PLAYGIRL INTERVIEWS JOHN TAYLOR
note: this interview was done when Amanda and John were still in their happy moments starting a new life in LA with their
Taylor is often considered the most classically handsome of the group. He’s the kind of guy you get a mad crush on,
but he never quite lets you in--which makes you want him all the more. His expressions are sexy but soulful. It’s easy
to find yourself filled with a strong desire to take him in your arms and hold him tightly until he finally opens up his very
private world to you.
PLAYGIRL: When you married your wife, Amanda DeCadanet, was it spur of the moment?
was well-pregnant by that point. I wasn’t altogether convinced of the necessity of the act, but she was. One sees so
much pain in marriage. It doesn’t seem to have that magical spell. I don’t know whether it ever did, you know?
Does marriage ever have to be a magical spell?
I suppose it’s better that way. You have to work at keeping
I’m glad I did it now. I love...I like being married. Essentially it’s about the way
you and your partner feel. Marriage can mean an awakening, and I like anything that involves an awakening of one’s self.
It is a concept made solely by the two people involved. As far as living together is concerned, if you’re going to be
co-dependent, then you’re obviously going to care what other people think. Marriage is becoming less and less relevant.
do you deal with all the traveling and the women who want you?
Honesty, diligence. I’m not really interested
in having lots of dalliances. I’ve been there and seen it. I’m really interested in maintaining a monogamous lifestyle.
It’s really, really a task-and-a-half. It’s the most underestimated thing you’ll ever do in your life. There
are temptations everywhere. You’ve just got to turn on the TV or pick up a magazine and you’re seeing somebody
more successful, better looking and with better looking kids. It must be hell for some people, because it’s difficult
for me, and I have an amazing life.
Do you miss the conquests, the new lovers?
I miss them
like I miss cocaine. In some sick way, yes. But it’s not what my life’s about. I miss it like I miss a good steak.
society force monogamy on us?
I think one man can fulfill all of a woman’s needs and vice versa. I’ve
had a lot of guys tell me that if I’m monogamous, I’ll be the first one who was. I’m like, I’m going
to do it--I’m going to be the first fucking sex symbol who got a wife and didn’t fuck around.
you believe in love at first sight?
Well, I believe in it like I believe in God. By answering that question,
I put a check in the box next to optimist.
Do you prefer having sex with someone you’re in love with?
But, having said that, the best sex can be with somebody you just met a half-an-hour before.
never see again?
I don’t know. If you’re having the best sex you’ve ever had, it would be
tough to never see them again, wouldn’t it?
What makes it the best sex ever for you?
you forget everything else and time stands still. You just feel. It’s like transcending time.
also like earthy, down and dirty sex?
Is it necessary to work at love?
can have great sex with someone even after several years. It’s like any other aspect of the relationship. You can meet
someone you really hit it off with and you want to be with them every hour of the day--and then it slows down. Then the work
starts, and that’s where the love begins. Love doesn’t really come until the obsession is gone.
me about your first love.
My first obsession. I remember being obsessed by a girl in school. I’d get
on the phone with her everyday and talk about her boyfriends. Masochistic, you know?
Was it love or lust?
definitely lusted for her. I was just looking to pry myself away from my mother. That’s what we’re all looking
for. I didn’t have anyy brothers or sisters, so I had very little experience with girls. I didn’t know how to
communicate with them.
What do you wish for your daughter Atlanta when she grows up?
like her to feel good about herself and believe in herself. Just have a good strong sense of who she is.
do you feel about the state of the planet?
I think it’s a fucking mess. People are being sold too many
fake dreams. There’s too much television, too much media. It’s a decadent society. I don’t know whether
we’re in our last throes, but it’s like the rise and fall of the Roman Empire. It’s not owning up--that’s
Do you believe you have some kind of responsibility because your life is so high profile?
don’t think anything can be done about the past. We can only look to the future. The first job I did with Duran after
I got sober was a photo session at the Hilton Hotel in London. The photographer was saying, “Come on. I want you all
to hold cocktail glasses.” I was like, “No. I’m not going to do this anymore.” I bought that shit.
