On this date in 1986, John Taylor’s song, I Do What I Do, was released in the UK. I like looking into Duran Duran history. Maybe it is the history geek in me but I think that knowing what happened in Duran’s past makes now, the present day, more meaningful. Plus, it creates a much needed personal perspective.
It is hard to believe that John Taylor’s first solo song was released 32 years ago. 32. Looking back, this was the time that Duran was in that weird place. After all, 1985 saw the two major side projects of Power Station and Arcadia. It felt like there was a lot of guessing, speculation about whether or not Duran would really come back together to be a band again. This solo song, I think, just fed that. Interestingly enough, as a kid, I didn’t think about any of that. I just thought that this was my chance, my moment to hear John Taylor! As much as I loved the band and Simon’s singing, I was a John fan. I soaked up each and every time I heard him or saw him in the spotlight. I wasn’t worried about what was going to happen with the band. I read and saw many interviews in which they said that everything was cool and that they were coming back together eventually. The young me trusted that.
Of course, now, we all know that the band did get back together but things weren’t quite the same as Andy and Roger had left. We also know that this song of John’s wasn’t his only one. No, he would go on to write and record many more songs in various solo albums. In fact, he has so many solo songs that I now am a little bit more discerning when it comes to his work. I have songs that I love, love, love, others I like and some that don’t tend to get as much playtime. I have the luxury of choosing among all of them. In 1986, I didn’t.
You know what is funny. On the surface in 1986, I was certain that Duran Duran would be fine. I remember trying to convince others to hold on to their fandom a little while longer. In thinking about that, I now recognize that part of it for me was the need to keep something consistent. In 1985, my family moved. While I only moved an hour or so away, it felt like I had moved to a different planet. My old home had MTV and Top 40 radio along with a best friend whereas my new one did not. Kids in the new town had no idea who Duran Duran was. I desperately missed my best friend and the old life I had. I guess I needed Duran Duran to be one of those consistent parts of life. They were like the lifeline to the old world.
When I think about the song, I Do What I Do, I have strong memories of me listening to the song over and over again through newly acquired headphones. I remember being bummed about this, that or the next thing, and turning up the volume to the maximum, hoping to shut out the world. Looking back, I appreciate that John Taylor released this song then. I didn’t know it then but I needed something to help me get through a challenging time in my childhood.