Former Duran Duran member Andy Taylor misses Rock’s Hall of Fame induction due to stage 4 cancer

Andy Taylor was expected to join his former bandmates tonight (Saturday, November 5) at Duran Duraninduction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Los Angeles. But after performing a medley of their hits, current members Simon LeBon, John Taylor, Nick Rhodes and Roger Taylor took to the stage and explained his absence.

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“Four years ago, Andy was diagnosed with stage four prostate cancer,” LeBon said, breaking the news. He read part of a letter from Taylor, who had hoped to join the band on stage for the first time in 17 years, but his health prevented him from traveling from Ibiza.

Taylor left the band in 1986. He returned in 2001 and played guitar on 2004’s Astronaut before leaving again in 2006.

Below is his letter in full.

Dear Simon, John, Roger, Nick, my fellow inmates and countrymen

I wanted to send a personal note to convey my sincere respect to all of you for what has been an amazing career and also to share what has happened to me.

First, let me say what an absolute honor it was to be nominated let alone inducted into the RRHOF. There is nothing that comes close to such recognition. I am proud of everything we have achieved together and of the way you have continued. As a guitarist in a progressive band from the synth days of the early eighties, literally from the day I met Nick, John, Simon and Roger, they really appreciated the contribution of a rather noisy, versatile northern brother. We all grew up on the same vinyl records and live concerts, from David Bowie for Roxy musicThe Sex Pistols and of course CHIC. I could go to all those places as a player and develop a hybrid guitar style that fit this great concept OF A BAND…

I loved going into the studio and recording our material; nobody else sounded like us. We were ripe to absorb what was the art of analog recording, but with another set Nick’s artistic obsession with synth technology was something I had never seen before and I was introduced to layers. Because we were instinctively the right fit, we developed very quickly and wrote RIO as our second album, confident that our very early success with ‘Girls On Film’ and ‘Planet Earth’ was inspired.

You can dream about what happened to us, but to experience it, on your own terms, as comrades, was absolutely incredible.

I want to thank all my brothers in this amazing band.

My family: my incredibly sensible wife of 40 years – Tracey – my amazing children, Andy, Georgie, Bethy and Izzy, not forgetting my grandson Albie who is probably listening online or on Fortnite!!!

The original believers: Paul and Michael Berrow, Dave Ambrose, Terry Slater, Rob Hallett.

The producers: Colin Thurston, Alex Sadkin, Bernard Edwards and Nile Rodgers – I also really dug the work with Mark Ronson – I especially admire ‘All You Need Is Now’, it’s a DD tune if ever I heard one.

Also thanks to Merck, Andrew and Wendy.

Now for the bad blood, well the good news is there is none, just pure love and respect for everything we wrote, recorded and achieved together. What’s the point? There is no stopping this 44-year-old thing called “Duran Duran”.

Now for the reason I’m not here:

Just over 4 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’m speaking from a family man’s perspective, but with deep humility for the band, the biggest fans a group could have and this unique recognition.

I have the Rodgers and Edwards 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. Recently I was fine after a very sophisticated life-prolonging treatment, that was until a week ago when I had a setback and despite the exceptional efforts of my team, I had to be honest that both physically and mentally I would push my limits.

But none of this need or should detract from what this band (with or without me) has achieved and maintained for 44 years. We have had a privileged life, we were a bit naughty but really nice, a bit shirty but very well dressed, a bit full of ourselves because we had a lot to give, but as I have said many times, when you feel the collective, instinctive , kindred spirit of creativity mixed with ambition, armed with an über cool bunch of fans, well what could possibly go wrong?

I’m really sorry and hugely disappointed that I couldn’t make it. Let there be no doubt that I was excited about it all, even bought a new guitar with the essential poof!

I am so very proud of these four brothers; I am amazed at their durability and I am beyond happy to receive this award. I often doubted the day would come. I’m sure glad I’m here to see the day.

All my love

ON

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