Tag Archives: John Taylor

May 2018 Katy Kafe with John Taylor

I’m super excited that I get to listen to this month’s Katy Kafe!  I’m sure that it has nothing to do with the fact that it features John Taylor.  Nope.  No way.  The band member doesn’t matter.  Ha!  Buy that one, I’ll tell you another.  Despite my excitement, I feel like I should apologize in advance.  It is the end of a very long week trying to prepare for my evaluation at work.  Anyway, I will accept responsibility for any error I make in response to what John talks about.  Thus, as always, I recommend going over to DuranDuranMusic and listen for yourself.  By the way, this month’s edition is like last month’s in which Katy had asked for questions on Twitter and then went on to pass some on to John.

40th Anniversary

Well then.  Katy started out with a bang by asking John about plans for the 40th Anniversary.  John mentioned that there is a “shopping list” of possible events or things to celebrate, which includes museum shows, performances with orchestras, and even items like cologne.  I’m not kidding. John did state that the anniversary of Simon joining the band is the summer of 2020 and that they have mixed feelings about the anniversary like people “over 30” have about birthdays.  After all, they have always tried to look forward and not backwards.  All of this said, it sounds like Rhonda and I better start saving as those type of shows sounds amazing!

B-Sides/Lesser Known/Played Tracks

John was asked if they would consider playing B-sides and lesser known tracks.  I appreciated that he acknowledged why a lot of fans would want that but did admit that it would be a lot of work especially considering that they would want it to be just as multi-media as other shows.  John admits that he isn’t really all that excited to play some of them, including one that I would love to hear, Late Bar.  He much prefers when they have new music to play.  John did mention what I thought sounds like a cool idea, which is to have each band member pick a lesser known track then rotate those four songs each night.  Personally, I think this is a fabulous idea.  For one, it would make a lot of fans happy to hear a lesser known song.  For the other, it would encourage fans to go to more than one show if they wanted to see/hear all of the lesser known tracks chosen.

Most Under-appreciated Duran Album?

John’s choice?  Big Thing.  His reasoning is that it is a real journey that has all types of songs on it.  Katy liked that answer as do I.

Proud Bass Lines?

Which songs is John really proud of his bass playing?  He really likes the first three albums as far as not only his bass but everything.  In more modern times, he likes what was done for Paper Gods as it was a combination of the modern day synth bass with the “John Taylor sound” that worked well.

What advice would he give to himself?

After pondering the question for awhile, he stated that everyone has a responsibility to be the best person possible especially if you had a good foundation, which he includes loving parents and a good education.  This means that people should not waste their lives.  Words of wisdom from Mr. Taylor.

Vegas Residency

According to John, the band would consider a residency in Vegas.  John really loves the idea of residencies.  Very much noted as I would love that, too!  That said, he acknowledged that it would be more difficult for the rest of the band since they live in the UK.

First Song to Play?

What were the first songs that John learned to play?  The list includes some classic punk songs like Anarchy in the UK by the Sex Pistols, White Riot by the Clash and Boredom by the Buzzcocks.

Musical Update

First, John hopes it comes out for the 40th anniversary (summer of 2020).  (Psst…me, too!)  Another wish is that people would want to dance to it.  “The style of music is going to be very familiar to Duran fans,” he said.  Well then.  I was on board before hearing this but now…I’m super excited about it.  Will I have to save money to go somewhere to see this, too?  Of course, he reminds us all that the music will still be different since people will be singing the songs  that we don’t know as characters in a narrative.  I’m still super excited.

What JT solo songs could be included in a Duran show?

Before I even heard John’s answer, I thought of about five myself.  I know that there are still a lot of fans who haven’t heard his solo stuff or don’t love it.  I cannot help but feel like they are missing out on some really good, heartfelt stuff.  The first song that John mentions is a Power Station song, Lonely Tonight.  He goes on to mention Air Miles, which he believes Duran could take to a whole new level.  I concur.

What motivates and inspires JT to keep making music?

John is constantly looking for inspiration and to keep his passion alive.  Sometimes, he just wants to be done as it is hard to keep going and keep reinventing.  Nick, though, is always motivated to keep making music, which helps him.

