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met John Taylor (Duran Duran) the other day

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by hernameisrio, Oct 18, 2012.

  1. hernameisrio


    Sep 27, 2011
    Berkeley, CA
    John Taylor did a book signing at Barnes & Noble on Tuesday in NYC. In typical Annie Is Too Busy To Look At A Calendar fashion, I found out about it last minute and hopped on the subway...read the book while I was waiting on the line...and then before I knew it, there he was, the man himself. Wow. It was sort of a generic and slightly rushed encounter, but I got him to sign my book "Play the !@$#ing bass Annie". Oh, and also, you know you're cool when John Taylor compliments your wardrobe. :D Just as I started to break the ice and feel slightly less star-struck, they called the next person up...but I did get my one little moment to tell him what a big inspiration and influence he is to me. Which was pretty sweet.

    It struck me afterwards as I stood there basking in the awesomeness of it all...the line was wrapped around the store...hundreds of fans, gushing ecstatic about the last tour, about their vintage Seven And The Ragged Tiger t-shirt, about how they caught a glimpse of Simon. I found it...interesting. I work in the music business and somehow I just don't feel or think that way anymore...it's just different now. Not that I'm better than them, but I come from a different perspective, if only out of necessity- if you're freaking out because your favorite rock star is in the control room overdubbing guitar parts, you probbbbbably won't be allowed to work on the session anymore.

    So, then there's me...nodding in agreement as I finished JT's book; at the end he talks about how important music is to him. Me, geeking out to my favorite bass lines, cramming my earbuds into my ears so I can hear them better, tapping my foot, playing air-bass on any available surface...bass nerd, you know the type ;). And I realized that because of the instrument we both play, to me, it's more than just a chance to meet someone from a band where I've bought their concert tickets, posters, albums, t-shirts...it's a deeper connection because at least to me, it's a more rare and special connection.

    He looked up at me and smiled right before he signed my book, and that was when I knew that he knew how completely thrilled I was to be meeting him...for [some] completely different reasons than your average shrieking, rabid Duran Duran fan.

    That was when I was truly struck by the realization that being able to play music is a gift and a privilege and a truly beautiful thing. I guess sometimes I forget that quite a lot of people might NOT pick up a musical instrument and might instead just enjoy listening to and watching their favorite bands and, you know, that's their life...and then here I am, shutting myself in my room with my bass for hours on end because that's the influence those bands had on ME. I forget that I am on the other side of the fan-fishbowl, in a sense.

    It was humbling and yet it also filled me with a sense of gratitude and wonder...not only for my place in the music world, but for the people who surround and support me in it.

    I don't know who's had similar experiences, but I thought I'd share. <3
  2. lowfreq33


    Jan 27, 2010
    Endorsing Artist: Genz Benz Amplification
    Isn't it cool when you meet one of your heroes and they're not a total a$$hat?
  3. I first heard about duran duran when I bought my peavey cirrus from a rehearsal/recording studio in burbank california a few months ago. The bass' case had some tape stuck on it with "Duran Duran" and some other group/artist's name written on it. Thought it was kinda interesting.
  4. +1000 :D

    Cool story, and congrats!!
  5. hrodbert696

    hrodbert696 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Very cool! I love John Taylor, I think he definitely stands out as one of the great bassists of the 80s.

    Book signings are fantastic, but I also find them kind of sad. It's that what I REALLY want to do is have coffee with the person and talk about everything they do, but in reality you get about thirty seconds to say hi and you love their work and this is how you'd like it signed - then move along cause there's a line around the block behind you. I met Terry Jones (of Monty Python) at a conference and it was like that - super nice guy, but sooo wishing I could have taken more time to talk.
  6. hernameisrio


    Sep 27, 2011
    Berkeley, CA
    I know what you mean. I was lucky enough to actually sit and talk with Alan Wilder (formerly of Depeche Mode and now of Recoil, another one of my favorites) a few years ago because his right-hand man for Recoil's live shows is a mentor/friend of mine and was generous enough to give myself and a bandmate VIP access to the green room and afterparty. It was really memorable and really cool. So the book signing was almost anti-climactic in comparison...but then again, I have this gut feeling that this won't be the only time I meet him, given the people in my life who are so well-connected in the business and given the aspirations I have for myself. I mean, I guess it sounds kinda preposterous and grandiose to say something like that, but it's just the feeling I get and I hope I don't sound like a weirdo for saying it aloud. :)

    Funny about the Duran Duran stickers. My Cirrus also came with the original hardshell case, but all MY case has on it is a small crack on the side! :) I just remember when I first saw them, which was only this last tour...they'd always been on my mix tapes and playlists since I was a teenager, but I was never drawn enough to them to go see them live. But then somehow I grew into them a little more, got tickets, and just happened to stand in front of JT ("Why are there so many women on this side of the stage and none on the other side??" haha). And he was the one who made me really pay attention. His almost constant smile, the energy and sexuality crackling from him as he played, just this lean, mean icon making that bass growl and sing...that was when I knew I had to play bass. It was so intense that I was shaking...I barely took my eyes off him for the whole show because I was so struck with wonder and curiosity.

