February 18, 2014 | Dear friends of Duranasty Webzine here we go again! Launched on February 2nd 2002, on the same day of the release of Planet Earth back in 1981, this website has just entered its 12th year of exsistence... We are glad to deliver another update. In a time where social media is the main place to share news, we think that is still important for an international band like Duran Duran to have active fan-sites. While Duran Duran news and pictures flow fast like a river that never stop through thousand of posts and tweets, we still like to make the point on the status of the band, we like to stop and read that important sentence and put it into perspective, we like to put together all the small pieces of the big Duran Duran puzzle. As always we hope to provide with a new installments something interesting to read and watch, hopefully to print out and add to your collection like an old fanzine. Enjoy!

2013 | It has been a prolific year for the band since they first reconvened in the studio back in March. The guys have been on and off since then, more intensely since September. The band has only had a break over the summer and started to work again in early September, which is unusual for Duran as it's historically a month off for them.

Charity only | the focus is absolutely on the the album, no corporate gigs [except the one in Switzerland back in February, check previous update please] to fill gaps as far as we know, no long vacations, just short breaks and just few trips to promote the Unstaged show or support some charity causes such as the amfAR charity event [the guys offered a private acoustic set for auction and the highest bidder was delighted to have Simon, John, Dom Brown and Ana Ross performing on her birthday in Courchevel in the French Alps].

>> The state of things: Since I last saw the guys, back in June 2013, a lot of work on the album has been done. In September they have been heard saying that more than 8 tracks were done and that Simon has been writing a lot.

Meeting You with a View to an Album | Since the last site update I met the the guys in two different periods, late November and last week, so this installment will be also filled with some reports and news from these meetings. In November I met them more often. I saw them in great spirit and in good shape, but what will probably interest you more is news on the new album and its developement.

When I asked Nick about the album progresses he actually said that their schedule was changed a little bit compared to what they had planned early on, in fact during the first half of the year they have been heard saying that they hoped to get the album finished by December 2013 [some band member has been heard even betting on that!] and aimed for a late Spring/early Summer release

The schedule: According to Mr Rhodes the album schedule has shifted a little forward. In fact back in November he told me "We hope to finish the album by February"... and when I said "the writing I suppose?" he pointed out "writing AND recording."
So Nick kept telling me about the tentative working schedule that he was trying to follow: album finished by February, then get it mixed by April/May and hopefuly release the record by September.

On the left: Nick Rhodes poses for the lenses of Salvo's camera for a nice shot taken on regular day of work at the studio in November 2013.
Top left the new uber-cool logo designed by Patty Palazzo for Duran Duran.

>> Now | Last week I met John and Roger during a working day at the studio, just a couple of days after their session with the Voce Chamber Choir and the London Youth Chamber Choir at St. Gabriel’s Church in Pimlico [Read the news Below].

When I asked John if they were in time with their original tentative working schedule [ie: album completed by the end of February] John was quite skeptical. And when I said "I supspect studio work will go on until late Spring/early Summer" he didn't deny it, he just smiled and nodded his head.

According to some recent statements made by Nick there's still some lyrics writing to do. The lyrics writing process goes hand in hand with the music something that might slow down the process a little bit as tracks might get revisions.

John Taylor, the idealist, always looking forward. He is always so passionate about the music. Picture taken by Salvo on February 12th 2014 in London. On the left a picture of Roger and Salvo taken on the same [rainy] day.

John Taylor and Simon Le Bon keep an eye on Voce tenors and altos as they record the all-important melody line...

It's all about the Voce

On February 10th in the evening Voce Chamber Choir were joined by Simon, John and Roger!
The Duran boys thought Voce might be an excellent fit for some tracks on their forthcoming studio album.
They'd brought along some shiny recording equipment, so together with MD Suzi Digby and some pals from the London Youth Choir, we sang through brand new Duran Duran material arranged for SATB choir by Friend of Voce, composer Toby Young. Above pictures of the guys joyining the Choir. Far right: Simon Le Bon with Opera Singer Philip Raperport.

>> The Duran Duran cell has been in the incubator for months and months, now is about to flourish | This is a very delicate phase, it's the moment when that cell called Duran Duran, made of four organisms, which has been incubated in a tiny studio for month producing material, is about to make the best of it, refining it while the singer is looking for the right words to match the notes. Everybody in the band is giving its contribution to what will be organic orchestration of elements.

Editing is the Key | As Nick Rhodes always says, editing is the most important phase of the process, editing is the key. Decide what is in and what is out and the final cut the band wants to give to the songs is a very delicate moment.
The music is there, copious, and it's about to explode in all it's duranish beauty... it's just a matter of months.
During the whole process [excluding the two weeks of jamming sessions with Mark Ronson at Dom Brown's studio back in March 2013 and a few other meetings with him during last Spring] the guys have been working on this project all on their own, with just their historic recording and mixing engineer Joshua Blair, so every decision has been taken by themselves. Can we say this album has been self-produced by the band until now? We think so.

The Definitive Duran Duran Album | We are sure the band is trying to achieve a milestone album, a real piece of Art, truthful and faithful to their artistic souls, an album that will stand the test of time. Duran Duran fans can be proud of this band. The last quarter of the year is gonna be fantastic with the arrival of the new Duran Duran music and 2015 even more with a new Tour!

