

TV Mania update | Nick in the November Kafe said: "I sort of promised myself that we would release the album this year, but I think I was being a little bit over optimistic because the material has been ready for 17 years now sitting there, mixed and ready to go, and didn't have any artwork, or any remixes, or any video stuff, nothing, there was no preparation so I felt that after waiting so long few months wasn't going make any difference. We're actually going to release it around February time I think, is gonna come out on vynil, very very special limited edition and download."

Literally it has been lined in the box drawer... the tapes were all there, we couldn't even find the multitrack mastertapes. So for people doing remixes we had to create a master from the computer parts because we don't know were the originals are, they are long gone, or they are somewhere were they shouldn't be, but we did have the final mastered version of the album from the mixes we did in 97, so littealy nothing has been changed 'cos we couldn't anyway even if we wanted to.

The album is entirely made from samples taken from television, so our lead vocalist is the TV. At that time, in 97, I remember taking it to record labels and publishers, their astonish look, the look of shock horror and absolute disbelieve on their faces when I said 'This is what I'd like to put out', but fortunally most of them don't have that job anymore...

Nick is working on the artwork with Andrew Day [Medazzaland, Pop Trash, merchandising for the reunion tour, The Devils] who has started the work on the TV Mania project 17 years ago.

Promotion | "TVMania isn't the kind of project that requiere to tour the world. I would gladly do some Interview to explain the project."


Anthony Resta talks about his TVMania and Duran Duran collaborations

Source The Buzz | Published on December 15, 2012 [excerpt about Duran Duran and TVMania]

Q: Let's talk about working with Blondie on “Pop Trash Movie”. She's a true icon from the 1970s.

AR: That was a very interesting project. Nick Rhodes of Duran Duran had written that song specifically for Debbie Harry. But the song was going to be for a project we were working on called “TV Mania.”

"Pop Trash Movie" for Deborah Harry

That was a period when they were deep into samples of people saying absurd things…. which inspired the project. Anyway, we got a hold of Debbie and met with her in New York City at the Hit Factory for about a week. We came up with two tracks. The chemistry was great and we all got along famously but the timing was off.
She ended up getting a record deal shortly thereafter and it was complicated with politics and paperwork. The one track never saw the light of day but “Pop Trash Movie” ended up on the next Duran Duran album.
There was talk that the other song “Studio 54” was going to end up in the movie Studio 54, but unfortunately it just didn't happen.

Q: Since you brought up the subject of politics and paperwork, I'm interested in hearing how that unfolds when all you're doing is trying to make music.

AR: Anytime you start playing with the big boys there's eventually going to be contracts and negotiations that can get quite convoluted. You've got various managers and lawyers looking out for their client’s interests or people might have a different vision for how a project should come together. It might get to the point where it's too complicated or difficult to work out.

TVMania: "we spent a lot of time on it "

Q: You mentioned “TV Mania”, which is a project that's been sixteen years in the making. What is it about and why has it taken so long to get off the ground?

AR: It's about the absurdity of life through a TV that speaks. It was before we started seeing reality television dominate the landscape. The concept is more of a stage presentation and it was visual in nature. Unfortunately, everybody gets busy and things fall to the backburner.
But over the years, people kept hearing about it and asking when it was going to see the light of day. I remember Duran Duran was actually playing stuff from it on their tour before their set. Sonically it's a real interesting record because we spent a lot of time on it.

We'd use things like the Roland Sound Space machines [eight inputs and outputs] that thing cost $40,000 and it made sounds appear as if they were coming from above, below or behind you in the stereo field. The strange thing is that it sounds more contemporary now than when we did it. It feels like performance art.
Not too long ago Nick listened to it again and thought it sounded fresh and that we should do something with it and see what happens.
He just felt that it was time for it to see the light of day. I spent about six weeks at Bopnique augmenting the tracks and then Bob St.John and I put the finishing touches on it at Sound Techniques and Courtlen.

Q: I guess sort of like the revitalization of Collective Soul's “Tremble For My Beloved.” I remember thinking that someway, somehow, that song would get discovered. And thanks to Twilight, it eventually happened but it took a good decade.

AR: Exactly, and that's the case with “TV Mania.” It sounds even better today than it did 16 years ago. I guess we were on to something in both instances.

For more information on Anthony J. Resta and Bopnique!, visit bopnique.com

 

John Taylor and Nick Rhodes: a longtime friendship

We [Duran Duran] did have extraordinary chemistry but it took time for the band to come together.
We had to make some changes along the way and they weren’t always out of choice.
Guys left us. Nick and I were stranded by our first singer, but we didn’t drink over it.
We kept moving and made the best of the situation.

 


Nick, the first copy of the book I had, I gave him.
He told me that he wasn’t going to read it and I understand that.
He is the last person who needs to read it.
He was there, and he doesn’t need to read it.
I think he would enjoy the stuff about my parents.
But stuff about the band, he would use very different language to describe the sensations he experienced.


"I was so happy when Nick said to me the other day, 'Johnny, I’m not going to read your book, I said, 'Nick, I’m so happy about that, because you really don’t need to.' There’s a lot of love for Nick in the book, but he’s going to be, 'But it wasn’t like that,' and he’s going to get all out of joint about it."

Curt Smith interviews John for salon.com | This is an excerpt about John and Nick long time friendship.

The first concert I went to, I went to with Nick. He’s two years younger than me, so he’s a year younger than you. But he was pretty advanced. He had already been to concerts. He had a little bit more dough than me. He had a record collection, nice hi-fi. His parents both worked, they both had small businesses. So it was a little bit more fluid. Not that that’s really got anything to do with this, but he had an aesthetic already.
He had the look.
He was thinking about it. Maybe he thought about what he would put on on the weekend.


