JUNE 20, 2017 – 12:10 PM
Dr. Nancy Berk
Legendary Duran Duran drummer Roger Taylor is well aware of the power of music. Along with bassist John Taylor, keyboardist Nick Rhodes and singer Simon Le Bon, Taylor has been a force behind a band that has rocked the music industry for over three decades. So when the band’s manager asked if he wanted to use a short break during their tour to work in-studio with at-risk youth in the non-profit program Road Recovery, Taylor didn’t hesitate.
“It was an immediate ‘yes,’” says the drummer. “I knew John [Taylor] had done it. He’s done a lot of work actually with Road Recovery. So I kind of just went along with him. And we had a great time.”
Road Recovery, in conjunction with mental health support, offers workshops and mentorship training for at-risk youth that focuses on music and recording projects. Influencers like the Duran Duran power team, help bring visibility to the non-profit while giving students the opportunity to collaborate with some of the best in the business— a business that has had more than its fair share of drug and alcohol addiction casualties.
“It’s a great environment for those kids, because it’s a completely sober environment,” says Taylor about Road Recovery.
“It’s a very safe place for these kids. And the music business generally is not a safe place. You know, having been in it for many years, it’s— there’s a lot of temptation, so it was great to go into an environment that was totally free of all that temptation for these kids…somewhere they could really express themselves. It was an exciting couple of days actually. John and I have both been sober for a while, so we kind of understand how hard it is to maintain sobriety. And that’s one of the great things about this program.”
While all of the players recognize that positive empowerment and continued sobriety is the real gift participants should take away from the program, there was also a bonus track in Taylor’s musical collaboration.
The single No Rewind, now available on iTunes and other platforms, showcases the work of these young ‘at risk’ recording artists under the umbrella of support from the two legendary musicians.
Explains Taylor about the song: “First of all, it’s really their project. It’s those guys that really own this piece of music…the music was pretty well advanced when we [Roger and John Taylor] got there and we just kind of helped them out with it and made some suggestions and tweaked the sound and really picked out what was really working on the song. So we were kind of like a little bit of production I guess rather than performing. Actually, I did do a little bit of drumming on it, but it was mainly a little bit of production. I’ve got to say the kids were amazing. They were so enthusiastic.”
Taylor is thrilled that the song and the important cause behind it have been gaining traction and attention.
“The great thing about it is it’s kind of grown and grown. We had no idea that maybe it was never going to see the light of day…but it seems to have its own legs and it’s great that it’s coming up for general release and you know more and more people will hopefully get on board with the charity and support it.”
“Well they say to keep it, you’ve got to give it away,” says Taylor about the importance of using your talent to make a difference. Here’s hoping more people will follow his lead.
Read more and listen to an earlier conversation with Roger Taylor.
Courtesy Parade Magazine