>> Chatting away with Nick | [November] During our chat, after the first question on the album, I had to ask "Is Mark [Ronson] still on board on this project?".

The answer was clear, yes but just on a few a songs [ed: if this is still valid we don't know, time will tell]. So I hinted to Nile Rodgers... "It would be great to get him involved" I said, and Nick... he simply didn't answer, he just opened his face in a very big smile... I don't know what that means, I just remember his expression, his face lit up and his mouth opened in a big smile. I can only assume that being the guys huge fans of Nile's work, they would just be thrilled to work with him again, even on just a couple of tracks... but here we just talk about facts, no conjectures...
I also had to ask to Mr. Rhodes something I have had in mind for months, since Simon tweeted about paying homage to Rod Temperton early last year. I actually started to dream about Duran working on something with him... I would have loved to see a sacred monster of the production like Temperton working with the guys. So I asked Nick about that and he said that they are not working with him, Temperton just came to the studio and they met him. Nick used beautiful words to describe his genius: "he's great, just great!".

2014 | Anyway, I was completely deligheted by hearing that there's still hope for a 2014 release, Nick left me with a great feeling of optimism and enthusiasm but I have to say that I wouldn't mind waiting a few months more, until early 2015, for the new album if time is what the band need to deliver music they all feel completely satisfied and proud of, that will stand the test of time, music that will be played on tour for many months .
So I completely understand and sympathize with John Taylor's recent comments, on a late 2013 katykafe, when he says:

"I think for me the difference is I’m not in a rush, I’m not feeling in any way pressured to get an album finished to sort of suit any kind of release schedule I don’t have a release schedule, I’m not in any hurry to get back on the road, I think any others are, I think the feeling is since the reunion we toured pretty consistently if you compare our touring schedule with U2 or Arcade Fire to name two" [...]

"I think the important thing is that we make a great album an album, something that impress people, because I don’t think we all feel that way about the recent album, we all got reservations about it..."


Le Bon calls him “Marlene Dietrich”, and credits him with artistic genius. He’s especially good at make-up. “I do it all myself,” he says. “I used to buy it from Boots.”
The others never wore it like Rhodes. “I was of the Keith Richards school,” says John Taylor.
“Bit of powder, eyeliner. There was always a girl willing to apply it. Girls love guys in make-up, don’t you think?” The Evening Standard, December 2013.

During the Year end Kafe Nick seems to confirm that the album won't be released sooner than September,
even though he gives hope for an earlier single release. Nick says that in May we might be able to listen
the first piece of music [ie the first single?!] He says: "I woud like to think that something propbaly
will came out maybe around May, I supsect the album will be a little later than that,
but I don't see why we couldnt get a song ready by then, a few of the songs are
pretty much complete at this stage... still lots of lot of lyrics surgery to be done,
much to simon's horror, I'm sure."

"We’re balls to the wall getting the new album done"


if only you could hear the music we are making... you would be dancing!
John Taylor, December 16th, 2013

>> This one is just more important | "This one is just more important we get it right" said John in a KatyKafe back in late 2013, "We start thinking ‘how many albums we got left in us’, ho many more we are going to do. So it’s like this one can’t be a giveaway, it’s got to be, is gonna be great, I want it to be better than All You Need Is Now, I want it to be better than the Wedding Album, otherwise “What’s the point?” and that doesn’t happen like that, that takes a lot of tenacity and a lot of work.

John raises the question: ‘what kind of record are we trying to make?'
"There’s always this pretty lengthy process of determination where we start off, we just run on/off the wall, we jam... there’s a certain amount of enthusiasm and excitement that sort of drive us, then we come into this sort of slow cooking phase where we all try to find out what the album is, what ‘s the nature of it, what's the style, what’s the concept and often there’s a lot push and pull involved because we are not all feeling the same, not all got the same objectives and that can be quite frustrating for everybody, so we spent a lot of time this year, particulary on the last few months [September/November], really getting on the same page.
It’s like 'what kind of record are we trying to make?’. There’s a little bit of reinventaion involved in all of our albums, and in this there’s not less than usual..."

Once we nail the release date I think we can start dropping some samples for everybody to hear, but until we know when the album is coming out , 'cos at the moment I don’t know, it's gonna be be spring, summer, autmn, or 2015, I don’t know.
John Taylor, late 2013

"Duran Duran Music In Extremis" says John

Founding member say the new album sounds like... Duran Duran!

"We didn’t go in trying
to capture a particular style,
it’s a more organic process.
But it does have all the ingredients of a classic Duran album - danceability and great lyrics
and hocks, as well as
atmospheric parts."

John Taylor, January 2014 [Classic Pop mag interview excertp]

You’re in the midst of recording a new Duran Duran album. What’s that process like these days?

It’s very much like an office job. We all show up at the studio around lunchtime and try to have as many good ideas as possible. We’re unusual in that we have four guys contributing equally. Everybody has got to sign off on everything, but it’s working. We’re enjoying each other’s company. It takes a while to get the vibe dialled in, but we’ve been through the pain barrier and found our groove.
Something is definitely coming to fruition.

