INTERVIEW: John Taylor of Duran Duran on Staying Relevant In Music And As A Parent

Duran Duran bassist John Taylor

via Shutterstock

One of my best friends in high school was a big Duran Duran fan. It was the mid 80s, of course she was. She was a bigger John Taylor fan.

When the band was touring with David Bowie as an opening act for 1987’s Glass Spider Tour, she hung out in the lobby of a hotel in Vancouver reading The Great Gatsby, his favourite book.

Camping With Kids Near Calgary
He saw her, they chatted, and well – teenage girl’s dream come true, right?

Now, 30 years later, it’s my turn to talk to John Taylor.

When I look over the roster of musicians I’ve interviewed, most fill in through the 90s era of when I first started out in radio. Very few, however are from back when I was a wide-eyed teenaged music fan. I’ve interviewed Janet Jackson, Corey Hart, Mick Jagger and .. that’s about it.

So to get a chance to chat with a member of a band I listened to when I was 12? Well, let’s just say it was a thrill.

Here are some highlights:

May 2017 marked the 35th anniversary of Rio, and publications chased the band to talk about it. John found it awkward.

“35? It didn’t seem to me like a particularly significant amount. 50 is an anniversary worth celebrating.”

How Duran Duran balances a desire to put out new music with the fan base’s love of nostalgia.

“I don’t know that the fan base wants to live in the past. I think they want to be stirred up and inspired. I think you have to come to terms with your past, we’ve got to be present. I think doing what we do you get a better opportunity to stay current because you’re trying to stay relevant. We have this formula: legacy plus currency equals career.”

In his 2012 autobiography, In The Pleasure Groove: Love, Death, and Duran Duran, John describes his dad as “tightly buckled up, not expressive with his feelings, but a sweet guy.”

“That sounds like me, actually. I like to think I’m a little more expressive, and I wasn’t as buckled up as he was. One of the reasons I wrote the book was because I lost both my parents in a 5 or six year period. So I wanted to memorialize them and the place from whence I came before I forgot about it. It’s too easy to forget.”

On parenting, John describes his relationship with his kids in a bubble wrapped sort of way hoping “I don’t want them not to need me anymore.”

“I think we all kind of have that, we all want our kids to be independent, autonomous, but at the same time we don’t want them to never not want us. It’s all about striking the right balance, but it’s not always in your control, is it? My daughter was living away from home for a long time and I was kind of sad for a while that I wasn’t seeing much of her anymore. But now she’s back home [laughs] didn’t see that one coming.”

On finding a cowboy hat to wear during the Calgary Stampede:

“Oh dear. Okay. I’m good with that. I can do that cowboy hat. I’m with that.”

Duran Duran will be in Calgary on July 11 as part of the RoundUp Musicfest at Shaw Millennium Park. Here’s the full interview, don’t forget to scroll down and enter the contest to win tickets to the show.

2017 Roundup MusicFest

CONTEST:

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Terms and Conditions:

  • Prize: 2 General Admission tickets to the Roundup MusicFest on July 11, 2017 at Shaw Millennium Park in Calgary.
  • Contest only open to residents of Canada, excluding Quebec.
  • Prize must be accepted as awarded. This prize is not transferable, cannot be exchanged for value or applied to previous purchases and is not redeemable for cash or equivalent. Other restrictions may apply.
  • Please use personal social media accounts. Contest only accounts, or anonymous egg profile accounts will be removed from entry at the judges discretion.
  • Please don’t enter the contest if you are not in the immediate Calgary area or cannot easily attend the show.
  • Contest winner will be notified by email on July 8, 2017. 

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