Next Album Style?

John claims that it won’t be a “million miles” from Paper Gods.  They don’t allow themselves to sway too far from what a Duran song should include but John would like to expand that a bit.  That said, he is excited by whatever they come up with.  He hopes that someone comes into the studio with them that will drive them like Mark Ronson or Nile Rodgers.

Overall, I absolutely loved listening to this Kafe.  John was in good spirits, open with his feelings and thoughts.  It made me want to turn on a little Paper Gods or some old b-sides.  Even more importantly, I I’m so looking forward to the future plans for the band.

-A

Birmingham Music Awards Report

I hesitated to use that title.  As much as I wish that I could have really reported about the Birmingham Music Awards, all I can do is share a couple of thoughts about it since I wasn’t there.  For those who have no idea what I’m talking about, here’s what the press release on the band’s official website said about this event:

“DURAN DURAN’S JOHN TAYLOR TO APPEAR AT FIRST BIRMINGHAM MUSIC AWARDS
DURAN DURAN’S John Taylor Pledges Support for New Birmingham Talent

A search for Birmingham’s brightest and best musicians/music industry professionals is underway as the ‘Birmingham Music Awards’ hosts their first ceremony on May 2nd. The organisers of the BMAs are on a mission to bring together the best of the city’s contributors to music, and their campaign has been given an extra boost as Duran Duran founding member John Taylor confirmed he will present the Rising Star Award on the night.

John said:

“Birmingham is where the Duran Duran journey began. We formed in 1978, playing Barbarella’s and many other venues around town, eventually becoming resident band at The Rum Runner. We signed our major label deal and the rest is history. I like to keep in touch with new and aspiring musicians and musical artists – it’s where the energy is – and I love coming back home and rekindling my passion for the city, so I was honoured to be invited to participate in the first Birmingham Music Awards. It’s going to be a great night for the local scene!”

The project is also backed by more music industry heavyweights including Martin ‘Ace’ Kent from legendary rock band Skunk Anansie and Kieron Pepper (The Prodigy/Sleeper).

BMA Co-Founder Jo Jeffries said:

“We are determined to conceive and grow one big Birmingham music family. We want to work together to deliver the recognition our city deserves, and more music success stories made in Birmingham, so naturally we were thrilled when John agreed to come and present our Rising Star Award.”

“There are so many reasons to be excited about being a musician in Birmingham right now; the whole creative landscape is changing, the urban scene is exploding, key music education providers such as ACM and BIMM have moved in and we want to add to the momentum and recognise the achievements and talents of so many.”

…The Birmingham Music Awards and John Taylor are proud to support the amazing work that Changes UK are doing to help those less fortunate in our city to find recovery and fulfilling lives free from addiction. Please see their website: https://changesuk.org/

So this event actually took place this week!  Despite my usual insanity during the week, I did see a couple of pictures of John, including some with fans!  (By the way, if you were there and would love to do a guest blog for us, send a message!  We would love to have you!)  Yet, today, I saw a little video clip of John’s appearance there.  It is a must watch!

I appreciated that John talked about the city and how it meant a lot when he was forming Duran.  I have seen many clips where it seems like John is a bit conflicted about his hometown.  Yet, now, there seems to be nothing but love for it.  Perhaps, over time, he has grown to love it in a way that he couldn’t when he was younger.  (For the record, I relate.  The town that I lived in while a teenager does not get much love from me at all.  Maybe someday.  Of course, I could love it more if it had things like John talked about here in reference to Birmingham.  I didn’t have music, especially not live music.  Sad sigh.)

After recognizing Birmingham’s importance to the history of Duran, John moved on to talk about whether or not real instrumentation matters.  I’m sure it comes to no surprise that the crowd and John certainly believes that it matters.  I suppose it is important to mention when thinking about up and coming artists.  Do kids these days believe that to be true?  I know some of my students who are musicians themselves think it matters but overall?  I don’t know.  I sometimes worry about the future of music in light of technology.  I’m not one to say no to all forms of technology (obviously) but I also believe that there is something more emotional, more soulful to real instrumentation as opposed to sampling.

