Duran Duran’s Andy Taylor has cancer, skipped Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame induction

Andy Taylor in 2004
Andy Taylor in 2004

Last night, the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame induction ceremony was held in Los Angeles, and while us regular folk won’t get to see much of it until the special airs on HBO on November 19, there was still some noteworthy news to come out of the evening: During Duran Duran’s induction, the band revealed that longtime guitarist Andy Taylor, who was not in attendance, has Stage 4 metastatic prostate cancer. The band read a portion of a letter that Taylor wrote during their acceptance, which you can read in full on the band’s website, and Variety says that lead singer Simon LeBon shared some thoughts on Taylor’s condition backstage later on.

He said it was “devastating news” to find out that “a colleague… not a colleague—a friend, one of our family—is not gonna be around for very long.” He added that they “love Andy dearly” and declined to answer any questions or offer any other comments about it, with Variety saying he was “too distraught to address the subject further.”

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Here’s a portion of Taylor’s letter, which also included a lot of words of thanks to fans and supporters and producers, plus a note to his family and a joke about how his grandson is “probably online listening or on Fortnite,” which is all very sweet:

Now to 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 speak from the perspective of a family-man but with profound humility to the band, the greatest fans a group could have and this exceptional accolade.

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 doing okay after some very sophisticated life extending treatment, that was until a week or so ago when I suffered a setback, and despite the exceptional efforts of my team, I had to be honest in that both physically and mentally, I would be pushing my boundaries.

However, none of this needs to or should detract from what this band (with or without me) has achieved and sustained for 44 years. We’ve 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’ve said many times, when you feel that 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 truly sorry and massively disappointed I couldn’t make it. Let there be no doubt I was stoked about the whole thing, even bought a new guitar with the essential whammy!

I’m so very proud of these four brothers; I’m amazed at their durability, and I’m overjoyed at accepting this award. I often doubted the day would come. I’m sure as hell glad I’m around to see the day.

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