Sunday headliners at this year’s Isle of Wight Festival, Duran Duran, started their career in Birmingham.
Nick Rhodes (r.n. Nicholas Bates) John Taylor and Roger Taylor (no relation) grew up in the Hollywood area of the city and were keen to form a group.
Having advertised for a lead rhythm guitarist they secured Andy Taylor (again no relation) who came down from Newcastle.
Seeking a vocalist, they came across Pinner born Simon Le Bon,(pictured above) a chorister at Saint John the Baptist Church for four years. This was a Eureka moment for the boys because Simon had a book full of lyrics.
Their turning point was securing a record deal with EMI with their first hit single being “Planet Earth” in 1981.
With their fame spreading they were busy filming promotional videos -” Hungry Like the Wolf” in Sri Lanka and “Rio” on board a sailing yacht in Antigua, both 1982 hits.
In 1985 they were chosen to record the title song for the James Bond film “A View to a Kill” which was a number two single in the UK but number one in the USA.
Also in 1985 Duran Duran performed at Live Aid on the Philadelphia stage. It proved to be the last time the original quintet would play together- Roger soon quit.
All 5 original members reunited in 2004, only for Andy to quit two years later, disillusioned with performing and touring.
Simon (lead vocals) Nick (keyboards) John (bass) and Roger (drums) will take the stage at the 2021 Isle of Wight Festival at Seaclose Park on Sunday the 19th of September.
With a scheduled release date of the 22nd October 2021 the group’s 15th studio album will be “Future Past” with “Invisible” as the lead single, on their new record label BMG. Their last album “Paper Gods” was issued in 2015, and reached number 5.
Simon has, for some time now, been interested in environmental issues especially those involving the oceans. He was an ambassador at Southampton Boat Show in 2018, He arrived at the show on a Sunseeker and proclaimed how the World’s oceans must be looked after.