Tag Archives: John Taylor

2013 ➤ Duran’s Rhodes exhumes a 90s art-rock project that anticipated the downside of the internet

Duran Duran, Nick Rhodes, TV Mania, albums, photography, Bored with Prozac,

Never ask an artist “Why?” An inner Rhodes and another Cuccurullo, step up to brand their new project, TV Mania

➢ Nick Rhodes will exhibit a collection of original photographic works for sale at The Vinyl Factory Soho, London W1F 7BE, March 8-April 5. The collection, entitled Bei Incubi – translated as Beautiful Nightmares – will feature 20 Polaroids, and more than 30 original photographs and prints that have all been taken and signed by Nick.

❚ THE PHOTO SHOW celebrates the release on Monday of Nick Rhodes’s new experimental electronic album Bored with Prozac and the Internet? in a collaboration with former Duran Duran guitarist Warren Cuccurullo. Originally created in the mid-90s for the Broadway stage as the music to a “bizarre TV soap opera”, the tracks tell the tale of Cathy and Ray (named from the cathode ray tube) and their two children Sassy and Snoop, a fame-hungry family who give away their freedom to scientists in exchange for reality-show fame.

Bored was culled from a collection of tunes recorded when the band were between day jobs. Using samples from such sources as The Outer Limits and the British TV show Planet Fashion, TV Mania’s pastiche of cool beats and melodic hooks proved surprisingly prescient.

“It was innocently masquerading as an art-rock project, but there was a deep concept behind it all,” Cuccurullo says. “We were envisioning a world where a family would give up their day-to-day privacy and allow their existence to be televised to the masses, and this was two years before Truman showed and four years before Survivor. Now everyone is giving away their most intimate details online and on reality TV.”

“In 1996 the internet was still in its infancy,” Rhodes adds. “I was fascinated by communication and how things were becoming more instant and this was decades before all the sites we have now to communicate in different ways.”

A few months after Rhodes and Cuccurullo finished recording Bored with Prozac, a series called Big Brother hit the airwaves. “We looked at each other in absolute disbelief,” Rhodes says. “It was an idea that was in the ether at the time. We decided to lock it in the bottom drawer whilst we changed the story.”

➢ More details at TV Mania’s website

TAYLOR’s TALE FROM LOST SOUL TO HUMAN BEING

 John Taylor, Duran Duran, interview, books, video, In the Pleasure Groove,

John Taylor grilled for Google… Click on pic to run video in another window

❏ Also published today: John Taylor bassist and cofounder of Duran Duran can now be seen on video visiting Google Los Angeles last November to discuss his frank autobiography In the Pleasure Groove: Love, Death and Duran Duran. [Click on the pic to run video in another window]

Taylor tells his audience: “I have to fight to hold onto my memory these days, because there’s so much info coming at me… I started formulating an idea for the book, which is in three parts. There’s growing up in the 60s in the Midlands of England and becoming ‘John’… It’s a coming-of-age book, watching this little kid, an only child, and how he got into music. I had to find it for myself, at that time, 12-13-14, where the desire to remake my identity was so strong, and music in the UK had a lot of very strong personalities: David Bowie, Freddie Mercury, Rod Stewart, Bryan Ferry. And for a kid who was not really connecting with school, I started connecting with these guys.

“The second section is hysteria and that’s really about the first five years of the 80s, this wild ride Duran Duran took. Then the third part is about becoming an adult human being … some of the more profound highlights of the last 15 years: losing parents, gaining children, marriages, divorces, all of that sort of real-life stuff. But through the lens of an ex-popstar.”

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2012 ➤ How Duran’s Nigel John Taylor could have been happy in a shoegazer band

Duran Duran, John Taylor,books, autobiography,interviews ,Janet Street-Porter,

JT with Janet Street-Porter on ITV’s Loose Women: “It’s amazing what you can remember from the 80s, Janet, don’t you find?” What CAN John have meant? (Click pic to view video)

❚ A SHY ONLY CHILD, NIGEL JOHN TAYLOR wasn’t an obvious candidate for pop stardom and frenzied girl panic. But when he ditched his first name and picked up a bass guitar, everything changed. In the summer of 1978 John formed Duran Duran with his friend Nick Rhodes. One international rock-star life later, he is in Britain this week promoting his autobiography In the Pleasure Groove: Love, Death & Duran Duran which is published here by Sphere.