Do you think he got you more into fashion or the look at that point in time?
It was tremendously validating when you find somebody and go, “Oh, yeah. You want to do that, too.” He’s probably a bit more mature than me, actually. And probably always was. Nick’s more of a radical than me. He’s a rebel. I’ve seen him.
He’s not shy about it, either. Supremely confident.
Which I didn’t have, although I never really caught that until I left the band. It wasn’t until I left the band and went back and thought, “Whoa!”
Your relationship with Nick is far more complicated than it is with Simon [Le Bon]. Or any other member of the band. But you’re very close. You started Duran Duran together. You’ve been doing it together the longest, so it seems a far more complicated relationship than the other relationships you’ve had.
It’s probably the most complicated relationship that I have —

 

John Taylor has been working hard promoting "In The Pleasure Groove"

one of my primary concerns was to not sell anyone out, or tell tales out of class. I guess the voice in the book, is my ‘higher self,’ the one that doesn’t resort to cheap gossip or trash talking.

"My wife is a real worker who taught me the phrase, “Work Begets Work”.
Instinctively, I think I always knew that.
You always want to make things happen and I think that’s part of wanting to write the book too.
I’m not sure where it’s taking me, but it feels good and I’m glad that I wrote it."

Book media promotion: we have read many reviews and interviews, both online and printed press but this on the right is the only front cover that John have had about his "In The Pleasure Groove" project. Surprisingly it's not an Italian magazine, It's a Danish one. In Denmark John Taylor is still remembered for his love story with Renée Simonsen.

In The Pleasure Groove has been a huge sucsess entering the Uk and Us top 10 charts and getting great reviews. John says he is pleased with how it has been received.

The Duran bass player said he was approached about penning his autobiography at the beginning of 2011.

I’m glad I wrote the book at a time when…we’ve had a great couple of years since the All You Need is Now album. We have been supporting it for almost 18 months, and it is a positive time to be in the band. I was really happy that I got to write the book during that phase. I didn’t want to upset anybody. I just wanted to put some love in it.

"It was suggested to me that if I wanted to write a book, it was a good time," he said. "There was a bit of a gold rush on in the publishing business."
Taylor reportedly landed an advance of more than $500,000. While his agent Jonathan Conway would not reveal the exact amount, he says that figure is "conservative."
"There was exceptional interest in John's autobiography during the auction for his book," Conway tells The Hollywood Reporter. "And the bidding war amongst many major publishers was, inevitably, intense."

sfgate.com asks: What made you think this was a good time to stop and look back?
This was the point that presented itself to me. I was glad the book was written during a really positive, active period during the band's life because I didn't have anything negative to say. Two years ago the first three albums were reissued on premium vinyl. I thought, "You know what? I'm going to listen to 'Seven and the Ragged Tiger.' " It was like taking out a vintage bottle of wine from the cellar. I just sat back and let it wash over me. I thought, "Wow, this is good." I'm at the point I can review the work from 1983 and feel pretty good about it.

My therapist kept telling me, “It’s a message of hope, John, don’t forget that.” Roger Taylor said to me, “Just tell the truth JT,
and it will be great.”

I was so full of self pity about everything that wasn’t working about my life. I had a long list of what wasn’t right in my life and she said, ‘Whoa, you need to get sober because if you get sober you could really be somebody, and if you get sober I can treat you and we can really find out what’s making you unhappy, but while you continue to drink and use you’re like a shifting target.’ I won’t say I went right away, I had to hit bottom, which meant going out and getting so f**ked up, so disillusioned by my own inability to control myself, and then surrender. Now it’s been a whole different me, and I wanted to write about that. A lot of people are struggling and a lot of people still don’t believe that sobriety is possible for them.

Strength and Hope Award February 15, 2013

John will get one a recognition for his autobiography on February 15! He has earned Writers In Treatment's fourth annual Experience, Strength and Hope Award for writing a memoir chronicling his journey from addiction to recovery, the nonprofit recently announced on Twitter.
The honor, with support from New Directions for Women, will be presented to Taylor on February 15 at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles by Academy Award-nominated actor Robert Downey Jr.
In December Taylor wrapped up a book tour in support of "Pleasure Groove" with a signing in Milan and Brighton.


John Taylor, such a wonderful person

In the picture John and Salvo chatting away in Milan [December 8]. During the conversation I took the chance to let him know how much we care about him, both as an artist and as an human being and, for this reason, we hoped that he took a little rest from work as soon at the tour book was concluded. He is the only band member that didn't actually stop a minute after the tour abruptly ended back in August... I told him affectionately that he has been working too much and, from the bottom of our heart, we felt that he deserves a long break [just like the rest of the guys] before he gets into the studio in March. He was all interested about my thoughts. He actually confessed that he "can not really stand doing nothing..." but he assured me that the following day he was going to watch TV all day and in a short time he was taking a 10 days break/vacation. I also asked if there's a chance for the band to play at any festivals over the summer [since he recently said that the band is open to offers] and he actually didn't deny this possibility... of course it's too early to even think to what might happen in six months... but you never know! So let's keep our fingers crossed and hopefully the band will be up to play a show or two if they get some decent open air festivals proposals! It was such a lovely chat. John is right saying that "a lot of connection has been made during this tour book", we actually feel John closer than ever before and we respect and love the man and the artist even more. Thanks a lot for opening yourself through this book John!

Below some pictures of John I took in Milan during the 'Nel Ritmo del Piacere' promotion!

In the first picture John at the airport on his arrival in Milan, John leaving the Radio Deejay studios, the nice article published in the national newspaper Il Giornale [ you can get a full scan here] below John and I chatting away in front of the Xmas tree. With the black hat on the day he left Milan before he cheerfully greeted his fans.