The last album All You Need Is Now was quite nostalgic. Are you going in the same direction this time with producer Mark Ronson?

John: Mark came to us after we worked with Timberland and had made this electro/hip hop recod. He said, ‘Let’s go authentic and use the gear you used on Rio’. We were just about ready for that concept, for this one we didn’t quite know.
You have to keep digging, then you get one song and go. ‘This is great, now we have a bar’. We didn’t go in trying to capture a particular style, it’s a more organic process. But it does have all the ingredients of a classic Duran album - danceability and great lyrics and hocks, as well as atmospheric parts.

Same said Nick back in December talking to his fans on the official fan community: "The album has got elements from different Duran albums: electronic stuff possibly like the Big Thing album, it's got some groovy parts closer to Notorious, it's got some ballads more like the Wedding Album, and it's got more the armonic structure of the first couple of albums. It's a different mix but it's got elemens of everything - it very much sounds as a Duran Duran album, it's not RCM or something like that."

Behind the scene footage for upcoming promo stuff? | Back in November John said: In the studio making videos for new songs we haven't even finished yet... they sound like... they sound like.. Duran Duran Music In Extremis. [source @thisistherealJT]
[The album] It's not finished but it's on track. We are not in a rush to get on a big tour.
When we got the album complted we will think to the best way to present it to everybody.
The focus now in making the album great.

Classic Pop January 2014: Are promoters trying to persuade the band to play any festivals?
John: I don’t think that’s going to happen this summer. The album won’t be out that soon - maybe in the second half of this year. Since the reunion in 2001 we’ve worked pretty consistently, so I think it’s okay to have a couple years off touring.

A hug is worth a thousand words

  November 19, 2013 | Duran Moments | In the picture above I was completely taken by surprise by a spontaneous and totally unexpected hug and words of thanks from John. His way to say thanks for something I did back in June. Glad that a fellow fan managed to snap that moment. This man, with all his humanity and humility keeps leaving me speachless. Thanks JT!
On the right: flipping through the pages of some cool Duran Duran Italian books featuring great coverage of The Power Station US tour from 1985.

Simon Le Bon: "it's a very strong album"

>> Simon is writing great lyrics | On November 21, 2013 Simon was incredibly happy about a song he had just written.
He told the fans that he wrote it the day before and he was so enthusiastic about it that he recited it for us, from beginning to end. I was completely blown away, enchanted by the beauty of the lyrics and by the level of poetry in it.
I was petrified for both reasons, the surreal moment that we were living and of course the intensity of the lyrics. I just hope it will be included in the album as we all know lots of the stuff the band writes is subjected to revisions, editing and sometimes gems like this don't see the light of day. Time will tell us.

Simon recited that lyrics also to Charlotte Edwardes, the journalist who interviewed the band for a two page piece published on The Evening Standard on Dec. 11. Here is an excerpt:

Le Bon is a show-off. “Not show-off,” he corrects. “Attention seeker.” Either way, he’s the most ferociously confident person I’ve ever met. “Blame my mother,” he bellows.
He’s full of praise for his current work — “I’ve written some good stuff for the new album. Oh my God, one of them — I love it so much.” He recites it then blows his nose loudly. “I love the rhythm of poetry — did a lot of poetry reading as a kid. I was on the stage.”

The interviewer goes on asking: Is there pressure to stay looking good? “You bet.” He grabs at his well-upholstered middle: “Hello! Tummy time! What’s going on here?” He’s had Botox — “But I couldn’t move my forehead, I couldn’t frown!” — and dyes his beard, which is full and fox brown, something that might emerge from a Norwegian hytte after the winter snows. “Well, I can’t leave it white, can I? It’d be like playing in a band with Father Christmas.”

An old illustration of the Hundred Horse Chestnut, located on the eastern slope of volcan Etna.
A little (personal) story about a sicilian Zufolo | Back in November I gave to Simon him a little present that I got last summer in Sicily, a little handmade zufolo that a craftsman made using bamboo sticks from that area and sold under the Hundred Horse Chestnut, a lovely place that I visited with my kids back in August. As soon as I saw those zufolos I thought of Simon so I asked that man if he could make a good one, selecting a nice bamboo stick, which I wanted to present to a dearest person and musian.

The Hundred Horse Chestnut is the largest and oldest known chestnut tree in the world. Located on the eastern slope of Mount Etna in Sicily, only few km from the volcano's crater. it is generally believed to be 2,000 to 4,000 years old. The tree's name originated from a legend in which a queen of Aragon and her company of one hundred knights, during a trip to Mount Etna, were caught in a severe thunderstorm. The entire company is said to have taken shelter under the tree.

Zuffolo is a French fipple flute. First described in the 14th century, it had a rear thumb-hole, two front finger-holes, and a conical bar, with a range of over two octaves.
In Sicily, zuffolo refers to a greater flute with a broader mouthpiece and six finger-holes.
It has also been called the flautino, flauto piccolo, and flautino piccolo, and is sometimes spelled zufolo.

Pictures of the man who created the zufolo for Simon from a bamboo stick, taken last Summer in Sicily.