Duran Duran, John Taylor,books, autobiography,interviews

John Taylor’s London book reading

Take your pick between the two top interviews … Catch up on JT talking to Hardeep Singh Kohli on Radio 4 Midweek about being born a Nigel so shy he’d “have been happy in a shoegazer band”, on the loneliness of touring, on getting caught up in the hype though “I don’t ever want it to end” … on class A drugs, and on daring to ask producer Cubby Broccoli if he could write a Bond movie theme.

Alternatively you can witness the sexual chemistry when John Taylor visits ITV’s Loose Women, Carol Vorderman, Lisa Maxwell, Janet Street-Porter, Sally Lindsay. Right from the start Vorderman kicks off with sex, and we learn the significance of the number printed each day in Duran’s US tour booklet, about the road to recovery from drug addiction… plus more on JT’s mum being a “catholoholic”.

➢ In NYC on Oct 13 there’s a lunchtime book signing at Barnes & Noble Booksellers, E 54th St (US publication by Dutton Adult on Oct 16)

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➤ Le Bon takes wing during Duran’s return to Brighton

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❚ EXTRAORDINARY! IS IT POSSIBLE THAT Simon Le Bon’s voice sounds better than ever??? Even on an amateur concert video (above, posted at YouTube by Soralella71)) there was plenty of power and range to the tenor voice soaring over The Brighton Centre last night when Duran Duran opened with Before The Rain — all the more impressive since it was injuring his vocal chords that halted the AYNIN world tour in its tracks last May. There are 11 more gigs to play on this UK and Ireland leg of the tour, so fingers crossed.

➢ “Fizzing with the insouciant pop-funk of their most famous Eighties material” — today’s review at The Arts Desk

AUDIENCE VERDICTS AT FACEBOOK

❏ Corinna Scammell: Thankyou for Brighton — totally bloody marvellous and you did Secret Oktober!
❏ Lindsay Franklin: Bloody Brilliant Show last might in Brighton boys — it’s been too long! Last time I saw you was in the 80s. Even better now. Outstanding.
❏ Dan Thekebabman Burgess: Really enjoyed the show last night guys. Great job, simply amazing!
❏ Julie Stalford: Last night in Brighton was a fantastic night guys, thankyou so much, what a great great live band. Loved it.

Duran Duran, UK tour, Brighton Centre, John Taylor,video

John Taylor at Duran’s finale in Brighton last night: “That was definitely worth the wait. Thank you!” (Video grab from Soralella71 at YouTube)

A sentimental postcard from
John in Birmingham

➢ Dec 3: John Taylor on a DD family outing You can’t blame the Brum crowd for their sense of ownership of songs like Planet Earth and Rio, they were written in their back-yard. We have lived in a lot of cities over the years and there have been a lot of places I have called home for a time, but you know, there’s really only one, and that’s the city of Birmingham. It beget us and it made us. Thanks to it for a great night. / Read more online

➢ Ten killer DD vids to say welcome back to the UK

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2011 ➤ Spandau and Duran square up for battle just like the old days

Spandau Ballet, 2009, press conference, HMS Belfast, pop music, free CD

Spandau Ballet in 2009: answering our questions at their reunion press conference

❚ EVEN AS A UNIQUE CD COMPILATION of Spandau Ballet’s landmark hits is set for massive free distribution with The Mail on Sunday next weekend, Duran Duran announce a global concert live online at YouTube only days later, along with their own album release on CD. It could be the 80s all over again when the two arch-rival bands vied for the title of leaders of Britain’s New Romantics movement. So which veteran band will score the bigger hit in 2011?

Duran Duran, 2011, All You Need Is Now, YouTube, live stream, pop music

Duran Duran earlier this year: US and European tours, plus a live concert stream. Picture courtesy duranduran.com

Spandau’s special-edition CD features 12 tracks — half, including True and Gold, are remastered from their originals, with six live tracks coming from their show at London’s Sadler’s Wells in 1983, including the club anthem Chant No 1. The cover-mounted disc will be delivered free across Britain with every copy of the MoS, presumably because its marketing director expects Spandau to boost the paper’s circulation well past its average of 1,924,589 copies. Last Sunday Gary Kemp recalled the 80s for MoS readers: “It was madly competitive as we were all tribal. Duran Duran wanted to be more successful than us, we wanted to be more successful than ABC, or Culture Club, or Duran themselves. We spurred each other on.”

