Tag Archives: Andy Taylor

Happy 56th Birthday Andy Taylor!

Today is Andy Taylor’s birthday.

I remember the last time I saw a show with Andy – I believe it was in Las Vegas at the Andre Agassi Grand Slam for Charity show. October 1, 2005.

That was just over eleven years ago. I don’t know where the time goes, but somehow, it went. Andy is 56 today, and I am hoping he is happily enjoying his life somewhere, with his family, and feeling at peace.

I can remember chatting with him during a tweet marathon a few years ago – I liked him.  I never had the chance to really know him as anyone but “Andy Taylor from Duran Duran”, but on that one day, at that time, it didn’t matter.  I was a fan, and that experience will stay with me forever.

Many may not know this, but I wrote blogs for Andy’s (now defunct) website – andytaylor.tv for a while. I don’t want to over-characterize it, I didn’t work for him, and the blogs weren’t paid submissions, but I cared.  Andy felt strongly that it was time for fans to get more involved, to have more of a voice, and I championed that cause. I still do, in many ways. I also see that once you’ve been branded with the title of “fan” it is engraved upon you forever. No matter who I really am, or what I really try to do, that name supersedes.  People from the industry – whether band, management, or something else entirely – meet me, and the initial assumption is always that I must be one of those “crazy fans”.  It can sometimes feel like a very high hurdle to get past, and it’s not just ME – it’s any and all fans.  Andy understood that, partially because he was faced with a slightly similar dilemma. No matter who he is or what he tries to do, he will always be “Andy Taylor from Duran Duran”.  That ghost seems to be very difficult to live with, or live without.

I may not have always wanted to agree with his assessment of certain situations, and perhaps I’ve learned to accept his absence and move on – I still miss him.  I hope he is enjoying life out of the spotlight, and has a wonderful birthday.  Fifty-six years and counting!!

-R

 

Remember DD performing What Happens Tomorrow on GMA?

I’m sick. Not horribly so, but enough to where I’m having trouble staying awake and I’m fighting the urge to crawl back into bed. (although I’ll be honest: that last part is pretty normal for midweek!) As such, I’m keeping this post short and sweet.

On this date in 2005 – which was a very good year for Duranies, I might add – Duran Duran performed What Happens Tomorrow on GMA (Good Morning America), along with Save a Prayer.

I know from looking at our own “Day in Duran History” spreadsheet that there are a number of things that DD has done on the 1st of February throughout the years. Selfishly, I continue to keep picking THIS item because I remember that time period so well. It was exciting to be a fan. The original lineup was back together (as is evidenced by this video – fun seeing Andy on stage with them again), they had released a new album, and they were back on TV. It was like the 80s, without acne and frizzy hair!

So, forgive me as I spend another day thinking back to a really fun time in my life – and likely yours as well as I take another gander at Duran Duran performing What Happens Tomorrow on GMA!

-R

Do You Remember? New Moon on Monday Filmed 1984

Today is a special little day in Duran history, as far as I’m concerned. It is one that lives in infamy for the band…and one that I treasure.  On today’s date in 1984, Duran Duran filmed the video for my favorite video, New Moon on Monday.  (and isn’t it appropriate that today is in fact, Monday?)

Filmed in Noyers, France, the video (which I know we’ve all seen thousands of times) is about the band taking part in a resistance movement called “La Luna”.  Brian Grant was the director, setting out to create a short movie. Interestingly enough, Mr. Grant was not the band’s first choice for director – but their first choice (I’ll give you two guesses) was unavailable. (Yes, their first choice was Russel Mulcahy!)

As most fans know, there are several versions of this video available, the longest and most delicious being a 17-minute version included as an Easter Egg on the band’s video anthology DVD, “Greatest”. (actually, all but one of the versions is included as an easter egg on that DVD, happy hunting!) That version has plenty of dialogue between Simon and the female star, Patricia Barzyk. (she was Miss France in 1980!)

Shockingly, this is the band’s least favorite video, as Andy mentions in his book Wild Boy. (and later confirmed to me on Twitter as part of a day-long Tweet-spectacular) To be fair to the band, they had to give up part of their winter holiday to film, and it was cold. They “battled” the cold by drinking.

We all do what must be done.

Well done, boys….spending the day imbibing culminated in some of the most spectacular, wonderfully fantastical…dancing…EVER…at the end of the video. It is the gift that keeps on giving!  (I tease purely because I love.)

Although no twerking of any kind is involved that I can see (you’d only understand that comment if you were at the New Years Eve show in DC, which I was not…or if you were friends with Amanda, which I am), Simon does appear to nearly be taken out by a horse, and Nick dances. He DANCES.

