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Lifelong fans and interested newcomers will love this stunning biography of Duran Duran by the bestselling author of Gold Dust Woman and Hammer of the Gods. In Please Please Tell Me Now, bestselling rock biographer Stephen Davis tells the story of Duran Duran, the quintessential band of the 1980s. Their pretty boy looks made them the stars of fledgling MTV, but it was their Lifelong fans and interested newcomers will love this stunning biography of Duran Duran by the bestselling author of Gold Dust Woman and Hammer of the Gods. In Please Please Tell Me Now, bestselling rock biographer Stephen Davis tells the story of Duran Duran, the quintessential band of the 1980s. Their pretty boy looks made them the stars of fledgling MTV, but it was their brilliant musicianship that led to a string of number one hits. By the end of the decade, they had sold 60 million albums; today, they've sold over 100 million albums—and counting. Davis traces their roots to the austere 1970s British malaise that spawned both the Sex Pistols and Duran Duran—two seemingly opposite music extremes. Handsome, British, and young, it was Duran Duran that headlined Live Aid, not Bob Dylan or Led Zeppelin. The band moved in the most glamorous circles: Nick Rhodes became close with Andy Warhol, Simon LeBon with Princess Diana, and John Taylor dated quintessential British bad girl Amanda De Cadanet. With timeless hits like "Hungry Like the Wolf," "Girls on Film," "Rio," "Save a Prayer," and the bestselling James Bond theme in the series' history, "A View to Kill," Duran Duran has cemented its legacy in the pop pantheon—and with a new album and a worldwide tour on the way, they show no signs of slowing down anytime soon.   Featuring exclusive interviews with the band and never-before-published photos from personal archives, Please Please Tell Me Now offers a definitive account of one of the last untold sagas in rock and roll history—a treat for diehard fans, new admirers, and music lovers of any age.


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Lifelong fans and interested newcomers will love this stunning biography of Duran Duran by the bestselling author of Gold Dust Woman and Hammer of the Gods. In Please Please Tell Me Now, bestselling rock biographer Stephen Davis tells the story of Duran Duran, the quintessential band of the 1980s. Their pretty boy looks made them the stars of fledgling MTV, but it was their Lifelong fans and interested newcomers will love this stunning biography of Duran Duran by the bestselling author of Gold Dust Woman and Hammer of the Gods. In Please Please Tell Me Now, bestselling rock biographer Stephen Davis tells the story of Duran Duran, the quintessential band of the 1980s. Their pretty boy looks made them the stars of fledgling MTV, but it was their brilliant musicianship that led to a string of number one hits. By the end of the decade, they had sold 60 million albums; today, they've sold over 100 million albums—and counting. Davis traces their roots to the austere 1970s British malaise that spawned both the Sex Pistols and Duran Duran—two seemingly opposite music extremes. Handsome, British, and young, it was Duran Duran that headlined Live Aid, not Bob Dylan or Led Zeppelin. The band moved in the most glamorous circles: Nick Rhodes became close with Andy Warhol, Simon LeBon with Princess Diana, and John Taylor dated quintessential British bad girl Amanda De Cadanet. With timeless hits like "Hungry Like the Wolf," "Girls on Film," "Rio," "Save a Prayer," and the bestselling James Bond theme in the series' history, "A View to Kill," Duran Duran has cemented its legacy in the pop pantheon—and with a new album and a worldwide tour on the way, they show no signs of slowing down anytime soon.   Featuring exclusive interviews with the band and never-before-published photos from personal archives, Please Please Tell Me Now offers a definitive account of one of the last untold sagas in rock and roll history—a treat for diehard fans, new admirers, and music lovers of any age.

30 review for Please Please Tell Me Now: The Duran Duran Story

  1. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

    My thanks to Hachette books, Stephen Davis and Netgalley. This book gets all the stars! I loved it. Duran Duran has always been in my top favorite band's of all time. Usually when I read a book like this, I spend a lot of time watching old videos and listening to the music. I didn't need to this time. Because Duran isn't a band that I ever stopped listening to. I am a huge fan of their music. But, I'll admit that I'm not a super fan. I've never known anything about their lives. But, I always had a My thanks to Hachette books, Stephen Davis and Netgalley. This book gets all the stars! I loved it. Duran Duran has always been in my top favorite band's of all time. Usually when I read a book like this, I spend a lot of time watching old videos and listening to the music. I didn't need to this time. Because Duran isn't a band that I ever stopped listening to. I am a huge fan of their music. But, I'll admit that I'm not a super fan. I've never known anything about their lives. But, I always had a favorite. So, I wanted to know why he disappeared. My favorite was Roger Taylor, the drummer! Extremely hot, and quiet and reserved! I loved that! Also, I've always had a thing for drummers. I ended up marrying one! I liked hearing these stories. Are they watered down? Yes, I believe so. But for someone like me who doesn't need the dirt, and just the basics then this will do. I'd recommend this book to someone like me who is a huge fan of the music, but slightly interested in slices of the musicians life. For die hards? No. I guarantee they could write a book that would put this to shame! They be crazy like that!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Barbara Powell

