The Inventory: John Taylor
John Taylor, 53, found global fame as co-founder and bass player of Duran Duran, one of the most popular groups of the 1980s.
What was your earliest ambition?
Boy things: to be a fighter pilot, a racing driver.
Public school or state school? University or straight into work?
Redditch County High School, a state school, and then Birmingham Polytechnic to do an arts foundation course. That was where the band got started.
Who was your mentor?
David Bowie and The Beatles were the two most powerful creative forces of my childhood. But the real starting point was 1976 and the punk-rock movement.
Ambition or talent: which matters more to success?
Skill is necessary but the most important thing is passion. It’s somehow less self-serving than ambition.
How physically fit are you?
Not as fit as I’d like to be. I like to think of myself as a runner. I do yoga. I don’t want to be someone showing up every month at the doctor’s or being on 20 tablets a day.
Have you ever taken an IQ test?
Not since I was at school.
How politically committed are you?
I have a very flexible belief system. It doesn’t matter to me what tie people are wearing.
Do you consider your carbon footprint?
Not particularly. Because my job requires me to travel so much, it’s almost a luxury I can’t afford.
Do you have more than one home?
I have a home in Wiltshire and a home in LA.
What would you like to own that you don’t currently possess?
A horse – I’ve realised how extraordinary they are, and how giving.
What’s your biggest extravagance?
The Jaguar F-Type I just ordered.
In what place are you happiest?
It’s a state of mind, really. I love mornings. Mornings used to mean the end of the night and the end of the party but now I love waking up when the day wakes up. My wife [Juicy Couture co-founder Gela Nash] and I come together over our first cup of coffee. It’s when I get my head into gear.
What ambitions do you still have?
To make music that moves people. I’m a believer in the power of music: it’s an antidepressant. I know the power that some of our hits have and I’d like to have more of that.
What drives you on?
As you get older, you look towards longevity as an inspiration in itself.
What is the greatest achievement of your life so far?
The tremendous bond between Nick [Rhodes], Simon [Le Bon], Roger [Taylor] and myself – that we’ve managed to create this band together. It sounds terribly grandiose but to have created something that has reached all the corners of the world is the greatest achievement.
If you had a coat of arms, what would be on it?
There would have to be a bass guitar and a lipstick; maybe the bass could double as a sword. A sharp-necked bass guitar and a winged horse – a Pegasus.
What has been your greatest disappointment?
With my ex-wife [Amanda de Cadenet], when our daughter was born, I wasn’t ready. I couldn’t be present in the way I’d have liked. But I don’t let disappointments rule me.
If your 20-year-old self could see you now, what would he think?
I think we’d get along very well!
If you lost everything tomorrow, what would you do?
Do you believe in assisted suicide?
I’ve never really thought about that, but I suppose yes – in a way.
Do you believe in an afterlife?
I don’t live life as if there’s an afterlife, I live life for today.
If you had to rate your satisfaction with your life so far, out of 10, what would you score?
I don’t want to sound all smug and self-satisfied but I’m pretty happy with my life. I’m a fan of self-improvement so maybe a nine?
John Taylor will be talking about his memoir ‘In the Pleasure Groove’ at the Edinburgh International Book Festival on August 17. Details and tickets www.edbookfest.co.uk
Courtesy Financial Times