Simon Le Bon, the antisocial smoker
Cigar Smoker of the Year
Simon Le Bon

During the days I was in London Simon was awarded with the Spectator Cigar Smoker of the Year 2013. Fans were surprised to hear such a news as soon as pictures of the event popped up online and spread out trough social media. Since I had the chance to see Simon the day after the ceremony I told him that we didn't know he was a cigar smoker... he actually didn't say that he's an avid smoker or even a smoker, he only smokes sometimes, just for the pleasure of it, and it was clear from his answer that even him was him was taken by surprise getting such a recognition. We hinted that since he's not a proper cigar smoker he might go in the "social smokers" category... but he said [laughing] that he is actually an antisocial [we all had a laugh! That man can be extremely funny!]

On receiving the award Simon Le Bon graciously accepted his win and reminded his fans "It's the wild boys not the mild boys..." Simon also became the proud owner of a humidor of rare cigars, and a stunning Jean Richard wristwatch. [source]

I don't read much when I am in writing mode

Two books | Over the Summer Simon has read "Bring Up The Bodies", he says "but, to be honest, I don't read as much when I am in writing mode as it stops me from writing. When I read too much it sort of stops my writing process. On January 21th he tweeted that he has just finished to read another book. He says "I read the best and, absolutely, the most scariest ghost story ever. It's a shocker, truly it is. I read it in one night, with a Petzl led head torch, while Mrs LB slept soundly. It was so scary, I got whole body hair-chills... Simon has posted a Simon Reader on the official site that you can read here


Above picture | Simon on his new vintage motorbike. He calls it "Death Trap"... he told us that is an extremely fast motorbike. Simon has a real passion for motorbikes, he told me that he has four and explained to the fans the motorbike's characteristics...
it's twin-valve single-cylinder enduro-adventure motorcycle made by Yamaha from '75 until 1981, in case you were interested...




Simon Le Bon, tidbits

Set of Pictures

Get a Fantastic set of 7 pictures of Simon and and Nile Rodgers performing together Notorious. The pics were taken last June when Simon joyned Nile Rodgers and Chic on stage during British Summer Time at Hyde Park on July 14.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7

Simon meets Milton Nascimento

Back on October 20 Simon met Milton Nascimento, the man who ended Brazil’s bossa nova phase with his mix of Africanised jazz and South American folk.
The Brazilian musician, who just turned 71, played a successful show at the Barbican Centre in London.

We remember him for his fantastic collaboration with Duran Duran on 1993's Breath After Breath.

Le Bon at Mauritius

The Le Bons spent part of their Christmas holidays at Mauritius. They were special guest of interiors queen Kelly Hoppen who has designed the villas at the exclusive holiday resort of LUX Belle Mare on Mauritius - and invited a few of her mates out to help her celebrate. Get in full size the pictures in the visual above: Picture One, Two, Three.


Roger: "We got dark moody material, we also got a lot of really upbeat, kinda dancy stuff."

Roger is always very humble; one evening, at the end of our chat in the cold
we talked about the loyalty of some fans, loyalty that has spanned over three decades,
he said "We do appreciate your support guys!"

"We have some very strong songs which came in the last few of weeks -
some of the strongest songs we have written since the reunion."
Roger would like to get the album mixed by march, a song out by early summer.
But the album won't be out before the end of the summer.


Above picture: Roger spinning at Amami, Treviso on November 8, 2013.
You can access a full report and gallery by clicking on the banner below.


On the new Duran Duran album Roger is using Roland’s flagship TD-30KV electronic drum kit [ see pic on the right]

Roger has always embraced the musical possibilities of electronic percussion. During this time, it’s been clear that Duran Duran didn’t fit into any particular box. The band has evolved, keeping their music fresh. As the album takes shape, Roger is using the new TD-30KV V-Drums kit, which replaces his previous TD-20KX kit used on the band’s last album and tour.

>> Roger | Only a few months back he said in a blog: "We've written loads of really great material... so much so, it's going to be hard to pick out the final songs that make the record. Simon is writing lyrics and we're excited about what's happening and just getting everything up to spec before beginning the next phase".

Roger and his inseparable laptop [with Salvo]. Wonder if it has some new Duran Duran music on it?!

More recently fans have heard him saying: "there's a lot of ideas, don't know how many... but there's not actually finished, properly formed songs yet, just some really incredible ideas!
We do have so much great material... it could be a really interesting release... there's so much material... we got dark moody material, we also got a lot of really upbeat, kinda of dancy, clubby stuff.

"We've got so much material,
two different sets of work,
one dark and moody,
the other dancy and groovy"

Roger says that Nick, given the nature of of the music produced so far, has hinted "a two part record: one part all dancy, clubby, groovy, and the other part moody, darken and deeper, but not a double album" he says, because he's not sure that "a double album suits this world right now."

Digital release VS phisical release / Indie VS Major:

Not quite there yet says Roger in one of the most recent KatyKafe, we really start to think about that when we get to the end of the creative process. it's certainly nothing that's has been discussed yet.

