Classic Rock Corner

Bang A Gong: Duran Duran Guitarist Turned Rocker Andy Taylor Is 51

In the summer of 1987, the day before driving to Austin for freshmen orientation at the University of Texas, I went to see Andy Taylor at Fitzgerald's. The former Duran Duran guitarist had done a near-180 in his career, opting for T. Rex-inspired hard rock over the glamorous Britpop of Rio.

After what felt like hours of listening to Robbie Neville's self-titled hit record on the sound system, out stumbled a tiny little man with a low-slung guitar who seemed almost nothing like the guy being chased through jungles and riding yachts in videos I'd seen on MTV.

Clearly drunk off his ass, Taylor was the model of rock and roll with dark sunglasses, ripped jeans and a ballsy backup band that included former Frank Zappa alum Patrick O'Hearn on bass. He tore through a raucous set of original material and a couple of covers, including the "Beast of Burden."

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Jeff Balke is a writer, editor, photographer, tech expert and native Houstonian. He has written for a wide range of publications and co-authored the official 50th anniversary book for the Houston Rockets.
Contact: Jeff Balke