THEY’VE sold 100million records around the world and are still packing out arenas nearly 40 years after they started out.
As Duran Duran prepare to take the stage at Glasgow’s SSE Hydro tomorrow, they’ve revealed they had to pay for the big break which brought them to Scotland for the first time.
The Birmingham band, fronted by Simon Le Bon, are one of Britain’s most successful pop groups of all time.
But in 1980, they had to take out a mortgage to pay for a support slot on Hazel O’Connor’s UK tour as she promoted her album Breaking Glass.
Recalling their first trip to Scotland for an Edinburgh Odeon show that November, drummer Roger Taylor said: “That was our first big break. That’s the important thing.
“I remember taking some very long bus rides. I have great memories of playing in Scotland I have to say.
“One of our managers mortgaged his flat to pay for us to get to play as the support act to Hazel O’ Connor, who was a big star.
“She was so gracious and she was much bigger than us at the time. In those days you had to buy on to a tour.
“We were told we had to pay to get a gig so we paid up and it worked.”
In Glasgow, they will be performing classic hits such as Girls On Film, Hungry Like The Wolf and Bond theme A View To A Kill as well as new material.
Roger said of the Hydro: “It’s a great venue and we find that the further north we go, the louder the audiences get and the more enthusiastic.
“We always have a great response in Scotland so we’re looking forward to getting back up there.”
He admitted the new material took quite some time to come to fruition.
“The album was two years in the making,” he said. “I used to bump into my neighbours and they would say, ‘Hey, what are you doing Roger?’ and I’d say, ‘Making an album.’
“They’d bump into me a year later and ask and when I said, ‘Making an album’ they’d say, ‘The same one?’
“We thought we would let it take as long as it would take. We didn’t book the tour until the album was finished and we’re really happy with it.”
The record features special guests including Janelle Monáe, former Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist John Frusciante, Canadian Juno Award-winning singer Kiesza, British singer-songwriter Mr Hudson, violinist Davide Rossi and, perhaps the biggest surprise of all, actress Lindsay Lohan.
Lohan performs a spoken part on the song Danceophobia.
“We had all these great people on the record but people do tend to pick that one out,” Roger said.
“She was ripe for that particular song.
“We were looking for a really cool spoken word part, inspired by the one on Michael Jackson’s Thriller.
“Someone told us Lindsay Lohan wanted to do something on the record so we brought her in for that part.
“She is a great Hollywood actress and she can turn her hand to most things.
“She was perfect for that particular part of the record.”
Duran Duran also enlisted super producers Mark Ronson and Mr Hudson.
And they reunited with Chic legend Nile Rodgers, who gave Duran Duran a new lease of life when he remixed the 1983 single The Reflex and produced the follow-up The Wild Boys.
Roger said: “We go back a long way, right back to The Reflex when Nile did the remix, which was a new thing in those days. We were blown away by his work on it because it was a very early use of sampling.
“I’d never played with Nile. I’d only been produced by him so to get behind the kit and play with the great Nile Rodgers was quite a watershed moment.”
“It was quite a long break,” Roger said.
“I did fall out of love with the music business for a while. I think the band became a lot bigger than I imagined.
“I always imagined Duran Duran would be little more than a little cult band to be honest.
“I didn’t realise we would reach the global audience that we did so quickly.
“It was like being in a Porsche and not having a driver’s licence. It was zero to hero in five minutes which was a bit quick for me.
“I wasn’t prepared for that level of fame at that age. It sounds coy but I left to find myself for a few years.
“It took quite a few years to level out and figure out who I really was.
“So when I came back, I was ready for it and much more grounded.
“I’ve actually been in the band twice as long this time as I was last time so something’s working.”
Courtesy Daily Record