Original Duran Duran guitarist Andy Taylor was unable to attend tonight’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony in Los Angeles honoring the band as the guitarist has been battling health issues related to Stage 4 metastatic prostate cancer.
During their induction into the Rock Hall at the Microsoft Theatre, Duran Duran revealed that Taylor, who was diagnosed with metastatic prostate cancer four years ago, suffered a setback from the diagnosis which would not allow him to travel to LA from Ibiza, Spain does not. The group honored Taylor during the ceremony who read portions of an acceptance speech letter.
“Just over four 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 deep humility towards the band, the greatest fans a band can have and this exceptional award,” Taylor wrote in his speech.
Only part of the letter was read during the acceptance speech, but a more detailed version was published on the group’s website, going into more detail about his backlash.
“I have the Rodgers and Edwards of doctors and medical treatment that until very recently allowed me to just keep going. Although my current condition is not immediately life-threatening, there is no cure,” he said. “Recently I was doing well after some very sophisticated life-prolonging 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 I physically both mentally and physically would push my limits.”
Backstage in the press room, Simon LeBon briefly elaborated on his feelings about Taylor’s condition.
“It’s devastating news to find out that a colleague … not a colleague – a friend, one of our family – is not going to be around for very long. It’s absolutely devastating. We love very much Andy. I’m not going to stand here and cry or anything, that would be inappropriate, but that’s how I feel.”
Then LeBon cut off further questions about Taylor. “Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, please, we can’t go back to it,” the singer said, indicating he was too distraught to address the subject further.
Duran Duran – named after a character in the Jane Fonda film “Barbarella” – was formed in Birmingham in 1978 by keyboardist Nick Rhodes and bassist John Taylor, adding drummer Roger Taylor a year later. Completed in 1980 with the addition of guitarist Andy Taylor and singer Simon Le Bon, the line-up achieved major success with its 1982 album, “Rio,” followed by a string of MTV video hits including “Planet Earth” , “Is There” Something I Should Know” and “Hungry Like the Wolf” dominating the music channel. Andy Taylor’s funky guitar work was a driving force behind the group’s popularity, with tens of millions of albums sold, including the Golden Globe-nominated song, “A View to A Kill,” from the James Bond film of the same name.
The original five-piece band reformed for a sold-out world tour and album ‘Astronaut’ in 2004 and tonight would have been the first time they had played together in 17 years, the statement said. It would be a special surprise for the band’s “Duranies” fans, who were responsible for Duran Duran earning its place as the top vote-getter in the public vote, with 934,880 in its first ever nomination.
In 2019, Le Bon and bassist John Taylor were on hand to induct Roxy Music into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In his letter, Andy Taylor acknowledged the influence of Roxy Music and wrote: “We all grew up on the same vinyl records and live performances, from David Bowie to Roxy Music, the Sex Pistols and of course CHIC. I was able to go to all those places as a player and develop a hybrid guitar style that fits this great concept OF A BAND…”
The 37th annual induction ceremony honors Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo, Eminem, Eurythmics, Dolly Parton, Lionel Richie and Carly Simon along with Judas Priest and Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis for musical excellence, Harry Belafonte and Elizabeth Cotten for early influence, as well as Alan Grubman , Jimmy Iovine and Sylvia Robinson for the Ahmet Ertegun Award.
Read Taylor’s letter in its entirety below:
Dear Simon, John, Roger, Nick, my fellow inductees and compatriots
I wanted to send a personal note to convey my sincere respect to all of you for what has been a wonderful career, and also to share what happened to me.
First, can I say what an absolute honor it was to be nominated, let alone inducted into the RRHOF. There is nothing that comes close to such recognition. I am proud of everything we have achieved together and the way you have continued. As a guitarist in a progressive band from the synth days of the early eighties, literally from the day I met Nick, John, Simon and Roger, they really appreciated the contribution of a rather noisy, versatile Northern brat . We all grew up on the same vinyl records and live performances, from David Bowie to Roxy Music, The Sex Pistols and of course CHIC. I was able to go to all those places as a player and develop a hybrid guitar style that fits this great 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 analog recording, but with another kit, Nick’s artistic obsession with synth technology was something I had never seen before and I was introduced to layers. Being instinctively the right fit, we developed very quickly and wrote RIO as our second album, confident that our very early success with ‘Girls On Film’ and ‘Planet Earth’ was inspired.
You can dream about what happened to us, but to experience it on your own terms as mates was beyond incredible.
I would like to thank each and every one of my brothers in this wonderful group.
My family: my incredibly healthy wife of 40 years – Tracey – my wonderful children, Andy, Georgie, Bethy and Izzy, and not forgetting my grandson Albie, who is probably listening online or on Fort-nite!!!
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 also really dug the work with Mark Ronson – I especially admire ‘All You Need Is Now’, it’s a DD tune if ever I heard one has.
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 have written, recorded and achieved together. What’s the point? There is no stopping this 44-year-old thing called “Duran Duran”.
Now for 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 deep humility towards the band, the biggest fans a band can have and this exceptional award.
I have the Rodgers and Edwards of doctors and medical treatment that until very recently allowed me to just rock. Although my current condition is not immediately life threatening, there is no cure. I was doing well recently after a very sophisticated life-prolonging treatment, that was until a week or so ago when I suffered a setback, and despite the extraordinary efforts of my team, I had to be honest in that I was physically and mentally would push my limits.
However, none of this need or should detract from what this band (with or without me) has achieved and sustained for 44 years. We had a privileged life, we were a bit naughty but very nice, a bit shirty but very well dressed, a bit full of ourselves because we had a lot to give but as I have said many times have, 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 really sorry and very disappointed that I couldn’t make it. Let there be no doubt, I was excited about the whole thing, even bought a new guitar with the essential whammy!
I am so very proud of these four brothers; I am amazed at their durability, and I am delighted to accept this award. I often doubted the day would come. I’m sure as hell glad I’m there to see the day.
All my love