This is my question published on the www.biography.com interview | Hi, John, this is Salvo from Italy. Would you consider to grant the rights to make a film of 'In The Pleasure Groove'? In this case, what actor would you like to interpret your character? Thank you. [Duran's Duranasty]
John: It would depend on the period. Probably the young man's story at the beginning of the 80s.
Some young Brummie star. Who? I have no idea.

 

Get scans of these articles! New York Post October 7, 2012 and The Mail on Sunday September 2, 2012: front cover , article first part , article second part

 

 

Photo Gallery: John Taylor in Birmingham

Click on the banner below!

 

Duran Duran related books of interest

 

Contact sheets: Nick Rhodes and Simon Le Bon through the lens of Viramontes. Above pic: original artwork for So Red The Rose by the artist: the picture represents Violetta Sanchez , the model has been also Interviewed for the book. We can't wait to have our hands on it!

    Tony Viramontes

  • A new book about the work of artist Tony Viramontes [known among the Duran fan-base for his beautiful illustrations on the Arcadia album], written by Dean Rhys Morgan, will be published next year by Laurence King Publishing.
    Viramontes was one of the defining and prolific artist's of the 80’s, creating some of the most iconic looks of the decade. Tony had great artistic potential, but he died in 1988 at the age of thirty one.
    According to the author, Dean Rhys Morgan, the book has been enriched by contributions coming from different artists [including Nick Rhodes!] who have worked with Tony during his fantastic career.

 

O'Regan's Duran Duran book has legs!

  • Careless Memories, the Duran Duran book by Denis O'Regan might see the light next year according to some of his recents tweets:

    "I took a batch of material to DuranDuran's Nick Rhodes' house today. My limited edition '1984' Sing Blue Silver book has legs!"
    [posted on November 23].

    He also said: "I've found more unseen DuranDuran pictures from 1984. Now scanning & retouching. Busy time!"

 

You never stop learning something new on your idols

  • Abbey Road to Ziggy Stardus is the new book by Ken Scott and Bobby Owsinski. Ken is the man who engineered Thank You and Pop Trash albums. He's also a long time Warren Cuccurullo friend who had worked on the production and engineering of the 1982 Missing Persons albums.
    If you like to have a picture from the other side, from someone who has worked in the studios with a many stars, from The Beatles to Bowie, from Elton John to Duran Duran, you really have to get this book! It's filled with behind the scenes and interesting stories. It's true, you never stop learning something new on your idols.
    There's a full chapter to Scott's collaboration with Duran Duran. 8 full pages rich of facts, comments by Warren [who has been interviewed specially for the book]. I transcribed a couple of quotes, just to give you the idea of what the book is like, I don't want to spoil the pleasure of reading and discover for yourself this side of the story on the making of two difficult albums like Thank You and Pop Trash. We have read a lot about the most successful Duran albums, but there's not much material circulating on the Duran Duran production of those low profile years. So it's really worth a read!

    Thank You "the album meant to be a quick stopgap as their previous album, The wedding Album featured two huge hits that had resurrected their carrer... Thank you would be recorded while they were on tour... When they had three days off in a city, I would fly in, we'd go into whatever studio was available there, then I'd fly home. Always first class, of course [...] The whole thing was scattered... I'd go into the studio in LA with John Taylor and record some things, then I'd fly off to Paris to do keyboards with Nick Rhodes or vocals with Simon le Bon, who were both doing tax exile thing and couldn't go back to England without being hit with a huge tax bill. That's where things got a little silly. If they didn't like Warren or John's parts they wouldn't say, "We just won't use them in the mix," it was, "You've got to erase them," and they would actually sit there and watch me o make sure that I erased them. There was a lot of weird stuff like that going on." [Ken Scott]

    Pop Trash " It was a difficoult album to make on the lyric end because over the last few years Simon had a difficult time coming up with lyrics. He just dried up. Nick started writing lyrics and there was a sharing of the writing that had never happened before on a Duran record. It took a lot of the burden off him but also a lot of the creativity as well. He was having problems in his personal life, so it was a really traumatic experience and Ken had to deal with those issues. [Warren Cuccurullo]
    Hollywood Records wanted someone else to mix the album and the album ended up being compressed to holy hell, sounded like shit. [ken Scott]
    There was one song that I absolutely refused to go with the [record company] guy's mix, so we went with Ken's mix on Starting To Remember and it's beautiful. [Warren Cuccurullo]

 

When the fan works with his idol...
Interview with Matteo, long time Duran Duran fan, established deejay who lived the mind-blowing experience of working with his idol on a very special deejay set

Roger seems to agree that Matteo is a super cool deejay and lovely guy! What a fantastic night we had dancing and having fun at the beat of Roger and James deejay set!

salvo@duranasty.com: How and when did the idea to invite Roger Taylor at Amami originate?

Matteo: I have been collaborating with Amami discoclub for 5 years now and I've never hidden my love for Duran Duran. This summer, talking with Giacomo we had the idea to do something different for the Real House night [the Amami one night, one Wednesday per month], we wanted to call a different name rather than the usual famous and highly paid international DJs. The idea was to combine the pop icon figure represented by Roger and his most recent DJ activity. In this way we could retrieve both, the usual Amami audience and the Duran Duran fans. Let's just say that I have transmitted to Giacomo all my enthusiasm and passion for the band and he just believed in my idea. And I'm glad to say that it was a success!

Have you experiencing any difficulties organizing the event?

I would say no. Nothing particularly different than managing a regular special guest. Roger and his management were very professional and so helpful. We can say that it all everything went well, and I have to thank Amami and Roger for this!

What was it like spending two days around Venice and Treviso along with Roger and James? Did they visited Piazza San Marco?

