Thursday, November 8, 2012

In The Pleasure Groove by John Taylor

In The Pleasure Groove: Love, Death and Duran Duran. John Taylor. Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated. October 2012. 304 pages, hardback. ISBN #: 978052598000.

John Taylor covers a large span of music evolution in this autobiography of his life and that of Duran Duran, the rock group in which he still performs.  It is that diverse, evolving story that speaks volumes for the success he has achieved.  Yes, the audience may change, but the "real" audience has evolved with his talent and musical styles over the years.

Taylor knows how to grab an audience. Right from the beginning, the reader is charged from the opening account of a concert performance in which the song "Tel Aviv" was played and Taylor confesses to being scared out of his mind at the almost animal atmosphere of the screaming, violent crowd.  How does one play and what is it about the music that creates such a wild response to the group's music?

We are then led back even further to the very start of his life, through his education, interest in music at first without any thought about actually becoming a rock star, and more.  The terrific part of this next section is that he chronicles how the music evolved from simple chord music on acoustic guitar through the time of the Beatles through to rock punk rock...., etc. For those who are older, it will bring back some great memories; for those who are younger, it might make them curious to check out the "older" music.

Then comes the beginning Duran, Duran, playing as introductory music for other more famous singers and bands....then comes evolving success.  Plenty of unknown and fascinating details follow about different and better instruments that were used, as well as how the other band members adapted, left, and joined, leading up to the present band members.  There's a very riveting section on how drugs and booze almost blew the whole success chance out the window and a very painful part of how it broke him down. Fortunately, it didn't end there...

Absolutely great biography about a singer, composer, producer and band leader who clearly is "passionate" beyond belief about his art.  Read it and enjoy the music you will hear and the interesting guy you will come to know so much better as you read!

No comments:

Post a Comment