Duran Duran bassist/sex symbol/all-around good guy John Taylor turns 52 years old today. And no, I don’t actually have 52 entirely well-thought-out reasons why he’s as cool as he is — even though he clearly deserves each and every one. I’ll do what I can. Feel free to add more in the comments.
HE’S STILL NERDY: John loves to use Twitter. But unlike the vast majority of pretentious celebrities who use it, J.T. is just one of us, tweeting important and — sure — some important stuff too. This week’s best tweet so far: “excuse me- I am headed uptown with Mssrs Taylor and Le Bon to watch England.” Or maybe more appropriately: “come on 52- let’s get this over and done with..”
HE’S HUMBLE BUT HONEST ABOUT HIS LOOKS: In an interview last year, the reporter asked about his sex symbol status. Okay, not the greatest question, or even unexpected, and John could have thrown him a lame answer and nobody would have blamed him. Instead we got: “It’s a beautiful thing. I’m happy to be of service. Look, I’m OK with who I am.”
HIS BASS WORK IS LEGENDARY: Okay, so Taylor didn’t make Rolling Stone’s list of top 10 bassists. Big surprise. That magazine, which holds the Rock Hall of Fame hostage, should have voted DD into Cleveland the first years of eligibility. But plenty of other rankings do include Taylor among their top 10. “Taylor’s work is tight, funky, and melodic, but what sets it apart is its elegance,” one reviewer said. “He has the heart of a ’60s R&B bassist, but also a knack for detail, which makes his bass playing very exact and to the point.”
THE SOLO WORK: No, not his stuff with Power Station. Did you know Taylor’s done a bunch of solo projects through the years? If you didn’t, it’s because it’s not shoved down our throats, like some artists are guilty of doing. Google “Feelings Are Good” (his first solo work with Steve Jones of the Sex Pistols) and “Dream Home Heartaches,” his reworking of several Roxy Music classics.
HE’S ONE OF US: Consider this quote of his about illegal downloading of music: “It’s never, ever bothered me. I’m a music fan that didn’t have a lot of pocket money when he was a kid. I bought what I could afford and taped the rest off radio or made a tape from my friend’s copy of the album. I’m not hurting. I don’t have an attachment to what I call ‘delivery systems’. We write songs and we perform them live – that’s what we do for a living. … I think songwriters and performers will survive. They just will. Maybe there isn’t as much money in the pot as there was in the mid-70s or mid-80s, but the good writers and the good performers will survive.”