~~ Andrea Goldstein
On October 16th, I attended the US book launch for "In the Pleasure Groove: Love, Death and Duran Duran" by John Taylor (Twitter handle @thisistherealJT, #ITPG). The event was held at the Tribeca branch of the 92nd Street Y.
Once a pinup on millions of teenagers’ walls, John Taylor is now 52 years old, sober and happily married to the co-founder of Juicy Couture, Gela Nash. The road getting there wasn’t easy, as Mr. Taylor recounts in his autobiography, which saw its US release date on October 16th (the book has been out in his native UK for the past month).
As you might expect, the sold out audience was mostly women over the age of 35, who were “Duranies” growing up (I count myself as one of them). There were a few males in the audience, including one eager fan who left midway through the audience Q&A to secure his place as first in line for the post event book signing.
Glenda Bailey, Editor in Chief of Harpers’ Bazaar, served as moderator/interviewer. She was a perfect choice, since she and Mr. Taylor are both from the Midlands in England, are around the same age, and share a passion for fashion. Ms. Bailey asked questions ranging from why he wrote the book (his parents had both died in the past few years and he wanted to honor them somehow), to his discovery of glam and punk rock, drug use and one night stands with assorted women, and his recovery and current marriage.
I found Mr. Taylor to be quite frank, funny and charming throughout the hour plus interview and reading. His persona is one of a gawky, shy kid (as he describes in the book) married with the confidence and ego of a well-seasoned rock star. While there are some Youtube videos of him reading passages from the book, it was a treat to hear them read aloud in person. Mr. Taylor read excerpts including going to church with his mother as a boy (she was a devout Catholic), alcohol and drug addiction, then recovery and finally, a beautifully vivid description of Duran Duran’s moments before going on stage at Coachella in 2011.
The event was a benefit for a NYC based non-profit that Mr. Taylor supports called Road Recovery. Road Recovery provides programs for at-risk youth battling addictions and other adversities. Other high profile music industry veterans who support the organization are Sharon Osbourne, Tony Bennett and Slash. www.roadrecovery.org
Ten interesting tidbits ...
- Princess Diana’s favorite band was Duran Duran and he met her during the Prince’s Trust Concert in 1985. When asked if he flirted with her, he first said no, but changed it to a maybe a little bit.
- When asked why rock stars pair up with models, he responded with an answer that his band mate Simon LeBon would give: “Why does a dog lick his own balls? Because he can!”
- When they toured the US in the 80s, their tour manager used to give a daily itinerary with city, the time for sound check and a number (18, 19, 20) to let him know what the age of consent was in that particular state.
- Since his wife is a fashion designer, he said he never had the need to buy clothes when he was getting them for free. When her men’s line was discontinued, he had to re-learn how to go shopping!
- When asked about former band mate Andy Taylor’s book, he was diplomatic saying that he was glad Andy wrote his book, but alluded to some bitterness between them when he said that ITPG was written when he was in a good place with his current band mates and “did not throw anyone under the bus.”
- He had no further plans to act or go the solo route.
- If he could relive one event in his life, it would be coming to NYC for the first time when they played the Ritz in 1981.
- He joked about UK boy band One Direction, saying he would pat them on the head to welcome them into the music community
- The hardest part of the book to write was about his addictions and his co-author Tom Sykes had to push him to dig deeper
- He and his wife are fans of E’s Fashion Police
Although I did not stay for the signing, which apparently went on well into the evening; here are some pictures of Mr. Taylor signing for the many fans who waited online to meet their idol (courtesy of Duran Duran’s Facebook page). I imagine he must have had quite the writer’s cramp after an earlier signing at a midtown Barnes & Noble!
Andrea Goldstein (Twitter@nydigitalmarket) works for major publishers as a digital marketing consultant by day. While attending various NYC cultural and business events she also enjoys moonlighting as a writer."