With their telegenic good looks and lush music videos, which were filmed in such exotic locations as Sri Lanka, Antigua and France, Duran Duran helped put MTV on the map in the '80s. More than two decades after the success of "Hungry Like the Wolf," the British quartet is back with its new album "Red Carpet Massacre."
"We were in a bit of a strange situation because our guitarist Andy Taylor kind of disappeared at the beginning of the recording session," says singer Simon LeBon, 49. "But we regrouped and made a record that we're very proud of." Collaborating with Justin Timberlake on two tracks was a lot of fun, he says. "Justin came up with some incredible melodies and it was inspiring."
LeBon says most of 2008 will be spent touring, but he looks forward to taking a vacation with his wife of 22 years, supermodel Yasmin, and their three daughters. Their destination: the Caribbean island of St. Lucia.
COME SAIL AWAY: I like to be on sailing boats and there's something very special about sailing in the Caribbean. I've been to many islands, but St. Lucia has to be one of my favorite places in the world.
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WATER BABY: I've always loved the water. I used to do handstands in shallow water and walk on my hands. I learned to sail actually before I learned to swim at 11 or 12 years old. I'm not sure that's the safest way to do things, but it worked out OK for me.
THE FULL MONTY: Yasmin and I had a great holiday sailing on Drum, which is the boat I have had a long history with, in the Caribbean. We pulled up to sunbathe in St. Lucia and were enjoying the day. The water was incredibly clear and blue and the sky was perfect. We're lounging around and one of us is naked and the other is sort of naked and we were just having a great time immersing ourselves in paradise. Then it occurred to us that this enormous cruise liner had literally parked next to our boat and there were all these American tourists videotaping us. They didn't know who I was. I think we just made quite the sight. And there I was just trying to get my bum brown...
WORKING ON VACATION: That's not for me. I've never been one who thought that an album would be better if I jump-started it by working on songs while I'm with family on holiday. When I work, I work very hard. But family time is also very important to me.
ODD HOLIDAY HABITS: For some reason, I always go to the movies when I'm in Chicago. It's just something that always happens. I'll go visit the Water Tower, check out the shopping (on Michigan Avenue) and go to a movie!
THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT ST. LUCIA:
HISTORY: Once occupied by both the French and English, St. Lucia was ceded to the British in 1814. In 1979, it became an independent democracy within the British Commonwealth.
OFFICIAL LANGUAGE: English, but many of the island's inhabitants also speak French patois.
DRIVING: They drive on the left, just as Brits do in the United Kingdom. So look left, then right, and left again before crossing the street.
CELEBRITIES WHO VACATION IN ST. LUCIA: Robert De Niro, Oprah Winfrey, Harrison Ford, Morgan Freeman, Nicolas Cage, Jimmy Page, Tyra Banks, Raquel Welch, Martha Stewart and Sylvester Stallone. Simon LeBon's friend -- the late Princess Diana -- also loved this Caribbean gem.
CURRENCY: East Caribbean Dollar (EC$) ($1US = $2.69ECS).
TIME ZONE: St. Lucia is one hour ahead of Chicago.
To read more about St. Lucia, check out www.stlucia.org. For information about Duran Duran and their world tour, visit www.duranduran.com.
Courtesy Sun Sentinel