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Wild Boy: My Life in Duran Duran

Wild Boy: My Life in Duran Duran

4.1 22
by Andy Taylor

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Wild Boy is the explosive first inside account of the rise and fall of Duran Duran. The band rose to conquer the globe with a string of unforgettable hits such as "Rio," "Hungry Like the Wolf," and "The Reflex." With Simon Le Bon as their frontman, they were the defining pop act of the 1980s, but Andy Taylor, the enigmatic lead guitarist, is widely acknowledged to


Wild Boy is the explosive first inside account of the rise and fall of Duran Duran. The band rose to conquer the globe with a string of unforgettable hits such as "Rio," "Hungry Like the Wolf," and "The Reflex." With Simon Le Bon as their frontman, they were the defining pop act of the 1980s, but Andy Taylor, the enigmatic lead guitarist, is widely acknowledged to have been their musical driving force.

Then, at the very height of their achievement in 1985, Duran Duran imploded. Now Andy shares the story of what went wrong. With searing honesty, he charts every moment of Duran Duran's roller-coaster rise from their early days as club musicians through to international superstardom. He captures the glamour and excitement of the band's epic video shoots and the opulence of their world tours.

He reveals the truth about the allegations of drug abuse and wild hedonism that dogged Duran Duran. Packed with more than twenty-five years worth of rock 'n' roll anecdotes, Andy tells of his time in the band The Power Station, and explains why Duran Duran reformed with its original line-up in 2003.

But Wild Boy is also a moving story on a human level, as Andy describes how the pressures of fame took a terrible personal toll on him and his family. Moving from hilarious to harrowing at the turn of a page, WILD BOY is a must-read for anyone who lived through the 1980s, or who cares about music.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

In this sincere though slight autobiography, Taylor, guitarist for the 1980s pop band Duran Duran, delivers an extended backstage look at the band's rise and fall. He includes an album-by-album look at how the band, which combined glam fashion and keyboard-driven synthpop with outrageous (and expensive) videos featuring exotic locales such as Sri Lanka, became synonymous with early MTV. Taylor discusses-sometimes underplays-the band's outrageous drug and alcohol habits-much of which was better covered in MTV's 1999 Behind The Music segment. He is clearly aware that the band's "materialistic image" was a key part of London's transformation in the 1980s into a city where "it was a dominant part of popular culture to aspire to be successful." The frustrating part is that his attempts to put Duran Duran into a wider musical perspective are far too infrequent, and his own story can't quite carry the narrative. (Sept.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Kirkus Reviews
Guitarist of a quintessential '80s British New Wave rock group reflects on the "roller coaster ride" of pop stardom. In prose brimming with drinking-buddy informality, Taylor begins by summarizing his middle-class upbringing in early-'70s Birmingham and his parents' doomed marriage. After stints in cover bands, he answered a guitarist-wanted ad in Melody Maker and, still in his teens, became a member of Duran Duran, the "it" band at Birmingham's notorious Rum Runner club. Swept up in the "New Romantic" movement, the quintet generated immediate industry buzz and quickly acquired fashion-model girlfriends, recreational drug habits and a fat record contract from EMI. Yet Taylor doesn't fixate too much on the expected sex-and-drugs-related action. Rather, he emphasizes the money they made and the shameless conspicuous consumption they indulged in, including juvenile hijinks at expensive hotels (Taylor ran up a $450,000 bill at one establishment) and outrageous expenditures on food, houses, video shoots, cars and parties. The memoir solidifies Duran Duran's status as pop music's poster children for the materialistic Reagan-Thatcher '80s. Their exotic videos, Anthony Price suits and hooky, synthesizer-heavy songs made them fixtures on the Billboard charts and darlings of the early MTV age. Taylor depicts his band mates as distant and uncommunicative, with financial success eventually leading them all into typically self-destructive behavioral scripts. More engaging are his anecdotes about musicians outside the Duran Duran circle, e.g., Keith Richards, Mick Jagger, Robert Palmer and Rod Stewart. Some seriously dramatic interludes eventually creep into his recollections. The band agitatedthousands of Buddhist monks on a video shoot in Sri Lanka; they were secondary targets of an IRA bomb threat; and Taylor's wife twice endured frightening postnatal psychotic breaks. Barring the intermittently self-important tone and preachy anti-drug caveats, this is an evocative, albeit uneven portrait of the limitless privileges and life-draining pressures of day-to-day life in the rock 'n' roll touring bubble.

Product Details

Grand Central Publishing
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.20(d)

Meet the Author

Andy Taylor was born in a small fishing village in the North East of England in 1961. He learned to play guitar at the age of eight and as a teenager he toured American airbases in Germany with a cover band, before joining Duran Duran in 1980. In the five years that followed, the band would have ten Top 10 UK hit singles and two #1 hit singles in the U.S. before he left, and have gone on to sell 100 million records worldwide. A hugely accomplished musician, having worked with artists as diverse as Robert Palmer, Rod Stewart, and Steve Jones of the Sex Pistols, Andy lives with his wife Tracey and their family in Ibiza.