    I have been a fan of Duran Duran since I was a teenager-they were one of the first concerts I went to and loved!! This book is a kind of behind the scenes as to how the band came to be and how the songs and albums were created, as well as bits and pieces of the lives of each of the band members. Do I think that there’s a lot more to the story? Definitely. This was very tame, and for such a population band, there had to be a lot more wild stuff in their past. That being said, it was fascinating to I have been a fan of Duran Duran since I was a teenager-they were one of the first concerts I went to and loved!! This book is a kind of behind the scenes as to how the band came to be and how the songs and albums were created, as well as bits and pieces of the lives of each of the band members. Do I think that there’s a lot more to the story? Definitely. This was very tame, and for such a population band, there had to be a lot more wild stuff in their past. That being said, it was fascinating to read and I’m sure any die hard fan will enjoy it. Thanks to Hachette Books and Netgalley for this Arc in exchange for my review.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Erin Mcgee

    I’m not as well versed as some Duran Duran fans on their history, but even I found fault with this book. It was poorly researched by the author with some obvious inaccuracies. Among them: The author spelled Duranie “Durannie” multiple times, while both are used, the former is used more frequently by fans and even the band’s social media. The author wrote that Paul and Linda McCartney came and said goodnight to the band while they were recording a demo at AIR Studios sometime in 1980. If you read f I’m not as well versed as some Duran Duran fans on their history, but even I found fault with this book. It was poorly researched by the author with some obvious inaccuracies. Among them: The author spelled Duranie “Durannie” multiple times, while both are used, the former is used more frequently by fans and even the band’s social media. The author wrote that Paul and Linda McCartney came and said goodnight to the band while they were recording a demo at AIR Studios sometime in 1980. If you read factually correct books and interviews with the band about the recording of Rio, it was during its recording. The author wrote that Andy and John mimed the sax solos in Rio, if you watch the video, it's obvious that it's Nick and John, not Andy. The author seems to not hide his disdain for most of the band members, discussing more about their drinking and drugs, sexual prowess, losing their trousers, and how much makeup they wore than anything particularly informative about what they contributed to the band. Andy is the only one who seems to come out relatively unscathed, he also somehow gets four chapters dedicated to his backstory, prior to joining the band, in Part 2. Less than 25% of the book is dedicated to the band’s over 35-year career post-Live Aid, where Warren comes off as the savior of the band and every creative idea was his. There are better written, better researched, and more informative books, articles, and blogs about this band. Read those instead.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Karla Evans

    Grammar and factual errors abound. How much would it have cost to hire an editor?

  5. 5 out of 5

    Michelle Rhoden

    I grew up with this band in the 80’s. I loved the insight the author gave by talking about the band and giving their history. I read it in one day and enjoyed it. I was given a copy of this book from NetGalley and the publisher for my honest opinion and review.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Sue

    This "biography" is based on interviews the author did with the band members in 2004, along with other resources he found to fill in the blanks and the next 17 years. This shows in the detailed accounts for the beginning of the band's career and the patchy information after the interview. With that said, the author did a nice job of building the profile of the band members. He begins the book with the movie that gave the band its name, and background of the founding members, Nick and John. He mo This "biography" is based on interviews the author did with the band members in 2004, along with other resources he found to fill in the blanks and the next 17 years. This shows in the detailed accounts for the beginning of the band's career and the patchy information after the interview. With that said, the author did a nice job of building the profile of the band members. He begins the book with the movie that gave the band its name, and background of the founding members, Nick and John. He moves the story along until he gets to the next band member and then goes back in time to fill in his background. Duran Duran went from five young men (college age when they broke through) to mega superstars so quickly just reading about it will give you whiplash. While this isn't a tell-all, it does dig into drug use and womanizing by some, if not all, band members, and it shows how that, along with mega fame and the resulting mega egos, led to the band's breakup after its third album. It also gives a sense of the utter insanity of the demands on them as they travel and perform. Very little downtime, constant pressure to produce more, conflicting musical direction, and poor early management choices (they were all about 20 years old and didn't know better) destroyed friendships and marriages and the band itself. I was in junior high school when Duran Duran burst on the scene. As a thirteen year-old in the US, I was ignorant of the drug use, hard partying, and bad press they got on occasion. It's hard to read about the problems and lifestyles of childhood idols, but this is an excellent reminder that the celebrities we admire are real people with real struggles and hopes and dreams. In this case, there were five young men who loved music but were unprepared in every way for success. As a society, we demand a lot from talented individuals - whether they are musicians or actors or athletes - expecting them to give us their time and attention and to mold themselves into who we want them to be, instead of us admiring the gifts they share and letting them live their lives. Thanks to Netgalley for a copy of the book. My opinion is my own.

