Announced: Duran Duran, Metro Radio Arena

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Announced: Duran Duran, Metro Radio Arena
by Gordon Barr, Evening Chronicle
Jan 25 2011

Duran Duran will kick off their first UK tour in seven years in Newcastle
DURAN Duran will kick off their first UK tour in seven years in Newcastle, we can reveal today – minus former Geordie guitarist Andy Taylor.

But the Cullercoats-born musician will be with the band in spirit, according to bassist John Taylor.

Andy quit Duran Duran for a second time in 2006, and John admitted to the Chronicle it will be weird playing the Metro Radio Arena on May 18 without him.

“It definitely will be strange playing Newcastle without Andy. That is going to be significant,” he said from his Hollywood home.

“Andy is one of us and he will be with us in a way. I’m super-excited. I’ve come to love the North East and the Geordies – that’s another thing Andy is responsible for. I always want Newcastle United to win if they are playing.

“It’s given me a love for the region and the people up there and I’m really happy the tour is starting there and can’t wait to get there.”

Andy left Duran Duran in 2006 due to an “unworkable gulf” between him and the rest of the group.

The ‘wild boy’ was an original member of the band which enjoyed a string of pop hits such as Rio and A View To A Kill in the 1980s.

He originally quit the group in the mid-1980s to form rock band The Power Station and later record solo material before being reunited with the original members of Duran Duran.

He left in 2006 to spend more time with his four children and wife Tracie, who used to cut his hair during the band’s heyday, in Ibiza.

John added: “I don’t feel that Andy, at the end of the day, was prepared to do, wanted to do, what was necessary to be a member of this band – the travel, the commitment.

“Andy is not a schmoozer. He’s a down to earth bloke. For me he is one of the greatest guitarists of the post-British blues era. I love him, but I haven’t spoken to him in several years.

“You’ve got be a schmoozer. You’ve got to be prepared to do what I am doing now – getting up at 7.30am. It’s not enough just to say ‘I just want to play my guitar’.

“Andy is a family man, he doesn’t like leaving his family behind. At least he is still with us. We’ve lost so many friends along the way.

“You do carry people with you on the stage and I think when you give a performance every night, part of what you bring to that performance is honouring friends who have been with you along the way.

“You take them on board in a way. that will be the case with Andy when we go on tour, especially in Newcastle.

“Andy was never not significant. If Andy was in the room, everyone would be listening.”

Duran Duran’s spring tour marks the band’s first European performances in support of their critically acclaimed new album All You Need Is Now and forms the start of a world tour that will last well into 2012.

A nine-track version of the album was first released exclusively on iTunes in December and hit the top spot on download charts in 15 countries, including the UK.

An expanded version of the new record will be released in late March, in both digital and CD formats.

Tickets for the May 18 show will go on sale on Friday.

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