Duran Duran's keyboard whizz on why his favourite album has a banana on the front - and Batman was a closet New Romantic
I first saw 2001: A Space Odyssey on TV in the 1970s when I was in my teens, and it blew my mind. I saw it again at the cinema a few years later, and it’s one of those films that’s really worth watching on a big screen. I’ve always loved anything vaguely futuristic, and Stanley Kubrick was about as good a film-maker as there has ever been when it comes to taking existing material, in this case an Arthur C Clarke short story, and making it into a great movie. The last movie I really enjoyed was Pedro Almodóvar’s The Skin I Live In. His films are always unconventional and quirky.
The first Velvet Underground album, The Velvet Underground & Nico, which I heard when I was about 12, is one of the records I’ve played the most over the years – and it’s also been so influential. As someone once famously said, it may not have sold very well, but everyone who bought a copy formed a band. The last album that really surprised me was Mark Ronson’s Record Collection, which featured some really interesting guest artists such as MNDR.
With the Star Walk app, if you hold your iPod up towards the sky, you can see all the stars and constellations. It even tells you the names of all the planets. Then, if you point it towards the ground, it shows you what all the stars are in the other hemisphere. It’s brilliant, and if you’re ever somewhere with a clear sky and no light pollution, it’s a revelation. It’s beautifully designed and makes clever use of the available technology. I’m fascinated by astronomy, but even if you’re not, give this a go.
It was watching Hammer Horror films as a kid – I was a massive fan – that made me want to read Bram Stoker’s Dracula. I just love Count Dracula – he’s an unforgettable character. It’s a superbly written book and a lot scarier than the movies, and really stands the test of time. The last book I read was Nick Davies’ Flat Earth News, about the way the modern media works. Having lived part of my life through the media, I found it truly fascinating.
I’ve seen lots of plays, but when I saw The Book Of Mormon on Broadway, I realised I’d just seen a modern masterpiece. Its creators, Trey Parker and Matt Stone, are unbelievably irreverent and have managed to capture the spirit of British humour and satire, much of it coming from Monty Python and that era. But they’ve modernised it for today’s generation. I think they’re two of the smartest, funniest American writers out there today.
I loved the original Batman series with Adam West, which was repeated on the telly for years afterwards. They made so much great television in America in the 1960s, shows that were so inventive and different to the things you see now. I liked the ridiculousness of Batman, too: the colours, the outfits and the weird characters! I had a Batman outfit as a kid – where do you think the New Romantics began?
The only show that’s really grabbed me recently is Mad Men, which is so inspired and has such larger-than-life characters.
I listened to a huge amount of radio as a kid, but my favourite show was John Peel’s late-night Radio 1 show, which I used to listen to under the bed sheets on my little transistor radio. That was the show that most inspired me as a musician, and introduced me to alternative music. I remember one night him putting on the Undertones’ song Teenage Kicks and then saying, ‘That was so good, I’m going to play it again.’ And he did. That would never happen on Radio 1 today. I don’t put the radio on as much these days, but when I do it’s usually BBC Radio 6 Music – because you get to hear music that you don’t hear on other stations.
‘Bored With Prozac And The Internet?’ by TV Mania, aka Nick Rhodes and Warren Cuccurullo, is out now; tvmaniamusic.com
Watch BEAUTIFUL CLOTHES here: http://duran.io/142a7Fm
Courtesy of Daily Mail