Duran Duran's John Taylor: A Wild Boy's Road to Redemption
"I was spiritually dead, so I’ve been brought back." - Duran Duran bassist John Taylor
John Taylor, founding member and bassist of the 80s mega British group Duran Duran, came to the end road, it was time to slay his demons.
Fame, drug use, and women aplenty, only catapulted this once shy kid from Birmingham, England towards destruction. Flashing career credentials wouldn’t be an answer, as the band swept Generation X females off their feet with their boyish good looks and fashion. “Planet Earth”, “Rio”, “Hungry Like the Wolf”, “The Reflex”, rocked the charts in both Europe, Japan and on American soil. Selling millions of albums followed while money poured like champagne, but this, too, brought little comfort.
Being a wild boy took its toll.
The only child born of Jack and Jean, Nigel John Taylor, needed to switch gears from self-destruction. It meant staying sober, maturing, and eventually revealing who he really was. In his new memoir, In the Pleasure Groove: Love Death & Duran Duran, Taylordigs into the rawness of his fame, cocaine abuse and finally making peace with his God.
Taylor, 52, is articulate, warm and conversational, not reticent.
“I am definitely of the generation of over sharing. I guess at some point I’ve sort of become comfortable with sharing so much of myself. Having said that, you don’t know what’s not in the book,” Taylor laughs. “In one hand, one has to come to an understanding with oneself. “OK, where am I going go? How far am I willing to go?” I wanted there to be a lot of light in the book. And I feel for the light to be appreciated that there had to be a lot darks.”
“I was born again by sobriety. And I wanted that in there too, [book]. It’s a slow walk up a hill. But it’s better than the alternative. I was going downhill fast.”
After moving to Los Angeles in the early 90s with his first wife actress Amanda de Cadenet and a newborn baby, therapy was his saving grace as Taylor was clinging to solid ground. He asked his therapist to find a therapist in London as he was still with the band. The first therapist he saw spent 10 minutes with him and referred him to another professional in North London. About 15 minutes later, the therapist said "You need to get sober, because if you get sober, you could really be somebody. If you get sober, I can treat you."