The last topic that John dived into was recovery and the organization he was supporting by being there, Changes UK.  I always admire his openness when it comes to recovery and being sober.  Clearly, he believes in organizations like this one as he is always willing to jump in and make an appearance when needed.  Seeing John being so open, so supportive makes me proud to be his fan.  Way to go, John.

-A

To be a Fly on the Wall

Imagine yourself, invisible to those around you, sitting in a studio. Or a hotel room. Or someone’s home. You can see and hear everything around you, but they can’t see you.

Now, imagine that scenario on this date in 1986,  as John Taylor and got together in London to discuss “the next Duran Duran album”.  Keep in mind, this is after Roger and Andy had left the band. Simon, Nick, and John were left to figure out the next step for what was arguably (at the time) the biggest band in the world. Where to go from there?

I don’t think I would have envied their positioning. After all, the higher you climb, the farther the potential fall. At this point in 1986, I was 15 years old. The idea of Duran Duran ceasing to exist, or the idea of “new” people ever being in that band were unfathomable to me as a fan. I am quite certain I wasn’t alone. What to do when two of the original members (as the fans knew) left?  Bring in new people? Continue as a threesome? How would Duran Duran look and sound?  Would the fans still respond?

Important questions, to be sure, and I’m not as certain that the answers were all that clear. Can you imagine what it must have felt like to consider moving forward? Sure, there was probably quite a bit of ego and bravado at the time, given their previous success. I’m also certain that at least in part, they wanted to prove to Andy and Roger that they really could go on without them – and that is likely what motivated and drove them to keep going. Even so, I have to wonder what that first meeting to discuss the next album was like.

We could likely debate all day about the outcome. Notorious, the band’s fourth FULL album (Arena was released in 1984 but was not a full-length studio album), and was their answer to how they would move forward. I can remember hearing the album for first time, just after I turned 16, and saying that they didn’t sound the same. It was just different without Andy and Roger, and to be honest – at the time I wasn’t sure I liked it. Their sound had matured more than my musical tastes at the time, I think. Like many of their albums since, it took me a long time to come to terms and have an appreciation. That’s not a critique of the album, but rather my more-ridiculous musical interests of the time.

Even so, I have often wondered what it would have been like during that initial planning, and certainly not just for Notorious!

-R

Spring Break and Songbook!

Happy Spring Break to anyone is lucky enough to have this week off, and that includes Amanda and I! I’ve decided to take some time for myself this week, in which case my posts are likely to be shorter than normal.

With that in mind, do you know what was aired on Sky Works on this date in 2009? Anyone?  Songbook!  I didn’t see this until well-after its airing…but since it has been seven years since it aired, so let’s watch again!

In full-disclosure, I did not have time to watch both of these clips before posting. They were uploaded by two different people but one seems to have more the interview and the other looks to be more of the performances. That said, I can’t be sure they don’t overlap. So, my apologies if they’re not perfect. I’m going to watch now, and you know – if I have to see Duran Duran perform with Dom twice, I suppose I’ll manage. Somehow.  😀

In any case, enjoy!!

-R

You Speak to the Crowd

When Rhonda and I started this blog, we promised ourselves that we would never shy away from topics that might create some sort of stir.  Today’s blog is one of those.  Consider this a warning to you (and to me!).

Yesterday, DDHQ posted a few pictures of John Taylor at the March for Our Lives Los Angeles, a march advocating gun control.  I’m certain that DDHQ knew that posting these pictures would get people excited.  Some people might love it and others…not so much.  Normally, I just look at the posts and move on as I rarely read the comments for a variety of reasons.  Yet, something possessed me to look at them yesterday.  On Twitter, the reaction to the photos and John’s participation in the march was generally positive.  Facebook, on the other hand, was a very different story.

Within an hour or so of being posted on Facebook, comments numbered in the hundreds.  Some loved that John demonstrated and others expressed negative reactions ranging from concern to disappointment to anger.  Instead of responding on the thread, I am opting to respond to some of what I saw here.  This way I can address the negative reactions as a whole rather than individual comments.