Yep, the video is golden.

In all seriousness, I love this video because it’s long, it has a story to it, the styling of the band, (I always did love their bomber jacket phase), and the way they all look. (That’s right, I am mentioning their looks. I nearly floated away the first time I saw it.) If I wasn’t already completely infatuated, I surely was then. Nowadays when I see it, the memory of watching and squeeing with my friends makes me smile.

And sure, I chuckle at the dancing at the end. I would have needed to be drunk to dance on video too, so I get it.

Let’s watch again, for old times sake!

 

Alternate version:

 

Unfortunately, the 17-minute version has been blocked on YouTube recently, so I don’t have that one to share….but enjoy the others!

New Moon on Monday, 1984. Sometimes this feels like it happened a lifetime ago, but other times – I can hardly believe it’s been 33 years.

Do you remember?

-R

The Survey Says…

Last weekend, I did a little blog in which case I questioned the depth of fans’ Duran Duran collections, which you can read here.  In that blog, I asked fans to participate in 4 surveys, including the Duran albums they own, albums they heard completely, side/solo projects they own and side/solo projects they have heard completely.  As people participate, one factor became obvious.  I should have probably listed the extent of the side and solo projects.  For example, Power Station had two albums during their existence.  Thus, the results might not be as accurate as they could be. That said, this was all in fun so not a big deal.

Duran Duran Albums Owned:

For this survey, the question was asked:  Which Duran Duran albums do you own?  The results surprised but also did not surprise me.  The most commonly owned album?  Rio.  I would expect everyone who identifies as a Duranie to own that one.  Here are the results by most owned to least owned:

Rio
Seven and the Ragged Tiger
The Wedding Album
Self-titled/Arena/Paper Gods
Astronaut/All You Need Is Now
Notorious/Red Carpet Massacre
Greatest
Big Thing/Decade
Thank You
Liberty
Medazzaland
Pop Trash
Live from London
A Diamond in the Mind

I will describe my reaction to this list tomorrow, including when/where the big drops in ownership were.

Duran Duran Albums Heard Completely:

Ownership is different than having heard albums.  For example, some fans might have heard various albums but never bought or no longer own certain albums for whatever reason.  Unlike albums owned, there are not huge gaps between albums heard and albums heard a lot less.  Again, here is the list of which albums people have from the most to the least:

Rio/Seven and the Ragged Tiger
Astronaut/Paper Gods
Notorious/The Wedding Album/All You Need Is Now
Self-titled/Red Carpet Massacre
Big Thing
Medazzaland
Liberty/Thank You/Pop Trash

Like the first survey, the results surprised me and did not surprise me.  More reactions from me to follow on tomorrow’s blog.

Side/Solo Project Owned Completely:

Like the previous two surveys, the results both matched and did not match my expectations.  When I made the list, I left out Warren’s solo work simply because I forget about him (and I’m not really a fan).  Perhaps, if he had been included, the results might have been different.  Here are the most owned to the least owned by fans:

Arcadia
Power Station
John Taylor
Neurotic Outsiders
Devils/Simon Le Bon
Andy Taylor
TV Mania
Dom Brown
Freebass

Side/Solo Project Heard:

For this question, I asked fans which side/solo projects they have heard completely, have heard some of, and have heard none of.  Let’s start with the ones fans have heard completely from most to least heard:

Arcadia
Power Station
The Devils
Neurotic Outsiders
John Taylor
Simon Le Bon
TV Mania
Andy Taylor
Dom Brown
Freebass

Have heard some of from most to least:

Simon 
Andy
John
Power Station
TV Mania
Dom Brown
Neurotic Outsiders
The Devils
Arcadia
Freebass

Have heard none of from most to least:
Freebase
Dom Brown
Neurotic Outsiders/The Devils/TV Mania
Andy Taylor
Simon Le Bon
John Taylor
Power Station/Arcadia

All in all, I found the results fascinating.  I will dive into the results and give my reaction in tomorrow’s blog.  Before I do, what do you think of the results?

-A

Do You Remember? VH1 “The Set”

On this date in history, wayyyyy back in 2004 (which really doesn’t seem like it should be twelve years ago already, does it?) Duran Duran filmed a show for VH1 called “Bailey’s The Set”.

As I fondly recall, this was a show that local fans could enter a lottery of sorts for tickets. The show was filmed at Sony Studios in Culver City in front of a very small audience, and now there is an unofficial DVD of sorts available of the performance – which was shown on VH1 a week or so later.

