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Wild Boy: My Life in Duran Duran Hardcover – September 9, 2008

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In this sincere though slight autobiography, Taylor, guitarist for the 1980s pop band Duran Duran, delivers an extended backstage look at the band's rise and fall. He includes an album-by-album look at how the band, which combined glam fashion and keyboard-driven synthpop with outrageous (and expensive) videos featuring exotic locales such as Sri Lanka, became synonymous with early MTV. Taylor discusses—sometimes underplays—the band's outrageous drug and alcohol habits—much of which was better covered in MTV's 1999 Behind The Music segment. He is clearly aware that the band's materialistic image was a key part of London's transformation in the 1980s into a city where it was a dominant part of popular culture to aspire to be successful. The frustrating part is that his attempts to put Duran Duran into a wider musical perspective are far too infrequent, and his own story can't quite carry the narrative. (Sept.)
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'Even when recounting the "paranoia and insanity" [Andy Taylor] comes across as a solid likeable bloke... It's the small details that make this book so entertaining.****' LONDON LITE - 16/09/08 'Wild Boy is a likeable, capably written autobiography that lifts the few remaining lids on Duran's 80s excesses.****' TIME OUT --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing; 1st edition (September 9, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446509302
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446509305
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.1 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (145 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #322,564 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

80 of 86 people found the following review helpful By TheTange on September 6, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I wanted to add a review after reading the post of someone who gave the book 1 star without ever having read the book (it's obvious from her remarks, which are completely disconnected from the contents of this book).

Andy gives a very down to earth, conversational account of growing up in a small fishing town in England. His mother abandoned him and his father when he was a boy. Fortunately, Andy and his father shared a strong bond.

He describes answering the ad that would lead to him becoming the guitarist for Duran and chronicles the bands rise and ultimately, their fall. He matter-of-factly mentions disagreements within the band, but mostly sticks to being very complimentary of the other members and points out how each of them contributed to the success of the band.

There is a chapter or two which describes Andy's drug use in the 80s and in one of the more moving stories, he describes being sold out to the newspapers by the band's old body guard from their Rum Runner days. The story broke describing the band's cocaine use and how his dad had walked (as he did each day) to get the morning paper at the local store, only to be greeted with disapproving looks from the other locals. He talks about his dads hurt/disappointment and his own guilt. You really get a sense of his father being a very decent, good man who was proud of his son and also worried about him.

He goes on to talk about living in Los Angeles and embarking on a solo career and, later, being asked to be part of reforming the original Duran Duran. He also talks about the circumstances leading to his no longer being in the band (something he does without any sense of anger....he's very diplomatic).
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99 of 112 people found the following review helpful By Char on September 11, 2008
Format: Hardcover
After having read this book in 8 hours flat, there is ONE resounding theme that I pickup from Andy Taylor's biography: Nick Rhodes is a control-freak and is notoriously difficult to work with. Not just for Andy (who is the Duran Duran member who seems to clash with him the most), but for all the members. According to Andy, there isn't a member of Duran Duran that hasn't clashed with Rhodes as concerns artistic control and direction of the band. Even Simon LeBon, who most assume has always been on-board with Rhodes' ideas. Is any big-time follower of the band going to be surprised by this revelation? No.

What's surprising is that Andy Taylor doesn't go into more detail about this Rhodes friction. It seems obvious that there are boatloads more of stories he could tell, given what he does reveal. One gets the sense that Taylor has reason to not provide more - could it be that he doesn't want to totally burn bridges behind him? I say yes. And that's because when he talks about the other band members, even when he is revealing something unflattering, he does so in such a gentile manner. To me, this controlled "reveal something but not too much" approach says he wants to keep his Duran Duran doors open to some extent.

Back to Rhodes. Andy Taylor postulates throughout the book that all of Duran Duran's problems and downturns (personal and professional) can be blamed on a lack of true communication between band members. In conjunction with this theory there is always some example of a situation in which Nick Rhodes behaves like a little dictator. When you put two and two together, it appears that what Andy Taylor is saying (but doesn't) is that no one communicates with one another because no one wants to confront Rhodes.
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46 of 51 people found the following review helpful By Goldengun on September 9, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I personally loved reading Andy's book, it's a fantastic read that flows nicely starting from his fractured family (no thanks to his adulterous mother), to that fateful call to Birmingham to respond to the ad for a "live-wire guitarist". He describes JT in a positive light, the first member of the band he met at the Rum Runner.

His descriptions of the bands beginnings, the recording of the first 4 albums confirm many rumours (i.e. the writing process, the videos, the idiosyncrasies of the other band members, problems with the Berrows and entourage, etc.) and presents some fabulous back story that will certainly impact the next time you view a FAB FIVE video or listen to a FAB FIVE song. Of course he highlights his contributions, but I find he also mentions the significant contributions of the others, esp. Simons original vocals/deep lyrics and the fact that John was a complete natural at the bass. His recounting of the time he told Nick that he was only playing one key is hysterical. Yeah, he goes well into the rivalry with Spandau Ballet and gloats that Duran came out on top - as they were clearly the better band. His accounts about Julie-Anne (Nick's psycho ex-wife) are humourous, especially when someone secretly hid her passort so she could not travel with them to Montserrat.

The accounts of the band's drug abuse and alcohol intake is not new news, but its description is engaging. The wild ride these 5 guys took between drugs, alcohol, babes and record hits is a swirling ride - its really a miracle that no one in the band died at the time.

He talks about his courtship with Tracy, their marriage, and I was shocked to read Tracy's post-partum problems. The story about Tracy and their first son made me feel for him even more so than ever before.
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