A number of fans responding to the photos commented on the fact that John Taylor is British and should not have a say.  Indeed, he is British, but, he is also an American citizen now after going through the process of naturalization.  He lives in the United States, pays taxes and votes.  In my opinion, this gives him every right to speak about what takes places in the U.S.

Others did not appreciate him speaking out because he is a celebrity.  Some expressed concern that by doing so, he was in danger of losing fans.  Let me dissect both of those ideas.  First, I don’t really get the idea that famous people should not express their opinions.  Why does having a certain career mean that they should stop having political opinions?  Is it just celebrities who should stop being political?  What other careers should not express political beliefs?  Should I be silent on politics outside of my classroom simply because I’m a teacher?  Should a lawyer because they might challenge or defend laws?  Should judges?  Now, obviously, in the last examples, there are times when politics should be put away.  For instance, I do not push my students to believe like I do.  I push them to be able to defend their opinions with facts and evidence only.  Likewise, judges need to be impartial when hearing cases.  Other than that, teachers, judges, etc. can have political beliefs outside of those specific cases.  John’s job is to write and perform music.  If we compare John’s job to a teacher, for instance, then some might argue he should keep politics out of his job, and thus his music.  What he did yesterday is not about the music.  It is something he did outside of his job.  He didn’t tell people that they had to agree with him, politically, to buy his music.

The other concern that I saw a lot of people express is that John’s political activity might alienate fans.  This idea makes me sad.  Is that really where we are?  Do we really have to agree completely to be a fan?  Do we apply this for our families and friends?  I don’t know about the rest of you but I definitely know people who disagree with me on various issues.  This doesn’t make me like them less.  Perhaps, the key with me is that I separate what someone thinks about this or that issue from that person’s behavior and treatment of others.  I also believe strongly that I’m not going to love everything done by Duran but that this does not diminish my love for the band either.  Goodness, my love ones do or think things that I don’t like and that doesn’t make me love them any less.  Let me give you an example from Duran’s history to explain what I mean.  Was I thrilled that they worked with Timbaland in order to reach a broader audience and get more commercial success?  I was not.  Does this mean that I shouldn’t be a fan anymore?  No.  It means I don’t like this one thing they did and disagreed with their approach.

Some reading this might say that this is easy for me to say.  After all, I was out marching yesterday, too.  I agree with John on this political issue.  While I’m sure that it does make it easier to me, I can think of other bands that I like, musically, that I’m not in alignment with, politically or otherwise.  Again, I can separate the two.

Beyond all of that, I believe strongly that everyone should be able to speak about what they think.  Therefore, I was totally fine with those fans who came on to say how they love John and the band but disagree with him.  What I was not okay with were some of the comments insulting John or bringing up things like his past drug use. Those kind of comments are never necessary.  There was nothing that John did yesterday that deserved mean or insulting comments.  All he did was express his opinion as an American and a human being.  That’s it.

-A

All You Need is Now, out on CD in 2011

On this date in 2011, All You Need is Now came out on CD…for those of us who still like actual, physical, music to have and hold.

I’m having a difficult time with the idea of that happening seven years ago today. Is that even possible?

I can remember driving down to Best Buy that day. Originally, I wasn’t going to get a copy. I’d already heard the album, I’d already reviewed it, and I didn’t see a point. But the night before, something stirred in me. I had to have that CD! So, I got up in the morning, took my kids to school and made a quick trip down to our local Best Buy.

I searched the shelves, hoping to find the treasure. It was the Best Buy “Exclusive” edition I wanted, and I looked to no avail. There was no way they could have already sold out, so I asked a sales associate to look it up. Sure enough, they’d gotten a whopping three copies in stock. Ok then, where were they, I wondered?  I had two sales people crawling on their hands and knees, going through shipment cases before finally one of them sat back triumphantly with a copy in hand.

I marched over to the cashier and walked out of the store with the last CD I ever purchased at a Best Buy. (I just order off of Amazon now and have it sent to my house if I really want a CD! Yes, I could truly come a hermit if I wanted.)

