In the Pleasure Groove: Love, Death and Duran Duran. John Taylor

he frank, unny and intimate autobiography of Duran Duran 's legendary bassist, John Taylor.

With Duran Duran, John Taylor has created some of the greatest songs of our time. From the disco dazzle of debut single 'Planet Earth' right up to their latest number one album All You eed is Now, Duran Duran has always had the power to sweep the world onto its feet.

It 's been a ride- and for John in particular, the ride has been wild, thrilling ... and dangerous. Now, for he irst time, he insists his astonishin story- th ale of dreams fulfilled, lessons learned and demons conquered.

Th shy only child, Nigel John Taylor was n't an obvious candidate for pop stardom and frenzied girl panic. But when he ditched his first name and picked up a bass guitar, everything changed. John formed Duran Duran with his friend Nick Rhodes in the winter of 1978 and they were soon joined by Roger Taylor, then Andy Taylor and finally Simon Le Bon. Together they were an immediate, massive global success story, their pictures on millions of walls, every single a worldwide hit.

In his frank, compelling utobiography, John recounts the highs- hanging out with icons like Bowie, Warhol and even James Bond; dating Vogue models and driving fast cars- all the while playing hard with the band he loved. But he faced tough battles ahead- troubles that brought him to the brink of self-destruction- before turning his life around.

Told with humo, onesty and hard-won wisdom and packed with exclusive pictures, IN THE PLEASURE GROOVE is surprisin, irresistible portrait of th an who danced into the fire ... and came through the other side.
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Published October 2012 by Sphere (first published September 1st 2012

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rated it

Andy Taylor 's memoir Wild Boy was more believable, a bit uneven but a lot more passionate, and ctually full of memories.

In contras, here 's JT 's description of the event: " We filmed the Reflex over two ays in Toronto. " That 's it.

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With hat being acknowledge, I as a Duran Duran fan with John as my “ avorite ” and thus looked to “ In the Pleasure Groove ” to learn what he was truly about.

Although Taylor ’ s life is followed chronologically; “ In the Pleasure Groove ” doesn ’ t sequence a personal bio and instead chronicles events which led to inspirations, the formation of Duran Duran, and band/career highlights.

As for the writing style: “ In the Pleasure Groove ” flows like a fictional narrative with a literary voice and language that simply doesn ’ t eel like Taylor ’ s resulting in inconsistencies and a loss in believability.

Yet, the focus of “ In the Pleasure Groove ” is the band and the music so expect coverage on Taylor ’ s career versus his personal life which is hardly mentioned.

Anothe ending does focus a bit more on his personal life but this is where the stereotypical memoir form comes in, as Taylor becomes whiny and makes excuses such as how alcohol addiction is a disease and so nothing was his fault ( take responsibility for your actions!).

Overall, “ In the Pleasure Groove ” is not terrible in terms of memoirs and the text is well-written; I just sometime wanted “ more ”.

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I as a squealing, swooning, drooling Duranie in my early-mid teens and was excited about reading John 's boo.

He rote from the heart, telling interesting, unny and poignant stories about life- good and bad- in Duran Duran as well as providin some of his private life, and I came bac from it feeling that I like him, that I liked the band, and best of all, that I as a lovestruck teen all over again.

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We bot have our youthful music addictions; for each of us, his is a band or person or style that “ changed the world. ” One of my friends is a massive Beatles fan, and this can not get enough of girl groups of the mid-60s.

I ’ d love to know how much they talk about the tyles of music.

When super-producer Mark Ronson produced their recent album All You Wan is Now, he id a wonderfu job recapturing and updating a sound that bands like Japan and Frankie Goes to Hollywood had, but that seems primarily defined by Duran Duran.

It ’ s that slick blend of guitar, mandoli, and, of course, synthesizer.) I ’ d love to know how the band felt comfortable with their earlier gender-blending ( New Romantics) and then later polished, rich style.

John explaine that each band member gravitated to specific styles at first, but he also mentions dressers who helped them choose clothes for album covers and videos.John does talk about the diversity of the videos, and whereve he contextualizes in a way I wish he did in the remainde of he bestselling.

He says Duran Duran got pinged for supporting rampant 80s consumerism when they merely were trying to make slick, arresting videos.

nstead of just providing artfully rendered performance on video ( which everyone else had been doing), Duran Duran added imagery, plot, location, art direction, etc.