Well, we spent a wonderful day together. Roger and his son James landed at around lunch time at the Venice airport, so it would have been a shame not going to Piazza San Marco for lunch and sightseeing. We had a wonderful taxi [motorboat] ride to the Grand Canal and arrived to Piazza San Marco. James was very excited, being the first time for him in Venice. Roger was just happy because, as he told me later, he was already surrendered to the idea of being shut up in his hotel room until it was time to play his DJ set. A stroll through Venice, a bit of shopping and then we rushed away to Treviso for the sound check!

A funny anecdote, a gesture or a phrase to remember, to share with other fans...

I believe that all fans who attended the night have witnessed the hug full of esteem and gratitude we gave each other that night at Amami: I will hardly forget that! I would have a funny story too, but I'll not make it public, just because Roger will definitely read this ;)

In what terms your perception of Roger Taylor, one of your idols ever, has changed after working with him?

I met Roger for the first time back in 2008, I think we were at radio Deejay in Milan, and the impression I got then, is still the same that I have now after spending an afternoon with him and working with him. A very special person, humble, kind and very professional.

In this particular moment the world of nightclubs is flooded with models, actors, ex-singers, porn stars that are just re-invented themselves doing the DJs thing... sometimes with catastrophic results. In Roger instead I found a real DJ, with a great set, he didn't follow a predetermined playlist... he just played looking at audience he had in front right in that moment, selecting track after track with care. Such a fantastic performance!

Best trip of 2012?
Recently DJ'ed just outside Venice, Italy.
Boarded the aplane in London at 10 am and had lunch on the Grand Canal by 1 pm.
What a life!

Matteo having fun with James and Roger

Below Salvo and Roger striking a pose at Amami disco club. A picture to remember a very cool night dancing and having fun at the beat his dj-set!

More pics of the Treviso deejay-set can be seen in the special Photo Gallery. Click the banner below!

 

Italian Tour: Duran Duran perfection

This band is divine, musically and visually the Duran live show experience has reached its highest level.
I don't think we can prentend more from this band from a live show point of view. They have found the perfect formula! This is Duran-perfection!
Below Salvo gives Simon the infamous picture with the caption "1982-2012: Duran Duran and Italy celebrates 30 years of friendship"

Last summer I was lucky enough to attend the italian tour, four outdoor shows in some of the greatest concert locations: Verona, Roma, Cattolica and Lucca. It was an incredible experience that took me on the road for many days, actually a whole Duran week full of great moment filled not only with fantastic Duran Duran shows but also with some great encounters. I'm not referring only to Duran Duran encounters, but long time friends meetings, and pals coming from all over Europe. I saw a lot of my old Duran friends from the late 80s and 90s and it was great to share some new Duran moments with them.

It was a mind-blowing experience filled with great music, friendship and travels around the north-central Italy in a very torrid July. I have no words left to describe the power of our band on stage, anything I could say might sound redundant and already said, the usual words that would come out from the die hard fan's mouth.
But hey! They just reached the perfection on stage, that's all!

We assisted to the Duran Duran perfection. We couldn't ask more to these guys, they gave us all themselves. Over the summer they delivered some of the finest performances I have ever witnessed.
One more time the band has consolidated its long time friendship with Italy.

During the tour, in different moments across Italy, I reminded the guys about how old was their friendship with Italy, I told them that this year they celebrated 30 years since their very first visit to Italy back in 1982.
So to celebrate this very strong friendship I presented each one of them a little gift, a picture of that very first promotional visit in Rome.
The picture was taken in a restaurant in the Rome Zoo where they shooted the infamous Hungry Like The Wolf clip that all of the band members still remember. The video clip shows the guys eating spaghetti at the Zoo... Why the Zoo?! Well, It was such a naive and funny video-transposition of the song's title... the funny thing, as Simon recounts, is that the film director kept telling them "Mangia! Mangia! Mangia!" [Eat! Eat! Eat!] while they had this huge plate of spaghetti on their table. Well, they obviously loved the picture and I was quite glad that it brought back those nice and funny memories.
That very same night in Verona Simon did a little speach about the longtime relationship the band has with Italy, he also said that "someone" brought to their attention that they celebrate 30 years since they first came to Italy... He also mentioned the funny 'Mangia Mangia' story during the cool Red Ronnie report about the tour that you can easily find on Youtube.

As I previously said I have no words left to describe the band's greatness on stage, but I do have plenty of pictures... I tried to capture the power and the beauty, the action and the fun of the guys on stage. And I want to relive that greatness with you all sharing a selection of the best photographs that I took during the Italian tour... check out below for more!

In the book you didn’t write about your affair with Simon.
JT: Ha ha. very funny. There’s a lot of homoerotic fan fiction about us. (Fox411)

"This is fucking amazing!"
"This is my drug! It's fucking amazing!" says John about his italian pistache and choccolate flavoured icecream!
"I get one of this only when I have a day off from touring!" In the picture Salvo and John Taylor in Trastevere, Rome July 19 2012

"Save a Prayer" in Italy is like a national anthem
The two big songs there are "Save A Prayer" and "Wild Boys." They're almost a part of the culture identity of Italy. It's fantastic! [Roger Taylor]

Roger says: There was a time, I think, that we resented that we were famous for our videos. We were really resentful of that because we wanted to be taken seriously as a band and for our music and our songs. Luckily, time has been good to us. The songs have stood the test of time.

We performed in Italy and there were 10,000 people there going crazy for the music and the songs and what we are now. We now accept that the importance of those videos was a great thing. We have total acceptance of that now, and that feels great.

We played in Verona last and we came onto the encore with "Save A Prayer" and we actually didn't have to sing a word of the song. The audience sang every note, every word of the song. Yeah, thirty years later, that's still happening. It shows the strength of those songs. They weren't just about videos. The videos were amazing, they cemented the songs in people's minds, but we wrote good songs. We still get to play them now and to be able to get to play those songs that you've written is incredible.