    It's strange and a little sad to me how the implications of being a "fan" have changed so much over the years, thanks in part to social media sites and YouTube and just....the world's complete warping of personal boundaries. I realize now how rare my encounter with Alan Wilder was, let alone the fact that we have enough of a rapport that he said hello to me the next time Recoil came through and remembered my name. He's kind of an anomaly in this business because he's so down-to-earth and approachable. The funny thing is that Dave Gahan was also at that show (the lead singer of Depeche Mode) and people were FREAKING OUT...to a degree where it was honestly kinda unsettling. Fans are...weird sometimes. :/

    Although it is a reminder to me that when you meet people like this, you have to remember that not only are they "just people," but more importantly, that you have something special in common, that you deserve to be standing there talking to them...that your degree of praise and worship, so to speak, is more than just owning all the albums and listening passively. Not to place musicians on a pedestal by any means, but to illustrate how important and wonderful it is to connect with the musicians who have truly moved you.
  7. +10000 + Yes, this. The shared experience of *making* music, however small or large, and the joy of sharing it, paid or not, connects us. And we still enjoy the listening as well - the best of both worlds.

    I voluntarily took myself out of the "business" for over twenty five years, for various reasons. I still listened, was a fan, but didn't play. I got over the hang-ups that had stopped me, and one fine day decided I wanted to play again, and I was encouraged to do so by important people in my life. I am SO glad I did, because I realized I had been missing a very rich experience and a part of my very soul I had been denying.

    I am a mediocre bass player. I'll never even come close to supporting myself with it, but I am having fun playing. It is more than a hobby, it is an integral part of ME. If I didn't have the music in my life, I'd die.

    Play on, Rio! You got it right! :bassist::bassist:
  8. xUptheIronsx

    xUptheIronsx Conform or Be Cast Out....

    Feb 6, 2010
    C-ville, Col, Ohio
    man, I love his stuff with Duran Duran. i sometimes think that he is a very underrated player from that era....
  9. tkozal


    Feb 16, 2006
    New York City
    1987 My old job. I'm in London, the young boy with the old clients and brokers visiting Lloyds of London. We are dining at the Grill Room at the Savoy Hotel. I look across the room, and see Simon Le Bon, John Taylor and Supermodels.

    When I get up to go to bathroom, I am standing at the urinal, and guess who comes in and stands next to me to take a whiz: John Taylor. We had a nice chat while we were washing up.
  10. 21niko21

    21niko21 Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2009
    Colorado Springs
    Congrats on meeting JT! I've been reading his book for a few days and am loving it. I highly recommend it to everyone, it's very well written and entertaining. I really wish I could get mine signed, but I don't he's coming to Denver for a signing. In any case, I can share how you feel about meeting him. I've met Tom Fowler who played with Zappa a couple of times recently and it was an amazing experience.
  11. peledog


    Jul 9, 2010
    San Diego, CA
    Very cool! I was going to stay in L.A. on Sunday cuz JT was at Bass Player Live. But I couldn't swing it. Would love to have met him. He's one of my main influences and one of the reasons I picked up the bass!
  12. wraub


    Apr 9, 2004
    ennui, az
    deviated prevert
    Went to a meet and greet with tenacious D back in the day. Waited on line while wearing a gig bag. Got to the table, Jables noticed the bag, said "what's in there, a snowboard?" When I said "nah, a bass" his eyes lit up and he said "That's cool."

    He came into a studio later I was working at to do some stuff for "School of Rock", seemed like a nice guy but busy and stressed.

    Congrats on meeting Mr. Taylor. Seems like a decent chap.

  13. pjmuck


    Feb 8, 2006
    New Joisey
    Great story! John's a definite influence.

    And yes, it is cool when you get a chance to meet an idol and they're down to earth and willing/capable of carrying on a conversation with you. I personally have always hated the meet and greet thing because it makes me uneasy. I had an ex-girlfriend who loved to try to meet everybody and drag me along, even if it meant sneaking into places, hiding out for "chance" encounters, etc. I understand that I'm a fan of their music but they are human beings too, so I try to be respectful of the individual and avoid fan gushing. Some people actually get offended if you're not gushing over them, however, and there have been times when I've met people I always admired, only to have them turn out to be complete jerks.
  14. zuma


    Dec 21, 2006
    East Los Angeles