A great many of my friends here in the area attended the show, but I did not. I tried for tickets, but this was at the height of the Fab Five reuniting, and tickets were hard to come by. My ongoing streak of luck (or lack thereof!) held through the lottery.  I have heard it was a really fun show, particularly since during that period, Duran Duran had been doing a great many arena-sized performances.

I don’t have the show in its entirety, but I did find a clip of Careless Memories to share.  These are actually kind of fun to watch, it was back when Dom was just subbing for Andy, and Anna wasn’t there – this may have been before she began touring with Duran Duran. Instead, there is Tessa Niles on backing vocals, I believe.

As much as I have enjoyed the recent Duran Duran tours, there was something very special about Duran Duran back in 2004…it was fun to look back.

Here’s another: (this clip doesn’t say it’s from the same performance but I am pretty sure it is)

-R

You Have to Make a Choice

Last week, I blogged about diffuser.fm’s ranking of Duran Duran albums, which you can read here.  While I wrote the blog, I began to wonder if all Duranies who read this blog own all of the band’s albums.  The hypothesis that I created in that blog is that there are some Duranies who do not actually own all of the band’s albums.  For example, I suspect that there are some who don’t own Medazzaland and Pop Trash.  Instead of just guessing that, I figured that I would create a survey to find out if my guess is accurate, which is below.  In the survey below, please click on all the albums you OWN.

Are there fans who don’t own the albums but have heard them?  Let’s find that out!

Beyond the band’s albums, I also wonder how many of the band’s side and solo projects fans have, too.  Maybe they have heard more than they own?  I want to know that, too, so I created more surveys to find out!

After I give everyone a chance to participate, I will do another blog to share what I learned or what I think I learned.  Of course, if you have predictions (and I bet you do!), please share them!  What will we find out with these surveys?

-A

P.S. If I have forgotten a side/solo project, just let me know.  I’ll add it with a separate survey.

A November Duran Duran Update!

A few things have happened in the past week that we haven’t really covered yet – so here’s the DD update!

ASCAP Golden Note Award

Late last week, Duran Duran was presented with the ASCAP Golden Key Award for songwriting. Simon, Nick and Roger were present for the awards (John Taylor was presumably in LA at his home) at One Embankment. Receiving such an award is a massive achievement and they join the ranks with other past recipients such as Alicia Keys, Stevie Wonder and Elton John. To fans, however, this is no surprise. We fell in love with songs like Rio and Hungry Like the Wolf but their talent goes well beyond their hits. Songs like The Chauffeur, Secret Oktober, Palomino, Land, Still Breathing, Planet Roaring and so on, are all perfect examples of why the band is so deserving of being recognized by ASCAP.

MTV EMA’s

In other award news, Duran Duran did not win the EMA for Best Live Stage, despite the best efforts of fans worldwide taking their time to vote. Martin Garrix was this year’s winner…but in our eyes, Duran Duran should have won hands down!

A Lesson in Copyright Law

The Fab Five lives on….this time, as members in a lawsuit over US copyrights. (Do you ever get the feeling that the band will never, ever, be fully rid of one another?  It’s like a marriage with children…you can end the marriage, but the kids are the ties that bind. No matter what!) That’s right, Andy Taylor is once again involved with the band, but only because of a lawsuit against Gloucester Place, part of EMI Music Publishing, which is owned by Sony/ATV – a US company.

This is where copyright law gets complicated. The copyright agreements are with Gloucester Place, and the band served that company notices terminating the grant of US copyrights to Duran Duran works (“works” is a term used quite frequently in entertainment law. The basic meaning is anything the band produces.) Gloucester Plan is asking the High Court (of the UK) to declare that the members have breached their music publishing agreement.

The band, on the other hand, is using US law, where songwriters have an “inalienable right” to call for a reversion to their copyright after 35 years (as an aside – this is where I sit back and ask myself, “Has it really been that long?”).  Nick Rhodes explains, “This provision was instigated to help rebalance the often unfair deals which artists sign early in their careers when they have little choice to try to get their first break, with no negotiating power and virtually no understanding of what their copyrights really mean for the future.” When the band requested the reversion back in 2014, they considered it a mere formality, until Sony (it always comes back to Sony somehow, doesn’t it?? They can’t seem to be rid of Sony either.) decided to challenge their right, calling it a contractual technicality.

According to Ian Mill, the Queen’s Counsel for Gloucester Place, the terms of the writer’s contracts were that they would not “seek to obtain a reversion of their copyrights” under the US copyright law and that they would be in “breach of contract should they do so”.

