Duran Duran Break News That Former Member Andy Taylor Has Stage 4 Cancer During Band’s Rock Hall of Fame Induction

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

As Duran Duran accepted their induction into the 2022 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, alongside Dolly Parton, Lionel Richie, Carly Simon, Eurythmics, and other inductees in the class of 2022, one former band member, Andy Taylor, was not present. Taylor, who was expected to perform with his former bandmates during the induction ceremony on Nov. 5, could not attend the celebration because his health would not allow him to travel from his home in Ibiza, Spain to the ceremony.

Current Duran Duran members Simon LeBon, John Taylor, Nick Rhodes, and Roger Taylor took to the stage. They explained their former bandmate’s absence during their speeches, revealing that Taylor was diagnosed with stage 4 prostate cancer four years ago.

Taylor left Duran Duran in 1986 then rejoined in 2001 and played on the band’s 2004 album, Astronaut, before parting ways with them again in 2006. Taylor also played with Duran bandmates John and Roger Taylor, along with singer Robert Palmer and former Chic drummer Tony Thompson, in the Power Station from the mid-’80s through 1990s.

Le Bon went on to read a portion of a letter written by Taylor to be shared during the induction, and the band shared Taylor’s full letter on their social media and website.

Taylor’s full letter reads:

Dear Simon, John, Roger, Nick, my fellow inductees, and countrymen,

I wanted to send a personal note to pass along my sincerest respect to you all for what’s been an amazing career and to also share what has happened to me.

Firstly, can I say what an absolute honor it was to be nominated let alone be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. There’s nothing that comes close to such recognition. I’m proud of everything we’ve achieved together and of the way you have continued. As a guitar player in a progressive band from the synth days of the early eighties, literally from the day I met Nick, John, Simon and Roger they truly valued the contribution of a rather noisy, versatile Northern brat. We all grew up on the same vinyl records and live gigs, from David Bowie to Roxy Music, The Sex Pistols and of course Chic. I could go to all those places as a player and developed a hybrid guitar style that fitted this amazing 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 analogue recording, but with some different kit, Nick’s artful obsession with synth technology was something I’d never seen before and I was introduced to layers. Because we were instinctively the right fit, we evolved very quickly, writing “Rio” as our second album with the confidence our very early success with “Girls On Film” and “Planet Earth” inspired.

You can dream about what happened to us but to experience it, on one’s own terms, as mates, was beyond incredible.

Taylor’s letter continued:

I would like to thank each of my brothers in this great band.

My family: my incredibly sane wife of 40 years, Tracey, my amazing children, Andy, Georgie, Bethy and Izzy, not forgetting my grandson Albie, who’s probably online listening or on Fortnite! 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’ve also really dug the work with Mark Ronson – I particularly admire “All You Need Is Now” … a DD melody if ever I heard one. 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 wrote, recorded and achieved together. What’s the point? There’s no stopping this 44-year thing called “Duran Duran.”

Now to the reason I’m not here: 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 profound humility to the band, the greatest fans a group could have and this exceptional accolade.

I have the Rodgers and Edwards of doctors and medical treatment that until very recently allowed me to just rock on. Although my current condition is not immediately life-threatening there is no cure. Recently I was doing okay after some very sophisticated life-extending 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 both physically and mentally, I would be pushing my boundaries.

However, none of this needs to or should detract from what this band (with or without me) has achieved and sustained for 44 years. We’ve had a privileged life. We were a bit naughty but really nice, a bit shirty but very well dressed, a bit full of ourselves, because we had a lot to give. But as I’ve said many times, 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 truly sorry and massively disappointed I couldn’t make it. Let there be no doubt I was stoked about the whole thing, even bought a new guitar with the essential whammy.

I’m so very proud of these four brothers. I’m amazed at their durability, and I’m overjoyed at accepting this award. I often doubted the day would come. I’m sure as hell glad I’m around to see the day.

Multi-instrumentalist Warren Cuccurullo, who was with the band from 1989 through 2001 also did not attend the ceremony. “They are both extremely excited and very, very grateful and honored in the same way that Nick, Roger, John, and I are as well,” said Le Bon in a previous interview of their former bandmates “We’ve always maintained a decent relationship with these guys. We didn’t have so-called ‘acrimonious splits.’ It was gentlemanly and it was understood, and pretty much mutual.”

Inducted by actor Robert Downey Jr., who regaled the audience with a story from his 50th birthday party when an unnamed director’s wife tore off her bra and threw it at the band, and called their success the result of “confidence and faith.”

Downey added, “Duran Duran invites us all to put our best days here, now and still in front of us. Cool, sophisticated fun. You know who’s got that in spades? Duran Duran. They own that space, and they have for over 40 years. Read the lyrics to ‘Paper Gods.’ Watch the video for ‘Celebration.’ Cry in the mirror as you lip-sync to ‘Ordinary World.’”

The band opened the night performing their 1981 hit “Girls on Film,” after having a few technical sound issues in the beginning. “We just needed to prove to you that we weren’t lip-syncing,” joked Le Bon, before the band restarted the song and went into “Rio,” “Hungry Like the Wolf” and “Ordinary World.”

In 2019, Duran Duran was asked to induct one of their biggest influences Roxy Music into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. This year, Duran keyboardist Rhodes asked Rock Hall voters to induct the New York Dolls, who were on the 2022 ballot but did not make the cut.

“Over 40 years I’ve been working,” said Le Bon during his speech. “I’ve come to believe that the essence of our job is this: We get to make people feel better about themselves. This is an industry that I am proud to be a part of. Thank you.”

Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

Leave a Reply

Aaron Carter, Singer and Reality Star, Dead at 34

Take a Trip Through the States with Songs for California—America’s Songbook