John Taylor Dishes Dirt on Duran Duran

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In his new autobiography, "In the Pleasure Groove: Love, Death and Duran Duran," the British group's bassist and co-founder John Taylor allows fans to live through the heady life of an '80s pop star. Focusing on family life, battles with substance abuse and depression, the 52-year-old musician manages to avoid the typical tell-all trappings and instead reveals the depths of his personal turmoil. Now happily married to his second wife, Gela Nash, the co-founder of Juicy Couture, Taylor spoke to us last month before a book signing event in San Francisco.

Q: You spend a lot of time writing about your addiction to drugs and one-night stands. Reading it now, how do you feel about that person in the book?

A: I enjoyed following the adventures of this little guy. You get a little distance. I'm not thinking, "Oh my God, I can't believe what I did next!" It's more like, "I can't believe what he did next."

Q: Does it make you feel sorry for yourself?

A: But it's not me. I'm a different person today. I feel like I'm on fairly high ground these days. I don't think I could have done it if I felt like it was going to open up wounds I couldn't close up again. I used to beat myself up mercilessly, and I've sort of come out of that. That's really important.

Q: Was it difficult reliving the past as you were writing it?

A: It was quite a privilege to get to do it, really. I felt I got to do what I wanted to do, which was memorialize my parents. But I had to tell a lot of the Duran Duran story to get that story published.

Q: Duran Duran is an ongoing concern. What made you think this was a good time to stop and look back?

A: This was the point that presented itself to me. I was glad the book was written during a really positive, active period during the band's life because I didn't have anything negative to say. Two years ago the first three albums were reissued on premium vinyl. I thought, "You know what? I'm going to listen to 'Seven and the Ragged Tiger.' " It was like taking out a vintage bottle of wine from the cellar. I just sat back and let it wash over me. I thought, "Wow, this is good." I'm at the point I can review the work from 1983 and feel pretty good about it.

Q: I hate to tell you, it gets kind of rough after 1983.

A: It's not going to be as fun, is it?

Courtesy San Francisco Chronicle