His life in Duran Duran was a blur of girls and drugs (and John Taylor says that like it was a bad thing)
- Last Updated: 4:59 AM, October 7, 2012
- Posted: 10:47 PM, October 6, 2012
In The Pleasure Groove
Love, Death & Duran Duran
by John Taylor with Tom Sykes
Over Christmas, 1984, Duran Duran bassist John Taylor was greeted at his parents’ house by four huge bags of fan mail. As his parents gushed with pride, Taylor, noting how his folks “sounded like two fans who found their way into the house and inhabited my parents’ shells,” lost his mind.
“I emptied the sacks in a rageful frenzy, dumping the contents violently on the floor . . . frothing at the mouth, tearing up the envelopes unopened. My parents watched the rampage, their mouths agape. ‘Don’t you get it, you two? I don’t f - - - ing care about any of this!’ ”
Taylor’s memoir, written with former Post columnist Tom Sykes, could have been subtitled “Rich White Rock Star’s Problems,” as he continually bemoans the burden of too many drugs to consume and babes to take to bed.
At 13, Taylor, born Nigel, bonded with 11-year-old Nick Bates over their love of glam rockers like David Bowie guitarist Mick Ronson. As teens, the pair embraced the genre’s fashions, from the baggie double-breasted suits of Roxy Music singer Bryan Ferry — Taylor’s idol — to gender-bending chiffon and animal-print scarves.
Their attire made them targets in their blue-collar town of Birmingham.
“We often drew insults from construction workers,” he writes, noting one incident where the pair were accosted by “a gang of denim-clad bozos” who screamed, “We are gonna get you! You fairies are f - - - ing dead!”
Blending their glam-rock influences with punk and New Wave, and changing their names to John Taylor and Nick Rhodes, the pair hooked up with drummer Roger Taylor and guitarist Andy Taylor (none of the Taylors are related), and singer Simon Le Bon, who showed up to the band’s first meeting in “skintight leopard-print ski pants with loops under the boots,” looking to Taylor like “Shakespeare’s idea of a rock star.”
The band signed to EMI and released their first single, “Planet Earth.” Taylor was 20 years old. There wasn’t much struggling after that.
What there was plenty of was cocaine.
“In London, in the music business, cocaine use was as normal as drinking a pint of bitter was in the pubs of Birmingham,” Taylor writes. “The business took account of the hours lost to hangovers and scrambled thoughts. Hundreds of grams were being charged to record-company accounts across the city every week.”
As the band’s profile rose, so too did the worship of teenage girls. Taylor, a self-declared former nerd, soon discovered the potency of mixing admiring fan girls with copious amounts of drugs.Follow @NYPostOpinion