"At the Rome concert last night it felt as if everyone in the audience was an old friend"
John Taylor 19 July 2012

Memories of a smashing italian tour | Above picture: enthusiastic articles from italian newspapers! The guys always get a lot of media attention everytime the came over! Below one of the pictures I took back in July: the guys at their arrival in Verona.

 

Italian tour off with a BANG! Ciao regazzi. Grazie mille
John Taylor, 16 July 2012

 

(Careless) Memories in Pixels

Want more pics? During the italian tour I've tried my best to capture the energy of the guys on stage. I love photography so taking pics at the Duran shows is something I've always enjoyed. I'm quite pleased with the pics I took during these four shows with just a compact camera, which is actually the same camera that Nick has been using lately on stage. 2012 has been a year filled with Duran shows, so let's just relive the magic of those moments with some Live-Photo galleries! Someone says "A picture is worth a thousand words"... he's right! There you go, a selection of the very best pics I took in July!

click on the banner below to access the photo galleries and enjoy!


Pics are in three different pages. At the end of each page you'll find a link to the next gallery.


Olympics: It was a fantastic time to be in London. It was a career high. JT

Derek Millar Carr (in the pics with Simon) is a long time english Duran fan and he's also the lucky guy who was chosen by Simon to sing the chorus to The Reflex at the Olympic show! Derek was cool enough to share his memories of a show that has been defined by the band itself as the main highlight of 2012.

When it was announced that Duran Duran were to play Hyde park at the opening of the Olympics I knew it was going to be something special.
Taking to the stage not long after a inferior performance from Paolo Nutini the band entered to mass cheers.
It felt like everyone in the park was a fan. Nick’s synth gave way to the Night Version of Planet Earth.

The band played as if their life depended on it and the crowd responded likewise. It struck me how important John’s Bass part in the song is, galloping its way through the song.

As the rain starts before you know it the next song A View To A Kill kicks in. Sounding more powerful than ever. Simon’s vocals were strong and the live mix spot on.

All You Need Is Now is next up. Its brave for them to play new stuff at this type of show but it goes down with the audience very well indeed. Taking my place 2nd row at the front the atmosphere was splendid.

As All You Need Is Now ends Simon asks if there is one fella that can start him off in a sing song. Of course I know what this is as i attended some of the UK shows last December.
A couple of my friends pointed at me. As Simon made his way towards me. Asking my name? He then told me in my ear what to sing. I responded by telling him i knew what to sing. So starting off The Reflex a moment I will never forget even though it is not one of my personal favourite songs of the band.

 

The Olympics was more like taking part in a P.R. exercise for London, which we were happy to do.
It was an extraordinary night for us. Having moments like that is what keeps you going, because all the highs aren’t 20 years ago.
We still have them.
John Taylor

Ta nanana The Reflex Ta nanana The Reflex Fle Fle Fle Flex!

 

Moments after I finished singing Red Arrows fly over as the video screen behind the band show the Second Life video.
Girl Panic was next. A favourite from the latest album and has all the classic Duran elements. The band play well throughout ending with the extended percussion part the have been playing on the AYNIN tour.

Dom Brown’s importance in the band is shown particularly on the new songs were he shines through.

Save a prayer has the audience waving their hands in the air.
At this point band seemed to be on fire so to speak leading to a very funky Notorious. The crowd love it.

A sublime performance of Ordinary World dedicated to a peaceful games has the audience waving their hands in the air again towards the end of the song. Simons vocals were remarkable on this song. A personal favourite.

Sunrise keeps the momentum up as the audience sing along. Dom’s playing was excellent on this song rocking out at the end.
Wild Boys was up next. Not one of my favourites but always great live.

The evening finishing off with a with adrenaline fuelled version of Rio.
The audience loved them. The band loved them back.
One of the best performances that the band have done. The band showed true showmanship and proved they are still one of the best if not the best live band in the world.

Playing with Duran Duran at the Hyde Park at the opening of the Olympics in Hyde Park. It felt like a special moment shared it with 70,000 people. Roger Taylor

"I don’t have just one favourite moment, because things are still happening.
The important thing is to still be able to experience them. For example, we recently played in Hyde Park for the opening night of the London Olympics. There were about 70,000 people there from all over the world.
We had not been playing “Save A Prayer” on tour and had just started putting it back into the set. We played the song that night and it just galvanized everybody.
I remember standing there and thinking, “Bookmark this moment! This is a BIG moment!” You must never get complacent. There are still moments like those that come along." John Taylor


 

 

I have drawn myself a spiritual path

Here is the interesting interview to John Taylor published on the turkish newspaper "Haber Turk" [by Izzet Capa, July 1st, 2012]. Translastion by Eren Uretmen [many thanks!].

"I arrived to Wroclaw after a long journey and went straight to the venue. Band was already rehearsing and it lasted for two hours. Finally, they started to approach in a very cheerful mood. As Roger Taylor passed by with a smile on his face, I thought he was the spitting image of Roman Polanski! Then the rest followed him, John Taylor was the last one and we took a deep breath! Actually, we found out that band's singer Simon Le Bon would not do interviews before the shows and that he would be even too nervous to talk to his band mates. So, lucky enough we had John..."

Izzet Capa - Istanbul is waiting for you on the 9th, what do you wait from Istanbul?
John Taylor - I've first been there 20 years ago, amazing historical places and architecture is waiting for me. As it's a city of harbour, on going development is inevitable when it opens all it's doors to all sorts of culture.

IC - You've spoken like Wikipedia, let's change the subject! Yourself, ex-member Andy and drummer Roger are all from Birmingham.
JT - Now, your turn to speak like Wikipedia! Yes, correct.

IC- Same surnames, why?
JT - Coincidence really, no blood bond.

