Bassist John Taylor’s autobiography, “In The Pleasure Groove: Love Death and Duran Duran” is an insider’s look into one of the most iconic bands that dominated the charts during the “Second British Invasion” of the 1980’s. To date, Duran Duran has sold more than 100 million records and performed to sold out audiences in countries all over the world.
John’s book goes into great detail about many aspects of his life and career. From his early upbringing to the origin and meteoric rise of Duran Duran as well as its mid 80’s hiatus, when the band split into two hugely successful side projects:The Power Station and Arcadia.
John also pulls no punches in discussing his addictions to sex and drugs. His journey back is a true tale of inspiration.
The chapters are compact and the pages practically turn themselves. Filled with stories and photos from John’s personal collection of memorabilia, “In The Pleasure Groove” is a must-read not only for fans of Duran Duran, but also for connoisseurs of all things 80’s. It’s also a message of hope for those seeking inspiration in the face of their own addictions.
I had the pleasure of speaking with John about his new book and more in this exclusive interview!
What made you decide to write a book at this stage of your career?
I think now is a good time to write a book. I’ve got enough perspective and feel I’m on relatively safe ground emotionally and can go back and dip into those smoking, swirling times and not get caught up in it. I can be objective and speak cleanly about it. Also, there’s still time to come. I don’t feel like the end is near or anything like that. I have huge amounts of memorabilia from the early years of the band and also had a dozen or so really key scenes I thought would make for a perfect book.
I had spoken with someone who had read the book and mentioned how much they loved the scene with Sting where, as a child I went to see The Police perform. You can’t make up stuff like that. What’s written is absolute verbatim; exactly as it happened. It’s the kind of scene that would not have been impactful if I were sitting with Simon (Le Bon) doing an interview on CNN or speaking with you. It would be a total waste for me to try and lay that act out into that kind of an interview. I felt the only way to really give it the full impact was to write it. And it was fun! There were a lot of scenes I had fun writing about.
You mention the influence your Mom had on you quite a bit in this book.
My mom just loved pop music. When I was at a very young age, I really picked up on the way that she related to The Beatles. I also talk in the book about going to church and the Catholic songbook. How incredibly well written those songs were. Ones that appeal to people from the age of 4 to 90. Extraordinarily well put together, especially melodically.
Have you noticed anything different about the way people try to make it in music today?
I’ve lived in LA almost twenty years and am struck by how many of the musicians I meet tell me how they conceive of becoming successful. They’ll say: “Start by getting a lawyer, then get a deal, write some songs, then put a band together.” Its like, “Yeah but, when are you going to do a gig?” [laughs].
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.
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 (Rhodes) 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.
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.
Do you have any regrets?
I don’t honestly believe in regrets. If you’re happy with yourself right here, right now and can feel good about your relationships, then I can also feel good about everything that’s happened to get me here.
Is there a message you’d like people to take from reading In The Pleasure Groove?
The recovery aspect is important. I was exposed to such a powerful, profound method of recovery. I was very fortunate. I was brought back from the dead. It was a few years ago but I wanted to communicate that because there are a lot of people struggling with addiction. I wanted to find a way to put that out there in plain man’s language to let people know that there is hope out there.
Article first published as Duran Duran Bassist John Taylor – In The Pleasure Groove on Technorati.