Party at the Palace: Duran Duran perform with Nile Rodgers
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Simon Le Bon, 64, and the rest of Duran Duran said the news about bandmate Andy Taylor, 61, is “absolutely devastating” after reading out a letter from their bandmate at the group’s induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame at the Microsoft Theatre in Los Angeles. Andy was first diagnosed with prostate cancer four years ago and despite being due to reunite with singer Simon and his other bandmates, keyboardist Nick Rhodes, bassist John Taylor and drummer Roger Taylor, on stage at the ceremony, the guitarist had ”suffered a setback”.
At the weekend ceremony, the band were set to play as a five-piece band for the first time in 17 years, having last reformed for a world tour to promote their album Astronaut back in 2004.
In light of Andy’s absence, the band read out a letter, which explained that he has undergone “very sophisticated” life-extending treatment, but, ultimately, there is “no cure” for the condition he was diagnosed with four years ago.
“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,” the letter read.
“I have the ‘Rodgers and Edwards’ [referring to Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards, the producers who worked with Duran Duran throughout their career] 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.”
The legendary guitarist added that “despite the exceptional efforts of [his] team”, Andy was unable, both physically and mentally, to perform at the ceremony.
He wrote: “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.”
Saying he was “truly sorry and massively disappointed” he could not attend the event, Andy added: “I often doubted the day would come. I’m sure as hell glad I’m around to see the day.”
Reacting to the heartbreaking news, Simon added at the end: “It is absolutely devastating news to find out that a colleague, no not a colleague, a mate, a friend, one of our family, is not going to be around for very long.
“We love Andy dearly and I’m not going to stand here and cry.
“I think that would be inappropriate but that’s what I feel like.”
At the ceremony indicting them into the Hall of Fame, the band performed one of their biggest hits, Girls On Film, along with Hungry Like A Wolf and Ordinary World.
Duran Duran formed back in 1978 and enjoyed their first major hit with Girls On Film in 1981.
More recently, the group has risen to prominence again, releasing their 15th studio album, Future Past, last year, and undertaking a 40th anniversary celebration tour, including headlining the British Summer Time festival in London’s Hyde Park this year.
They also performed at the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee concert at Buckingham Palace and starred in the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony in Birmingham.
Their recent rooftop concert in Los Angeles at The Aster hotel was also made into a documentary called A Hollywood High and was released this week.
The project features interviews and archive footage that tells the story of the band’s special relationship with the US city.
Alongside Duran Duran, Dolly Parton, Eminem, Lionel Richie, Eurythmics, Pat Benatar, Eminem, Carly Simon, Harry Belafonte and Judas Priest were also added to the Hall of Fame roster.
Thinking that she wasn’t eligible for her nomination due to her ties to country music, Dolly, 76, initially rejected the nomination, but during her acceptance speech exclaimed: “I’m a rock star now!”
Afterwards, the singer performed a star-studded version of Jolene, joined by Pat Benatar, Eurythmics’ singer Annie Lennox, Simon Le Bon, Brandi Carlile, and Judas Priest’s Rob Halford.
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