A music nerd inspired by David Bowie, Roxy Music and the Beatles, John Taylor went on to become a rock star in his own right as a founding member of the blockbuster '80s band Duran Duran.
A self-described "obsessive" music fan in his younger days, Taylor details his path to music, his band's international fame and its aftermath in his new memoir In the Pleasure Groove.
In the late 1970s, Taylor — then a punk music fan — said he was startled to discover he was also fascinated with the disco movement. The blending of the two helped shape what would become Duran Duran's look and sound, Taylor told Jian Ghomeshi on CBC's Q cultural affairs show.
"I've always appreciated a strong presentation with my music. I’ve always appreciated a sense of style. I’m not a big lyric guy. I like style," bassist Taylor said on Q.
"For me and Nick [Rhodes, Duran Duran keyboardist and co-founder], if we were going to have a band, this band was going to have a look and it was going to be distinct. We were never going to be wearing jeans and t-shirts on stage. It just wasn't going to happen."
Despite the comely band's members becoming music video pioneers and garnering such a large fan base — propelled in large part by teenaged girls, they were often not acknowledged by critics. Still, Taylor stands by Duran Duran's music.
"I don't think we ever compromised. I don't think we ever spoke down to our audience. I don't think we wrote down to our audience. We always wrote the best songs that we could have written. We never stopped growing. We never lost that sense that the next album has got to be better, that we've got to develop as artists."
Taylor talked to Q about his transformation from music nerd to rock star, the effect drug use had on his career and whether he feels Duran Duran has received its due.