We are shooting for a 2014. what quarter is gonna be I don't know... I'd be surprised if it's the first quarter. Mixing takes time, the setup for the record is gonna take some time. We wanna be back on the road by next summer supporting this record.

Any other producer on this album?
No not that I know... says Roger.

Duranthology lesson from John and Roger Taylor

I love the early years of Duran Duran, that's why I made this little layout [picture above] for a poster that I printed for my own collection.
It basically features pictures of the first Duran Duran line-up and, in the lower part, pics of a very early performance dated Birmingham 1980.
Some of those pics were published on 'In The Pleasure Groove' book, but I found odd that in some pictures there was no caption, so it was quite hard to detect who were the non-duran guys. So one day of November I said to John that I would have liked to put faces with names, and I asked his help...
He was amazed to see the poster [check him out teaching me in the first picture on the left ] and he gladly have me a little Duran Duran lesson.
It was good to have John as teacher of Durantholgy! He even wrote the names on the pictures [Andy -Wickett- and Fozzi]! Such a cool retro-moment!
I showed the same poster to Roger, you should have seen his face when he saw that picture of himself and that bloke in a the grey suit!
"Om my... check out Alan [Curtis]'with his pint!" he said! He was completely blown away and amazed! :)


It's always good to bring back some good memories of those early years, I always enjoy listening to stories and see pics from those very early years,
I never end to learn something new about those obscure late 70s years in Birmingham.


Simon Willescroft says "I like the ideas"

>> On my last day in London back in November I met Simon Willescroft at the studio. I wondered if he was there to lay down sax parts on the new record but he said not yet, he just came to listen to the music. I asked him if liked the songs and he said "I like the ideas, there are some really cool ideas". I suppose this was his first approach to the new Duran music, maybe a way to familiarize with the new stuff and start thinking to the mood, the atmosphere of his upcoming intervention in the recording studio. He's a cool bloke and he gladly posed for this picture.


Flashback! Duran Duran in the studio, February 1982, recording Rio

Extraordinary picture-document | Duran Duran at AIR Studios in Oxford Street, London, with producer Colin Thurston in February 1982!
Get the full exclusive layout!


Duran Duran products out now or in the near future

Careless Memories, book out this month?!

Denis O'Regan said in December about the upcoming release: "It's being printed this month for delivery in February!" You can sign up here to register your interest in the book:


Nick Rhodes recently said that the book has been designed by one of the finest graphic designer in the world, John Warwicker who actually designed the first Duran Duran logo featured on the labels for Duran Duran's "Planet Earth - Anyone Out There" single back in 1980 before the band were signed to EMI.

More of his recent work for the band includes art direction and design on the Astronaut album and the single "Sunrise".

According to some tweets, Denis hopes to bring the Careless Memories exhibition all over the world. He has mentioned New York, LA, Japan and Italy!

New Art-Rock tribute to Duran for the benefit of Amnesty International.

Manimal is about to release Making Patterns Rhime: An Art-Rock Tribute to Duran Duran for the benefit of Amnesty International.

Moby is doing a cover of Rio, the amazing LA trio VUMmusic are recording their version of "Winter Marches On" and Wearever Girls are going to record a cover of "Secret Oktober".

In The Pleasure Groove released in Poland and Brazil

In The Pleasure Groove has now been released also in Poland and Brazil, check out the adaptation of the cover layout in those countries.

Fan and collector releases his dream in full color

A new book chronicling Duran Duran's career through selected posters from loyal fan Andrew Golub's extensive Poster Archive.

It's a hard-backed 260-page, full color coffee table book with exquisite photo reproductions by Christine Born.

A lovely forword by Nick Rhodes is the icing on the cake for this top level Duran related release. A must for every fan.
You can buy your copy on Amazon.com!
Visit the book's Facebook page here

Unstaged DVD out in Germany on March 28, 2014


According to Amazon.de the Unstaged concert will be released on dvd on March 28, 2014.

Duran Duran & David Lynch

Studio: Indigo
€ 19,87
121 Minutes

You can pre-order your copy by clicking here

Nick, the photographer, contributes to Untitled Mag

The legendary Issue

As we all know Nick is a very talented photographer. Beside spending the time polishing his own massive photography archive and working on some photo book releases [read more about this below], he has also found time to do a photo shoot with The Bloom Twins in London.

The photo shoot took place at the Bulgari Hoteland will be published on the upcoming Legendary Issue of the amazing Untitled magazine.

Below the cover of "Clubs, Drugs and Canapés", a book by Nick Valentine. Nick Rhodes shot the picture for the front cover layout!


A Classic (POP) John Taylor interview

Four Question to John Taylor [Classic Pop excerpt]

One of your former collaborators, Nile Rodgers, is enjoying a career renaissance. You must be delighted for him.

I couldn’t be happier. I always felt he was under-acknowledged.
People are now looking at that period - of course the Chic work, but all that stuff - and realising what great music it is. But his fortune turned around when he had cancer. His specialist told him, ‘You just need to play’ that’s the best therapy .you can have,’ so he went from schmoozing to gigging. In his own way, he’s as impactful as Quincy Jones. Daft Punk came along and blessed him, and now everybody’s eager to see what he will do next.

