With Duran Duran, he reached the pinnacle of his success during the 1980’s
Original Duran Duran guitarist Andy Taylor turns 59 today
Andy Taylor was born on February 16, 1961, in Cullercoats, England. He received guitar tuition from Dave Black, a member of David Bowie’s backing band the Spiders from Mars.He dropped out of school early to tour England and Europe with several different bands, playing working men’s clubs and air force bases. Then in April 1980 he traveled to Birmingham and joined Duran Duran who was a rising band at the time, playing at a Birmingham club named the “Rum Runner”. Their music, which was a fusion of Punk, Post Punk, and Electronica, was labeled as “New Romantic”, a post-punk fashion and music movement that signaled the beginning of the new 1980’s music period. The band signed to EMI Records in December 1980 only seven months after completing the line-up. Their debut single “Planet Earth” was released shortly after that, with their self-titled debut album, Duran Duran, released in June 1981. By 1983, the band was a global success story and scored hits such as “Is There Something I Should Know”, “Rio”, “Save A Prayer”, “Wild Boys”, “The Reflex”, “A View To A Kill” and “Hungry Like A Wolf” among many others. While Duran Duran was on hiatus in 1985, Andy Taylor and bassist John Taylor joined renowned session drummer and former Chic member Tony Thompson and Robert Palmer to form the Hard Rock band Power Station. Their eponymous album, recorded mostly at the New York studio for which the band was named, reached the Top 20 in the UK and the Top 10 in the US. After six years of being a member of Duran Duran, Taylor had realized both he and the band were in free fall and together with drummer Roger Taylor leaves the band. He and the other band members rarely spoke to one another and the band was now living on three different continents. Taylor himself was now based in Los Angeles where he met with ex-Sex Pistols guitarist Steve Jones and they began collaborating for Taylor’s forthcoming solo album. He has had a successful solo career as a guitarist and collaborator for other artists including Rod Stewart. In 2001, Taylor reunited with the other original members of Duran Duran to record their first new music together since 1985. The band secured a new recording contract with Sony Records. Their ensuing album, Astronaut, featured a blend of Taylor’s heavy guitar with the synth hooks of the classic Duran Duran sound. The first single, “Sunrise”, reached No.5 in the UK, and the album reached No.3 (No. 17 in the US).In 2006, whilst recording a new Duran Duran album, Taylor once again parted ways with the band and strongly hinted in his blogs that Duran Duran’s management company were partly responsible for his departure. In 2008, Andy Taylor published an autobiography, Wild Boy: My Life in Duran Duran, in which he tells his life’s story from youth in an extended family to his life with wife Tracey. The book aims to give a backstage look on Duran Duran’s rise, a survey of the band’s career album by album as well as of Taylor’s solo works and collaborations. It also deals with the iconic status of Duran Duran in the time of early MTV and the band’s issues with drugs and alcohol.
Look back at Andy Taylor’s 1990 music video for “Lola”, a Kinks cover
Look back at the 1981 music video for one of Duran Duran’s earliest hits “Planet Earth” featuring Andy Taylor on guitar
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