British musician, songwriter and actor John Taylor is widely recognized as the cofounder and bass guitarist of the British pop rock group Duran Duran. Formed in 1978, he went on to perform with the group and its changing lineups until 1997, when he decided to focus on his solo career. While with the group, they recorded over ten projects, including the platinum debut album “Duran Duran” (1981, re-released in 1983), the double platinum “Rio” (1982), “Seven and the Ragged Tiger” (1983), “Notorious” (1986), “Big Thing” (1988), the greatest hits album “Decade: Greatest Hits” (1989), “The Wedding Album” (1993) and the album “Thank You” (1995). Taylor was reunited with the original five members of Duran Duran in 2001. After the comeback, Duran Duran released “Astronaut” (2004) and “Red Carpet Massacre” (2007). One of the world's best known groups during the 1980s, Duran Duran received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and has won two Grammy Awards.
Apart from Duran Duran, Taylor was the bassist and cofounder of the band Power Station and also played with the group The Neurotic Outsiders. In the late 1990s, he performed with his new group, John Taylor Terroristen. During his hiatus from Duran Duran, Taylor released many solo albums and EPs, including “Feelings Are Good and Other Lies” (1997), “Autodidact” (1997), “Meltdown” (1999), “The Japan Album” (1999), “Techno For Two (2001) and “MetaFour” (2002).
As an actor, Taylor has appeared in such movies as “Sugar Town” (1999), “Four Dogs Playing Poker” (2000), “ A Diva's Christmas Carol” (2001, TV), “Strange Frequency” (2001, TV) and “Vegas, City of Dreams” (2001). He also acted in TV series like “Miami Vice,” “That's '80s Show” and “Samantha Who?”
A long term cocaine user, Taylor has been sober from substance abuse since late 1994. He and former wife, actress Amanda De Cadenet (together from 1991 to 1997), have one daughter together. He is currently married to the designer and cofounder of Juicy Couture.
Childhood and Family:
Nigel John Taylor was born on June 20, 1960, in Hollywood, Birmingham, England. He was educated in Catholic school and the Abbey High School in Redditch. As a child, he was a fan of James Bond films and enjoyed music. The British art rock group Roxy Music was his favorite and he began teaching himself how to play the piano. John graduated from the School of Foundation Studies & Experimental Workshop Birmingham Polytechnic (now Birmingham City University), in which he met singer-songwriter Stephen Duffy.
On December 24, 1991, John married British actress Amanda De Cadenet (born on May 19, 1972). The couple welcomed a daughter, Atlanta Noo De Cadenet Taylor, on March 31, 1992. To support the career of his wife, not to mention eluding constant attention from the British media, John later moved his family to Los Angeles. He and De Cadenet separated in May 1995 and eventually divorced in 1997. Two years later, on March 16, 1999, John married Gela Nash, co-founder of the well known clothing line Juicy Couture, in Las Vegas. Nash, whom he met in 1996, is seven years his senior.
Hungry Like The Wolf
A fan of Roxy Music, John Taylor first discovered music as a teenager and went on to perform with his first group, Shock Treatment. It was not until age 18 that he joined forces with childhood friend Nick Rhodes to form Duran Duran in Birmingham, U.K., where they recruited Stephen Duffy as a singer. Taylor first played guitar but later switched to bass guitar, with Rhodes playing the keyboard. The group next added drummer Roger Taylor and guitarist Andy Taylor to the mix. Simon Le Bon joined the group in 1980 when he filled in the empty slot left by Duffy.
On June 15, 1981, Duran Duran launched the self titled debut album “Duran Duran” on the EMI Capitol label. It rose to No. 3 on the U.K. album charts and would remain on the chart for over 100 weeks. However, it was largely ignored in America. The album spawned the three singles “Planet Earth” (UK #12), “Careless Memories” (UK #37) and one of the group's signature song, “Girls on Film” (UK #5).
