Tag Archives: Gela Nash-Taylor

Brilliant Minds Podcast with John

Has anyone checked out the Brilliant Minds podcast with John yet?  It is about 27 minutes in length, and I gave it a listen yesterday.  I was green with envy when it was announced that John would be speaking in Stockholm for the Brilliant Minds symposium. He is an engaging speaker and tends to get me thinking, which I appreciate.

I’d searched online for John’s talk, but I hadn’t found anything about it, and then yesterday DDHQ tweeted that his podcast from that same symposium was on Spotify. I don’t believe it is the same as his speech that was delivered there, but I thought it would be worth a listen anyway.

The podcast is basically an interview, with Juliet de Baubigny speaking with John. She is a very successful venture capitalist who has known John and his wife Gela for years,  among many other things. I wasn’t familiar with her at all before the podcast, so I had to google her. Shameful, I know.

Truth be told, they covered many topics that are in John’s book: art, addiction recovery (and living with addiction), his success, and even Gela’s success. While I personally didn’t feel like I learned anything really groundbreaking or new, I also recognize that I’m not your average listener. It’s that “fan” thing again. I can imagine that for those who really don’t know John Taylor, or even those who haven’t read his autobiography four times like I have, they might learn something new about him. I thoroughly enjoyed how introspective John has become about his life and career over the years – and truthfully, he may have always been that way. It just didn’t always come through during interviews in 1985.

John talked about how he’s glad he had all of those crazy times (in regards to partying and living the rock star life) because he knows he had enough fun. (Is enough really ever enough, though??) He also talked about how he was embarrassed about how much money he made back in his twenties, while Gela was very proud of her success later in life.  I don’t deny it was hard work for Duran Duran to actually “make” it, but I wonder if it can really be characterized as the same sort of hard work Pam and Gela experienced? I don’t mean that John didn’t work hard – one look at their schedule back in the day might say otherwise. I think though in some way, it’s like comparing apples and oranges. They are both fruit and grow on a tree, but aside from that, they’re totally different.

I especially enjoyed the discussion of using one’s platform to do good work in the world. We’ve seen that with John, as he has reached out to help addiction recovery programs and help with music programs where he grew up in Birmingham. Even the talks he gives at symposiums such as Brilliant Minds, are direct evidence. I admire John’s ability to see beyond himself. I love that he gives himself grace for his  past, but also uses his experience to help others. A little of that shined through during the interview, and it was an enjoyable listen. During a time when there is very little by way of good news to be found on social media, I appreciate the few rays of sunshine that peek through, such as this podcast. It’s definitely worth the time to listen in!

Check it out: Brilliant Minds Podcast with JT

-R

 

Juicy Stories on TV

In my continuing quest to keep moving forward, I decided to see what else has been going on or connected to Duran Duran this week besides the big story.  Typically, when I see something Duran related and lack time or energy, I just save it to refer back to it.  So, that is where I started this afternoon.  What the heck did I save?  Ah, yes.  My friend shared an article from deadlines.com about a TV show in development.  What is the TV show called Juicy Stories about?  This is how the website describes it:

Juicy Stories is the story of how two women in their 20s created the iconic “Juicy” tracksuit and turned their $200 investment into a billion-dollar business — and a life-long friendship. Inspired by the lives of Skaist-Levy and Gela Nash-Taylor, Juicy Stories tells the tale of two women who made clothes, made mistakes, made babies — and made one of the most iconic brands of the 1990s, Juicy Couture. These “Juicy Stories” — both aspirational and sensational — flash back to Los Angeles in the 1990s and are narrated on camera and in the present by the real Pam (Lawfor) and Gela (Serafino), still business partners and best friends.

For those people lost, Gela Nash-Taylor is John Taylor’s wife.  According to the article, which you can read here, the show was inspired by the memoir, The Glitter Plan, written by Pam Skaist-Levy and Gela Nash-Taylor.  (Fun fact:  Rhonda blogged about that memoir here.)  Now, I admit that I know very little about the history of Juicy Couture and, unlike Rhonda, I did not read the book.  That said, I can appreciate the idea of celebrating both female friendship, which is clearly an important piece of the story, as well as successful women.  It sounds like the show will feature mostly women, which I can applaud.