IC - In Turkey, in some villages they all have the same surnames but there is no blood bond, that's how it works for you too!
JT - I have been friends with Roger for a long time then Andy joined and on the day he came, when he told us his surname... Nick thought we have fooled him for months!

IC - You must be so bored from this question...
JT - I get on a taxi, driver asks me whether I'm one of the Taylor brothers or not, even in New York! I'm fed up from saying, " NO, we are not brothers ".

 

I’ve still got a lot of energy

Fifty-two is not what it used to be in the 50s, you know?

We all know too much about nutrition and health.
We look after ourselves today. Our dads were all smoking cigarettes, thinking cigarettes were good for them. Nobody had heard of the gym.
They didn’t know that water was good for them.
We’ve got a lot better for us at 52. I like being the age that I am.
I feel like I’ve got a lot of experience, but I’ve still got a lot of energy.

I was born in Hollywood

IC - Do you think, the suburb " Hollywood " where you've spent your childhood was a sign that you would become a star one day!?
JT - Perhaps it was a cosmic coincidence. Nick was born in the same place. A nice, little suburb but it is nothing like the Hollywood I'm living now.
IC - As a child you were incredibly short - sighted, forget the future you were hardly seeing your space in front!
JT - It's true that I have bad sight problems but I can't remember whether I was short - sighted or not.
IC - That is what it says on the internet.
JT - Then that's a good story, write it down like that! But it's true that I was a nerd with the huge glasses on!
IC - OK, Birmingham's Harry Potter! How did the little Harry spend his time then? Sorry, I mean John!
JT - My favourite thing was to paint my toy soldiers and to play war games with them.
IC - But one day that child whom played the war games became against war...
JT - We were all very effected by the Second World War. Our dads were veterans, in the 60's there were so many films under that theme. Because it was always about being a hero, I've got so influenced by the uniforms, tanks, cannons.. I use to make model planes, didn't you?
IC - No, I didn't.
JT - My generation did all that.. I use to mix paint with the baby powder and paint on my toy soldiers.
IC- Was that to have a colourful army!?
JT - No, because when it dried, it gave a fabric effect. That was the most fun hobby I had as a child.
IC - Now?
JT - I have no hobbies left.
IC - As a grown up person you should have one, why there isn't any?
JT - Simple, because all my hobbies became my career. Actually, it's great to have plenty of hobbies. Yesterday, we were watching the England - Germany match and we are tearing ourselves saying, "C' mon England..." . Then England lost and what is left behind, what was the point of that excitement?
IC - I don't know, you were the one who got excited in the first place!
JT - It's great to live that moment of excitement. But at the end of the day, it looses it's importance. It's same with the hobbies.

I have drawn myself
a spiritual path

IC - While we talk about energy, during your concerts; how do you manage to refine all the energy you've drawn on you by thousands of people?
JT - I've drawn myself a spiritual path. I was raised as a hardcore Catholic, even have been sent to a Catholic school. But in my teens, I've lost my belief in the God of Catholics. In the last 15 years my spiritual side has developed a lot.
IC - How did that happen?
JT - I felt that I was a part of the universe.
IC - Can you tell us more...
JT - I'm trying to be humble, trying to do my duties against people, trying to do the right. For myself, meditation every morning and night.
IC - What did meditation change in your life?
JT - Sometimes my ego plays games with me. There is a moment when it makes me feel like the greatest human then it tells me what a shitty man I am!
IC - The classic way of living on the edge.
JT - Could be, but this is more like psychological. All I'm trying to be is right in the middle.
IC - Not an easy thing to be an acrobat.
JT - Very hard, and it's not possible to keep it up all the time.
IC - You were raised as a hardcore Catholic then came across with extreme freedom in life, how did your brain cope with all that?
JT - For an answer read my book which will be released in October. With a success like ours, I explain what has changed and how we got effected from it all...
IC - Can you sum us a little..
JT - It took quite a while to digest the things which success brought me. I am beyond Catholicism now.
IC - What do you mean?
JT - The guilty feeling which was inoculated by the Catholic sect was far too much so, in the end I became a Jew.
IC - Are you interested in Kabbalah?
JT - No, but Catholics whom feel too much guiltiness ends up being a Jew.
"That moment there was this deep silence around the table. With my friend Sarp we looked at eachother thinking, ' What the hell this man is talking about??.. ' "
IC - You are joking...
JT - Of course I am! [He laughs loudly...]
"After all the journey I made he was taking the mickey out of me! Anyway, I bring out the little whirling Dervish souvenirs which I had brought from Istanbul as a gift. The conversation continues with Mevlana..."

In the picture: John and Atlanta in Florence, Italy, July 22 2012

"I could be influenced by Mevlana*"

[*The Anatolian philosopher and the father of the Mevlevi sect.
The family tree and explanations of Sema, the ritual dance of Mevlevi's]

I went to the greatest of schools. I went to The Beatles primary school, the David Bowie secondary school and The Sex Pistols college. By the time I was 18, I already knew how to make a band and a record. It wasn’t arrogance. I really believe that if you want something badly enough and are prepared to really go for it, I see no reason why you won’t have success.

 

IC - " Come, come whoever you are" says Rumi without making any religion, language, race separation...
JT - I thought he was a poet. I didn't know he was the father of this philosophy. Most definitely I could be influenced by such a point of view.
IC - It's the philosophy of " Whatever, who ever you love, this love is only for the real being ".
JT - This kind of means; we are all each other's reflections - wow!

