Story starts back when all five of us took a year off to do our own thing.
I went off on my boat, Drum, that, by the way, has been blamed for a lot of
things, but that's not blody fair, is it?
Anyway, we did this whole year-off thing but we always planned to get back together to make the new Duran album. Then Roger Taylor, our drummer, suddenly said "I 've had enough" and that made everybody step back and wonder what the hell was going on there.
Roger didn't exactly have a nervous breakdown, but you could see it coming. He was devqeloping agoraphobia and fear of confronting people and being confronted by them. That cause a great big hole in our hearts, really.
Then after Roger quit, I think Andy thought, well, one guy's gone so isn't that important any more. He used this as an excuse to back out on everything. What Andy always really wanted was to be centre-of-the-stage guitarist. He was bored or not satisfied being just the guitarist in Duran Duran. He wanted a lot more than that. So he started his own solo project going.
To this day, John says he reckons that Andy had no intention whatsoever of coming back to the group .
That wasn't what I thought. When I came back from boat race, I went straight to Paris, where we were supposed to meet up to record the new album. Andy wasn't there the others told me he'd refused to come.
"Don't worry, I'll sort it out" I said. "I'll phone him up, I'm sure he'll listen to me, I know I can do it!?".
So I spent a week trying to get Andy on phone. Impossible! I got his secretary, I got his manager, I got his bodyguard once then I got his bodyguard again, I even got his cleaner three times.
no Andy. So Nick, John and me started working on the album in the Maison Rouge
studios in Paris (ndr: Maison Rouge studios is in London). Suddenly we heard
that Andy was in England. So I phoned up everywhere I possibly could, trying
to get hold of him. And then I got trough. "Hi Andy" I said, "this
is Simon". And he just didn't know what to say to me...
"Ok, we seem to have a little problem here" I went on "so why can't we talk about it? I'm coming over to England I'll see you tonight"
So I went to his flat and I was feeling like, you know, this is my mission! Like Rambo, going back to England to get Andy out! So I went there and we had a lovely evening with him and his wife.
Andy's side of the story was this: he said he was very worried, that he didn't want the band to do anything that didn't match up to our previous work. And he felt that because Roger wasn't in Duran Duran any more, we simply wouldn't be the same.
was also worried about the situation with our management (we'd taken over
our own) and the record company.
Andy was very concerned that we were getting a shoddy deal. I said, "well, maybe it's not the best deal, but then we haven't made a record for three years now. So what can you expect? To be treated like John Lennon returning from the grave?
But Andy was adamant. "We've got to sort this business out before we make the record" he said "And that's gonna take us a very, very, very long time"
since I'd already set myself up as sort a of go-between, I stayed in England,
I phoned Nick and John in Paris and told them: "I'm bringing Andy with
me, he's promised to come back. We arrive on Tuesday".
But Tuesday came and went. No Andy, I couldn't find him- he'd disappeared totally. Finally i got through his manager in Los Angeles and he said "No, Simon you can't speak to Andy, he's involved in some really important business at the moment". And then I understood these guy was really winding me up.
I stayed in England for a couple of days more and finally, I managed to track Andy down way out in Bath. So I talked to Nick and John and told them they should come over, which wasn't at all easy, obviously.
But I'd caught Andy, I had him by the tail like a slippery fish and was trying to wriggle out again, but I certainly wasn't going to let him go this time.
Nick and John came over for one night, so they could at least talk to Andy. And it ended up in huge arguments, quite tough, with me screaming at Andy and him screaming back at me. And then he said, "Ok, I'll start pooling material with you the first week of August".
Hang on Andy, that's a bit late?. We said It's June now, so that's another 12 weeks away. But we've got titles for songs now.
This is Duran Duran you can't just walk in and lay your parts down.
he said, "Well,
actually, my solo album is running a bit late!?"
And we couldn't believe it. is this what it's really all about?
In the end we gave up and left that meeting. We had Nile Rodgers with us to play guitar anyway, so we could get on with the album.
But then first of August came and went. No Andy. I phoned him up and he said, next week. The next week came, still no show.
And then the lawyer's letters started coming, from Andy solicitor, threatening to sue us if we made the record and used the name Duran Duran! Heavy stuff.
if you look at it in a certain business manner, the name Duran Duran is a
commodity which in itself is worth money.
I think all this was a bit of a "dog in the manger" situation he didn't want to have it himself, but didn't want anybody else to have it either.
Of course, we went on the defensive straight away and started getting heavy back.
One good thing the album was taking shape nicely by that time, thank God. The music was like a sanctuary from all that strife. The music was the one thing which was pure, and that's why the album sounds like it does simple, straight, down-to-earth music.
Then we found out that EMI Records I shouldn't be telling you this, but it shows how strange the music industry is that EMI Records had made a deal with Andy's other company, MCA, which was handling his solo stuff. Now , Andy was actually signed to EMI to do everything. So MCA, I presume, were giving EMI a percentage to kind of pay them off!
Now, the fact is, EMI had to send a letter to Andy Taylor, demanding that he come and play with Duran Duran. It's incredible, isn't it? Just so they don't lose rights over him to get the money off his solo stuff...
Of course, that's normal business for a record company. But what happened? Andy bloody well turned up! I mean, that was the last thing in the world we wanted by then.
Suddenly the guy was in the country wanting to play on the record. So we said, "Forget it! We've done it now!" And he said, "You can't stop me, I've go a right to...
Andy came over and we had another meeting. We talked about it and the four of us realised that we were miles away from each other. There was me, Nick and John on one side, and Andy on the other.
Everything about him, even the way he looks, the hair the drawn face, all the stories in the papers saying: "I have been to hell and back I escaped Duran Duran" that's the guy's image, isn't it?
And we say it's not like that. We say Duran Duran is fantastic, it's great fun to be in, you go around the world, you get to play your music in front of people who think you're wonderful, little girls come and ask for your autograph, you get the best audience in the world...this is what we love.
But the bottom line is Andy just didn't want to be in the band any more so he simply fulfilled his contractual obligation... played on four songs and then off he went?