Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Nigel John Taylor
- For others named John Taylor, see John Taylor.
He was born in Birmingham, England. He was a shy boy who attended Catholic school, wore glasses, enjoyed James Bond movies, and played wargames with model soldiers. In his early teen years he discovered music, and before long was collecting records and teaching himself to play guitar. His first band was called Shock Treatment.
In 1978, he and school friend Nick Rhodes formed Duran Duran, and Taylor underwent an "ugly duckling" transformation -- ditching the glasses for contact lenses, adopting the romantic thrift-store-cum-pirate fashions that would become known as the New Romantic style, and learning to wear eyeliner and lip color. He stopped using the name "Nigel", and was known throughout his professional career as "John Taylor".
Taylor played guitar at the time Duran Duran was founded, but switched to bass guitar after discovering the funky rhythms of Chic, and learning to enjoy the rhythm section by playing with Duran's freshly recruited drummer Roger Taylor. He has frequently cited Chic's Bernard Edwards and The Clash's Joe Strummer as his strongest influences, in addition to Paul McCartney, James Jamerson, and Roxy Music players Graham Simpson and John Porter. Duran Duran released its first album in 1981, and went on to worldwide success in the early 1980s (see Duran Duran for more detail).
Duran Duran's early music tended to feature prominent, almost melodic bass lines, following the model of funk and disco songs like "Good Times". Although it was occasionally plain in the beginning that Taylor's playing was na´ve and self-taught, he developed a unique undulating style that has since inspired many imitators. Both his musicianship and his good looks drew more attention than was generally received by pop bassists, prompting occasional comparisons to the popularity of McCartney.
As Duran Duran became famous in the early 1980s, Taylor's individual celebrity grew. His picture was a staple of teen magazines, and he won numerous popularity polls (including appearances on People Magazine 's annual list of "Sexiest" people). He lived a lavish lifestyle with homes in London and Paris, and owned several cars which he rarely had a chance to drive (including the Aston Martin he had always dreamed of). He dated fashion models (including Bond girl Janine Andrews and "Face of the '80's" Renee Simonsen ), was welcome at parties all over the world, and, of course, developed the cocaine addiction to go with the rest of his high living.
In 1985 (after recording the chart-topping theme to the Bond movie A View to a Kill), Duran Duran split into two side projects. John Taylor and Duran guitarist Andy Taylor joined forces with singer Robert Palmer and former Chic drummer Tony Thompson to form the band Power Station. With the guidance of producer Bernard Edwards, they released one album, Power Station 33 1/3, with two hit singles, "Some Like It Hot" and the T Rex song "Bang A Gong (Get It On)".
That year Taylor also launched his first solo effort, recording the single "I Do What I Do" for the soundtrack of the movie Nine and 1/2 Weeks; he also wrote some instrumental music for the soundtrack with collaborator Jonathan Elias .
Although Andy and Roger Taylor left the band, the three remaining Duran Duran members reformed for 1987's Notorious album, and continued to record and tour throughout the 1990s, with the addition of guitarist Warren Cuccurullo. Taylor recorded a fair amount of unreleased solo material on the side, including several tracks used on the soundtrack of the Allison Anders movie Mi Vida Loca .
In 1991 he married 19-year old actress Amanda De Cadenet, who was already pregnant with his daughter. He moved from England to Los Angeles to help further his wife's acting career, which exacerbated tensions within Duran Duran. Their marriage declined even as Duran's star rose (with 1993's Wedding Album) and fell (with the widely derided 1995 covers album, Thank You). Immediately after the Thank You tour ended, he formed the side project Neurotic Outsiders, recording and touring with them for the remainder of the year.
In 1996, he recorded his first solo album, Feelings Are Good (And Other Lies), and marketed it by mail order, relying on word-of-mouth among Duran fanzines and online communities. Taylor and De Cadenet divorced. At this point Taylor was also struggling to end his long addiction to cocaine. He made an attempt to reunite Power Station, but his personal problems forced him to withdraw from the project, which went on to record and tour with Bernard Edwards in his stead.
In 1997, Taylor announced at a Duran Duran fan convention that he was leaving Duran Duran to pursue a solo career. He re-released Feelings Are Good on a larger label, and co-founded his own recording studio, B5 Records, with producer Hein Hoven . The studio never quite got off the ground, but Taylor went on to release several more self-produced albums and related merchandise through his website, Trust The Process.
Taylor also began making forays into acting. His long friendship with Allison Anders led to a starring role in the independent movie Sugar Town, and he made appearances in several other small movies and TV specials.
In 2001, Taylor reunited with the original five members of Duran Duran to record new material, and demonstrated his commitment to the band by getting an enormous linked-D's tattoo on his arm. The reunited band released the album Astronaut in October 2004.
- 1981 - Duran Duran, Duran Duran
- 1982 - Duran Duran, Rio
- 1983 - Duran Duran, Seven and the Ragged Tiger
- 1984 - Duran Duran, Arena
- 1985 - Power Station, The Power Station 33 1/3
- 1985 - Duran Duran, A View to a Kill single
- 1986 - John Taylor, I Do What I Do single
- 1986 - Duran Duran, Notorious
- 1988 - Duran Duran, Big Thing
- 1989 - Duran Duran, Decade
- 1990 - Duran Duran, Liberty
- 1993 - Duran Duran, The Wedding Album
- 1995 - Duran Duran, Thank You
- 1996 - John Taylor, Feelings Are Good and Other Lies
- 1996 - Neurotic Outsiders, Neurotic Outsiders
- 1997 - John Taylor, Autodidact (EP)
- 1997 - Various, Dream Home Heartaches....Remaking/Remodeling Roxy Music
- 1997 - Duran Duran, Medazzaland (4 tracks)
- 1998 - Duran Duran, Greatest
- 1998 - John Taylor Terroristen, 5.30.98 (EP)
- 1999 - John Taylor/Jonathan Elias, Resume
- 1999 - John Taylor, Meltdown
- 1999 - John Taylor, The Japan Album
- 2000 - John Taylor, Japanese EP
- 2000 - John Taylor, Live Cuts
- 2001 - John Taylor, Techno For Two
- 2001 - John Taylor, Retreat Into Art
- 2002 - John Taylor, MetaFour
- 2004 - Duran Duran, Astronaut
- 1999 - Sugar Town: Clive
- 2000 - Four Dogs Playing Poker: Dick
- 2000 - The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas: cameo, Keith Rockhard
- 2000 - A Diva's Christmas Carol: Ghost of Christmas Present (VH1)
- 2001 - Strange Frequency: Jimmy Blitz (VH1)
- 2001 - Vegas, City of Dreams: Byron Llord
- 2002 - That 80s Show: cameo, Zeke
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