Since the agreements were made in 1980 – the agreements were made with the band members personally and are referred to as “the writers” – including Andy Taylor. Only Simon, Nick and Roger appeared in court, however.

Ultimately, this implication of this decision goes well-beyond the likes of Duran Duran. Many of our favorite bands of this same period (and beyond) would likely face similar fights in court. Any publisher who chooses to fight the protective measures of the US copyright law would find a home for themselves in the UK and set up shop there.

I’ll be interested to see where this lawsuit goes from here.  All in all, an interesting update for this time of year.

-R

source:

Belfast Telegraph UK

Power to Change the Point of View: Album Reviews

Our friend Manuela from Milan is back with a guest blog shortly reviewing the studio albums since Andy left the band for the second time. See how your thoughts match up with hers!  -R 

by Manuela Salvade

On September 26, it will mark ten years without Andy on guitars (or with Dom on guitars, depending on your point of view… Lol!).

(ed. note: Dom had played previously with Duran Duran, but Manuela means as a permanent member of the touring band instead of just as a stand-in for Andy)

While all the hard die fans are celebrating the lasting of this current line-up, I won’t share my feelings about it.  Instead, I’m will review their studio albums released during this period. Overall, I really love the albums, they’re awesome and I don’t find there is the same sort of “re-invention” we had with the Notorious” days.  That said, I love the wisdom they’ve acquired along the way. These three albums are part of a truly awesome legacy.

RED CARPET MASSACRE

At first I just found the music funny, dance-y and groove-y. I rated it as one of the best pop “experiments” done with producers who really don’t share much with their DNA, think of Alex Sadkin, or Ian Little in 1983. Few years since its release, they had a tour—with that memorable electro-set, no less—now my thoughts are that it wasn’t an album to underrate. RCM actually was a seed for the following albums! The real “geniuses” weren’t the Timbaland’s team, but just the 4 guys who today could capitalize the RCM moment. The guitars are awesome and not many noticed, because they were too busy ranting on the Andy/the 4 guys affair.

ALL YOU NEED IS NOW

Another awesome page of DD’s history. It features pop gems. There was chemistry with us fan—who can forget the interactions on the social platforms and during the concerts??—there was chemistry with Dom, whose guitars sounds fab. So, the main factors of “chemistry” and “peace-of-mind” made that period one of their best ones.

PAPER GODS

I love the accuracy in the arrangements, I love the wisdom in the lyrics, and I love the groove. It all brings me back to 1993 as I find in the same accuracy in the arrangements on the second self-titled album. This is the first “fruit” of Red Carpet Massacre. The tracks are strongly dance oriented, similarly to RCM. Under the surface, I did assume the boys wanted to use the Red Carpet Massacre days to fruition, as they didn’t seem to enjoy it much at the time.

These three albums are the real (awesome) legacy to me.  The controversy on the Andy’s affair, the words sometimes spoken by the guys I found hard to acknowledge as the “down” moments that disappointed me. I won’t cry any tears for those things I have seen or heard and didn’t like. These three albums are what will survive. Words can pass by, music doesn’t. Both Negative and positive events took place in these past few years, but the music was the energy above all.

Manuela picManuela is a long time Duran fan and of pop rock music from the 70s right thru today. She is a public employee at the Milan Town Hall, for a Bureau that provides with a service of help, advice, moderation and support, but no PR, to all organizers of small and big events in her town: EXPO 2015, she is behind the scenes of Fashion Weeks, of MTV and other live concerts, big sport events like Champions League, NBA. She is also a loyal, kind and loving friend and partner.

Vodka Friday Episode 2 – The Guitarists!

Hey everyone,

Do you know what day it is???

IT’S FRIDAY!

That means it’s Vodka Time!!  Today’s Vodka Friday is all about guitarists. Not gonna lie, it gets a little loud, and we let the opinions spew forth.

Again the disclaimer – if you don’t like laughing and you have no sense of humor, you’re not gonna like what you see and hear. We tear it all apart: The good, The Bad, and the Warren.  No holds barred!

Enjoy and happy weekend!!

 

 

Andy Taylor Back at it With Save a Prayer

There are blogs that I begin to compose in my head before I even sit down to write. I know how they’re going to go, I know what I want to communicate, and I assume they’ll be very quick – in and out in under thirty minutes. All will go well, and I’ll go about my day.

That’s how today was going to go. I knew I was going to write about the sudden re-emergence of Andy Taylor,  and I knew my feelings were rooted incredibly deep in a pond of cynicism and anger. As many point out, I’m an emotional sort of writer. After trusting Andy, even going as far to write several blogs touting the successes of Direct to Fan marketing to only have him (and his website) completely vanish without so much as a “Hey, we’ll talk again soon”, really stung. I clung to what I knew, which was Duran Duran, and I continue to embrace Dom as the band’s guitar player.