I had a drug problem because I thought it was cool. It’s not cool and I didn’t want to give people the impression
that it was. I’ve got a long way to go to get my own life straight. Yet, it seems fairly straight at the moment. I’m
trying to really discover my own spirituality.
It’s amazing that you seem so shy after all these years
of women and fame.
I’m very shy. That’s why I had to take so many drugs.
have a good sense of yourself now?
I’m working on it.
Nardwar of Canadian radio interviews John
Taylor in 1996, months after he leaves Duran Duran and releases his new album
(*Ed's note: This excerpt below is an interesting one because John talks
about Amanda as if they were still together, yet he's vague on the details, because it is during a time when they took
time out from their marriage to figure out what they wanted to do.)
Now, John, in the liner notes for Feelings Are Good, you thank "my wife
No, I don't. Hein Hoven thanks his wife Melanie.
am I reading the notes wrong? Oh! I thought Amanda De Cadenet was your wife.
Oh, well, maybe it's been mis-translated
or something, because Melanie is Hein's wife.
How is Amanda doing? Is she going out with Keanu "Dogstar" Reaves
now? Has she, like, left John Taylor for...
They are just good friends.
John, do you think you have a problem with Tiara's at all? What do you think
about when you think of tiara's?
Tiaras that princesses wear in
Well, I think they're wonderful.
Because, well, you have a song on your record called "Hole in the Mud."
Is that possibly about Courtney Love hanging and messing about with Amanda De Cadenet...
Because the lyrics go, "Leave me alone, you know the game, Miss interfering I don't interfere with
you." It kind of sounds like "Crisis = Opportunity." What do you think Amanda learned from Courtney Love?
she learned? Not to lend any of her clothing out, I think is probably what she has learned from that.
So "Hole in the Mud" is not about Courtney Love then?By Courtney?
No, no, no. I am rather fond of Courtney Love actually.
Because there was that picture
of Courtney and Amanda together wearing those tiaras.
Right! Right! So that was where you got that from! She is amazing,
Courtney. But so is Amanda, you know. The town wasn't big enough for the both of them. I'm not quite sure. I don't know. Girls,
they get worked up, you know.
But you do know about the closets and I guess Amanda's closet got a bit emptied by
Courtney or vice versa.
I don't know. I think there was a dress that went missing that was not returned, I guess.
I'm on dangerous ground here because I don't want to start a war.
"In Between Women"
An insight to John
Taylor's thoughts during his separation and divorce
Fan fiction by Jacinta
I didn't get any sleep last night, though I tried, because of jet lag.
Our days of glamorous travel are over: I was kept awake by a squalling infant a few rows behind us. I keep thinking I'll get
used to it. I'm rather sorry I didn't take some of Simon's magic downers...no, I'm not. I'd rather have a clear head... if
I didn't have this raging headache. Fighting isn't making the throb go away, and fighting is what I'm doing. I'm sitting here with my poor pounding head in my hand, listening to my wife tell me what a
useless bastard I am. I can imagine her sitting on our black piano bench, smoking, staring out at the thicket of trees outside
the picture window.
She seems to want desperately
to be loved, to be accepted and envied, to be "cool". She accuses me of holding her back, of playing Daddy. I grip the cordless
'phone with white knuckles...I've brought it to avoid answering the hotel 'phone, since the fans almost always ferret out
the number somehow. This way the hotel management only forwards a few specific people through to me.
"Well, you've always said
I was a good father," I say. My teeth are clenched. I take a drag off my cigarette and rub my chin and temples.
"Oh you are, you are," she
replies, miles away. "But I'm not your child, John."
I walk over to the window and pull the curtains open a fraction of an
inch to peep out. It's getting to be too dark to see outside well, but I catch a glimpse of myself reflected on the dark window
pane. What a mess. I need a shave. When I ran my hands through my hair sometime earlier, it all stood up on end in places.
But I still have my dad's arched eyebrows and squared chin, my mum's mouth and aristocratic nose. Lucky me. I snort derisively
at myself and let the curtain fall back closed.