I know that a great deal has been said about All You Need is Now. Those who once proclaimed its greatness now talk about it as though it was “just” a Rio reboot. I have a tough time seeing it quite so simply. Regardless of what the band and others might say, I love the album. I like that they tried to provide an answer to what Rio or a follow-up might sound like in 2011 – in some sense. I still believe it was the perfect bridge between Red Carpet Massacre and Paper Gods.  And, since I’ve already spent some of my week being unabashedly biased – I like that Dom received writing credit for a lot of it.  So there.

I fell in love with All You Need is Now from the very first listen.  It is an easy album to like, and there are times when I miss that easiness. Sure, technically speaking, Paper Gods is probably a more superior album. I can admit that. However, when it comes to me and my moods – sometimes I just need a little All You Need is Now.

And by the way – there is NOTHING that makes me smile more than when I watch this video. That alone is worth its weight (and mine) in gold.

-R

40-year old anecdotes

The other day, Herald de Paris published an interview with Andy Wickett.  I had seen a great deal of headlines posted by Duranie friends about this piece of work, but I hadn’t read enough of the article to make comment until today.

As a simple introduction for those who may not recognize the name, Andy Wickett was one of the lead singers of Duran Duran prior to Simon. I know, I know, it is difficult to believe that such a time existed. Last year, Mr. Wickett released (the article calls it a “monumental” release. I’m not sure I’d characterize it quite so strongly, but whatever) demos of songs he recorded with Duran Duran prior to Simon.

Funny thing is, I’ve had those demos for probably at least ten years now. I bought them as a bootleg type of thing online, so last year’s monumental release wasn’t exactly new.

In any case, Andy explains that before Duran Duran, he was in a band called TV Eye. There is a little history between TV Eye and Duran Duran, as they shared the same Cheapside squat for a while – I believe one band was upstairs and the other downstairs (or something like that). At the time, Stephen Duffy was the lead singer for Duran Duran, and at some point, he and Stephen basically switched bands. Andy began singing for Duran Duran and Duffy for TV Eye.  According to Wickett, he brought a song with him from TV Eye called “Stevie’s Radio Station”. Duran Duran loved the song, and “Stevie” eventually became “Rio”.

Andy Wickett recalls writing the melody for “Girls on Film” one night, although the lyric that Andy had written it as “Girls IN Film”, which Nick suggested he change.  It was recorded as a demo, which Nick and John later touted to EMI and A&M. According to Andy, both companies loved his voice and wanted more songs like Girls on Film.

At this point though, Andy left the band for “personal reasons”. Upon leaving, he wanted payment for “Girls on Film” since he helped write it, and in turn he was offered £600 if he would sign a waiver, ultimately releasing the band from further payment to Mr. Wickett. He signed the document, and later found out from his attorney that he could not fight and/or win a case for royalties against EMI.

If any of this back history interests you, I would steer you towards John Taylor’s brilliant autobiography, In The Pleasure Groove: Love, Death and Duran Duran. He writes about the band’s entire history, since of course he, along with Nick Rhodes, were the founding members. Best to get the details straight from the person who was there the entire time, I’d say.

However, the point of the article that fascinates me this week, is the claim from Andy that Duran Duran’s managers offered him £10 to give Simon 20 minute lessons – having him sing “Girls on Film”.  He comments in the article that he believes he influenced Duran Duran’s vocal style, since the managers paid him to teach Simon how to sing like him. He says they used a lot of his lyric ideas and song titles such as “Sound of Thunder” and “To The Shore”, and that “they”  influenced the Durans and Stephen Duffy.

He goes on, citing that DD and their management came to see him perform with Xpertz, a reggae band he’d joined after leaving Duran Duran. The Xpertz had a song at the time named “All The President’s Men”, and on Duran Duran’s next album they had a song titled “El Presidente”.  Take that for what you will.

Personally, I hesitate to extol anything as fact from someone whose best memory of being in Duran Duran is “lots of fun white stuff”.  I mean, sure – there was a lot of cocaine during the 80s. John Taylor himself may have mentioned that a time or two. But that’s the best memory he could manage? Not the songs? Not even performing?

