Duran Duran announces guitarist Andy Taylor has Stage 4 cancer
“No other artist in the world has the kind of impact on me like Andy,” said Paul McCartney. “He is a rock hero, and he’s a friend.”
Andy Taylor is a guitar virtuoso who has created the sound that has defined the Duran Duran sound, revolutionising and remaking the music of the 1970s and early ’80s. Now one of the world’s most famous rock ‘n’ roll guitarists, Taylor is in remission from a rare blood cancer and says that he is “in total control of my situation”.
Taylor, now 38, has been a massive Duran Duran fan since childhood, and, during a period in the early ’80s when the band was being courted by record companies, Andy became close to Steve Severin, keyboard player and singer, who was in touch with the band’s manager.
When Taylor, Severin and Dave Gregory, bass player, met in 1986 they decided to form the group’s new line-up. The duo’s first meeting with management came in 1989 when they auditioned for Virgin Records – they were told they “deserved” but were rejected “for various reasons”. But Virgin was later persuaded to sign the group with their manager, Ian “Clone” Stuart, promising Taylor £1 million and a major record deal.
At the time, Taylor was one of the leading players in the UK (with his brother Simon on his solo career) and was known as “the master of the Gibson Les Paul”. He spent most of the ’80s touring with the Rolling Stones, Cream, Talking Heads, Black Sabbath, AC/DC and many others.
Taylor has used many Gibson and Fender guitars, and has collaborated with Fender, Gibson, Fender, Danelectro, Ampeg, Electro-Odyssey and TaylorMade in addition to his own instruments.
Taylor’s most recent album, The Sound of Young America, was released in May and made the Top 10 on the Billboard album charts.
Taylor’s decision to turn his back on the life of a music-business mogul is his own. He has refused to pay more than £1m from his huge earnings in the last two or three years – even though he receives a £60,000-plus weekly salary from his new record label.
Taylor has just returned from the Mayo