She's still telling me what
a miserable fuck-up I am and it hurts. My mind wanders. I thought I was ready to settle down with this woman. When I met her,
she knocked me for a loop and I just knew she was the one who would be the perfect mother for my kids. I'm no poet, mind you,
but if I were, I'd say that her skin was perfect, like the surface of a peach where the delicate blushing starts. She seemed
completely disinterested in me at first, flirting like mad with a racecar driver instead. She is a blonde beauty, my wife,
and I've always been a sucker for golden hair...blondes just seem more feminine to me, though I couldn't explain why. I mean, Simon's wife Yasmin is one of the most gorgeous women I know, and one
of the sweetest, but if she were free, she'd still never be my type.
My beautiful wife is using
ugly gutter-language on the 'phone, telling me that her best chum Courtney says this, and that she thinks that...and finally,
she announces that perhaps I'm just not 'good enough'. It wrenches my heart like a vise. I stump out my cigarette and sigh.
Then I quietly hang up the 'phone.
I walk into the bathroom to take inventory. I look like hell warmed over.
I slept in the same nasty sweaty shirt I wore on stage last night. I couldn't be bothered to change, I wanted to get away
so fast. It has bled tiny spidery blue and black dye marks onto my torso and arms. My hair is dirty and still sticking up.
I'm wearing my glasses, which I hate. I stink of stale cigarettes, beer, sweat and hair spray. I think of all the illusions
I'd shatter in my current unlovely condition and I have to grin ruefully at my reflection. I am in desperate need of a good
Amanda's words ring in my
head. It's funny how people who love you the most...and whom you love the most...can hurt you the most. Eh, we've been drifting
apart lately and fighting more and more often. Most of it is from the stressful competitive businesses we're both in. Still,
she's my wife. I'd like to think I'm the kind of guy who honors his promises, but I keep hearing rumors about my wife sleeping
with other people. That sucks. I mean, my wife has a right to her own life and all, but it's not like we have agreed to an
open marriage. Maybe we did that when I was out of the room or something. I haven't parted anyone's thighs except my wife's...but
she has her own agenda. She may have other boyfriends...and girlfriends. After all, it's hip and 'in' to be bi these days.
I feel guilty that I'm so angry over this since I'm hardly pure as the driven snow myself...but, damn it all, I have honored
my marriage vow. And it has not been easy. I've been the kind of guy who likes to sample every dish on the buffet, catch my
meaning? And I rarely sampled more than once or twice from the same dish.
Ah, hell, it's probably all lies. I know better than to believe everything
I read or hear. I rub my eyebrows and shake my aching head. "John, old man, it's the irony that's killing you," I say to myself.
Last night I was backstage before the show and in the hallway they put up for us to run through was this devastatingly beautiful
woman. I mean, she had dark red-brown hair...something I like almost as much as blonde. Her legs were long and her eyes were
bright green. She had squeezed herself into a tiny black leather vest with a silver zipper up the front and when I walked
near enough to her, she reached out and actually put her hand in my pants pocket and gave me a firm little pat, if you know
what I mean. That thing sort of surprises the hell out of me. So I'm trying to think of what I should do, and she unzips her
vest and flashes these enormous breasts at me and tells me she'd gladly "screw me until my eyes fall out". I confess I was
looking...and that I thought about it longer than I probably should have.
Well, no. I did not sleep with her, though she had other naughty suggestions
to offer. Charley tells me she was very, very good though. Seems that she was a model in one of those men's magazines, where
the women loll about with huge globular breasts, hard lean bellies and... well, you know. Don't tell me you haven't seen a
men's magazine like that, I sure have. Beats Popular Mechanics. Good ol' Charley tells us all on the plane today that she
was a real screamer and that she kept calling him 'Johnny', but that he took her several times anyway. Charley's not picky
at all. One day his dick will rot right off, but in the meantime, he sure likes women, the more the better.
Sometimes it is really lonely being virtuous. In fact, it bites.
I'm not surprised to hear
the 'phone ringing. I walk out of the bathroom and consider letting it ring...and yet I know that if I ignore it, Amanda will
think I'm cheating on her, that some nubile young zygote is in here doting on me. This has been the usual pattern.
