"I realize what a pleasure it is going through racks, and actually finding things. That reminds me of my childhood, but also of times, not quite so far away, when you had that choice," says Nick Rhodes, keyboardist and founding member of Duran Duran, about shopping for DVDs at Amoeba Hollywood. Amoeba hosted a signing with the legendary band for the release of their latest album, Paper Gods, and we got a chance to meet up with the band after they went hunting for music and movies.
Duran Duran are one of the quintessential bands to emerge from England's new wave/synth pop scene in the 1980s. Formed in 1978 by keyboardist Nick Rhodes and bassist John Taylor, over time the lineup solidified to include drummer Roger Taylor, frontman Simon Le Bon, and guitarist Andy Taylor. Initially inspired by post-punk and art school ideas and aligned early on with the New Romantic scene, Duran Duran quickly became superstars on the strength of their innovative music videos, fashion-forward image, and impressive number of chart-topping singles.
Duran Duran Paper Gods Amoeba MusicThe band's career took off with the release of their 1981 self-titled debut, which reached number 3 on the UK charts. Success in the US came shortly thereafter, when Duran Duran's sophomore LP, Rio, clocked in at number 6 on the Billboard 200. The band's string of successes continued with 1983's Seven and the Ragged Tiger and 1986's Notorious, with the band touring the globe and being feted as teen heartthrobs. By 1993, Duran Duran was back at the top of the charts, thanks to the release of a second self-titled album, dubbed The Wedding Album to differentiate it from the band's debut. Duran Duran continue to release new albums and will be touring the US this summer, including a stop in San Francisco for Outside Lands.
While the band's picks included classic albums by artists who've influenced them, they also had a lot to say about more recent acts like Tame Impala, whose album, Currents, Le Bon considers his top album of 2015. A new favorite for John Taylor is Galantis' Pharmacy, which he called "pure pop." Along the more classic side of things Roger Taylor picked up Led Zeppelin IV, the monumental record featuring such hits as "Black Dog" and "Stairway to Heaven." "One of the amazing things about the '70s," said Taylor, "was the covers, there was so much mystique in this record. I kind of think that's something we've lost; the mystique that surrounded artists and their records."
It wasn't all records though. Rhodes picked up a few art-house films, including 3 Films By Roberto Rossellini Starring Ingrid Bergman, the Maysles brothers' classic documentary Grey Gardens, and Paul Morrissey's cult vampire film, Blood For Dracula.
But what album does Le Bon consider to have "one of the all-time greatest record covers, ever, ever, ever," which also just happens to be "a very good album, too?" And what is Duran Duran's connection to the Led Zeppelin IV cover? You'll have to watch the video to find out.
Watch the video here.
Courtesy of Amoeba Records