 James Murphy is just, like, ‘wow’

You have always championed a wide range of new music. What excites you at the moment?

All sort of things. Jonathan Wilson’s Fanfare is one of my favourite albums in recent years. I’ve enjoyed Kanye West, Daft Punk, I’m digging the Arcade Fire album. Bowie’s comeback was a bit of a mindfuck. The best music to come out of that was the James Murphy remix of Love is Last - I think it’s serious, and I kinda wish he’d produced the whole album. James Murphy is just, like, ‘wow’.

 books, books and more books

Will the other Duran Duran members follow your footsteps with their own autobiographies?

Not as far as I know. Nick’s more of a photo guy, he’s got a few things up his sleeve. He’s got a trilogy planned over the next few years. Simon was thinking about releasing a book of lyrics; that didn’t go anywhere, but I think it should. I did mine at the right time, because now we’re balls to the wall getting the new album done.

You recently lent your support to the Amy Winehouse Foundation by donating an auction lot. As a recovering addict yourself, was it important to be involved?

Yes, I’ve got a lot of respect for [Amy’s parents] Mirch and Jonis. I can’t think of a better way to honour Amy’s legacy and memory. They are for real, getting stuck in really up to their necks. I think it’s good for Britain and the world of recovery. Out of something awful, something very positive is happening.

La Dolce Vita of Duran Duran

One of the little presents that I gave to the guys was a very rare picture from my [can I say extensive?] visual Duran Duran archive of Simon, Nick and John with the extraordinary Federico Fellini. I knew that both, Nick and John are great Fellini fans so I wanted them to have such a fantastic picture that documents the guys meeting the Maestro in Cinecittà [Rome] back in 1989, when the guys paid homage to the director while he was working on the film La Voce Della Luna [The Voice Of The Moon].

They loved the picture [check out John's face in the picture above right]. That picture brought back some memories. John:
"I have a letter somewhere, he wrote us a letter back in 1990 to congratulate us for our new record...

Nick, a true lover of Fellini's work, said he had only one picture documenting the encounter and he seemed delighted to get one more.

Nick has a photo-book trilogy planned over the next few years


The first one will be released very soon!

At the end of November I asked Nick about his photo projects and his intention to dedicate more time to his photography work [book and exhibitions]... he replied right away saying "my new photography book will be published in February". He then added that it's a book about the "Bei Incubi" photographic project, "it's actually a development from that exhibition."
We assume the book release has now been pushed a little bit forward because Nick has been very busy with the Duran Duran album, and we know how he love to take care of all the details in his projects. But the Bei Incubi book is definitely something that will be out this year. According to John [please read the above Classic Pop interview excerpt] Nick’s got a few photo things up his sleeve. He’s got a trilogy planned over the next few years.

"I Iike to take chances artistically.
I think it makes life much more interesting;
and if you don’t, and you just do ths same thing,
it’s very easy to get stuck in it. So, my way of doing things
is to tread a little bit further out on the ice
each time and try not to fall through."

Nick Rhodes, Untitled mag

Isabella Blow: Fashion Galore!

Exhibition in London until March, 2 2014

A few pictures of Nick and Isabella taken over the years from my Duran visual archive, from left: at the London Fashion Week Autumn/Winter 2006 - at the 6th Annual White Tie & Tiara Ball at Sir Elton John Residence in Windsor. And a rare black & white one: Manolo Blahnik, Isabella Blow, Nick and Bryan Ferry at the Vanity Fair Swinging London dinner, River Cafe, taken on November 20, 1996


“Isabella Blow was a champion of creative talent. So much that we know today would never have happened without her vision and her support of British fashion and creativity was unique.”


On November 19, 2013 Nick and Nefer attended the Isabella Blow: Fashion Galore! exhibition at Somerset House in London.

The fashion guru was worried about her 'waning celebrity status' when she killed herself by drinking half a pint of Paraquat weedkiller back in 2007 [after several more suicide attempts.]
After her death, Detmar Blow confirmed that his wife suffered from depression and that she had once declared, "I'm fighting depression and I can't beat it"

It has been said that the Tatler magazine fashion editor - famous for her designer hats and blood red lipstick - was worried about how she would support herself in future as her career faded.

"Her life was as colourful as her fashion sense"

Famous for her passion for wearing flamboyant hats and blood-red lipstick, Mrs Blow was once described as one of the 20 most important people in fashion. She began her career in 1981 as an assistant to Anna Wintour, now editor-in-chief of American Vogue. Returning to London in 1986, Blow worked for British Vogue, The Sunday Times Style magazine and most recently Tatler, as their fashion director. She was also resposible for the "Who's A Pretty Boy Then" article dedicated to Nick. [Quote: Nick Rhodes is the ideal boyfriend: he'll dress you, make you up - even sing to you.] The article features an amazing interview and unusual pictures of Nick wearing heels -

While I was in London I went to get a glimpse of the celebrities attending the opening of the fabolous exhibition... Nick was was in attendance... Isabella Blow was one of his closest friends. Among others that evening I spotted the amazing Grace Jones, Boy George, Philip Treacy, Stella Tennant and many others.