"'Allo?" I say, warily. Unsurprisingly,
it is indeed my wife. Equally predictably, she's very, very angry. She wants to know why I hung up on her. I sigh and light
another cigarette and plop down, taking my glasses off.
"Erm, I guess we got cut off,
luv," I offer. I recognize that this sounds incredibly lame even to me.
"Bullshit!" she shrieks.
I sigh and swap the cordless
to my other shoulder. "Look, 'Manda, I have to get ready. My ride will be here soon and I look like shit on toast. Can I take
this into the bathroom, at least?"
"Going to pick the hairs out
from between your teeth, husband?"
I realize that Amanda is just
in a reach-out-and-fuck-with-someone mood, but I don't know how to defuse it. I try to reassure her that I care about her,
that I love her...the minute hand on my travel alarm is spinning around and around. It's hard not to give into the anger.
"I want time off," she announces
"What?" I say. I swap the
'phone to my other ear again.
"I need to find out who I
am and what I want out of life," she says.
"What?" I repeat, less than
brilliantly. Though I'm not surprised.
"I think I just got married
too young. I miss being free to hang out with my friends, being crazy, not having any worries."
I think about it. "Fine,"
I say, reluctantly. There is a pregnant pause.
"What?" she says. Obviously
she had expected more of a brawl over this.
"I said 'Fine'. If that is
what you really think you need; if that is what you really think you want. I'll support you."
There is another pause. "You're
screwing around on me? Seeing someone?" She is nastily accusatory.
"No, damn it, I am not. Damn
it. I'm trying to be cooperative, Amanda. Tell me what you want, okay? I care about you but you're really infuriating sometimes.
If you want to talk, I'll talk. Do you want to see a therapist or a counselor? I'll be there. Whatever."
Yet another pause. I hear
her breathing on the other end of the 'phone.
She hangs up.
Shit, shit, shit! I thought
I was being decent about this. I mean, she saw a really nice, empathetic therapist when she was pregnant with Bean. I take
the cordless back to its base and turn the ringer off. I'm in a black mood.
I unbutton the wrinkled shirt and strip off my undershorts and climb
into the shower. I turn the water on full blast and stick my aching head under the jet of water. My life just sucks right
now. I have a complete inability at this particular moment to appreciate all the good fortune I've worked so hard to attain
...and I feel a twinge of guilt along with all the anger and frustration and hurt. I knew this was coming, I guess...we don't see each other for weeks at a time and then when we do, we fight. And my
daughter...she's everything precious to me, really, all tied up in one tiny little package. It simply isn't fair, not to her
...or to me.
The water pulls my hair in front of my eyes and I just let it pound away
at my scalp and shoulders. In the privacy of the shower, I take time to indulge myself in some self-pity and have myself a
little cry. I'm too tired to choose to be angry instead.
I met Amanda in the most clichéd
way you can imagine...at a party for rich and famous people who are all desperately trying to impress other rich and famous
people. In retrospect, I see that I was ready to meet Ms. Right. My previous girlfriend was dating seriously, and I was tired
of living the love 'em and leave 'em lifestyle. When I met Amanda, it all just clicked. I really felt that she was it, the
one, the best mate for me. My life was hectic and busy, and women half my age were willing to sleep with me if I wanted them,
but my life was empty. I though 'Manda was the answer.
I had been trying to fill the void with excitement and distractions--I'll
admit I must have single-handedly hoovered up at least a kiloton of cocaine during my lifetime. I'm lucky my heart didn't
stop dead, or that my nose didn't collapse from the irritation. Endless work was wearing me down, what with all the sucking
up and being sucked up to. I couldn't tell you how many litres of vodka I've swigged down, maybe my liver knows. And I am
very fortunate that all my drunken or stoned grapplings with willing young bodies didn't earn me more than the occasional
bout with the crabs or an annoying and inconveniently located itch. But you could have guessed all that. We musicians are
notorious for that kind of nonsense.
Amanda is much younger than
I am and in the beginning she leaned on me and used me to escape from her parents, who are hardly the restrictive ogres you
might imagine. Then I found myself leaning on her when my accountant finally reached me. I'd been dodging her each time she
tried to reach me to talk business with me, to let me know that my funds were depleting faster than she could shore them up.