With the release of their second album, “Rio” (1982), which produced the U.K. Top 20 singles “My Own Way,” “Hungry Like The Wolf,” “Save A Prayer,” and “Rio,” Duran Duran began to gain worldwide recognition. The album rose to No. 2 in the U.K. and No. 1 in Australia. In the US, “Rio” peaked at No. 6 on the Billboard 200 and went on to earn double platinum certification. Lured by the success of “Rio,” the group re-released “Duran Duran” on April 1983. It hit the Top 10 spot on Billboard's 200 and received platinum certification from RIAA in 1985.
Taylor's individual fame developed significantly during this period. He appeared in many teen magazines and won various popularity polls, including a spot on People Magazine's annual list of “Sexiest People.” He pursued a lavish lifestyle with residences in Paris and London and owned many cars. He attended parties, dated some famous faces, including Bond Girl Janine Andrews and model Renee Simonsen, and became addicted to cocaine. The lyrics of “Hold Back the Rain” (from the album “Rio”), penned by Simon Le Bon, dealt with Taylor's extravagant lifestyle and drug problem.
Taylor continued working with the group on the albums “Seven and the Ragged Tiger” (1983), which included the hit singles “Union of the Snake” (UK/US# 3), “Is There Something I Should Know?” (UK#1, US#4) and “The Reflex” (UK#1) and became the last studio album for the group's original lineup until 2004, and the live album “Arena” (1984), which was shot during Duran Duran's 1984 “Sing Blue Silver North American Tour.” 1984 saw Taylor and Duran Duran win Grammy awards for Best Video Album (for “Duran Duran”) and Best Short Form Music Video (for “Girls on Film/Hungry Like the Wolf”). During the peak of the group's popularity in 1984, Taylor and LeBon surfaced as heartthrobs for their teen admirers and late 1984, Taylor played bass on the Band Aid charity single “Do They Know It's Christmas?”
With his increasing popularity, Taylor began pursuing side projects in 1985. He and Andy Taylor formed the rock/funk super group Power Station with vocalist Robert Palmer and ex-Chic drummer Tony Thompson and released the album “The Power Station” in 1985, with the popular singles “Some Like It Hot” and “Bang A Gong (Get It On).” The two were reunited with Duran Duran that same year to record the theme song “A View to a Kill” for the James Bond film of the same name. The song skyrocketed on the charts.
Taylor remained with Duran Duran for the fourth album “Notorious” (1986, UK#16, US#12), which spawned the Top 2 U.S. hit “Notorious.” Also in 1986, Taylor released a solo single called “I Do What I Do...” for the soundtrack to the film “9½ Weeks.” Sang and co-written by Taylor, the song rose to No. 23 on the Billboard Hot 100 and received a nomination for Worst Original Song at the 1986 Golden Raspberry Awards. Taylor continued working with Duran Duran for the group's fifth album, “Big Thing” (1988, UK#15, US#24), with Warren Cuccurullo on guitar and Sterling Campbell on drums, and the greatest hits album “Decade-Greatest Hit” (1989, US#67).
August 1990 saw the release of Duran Duran's sixth studio album, “Liberty.” Despite its surprise victory in Japan, where the single “Serious” peaked at No. 6, the album was not very successful and became the first album of the group that was not supported by a concert tour. Taylor recalled, “When we were in rehearsal, it seemed like we had a great album but we weren't able to parlay it into a great album in the studio, whatever. I can just remember smoking hash oil, that's all I can really remember about making that album.”
Taylor and his group bounced back with the album “Duran Duran” (“The Wedding Album,” 1993). The lead single, “Ordinary World,” topped the Billboard Top 40 Mainstream and the ARC Weekly Top 40 as well as rose to the Top 5 in Billboard's Hot 100 (#3) and Billboard's Hot Modern Rock Tracks (#2). It rose too No. 6 on the U.K. charts and was a hit in countries like Canada (#1), France (#6), Ireland (#3), Sweden (#2) and Italy (#2). It was followed by the hit single “Come Undone” (#7 Billboard' Hot 100). The anticipated album “Thank You” (1995), however, was panned by critics.