The day after the exhibition I met Nick and the show was obviously subeject of our chat, I asked him if he enjoyed it and if he thought the exhibition represented properly the artist's work. He said yes, it was very well put together. When I mentioned their long time friendship, he actually said "it's so sad".

Lady Xanax and Mr Xanax

At some point of our conversation I told him that since the first listen I though that Lady Xanax was dedicated to Isabella, but I wasn't sure about that, it was just a personal though. I wouldn't never imagined to ask such a question to Nick but the chat was going on in such a natural way that the question popped in my mind... after 14 years since the song's release.

He said yes, then he added that it actually talks about another person as well, a completely different person, a man actually. He said that with with a lovely-lovely smile. We actualy thought it was himself the other person... but I didn't ask...

But Simon seems to confirm in an interview released a couple of years ago [by Creem magazine] that the other person is Nick himself.

Creem | I must say, sex and a high level of decadence seem to be persistent themes in Duran Duran songs like the subject in Lady Xanax about a woman who has stayed out all night and now has cracks in her makeup.

Simon: Well, Nick wrote the lyrics to Lady Xanax so it’s actually got a lot of him going on in it. I just kind of fine-tune the songs so that they ‘sing’ right. It’s interesting because Nick has a very different point of view to mine.

So ‘Lady Xanax’ could almost be a pseudonym itself of Mr Rhodes? Nick’s certainly brought a lot of ambiguity to the Duran table.

Simon: He has.

Picture of Nick with the orange sculpture: Masterpiece Midsummer Party in aid of Marie Curie at The Royal Hospital Chelsea. Taken on July 2, 2013

Here comes the morning light you can't face
Lie on your bed staring into space
Watch the time slip gently by, don't ask why
So many friends but nobody calls
Can't be alone when the darkness falls
Got to make it to the party, socialize, break the ice
Lady xanax where were you last night
All the cracks in your makeup are starting to show
Don't think that you realize how far away you go
Now look into the future and don't be afraid
Afraid of what is on your mind
There in the emptiness deep inside
You are the one that's been left behind
So you paint with your mascara, social eyes don't look twice
Lady xanax where were you last night
All the cracks in yur makeup are starting to show
Don't think that you realize how far away you go
Now look into the future and don't be afraid, afraid
Lady xanax you're out tonight
Lady xanax you're oh so tired
Lady xanax sleep well tonight
Lady xanax

"Fashion is a vampiric thing, it's the hoover on your brain. That's why I wear the hats,
to keep everyone away from me. They say, 'Oh, can I kiss you?' I say, 'No, thank you very much. That's why I've worn the hat. Goodbye.' I don't want to be kissed by all and sundry. I want to be kissed by the people I love."

From left: Boy George, Nick and Nefer [press pics] - All small pics taken by Salvo; From top center: Grace Jones, Rupert Everett, Boy George, Grace Jones, Stella Tennant.


Taylor & Rhodes: Duran Duran... and beyond!

John Taylor & Nick Rhodes, two workaholics writing a Musical

"It's quietly caming along very well"

"John Taylor and I are working on a musical together" said Nick during the interview published on Harper's Bazaar from June last year. "That’s something that we probably won’t have finished for a year or more. We’re keeping ourselves busy".

Last time John and Nick collaborated on a side project was in 2006, when they released Only After Dark, a compilation album compiled by them both.

That was such an interesting news so I had to ask Nick about it... when the discussion shifted on the subject, I asked if the musical was in some way related to Duran Duran. He said "no no, it's something completely different." So I said, I suppose the project has been set aside at the moment as the Duran album seems a priortity, but Nick surprised me saying that they have been actually working on it 'anytime in between the new album sessions' and they were going to work on it in December, as the as soon as the band would get a break from the Duran N°14 recording sessions.

  Picture on the left | We had a laugh taking that picture! I was freezing, John came out from the studio in just red flannel shirt, no jacket, so when I came close to him, as he asked if we wanted to take a picture, I felt how warm he was, so I told him and he replied [laughing] "I'm hot stuff!"

Nick Rhodes Tidbits | Did you know that Nick has been one of the guests of the Founders Forum?

Founders Forum is a community for the best global entrepreneurs in media and technology.

Founders Forum brings together over 3000 of the world's best, brightest and most dynamic digital entrepreneurs, who engage in open debate, brainstorming, discussion and problem solving.

The invite-only forums are currently held in London, New York, Los Angeles, Mumbai and Rio de Janeiro.

Founders Forum was set up in 2005 by Brent Hoberman [lastminute.coml] and Jonathan Goodwin [The Wireless Group] in the picture with Nick.

Get two nice pics of Nick Rhodes and Nefer Suvio taken on Valentine's Day at the Pam Hogg Autumn Winter 2014 Fashion Show at London!


John Taylor gets Polish version of ITPG at the O'Regan exhibition

Fan report from London

Report by Anna Polak [in the picture with Simon]. Photos by Maciek from duranduranpoland.com

On 5th December, at 15 Foubert Place, London, the band attended the special event organized to launch the Careless Memories exhibition, featuring photographs taken by Denis O’Regan during the Sing Blue Silver 1984 North American Tour. The guys arrived, as usual, one by one giving us the chance to greet them at the entrance of the venue. The Le Bon family was represented by the head of the household as well as by the stunning ladies, Yasmin, Amber, Saffron and Tallullah.