The truth is, I have a difficult time with Andy Wickett, not that I’ve ever met him. I know fans who have and swear he’s the sweetest. I’m sure that is true. For me, the dilemma is simple: Andy is someone who could have easily profited heavily from some of the band’s earliest songs. He has intimated in the past that he felt the band knowingly cheated him out of money (never mind that he was not coerced into signing his name on a legally binding waiver, but did so willingly). It is troublesome to attribute everything he shares as fact without considering that he just might have an axe to grind. Regardless of whether truth, nonsense or likely somewhere in between, I cannot forget the entanglements of history when I read some of the things he says in interviews.

There are several people who probably feel as though they’ve been screwed by Duran Duran over the years, for one reason or another. That’s the cost of being in a successful band, I suppose. It also means that many people want their share, and are willing to say whatever it may take to make someone think twice about them and their contributions, however distant or prominent they may have been. I’ve personally seen and heard things from various ex-band members over the years about albums as recent as Paper Gods and All You Need is Now that just seem petty, yet the band still maintains some level of professional decorum with those people. It is something that I don’t know that I could do half as well.

I was not around during the days of TV Eye, Cheapside, or even the Rum Runner. I have no idea if what Andy says about giving Simon vocal lessons is really true – but I suppose anything is possible. If I genuinely thought that Simon would answer me seriously, I might ask. The thing is, at this point—it doesn’t even matter. Simon is the lead singer of Duran Duran, while Andy Wickett is marketing his new album, Creatures of Love, by retelling 40-year old anecdotes.

-R

 

 

Denying the reunion of the original five, 2001.

I think I must be on the topic of rumor this week or something…

As I was looking at our Day in Duran History spreadsheet (yes, we actually have one!), I noticed that on this date in 2001 – there’s an entry that says “dd.com denied a tour with the original five on this date”.

I laughed.

The real story is that the day prior –  March 19, 2001 – allstarnews.net broke a story about the original five (Simon, Nick, John, Roger & Andy…in case you forgot!) touring together. DDHQ, or duranduran.com, was quick to announce on this date in 2001 that such rumors were completely untrue.

Except of course they weren’t.

Turns out, timing is everything. Now, I don’t know how allstarnews.net found out the news before DDHQ was ready to make the big announcement, but I suspect it went a little something like this:

Management calls a promoter, perhaps forgetting to have them sign a NDA (non-disclosure agreement) before getting them under contract to put together a tour for Duran Duran.  It could have been that they actually did have them sign one, but as the promoter contacts venues who may be interested in contracting a gig with the original five members of Duran Duran, who haven’t performed together since the 80’s – the news was expertly leaked to a news site. After all, HELLO, this story was huge!

Hell, I’d have taken out a full-page ad in a newspaper at the time.  (note to DDHQ – I’m much better at keeping secrets now, I promise!)

Moving on…

Said news site does their job and broadcasts the news on the ‘net. Even without social media, it takes almost no time before this headline reaches Duranies around the planet, who begin to fall off of  chairs while typing the word thud on message boards and forums around the world. Meanwhile, DDHQ is found taking Advil, Tylenol and/or Paracetamol, while needing a lie down with a cool compress.

It is decided that, rather than admit to the Fab Five reuniting and losing full control of the narrative, and how it will be unfolded to the world, it is best to deny the story completely.  The words saying as much are posted on dd.com for all to see.

Meanwhile (most) Duranies skip the Tylenol, Advil and Paracetamol and go straight for shots of whatever hard liquor is available. Vodka shots, anyone??

Or maybe that’s just MY version of the story.

Of course, we all know how this turned out, don’t we?  It would be two years before the band actually started to do shows together, but yes – the original five DID reunite – and it was a bright and beautiful time to be a fan.

This story is also why, even when DDHQ denies, or even better, full-well ignores rumors and questions about rumors, fans don’t necessarily listen – in fact I’d argue that it just forces fans to do more sleuthing and investigating on their own. I suspect that this might where the “relationship” between DDHQ and fans started to go really wonky, although there were certainly signs of that prior to 2001.

