Roger Taylor was the original
drummer for new-wave pop icons Duran
He was born April 26, 1960, in Birmingham, England. Taylor played drums in British punk bands before joining Duran Duran, who were formed by
keyboardist Nick Rhodes and bassist John Taylor in 1978. Vocalist Simon Le Bon and guitarist Andy Taylor soon hopped on board as well. (None of the Taylors is related.)
Duran Duran's first single was "Planet Earth" (1981), which reached #12 in the UK. The band immediately connected with an audience by emphasizing its trendy looks and fashion style in the burgeoning
music-video scene. The group often described its pop-funk music as the Sex Pistols crossed with the disco band Chic.
"Girls on Film," accompanied by a racy video, hit #5 in Britain, paving the way for a 118-week stay on the UK albums chart by the band's eponymous 1981 debut LP. Duran Duran launched a world tour that, coupled with MTV's fast attraction to them in the U.S., helped "Hungry Like the Wolf" (RealAudio excerpt) climb to #3 on the U.S. top-40 chart in 1983.
Rio (1983) also went platinum in the U.S., thanks to the hit title track. "Is There Something I Should Know" followed on the charts in the States, where it went top five. Seven and the Ragged Tiger (1983) was another U.S. smash and spawned three hits, including "New Moon on Monday" and the #1 "The Reflex."
In 1984 "The Wild Boys" reached #2 in the U.S. During a hiatus, Roger Taylor, Le Bon and Rhodes formed the short-lived Arcadia, who issued So Red the Rose, featuring the hit "Election Day." Taylor didn't return to Duran Duran
when the band released its next album in 1986.
His low profile in the succeeding years has resulted in the recently released independent film "Searching for Roger Taylor," which is described as "diving headfirst into a search for the sudden disappearance and seclusion of ... rock idol, Roger Taylor of Duran Duran."
Other birthdays Wednesday: Duane Eddy, 62; Bobby Rydell, 58; and Gary Wright, 57.