Wednesday, January 30, 2013

In the Pleasure Groove by John Taylor

"Hungry Like the Wolf," is my standard song for karaoke and I like to think I'm pretty awesome at it.  Duran Duran is one of my all time favorite bands.  I was delighted to see them perform last summer.   Later that year, my wonderful friend Melanie was also kind enough to take time during her recent stay in Glasgow, Scotland to meet John Taylor for me and gifted me with an autographed copy of his autobiography, "In the Pleasure Grove: Love, Death, & Duran Duran" for Christmas.

"In the Pleasure Groove..." is indeed a pleasure.  The narrative reads like you're sitting at a cafe with a good friend as he shares wonderful anecdotes about the wonderful triumphs of his career through the band he founded with his lifelong friends Nick Rhodes and Simon LeBon.  You can't help but read the early sections of the book with a smile on your face as the group rises from playing in tiny clubs, to selling out arenas, to recording the theme to a James Bond film, to meeting Princess Diana, Bowie and the adoration of fans around the world.  The middle section of the book deals with the effect all that fame and pressure had on John, he dealt with substance abuse issues for years that threatened to destroy the success he had both with the band and with his family.  He also shares some wonderful stories about his devoted parents.  Like me, he is an only child and had great love and respect for his parents.  The band's popularity and grueling schedule demands also caused strife with its members but John is very classy and never reveals any dirt on any of his bandmates and friends.  Of course the book is full of descriptions to the songwriting, brainstorming, passion and hard work that goes into making their music.  I've always been a fan but the level of commitment they put into making their music the best it can be has intensified my fandom. 

I highly recommend "In the Pleasure Groove: Love, Death & Duran Duran," by John Taylor not just to fans of Duran Duran but to anyone who appreciates great music and a great story.

In the meantime, check out two of my favorite Duran Duran videos.  The first is "Rio," from their second album of the same name " and the second, "Girl Panic," is from their latest album, "All You Need is Now."

And if you want to see something wild, and you're over the age of 18, look for the "night version" aka the uncensored version of "Girls on Film."  It's insane but brilliant and is a wonderful showcase of Duran Duran's creativity.

John Taylor performing with Duran Duran when I saw them at Foxwoods in the summer of 2012.

As always I received no financial compensation for this review.  I simply love good books and good music.  

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