You Say It's Your Birthday: Duran Duran's Andy Taylor

Though he doesn't play with the Durannies anymore, Andy

Taylor is best known for his work with the group. Taylor was born in 1961 in

Dolver-Hampton, England and played guitar as a lad before answering an ad

asking for a guitarist. He met up with singer Simon Le Bon, keyboardist Nick

Rhodes, bassist John Taylor and drummer Roger Taylor (none of whom are related)

and began working on their self-titled debut, released in 1981. They fell in

with the New Romantic genre, combining pretty looks and fashion-conscious

clothing with pop, new wave and disco elements, and scored their first hits

with "Planet Earth" and "Girls on Film" -- whose randy video was filmed by

Godley and Creme.

Their second record, Rio, spawned further hits

with the title track and "Hungry Like the Wolf," while their third, Seven

and the Ragged Tiger, included "The Union of the Snake" and the mega-hit

"The Reflex." By this time the band was well-known for its combination of

synth-pop and rock elements, as well as Le Bon's intelligent, pained and poetic

lyrics. Their extravagant videos won the heart of MTV, and the group traveled

to exotic locations for filming with gorgeous models in scant clothing (Andy

Warhol once remarked that he masturbated to Duran Duran's lush videos).

Arena chronicled the band's first four years in live fashion, and

the band lent their skills to the title track of the James Bond film A View

To A Kill. However, the strain of super-stardom, touring and drug use began

to take its toll. Roger and Andy Taylor formed a side band, Power Station, with

singer Robert Palmer and bassist Tony Thompson, scoring hits with "Some Like It

Hot" and a cover of T.Rex's "Bang a Gong (Get It On)." Meanwhile, the other

Durannies formed the art-rock project Arcadia, also releasing one album.

The band attempted to reform, but Roger Taylor complained of heavy stress

levels and departed. Andy, on the other hand, left in favor of a solo career;

he played on Belinda Carlisle's "Mad About You" and recorded an album of his

own, including the hit "Take it Easy," but has since faded from the public eye.

After a few rocky years, Duran Duran has again achieved success with guitarist

Warren Cuccurullo and the 1993 release Duran Duran: The Wedding Album,,

including the hits "Ordinary World" and "Come Undone."

Other birthdays:

Sonny Bono, Lyn Paul (New Seekers), James Ingram and Tony Kyle (Blow Monkeys).

-- Beth Winegarner