John mentions a bit of tha, but I ’ d till like to ear more of the iscussion about image and marketing, what it meant in the example of the eriod.

( Though I know this might come later from Nick Rhodes, their keyboardist and art and commerce junkie.) John finally talks about his addiction to drugs and meaningless sex, and how hese were spurred by his unusual solitude – a condition only fame and constant travel can bring.

I know I won ’ t be happy until Nick tells me about all their meetings on art direction, and Simon talks about what inspires his oblique lyrical style.

rated it

A part where he sees that girls actually think he 's good looking and attractive just tickled me.

The eginnings of his friendshi with Nick, the band, and how it took les than couple of days to find it just right ... it 's all here.

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Judging from this, Taylor is a straight-up dude, thin of prettier Duff McKagan, who just refuse to rock, get high and meet girls, with an occasional interlude for a mild nervous breakdown or a stint reading books in the suburbs and playing house before, inevitably, the road calls to him and female screams lift the roof off in Rio, in Rome, in Sydney, in Birmingham.

That 's right: the boys from Duran came straight out of England 's second city with a bullet, and Taylor 's loving recreation of the scene and town that spawned them contradicts totally any other stories you may have heard about that post-industrial blight on the Midlands, currently ( or at least until they started setting up for the Olympics) the site of the worst traffic and most constant rebuilding in England.

ll pretty f** king interesting, I have to worry, and to this day if I hear 'Girls on Film' ( worked up by Taylor and his younger school buddy Nick Rhodes before Duran got together and submitted in demo form by Taylor for his secon year 's art school assessment) I ca n't help but think back wistfully myself, to that video for the 12-inch 'Night Mix' which would still be on MTV at about four in the night and which basically ( along with my Marilyn-as-ballerina poster) ushered me into puberty, the women sleek and tottering from 5-inch stilettos into blow-up wading pools or grinding groin-first along a pole covered with shaving foam while John, red-haired with fringe in face and headband, grooved asymmetrically in the spotlight and spotty Northumberland guitar-whiz Andy Taylor ( no relation) spat metallised Joy Division-esque trills and riffage over the endless-seeming fade in a shadowy corner.

How much wors, I used to say, if I 'd been John Taylor, high on charlie and newly-initiated to the big league with maybe even a chance of scoring with one of those babes, instead of back in Balhannah, South Australia, about an hour from Adelaide on winding roads by car or f** k knows how long by public transport, and ondering how I 'd ever cope with the three months of high school I 'd have to overcom before I too ould be a rockstar.

From memory, one year my dad gave me a stereo for my birthday, along with three tapes: the Blues Brothers' Briefcase Full of Blues ( I like it), Elton John 's Goodbye Yellow Brick Road ( I fel it), and the VHS video of the making of Michael Jackson 's 'Thriller' film-clip ( it perplexed me: did Dad really think I 'd like this stuff?).

One thing helped: after seeing me poring over Bon Jovi videos, Dad decided if I iked these guys in make-up maybe I 'd like David Bowie, and firs thing he 's got me this pirated VHS copy of the 1973 Ziggy Stardust concert from one of his riends, and it 's a revelation.

And next year, confusion: I recall writing 'REMAIN IN LIGHT' in marker-pen in pride of place on my rucksack, yet also listening to Duran 's Arena ( the live album).

But after reading John Taylor 's book I know I did right: Taylor ai n't no teenybopper, and he and the whole band fought – at least inwardly – the perception of their music as pap for teenyboppers.

And John ha a big force behind that album – the only band member who weighed in at the mixing sessions ( he was there, he wondered, to make sure the bass was loud enough), and ossibly the most passionate live player in the group, thi one who woul n't ge it up even when the money was made and the others just wanted to lounge around at beach resorts and get married.

rated it

Some very sad but dealt with gracefully if that is the right word.John deals with his drinking and drug problems.

It 's what I like about him and his recovery, he does n't sta on and on, I admire the way he deal with it and applies it in his everyday life.The book is n homage to Birmingham and his growing up.

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I hink we all like this, especially as it was happening.What I did n't ind in another essay ha any revelations about his interaction with ther people.

I feel he talked more about Sterling Campbell who was not in band a couple of weeks!

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Obviously he hould have waited another 20 years then written the book? His accounts of rehab and his current career are good, and if you 're fan of the band- or Taylor- you 're comin to b to writ the memoi, despite its hortcomings.

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© Nicole Waggonner