BACK HOME: Duran Duran star Andy Taylor on his North East childhood and upcoming gig
Image: Andy Taylor and Sir Graham Wylie
The North East born star of one of the world’s most famous pop bands returned to his roots ahead of a one night charity fundraising gig.
Duran Duran and Power Station superstar Andy Taylor left his home town of Cullercoats aged just 19 after seeing his friend Brian Johnson leave to join rock band AC/DC just weeks earlier.
And he returned to Tyneside this week (Thurs 5 August) ahead of a one-off Rock n Raise gig at Newcastle’s Wylam Brewery on 15 September.
Taylor and his Duran Duran bandmates shot to fame with their first single Planet Earth, but the star, who has worked with a host of industry legends such as Robert Palmer and Sir Rod Stewart since leaving the band, said he still thinks of the North East as home.
“I don’t come back very often because none of my family are here any more,” he said, “but Cullercoats and the coast will always feel like home to me – it’s in my DNA.
“I was playing working mens’ clubs right round the region for four or five years before I answered an ad in the Melody Maker for a guitarist for a new band – Duran Duran,” he said.
“We used to play in the slot before Bobby ‘The Little Waster’ Thompson came on and we would do the opening slots at the Top Rank Clubs as well – it was a great training ground.”
The Rock n Raise gig next month, which is expected to sell out, will raise much needed funds for its organiser, the Sir Graham Wylie Foundation, along with Teenage Cancer Trust and Newcastle’s Nordoff Robbins Music Therapy.
The Nordoff Robbins Music Therapy Centre, Jesmond, was built by the foundation and now delivers life transforming music therapy to children and young people from across the region.
And Andy, who will be performing a set of his greatest hits from Duran Duran, The Power Station, his solo projects and tracks from his forthcoming album, said he didn’t think twice about taking part.
“The positive power of music is incredible,” he said. “I know better than anyone what can be achieved if you give a child a musical instrument.
“And the great thing about the Sir Graham Wylie Foundation is that because Sir Graham meets all the running costs himself, every single penny raised goes directly to the children who need it.”
Rock n Raise events are supported by a host of music industry big hitters such as Sting and The Kaiser Chiefs and Andy will be joined at the event by Luke Morley from Thunder and Spike from The Quireboys, along with Planet Rock’s Wyatt and Newcastle singer Lorraine Crosby.
“This is the first Rock n Raise we’ve held since the start of the pandemic,” said Sir Graham, “and it‘s fantastic that Andy has agreed to headline it.
“He is one of the greatest musicians of all time and, with his support, we’ll rock n raise the roof to raise money for those who need it.”
Doors open at 7pm and tickets, which cost £25, are available online : Here
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