As Duran Duran was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame at a ceremony at L.A.’s Microsoft Theater on Saturday, one of the band’s founding members was absent from the festivities.
Andy Taylor, the band’s original guitarist, revealed he has been battling Stage 4 prostate cancer in a letter that singer Simon Le Bon read to fans in attendance.
“Just over four 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,” Le Bon read from the stage.
The full letter from Taylor, which was posted to Duran Duran’s website, said that he was doing OK thanks to “some very sophisticated life extending treatment,” but that he recently ran into a setback, although his current condition is not immediately life-threatening.
“Despite the exceptional efforts of my team, I had to be honest in that both physically and mentally, I would be pushing my boundaries,” Taylor wrote.
Taylor left Duran Duran in 1986, but was with the group as it ascended the pop charts in the dawn of the MTV era with hits such as “Girls on Film,” “Rio” and “Hungry Like the Wolf.” He reunited with Le Bon, keyboardist Nick Rhodes, bassist John Taylor and drummer Roger Taylor (no relation to either) in 2001. The original lineup released new music together, including 2004’s “Astronaut” album, before Andy Taylor departed again in 2006.
“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!” Taylor wrote in his letter.
“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.”
Backstage at the Microsoft Theater, just minutes after reading the letter from Taylor, Le Bon admitted he was on the edge of tears thinking about it. “It’s devastating to find out that one of our family is not going to be around for a long while. It is absolutely devastating. We love Andy dearly and you know, I’m not gonna stand here and cry. I think that would be inappropriate, but that’s what I feel like.”