  7. 5 out of 5

    B_rodger

    Of course I read this. Devoured it. Someday, though, I’d like to read a book on the guys that *begins* at the end of the original Fab Five and goes into as much detail on the years after as most do on the MTV era. I will say that I was surprised to learn that WMMS was one of the band’s big champions — I lived in Cleveland during the Seven and the Ragged Tiger era, and just assumed that everyone was playing that much Duran. (Couple of annoying errors: WMMS is referred to as WMMR at one point; and Of course I read this. Devoured it. Someday, though, I’d like to read a book on the guys that *begins* at the end of the original Fab Five and goes into as much detail on the years after as most do on the MTV era. I will say that I was surprised to learn that WMMS was one of the band’s big champions — I lived in Cleveland during the Seven and the Ragged Tiger era, and just assumed that everyone was playing that much Duran. (Couple of annoying errors: WMMS is referred to as WMMR at one point; and “Pressure Off” is lumped in with AYNIN rather than Paper Gods, but, whatever.) Worth a fan’s time.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Nicole

    I thought this was a horrible book. I am a huge Duran Duran fan and I was really hoping to love this book. I felt that the author was extremely biased and put his own opinions and thoughts in the book. It was poorly written, repetitive, very choppy, disconnected from chapter to chapter and extremely disappointing. I would like to apologize to Duran Duran fans and to the boys in the band for this very poorly written history of one of the most influential bands of my life. As I was reading this bo I thought this was a horrible book. I am a huge Duran Duran fan and I was really hoping to love this book. I felt that the author was extremely biased and put his own opinions and thoughts in the book. It was poorly written, repetitive, very choppy, disconnected from chapter to chapter and extremely disappointing. I would like to apologize to Duran Duran fans and to the boys in the band for this very poorly written history of one of the most influential bands of my life. As I was reading this book, it felt like a teacher asked a class of 8th graders to write an essay on Duran Duran and then took all the essays and put them together to create this terrible book. So sad...

  9. 5 out of 5

    Shari Suarez

    I'm an 80's kid and a huge Duran Duran fan. This book was just what I needed. It's an autobiography of the band from it's beginnings in Birmingham to July 2020 when the band was scheduled to play in Hyde Park though Covid changed those plans. It gives you the insight into the relationships between the band members, the troubled times and the triumphs. I highly recommend this to anyone who lived through the 80's. I'm an 80's kid and a huge Duran Duran fan. This book was just what I needed. It's an autobiography of the band from it's beginnings in Birmingham to July 2020 when the band was scheduled to play in Hyde Park though Covid changed those plans. It gives you the insight into the relationships between the band members, the troubled times and the triumphs. I highly recommend this to anyone who lived through the 80's.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Crispin Kott