Then yesterday, someone asked if I’d heard Andy’s new version of Save a Prayer with Thomas Gandey – a name I didn’t know. I won’t lie, I immediately went all cynical in my head. After all, I’m no idiot. It wasn’t that long ago that the Paris attacks happened, I know the song has gained, at least temporarily, a new audience, and has probably seen a gain in online searches and traffic. Why not capitalize on that? And, if you’re going to do just that, why not take advantage of an upcoming Duran Duran world tour and the buzz off of a fairly-new released album at the same time? I floated those thoughts in my head as I finally decided to step out of the inner tube and dive right in, giving the song a listen (or twelve, as it currently stands).

My intention isn’t to review the song, after all in order to do that fairly, Amanda and I both would need to have input. But, I did listen. From the first downbeat I knew that I was going possibly drown in emotionality, something that I was not prepared to do so early on a Monday morning.

The music is designed to be a dance track, and I can hear that – but what I really like is that while it doesn’t lose the soul and/or charm of the original Save a Prayer, it is at the same time different. I like the way the song is deconstructed, and then seems to be built back together again with the addition of a bar or two of pronounced guitar. The vocals made me take pause, because for some reason – I still expected to hear Simon. That doesn’t typically happen when I hear covers and remixes, so I have to guess that the song keeps so much of the original spirit my brain expected Simon’s voice. The vocals, are soft and almost an afterthought as the music is the highlight. Lush and beautiful, it did not disappoint. Instead, I found myself wistful. I didn’t realize I’d missed Andy and his guitar until I heard it.

I’m glad Duran Duran has Dom for touring at the very least. I wish they included him more, particularly since they write (in the Paper Gods tour book under the bio section) “Manchester-born guitarist – Dom Brown – officially joined Duran Duran in 2006“. Fans still do not accept he belongs amongst John, Nick, Simon and Roger – and I place that blame squarely across the shoulders of the band and management – because they have the power to make that right. They simply choose not to, and as a result we all question his place and whether he’ll be along for the long ride. And yes, it matters. It is just tiring to always wonder whether he’ll continue to be around, or if the band will ditch him in favor of a bigger name. The ambiguous nature of his membership, at least to fans, makes it really difficult for anyone to accept his permanence.

On the other hand, fans cannot deny Andy’s history with the band. As a friend said today – Duran Duran is in his blood, and that is so true it hurts. I can’t help hear that spirit, his blood, in this song, and even in his own work of the past. I would imagine there are days when Andy would very much like to forget the whole thing, but he can’t. Nor can we. He lived it. Duran Duran lives in him. When I first heard this version of Save A Prayer, I couldn’t help but get misty-eyed as the guitar played, and there is very much a part of me that misses him. He is a part of the Duran Duran I fell in love with. At their best together, there was never any denying that chemistry, that fabulous tension between guitar, bass, and keyboards, and the beauty that could exist between them all, working as a bridge over a river, connecting two sides of the same town. On the other hand, when there have been so many storms that the river has taken out the bridge and sent it floating away in pieces, well – what can you do but rebuild?

I really don’t have answers here, and I don’t expect readers to understand or even agree with my assessment. I don’t know Andy’s mind or heart, and I don’t know why he decided to release this music now. It’s probably not something I need question, although anybody who knows me already recognizes I’m sitting here over thinking much of it. My mind speaks the realities I can’t ignore, my heart whispers that maybe he really did miss the music. Even in posting this and tagging it appropriately, I know that we are helping to drive traffic to hear the song – on Soundcloud – which is probably what he wants, even if only indirectly. Duran Duran fans still have sizable clout when it comes to these things, and I’m well aware of the power blogs such as these wield these days. I suppose if I really wanted to stick to my guns, I could have ignored the whole thing and never commented.  I can’t help but love what I heard. Am I a bad fan for supporting Andy again? Maybe. Maybe not. It probably depends on what side of the Andy-argument you’re on, and I can’t lie – I’m really not sure where I sit today. I always loved him and respected his opinions – up until the day he trashed his own website without nary a glance back at those of us who fully supported him. I don’t know what happened, I only know that in the end, people like me really didn’t matter.

I’m curious to see what he does from here. I know that it’s only every few years we tend to hear from Andy in one way or another, and there’s no telling how long he’ll stick around, speaking through his music. I’m just interested in what he’ll have to say.

-R