"As our conversation was becoming deeper the concert Gestapos, sorry the guards, came along! What can I do if John found the interview delightful and that he passed the normal time over 25 minutes!?
Subject changed to last year's famous video clip, played by the five supermodels Simon Le Bon's wife Yasmin Le Bon, Cindy Crawford, Eva Herzigova, Helena Christensen and Naomi Campbell as Duran Duran members. "

IC - Who's idea was to bring the most beautiful egos together?
JT - We want it to give a political, universal message. A classic Duran Duran song and we said, " Let's have only pretty girls in it " but there was a problem in the beginning...
IC - Of course, when you have all the beautiful girls it was hard to choose!?
JT - No way, we are all married now, we've forgotten what girls are!

"At that very moment , I wished to translate the Turkish saying, " Explain that in to my cap" [likely story] but I gave up and John continued..."
JT - But Nick said, "I'm not married, I didn't forget what girls are like - still " ...

Naomi is a sweetheart

IC - Was it difficult to work with Naomi?
JT - They say so, but it wasn't.
IC - She didn't make any Diva caprices?
JT - Little things. She always came to the studio at the very last minute. But after she comes, you forget all about it. She has an undescribeable attractiveness and she does it so well what it needs to be done.
IC - One can see her Naomi abilities on the video...
JT - She messes around in front of the camera while others are more controlled. And is in constantly trouble, she draws all the negative energy and deserves to be a Diva!
IC - You must have paid a lot of money to the girls.
JT - Believe it or not, they didn't take a penny.
IC - I don't believe it.
JT - Because of their love and respect towards us they accepted to play in the video. Of course, they have flown first class and have been treated so well.
IC - Of course, that had to be done! Did you all decide which one to be the which band member?
JT - Naomi was going to be at the leading role and we made her Simon. Cindy was a great choice on the bass, Yasmin wanted to be a guitarist and she did a great job with it...

IC - Aren't you all bored from each other? Do you guys meet apart from work?
JT - Like last week it was Nick's 50th birthday. Roger, Simon and I have organized a big party. We partied like crazy. We are all together all the time, forget the tours, studio, even when we are writing songs...
IC - Don't you want to choke one another?
JT - We give our breaks after work is finished. But lately, the bond between us has become even stronger. After all these years; how many things we have to struggle with...
IC - It's like being married.
JT - Worse, In marriage you are only two people and you try hard not to break hearts. If you start the day saying, "I hate Nick, I want to choke him" you can't reach anywhere.
IC - You have signed for the first time for taking videos with 35mm cameras to using image makers. What's next?
JT - Just recently, we shot an amazing video with the famous DJ Steve Aoki. We are still trying to show that we are protecting the energy of Duran Duran.
IC - Isn't hard to be in a race with yourself all the time?
JT - You look forward and it comes. And when you respect your job, that energy already flows. The ideas come out that way too. For example: Nick is such an innovative guy, he keeps changing and developing himself. As a kid, his mum had a toy shop.
IC - My mum had a boutique too.
JT - Maybe that's why he likes new and different things. He even tried being a magician. When there is a talk about a new technological device he grabs it and mixes with his ideas.
IC - How about you?
JT - I'm an old school type of guy, I like pureness. But if we all had the same tastes we wouldn't have successed it. Duran Duran is an establishment. We worked very hard to reach these days and still are working.


"I have no regrets"

IC - Any regrets?
JT - Nothing.
" As I begin to think here comes another " likely story " moment, John gave us all a good lesson..."
JT - I don't let any regrets enter my life. I ask myself every hour, " How do I feel? " The answer is always, " I feel fine ". If I reached to that point, I must be thankful to each step I've taken.
IC - Haven't you ever stepped on a rotten step?
JT - If I had done anything different in the past today, I wouldn't have been here. It was raining earlier and when the interview started the sun shined. If you are happy now, regret is so far away.
IC - How can one live without a mistake?
JT - You will make mistakes, in fact, you will repeat them. I've done it too. But now, for myself and on behalf of my band I'm so happy.
IC - Your fresh looks are bit of a history but still, girls are screaming!
JT - Now, I play the role of their father. Sexy and handsome father!I
I C - Do you think of your fans as insanes?
JT - No, they are so smart... When you are selling ideas to people you should show the importance for the way you are doing it, you can't let it go.
IC - What are the things you are doing to not let it go?
JT - I watch everything I eat, I do sports and I don't drink.
IC - "Knock wood" as a band you are not bad!
JT - We care a lot for the way we look. When we were in our 20's they used to say"Gorgeous guys!", we are still trying to protect that.
IC - You are all like Benjamin Button, what is the secret?
JT - We apply a lot of moisturiser. Napoleon said, " Money, money, money ". We say, " Moisturiser, moisturiser, moisturiser ".
IC - Let's go back to the days when you didn't need any moisturiser. You are watching Jane Fonda's " Barbarella " and Dr. Durand Durand appears on the screen and... you find it!
JT - I thought, " What an interesting name ", we didn't want classics such as Beatles or Eagles.
IC - But it's a evily character...
JT - It didn't matter as we played music. It sounded nice, a bit of science-fiction, a bit of French feeling...

"Warhol had created himself all over"


IC - I read that Andy Warhol had a special interest for you guys.
JT - Media wasn't interested in us when we first went to America. Andy's PR friend from the Capitol records, told us that he was happy to meet handsome young men..
IC - Of course, you were "shining" boys!
JT - They were our most fresh looking days. We met with Andy. He took our Polaroid photos, signed his books and our friendship continued afterwards.

IC - And then you've become so huge that American media couldn't resist you...
JT - Few years later when Andy started his Andy Warhol TV show, Simon and Nick joined the show then Nick became good friends with him.

IC - Did Andy Warhol inspire you?
JT - He was an unique, interesting person. He knew what was good for himself, he calculated how to behave so well. It's hard to say what we had in common, he was someone in his own world.

