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 battled issues related to stage 4 metastatic prostate cancer.
During their induction into Microsoft Theater’s Rock Hall, Duran Duran revealed that Taylor, diagnosed with metastatic prostate cancer four years ago, suffered a setback in the diagnosis that would not allow him to travel to Los Angeles since Ibiza, Spain. The band honored Taylor at the ceremony by reading excerpts from an acceptance speech letter.
“A little 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 biggest fans a band can have and this exceptional distinction,” Taylor wrote in his speech.
Only part of the letter was read during the acceptance speech, but a more detailed version was posted on the band’s website, further detailing their failure.
“I have the Rodgers and Edwards of doctors and medical treatments that until very recently kept me going. Although my current condition is not immediately life threatening, there is no cure,” he said. “Recently I was fine after a very sophisticated life prolonging treatment, that was until about a week ago when I suffered a setback, and despite the exceptional efforts of my team, I had to be honest in that physically and mentally I push my limits.
Backstage in the press room, Simon LeBon briefly explained his feelings about Taylor’s condition.
“It’s devastating news to find out that a co-worker… not a co-worker – a friend, a member of our family – isn’t going to be around very long. It is absolutely devastating. We really like Andy. I’m not going to sit here and cry or anything, that would be inappropriate, but that’s how I feel.
Then, LeBon interrupted further questions about Taylor. “Now that we’ve sorted this out, can’t we please come back to this,” the singer said, indicating that he was too upset to discuss the matter 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, with drummer Roger Taylor added a year later. The lineup, completed in 1980 with the addition of guitarist Andy Taylor and vocalist Simon Le Bon, achieved mainstream success with his 1982 album, “Rio,” followed by a slew of MTV video hits, including ” Planet Earth”, “Is There Something I Should Know” and “Hungry Like the Wolf” dominate the music channel. Andy Taylor’s funky guitar work has been one of the driving forces behind the band’s popularity, with dozens of million 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 performed together in 17 years, according to the statement. It must have been a treat for the band’s “Duranies” fanbase, responsible for Duran Duran earning their place as the top breeder in the public vote, with 934,880 in their very first 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, writing, “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 of these places as a player and develop a hybrid guitar style that fit this amazing OF A BAND concept…”
The 37th Annual Induction Ceremony honors Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo, Eminem, Eurythmics, Dolly Parton, Lionel Richie and Carly Simon, as well as 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 full below:
Dear Simon, John, Roger, Nick, fellow inductees and fellow
I wanted to send a personal note to give you my deepest respect for what has been an incredible career, and also to share what happened to me.
First, may 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’m proud of everything we’ve accomplished together and how you’ve continued. As a guitarist in a progressive band since the days of early 80s synths, literally from the day I met Nick, John, Simon and Roger, they really appreciated the contribution of a rather northern brat loud and versatile. 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 all of those places as a player and develop a hybrid guitar style that fit that amazing OF A BAND concept…
I loved going into the studio and recording our material; no one else was like us. We were ripe to absorb what the art of analog recording was, but with a different kit, Nick’s crafty obsession with synth technology was something I had never seen before and I been introduced to diapers. Because we were instinctively the right person, we moved on very quickly, writing RIO as our second album with the confidence that our very first hits with ‘Girls On Film’ and ‘Planet Earth’ inspired.
You can dream about what happened to us, but to experience it, in his own way, as friends, was beyond incredible.
I would like to thank each of my brothers in this great group.
My family: my incredibly sane wife of 40 years – Tracey – my amazing kids, Andy, Georgie, Bethy and Izzy, not to mention my grandson Albie, who is probably listening online or on Fort-nite!!!
Early 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 into the work with Mark Ronson – I particularly admire ‘All You Need Is Now’, it’s a DD tune if I ever I heard.
Thanks also to Merck, Andrew and Wendy.
Now for the bad blood, well the good news is there isn’t, just pure love and respect for everything we’ve written, recorded and performed together. What’s the point? There’s no stopping this 44-year-old thing called “Duran Duran.”
Now let’s get to why 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 point of view of a father but with a deep humility towards the band, the biggest fans a band can have and this exceptional distinction.
I have the Rodgers and Edwards of doctors and medical treatments that until very recently kept me going. Although my current condition is not immediately life threatening, there is no cure. Recently I was fine after a very sophisticated life prolonging treatment, that was until about a week ago when I suffered a setback, and despite my team’s exceptional efforts, I had to be honest in that physically and mentally, I would make him push my limits.
However, none of this should or should detract from what this group (with or without me) has achieved and sustained for 44 years. We had a privileged life, we were a little naughty but really nice, a little shirtless but very well dressed, a little 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 a group of super cool fans, well, what could go wrong?
I’m really sorry and massively disappointed that I couldn’t come. Let there be no doubt that I was thrilled with it all, I even bought a new guitar with the essential whammy!
I am so proud of these four brothers; I am amazed at their durability and glad to have received this award. I often doubted that the day would come. I’m sure I’m glad to be here to see the light of day.
All my Love