Duran Duran to reunite with terminally-ill Andy Taylor, 62, to record new album
Duran Duran are set to reunite with former bandmate Andy Taylor to record their first new album in 30 years, band member John has revealed.
Lead singer Simon Le Bon, 64, is set to work on tracks with former member Andy, 62, at the guitarist’s studio in Ibiza, after he shared his terminal prostate cancer diagnosis last year.
Bandmate Simon broke the news of Andy’s health battle in November 2022 as he read out a letter from the guitarist and said Andy will not be ‘around for very long’.
He went on to clarify that the musician is being treated for stage four metastatic prostate cancer after being diagnosed with the disease four years ago.
The band broke the news at their induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame at the Microsoft Theatre in Los Angeles.
Reforming: Duran Duran are set to record their first new music in 30 years following news of bandmate Andy Taylor’s terminal cancer diagnosis (pictured in November 2022)
But now, according to The Mirror, the band have a new album in store.
Speaking at this week’s Unforgettable Evening in LA, which raised £1.6million for the Women’s Cancer Research Fund, John Taylor, 62, said: ‘Le Bon is flying to Ibiza to work with Andy. I kind of wish I was there. I think it’ll be great.
‘It’ll be really profound for them. They haven’t been in the studio together in maybe 10 to 20 years.’
John did not confirm whether or not the comeback will be part of a documentary but said: ‘Somebody will have an iPhone on it.’
The band – which also features Nick Rhodes, 60, and Roger Taylor, 62, and kicks off a UK tour in May – will record in LA and London.
The band announced their 2023 headline UK and Ireland arena tour in November 2022.
The rockers will play dates in April and May this year in cities including Manchester, London, Birmingham and Leeds.
The band had a remarkable year last year, having recently been inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame and performing at the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Concert at Buckingham Palace.
Tragic: It comes after guitarist Andy revealed his terminal prostate cancer diagnosis, after being diagnosed with the disease four years ago
In a statement, Simon Le Bon thanked fans for their support over the years.
‘2022 has been an extraordinary year for Duran Duran – mainly down to the incredible fans we have around the world,’ he said.
‘In July we celebrated our years together at Hyde Park as part of the British Summer Time Festival.’
‘Next Spring we will be back on home soil once again to continue the party. It’s remarkable to me that as a band, we are still hitting new milestones, still able to introduce the sound of DD to new generations of music lovers.’
He added: ‘We are truly grateful that we get to do what we do on a daily basis, and that we still love our job as much as we did when we started out some four decades ago.’
Their first show will be on April 29 in Manchester.
The tragic announcement about Andy came as the guitarist had been due to reunite with singer Simon, keyboardist Nick Rhodes, bassist John Taylor and drummer Roger Taylor but he ‘suffered a setback’ that would not allow him to travel from his home in Ibiza.
The weekend ceremony for their induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame was set to be the first time the five-piece band from Birmingham had played together in 17 years, having last reformed for a world tour and the album Astronaut in 2004.
Success: The band has sold over 100 million records, making them one of the world’s best-selling music artists (pictured in 1982)
At Duran Duran’s Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction, the band read out a letter from Andy in which he revealed he had undergone ‘very sophisticated’ life-extending treatment.
‘Just over four years ago I was diagnosed with stage four metastatic prostate cancer,’ the letter read.
‘Many families have experienced the slow burn of this disease and of course we are no different; so I speak from the perspective of a family man but with profound humility to the band, the greatest fans a group could have and this exceptional accolade.
‘I have the Rodgers and Edwards of doctors and medical treatment that until very recently allowed me to just rock on.
‘Although my current condition is not immediately life-threatening there is no cure.’
Rodgers and Edwards refers to Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards, the producers who worked with Duran Duran throughout their career.
He added: ‘Recently I was doing OK after some very sophisticated life-extending treatment, that was until a week or so ago when I suffered a setback, and despite the exceptional efforts of my team, I had to be honest in that both physically and mentally, I would be pushing my boundaries.’
He said he was ‘truly sorry and massively disappointed’ he could not attend the ceremony, adding: ‘I often doubted the day would come. I’m sure as hell glad I’m around to see the day.’
Simon, 64, said: ‘It is absolutely devastating news to find out that a colleague, no not a colleague, a mate, a friend, one of our family, is not going to be around for very long. We love Andy dearly and I’m not going to stand here and cry. I think that would be inappropriate but that’s what I feel like.’
The group, which formed in 1978, performed three songs: Girls On Film, Hungry Like A Wolf and Ordinary World.
Andy was with the band since its inception in the late 1970s, left in the mid-80s amid the height of the band massive popularity, returned in 2001, only to have the band cut ties with him in 2006, citing an ‘unworkable gulf’ between him and the rest of guys.
The guitarist who replaced Andy in 1986, Warren Cuccurullo, was expected to attend the induction, but in the end did not go to the event.
Andy has previously spoken out about his decision to leave the band, revealing that fame ‘nearly killed’ him.
Writing in The Daily Mail in 2008, Andy explained: ‘What amazes me is that nobody in Duran Duran ended up dead. It’s not just the drink and drugs that can be your downfall as a pop star – there are so many things you do at such an incredible pace that you never stop to take account of the damage it might do you.
