Thursday, December 27, 2012

In the Pleasure Groove: Love, Death, and Duran Duran by John Taylor (with Tom Sykes) (Dutton 2012)

Steve Jones is open about the influence Thunders's playing style had on him. In the documentary The Filth and the Fury, there is a hilarious sequence where film of the two guitarists is intercut, showing quite clearly just how much of Thunders's attitude Steve knocked off.

Something similar could be done with me. I would learn to take Thunders's signature slurs and guitar runs and transpose them to bass, along with the accompanying sneers. The first time I saw the Thunders's magic was on-stage at Birmingham  University. The opening act was a band I had not heard  of before, The Police. At that time I would sneak a cassette recorder into every gig I went to, and I set the machine to record when they began to play, even though I had no idea who they were. It was quite possible a band you had never heard of yesterday could become your favourite band tomorrow.

The singer with The Police also played bass, which struck me as quite clever and quite "un-punk." After the second number, he struck up a rapport with the audience of mostly students. A little too familiar, I remember thinking at the time, not knowing then that Sting had been a teacher and spoke "student" way better than he would ever speak "punk."

Sting: We've got the Heartbreakers coming on next.
(Cheer from me and one or two others)
Sting: They can't play, you know.
Me: Fuck off!
Sting: Who said "Fuck off'?
Me: I did. (all of this going down onto the cassette tape)
Sting: It's true. They're great guys but they can't play.
Me: Fuck off, you wanker!
Sting: You'll see. This next song is called "Fall Out"! 1 2 3 4 . . .

He was wrong about the Heartbreakers. They were awesome that night. At the BBC in 1993, filming "Ordinary World" for Top of the Pops, I was standing next to Sting watching a playback of our performance on a monitor. I thought to myself, I've got to tell him about that night, but before I opened my mouth he half-turned to me and said, "I wish I'd written that song."

Let's leave it at that then, I thought.

1 comment:

Darren said...

. . . and then mention it in your autobiography nearly 20 years later.

Quite a sweet and insightful autobiography as it goes. I never knew that John Taylor in his pre-Duran Duran days supported The Prefects at a couple of gigs. I wonder if Richard Lloyd ever wonders about those days.

PS - Top 5 Duran Duran tracks:

1) Anyone Out There
2) Save A Prayer (first single bought pop pickers)
3) Skin Trade
4) Nice
5) (Reach Up for The) Sunrise

PPS - pages 69-70