After the failure, Duran Duran recorded “Medazzaland” (1997, US#58) but Taylor left in January 1997 before it was completed. He returned to Power Station for the sophomore album “Living in Fear” (1997), in which he co-wrote 9 tracks, but left the group before the album was recorded. He also recorded and toured with the band Neurotic Outsiders, which included the Sex Pistols' Steve Jones and Guns n' Roses' Duff McKagan. He penned the songs “Always Wrong,” “Feelings Are Good” and “Better Way” (with Mick Jones) for the album “Neurotic Outsiders” (1996) and with producer Hein Hoven, he co-founded the California based independent record label B5 Records in 1996.
After leaving Duran Duran, Taylor concentrated on his solo career. Under B5, he released the solo album “Feelings Are Good and Other Lies” (1997) and an EP called “Autodidact,” that same year. In 1999, he released “Resumé,” a collection of experimental tracks by Taylor and Jonathan Elias that were recorded in the mid 1980s. It was followed by the rock albums “Metldown” (recorded in 1992) and “The Japan Album,” which was released on the Japanese label Avex Trax (both 1999). Still in 1999, Taylor, who previously appeared in the TV series “Miami Vice” and “Timeslip” (both 1985), made his feature film acting debut in “Sugar Town” (1999), in which he costarred with Jake Gordon, Michael Des Barres from Power Station, and Martin Kemp from Spandau Ballet. He also appeared in the direct-to-video “Drowning on Dry Land” (1999).
Taylor launched “The Japan EP” and the live album “Live Cuts” in 2000. He next released “Terroristen: Live At The Roxy” (2001), a live album recorded in 1998 from his new band’s performance at The Roxy Theatre in Los Angeles, California. Founded in the late 1990s, John Taylor Terroristen also included Gerry Laffy on guitar, Michael Railton and Tio Banks on keyboard, Larry Aberman on drums, and John Amato on sax and flute. In addition to the U.S., Taylor toured with the group in Japan and Germany. Taylor then released “Techno For Two” in 2001 and “MetaFour” in 2002.
Taylor furthered his acting career by appearing in several projects. He was cast as Keith Richrock in the family film “The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas” (2000), directed by Brian Levant and starring Mark Addy and Stephen Baldwin, supported Balthazar Getty and Olivia Williams in Paul Rachman's award winning thriller “Four Dogs Playing Poker” (2000), and offered a fine turn as Ghost of Christmas Present in the made-for-TV film “A Diva's Christmas Carol” (2000), opposite Vanessa Williams, Brian McNamara and Kathy Griffin. He also starred in the short film “She-Bat” (2001), played Jimmy Blitz in the TV film “Strange Frequency” sequel “Room Service” (2001), costarred with Erika Eleniak, Carlos Bernard and Angelica Bridges in the forgettable drama film “Vegas, City of Dreams” (2001) and appeared in episodes of the TV series “Strange Frequency” (2000) and “That's '80s Show” (2002).
Taylor and the original Duran Duran lineup began performing together again. Following a sold out concert of America, Australia, New Zealand and Japan, the reunited group released the studio album “Astronaut” on October 11, 2004, on Epic Records. It was the first album recorded by the original five members of Duran Duran since 1983. The album rose to No. 3 in the U.K. and No. 17 in the U.S. The lead single “(Reach Up For The) Sunrise” peaked at No. 5 and No. 89 in the U.K. and U.S., respectively, while the second single “What Happens Tomorrow” charted No. 11 in the U.K. In 2007, the group resurfaced with “Red Carpet Massacre,” which hit the music stores in the U.S. on November 13, 2007, and Europe on November 19, 2007. The album debuted at No. 36 on the Billboard 200. By this time, guitarist Andy Taylor had left the group again.
In 2006, Taylor contributed to “Only After Dark,” a compilation CD album that was compiled by Taylor and Duran Duran band member Nick Rhodes.
Taylor and his group parted ways with Epic in 2009. They are currently working on their 13th album. Back to acting, Taylor made a guest appearance in an episode of “Samantha Who?” called “The Rock Star,” which aired on June 25, 2009.
Grammy: Best Video Album, Duran Duran,” 1984
Grammy: Best Short Form Music Video, “Girls on Film/Hungry Like the Wolf,” 1984