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on 17 September 2012
I too am a Brummie born and bred. It was so funny to read about John bunking off to go into the city centre. I did exactly the same and went to Reddington's to buy photos that had been taken at their gigs (I still have them all lovely cared for in my photo albums). This book is fascintating; it made me smile, laugh and remember some very good times (I must apologise now to Mr Taylor for stealing a stone from his parents front garden and also apologise for being one of those pesky Duranie's that would bang on the side of the bus). I also had a few tears because he was obviously so very lonely. Life in a band may be rock n roll but my God you pay the price. A great read and real eye opener. A must for all Duranies but even those out their that would poo poo this band i.e NME!! This band and JT's music (still got a picture on my wall) is the soundtrack of my life, DD have seen me through school, college, boyfriends, heartache, marriage, children (still annoyed I didn't get to name my daugher Rio) death and divorce. I am a proud Brummie and proud that this kid from this neck of the woods did well and I am glad he is in a good place and happy with his lot.
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on 20 September 2012
I have been a huge Duran Dyran fan for 31 years. John Taylor was my member of choice.I have seen them in concert over 50 times and still keep up to date with the bands goings on via I was so excited when John announced he was going to write his autobiography I could not wait. I have it on my kindle and hard copy. I have just finished it,74 Chapters 403 pages on average 5.5 pages per chapter !. It was very touching in parts but on the whole a disappointment.For me it gave little insight to the band and has left me with lots of unanswered questions Such as his take on Andy Taylor's departure from the band second time and why Nick Rhodes was upset with him when he returned to DD and the tensions of the bands during their reunion ? amongst many others. It shows no insight as to how he is as a Father to his now adult Daughter and their relationship over the years since he split from her mother . He does not touch on his acting career and appears to have skirted around the issues of Girlfriends Band members his Musical peers, unlike Andy Taylors Autobiography.
His thoughts of being an addict was really touching and sad being that uber famous and feeling so lost and alone (I have worked with many addicts in my time its not an easy road) and his relationship with his parents also left me asking why ?. But on the whole I felt like he did not want to hurt anyones feelings so on the issues Duran fans would want his opinion on we never got.
If your DD fan and want warts and all read Andy Taylors book, I hoped John would take this oppurtunity to refute any claims Andy Taylor made in his book but alas this never happened. It is nice to know that JT is now in a great place and happy long may that continue. As i will continue to be a fan and await the next member of DD to write their autobiography.
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on 27 May 2013
This is a good book but I think John's cocaine habit must have affected his memory as he cannot seem to recall chart positions of his band's singles, plus he skirts over the Andy Taylor leaving for the second time debacle - something that Andy himself has at least noted in his own autobiography. Between the two, I prefer Andy's but John tells a touching story, particularly when talking about his relationship with his father.
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on 19 July 2014
I did find this a gripping read and couldn't put it down - I read the book in two days! Of course like many teenage girls, I loved DD in the early 80s and John Taylor was my dream man when I was 13/14 - I thought he was perfection!! But not only that, I lived and grew up not far from him (in Birmingham) and even had relatives who lived around the corner from him. I knew all of the places where he'd spent his childhood/teens in Birmingham that he refers to and so I could picture all of them as I was reading through the book. I remember seeing his Aston Martin parked outside his parents' house and his flat that he bought a mile down the road from where I lived! So it was almost like reminiscing on a more personal level too. VERY eye-opening book! It's a good thing that I didn't know *quite* what John got up to at the time, when I was an innocent teen fan with his posters plastered all over my bedroom walls, but reading about it 30 years later was very interesting. But I suppose, even having read the book, I still don't *quite* understand *why* John seemed intent on 'indulging' in such an extreme way, with sex, drugs and alcohol - from the word go, even before DD even became successful. I don't feel as if I have any further insight into what initially drove him to pursue that lifestyle to such an extent - more so than the other band members. Was it stress, loneliness, some void that he was trying to fill, lack of confidence, anger etc.? Or simply that he just wanted to do 'everything' that was on offer - and live out his idea of the ultimate rock star life, or even some sort of James Bond fantasy of indulging in beautiful women, cars and the finer things in life?... until it got out of control. The book is a frank and honest account, (with a few more 'unsavoury' details in places) and a *must* for any DD or JT fan - very interesting to know what was *actually* going on, when on the face of it DD's life seemed so glamorous, exciting and successful. I almost found it exhausting just *reading* about such a frantic lifestyle of touring, travelling and partying etc.! Although I did feel as if John could have gone into more detail in some parts and that he skimmed over some things. Maybe he didn't feel it was necessary now that he has dealt with many of the negative issues in his life....or maybe he can't remember! But it did strike me that he was probably lucky to get through so many escapades, alive! The part about his Dad coping on his own after John's Mum died, did also actually make me cry. Anyway, JT seems to have found a stable and happy life now, so that's good. I've just also read Andy Taylor's book and that is a very good read too, so I'd recommend that also.
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on 15 September 2012
As a Brummie born and bred- and just a year younger than John, I found the early stuff about Birmingham fascinating- amazing to think he was frequenting the same places as me! This guy has been one of my heroes since I first saw him play at The Rum Runner in 1980 and he never disappoints.