IC - Why would you say, you had nothing in common?
JT - Well, because whatever he did it was unique. In the Pittsburgh Andy Warhol museum there is a part where they show his evolution, it is very striking! He changed so much from the days when he was working for an advertising company until the day of his death.

IC - How?
JT - Lost his hair very early and due to that he started wearing a wig and dyes it... an ordinary guy that recreates himself.

IC - Don't you think he was a marketing genius? Even worse, it is unbelievable that a worker's child from the streets of Pittsburgh created the new brand Andy Warhol. Phenomenal.

Boy George had a great quote about you guys. He said, “In spite of their looks, Duran were very straight.”
I think it’s because we were not a particularly macho band. I was never into the whole macho culture. I was raised on Bowie and glam rock, guys who had a flamboyant presentation of themselves, and they were very ambiguous about their sexual personas. I found that appealing.
You wanted to dress like Bowie, or imitate his sexuality?
For me, Bowie was never gay. He was bi. The ’70s were a very bisexual period. A lot of the artists I was into were embracing that lifestyle. It’s like Velvet Goldmine, that kind of thing. I think it was as much a reaction against machismo and identifying strongly as a male. I don’t know. [Long pause.] I’ve always liked women’s clothing, what can I tell you? [mtvhive.com]

In the pic the guys at the italian 'Fratelli La Bufala' restaurant in Istanbul, July 2012

"Be happy that we couldn't make it to Istanbul last year"

IC - We waited for you last year but it was " kismet " for this year.
JT - They shouldn't be sad that we couldn't make it in fact, they must be glad.
IC - Why is that?
JT - Because we are much better this year! We can play whatever they like from our 30 years of repertoire.
IC - Is "Notorious " on your repertoire?
JT - Sure. I've asked myself the other day, "Why people still wants to listen to Ordinary World and Notorious?" Well, I thought because they are amazing songs! Of course, we will be playing songs from the new album too.
IC - At school I was afraid to speak in front of twenty people, how on earth you manage to appear in front of so many people?
JT - Actually, I was so shy too, I was so afraid to appear in the classroom. But this is different; once I hold the guitar and plug in the cables, I feel the strange power which surrounds my fingers... I start to play then drums begin... and people reacts to the power of the instruments.
"I thought it must be the correct time to give the second half of my gifts. Afrodisiaced Lokum [Turkish Delight] and Cezerye [sweet made of carrot]. Of course, I warned John about their effects!"
IC - You know afrodisiaced lokum has the Viagra effect and Cezerye has the Cialis effect!!
JT - Great! "While he laughs I ask him my last question."
IC - What would you say if one day your daughter wants to get married to a rock star?
JT - Why not if he is a good man... See you in Istanbul!





Just few days for the digital release of the single ‘C’est Tout est Noir’

If you haven't read the interview to Koishii & Hush [Simon Langford & Alex Hush] about the collaboration with John Taylor on their upcoming single “C’est Tout Est Noir“ published on this site on December 18, check it out right here

“I was asked by the trance duo Koishii and Hush to apply a little vocalizing to a dark and tender groove they had been working on. Vocals are not my main gig but I approached it as a follow up to ‘I Do What I Do’, the love song I had contributed to the ‘Nine 1/2 Weeks’ soundtrack back in the day.
What was I thinking when I listen to the new track? For some reason, Les Crane’s ‘Desiderata’ came into my mind (‘Go placidly amidst the noise and haste..’) in french. I must have been missing Paris. ‘C’est Tout est Noir’- ‘Everything Is Black’, is how I translate it, but I’m sure there could be a few variations. Enjoy.” John Taylor

 



Tidbit about the euro tour: President Ivanov and his son Ivan meets Duran Duran

Some interesting tidbits and news from the euro tour
  • Duran Duran have met President Ivanov and his son Ivan backstage right before their show at the Skopje Fortress. Ivan, the president's son said: "The concert was truly spectacular. I enjoyed it with all my senses. Show in the true sense of the word. I also enjoyed the moment when I met the band and they gladly signed the records I had brought from my father's collection. Yet another proof that the biggest stars are actually pleasant and immediate, and their music lasts for generations. Skopje definitely needed this concert."
  • Translation from the article published on Blic newspaper from Belgrade | Members of Duran Duran toured museums and clubs in Belgrade.
    Before they set fire to the Petrovaradin fortress at the EXIT festival, the wild boys spent two days in Belgrade, visiting sights and enjoying the magic of nightlife. The band visited the zoo, the Ethnographic Museum and they had a dinner at one of the restaurants in Savamala.

    While their faces are still recognizable everywhere in the world as they have been pop icons for thirty years, the band members managed to walk through the town completely unnoticed.

    The band members were scattered in different directions, the most active was the bass player John Taylor, who during his walks in the capitol photographed everything that attracted his attention and kept sending pictures through Twitter sharing them with his fans. As soon as he arrived in Belgrade, John Taylor went to the zoo, in Kalemegdan, and then he visited the setting of the traditional costumes of the Ethnographic Museum.

    He acted like any other tourist, and on his visits he did not inform anyone of the employees, he didn't want to attract attention. He went to Peter King Street and took pics of rams, graffiti on buildings, remnants of posters from previous presidential elections, but also one of the posters announcing Duran Duran at this year's EXIT festival.

    Nick Rhodes waited for the sunset, and went out for dinner at the famous restaurant "Iguana" near the river. He was accompanied by his friend, the artist Vuk Vidor, who once made a documentary about the band, a few friends from Belgrade and six beauties. Nick is a very relaxed guy, he loves art and enjoys taking photographs. We talked about everything, and he knows a lot about Serbia - revealed is a friend Vuk.

  • Check out this cool article about Duran Duran in Tessalonikki from the greek edition of Ok! magazine! Get your scan!

 

A message to Duran Duran

 

I want to dedicate this update to something I really believe in: frienship.

 

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