John Taylor’s Autobiography Reactions and Thoughts

This week, we learned that John Taylor is working on his autobiography that is planned to be released in the fall of 2012.  As the news broke across the fandom, there were cheers of excitement as it seemed that everyone was excited by this piece of news.  Yet, as days have gone on, I have begun to see some fans reactions that are less than thrilled and I have seen some fans ask some good questions.  This is both my reaction to the news, my reaction to others’ reactions and some things that I wonder about!

First, I couldn’t be more excited by this news.  As a John Taylor fan, which I’m sure is very obvious by now, I long to find out everything I can about him.  I want to know what his life has been like.  I want to know what makes me tick, what makes him happy, what makes him sad, what worries him, what excites him, etc.  While I have read countless interviews with him and listened to tons of interviews and appearances, I doubt I really have a clue about who he really is.  I know what authors have said in articles.  I know impressions I have gotten from seeing interviews.  Yet, those only show so much and they might not always be accurate.  Do the authors of various articles portray him accurately?  I don’t know.  Is John always himself in interviews?  No clue.  Thus, I’m thrilled with the chance to get more of an insight into him.  I also feel like John, typically, is more revealing than other members.  He seems to share more of himself and more of the band than others do.  I have always enjoyed his writing with various blogs and postcards on their official site.  To me, this promises to be even more revealing and even more personal.  As a fan of the band, I am anxious to find out new information regarding their long history.  Obviously, this information will come from one member’s perspective.  However, some of the band’s history has been discussed in Andy Taylor’s book.  It will be interesting to compare their different perspectives.  Therefore, to me, this project is a win and cann’t see much of anything to criticize about it.  Yet, some fans have done just that.

Some fans seem to be a lot less excited about John’s autobiography.  Some have concerns and others actually don’t like the idea at all.  One major concern that I saw from a fan was the effects on the band and the dynamic within the band.  Yes, obviously, the rest of the Duran knows that he is doing this.  While they might be supportive of the idea, in theory, how will it be when they read something less than flattering about themselves or about the band as a whole?  Will that cause problems?  Obviously, when Andy published his book, he was out of the band and did not have to worry as much about that issue.  Will John worry about it?  Will he hold back because of this?  Will he be too concerned about causing waves within the band?  I don’t want that.  I want him to be open and honest but I also don’t want major problems for the band, either.  Thus, I think it will be an interesting balance that John will have to find.  Perhaps, the band will need to have some discussions about what he says.  Maybe they will be completely okay with what he writes because they know and recognize that this is just John’s perspective.  I don’t know.  Nonetheless, I could understand the concern that some fans pointed out.  That said, I can’t really understand people that are completely against the project. 

I have seen fans, though not many, actually say that they think this project is a bad idea.  The reason given usually focuses on the band.  John is a musician and should be focused on the his role in the band.  He should only be focused on Duran and nothing personal or individual, so the reasoning says.  This fascinates me.  First, I hope those same people feel the exact same way for any other project that any other band member does.  Thus, I hope they don’t like Roger’s djing, for example.  Nick should never work on any photography and Simon shouldn’t do songs with other artists.  Second, I don’t really think that the band should ONLY focus on the band 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year.  They deserve to have a break from their main job as we all do.  Breaks, I think, are healthy and can actually inspire new ideas.  Maybe John will think about some idea that he had a long time ago that he put aside that would actually be really cool if he and/or the band finished now.  I also believe that if people focus on their jobs all the time, this can lead to burnout.  Burnout with a band means that the band ends.  Thus, I’m good with breaks if it means that the band’s lifeline continues longer.  Now, some people may not want to read it.  They may be fans but don’t want to read something that will cause them to lose respect for one of their idols.  I can understand but the solution to that is simple.  Don’t buy it.  Don’t read it but don’t stop the rest of us from reading it.

No matter what any of us think about this project, it will be made.  Then, we will have plenty to talk about.  Rhonda and I plan on discussing the book, chapter by chapter.  We could and probably should do the same with Andy’s.  As I wait for the book to be published, I can ponder what exactly he is going to focus on.  For example, will he talk about his childhood and what his family was like?  Will he talk about his friendship with Nick and their decision to form a band?  How much will he discuss his struggle with addictions or his unsuccessful first marriage?  How much will he talk about the other guys?  How much will he talk about the fans and interactions with them?  Then, what will the fan reactions be like?  Will they think better of John?  Will there be things mentioned or discussed that upset fans?  Will John be totally open so that every reader will be on the same page or will there be subtle elements in which we are left to discuss what he really means?

Personally, I can’t wait to read it.  I’m sure that the day it comes out, I will find my couch and not leave it until the book is done.  Then, I will look forward to all of the discussion that will take place!


4 thoughts on “John Taylor’s Autobiography Reactions and Thoughts”

  1. I'm pretty much in agreement with you — I can't wait to read it, but I do worry that he'll hold back a little on anything critical he might want to say about other band members. I'm also curious that he's working with a “co-writer.” I wonder what role he will be playing, maybe as more of an editor or helping with structure. I love John's “voice” as a writer and I really hope that won't be diluted by working with this co-writer.

    I'm also wondering if he's been working on it for awhile already, because the “Autumn 2012” release date seems pretty optimistic, considering the tour schedule. He probably won't have much time to focus on it for the next few months at least.

  2. I've seen some of his posts on twitter and it appears to me as though he has already been working on it. He'd mentioned something about going through the old photos and things. I do think that they have some down time on tour with all of the traveling and things, but I don't know if John is able to write like that – some people can, and others cannot. I'm looking forward to reading it! -R

  3. Why would any fan want to prevent a celebrity from writing a biography. I like Duran Duran, but I find it incredibly unfair if someone thinks a member of this band cannot have any projects or interests outside of this band. Just think if the shoe was on the other foot. What if someone became famous over night for something they did, like writing a blog about photography. Now the fans of the blog are up in arms if the writer takes a week off to pursue another hobby, like reading. Give me a break, and fans really should give celebrities the personal space to do as they choose. I have read a range of biographies that are tell all or more just about their part on a TV show/band, and people complain about everything. For instance, I read one biography where people were criticizing a celebrity for talking about their sex life too much, and then another actor was accused of not talking about their personal life enough. Some people will always complain, that is what I learned.

  4. I think you are absolutely right about people complaining no matter what! Just the other day I saw someone ask why John is writing a book like it was some weird, horrible idea. I don't get it.


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