I think JT found just the right balance between telling it like it was- and salacious voyeurism. I love his brief comments on people that show his true feelings such as his love of Roger Taylor's calm and patient friendship and close friendship with newer band mate Dom Brown.
Great photos, amazing early pics of Dada and Duran Duran stuff (Steven Dufait, Tin Tin Duffy for instance).

Well written- and even if you're not a confirmed Duranie- well worth a look.
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on 4 December 2013
In The Pleasure Groove is a standard autobiography, structured chronologically with short, snappy chapters. The first three-quarters details John's life from the cradle to the height of his stardom in the mid-eighties and this is where it excels.

Whether it's recounting life as an only child, his burgeoning friendship with Nick Rhodes and their jaunts around Birmingham soaking up the music which would inspire and inform their later work, he manages to paint a vivid picture of the fashion, music and culture of the time and how it influenced his career. The writing is a cut above workmanlike, flows smoothly and makes you feel like you're right there alongside him for the ride. Inevitably, Duran Duran looms large and he manages to capture the atmosphere around a band embarking on a meteoric rise to fame and the realities of trying to deal with its pitfalls when it's been achieved. His descriptions of their maiden voyage to New York and the recording of Seven And The Ragged Tiger capture these polar opposites brilliantly.

Unfortunately, as the group's success dries up, so does the quality of the prose and seemingly John's enthusiasm. Details become sparse and events are glossed over. The most glaring example is his account of the reunion, which is dismissed in just a couple of pages. One minute they've reformed, the next Andy has left. "Differences" is all we're offered by way of explanation. This type of vagueness mars the book towards the end. It all feels slightly rushed and fizzles out to some degree.

No matter, that is not enough to spoil what is, for the most part, a very engaging and enjoyable read. It succeeds as both a record of his life and the music which shaped it.
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on 14 October 2012
Duran Duran is the first band I ever saw live and I've been a fan since the very beginning (1981). I have always hoped, after reading guitarist Andy Taylor's autobiography Wild Boy, that the other band members would write theirs too. So, as you can imagine, I was so glad when I heard that John Taylor was doing just that. I knew I would want to read it right away.

And I did.

I pre-ordered it and started reading it as soon as it arrived. And I was hooked!
A lot of what happened to John during the crazy days as a famous pop star I already knew about, but I did not know much about his early life, and I really enjoyed reading about that. As a music lover and singer myself, I loved how he explains how his fondness for music grows and his attention to detail of how obsessive one can get with it. I could really relate to this.

Once we get to the 1980s, that's when my own nostalgia for the good times kicked in. I loved reading about the band's early days at the Rum Runner club and their first ever appearance on Top of the Pops (which I remember well), and their early rise to fame.

But of course, fame does have its dark side. John doesn't go into too much detail here, but I did at times feel for him. It can't be easy being in the limelight all the time, regardless of those on the outside thinking otherwise. And I could not help but sympathise with him during his stay in rehab.

I enjoyed reading this, though I believe some later chapters could have done with more depth as I felt they were skimmed over a little.

A great read for any music lover and fan of Duran Duran!

Marie Symeou - author of Age of Dreams
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on 1 October 2012
I have just finished In the Pleasure Groove and as a lifelong fan of the band and in particular John, I have to say I am very, very disappointed.