‘For me, the reality finally hit home around the time of Live Aid. We’d sung on the Band Aid single in December 1984, so we were top of Bob Geldof’s list for his grand plans for a concert the following summer…
‘I’d come close to a nervous breakdown from the stresses of our crazy life and my own cocaine problem. I had also nearly lost my wife, Tracey – the band’s hair stylist whom I’d married in 1982 – to severe post-natal depression.
‘We hadn’t all been together on the road since the previous year, and when we started playing it showed. Combine that with all the shouting matches and the icy silences – well, I just knew I had to get out. So I did.
‘The day after Live Aid, I stopped drinking and taking drugs. And I quietly started getting legal advice on extricating myself from Duran Duran.’
New music: Lead singer Simon Le Bon, 64, is set to work on tracks with former member Andy Taylor, 62, at the guitarist’s studio in Ibiza (Andy pictured in 2017)
Despite the turmoil, Andy insisted he had no regrets, stating: ‘Was the rollercoaster ride worth it? The answer is a resounding yes. Sure, there were plenty of lows, but maybe that was the price we had to pay for the highs.
‘And I can honestly say that even if I had to do it all over again, I don’t think I would change a thing.’
From the start, Duran Duran was a hitmaker, scoring 21 top 40 singles in the US Billboard Hot 100 including Hungry Like The Wolf, Girls On Film, Rio, Save A Prayer, A View To A Kill, The Reflex, Ordinary World, Planet Earth, Is There something I Should Know?, Notorious and New Moon On Monday, among many others.
The band has sold over 100 million records, making them one of the world’s best-selling music artists.
ANDY TAYLOR’S LETTER IN FULL
Dear Simon, John, Roger, Nick, my fellow inductees and countrymen
I wanted to send a personal note to pass along my sincerest respect to you all for what’s been an amazing career, and to also share what has happened to me.
Firstly, can I say what an absolute honour it was to be nominated let alone be inducted into the RRHOF. There’s nothing that comes close to such recognition. I’m proud of everything we’ve achieved together and of the way you have continued.
As a guitar player in a progressive band from the synth days of the early eighties, literally from the day I met Nick, John, Simon and Roger they truly valued the contribution of a rather noisy, versatile Northern brat. We all grew up on the same vinyl records and live gigs, from David Bowie to Roxy Music, The Sex Pistols and of course CHIC.
I could go to all those places as a player and developed a hybrid guitar style that fitted this amazing concept OF A BAND…
I loved going into the studio and recording our material; nobody else sounded like us. We were ripe to absorb what was the art of analogue recording, but with some different kit, Nick’s artful obsession with synth technology was something I’d never seen before and I was introduced to layers.
Because we were instinctively the right fit, we evolved very quickly, writing RIO as our second album with the confidence our very early success with ‘Girls On Film’ and ‘Planet Earth’ inspired.
You can dream about what happened to us but to experience it, on one’s own terms, as mates, was beyond incredible.
I would like to thank each of my brothers in this great band.
My family: my incredibly sane wife of 40 years – Tracey – my amazing children, Andy, Georgie, Bethy and Izzy, not forgetting my grandson Albie, who’s probably online listening or on Fortnite!!!
The original believers: Paul and Michael Berrow, Dave Ambrose, Terry Slater, Rob Hallett.
The Producers: Colin Thurston, Alex Sadkin, Bernard Edwards and Nile Rodgers – I’ve also really dug the work with Mark Ronson – I particularly admire ‘All You Need Is Now’, that’s a DD melody if ever I heard one.
Thanks also to Merck, Andrew and Wendy.
Now for the bad blood, well the good news is that there is none, just pure love and respect for everything we wrote, recorded and achieved together. What’s the point? There’s no stopping this 44-year thing called ‘Duran Duran’.
Now to the reason I’m not here:
Just over 4-years ago I was diagnosed with stage 4 metastatic prostate cancer. Many families have experienced the slow burn of this disease and of course we are no different; so I speak from the perspective of a family-man but with profound humility to the band, the greatest fans a group could have and this exceptional accolade.
I have the Rodgers and Edwards of doctors and medical treatment that until very recently allowed me to just rock on. Although my current condition is not immediately life threatening there is no cure. Recently I was doing okay after some very sophisticated life extending treatment, that was until a week or so ago when I suffered a setback, and despite the exceptional efforts of my team, I had to be honest in that both physically and mentally, I would be pushing my boundaries.
However, none of this needs to or should detract from what this band (with or without me) has achieved and sustained for 44 years. We’ve had a privileged life, we were a bit naughty but really nice, a bit shirty but very well dressed, a bit full of ourselves, because we had a lot to give, but as I’ve said many times, when you feel that collective, instinctive, kindred spirit of creativity mixed with ambition, armed with an über cool bunch of fans, well what could possibly go wrong?
I’m truly sorry and massively disappointed I couldn’t make it. Let there be no doubt I was stoked about the whole thing, even bought a new guitar with the essential whammy!
I’m so very proud of these four brothers; I’m amazed at their durability, and I’m overjoyed at accepting this award. I often doubted the day would come. I’m sure as hell glad I’m around to see the day.
All My Love