Duran Duran, David Lynch,poster,YouTube,Amex, Unstaged,concert, Los Angeles,Meanwhile today, Duran Duran announce that David Lynch — fabled director of the movies Eraserhead and The Elephant Man — has been enlisted to direct a live DD concert to be streamed online on March 23/24 to launch the second season of Unstaged, a music series sponsored by American Express and Vevo. Amex has pushed this internet venture to team breakthrough artists with influential filmmakers using interactive social media as the outlet (full details at Billboard).

During a Facebook Live chat from SXSW John Taylor admitted that how Lynch intended to video the show was still a mystery but “we know it’s not going to look like any concert film has looked before”. Audiences around the world will be able to switch between the director’s high-definition main stream and alternate “Lynchian” artistic viewpoints when they tune into YouTube on Wednesday in the US at 10pm EDT / 7pm PDT — which is Thursday at 02:00 UTC. The concert will also be rebroadcast for the UK on YouTube at 7pm on March 24. (Check here for regions where Unstaged will be viewable live. The Los Angeles concert will then remain online for a month.)

Can Duran attract a bigger audience than Spandau’s 2million Mail readers? With their US tour starting this week, DD’s comeback album is released in the US as a physical disc next Tuesday. The video of its title track All You Need Is Now has scored 629,689 views since it was posted on YouTube on Dec 20, so it’s anybody’s guess how many fans will tune in for the live webcast. What’s yours?

WHAT THE RIVAL BANDS SAY

Talking up the imminent free CD, Spandau Ballet told last week’s Mail on Sunday what the tracks meant to them…

Spandau Ballet, Reformation tour, John Keeble, Dublin

John Keeble: Dublin sound-check as Spandau’s Reformation tour kicks off 2009

Martin Kemp “We gave Instinction to producer Trevor Horn who really turned it on its head. It became a monster.”

Steve Norman on Lifeline “We knew we couldn’t stay an underground band for ever – the mainstream pop charts beckoned and we knew we had to deliver. Cue smiles and kisses to camera!”

John Keeble “Only When You Leave was the lead single from the Parade album as the band established a more rock-based edge. It opened doors to a new group of fans and gave me the chance to rock a bit harder on the drum kit.”

Tony Hadley “Sadler’s Wells was one of the best venues for us. It was an intimate gig and perfect to showcase tracks from our album True, such as Foundation – a slice of white soul-boy funky pop – Communication – a great upbeat number – and Pleasure, which really captures the essence of the era.”

Duran Duran ,All You Need Is Now,Nick Rhodes, video

Nick Rhodes: last November's video for the comeback single, All You Need Is Now. Courtesy duranduran.com

Over in the States, Duran founder and keyboardist Nick Rhodes discusses the David Lynch webcast with Billboard today:

“The stranger it is, the more beautiful it will be. What appeals to us very much about working with David is that we like the way he thinks about things and how he’s always gone out on a limb to make things different. He works completely outside of the system, and that’s what we try to do. I think the combustion between us and David should create something that nobody’s ever seen before, something mysterious and magical and surprising.”

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2011 ➤ Farewell Mick Karn, master of the bass and harbinger for the New Romantics

MICK KARN, the acclaimed exponent of the fretless guitar, died today in London from cancer. He was a founder member of the British art-rock band Japan, formed in 1974 with David Sylvian, Richard Barbieri, Rob Dean and Steve Jansen, heavily influenced by Bowie and Roxy. By their 1978 album Adolescent Sex, Japan had developed a unique visual style and innovative sound underpinned by Karn’s sensual bass. In all but club membership, Japan *were* the original New Romantic band

Mick Karn, Buddha, Commonwealth Institute, Steve Jansen Imageshop

Karn outside the Commonwealth Institute, Kensington (undated), photographed by © http://www.SteveJansen.com — Proceeds from the sale of Jansen’s photos have gone to help Mick in recent months

❏ Karn’s Facebook page notes this evening “Even on early Japan recordings, his highly distinctive fretless bass voice for which he is most renowned can be heard. By their swan song, critically acclaimed Tin Drum 1981, he was dubbed one of the best bass players in the world. He’d already supplied bass and sax work to Gary Numan’s Dance album and was the first Japan member with a solo record, Titles [hear audio below]. In 1983, Japan’s live album, Oil on Canvas, brought his playing to new ears: jazz legend Jan Garberek.”