John's autobiography could and should have been so much more. The early chapters were very promising but as the book moved on, the detail and insight grew more sketchy by the page. I am a confirmed Duranie and have read virtually everything there is to read about the band over the years. John leaves so much out that you wonder if he has any recollection of much that went on during the glory years of the band?

It is such an inconsistent read, as in some chapters there is a lot of detail and insight yet in others things are skipped over. There are also lots of errors throughout the book. Planet Earth never reached UK number 7 (Number 12 IIRC?). John talks fondly of his Golf Gti Mk1, yet the registration number in the text does not match the one in the colour photo of him and his beloved car. Also for such a confirmed petrol head as he was during the eighties, how come there is no mention of his beloved Aston Martin or his other cars ?

I also feel that John could have said a lot more about his relationship with the other band members. I realise he is being diplomatic, but to not mention Andy in the thank you's at the end of the book is rather petty and selfish.

I have read a lot of biographies and autobiographies over the years including the unauthorised Duran Duran biography 'Notorious' and Andy's Wild Boys book. Both these books have their strengths and weaknesses but I found both books took me closer to the band and the personalities in the band.

I was hoping for an epic book from John (something along the lines of Last train to Memphis and Careless Love, the Part 1 (rise) and Part 2 (fall) biographies of Elvis Presley by Peter Guralnick. These books take you deeply into Elvis' world and you come out the other side with a true understanding of the man and the myth.

I don't want people on here to get me wrong; I am a massive John fan and have always identified with him. I have been inspired by his music, his style and even his haircuts!! I was born in Birmingham (albeit seven years later than John) and identify closely with the city. I was also a shy and awkward teenager who was/is blessed/cursed with striking good looks. During the 1990's I had my own battles with drug problems (substitute Ecstacy, Acid and Speed for Cocaine) and came out the other side a much changed person.

Was I hoping for too much from the book? Is it just a media friendly money spinning exercise? How could John omit so much? There is nothing in the book of his acting experiences? Nothing about his solo albums? The detail on his decision to leave the band he formed is minimal? This was surely a profound moment in his life yet it is dismissed with a small paragraph?

Even well known incidents (in Duran-lore) are omitted such as the 'dancing on broken vodka bottles' episode (yet a photo of the aftermath of this incident finds it way into the book?). Andy relates the story in his book. Also there is very little detail of what went on in the mid to late 1990's, both Duran and John-wise.

On a positive note the photos in the book are mostly fantastic and the early days are dealt with in good detail. Overall, it is not a bad book, but not an amazing and insightful read either. Too much is left out and the very short chapters are quite irritating too!

Shame, an opportunity definitely missed.
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on 16 September 2012
Been a fan for 28 yesrs. John has always been an amazing writer and he really shows that in this book. I loved the love and admiration for his parents. He did an amazing job in showing their relationships and family dynamic. I was also impressed with how candid and forthcoming he was about his addictions, rehab stay and continued diligence to remain sober. I was very happy to see him write about his struggle to not relapse when under enormous stress with the first reunion concert in Japan. I am a recovering pain pill addict of 4 years and can relate to the daily struggle to remain clean and sober. It was refreshing to have him include this one major incident of temptation to show that it truly is always a work in progress.

It was heart warming to read how he met and fell in love so deeply with Gela. I brought tears to my eyes to read how strong his love for her is. It was nice to finally read his words on finally falling head over heels with her after all the mis-steps he had with women in the past. He truly deserves to be madly in love, content and happy win Gela and their blended family. His words felt to me like he had finally found the true happiness with her that he had searched for his entire life.

There were a couple things I had hoped to read about in his book but frankly, there is no way to include everything. I respect him for not dragging some people thru the mud (Andy being one) and instead making general statements. There were several people that I am sure he could have really lashed into for things that were done wrong to him but he chose the high road. To me it is refreshing that he concentrated on himself and the mistakes HE made instead of pointing to others and blaming them. I totally have a new respect for him doing that.
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on 20 April 2016
My husband absolutely loved this book. He finished it quickly because he couldn't put it down. I but him music related books every birthday and Christmas but this is the first one he has read so quickly. He says it is a brilliant read, easy to read and very very interesting. Fantastic!
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