    "There's nothing worse than an authentic biography of anyone."  I interviewed Duran Duran bass guitarist John Taylor late last year for Legs McNeil and Gillian McCain's Please Kill Me website, and while our conversation yielded plenty of great stuff, the "authentic biography" quote is the one I keep coming back to. We were talking about his excellent 2012 memoir In the Pleasure Groove: Love, Death & Duran Duran and whether he'd been influenced by other rock bios. Taylor mentioned Albert Goldman, "There's nothing worse than an authentic biography of anyone."  I interviewed Duran Duran bass guitarist John Taylor late last year for Legs McNeil and Gillian McCain's Please Kill Me website, and while our conversation yielded plenty of great stuff, the "authentic biography" quote is the one I keep coming back to. We were talking about his excellent 2012 memoir In the Pleasure Groove: Love, Death & Duran Duran and whether he'd been influenced by other rock bios. Taylor mentioned Albert Goldman, who'd already written popular accounts of the lives of Elvis Presley and Lenny Bruce before publishing The Lives of John Lennon in 1988. All three of Goldman's subjects were dead by the time he got around to them, unable to directly answer to past transgressions that might cast their legacies in an unflattering light. It was the scandalous Lennon bio that stuck with Taylor... "I remember reading that book, and it became apparent that if you put anyone’s life – yours, mine, any of us – under that kind of microscope, they’re going sound like wankers. There is no one who can come under that kind of scrutiny that is going to come out looking good. It’s the humanity that exists in all those many, many, many days between the contributions to the cool songs or whatever where they treat their gardeners like shit, or they’re unfaithful to their wives, or they get drunk and spit in the face of the doorman at the Troubadour. And you’re reading it like, Oh my god, he’s a wanker! I don’t want to read that! Now I know we’re all wankers!” Taylor later admitted to having skimmed but not entirely consumed prior Duran Duran biographies, and it's reasonable to wonder whether he will enlist the same mild curiosity with the recently published Please Please Tell Me Now: The Duran Duran Story. After all, it was written by veteran rock scribe Stephen Davis, perhaps most famous for Hammer of the Gods: The Led Zeppelin Saga, published in 1985. And according to Davis's own author notes in his latest book, he was brought into the inner circle by Duran Duran's management in 2004 to document their "Fab Five" reunion for a planned official biography. That book never materialized, not by Davis or anyone else. Both John Taylor and former guitarist Andy Taylor have since penned their own memoirs, and it's unclear whether an official biography will ever happen (though if it does, I am available!). Davis turned his attention to Watch You Bleed: The Saga of Guns N' Roses, published in 2008. And somewhere down the line, Davis decided to return to those 2004 interviews with members of Duran Duran and turn them into this book. And I don't know whether John Taylor would consider Please Please Tell Me Now: The Duran Duran Story an "authentic biography," but it's difficult to imagine anything worse.  I went into Please Please Tell Me Now: The Duran Duran Story (its title ripped from the chorus of the band's eighth single, "Is There Something I Should Know?", their first U.K. #1) with reasonably high hopes. I've long had a fondness for rock bios, and I'd enjoyed Davis's Led Zeppelin book, as well as Walk This Way: The Autobiography of Aerosmith, and Old Gods Almost Dead: The 40-Year Odyssey of the Rolling Stones. But it's been more than two decades since those books were published. And as I plunged into Please Please Tell Me Now the experience was so thoroughly dispiriting that I began questioning why I'd liked anything Davis had ever written in the first place. Maybe I was less discerning back then. Maybe I was more forgiving. I wondered about my own tastes, which with nearly all art has ebbed and flowed through the years. There are some authors who've remained personal favorites, films I still revere. And bands, too. And Duran Duran is one of those bands.  A brief intermission: I'd heard Duran Duran before what I've always likened to my personal Beatles-on-Ed-Sullivan moment, but we didn't have cable until maybe 1984 and I'd only caught glimpses of the band's now iconic videos on MTV at friends' houses. On March 19, 1983, Duran Duran were the musical guest on Saturday Night Live, and fuck it if it sounds corny, but that night changed my life. Instantly I was hooked on their sound, their look. It was thrilling, and in my own ridiculous semi-suburban way I tried to emulate their style. I first saw them in concert at Madison Square Garden one year and two days later, and despite my reticence to accept the long-standing-but-let's-face-it-extremely-corny "Duranie" term for myself, I've been a devotee ever since. I've bought records, cassettes, CDs, video in all available medium, posters, t-shirts, magazines, and books. Lots and lots of books... Most books about Duran Duran have only loosely qualified as biographies, focusing primarily on photographs or quotes or both. Some of those remain invaluable gateways to the band's early years - The Book of Words (Malcolm Garrett and Kasper de Graaf), Sing Blue Silver (Denis O'Regan), Beautiful Colors: The Posters of Duran Duran, and The Music Between Us: Concert Ads of Duran Duran (both by Andrew Golub) are all essential visual (and sometimes textual) documents to an undeniably visual band.  