How Duran Duran's John Taylor Came Undone

By Chrisanne Grise 10/17/12

The bassist and former booze and coke fiend says surrendering to rehab gave him an education "as good as any four-year university course."

No longer one of the "Wild Boys." Photo via

Unsurprisingly, Duran Duran's wildly successful career as '80s pop Gods did little to protect bassist and co-founder John Taylor from addiction. After many years living the life of drugs, booze and one-night stands—or "Ba da bing ba da boom," as Taylor terms it—he began to feel he was in "an uphill slog," both personally and professionally. “I couldn’t get on top of my music,” he says in a new interview. He met with a therapist, who convinced him he could really be happy if only he kicked his cocaine and alcohol addictions . “I won’t say I went [to rehab] right away, I had to hit bottom, which meant going out and getting so fucked up, so disillusioned by my own inability to control myself, and then surrender,” says Taylor. That last part was far from easy: “I was just so miserable and I thought it can't be any worse...but I did fight it all the way. All the way from the airport I was saying, ‘I don’t want to go!’” He's glad he did. “The education that I got in that 30-day program was as good as any four-year university course anywhere,” he claims. “It was the most mind-expanding. Leaps of faith are required every step of the way.” Now he hopes that by speaking out about his experience, he can encourage others who are struggling, and don’t believe sobriety is possible. “Every 23 hours out of 24 I’ve been happy that I’ve done it, and for that one hour in each day where I want to question it and I want to rebel against it, that’s my addict looking for a way to take the wheel back,” Taylor says. “I think I’m more mindful and aware as a human being than I’ve ever been.”

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Chrisanne Grise is a multimedia journalist specializing in health/fitness, lifestyle, travel, bridal, and music. Her work has appeared in print and online for publications such as Martha Stewart Weddings, Parents, FitnessMagazine, Fisher Price, Bridal Guide, Scholastic's Choices,,, and more. She is the Senior Editor at The New York Times Upfront. Follow her on Linkedin and Twitter.