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Happy Birthday John Taylor!!!

I never know quite where to start when I sit down to do a birthday blog!  After all, I usually have a lot to say and want to have the post be an extra special one.  This one feels even more that way.  Most importantly, it is a blog post dedicated to John Taylor.  While I know that I might not shout it from the rooftops that often or squee much over posted pictures, he is my absolute FAVORITE and has been since I was 8 years old.  Eight.  As a kid, I liked that he was “cute” and had great hair (who didn’t love the John Taylor of 1984 with the blonde bangs?!?).  Now, as an adult, I feel like I appreciate him in a much more in-depth way.  It isn’t that I don’t find him attractive or don’t like looking at picture of him.  That isn’t it as I totally do.  (Seriously?!?  Who doesn’t?!?  It is just a given, right?!)  No, it is more about how much I appreciate all that he has given and continues to give all of the rest of us.  Heck, this year for his birthday, he gave US all new Duran Duran music.  (In case you haven’t heard the song, Pressure Off, click here to hear it on YouTube.)  He has given the world so much that I always have a hard time capturing it all in a simple blog post.

First, he has given us plenty of music.  Most significantly for the authors of the blog and the readers of it, he has given us tremendous bass playing in Duran Duran.  Could you pick a favorite or ten?  An obvious example is the bass in Rio.  Here is a clip with the bass isolated from the rest:

Here is a clip of John talking about playing bass on Planet Earth in 1983:

Of course, John didn’t just play with Duran Duran, but he also played on the side projects of Power Station and Neurotic Outsiders.

Power Station–John with Bernard Edwards

Neurotic Outsiders–live clip of Planet Earth

As many also know, John made a lot of music on his own as well!

Immortal:

Beyond music, he has done quite a lot!  Clearly, he is a man of many talents!

Actor–

Author–

Activist–

Looking at the videos I have chosen to share here, I can understand why I am a fan and why everyone should be a fan.  Luckily for me, I have also had the opportunity to have a few decent moments with the man despite me still reacting like a school girl with her big crush. (If you need a reminder of my inability to deal around John Taylor, I recommend reading this blog here, which captured how badly I handled front row.  I’m all ready trying to get myself prepared for the front row experience at the Agua Caliente casino in October.  Pathetic.)

What were some of those moments, you ask?  Well, the first real interaction with John (if you can call it that since the interaction was so brief) was in the summer of 2005 when I saw John outside of his hotel in St. Louis.  My mission there was to ask for an autograph.  I approached him, asked politely and he agreed.  That’s it.  Simple.  Respectful but more than enough to keep me on a high for the next few years!  Then, in 2007, I got to speak briefly at the Red Carpet Massacre CD signing in Chicago.  I asked him about his socks.  Why?  If any of you were around in 2006, the people posting in the Church of the Bass God thread on DuranDuranMusic decided to send him socks for his birthday.  After he received them, he took pictures with some that he liked, including the pair I sent, which were James Bond socks as seen below:

Bond socks

The next big moment came in 2012 when he came to Chicago for a book reading and signing.  Not only was he super generous in signing a book for me and for my partner-in-crime, but he accepted a Daily Duranie wristband and put it on!

John Wristband

Of course, like everyone else who attended the signing, I was able to get a picture of him signing my book(s).  Yet, I wasn’t satisfied.  It is silly of me, I know, but I still really wanted a picture of me with John.  Finally, this past spring, when Duran Duran played at the David Lynch Foundation Show, I was able to get my picture.

John and Amanda

In keeping with the story of my life, he looks great and I’m out-of-focus and have my eyes closed.  Awesome.  I guess this just means that I’ll have to try and get a better one, right?  At least, this is what I tell myself.

At the end of the day, I still feel like the lucky one.  It isn’t because of those moments (although they were fabulous) or those pictures.  No, I still feel like the lucky one to have been around at the right time, right place in order to discover John Taylor and become his fan.  His birth, truly, was a gift to all of us.

On that note, I wish John Taylor the very happiest of birthdays!

-A