In addition to the memoirs by John Taylor and Andy Taylor (they're unrelated, which I'm sure you know, and the same goes for drummer Roger Taylor too), there have been others. Garrett and de Graaf collaborated in 1984 on a thin but intriguing volume called Duran Duran: Their Story, which was still mostly photos. That same year the first Duran Duran bio proper was written by Neil Gaiman...yes, that Neil Gaiman (I've never read it, or even seen a copy, but I'll take him at his word that it's lousy).  As far as I know, the first Duran Duran bio published after the '80s was by Steve Malins, an unofficial tome initially called Notorious, but renamed Wild Boys in later editions. Like many fans, I approached the book with great enthusiasm, buoyed by the thrill of the reunited Fab Five touring their reunion album Astronaut (vinyl reissue plz), and...It was a letdown. In a bit of self-righteous bluster, I posted a lengthy review to the official Duran Duran message board in which I detailed numerous factual inaccuracies. I was full of it passing myself off as some sort of authority, and while I don't remember everything I wrote, I'm sure I came off like a dick. And because writers are narcissists (see: me), Malins must have been looking for reactions to his book because he found mine. But curiously, rather than telling me to go fuck myself, he was incredibly gracious for my feedback, and we exchanged a few very nice e-mails. And then he took it a step further and added my name to the acknowledgements of a paperback edition of his book. What a mensch!  I don't expect the same will happen here, though it must be said that Davis's book is also riddled with factual inaccuracies. And it often feels underwritten, like a first draft. Scenes are repeated often as though to hit a specific word count for a manuscript the author has lost interest in but has already blown through the advance.  And it's occasionally peppered with Davis's opinions, sometimes dressed as consensus with no source to back it up: "Duran Duran finished the best album of their career, Rio, in the late winter and spring of 1982. (Some think Rio is the only great album they ever made.)" He calls them a "boy band" throughout the book, a loaded term that implies they were cooked up in a laboratory, a dismissive jibe repeated by fellow old fart journo Paul Morley nearly a decade ago. I asked John Taylor about that last December, and he found it as ridiculous as I did, though he added that he understood why Duran Duran might have been an easy target.  "I think we were products of our own experience...I’ve never considered that we contrived any of our positions. They felt entirely authentic to me. But I guess I could see somebody outside of that thinking it, particularly as we did make it quite quickly.” Some mistakes are merely typos that should have been caught by Davis or his editor: On p. 26, "This turned into a residency for Dada that lasted a few weeks in May 1968." Davis meant 1978 here: In May 1968 John Taylor was not qute nine years old, possibly precocious, but still too young to be playing around Birmingham in an art school band.  Elsewhere, Stuart Sutcliffe's last name was misspelled. Sure, he'd died before the Fab Four became a global phenomenon, but he was a Beatle once and getting it right would have been as simple as giving enough of a shit to look it up.   A May 1982 weeklong visit to Antigua by four of Duran Duran - minus Andy - is described in detail over a paragraph, as is the decision to keep them there at the end of the trip to film a video for the "Rio" single. Yet at the beginning of the next chapter, Davis claims "Andy arrived in Antigua a day after the rest of the band," an error that bends time itself.  And somehow, Davis, his editor(s) at Hachette, nobody caught the curious claim that Duran Duran recorded "Pressure Off" with Janelle Monae and Nile Rodgers for both All You Need is Now (2010) and Paper Gods (2015).  There are also bizarre turns of phrase: "...when Duran Duran came out, the audience looked to the band like monkeys in the jungle after the bananas had fermented."/"...and quickly began to assert himself as the band's new pair of balls, replacing Duran Duran's original testicles..." Oy vey.  Please Please Tell Me Now: The Duran Duran Story understandably leans heavily on the years prior to the band's fracture in the mid-'80s, with the year 1985 arriving on page 251 of 336. I get that. It's possible Davis assumed - perhaps even correctly - that many readers would be most interested in Duran Duran's meteoric ascent and less engaged by what followed. Or it could be he just ran out of steam.  I wanted to love this. Really I did. But Davis repeatedly failed to capture the energy and excitement of Duran Duran. The great Duran Duran biography remains unwritten.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Tina

