The original guitarist of Birmingham new wave band Duran Duran, Andy Taylor, has revealed he has stage four cancer, for which he says “there is no cure”.
The news was delivered by the band when they were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Los Angeles, which Taylor was unable to attend due to ongoing treatment for the disease.
Taylor wrote: “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.”
“I have the ‘Rodgers and Edwards’ of doctors,” he added – referring to pop producers and Chic founders Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards, who worked with Duran Duran throughout their career – “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 OK 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,” he continued.
“However, none of this needs to or should detract from what this band (with or without me) has achieved and sustained for 44 years.”
The setback meant Taylor was unable to perform with the band, for what would have been the first time the Birmingham outfit had played together as a five-piece in 17 years – after their world tour and 2004 album, Astronaut.
Fronted by Simon Le Bon, Duran Duran first formed in Birmingham in 1978 and went on to become one of the biggest acts of the 1980s, with hits including ‘Girls On Film’, ‘Save A Prayer’ and ‘Hungry Like the Wolf’.
More recently, the group had something of a revival, releasing their 15th studio album, Future Past, last year. They also headlined British Summer Time festival in Hyde Park earlier this year as part of their 40th anniversary celebration tour, and performed at the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee concert at Buckingham Palace, as well as the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony, which was held in their hometown of Birmingham.
At the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame ceremony, held at the Microsoft Theatre in Los Angeles, they played the likes of ‘Ordinary World’ and their breakthrough 1981 hit, ‘Girls On Film’. Taylor added in the letter that he was “truly sorry and massively disappointed” not to be there.
Other stars inducted into the ceremony included Lionel Richie, Eminem, Carly Simon, Eurythmics, Judas Priest and Dolly Parton. Dolly Parton had initially rejected the award, taking to social media to “respectfully bow out” on account of feeling she hadn’t “earned that right”.
She eventually accepted, however, after the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Foundation told her that ballots had already been sent and that it was up to voters, which consists of more than 1,000 artists, historians and music industry professionals.