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… See more details below

Overview

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.

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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.)

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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.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780446546065
Publisher:
Grand Central Publishing
Publication date:
09/09/2008
Sold by:
Hachette Digital, Inc.
Format:
NOOK Book
Sales rank:
296,300
File size:
1 MB

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