'Eyeliner icons' Duran Duran end tour in Jersey

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'Eyeliner icons' Duran Duran end tour in Jersey
by Lisa Rose/The Star-Ledger
Thursday December 04, 2008, 12:50 PM

Where and when: 8 p.m. Dec. 13 at the House of Blues, 801 Boardwalk, Atlantic City. 8 p.m. Dec. 14 at the Wellmont Theatre, 5 Seymour St., Montclair.
How much: $62-$87 in Atlantic City; call (201) 507-8900 or visit Ticketmaster.com. $68 in Montclair; call (877) 935-5668 or visit wellmonttheatre.com.

Duran Duran launched its world tour with a stint on Broadway last November and now they're looping around to New Jersey for two final shows after a year-plus on the road.

The last stops on their epic trek are at the House of Blues in Atlantic City on Dec. 13 and at the Wellmont Theatre in Montclair the following night.

The eyeliner icons will be getting retro -- dipping into their new wave back catalog -- and going digital -- delivering synth grooves from their latest album, "Red Carpet Massacre," with producer Timbaland and guest vocalist Justin Timberlake onboard for tracks.

It will be the Fab Five, minus one. Guitarist Andy Taylor jumped ship while the group was in the studio. Subsequently, his memoir was published, "Wild Boy: My Life in Duran Duran" chronicling their notorious early days of sex, drugs and puffy shirts. Taking up Taylor's slot is British blues-rock guitarist, Dom Brown.

During a phone chat, bassist John Taylor said that this new configuration is the strongest in years and there's been minimal drama backstage.

Q: It's great you're wrapping up your tour right here in Jersey.

A: It's very appropriate, don't you think? We were always the Jersey girls' choice.

Q: Oftentimes bands come to New York and they kind of ignore us so we feel very special.

A: We started on Broadway and we're ending in Jersey. Shouldn't it be the other way around?

Q: Are you going to be maybe debuting some new songs for us here?

A: We've haven't had a minute to create anything new. We've been on the road all year. The band has never sounded better

Q: So this whole tour has been buildup to your shows in New Jersey?

A: Exactly. My whole life, actually. Let's just hope I make it.

Q: Are there any deep cuts, going back into the catalog, are you going to play things that weren't released as singles?

A: There are diehards who say, "You don't need to play 'Rio.'" But there are so many other people who are going to freak out if we don't play it. What I've learned is that the songs I enjoy playing are the most popular songs. There's a reason why they're the most popular.

Q: No B-sides, like "Secret October?"

A: Oh, we're not gonna go that far. Jeez. That's a little too obscure. You can really lose a crowd if you're not careful.

Q: I wish the establishment would be more respectful of your songwriting.

A: Critics have a problem with the '80ss in general. If I see another f---ing punk retrospective in Spin or in Rolling Stone ... . Get over it. Let's start talking about the f---ing '80s.

Q: On a philosophical level, the '80s are viewed as kitsch whereas the '70s are viewed as this massive, crazy revolutionary time, but there was plenty of kitsch in the '70s and there were plenty of significant things that happened in the '80s.

A: The introduction of the techno influence, a lot of people felt was not real and not authentic and there was the attachment to fashion. Music and fashion really, really got in bed together and the purists don't like that.

Q: A lot of that was rooted in the '70s though, with disco.

A: I don't feel misunderstood or unloved. We get a lot of love wherever we go. There's so many people that we mean something to.

Q: So it's very different than touring when you were first starting out? The personal relationships have evolved?

A: They have evolved. When you're a brat, you want to differentiate yourself in every possible way. That was a mad time but it is very different now. Just the technology makes being on the road so much easier. The way you can stay in touch with people.

Q: BlackBerry?

A: It doesn't matter where you are. I was on a layover yesterday in the Panama City airport and I'm downloading the Kanye West album. That's amazing to me. All that fear that everybody had about downloading. I'm like are you f---ing kidding me? I'm a consumer. I'm a f---ing music consumer. Before I ever became a musician, I was a fan. I had to have somebody's new album, I did whatever it took.

Q: I remember riding my bike to the record store, back when it was vinyl.

A: To get what?

Q: Donna Summer.

A: Which one?

Q: "Hot Girls."

A: "Bad Girls."

Q: "Hot Stuff." "Bad Girls." In the rain, riding the bike.

A: I rode the bike to buy "Virginia Plain" by Roxy Music.

Q: Good stuff.

A: If you've got the passion for music, it's so nourishing and I'm so grateful that I'm in this business. I don't really get caught up in the B word, the business.

Q: It's good to see that there are bands today who will talk about Duran Duran as an influence, like the Killers.

A: I'm never going to have as much respect as Bob Dylan, never. I don't know what I would have to do between now and the day of my death to have more respect than Bob Dylan but there's so many people out there that on a daily basis say, "I love you."

Q: Sure.

A: I know how important music is. You want to get through a depression? Check your song list. It's the most mood altering substance known to man, music. You can be in such a funk and that song comes on the radio, you turn it up. Three minutes later, you're happy. We're lucky in that we've already made some songs that do that to some people. We've got some drugs on the market that are guaranteed to alleviate depression.

Courtesy NJ Star Ledger