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Wild Boy: My Life in Duran Duran 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 22 reviews.
JenF More than 1 year ago
I've always been a huge DD fan but never really knew the gory details on "my guys." I wish I knew then what I know now. This book had me laughing out loud one minute and it was breaking my heart the next. As I read through the book, I was constantly stopping to google things that he'd mention. (I see the Rio video in a totally different light, now!) I have a newfound love and respect for them, especially Andy, who has been able to remain a faithful husband and father for so long.
AutismMom More than 1 year ago
I hesitated picking up this book cos I thought it'd be a 'tell all and not in a nice way' kind of book. Yay! It wasn't! It starts out with him telling about himself as a young kid, and up to where he gets to Duran Duran. Then he talks about what it was like on the other side of the cage (inside looking out, where and what we couldn't see). Some things were so funny, some just heart-wrenching, making me feel so horrible for him (and them). He winds up with where he was at that moment in time, like coming out of his own 'Perfect Storm'. It was as if I could hear him talking what I was reading. I see how things deeply touched him, or angered him, and we get insight to his opinions, thoughts, and musings. He has a wonderful way of writing. He makes Duran Duran more human, not just those oh so hot lads almost every female teenager in the 80s had on her walls...and ceiling, and door...and had every LP, knew every song, and just dreamed about. He gave them depth, even in the not so wonderful times, it makes them even more special because of the talent they ALL have, such diverse personalities, all coming together, rocking the world, shattering apart, coming together, although splintered, just to break wide open again. I have been a fan since the early 80s, I still listen to them, to their side projects, like Arcadia and Power Station, I like their solo stuff, but in the US almost impossible to find. This book gave me insights to the videos, the locations, the recordings, the concerts...It helped me not just to like their music, but helped me respect them more as people with talent up close than just the icons we all saw from afar. Read it. You will not be disappointed.
JoJo2781 More than 1 year ago
If you were a teenage girl/boy in the eighties obsessed with Duran Duran this is a great read. It highlights some of the high and low points of the "Fab Five" from Andy Taylor's perspective. One of my favorite parts was reading about the making of the videos in all of those exotic locales. If you read this and have access to the videos I recommend you see the videos after the descriptions of the mishaps that occured. A good read that I couldn't wait to get back to each time I put it down.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you loved Duran Duran in the 80's or even now, this is a must read. I couldn't put this book down! Andy is very honest and its really refreshing to read about all the ups and downs they have gone through.
Guest More than 1 year ago
My goodness, this book brought back so many memories!!! Being a HUGE 'Duranie' back in the day, I remember a group of us crazed girls, waiting in front of the Westwood Marquis in Los Angeles, for the departure of the band to their waiting limousine. And scream we did, when they finally emerged!!! Who knew that at the time the band was in such turmoil, with drugs, infighting, and money issues. I have a new respect for Andy Taylor, as both a musician, and a human being, after reading his book. I found it fascinating that he has been married to Tracey for 25 years! Good for him!!! While parts of the book are a bit redundant 'I fault the editor', the story is quite enjoyable, and at times sad.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Andy Taylor offers fans a peek inside his life. As the lead guitarist with Duran Duran he was swept to fame quickly. The stress was high and hard on the group. Fans never knew the pressure and discontent of the members. Taylor is brutally honest in his memoir. My favorite part of Wild Boy was seeing Taylor as a husband and father. It is obvious that he loves his family very much. His devotion to his wife during her illness is inspiring. Wild Boy gives fans the opportunity to see a superstar in a different light. It is an opportunity to see Andy Taylor as a normal human being. Kudos Mr. Taylor.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was a huge fan of Duran Duran and reading behind the scene was a BIG eye opener for me. I really liked getting to know Andy Taylor. Well written and if you love the music business side you will love this book. No photographs in book though
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hard to put down. I was and will always be a fan and can't believe i waited so long to read this. Fun getting to know andy and the journey he went through, though sad to read about the friction.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
I have been a Duranie since way back, the number 5 is my lucky number because of the 5 band members. I loved this book! I always enjoy reading about the life of a band that I admire. Mr. Taylor is not only a talented guitarist, he can tell a good story too. Cheers Andy!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Anyone who remembers Duran from the early 80's or went to a show during 83-84 phenom, or even before or afterward should read this book. Andy shares a inside details deal about himself, the band, and the drama. When my friends and I first heard Andy had written a book, we thought he's bitter and this is payback. He's not bitter IMO the only real 'dig' was when he referred to another member of the band as a 'Revlon wearing tosser.' Which I thought was quite funny. For the most part he provided a firsthand account for what really happened to the band that is synonymous with the 80's. Andy didn't sugar coat but he wasn't cruel either. Andy also talks a lot about the music: recording, dealing with management and working with other talent - validating his life outside of Duran. He also shares some great photos - most from his personal collection. A few years back, after the first round of the reunion tour I had saw Andy leaving the show and said - 'hey Andy - welcome back.' Well he shot me look that - even through his sunglasses - could kill. After the read I understand why. This is Andy setting the record straight.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Andy really has a way of writing. His wit / humor are priceless. He doesn't hold back & gloss over anything. You get a complete understanding of his life & view w/the band thru the years. It's a great read! ****