    I enjoyed this, it was nostalgic and reminded me why I have always loved Duran Duran. But I must say it is Duranies not Durranies.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Crystal

    I have been a fan of Duran Duran since I was about 12, so I was excited to read this. Unfortunately disappointed, the book was repetitive and so detailed that it kept losing me. I was hoping for some dirt and gossip and really didn’t find it. It was just ok for me. Thanks to Netgalley for the free copy in exchange for an honest review.

  13. 5 out of 5

    MB KARAPCIK

    MTV darlings, Duran Duran, receive the royal treatment from noted rock journalist Stephen Davis in the biography, Please Please Tell Me Now. It reflects on their musical interests from the very beginning, early days touring, and their wild times before and after their incredible success. I'm sure fans will gobble up this book. Although I'm mostly a rock person, you cannot help but love Duran Duran and their memorable tunes. Many of my friends considered themselves Duranies, and I distinctly remem MTV darlings, Duran Duran, receive the royal treatment from noted rock journalist Stephen Davis in the biography, Please Please Tell Me Now. It reflects on their musical interests from the very beginning, early days touring, and their wild times before and after their incredible success. I'm sure fans will gobble up this book. Although I'm mostly a rock person, you cannot help but love Duran Duran and their memorable tunes. Many of my friends considered themselves Duranies, and I distinctly remember how they fawned over John Taylor. In the book, you learn his real name, hear about his addiction issues, and his influences. I personally crushed on Simon LeBon. Having been a huge fan of the Doors and Jim Morrison since high school, I was surprised to know what a fan Simon was of the band and the singer. He tailored (no pun intended with all the Taylors in the group) some of his songs and act after Jim. In the beginning, I was entranced hearing about the band members extremely diverse influences. Depending on the band member, they range in scope from hard rock to disco and all over the place. In that regard, I really gained way more respect for their talent. This is not some so-called "boy band." They seriously worked hard at their craft and their image. Of course, they partied hard, too. I loved hearing about favorite songs like "Rio", "Hungry Like the Wolf," "The Reflex," "Is There Something I Should Know?", and "Ordinary World." Sometimes, though, the author skirted over those parts. I really wanted to get more in-depth about how they came up with the tunes and wrote the lyrics. Same goes for the accounts of their wild partying. Yes, you definitely get a taste for those drug-filled days and boozy nights, but I feel like it was scratching the surface. You do get information about their encounters and relationships with extremely famous people including Princess Diana, but I kept feeling like there was more. Maybe this is a matter of space or pace of the story. Also, after, say, their recording of "White Lines" (I remember when I first heard the original at 9 or 10 on this Nickelodeon teen talk show--it has stuck in my head since then--what an amazing song), the story speeds up (again, no pun intended with mentions of "white lines") and quickly gives you updates on their subsequent tours. Some were incredibly successful, so I felt they needed more coverage. But I will say I've read many of Stephen Davis's books and always find them entertaining and informative, but towards the end of this one, I really lost interest. I wavered between 3 and 4 stars once the book started wrapping up. Thank you NetGalley and Hachette Books for an advanced reading copy of this book in exchange for an honest review! It was a pleasure!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Christopher Owens

    Subtitle: The Duran Duran Story I received an advance reader copy of this book from the publisher through Net Galley in exchange for an honest review. If I had to choose one band to represent the 1980s, Duran Duran who be on the short list of candidates. The group achieved tremendous popularity in a very short time due to music videos aired on MTV, then lost that popularity and broke apart in an equally short time. Please Please Tell Me Now is the story of Duran Duran from their founding in the la Subtitle: The Duran Duran Story I received an advance reader copy of this book from the publisher through Net Galley in exchange for an honest review. If I had to choose one band to represent the 1980s, Duran Duran who be on the short list of candidates. The group achieved tremendous popularity in a very short time due to music videos aired on MTV, then lost that popularity and broke apart in an equally short time. Please Please Tell Me Now is the story of Duran Duran from their founding in the late 80s to the present day incarnation of the group. In a story that echoes much of what I read in Nothin’ But A Good Time, which traced the explosion of hair metal bands during the same time period, the band that became Duran Duran started with two teenage friends who lived in the Birmingham area in the late 1970s. As the punk era evolved into the new wave area, the towns surrounding Birmingham were fertile grounds for new bands to achieve success in the rapidly changing music industry. Taking their name from a character in the book and movie Barbarella, Duran Duran went through a series of different lineups before hitting on the combination that launched them to success. The band achieved great success in the U.K. and internationally, but the group’s U.S. record label initially refused to launch their first album, and then delayed the U.S. release of the second album – Rio – until it had been remixed to appeal to American tastes. Once MTV began playing Duran Duran’s colorful, exotic videos, Rio rocketed up the charts and the record company finally released their debut album. While it was fun reading about the group’s rollercoaster ride to success, the struggles they went through during their down years was a lot harder subject matter. A combination of drug use, exhaustion from their continual touring, and internal power struggles led to multiple members leaving the group at least temporarily following the Live Aid concerts in 1985. In the 35 years since, the group has gone through several dry periods but somehow still finds a spark of success from time to time. I gave Please Please Tell Me Now five stars. It reminded me of multiple Duran Duran songs that I’d forgotten about, and much like the movie Bohemian Rhapsody, it has made me want to go back and listen to all of their music.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Darius Ostrowski

    I was a child who grew up in the 1980s. Along with the late punks and early post-punks, we saw the birth of new wave and the glamour of MTV. And Duran Duran was a huge part of this. My first concert with a girlfriend was on the Seven and the Ragged Tiger tour, still in my memory as a great show. So “Please Please Tell Me Now: The Duran Duran Story” by Stephen Davis was right up my alley. And for those who are interested in the early years of the band, it was a pretty good read. We learn about Joh I was a child who grew up in the 1980s. Along with the late punks and early post-punks, we saw the birth of new wave and the glamour of MTV. And Duran Duran was a huge part of this. My first concert with a girlfriend was on the Seven and the Ragged Tiger tour, still in my memory as a great show. So “Please Please Tell Me Now: The Duran Duran Story” by Stephen Davis was right up my alley. And for those who are interested in the early years of the band, it was a pretty good read. We learn about John and Nick getting together in Birmingham, going through several false starts before settling into the “fab five” of the classic years. Their formative years at Rum Runners, their influences, their efforts in getting a record contract and being taken seriously as musicians are all chronicled in great detail. And as we follow them up to their insane levels of popularity, we see the cracks beginning to show, the toll of constant touring, the pressure of always having to outdo your past. What comes up must eventually come down, and Duran Duran had a long drop before they steadied out to where they are today. It is very evident while reading this that the author had a lot more information about the early years, as the last 15 or so years are barely covered, which is fine since the 1980s are really the time that I’m interested in. This books occasionally veers into both too much detail and too little. Too much detailed information about every stop on every tour, along with detailed set lists and commentary on every song in the list. Too little detail about the creative process, about the personal problems people were going through, about the band dynamics. But all-in-all, a decent introduction for those interested in the history of one of the seminal 1980s bands. I requested and received a free advanced electronic copy from Hachette Books via NetGalley. Thank you!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Dan

