Thursday, April 26, 2012

Roger Taylor from Duran Duran...

"Happy 52nd Birthday"
Roger Taylor 

Roger Andrew Taylor (born 26 April 1960) is an English double grammy award winning musician who is best known as the drummer of British rock band Duran Duran from their inception until 1985, and again from 2001 onwards, the band selling in excess of 80 million records worldwide in the process.

Taylor began drumming around the age of twelve, teaching himself by playing along with his favorite records. His first ambition was to be a goalkeeper for English Premier League club Aston Villa, and as a child he was taken to every home match by his father Hugh, but at 5' 9½ never grew tall enough to realize his dream. He would eventually "play" at Villa Park but as Duran Duran's drummer for their 1983 charity concert there. Taylor cited drummers Paul Thompson of Roxy Music, Charlie Watts of the Rolling Stones and Tony Thompson of Chic as his key musical influences growing up.

Before joining Duran Duran, he performed with several school (Park Hall School in Castle Bromwich, Warwickshire) and local club bands. After being inspired by the punk bands playing at Barbarellas club in Birmingham, he formed the New Wave/Punk outfit Scent Organs, who became regional finalists in the 'Melody Maker' young band of the year in 1978. After the band split in 1979, he joined Duran Duran and went on to become one of the world's most famous and influential drummers.

Taylor became an international star with the other members of Duran Duran as they rose to fame in the early-mid 1980s. Taylor played drums on the band's first three studio albums (Duran Duran, Rio, and Seven and the Ragged Tiger) and the live album Arena. In 1985, the band recorded the theme to the James Bond film A View To A Kill which became their second US no.1 hit and only Bond theme in history to hit the coveted transatlantic #1 spot. 

However, the intense schedule of recording and touring coupled with the pressures of fame left Taylor exhausted. His final performance with the original line-up of Duran Duran was in July 1985 at the Live Aid benefit concert in Philadelphia which reached a global audience of 2 billion people.
Prior to formally leaving the band, Taylor worked with Duran Duran bandmates Simon Le Bon and Nick Rhodes on the album So Red The Rose for their side project Arcadia in 1985. The album featured Sting, David Gilmour, Herbie Hancock, and Grace Jones. 

Taylor also contributed percussion to the other Duran Duran splinter-group Power Station's version of Some Like It Hot from their self titled album. He then purchased a remote farm estate in the hills of Gloucestershire to live a semi-reclusive life of contemplation there with his wife Giovanna, whom he had married in Naples the year before. Initially his hiatus was expected to be for a year, but in 1986 the remaining members of the band issued a statement saying that he would not be returning.

In 1994, while visiting a friend in Paris, he temporarily joined Duran Duran to play drums on three tracks for the covers album Thank You (although only two ended up on the album), later appearing in the video for "Perfect Day" and on the band's Top Of The Pops performance of the song.
In 1997, Taylor resumed an interest in the music industry again. He briefly formed the electro/dance band Freebass, which produced a single, "Love is Like Oxygen", (a cover of The Sweet) on underground dance label Cleveland City Records and was placed in the top ten of the Music Week UK Dance Chart. Taylor released electro house vinyl with Freebass member Jake Roberts under the name 'Funkface' – 'Lost This Feeling' and 'Shine' on Taylors own label Rt Music.

In 2001, Taylor rejoined Duran Duran, as all five of the original members reunited to record new material and perform as a quintet again. This culminated in 5 sold out nights at Wembley Arena, playing Madison Square Garden again and signing with Epic Records in New York. The band delivered a worldwide hit single '(Reach Up For The) Sunrise' and multi million selling album Astronaut.

The 'Astronaut' tour lasted for more than 2 years with shows all around the world. The band picked up several prestigious 'achievement' awards from Q magazine, MTV and a Brit award.

In 2003, he began a long running DJ residency at Londons Met Bar playing a mix of house and hip hop and has gone on to become a renowned DJ over recent years, performing sets at Cielo New York and Pacha Ibiza. In 2005, he was named (along with John Taylor) as one of the greatest musicians of all time in the top 100.

   The 'ALL YOU NEED IS NOW' album was released on 21 December 2010 to worldwide critical acclaim. It immediately reached the number 1 spot on the iTunes pop chart in 15 different counties. Duran Duran are said to have re-discovered their real sound with the guidance of Mark Ronson.
2011 - Duran Duran commenced 'All You Need is Now' world tour.

Taylor has always played the 'archetypal drummer' role in Duran Duran; he has always preferred to keep a low profile and is very rarely seen in the media or at public events outside of band commitments. Taylor had three children – James, Ellea and Elliot – with his first wife, whom he later divorced. In 2004, Taylor was named Britain's fifth most eligible bachelor in the UK high society magazine the Tatler, alongside Prince William and Hugh Grant. In 2007, Taylor married Peruvian national Gisella Bernales, who gave birth to their first child, a son named Julian Roger, on 9 July 2011. They now live in South West London.

In 2002, Taylor appeared on the "Twelve Drummers Drumming" Christmas card in the "Twelve Days of Christmas" set sold at Woolworths to raise money for the NSPCC – alongside the "other" Roger Taylor, the drummer for Queen.

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