Duran Duran: Guitarist Andy Taylor Unable to Attend Tonight’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction

Original Duran Duran guitarist Andy Taylor was unable to attend tonight’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony in Los Angeles honoring the group, as the guitarist has been battling health issues related to Stage 4 metastatic prostate cancer.

Duran Duran at the 2022 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony Red Carpet held at the Microsoft Theatre on November 5, 2022 in Los Angeles, California.
Christopher Polk for Variety

During their induction into the Rock Hall at the Microsoft Theater, Duran Duran revealed that Taylor, diagnosed with metastatic prostate cancer four years ago, suffered a setback from the diagnosis that would not allow him to travel to L.A. from Ibiza, Spain. The band honored Taylor during the ceremony reading portions of an acceptance speech letter.

“Just over four years ago I was diagnosed with stage 4 metastatic prostate cancer. Many families have experienced the slow burn of this disease and of course we are no different; so I speak from the perspective of a family-man but with profound humility to the band, the greatest fans a group could have and this exceptional accolade,” Taylor wrote in his speech.

Only part of the letter was read during the acceptance speech, but a more detailed version was published on the group’s website, going into greater detail about his setback.

“I have the Rodgers and Edwards of doctors and medical treatment that until very recently allowed me to just rock on. Although my current condition is not immediately life threatening there is no cure,” he said. “Recently I was doing okay after some very sophisticated life extending treatment, that was until a week or so ago when I suffered a setback, and despite the exceptional efforts of my team, I had to be honest in that both physically and mentally, I would be pushing my boundaries.”

Backstage in the press room, Simon LeBon elaborated on his feelings about Taylor’s condition, briefly.

“It is devastating news to find out that a colleague… not a colleague — a friend, one of our family — is not gonna be around for very long. It is absolutely devastating. We love Andy dearly. I’m not gonna stand here and cry or anything, that would be inappropriate, but that’s what I feel like.”

Then, LeBon cut off further lines of questioning about Taylor. “Now that we’ve got that out of the way, can we not go back to it, please,” said the singer, indicating that he was too distraught to address the subject further.

Andy Taylor of Duran DuranGetty Images

Duran Duran — named for a character in the Jane Fonda film “Barbarella” — was formed in Birmingham in 1978 by keyboardist Nick Rhodes and bassist John Taylor, adding drummer Roger Taylor a year later. The lineup, completed in 1980 with the addition of guitarist Andy Taylor and singer Simon Le Bon, went on to mainstream success with its 1982 album, “Rio,” followed by a slew of MTV video hits including “Planet Earth,” “Is There Something I Should Know” and “Hungry Like the Wolf” dominating the music channel. Andy Taylor’s funky guitar work was a driving force behind the band’s popularity, with tens of millions of albums sold, including the Golden Globe-nominated song, “A View to A Kill,” from the James Bond film of the same name.

The original five-piece band reformed for a sold-out world tour and album ‘Astronaut’ in 2004 and tonight would have been the first time that they would have played together in 17 years, the statement read. It was to be a special treat for the band’s “Duranies” fanbase, responsible for Duran Duran earning its spot as the top vote-getter in the public vote, tallying 934,880 in its first-ever nomination.

In 2019, Le Bon and bassist John Taylor were on hand to induct Roxy Music into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In his letter, Andy Taylor acknowledged the influence of Roxy Music, writing, “We all grew up on the same vinyl records and live gigs, from David Bowie to Roxy Music, rhe Sex Pistols and of course CHIC. I could go to all those places as a player and developed a hybrid guitar style that fitted this amazing concept OF A BAND…”

The 37th Annual induction ceremony is honoring Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo, Eminem, Eurythmics, Dolly Parton, Lionel Richie, and Carly Simon along with Judas Priest and Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis for Musical Excellence, Harry Belafonte and Elizabeth Cotten for Early Influence, as well as Alan Grubman, Jimmy Iovine and Sylvia Robinson for the Ahmet Ertegun Award.

Read Taylor’s letter in its entirety below:

Dear Simon, John, Roger, Nick, my fellow inductees and countrymen

I wanted to send a personal note to pass along my sincerest respect to you all for what’s been an amazing career, and to also share what has happened to me.

Firstly, can I say what an absolute honour it was to be nominated let alone be inducted into the RRHOF. There’s nothing that comes close to such recognition. I’m proud of everything we’ve achieved together and of the way you have continued. As a guitar player in a progressive band from the synth days of the early eighties, literally from the day I met Nick, John, Simon and Roger they truly valued the contribution of a rather noisy, versatile Northern brat. We all grew up on the same vinyl records and live gigs, from David Bowie to Roxy Music, The Sex Pistols and of course CHIC. I could go to all those places as a player and developed a hybrid guitar style that fitted this amazing concept OF A BAND…

I loved going into the studio and recording our material; nobody else sounded like us. We were ripe to absorb what was the art of analogue recording, but with some different kit, Nick’s artful obsession with synth technology was something I’d never seen before and I was introduced to lay-ers. Because we were instinctively the right fit, we evolved very quickly, writing RIO as our second album with the confidence our very early success with ‘Girls On Film’ and ‘Planet Earth’ in-spired.

You can dream about what happened to us but to experience it, on one’s own terms, as mates, was beyond incredible.

I would like to thank each of my brothers in this great band.

My family: my incredibly sane wife of 40 years – Tracey – my amazing children, Andy, Georgie, Bethy and Izzy, not forgetting my grandson Albie, who’s probably online listening or on Fort-nite!!!

The original believers: Paul and Michael Berrow, Dave Ambrose, Terry Slater, Rob Hallett.

The Producers: Colin Thurston, Alex Sadkin, Bernard Edwards and Nile Rodgers – I’ve also real-ly dug the work with Mark Ronson – I particularly admire ‘All You Need Is Now’, that’s a DD melody if ever I heard one.

Thanks also to Merck, Andrew and Wendy.

Now for the bad blood, well the good news is that there is none, just pure love and respect for eve-rything we wrote, recorded and achieved together. What’s the point? There’s no stopping this 44-year thing called “Duran Duran”.

Now to the reason I’m not here:

Just over 4-years ago I was diagnosed with stage 4 metastatic prostate cancer. Many families have experienced the slow burn of this disease and of course we are no different; so I speak from the perspective of a family-man but with profound humility to the band, the greatest fans a group could have and this exceptional accolade.

I have the Rodgers and Edwards of doctors and medical treatment that until very recently allowed me to just rock on. Although my current condition is not immediately life threatening there is no cure. Recently I was doing okay after some very sophisticated life extending treatment, that was until a week or so ago when I suffered a setback, and despite the exceptional efforts of my team, I had to be honest in that both physically and mentally, I would be pushing my boundaries.

However, none of this needs to or should detract from what this band (with or without me) has achieved and sustained for 44 years. We’ve had a privileged life, we were a bit naughty but really nice, a bit shirty but very well dressed, a bit full of ourselves, because we had a lot to give, but as I’ve said many times, when you feel that collective, instinctive, kindred spirit of creativity mixed with ambition, armed with an über cool bunch of fans, well what could possibly go wrong?

I’m truly sorry and massively disappointed I couldn’t make it. Let there be no doubt I was stoked about the whole thing, even bought a new guitar with the essential whammy!

I’m so very proud of these four brothers; I’m amazed at their durability, and I’m overjoyed at ac-cepting this award. I often doubted the day would come. I’m sure as hell glad I’m around to see the day.

All My Love
AT