“It’s devastating for us to find out that… one of our family members isn’t going to be around very long”

Nick Rhodes, John Taylor, Roger Taylo and Simon Le Bon of Duran Duran speak onstage during the 37th Annual Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony at Microsoft Theater on November 05, 2022 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo: Kevin Kane/Getty Images for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame)

Nick Rhodes, John Taylor, Roger Taylo and Simon Le Bon of Duran Duran speak onstage during the 37th Annual Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony at Microsoft Theater on November 05, 2022 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo: Kevin Kane/Getty Images for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame)

The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame ceremony for the class of 2022 should have been a celebratory event, but it began on a bittersweet tone on Saturday, when inductees Duran Duran – who had been snubbed by the Hall for 17 years, and finally entered this year on their first nomination – announced that their original guitarist, Andy Taylor, had been unable to join them on stage due to stage 4 metastatic prostate cancer. Taylor had kept his secret illness since being diagnosed four years ago.

When the 2022 inductees were announced last May, Andy – who played Duran from 1980-1985 and 2001-2006, as well as supergroup Power Station with Duran bassist John Taylor – enthusiastically told the press that he fully intended to reunite with his former bandmates at the 37th annual Hall. Tragically, his health has since deteriorated.

Andy Taylor performing with Duran Duran in 1983. (Photo: Dave Hogan/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Andy Taylor performing with Duran Duran in 1983. (Photo: Dave Hogan/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

After the new wave legends were introduced by Robert Downey Jr., they opened the Hall ceremony, featuring their current touring guitarist Dom Brown, with “Girls on Film”, “Hungry Like the Wolf” and a ” Ordinary World” particularly moving. John Taylor, frontman Simon Le Bon, drummer Roger Taylor and keyboardist Nick Rhodes then approached the podium, with Le Bon first thanking guitarist Warren Cuccurullo, who played with the band from 1986 to 2001 and co-wrote ” Ordinary World”, for his “enormous contribution to Duran Duran.

The Bon then became solemn. “And then there’s Andy Taylor, our original guitarist. Andy wrote us an open letter. I’m going to read some of it now,” the singer said. Andy’s heartbreaking letter was published in full on duranduran.com, which crashed shortly after the shocking news broke; in the excerpt Le Bon read at the ceremony, the 61-year-old guitarist expressed his disappointment at missing the ceremony, stressing, “Let there be no doubt that I was thrilled with it all , I even bought a new guitar with the essential whammy!”

Backstage in the press room after Duran Duran’s performance and speech, Le Bon spoke on behalf of the band, saying, “It’s devastating for us to find out that a colleague — not a coworker, that’s all ; a comradea friendone of us family – won’t stay very long. It is absolutely devastating. We love Andy very much and I’m not going to sit here and cry – I think that would be inappropriate – but that’s how I feel. So now we have this [question] away, can’t we get back to that?”

Andy Taylor released a new solo single, “Man’s a Wolf to Man”, last week. His full open letter explaining his absence from the Hall of Fame ceremony and detailing his grim diagnosis is 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 inspired by our early hits with ‘Girls On Film’ and ‘Planet Earth’.

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 Fortnite!!!

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 liked the work with Mark Ronson – I particularly admire ‘All You Need Is Now’, it’s a DD melody 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 am delighted to accept 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

To

The 2022 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony took place on Saturday, November 5 at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. Other inductees included Harry Belafonte, Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo, Eminem, Eurythmics, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, Judas Priest, Dolly Parton, Lionel Richie and Carly Simon.

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