THEY were THE defining band of the Eighties and still influence groups today including the ARCTIC MONKEYS.
And now DURAN DURAN are poised to make a huge comeback with their best album in years, thanks to an inspired collaboration with JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE and the man with the Midas touch, producer TIMBALAND.
Today, in an exclusive Bizarre interview, frontman SIMON LE BON opens up on everything from the current crop of rehab stars like AMY WINEHOUSE to the death of his pal, former INXS frontman MICHAEL HUTCHENCE.
The difference, Simon tells me, is they were discreet and did everything behind closed doors.
He explained: “We didn’t want to get banned from America so we were careful.
“No one saw us publicly get up to any mischief but I can assure you we did and we were pretty wild.
“There was apparently a hotel in LA where you could order drugs on room service but we never found it. But I worry today that people like Amy Winehouse could kill her career if she’s not careful.
“Any kind of drug conviction can get you banned from America and Amy has the potential to be massive over there. This is her time, her moment, and I’d hate to see her waste it.”
Simon’s bandmate John Taylor famously became addicted to cocaine (he’s now been clean for years) and Simon has lost friends including TV presenter PAULA YATES in 2000 and Michael Hutchence — found hanged in a hotel room three years earlier — partly or directly as a result of their drug abuse.
He says: “I don’t believe for a minute that Michael committed suicide.
“I lived with him for a few months years ago and he loved life, women and drugs. He lived it to the full — there’s no way he’d have wanted to end it all.”
These days, Simon leads a healthy lifestyle, sticking to a vegan diet and keeping fit with plenty of exercise.
The band are taking to the stage next week to perform their new album Red Carpet Massacre in a series of nine gigs at a theatre on Broadway in New York.
Wasted talent ... Michael
There’s every chance Justin Timberlake could make a surprise appearance — if he can fit it into his own manic schedule.
The snake-hipped singer co-wrote and produced the band’s new single, Falling Down — out Nov 12 — following a drunken night out with Simon and Co in Birmingham.
Justin was also involved in two other tracks on the album, Nite Runner and Skin Divers.
Simon, married to supermodel YASMIN LE BON, explains: “Justin was on tour in Birmingham and we went to see him and had a lock-in — him, me, his girlfriend actress JESSICA BIEL and Yasmin.
“It’s fair to say we’d had a bit to drink, and we decided it would be a brilliant idea to write the single together.
“Justin is a big Duran fan and wanted to bring the fans’ perspective to the album.”
Duran will also be performing new single Falling Down and more songs from Red Carpet Massacre — at a one-off show at the Odeon cinema in London’s Leicester Square on December 3.
Courtesy The Sun UK