Nick was accompanied by Nefer, Roger by his wife, Gisella, John came alone but on his way back he was picked up onboard of an amazing Jaguar.

Each of them stopped to give us some autographes. Apart from us from Poland, there where some fans from Argentina, Chile and Italy.

Later in the evening we had the chance to have a chat with them. Me and Maciek came from Warsaw to give John the Polish version of his autobiography which had come out a few days before. John immediately recognised that it was a Polish version, he asked if the translation was good. We spoke a bit about the lttile mistake in the First Chapter – the Polish version is the exact translation of the English version:

”Brighton, 29 July 1981”... It's a week after my twenty-first birthday”

The American translation and the Italian one are correct. John admitted that he had been told about it. Finding such mistake is a good test of knowledge of the JT’s biography, isnt’it?

We’ve asked Roger if they will be in the studio the next day. He confirmed and, as usual, he kept his promise. A very reliable man!

So, we had the chance to meet them once again the next day. It was so exciting to see them going to work to record the new album! Simon came first, proudly driving his bike, parading in great Star Wars style with his helmet on. Then followed Roger, John and Nick. Each of them dedicated us some time but they were visibly in a hurry to go to work. “I have to go to work” it was the sentence that each of them told us and we were very happy to hear it - it meant only one thing: that the album will be out this soon!
They stayed in the studio for many hours, we didn’t see Nick and John coming out although it was very late. Let's hope for the best!

Above from left: Roger's thoughts on Denis photographs from the great Sing Blue Silver book. The touring band in the US in 1984. And a rare photo flashback dated 1983 from duranasty's visual archive: the band, their girlfriends and the managers in Cannes, before the Sing Blue Silver tour kicked off. Click here to get a big scan of this great picture which was originally published on 'Photo' magazine from France.

Scans from International press

Here you can get a lovely video of the band live in Chile at Teatro Caupolicàn originally posted by 24 Horas TV two years ago. We don't usually post videos but since we are all Hungry Like The Wolves for Duran Live we just felt it was a nice thing to share with you all. The short clip features three songs [song titles originally messed by the local TV, sorry about that]: Planet Earth, A View To A Kill and All You Need Is Now. Special thanks to Faby for recording and sending along the video and to Mr T who converted the file in a more accessible and downlodable file for the web. Enjoy! [Click Here > Save Targer As]

Click on the all thumbnails to get full scans of the articles!

Different magazines sources: The Guardian about in The Pleasure Groove, an article from a Danish magazine [it talks about John and Renee's relationship - it was released when John visited Copenhagen in support of ITPG]. From the Italian Vanity Fair, another article about Simon in Antigua. Click on the thumbnail to get full scans.

Different magazines sources: great interview to Nick about TVMania from Classic Pop, Unstaged news from Classic Pop, some gossip about Nick and Nefer, Nice clipping featuring Nick and Mark. Click on the thumbnail to get the full scan.

Very good article about Malcom Garrett and his Assorted Images from Classic Pop, responsible for some of the best album cover ever. His name will be always tied with Duran Duran for his amazing work on album such as Duran Duran and Rio.

This Y&S article is in Italian. The most hilarius part of the interview is when the journalist ask about Simon's visit to Berlusconi's Villa Certosa in Sardina, back in August 2008... Here is a translation of Simon's ironic reply.
"I sail quite often, I love your beautiful coasts, I come often to Sardinia." says Simon. Right, you were guest of Berlusconi, says the journalist,. "For heaven's sake, no indiscreet question... I will only reveal what I've seen. I saw beautiful women and an elegant dinner. But what impressed me was a SnowWhite statue outside the villa, with only six dwarves. Don't ask what that meant... It's a pleasant man, but I would never marry him!

Here an exclusive and unseen picture of Simon sailing in Sardinia back in September 2013!

Very good article with amazing front cover dedicated to Duran and cool live pictures. It's from the Middle East Sound & Stage magazine and talks about the local manager that brought Duran Duran and other stars in Dubai back in 2012.

The above article from Ski and Snow Board magazine is about Simon's ice sailing adventure and his interest in ski.

About the article from Panorama [Italy] that you can download by clicking on the above thumbnail | Translation: A lilac dinner organized by Gela and John Taylor at their South Wraxall Manor in the Wiltshire was the beginning of the three days celebration of Hamish Bowles’s 50th birthday back in June. After the dinner the 100 selected guest coming from around the world, went to the garden for the birthday cake moment. Opera singers, Cole Porter timeless songs and fireworks were the ingredients of the party. * Hamish Bowles [born 22 June 1963] is an English fashion journalist. Since 1995 he has been the European editor-at-large for the American edition of Vogue.



That's all folks!

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Special Thanks to Duran Duran: John Taylor, Nick Rhodes, Simon Le Bon and Roger Taylor.
This installment wouldn't be the same without the precious help of Annamaria V., Simona B., Camillo, Faby Le Duranie, Ana, Maciek and Glamour Tiger Baby Junkie and Steen.