But on to the important stuff!  If this is about the story of Juicy, will John Taylor also be there?  Indeed, Gela’s husband will also be a character on the show.  In fact, he is described in this way, “Gela’s sexy, charismatic, actor/musician husband.”  What is interesting or perplexing or curious, depending on how you look at it, the characters playing Gela and Pam will be called “Gela” and “Pam.”  Yet, the John character will be called, “Drew.”  Huh?  I wonder why.  I think that is weird.  So, who is the guy who will be playing John/Drew?  His name is Tanner Stine who is also in Impulse, Here & Now and Zac and Mia.  I won’t lie.  My knowledge on actors is way limited so I have no idea if this guy can act well or not.  He looks like this, though:

Does this guy seem like someone who could pull off playing John Taylor?  Here is a video of the show, Impulse, in which he plays Clay.

I have to admit that I’m not sure.  First of all, he is really young.  Second, he has really blue eyes, which does not match at all.  Yet, in fairness, I’ll admit that I have a hard time imagining anyone being good enough to play John Taylor.  I’m a bit biased.

Now, I admit that this isn’t typically a show I would turn in to, despite the female focus, but I probably will just to see how this guy does.  I am curious to see how John will be written and portrayed.  There does not appear to be a date for a premiere and the show is only in development so my guess is that we will have to wait awhile.  Hopefully, it will be worth the wait.

-A

John Taylor’s 2017 Year-End Katy Kafe!

Another day, another year-end Kafe!

I missed this one yesterday, my apologies…but if you haven’t heard it yet, it’s new to you!  John Taylor stopped into the Kafe yesterday to round out his 2017. I suspect John was fully prepared because he took no time in zooming through what I would call his “digest” retrospect of 2017.

World Event

Not Brexit, not Trump, but the Swedish church (and I appreciate that!). Did you know that a few weeks back, the Church of Sweden announced that they would effectively be taking gender identity out of its teachings? Essentially saying that God is God. It is not male, nor female. I remember hearing this news exactly ONE time, and it was merely whispered in passing here in the US.  Not exactly headline news, and yet at least in my opinion, it absolutely should be. I’m glad John mentioned it!

Personal Event

Have you heard Zoe Nash’s new single, “Rather Die”? Better yet, have you seen the video?  John (and of course Gela as well) are very proud of Zoe’s work, and last week, Duran Duran even helped to promote “Rather Die” on social media (“relentlessly”, John adds).

As a parent myself, I get it. How could I not? Zoe has quite the voice, and an attitude to match. I’ll say this much, if she were once shy, you’d never know it now! Good for her.

Movie

John says he is a British Boy at heart, and he loved Dunkirk. He also really liked Blade Runner – calling it a boy’s movie.

I still haven’t seen either one. I’ve got work to do.

Book

History of Wolves, by Emily Fridlund. Just in case anyone was wondering – this novel is definitely not about wolves.  It isn’t a study of nature, at least not the nature and behavior of actual wolves.

Television

John mentions three shows: Mindhunter, Godless, and The Crown.

I haven’t seen Mindhunter or Godless, but The Crown is my favorite show. I watched the entire series, and I wondered if it would seem “as good” for those who live in the UK. I mean, I’m American, and so we have this strange fascination with anything “Royal” I suppose. Just speaking for myself, I own entirely too many books about the history of English royalty, and even more telling, I own too many books specifically about their jewelry collection!  So while yes, that series speaks to my inane curiosity, I had wondered how a British person might feel about it. Apparently the show is really good no matter where you’re from!

I have to laugh and make a comment – it is very clear that Katy loves Stranger Things! In both of the Katy Kafes I’ve written about this week, she brought up Stranger Things and asked John and Roger if they’d seen it. I know a lot of fans love that show, but I didn’t take to it at all. Not my thing, I guess, even with Girls on Film in the soundtrack!

Music

This is the one topic John seemed to struggle with and didn’t have a clear answer. He says that 2017 wasn’t a great year for him with music (meaning finding music that he really loved), but then says that’s really his fault – he just didn’t listen enough. He does give quick mention to the newest Jay-Z (4:44) album, though.

DD Moment

These are the topics that always interest me most. I mean, sometimes I get great book and movie suggestions, but truthfully as a fan and a blog writer, I do like knowing how the band feels about their year. It is great insight!

John mentions exactly what I would have guessed, saying that the crowd in Buenos Aires for Lollapalooza was “massive”, which it certainly was. Makes you wonder why they don’t play that country more often, really.