    My thanks to both NetGalley and the publisher Hachette Books for an advanced copy of this rock study. Stephen Davis, chronicler of rock excess tells a surprisingly subdued tale of the band Duran Duran in his latest book Please Please Tell Me Now: The Duran Duran Story. Surprisingly subdued based on the early videos that broke the band in America, featuring exotic locales, glamorous women, even more glamorous clothing, excess in a decade of excess. maybe because the band tired of being known for My thanks to both NetGalley and the publisher Hachette Books for an advanced copy of this rock study. Stephen Davis, chronicler of rock excess tells a surprisingly subdued tale of the band Duran Duran in his latest book Please Please Tell Me Now: The Duran Duran Story. Surprisingly subdued based on the early videos that broke the band in America, featuring exotic locales, glamorous women, even more glamorous clothing, excess in a decade of excess. maybe because the band tired of being known for those videos and referred to as the "Fab Five". Possibly because the book was begun in 2004, with interviews started for a band biography at the time of their first reunion. The book is still interesting. Local boys work hard, create a band with their own unique vision, and try to stick with it, not matter the interference from record labels, or other outsiders. Being a member of the band was harder than it looked, no even was too small, they hustled and worked and worked some more to get to where they were. Blown vocal cords, breakdowns, injuries, self-injuries, pride and competition, just amongst each other. All of this is chronicled along with the usual problems faced by most bands; family, drugs, love, bandmates, fans, bad management, and finally relevancy . And yacht problems, can't forget that one. There is a lot of repetition in the book, and after 2004 it becomes quite a sprint to the present day. However the book is a good overview of a band that was branded from the beginning as lightweight "pop" pretty boys, but have grown to be a band that can still tour, still fill houses, and make people smile and dance, and that is a very good thing today. Plus they really wrote some killer songs.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Lynette Burnett

    3 stars. I love Duran Duran! I’ve been a self-confessed Durannie since The Reflex. Love these guys! And I will confess I’ve read John Taylor’s, “In the Pleasure Groove” and Andy Taylor’s, “Wild Boy.” Those two books provide a more intimate look at Duran Duran while focusing on the band members’ own perspectives. “Please Please Tell Me Now” by Stephen Davis is a more clinical version of the bands story. Mr. Davis interviewed the band members in 2004, yet the book was just published last week. It’ 3 stars. I love Duran Duran! I’ve been a self-confessed Durannie since The Reflex. Love these guys! And I will confess I’ve read John Taylor’s, “In the Pleasure Groove” and Andy Taylor’s, “Wild Boy.” Those two books provide a more intimate look at Duran Duran while focusing on the band members’ own perspectives. “Please Please Tell Me Now” by Stephen Davis is a more clinical version of the bands story. Mr. Davis interviewed the band members in 2004, yet the book was just published last week. It’s a very slow pace through the early days of the band at The Rum Runner, various members of a very young Duran Duran, and the early days touring of the lineup that became the Fab 5. If you’ve read both the Taylor’s books, there isn’t really a lot of new information in this book about the band. But it was fun revisiting the band, hearing all the songs I’ve loved for 30+ years (in my head), and reading of some other huge artists who orbited their band. Ultimately I gave this book 3 stars because the structure of the book led to repetition at times. Also, there is a detachment that lends a coldness to the storytelling. I don’t believe Mr. Davis is a fan, so there’s a distance in the writing, a lack of enthusiasm for the story. Also, there were anecdotes tossed in, that while fun, seemed irrelevant and odd to the story (example: a newly divorced Princess Di catcalling Simon at the gym. Fun, but seemed to be just thrown into the narrative). If you love Duran Duran, read this. It’s a fun trip down memory lane. Thank you to #netgalley and @hachettebooks for the advanced e-copy of #pleasepleasetellmenow . #book #bookreview

