Article on the current issue of italians Vanity Fair, issue # 11, march 23 2011

Translation from italian to english by Salvo - photographs by Mary McCartney & Linda Eastman

no regrets except botox



Euphoric as twenty years ago, Duran Duran try on clothes for the Vanity Fair photo shooting. Their new album, All You Need Is Now, is about to be released, magically produced by Mark Ronson [maker, among others, of Amy Winehouse's success], who brought their sound to the origins that we loved so much.

They look like kids on a trip: they walk around in underpants, choose what to wear, sing, stare at the mirror and joke.
Apart from the quiet [or restless] Roger, I will have a a conversation with each of them in a room that looks like a old Harry Potter set.

I will amiably chat with Nick Rhodes, the dyed blond, to the table, is interesting, intelligent, cultured. The postmodern friend of Oscar Wilde.
It has a soft spot for Italy and photo books. Nick Rhodes was a real surprise.

John Taylor chose to sit on the couch where he crouches in a corner looking shy and reserved, his voice was low.
But suddenly the tone rises when his daughters calls: "Are you happy?....I haven't heard from you from sunday... you wore the pink dress at the party?... I saw you Twitter, you looked great... call me when you land". When he puts down the phone he says with little bitterness: " I have to follow her on Twitter to know news about her".


With the arrival of Simon Le Bon I don't have anymore doubts about who is the charismatic leader in the band. He does not sit on the couch, he doesn't stretch his legs on the table. He chooses to stay on the throne. As he sees it, he sits down without any hesitation. It looks unpleasant but only for an excess vanity.

He is irresistible person, is a lot less chubby than what you see on television. He doesn't starts to speak before he gets a good cup of tea, as the English says, and he teases me saying that italians will never understand tea. Then silence falls, he has a moment of weariness.


It 's more difficult to take pictures or give interviews?

"Our life is always a race against time, but we're lucky guys because we do a job that we love so much. Doing interviews or photos for us is not as much fun as writing music, but it's part of our work.
Without your article, no one would know that we have just released a new album. But I always see the glass half full, so I try to have fun anyway.

All You Need Is Now recalls The Beatles's All You Need Is Love. Suddenly we don't need love anymore?

"Of course we need love. But we have to learn to apreciate the present - now - otherwise we'll never find love.
We have to love life even when we we don't like it, even if it's work or a discussion. That's the step before love.
It is a fundamental concept when you are around my age."

 

You are still experiencing a good time...

"Yes, it's our second youth. Being in the band it's like being teenagers again, we feel like when we finished high school. Anything was possible. At the Milan concert [on February 25] we had fun as hell".

But everyone wanted to hear Wild Boys!

"You can't sing everything! Otherwise the concert would last 4 hours. I went to see Bruce Springsteen, songs were beautiful, but it never ended. At the end I couldn't wait to go home."

For many people, even now, Duran Duran are stuck in the Eighties, does it annoys you?

"Well, there is a strong component of nostalgia that reminds those time, but it would be simplistic to think that our current success is referred only to that. People have lived with affection all our phases and our comebacks.
Sure, the past has conditioned us a lot, but in a positive way. It's part of us and is also part of you."

It is a period that has been revaluated only recently.

"Rightly so. Crazy years but very fun, much more of the Nineties and those after. People experienced. Just think about what came out from that period: The Cure to Depeche Mode, from Prince to Madonna. In fashion Versace, Armani and Jean Paul Gaultier.
Basquiat and Keith Haring's art: everywhere there was a great expression of individuality. In the nineties everyone wanted to be identical to the others. How sad."

What do you remember of your eighties?
"Not much really. We were working a lot, that's it. We were very tired. There were always parties, a bit of drugs, and girls... but most of the time we were destroyed.

So much drugs?

"Not that much, given the period. My real drugs at the time were the girls".

Also italian?

"Some. I still remember a very beautiful one, but I won't tell you her name.
I met her in a tv show. She didn't speak English well, but I took her out to dinner anyway.
We spent a lovely evening, so to speak."
You are English, but you are real Latin lover. He laughs. "I was a real Latin lover."

Then you got your head straight

"We have always been good guys, but the media generate stereotypes. I have been married 25 years with a wonderful woman and now, for this reason, they tell me: "You're a conservative. "Go to hell I say! I I'm not a conservative. I just have a family, kids and a wife that I love".

What is special about Yasmin?

I don't think there is only one person in the planet to be happy with. But surely Yasmin is one of them. And I was lucky enough to meet her when I was young, so spent some wonderful years with her. She is fantastic, and above all she stand me. Even I when I awake her in the middle of night because I just want to talk".

What kind of father are you?

"Funny. And my daughters are very proud of me, not because I'm a singer, just because I'm their father".

What your daughters do?

"The eldest is a model, and has got her own balance, the second is part of a duet, and the youngest is still at school and she's interested in fashion. And all three can sing".

I can confirm that you are still in great shape. What's the secret?

"The real beauty depends on the one hand on who you are, spiritualy, on the other depends on what the others see: in my case, they actually see only if and how much I'm fatted".

Is that a problem for you?

"I have to be careful. I am a robust guy, I'm tall and my body is destined to become even bigger. That's my body composition... but I have a great voice and I have to be a little chubby, otherwise I couldn't sing and stand on stage".

Have you ever used botox?

"Yes, some years ago. Well, you see... [he makes different faces]... I need a facial expression. And botox was completely taking away the ability of facial expression... So, welcome back wrinkles!".

What do you think about men who use it?

"Everyone does what he wants, of course sometimes the results are embarrassing. Better to keep your face than wear a mask that makes you ridiculous".

Just a curiosity, to conclude. Why you are still here and Spandau Ballet didn't made it?

"Because we have always been very different bands with a different vision of music. The press has tried to build a rivalry between us, but we have always been nice to each other.

Have you ever seen them since those years?

"Sometimes we cross each other, and once we competed in a quiz show in England. We won"

 


 

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