Ask me in 1987 who my favourite band was, and I would say, hands down, Duran Duran. In fact, the years 1984 to 1987, I was in the throes of Duranmania.
Over the years, I sort of kept Duran Duran on my radar, “checking in” every once in awhile to see what the band were up to, even though my last purchased album of theirs was their 1988 album, Big Thing. At any rate, the story of their success – their humble beginnings in Birmingham, UK at the Rum Runner bar, their huge successes with their eponymous album, Rio and later Seven and the Ragged Tiger, the band’s hiatus and side projects, Arcadia and the Power Station, and their struggle to come back and get an audience with their fourth studio album, Notorious is one I have memorized. I bore witness to their successes, and their struggles via the media, video and the radio.
So when I discovered John Taylor’s book, In the Pleasure Groove in the remainder bin at Chapters recently, I thought it would be cool to relive those times from the perspective of a bandmember I didn’t pay much attention to. As good-looking as John Taylor was, the only member of the band I paid any attention to was Simon Le Bon; John was my sister’s favourite.
In the Pleasure Groove is told in John’s voice, delving into John’s upbringing, his close relationship to his parents, his budding interest in music, and childhood friendship with fellow Duran bandmate Nick Rhodes. He talks about how he and Nick created Duran Duran. In reading this book, I learned so much more about this band I hadn’t known before; details like the fact that Duran Duran was mostly John’s idea. John also deals with his very personal struggles with addiction to drugs and alcohol, as well as his side projects, including his time performing in Neurotic Outsiders with former Guns and Roses bassist Duff McKagan, and guitarist Steve Jones from the Sex Pistols.
Although I braced for a salacious tell-all, In the Pleasure Groove was a passionate and engrossing read that is very balanced, and never puts anyone against the ropes (including Andy Taylor, former guitarist who really didn’t leave the band on decent terms). It’s an excellent book and I highly recommend it!
In the Pleasure Groove
#TBR20 Project Participant!!
The “To Be Read 20” Project, is created and hosted by Eva Stalker at evastalker.com. The goal of the project is to read through 20 books I own before buying any more books.