While it is really neither side’s fault – DDHQ did need to protect their ownership of such a huge breaking story, and fans had the right to be excited by such a bombshell announcement – I think it makes it difficult to work together at times, and perhaps that alone is part of the problem.  Are we (fans) really just a problem that needs to be handled, or are we people who can be trusted to be there when it counts? I’m not quite sure. Regardless, the distrust is palatable, and pretty unfair, both ways.

-R

Two Hearts Beating

I wanted to write about the latest Katy Kafe with Simon for today.  Apparently, it features 20 questions from fans and Simon’s responses.  Unfortunately, I don’t and haven’t had the time to listen yet.  I promise, though, that I will as soon as I can in order to properly blog about it.

So, what have I been busy doing?  Well, if you read the blog last weekend, you know that my dad was pretty sick.  His illness continued throughout the beginning of the week until finally he was hospitalized on Wednesday where he still is.  In fact, as soon as I get done with this blog, I’ll be heading back there.  The good news is that they know what the problem is and he appears to be getting better.  While I’m obviously relieved, this kind of event has shaken me.  Here’s the deal.  I don’t just simply love my parents but I adore them. I look up to them.  While almost every person I know has some conflicted feelings about their parents, I do not.  I benefitted from having my mom and dad as my parents as they raised me and my siblings well.  They sacrificed so much for us and it is only right for me to return the favor now.

While I love my fandom and need it in my life, my parents will always come first.  They will come before anything–my job, my students, myself, everything.  In 1997, I moved to Madison, hoping that this city would fit me.  In 2003, my dad retired and my parents chose to come to Madison to enjoy their retirement.  This has benefitted me on every level.  They, for example, take care of my cat when I’m on tour.  There have been countless times that they have taken me to the airport when I have traveled to see Duran.  I could go on with this list forever.

All that said, I couldn’t help but to think about Simon and how he recently lost his mother.  Then, I think of other band members who have lost their parents.  John’s autobiography, for example, captured his feelings about losing both of his parents.  How do their jobs fit with family?  I just got done saying that, for me, my parents come first and always will.  Does the job of rock star, of musician allow them the same?  I sure the heck hope so.

At times, I have pushed the band to speed up their work when it comes to writing and recording albums.  While I didn’t mean any harm to that, at the time, now I look at it differently.  They need to have the time to spend with their families, too.  This doesn’t mean they ignore their jobs, but it does mean prioritizing.  Yesterday, at school, I pushed through my classes but spent any extra time calling to check in on Dad.  I fulfilled my duties, but my focus was still on him.  Does the band have the same chance?  Again, I sure the heck hope so as life is a pretty precious thing.

On that note, I’m off to see my dad.

-A

Quicksand featuring John Taylor, 2016

From the “Another Something I Didn’t Know ” file…

On this date in 2016, Jilann O’Neill released Not Alone, an album of Bowie-esque tunes with Mike Garson, and co-produced by John Taylor.

On this album is a little song called “Quicksand” that features John Taylor…and he’s singing, both as a duet AND alone.

Cue shocked face.

 

Yep, that’s the one.

Now, I’m not shocked that John Taylor can sing. It is just rare to hear him singing, generally speaking. I mean, I have his solo music, it isn’t as though he never does it…but in Duran Duran, it’s not all that often that we get to hear him, that’s all.  (this is code for: don’t send me hate mail)

Here’s a link to a YouTube audio of the song, in case like me, you haven’t heard it or don’t already own it.

The song is beautifully simple and organic, and vocals are intriguingly raw, which gives the song even more depth. I really liked it, particularly because it is 100% different from anything I’ve heard from John before. Huge thumbs up from me, and I feel kind of bad that I hadn’t listened to it before. (Although as I type that, I’m wondering if maybe I did hear it and just forgot. I’m going to have to take a walk back through our blogs in 2016!)

So your homework for today is to go check out the album Not Alone, by Jilann O’Neill. Google it and give it a good listen! If you haven’t heard it before, its new music for you!

-R