But then, John takes a turn and speaks a little more personally. He mentions the loss of Simon’s mom, whom he says, “She was mom to all of us”. He talks about how Simon was so brave to share his emotions during such a difficult time, and I agree. This inspired the band, particularly because as most know – this is not the type of band to come out and do that. (Be so open on an emotional level)

I’d have to agree wholeheartedly. I think that’s also why it struck me. Duran Duran doesn’t “do” that sort of thing on the same level that other bands might. They are British, and I think that’s a cultural thing  for them in the same way that my husband’s family do not talk about “feelings”. Ever. They stick to shallow pleasantries, and for someone like myself, who wears her cold, dead, heart on her sleeve (pure sarcasm right there), it is seen as an inappropriate weakness that makes me “less-than”.  Yay! I digress… Back to Duran Duran, they have also been celebrity and elevated to God-like status for so long, that they’ve had to protect themselves along the way. Hide the “real” you, make up your own fact cache (sound familiar?), hell – even go by a stage name, because the person you are on that stage isn’t who you really are otherwise – all of that was left behind when Simon walked to the microphone and told us about his mom, and sang Ordinary World.

Maybe it’s just me, but I didn’t take that moment lightly. That was a side of Simon I’d never really seen (although I will say that one single moment when he came to see us outside of the studio in 2011 and told us about his voice and cancelling the tour was close).  That beautifully vulnerable moment came from such pain. I won’t forget. I can’t.

John also mentions the show at Budokan in Japan with Nile. They remember that Budokan was the place where Bernard Edwards played his final show and ultimately died, and John says that he finds those moments important. He explains that they’ve been playing these songs for a very long time now, and as a band (and probably personally as well) they have to find “new levels of meaning” all of the time.

I would think that most fans have some understanding of that and can relate. I certainly can. I see so many of their songs, the mainstays in their set, so differently now than I did even two years ago. That alone has been a fantastic experience.

Finally for this topic, John brings up being able to experience Japan with his daughter Atlanta. He says that going on that trip with her made him see Japan as though it was the first time again, and you can hear the love and wonder in his voice. I loved it!

2018

John says he’s got an open mind about next year. Unlike previous years where he already knew they had a set schedule, it sounds like 2018 will bring a little more flexibility when it comes to time. He talks about the continuing work on the musical he is working on with  Nick, although he isn’t sure if that will come to stage in 2018, and then he also mentions the studio with the band.

Don’t get TOO excited, Duranies. While John says he is looking forward to getting back in and writing, and that the band has been talking about the studio, they are doing it in a “casually fluid” sort of way.

In other words, I wouldn’t get your lawn chairs set out on the sidewalk out in front of the studio just yet, unless you rather enjoy sitting through all of winter waiting for them to arrive.

-R

The Glitter Plan – The Daily Duranie Book Review

Once in a while I do something so completely out of character that it even surprises me.

This time, I read a book.

To be sure, my reading something wasn’t very shocking.  I wish I had even more time to read…and I will truly grab anything from political-based non-fiction (I just like reading things from a variety of points of view) to women’s fiction and romance.  (And if it has the name “Karen Booth” on the cover I’m sold. Immediately.)  However, this time, I actually read a book that at least in part, was centered on fashion.  I can tell you the last time that happened.  Never.

Anyone who knows me is well-aware that I am no fashion diva.  I live in denim and t-shirts (along with sneakers or flip-flops).  I make no apologies for that – it is who I am, and while I might not be the most edgiest dresser in the world, I’m comfortable, and that matters!  I love art, I adore music, love books…but fashion just isn’t something I’ve ever cared much about.  Don’t ask how I’ve stayed a fan of this band for so long…I think I’m more interested in the way they use their artwork and media to convey a message than I am about their clothes (which I realize is part of the story…so I’m not a complete loss), but don’t tell them that, OK?  It’s our secret!!

So, back to that book.  Believe it or not, I read The Glitter Plan, by Pam Skaist-Levy and Gela Nash-Taylor. Truthfully, I heard about the book from one of John’s tweets (so social-marketing really does work, by the way…), but to be completely honest, I probably would have read the book had I found it on my own (and I would have – I am an avid Amazon shopper!), and here’s why: these are two women – best friends besides – who started a huge, successful company on just $200.  I wanted to read their story.  They took their passion and did something with it, and that seems to be a common theme here on the blog this week!

