John Taylor, “In the Pleasure Groove: Love, Death & Duran Duran” (Dutton/Penguin Group, $27.95) by John Taylor
For a period in the ‘80s, Duran Duran was the most popular band on the planet, and Taylor, its chiseled-cheekboned bassist, the main subject plastered on the walls of millions of teenage girls.
But the young man born Nigel John Taylor in Birmingham – a dweeby sort as a child – had a hard time coping with this explosion of fame, even though he was surrounded by longtime friends and bandmates (guitarist Andy Taylor – no relation – was Taylor’s favorite drug buddy) and loving parents in England.
While there are dozens of references to Taylor’s bad boy behavior with women and drugs, he’s too much of an English gentleman to go into sordid detail (Motley Crue’s “The Dirt,” this is not), which, to some longtime fans, might be a bit of a disappointment.
But those fans will also relish this unadorned, wincingly honest behind-the-scenes account of life in a band that allowed for meetings with David Bowie and dates with supermodels in between crafting some of the ‘80s most memorable pop piffles.
Atlanta connection: Taylor shares an anecdote about a fan encounter that will surely raise civic pride to a new level.
“The fans would do some pretty crazy things over the years, but my favorite has to be the girl in Atlanta who was present at a press conference we gave on the reunion tour. I had a cold and was sniffling into a series of tissues, absentmindedly throwing them into the wastepaper bin under the table. Next time into the city, the girl called out to me at another public appearance, ‘I was the girl who got your cold.’ I wondered what on earth she was talking about. ‘After you left the press conference last year I stole your used tissues. I wanted to get your cold.’