Friday, January 04, 2013

The Best of 2012: More Music Autobiography

One of the many items [old and new] enjoyed by Burbank Public Library staff during 2012, recommended for your consideration:

In the Pleasure Groove: Love, Death, & Duran Duran is essential reading for "Duranies."

The autobiography of John Taylor (bass guitarist of '80s mega-pop music group Duran Duran) explores his happy "only-child" family life in Birmingham, UK as "Nigel"; his quick rise to fame with Duran Duran; his angry, dark days of addiction and unhappiness; and his contented life now in Los Angeles. He is happily married to fashionista and co-founder of Juicy Couture Gela Nash-Taylor, and has one daughter, Atlanta (whose mother is John's former wife, actress Amanda De Cadenet). The book is a quick read--highly entertaining, and with plenty of behind-the-scenes stories from Duran Duran's new wave Rum Runner club days in Birmingham; the group's exotic travels around the world; and their continuing success to the present day. Duran Duran was an instant, global success story, the band members' charming pictures in every magazine, and every single a smash hit.

John Taylor has helped to create some great music (songs like "Girls on Film," "Rio," "Hungry Like the Wolf," "Save a Prayer," "The Reflex," "The Chauffeur," "Ordinary World," "Come Undone"), along with his band mates from Duran Duran (Simon Le Bon, Nick Rhodes, Roger Taylor, and Andy Taylor) and also with his side group, Power Station (John Taylor, Andy Taylor, Robert Palmer and Tony Thompson).

This is a book about big (and fulfilled!) dreams, important life lessons, and perseverance. In this very honest account, John explores his highs and lows, and his many travels through life. Told with humor and frankness, In the Pleasure Groove is a fascinating portrait of rock star life. If you didn't like John Taylor before, you will after reading this book. He's a pretty nice guy. (And, if you found Andy Taylor's 2008 book Wild Boy: My Life in Duran Duran a little grumpy, John's story is much more positive and uplifting).

Melissa G., Northwest branch supervisor

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