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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Memories
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...
Published on 17 Sep 2012 by Cal67

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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not enough insight i'm disspointed
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 Duran.com. 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...
Published on 20 Sep 2012 by missymama


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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Memories, 17 Sep 2012
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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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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Candid, eloquent, stylish, 28 May 2013
So I'm not a Duran Duran fan. I lived through the 80s but I was the wrong sex (male) and a bit too young (10 in 1984).
However, I love music biogs (The Dirt is number 1, Hammer of the Gods Number 2) and so found this story of the 'good looking one' from Duran Duran. I had also read Tom Sykes' excellent Isabella Blow book and so gave it a whirl.

And its good. It's a fast read, giving you the perfect blend of facts vs. atmosphere. It would be so easy for a music biog to descend into a narrated disography and this doesn't. It captures the sense of escape that a Brummie lad felt and the pressure that global, instant fame delivered. Taylor, like many addicts, is adept at talking about himself but fortunately he does not disappear up his LA-inclined-fundament. He is funny and honest and realistic about his own shortcomings, not least that he could never have been a solo success and that his bandmates were his brothers.

You get an insight into the stories behind the recordings and how the songs were created. You are taken into the Duran Duran world but - to his massive credit - Taylor makes a clear effort to refrain from stabbing anyone in the back. And so if you want the gossip on how and when they fell out, you won't get it. He writes briefly that a 2003 reunion ended in tears but he does not tell you why. Pointedly only 3 of the 4 Durans are thanked at the end of the book.

The biggest complement that can be paid to Sykes and Taylor is that it does not feel like a ghosted book. The tone is authentic and 100% consistent. Taylor is poetic and this sense of verbal style gives the book its personality. Nice job.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not enough insight i'm disspointed, 20 Sep 2012
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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 Duran.com. 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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Less about the band, more about the man, 27 May 2013
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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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Please, Please Read This Now, 3 April 2013
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Stevos (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
What a top chap John Taylor is. That's the lasting impression I was left with after reading this book.

One of my friends was lucky enough to interview Duran Duran and has met John a couple of times. He has repeatedly said what a nice guy he is.

This isn't a press release for the JT Appreciation Society by the way. Just a delight that one of my childhood heroes hasn't disappointed me.

In the first few chapters, John talks us through his early life: who his parents are, where he was born and brought up, his childhood and school. I was chomping at the bit to get to the beginnings of Duran Duran, but I actually really liked hearing about his relationship with his Mum and Dad because it becomes quite important once the band have taken off.

I grew up loving Duran. The Rio album is one of my all-time favourites, and I remember how great that album actually looked, with its amazing artwork, glossy photographs and flash design.

I could remember what I was doing back in 1982, `83 and `84 when John describes the big tours. It was nice to experience, second hand, the excitement and frisson of forming a band that had captured the early 80s zeitgeist. It allowed me to indulge in some wish fullfilment for the space of the week that I was reading it. I could be Duran's anonymous 6th member.

I'm one of those who still enjoyed their music through the Notorious, Big Thing and Liberty albums. The book had a slightly edgy feel because of course I knew that at some stage, as high (in more ways than one) Duran got, there was going to be that late 80s low as they came back down to increasing indifference on the part of the music press and public.

They come out the other side with successful albums and even more popular tours and accolades. And John personally came out the other side too. He did a lot of bad stuff, and I kept feeling sorry for his parents who must have swung from great pride in their son, to an incomprehension of the lifestyle he was living and the person he was becoming.

The author's voice is so engaging, friendly and self-deprecating, that you can't help but like him. Loved it. I would recommend it to any Duran fan, or just anyone interested in rock star autobiographies.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More Pain Than Pleasure, 6 Dec 2013
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I didn't want to read a typical rock star's cliched tale of 'sex drugs and rock and roll' and Nigel John Taylor did not disappoint. The pain in John's life was more evident than the pleasure.

What I didn't expect from reading this book was to feel the raw emotion John was able to convey (after some heavy editing no doubt) about his downward spiral into despair.

The absolute contrast between realising his life's dream to be a successful musician in an overwhelmingly popular band, only to grapple with the downside and his take on reality and seeking help reassured me that John was at peace with his demons.

Having had the pleasure of meeting John in the early part of his career while I worked in the music industry, and being in awe of his talent, and gentle personality, what I read here rang true of his spirit.

The emotional scenes in the book brought tears to my own eyes, and by the last page I was sorry the book was over.

The color photographs at the last section of the book are ones which really tugged at my heartstrings, and I'm grateful John came through his ordeal to be with us today.

In The Pleasure Groove: Love, Death and Duran Duran
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5.0 out of 5 stars Wow - what a life!, 19 July 2014
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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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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Memories, 15 Sep 2012
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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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5.0 out of 5 stars The very pinnacle of 80's pop music, 8 Oct 2014
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I really enjoyed John's book. I was never a fan back in the 80's but I enjoy the music and it was only recently that I appreciated the musical talent that drove them to the successes they enjoyed. JTs bass playing has had critical acclaim over the years, so when I discovered this autobiography I was intrigued.
It is an age old story. Boy driven to make music, finds he's good at it, gets swept up in the soul crushing machine that is the music industry and at some point thinks "What the hell have I become? Where is my life? There must be more than this?", falls out with band and, thankfully in this case, reconciles with band.
Many others have fallen foul of this and written about it too, but this, for me, is a better account.
This is not sensationalist or kiss and tell. I believe he making sense of extraordinary events, things that all most all of us can have no insight into, with the benefit of perspective and age. He is candid about the sex and drugs but there is a tangible sense of regret. Not from a moral point of view but of time wasted and people taken for granted.
Really worth a read for a grown up account of a youth spent at the very pinnacle of 80's pop music
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good but ran out of steam towards the end, 4 Dec 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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