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 Duran Duran Notorious by Steve Malins and Steve's Interview

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PostSubject: Duran Duran Notorious by Steve Malins and Steve's Interview   Mon Jul 02, 2007 11:56 am

Duran Duran Notorious by Steve Malins and Steve Malin's Interview


Duran Duran Notorious-The Unauthorized Biography (Andre Deutsch, 2005) is the first new millennium Duran Duran hardcover unauthorized autobiography. The book was written by Steve Malin's who has penned works about Gary Numan, Depeche Mode, and Radiohead.

It will be very easy for die hard "Duranies" (the nickname given to Duran Duran fans) to pick apart this book into a million pieces. However, for the person who is only a casual Duran Duran fan who desires to know more about the group they may not be so hard on the book. The book details the musical history of the group known as Duran Duran providing small glimpses into the groups personal lives. Malins spoke with former girlfriends, former band members and former managers among many others in his research for the book.

In intricate detail Malin's describes the groups early days, their pop music domination of the early 80's and the groups side projects--Arcadia, Power Station, Neurotic Boy Outsiders, The Devil's and solo projects.

Most of the comments from the group incorporated in the book were taken from various interviews and magazine articles conducted over the years. Malins does state in his acknowledgements that he conducted an interview in Nick Rhode's back garden several years ago and that he spoke with over 30 people including former group member Warren Cuccurullo for the book.

When most people think about Duran Duran, they think about the Fab Five-Simon Le Bon, Nick Rhodes, John Taylor, Andy Taylor, and Roger Taylor. Warren was a member of Duran Duran from the late 80's until shortly after the year 2000. Obviously, he spoke with Malin's at great lengths because he provides somewhat "new" information. Thus meaning whereas a good portion of the information in the book is derived from past interviews which have been published or broadcast, Warren's thoughts printed in the book ring with freshness and make for interesting reading. The downside to all of this is the reader doesn't get this really exciting refreshing detail from other group members. So Warren receives a lot more shine in this book than he might have under different circumstances, like say all of the group sat down and talked to Malin's for the book. Warren details how he felt slighted that Duran Duran sent him a letter telling him about how he was out of the group. For some reason information about Warren meeting Larry Flynt and launching his line of adult toys made it in the book along with Warren bashing Duran Duran's first single off of their reunion album "Astronaut." Warren also laments a story about how he was slighted by the group when they came to L.A. in 2003 and how none of his former band members have come to visit his Santa Monica website.

The book does include some facts that were not as publicized in the media as one may have expected. Malin's discusses Simon Le Bon's close friendship with deceased INXS singer Michael Hutchence, the high cost of producing the Arcadia album "So Red The Rose," John Taylor’s various battles with drugs, and a failed Power Station Reunion.

What's missing is more detail about the recent reunion. How did the Fab Five pull it together again in the studio and in their personal relationship to make a new album after twenty years? What were Roger and Andy Taylor doing during the 90s and what were their feelings about the other members going on with out them? There could be a million suggestions about "What's missing," but the truth is there is a lot here.

Reading wise “Duran Duran-Notorious” has the flow of a magazine article more so than a book. It's very detailed and at times the detail supersedes the narrative regarding the situation described. Important topics are given 2-3 sentences and then it's on to the next thing in certain instances.

Duran Duran "Notorious" features exclusive pictures from the band's official.
The book is very interesting and something that a music lover or Duran Duran fan may enjoy.




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Steve Malins Interview


1)What inspired you to write a book about Duran Duran?

The reunion in 2001. I really wanted to write it when I heard they got back together as I thought it was a great story and I couldn't believe no one else had really tackled their story before. But I started working at a label and didn't do much writing for a while until last year. It was the first idea I approached a publisher with and they went for it.



2) Did you ever pursue writing an authorized biography?

I approached the band about doing interviews but I also felt unsure about doing it as authorised which introduces all sorts of problems, issues and time delays. I just felt this was the right time for an in-depth Duran Duran book and I've been through experiences before where it's very difficult to write an official book by committee. Nothing seems to happen quickly in the Duran world, and they're such different personalities that I think 'hats off' to anyone who pulls that off.


3) When you interviewed Nick several years ago did he know the interview was for a book in the works? Meaning as interviewers sometimes we interview people for one reason and the interviews show up other places. This is an important question because some internet chatter speculates whether Nick was the only member who agreed to participate with the book.

No, this was a long time before the book was in place. I actually saw Nick and spent time with him on a number of occasions because I helped to sign The Devils album with Stephen Duffy to the label. And I did all the publicity for the project. I liked him a lot, he was very funny.


4) You cite well over 200 articles. How long did conduct research for the book?

About six months.



5) I’ve read the book and in many ways it read like one long magazine article (not saying it wasn’t a good article) rather than a book. What other type of feedback have you received from reviewers?

Magazine article! Er, I guess I write for magazines so maybe that comes across! The feedback has been really good - most people, even long-term fans, seem to have come across stuff they didn't know. And I wanted to properly deal with the music too - maybe that's where the magazine thing comes from - I do kind of review the albums in quite a lot of depth.


6) There is very little information about the reunion. In the book it kind of reads as if they just got back together and everything was fine. Did you find out anything about any struggles to recapture the magic in the studio or difficulties meshing the five different personalities together as Duran Duran?


That's a really good point. I did go into the dynamics of the line-up quite a lot in the book. But I was less intrusive I suppose about the 2001 - 5 situation. I think that is open for more exploration but I also wanted the book to end on a high - maybe that sounds a bit trite but at this stage it felt like the most interesting area to focus on. There had been so many struggles and lows in the 90s that I didn't want to get too bogged down with further angst - especially middle-aged angst - and even more so, I wanted to avoid lots of therapeutic, psycho-babble talk. It's just fascinating to me that a band so reviled by the media in their early days becomes hip. But, if I get a chance to do a further edition this is an area that I want to probe into more deeply.



7) Would you consider yourself a Duran Duran fan? If so how long have you been a fan?

Yes, in that I always loved the first album. I'm from the Midlands and only a few years younger so I loved that whole synthesizer/New Romantic scene. Then, like all 17-year-olds at the time when my sister who was three years younger started sticking John Taylor pictures on the wall during the Rio period, it started to become impossible to be a fan.

Then I got into them again around Notorious- absolutely loved "All She Wants Is," hated Liberty (except for "Serious" and "My Antarctica"), loved "Come Undone" and so on. Probably my favorite albums are the first one Notorious, and Medazzaland. I have seen them a few times though, not in the early days.

Cool Do you have any regrets about the book? Was there something not included that you wish would have been?

No regrets - I mean it would have been great to have sat face-to-face with the band, no strings attached. But I enjoyed doing it and I'm still playing Duran records - especially the 12 inch singles which are all on my i-pod.


9) Will you be coming to the U.S. to promote the book?

I wish, sadly not.


10) Any comments for the readers?

I hope you like it!
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