I almost found myself in the unenviable position of being a multi-millionaire at age 25 and dirt poor ten years later due
to foolish spending on my part. It shook me up. I have to admit, though it hurts my pride, that Amanda was the person who
took me by the short and curlies and demanded that I take responsibility for my life.
I quietly slipped into treatment and kicked cocaine and it was the hardest
thing I have ever done. It's still hard on me. I get the wild idea that I can handle just a little bit...and coke flows freely
in my line of work. It kills me to say 'no' sometimes, especially when I am dead tired and about to die from stress. But I
know it may well kill me to say 'yes'. With a generous loan from my
new wife (we discovered that she was pregnant, oops, but I was honestly thrilled and determined to use my new passion for
responsibility to remake and remodel myself into a family man so I married her) I took care of my finances. I drove a VW Rabbit.
I began to enjoy the simplicity of wearing jeans and tee shirts with holes in them. When we went to see our baby-to-be on
ultrasound, she looked like a little lima bean, all curled up, so tiny. We were truly happy. Well, I was happy. I thought
Amanda hung the moon and the stars in the sky.
Now I don't know what is going
on. When we're together, we go to bed at different times and then we lie there pretending to be asleep so we don't have to
talk. We fight. I try to call her and she's on the phone with Courtney and can't or won't talk to me, sometimes for hours
on end. I don't care for Courtney. She's loud and coarse and brassy
and if you open a dictionary to 'Ugly American', a picture of her showing her tits onstage is right there next to the entry.
I try to admire her for her wit and her grit and determination, and I try to admire her strength and frankness...but in the
end, I think she's unpleasant, and all too proud to be called a bitch.
Amanda has left her parents,
so she rebels against me, Husband-daddy, ol' Stick in the Mud. She and Courtney talk about men they'd like to fuck, and men
they have already fucked. They are all geared up on black magic,
which worries me. Wiccans are one thing, this is another. Courtney used to be a stripper, she keeps her dead husband in a
Baggie on her fireplace mantle and she gets into fistfights. Amanda adores her and wants to be just like her. I try not to
let my feelings show, but I can't always help it. Courtney's inching into my life...I have even babysat our kids together
on occasion, the two baby Beans. It just isn't a good situation at all.
Nothing lasts forever, but that doesn't mean I have to be pleased about
it. I reach up and turn off the water and grab for a towel.
I guess I look pretty good for an old married man, if I dare say so myself.
Or a newly separated man. Whatever I am. I towel off and pick up my watch to check the time. It's cutting it really close.
The van is due at any second. The makeup crew can fix any wrinkles or zits I might have when I get there. I can't help but
pull a goofy face at myself in the mirror. I look like I have a hedgehog perched atop my head and I am shedding buckets of
water. I put my fogged-up glasses on after wiping them on the hem of my towel, which I've slung around my waist. I am Sarong
Man! I feel a bit better after my shower.
I pad out of the bathroom to my carry-on duffel and pull out a soft dark
grey-blue floppy shirt and a pair of well-loved jeans. I'm counting on the wardrobe girls to have washed and pressed a stage
outfit for me. As a final touch, I pop on a ratty baseball cap and some silver-rimmed sunglasses with dark brown lenses. I've
learned that I can't hide from the determined network of fans but fortunately most of the fans who find me are polite and
respectful. Cutting my hair to a length above my shoulders helped a little bit. I actually look forward to seeing some of
the fans from long ago, especially when they follow us to Singapore and Italy. I know we aren't friends, but seeing familiar
faces in a foreign place is always welcome. I know what to expect from most of them. They are comfortable, I guess. Hell,
they even bring me little prezzies from time to time. As long as it isn't a stuffed animal, I'm pleased about that. Call me
shallow. It's like Christmas almost everywhere I go if the older fans are there.
The hotel phone buzzes...it
can only be Amanda, one of the managers, one of my bandmates, a relative, or the hotel manager announcing the arrival of my
transportation. I mentally cross my fingers and answer. Fortunately, it's my ride. I grab my dopp kit and a long black jacket.
I'm on my way.