❏ Update on Karn’s Facebook page, Jan 18 “Mick’s funeral service took place yesterday afternoon, Monday 17th January, in West London. The private ceremony was attended by close friends and family.”

➢ How Shapersofthe80s responded to the appeal for Mick Karn last June — plus Mick’s follow-up and background interviews

❏ Bassist John Taylor writes on the Duran Duran website “Nick and I first saw Japan at Barbarellas in Birmingham on their Obscure Alternatives tour and were blown away. They were so fresh, while every other band in town were tripping over each other in a rush to play the same three chords, Japan were brave in many ways. Mick changed my life in a good way. Quiet Life and Gentlemen Take Polaroids, Adolescent Sex and Tin Drum are amongst the best recordings made during the post-punk era in my view. Mick’s sax playing also was always interesting.

Adolescent Sex ,1978, Japan pop group, Mick Karn

Adolescent Sex, the 1978 album

❏ Review by Amy Hanson at AllMusic of Japan’s first album Adolescent Sex (1978) says “A remarkable debut, the set snarls with leftover punk intent, a few glam-rock riffs, and a wealth of electronics that not only reach back to the band’s youth, but also predate much of what would explode out of the next wave of British underground… [Later Hanson continues…] The ‘wow factor’ of an incredibly funky bass and guitar on The Unconventional, repeated again on Wish You Were Black, is not only a surprise but leaves one wondering if the band were closet Chic fans … A more exciting album than just about anything else they’d ever record, Japan were young, hungry, and more than a little rough around the edges. Despite the slick R&B work twined in, it’s important to remember that this band were in the sonic foothold of an early edgy era — groundbreakers at their own inception. ”

Japan pop group, 1978, Mick Karn

Japan in the late 70s: Rob Dean, Mick Karn, Richard Barbieri, Steve Jansen, David Sylvian

A/V tracks featuring Karn at YouTube

➢ Mick Karn, Sensitive (1982) — His first album as a solo artist displays his creativity after Japan’s split, accompanied by Japan drummer Steve Jansen and keyboardist Richard Barbieri

➢ Knights of the Opium Moon (ft Mick Karn) — Track 6 from the London electronic band Furiku’s debut album (Like a Freak, May 2010)… This has to be among Karn’s last musical collaborations. Karn’s own discography lists the four-track EP Love’s Glove as his last published recording in 2005. Dom Agius of Furiku tells Shapersofthe80s: “We were approached by Mick and his management in late 2006 via MySpace. They’d heard our work and invited us to remix a track of his. They sent over a selection of basslines but rather than do a conventional instrumental remix we decided — as long-term Japan and Mick fans — to write and record a new song — the “missing track off Tin Drum” if you will. So we sifted through, chopped and redited maybe six of the basslines together and then we wrote Knights of the Opium Moon over that. Mick and his management were thrilled with the results.”

➢ View TV interview with Mick Karn for Talkin’ Jazz c1993

➢ View video: JBK — Bestial Cluster Dutch TV session

➢ View video: Sons of Pioneers — The best-selling album Oil on Canvas was recorded live during Japan’s six sell-out nights at Hammersmith Odeon, in November 1982, on their last UK concert tour. Japan’s final live performance was on December 16 in Japan. Worsening personal differences persuaded the band members to go their separate ways virtually at the height of their creative and commercial success.

Japan pop group, Mick Karn, Hammersmith Odeon , 1982, Sounds ,Chris Dorley-Brown

Karn onstage at Hammersmith Odeon, November 17, 1982: Japan’s final UK tour. Photographed for Sounds © by Chris Dorley-Brown

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