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.