Duran Duran’s forthcoming North America tour will include a one-off benefit concert for the Cancer Awareness Trust, a special tribute to guitarist Andy Taylor, who is battling stage-4 prostate cancer.
The Rock And Roll Hall of Fame-inducted British band announces the fundraiser for Aug. 19 at The Guild Theatre in Menlo Park, CA.
Speaking about the intimate event, Duran Duran frontman Simon Le Bon says, “We are heading to Northern California, to play many of the songs that we wrote together with our dear friend, Andy Taylor, to help him and others in their fight against prostate cancer. It is the right thing to do.”
Those songs are a collection of gold-standard hits, from “A View to a Kill,” to “Planet Earth,” “Rio,” “Girls on Film,” The Reflex,” “Wild Boys,” “Hungry Like the Wolf,” “Is There Something I Should Know,” “Save a Prayer,” and others.
News of Taylor’s diagnosis reached the band just days before their induction into the Rock Hall last November. His ongoing treatment forced him to miss the induction ceremony, though members of the group used the platform of the show to read a letter from Taylor, addressing for the first time his illness.
Since then, his bandmates have “been made aware of a revolutionary life-extending treatment that they will be funding for cancer patients such as Andy,” reads a statement from Duran Duran.
Adds drummer Roger Taylor: “We would like to thank our fans and the organizers of this benefit who have given us the chance to help our longtime friend and colleague Andy Taylor. We have always described ourselves as a ‘band of brothers,’ and that has never been more true than in this very moment.”
Taylor was lead guitarist for Duran Duran during their heyday in the early-to-mid 1980s, during which time the new wave stars became, without argument, one of the most popular bands on the planet. Now 62, the English rocker performed on DD’s first three studio albums, the self-titled debut from 1981, Rio from 1982, Seven and the Ragged Tiger from 1983, live album Arena from 1984, contributed to the band’s 1986 album Notorious, then split to pursue a solo career.
Taylor reunited with Le Bon, John Taylor, Nick Rhodes and Roger Taylor (none of the Taylors are related) in the early 2000s. With the old band back together, Duran Duran released the 2004 album Astronaut, toured, and collected a slew of awards, including the Brit Award for outstanding contribution to British music, the BPI’s equivalent of the lifetime achievement award.
Andy Taylor discussed his health battles, which he has described as “a death sentence,” for a U.K. TV interview earlier in the year.
Playing guitar, however, has had an unexpected benefit. “It’s really helped me to live with the pessimism of an incurable disease,” he noted, “but the optimism of creating music.”
Following the benefit concert, Duran Duran will embark on the second leg of their North American Future Past Tour, in support of their 15th studio LP Future Past, which peaked at No. 3 on the Official U.K. Albums Chart in 2021.
Another album is already in the works, and it’ll feature the talents of Andy Taylor. A statement issued by the band in March reads, “Duran Duran are thrilled to confirm a special new music project is in the works, set for release later this year on BMG. The new recordings will feature extended Duran Duran family and friends, old and new, including our former bandmate Andy Taylor who will join us on guitar on a few tracks.”
Ticket pre-sales for the benefit concert go on sale Monday, July 17 for members of the Duran Duran VIP Fan Community, with the general on-sale beginning Wednesday, July 19 at GuildTheatre.com.
In the meantime, Andy Taylor is in good hands. “I am delighted that we have been able to help turn Andy’s life around, and with the support of Duran Duran and their incredible fanbase, the revolutionary new treatment could well both improve Andy’s quality of life and extend it significantly,” comments professor Sir Chris Evans, founder of The U.K.’s Cancer Awareness Trust. “Andy will receive the latest precision medical treatment, emanating from some recently successful clinical trials, along with the ongoing support that the Cancer Awareness Trust is providing. The incredible support of Duran Duran will mean many more people will benefit just like Andy has”.