I had very little idea of what to expect when I started the book, aside from perhaps a few preconceived notions on my part. The truth is that many many years ago, there was an article in my local paper (OC Register) about Juicy. The interviewer spent an afternoon with Pam and Gela, and he made them sound as though they were the type of women who were brainless, spending their afternoons mindlessly shopping and speaking in baby-talk, trying to be cute. I remember reading  in this same article that Gela specifically said that they’d never make their clothes larger than a size 8 because you can’t be glamorous if you’re bigger than that.  I’m not going to argue whether or not that is factual at this point (either the quote from my paper or her feelings in general about size, because I don’t know the truth and it really doesn’t matter for this blog), but I’m a size 10 and have been since I was a teenager…and I feel good about my size. No fashion designer has the right to take that away from me, and so it was something I always kept in the back of my mind. Now, maybe some of that is a good description of them in some limited ways (shopping sounds like it might be a hobby, and I can’t/won’t fault them for that), but in others??  So, I’ll just say that going in, my expectations were low, but I had hope.

I’m going to get real here for a second. I don’t know Gela. (I also don’t know Pam, but since Gela is married to John Taylor…well, you get the point.) I’ve never met her, and while I’ve heard stories through the ever-present rumor mill – I would really like to give the benefit of the doubt to just about anyone before making my mind up rashly. Up until today I’d never even heard her voice before, believe it or not! I also know that there’s a certain faction in the Duranie community that is unhappy (I’m being as polite and PC about this as possible) with the use of fur in her clothing line. I don’t run their business, and I *do* support their choice to run their business however they so choose. Period. Additionally, I support MY choice, and YOUR choice as a consumer.  But my blog isn’t the place for grandstanding and soapboxing – you all have your own Facebook and Twitter accounts to do that if you so choose. I respect your right to voice your opinions. I also appreciate your consideration and respect for how I choose to run this blog. On the other hand, I wholeheartedly welcome comments about the book.  I encourage discussion on the topic at hand, always!

All of that aside, the one thing the book did do (aside from being entertaining!), was inspire. I watched an interview of Pam and Gela this morning – I think was called Good Day Book Club – that’s where I heard them speak for the first time.  Gela made a point near the end of the interview to say that one of the reasons they wrote the book was to inspire. She felt that if they could do it, others could as well. It takes passion and drive, and there’s plenty of that on example in the book.

While it’s true that when they’d start really talking about fashion a lot of the names and things they were saying went over my head (who is brainless now?!?), I couldn’t help but be impressed with the mere fact that they were so impassioned by what they wanted to do that they just went with it.  Once again it’s a case where some people are just dreamers, and some are doers…and the ones who take the risk are the ones who succeed.  Pam and Gela didn’t really have safety nets; they didn’t have irons thrown in the fire in three different spots – they went after the one thing they wanted most. That makes sense to me.  If you’re really that passionate about something you do, or if you really want something that badly, you do whatever you have to do in order to make it work.  I think that a lot of my life has been spent thinking “What if” instead of “what can I do to make it happen?”…and maybe I’m finally getting to the point where I’m starting to think about what can really be done.

I was surprised when I came to the end of the book. These didn’t seem like women who were hell-bent on making “less-than-petite” women like me feel bad about themselves. They didn’t seem like they were brainless, either. (Uh, hardly.)  There was one passage in the book when they talked about going to Taco Bell, and truthfully – I nearly fell over when I read that, and I did have a moment or several when I murmured “They’re just like us. Huh. Who knew?” In fact, there were a lot of times while reading that I thought they sounded very similar to Amanda and I (words I never really expected to type).  I kept thinking how maverick they were about the whole thing – they had no idea what they were doing a lot of the time, and they basically just tried to break as many rules as possible.  This sounds remarkably similar!

Whatever preconceived notions I may have had of Juicy, of Pam, and especially of Gela, went out the window after reading the book. These two women seem incredibly smart, business-savvy, and fearless. The book was a really fun read, I learned quite a bit, and maybe…just maybe…I’ll pay a little bit more attention to their clothing line as a result, even though at this point, it is way out of my price range unless I decide to never attend another DD show ever again in favor of buying clothing instead.

Let’s not go THAT far….

-R

To buy The Glitter Plan, and I highly recommend that you do…click on the picture!

The Glitter Plan