  18. 5 out of 5

    Marisa

    Fans of Duran Duran will love this newly released biography following their musical ups and downs which all began in 1978. Part of the "New Romantic" music scene, they wanted to be more than the heartthrob, "boy band" of the pop 80s. They loved art and design which attracted a lifelong friendship with Andy Warhol and this played out visually with their memorable videos on a new video music channel called MTV. (you know...when they used to actually play music videos). Fans might be surprised at h Fans of Duran Duran will love this newly released biography following their musical ups and downs which all began in 1978. Part of the "New Romantic" music scene, they wanted to be more than the heartthrob, "boy band" of the pop 80s. They loved art and design which attracted a lifelong friendship with Andy Warhol and this played out visually with their memorable videos on a new video music channel called MTV. (you know...when they used to actually play music videos). Fans might be surprised at how much they clashed and the amount of drama, drugs and sex disrupted their years together...there was no internet to report anything! But that didn't stop them from releasing 16 studio albums and selling over 100 million records. I enjoyed the interviews with each member as well as the relationships and influences of other musicians, especially Chic. The historical elements woven throughout their rise to fame also set the scene over the decades. The only this missing from my arc copy are the never before published photos which I can't wait to see in the print copy. I was a HUGE fan as a tween and still am one today.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer Seyfried

    This is a review of an advance copy I received via Goodreads. I have been a DD mega fan since 1983, so I was interested to see how much I would learn from this book. I must say the level of detail given to the early days of the band was pretty exhaustive. If you want to know all about what happened before they got together and got famous, this book is for you. It's not hero worship though, the band members aren't idealized or put on a pedestal. The level of detail is pretty good right through the This is a review of an advance copy I received via Goodreads. I have been a DD mega fan since 1983, so I was interested to see how much I would learn from this book. I must say the level of detail given to the early days of the band was pretty exhaustive. If you want to know all about what happened before they got together and got famous, this book is for you. It's not hero worship though, the band members aren't idealized or put on a pedestal. The level of detail is pretty good right through the original five breaking up, and it gradually lessens through the remaining years. But I think it would be a hefty tome if it kept up that level of detail for the whole thing, as much as I would have liked a little more on the later years. The sections are broken down into very short chapters so it's easy reading, and it definitely kept my interest. There are some direct quotes and interviews from the band members throughout which was a nice break to the narrative. It didn't make me love DD more, because that's probably not possible, but it did make me feel like I knew them and their stories a little bit better.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Jay Gabler

    When Duran Duran come up in histories of the era, they tend to come off as living a charmed life. Please Please Tell Me Now helps to contextualize both their appeal and their initial critical disdain: although they grew up on the famed British music scene that produced mournful masterpieces by the likes of Joy Division, Duran Duran were young enough, pop-embracing enough, and frankly talented enough to skip post-punk angst and go straight to the masses. In the music world, suspicions of Duran Du When Duran Duran come up in histories of the era, they tend to come off as living a charmed life. Please Please Tell Me Now helps to contextualize both their appeal and their initial critical disdain: although they grew up on the famed British music scene that produced mournful masterpieces by the likes of Joy Division, Duran Duran were young enough, pop-embracing enough, and frankly talented enough to skip post-punk angst and go straight to the masses. In the music world, suspicions of Duran Duran took on a similar tenor to film buffs' suspicions of George Lucas and Steven Spielberg: they were seen as having sold out their anti-establishment origins for a Reagan/Thatcher-era glossy escapism. While Davis neither attempts nor achieves Annie Zaleski's critical insights, his book is a well-informed and valuable addition to the not-insubstantial shelf of Duran Duran lit. I reviewed Please Please Tell Me Now for The Current.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Mel T

    Please Please Tell me Now was a walk down memory lane for me, having been a fan since the beginning and still a fan today. The book being based largely on interviews with the band in 2004, I would have liked to see updated interviews and more insight into where the band is now and their current relationships. Being 12 or 13 (and having limited access to media) when they first came on the scene in the 80s, I had been unaware of the realities of their lives on the road - drugs, sex, grueling sched Please Please Tell me Now was a walk down memory lane for me, having been a fan since the beginning and still a fan today. The book being based largely on interviews with the band in 2004, I would have liked to see updated interviews and more insight into where the band is now and their current relationships. Being 12 or 13 (and having limited access to media) when they first came on the scene in the 80s, I had been unaware of the realities of their lives on the road - drugs, sex, grueling schedules - they're not things that were portrayed in teen magazines. I found the author jumped around a bit from chapter to chapter, and was at times repetitive - I found my self thinking "didn't he just mention this in the last chapter?" . Overall, however, the book was enjoyable - evoking my nostalgia for the 80s, the music videos, my favorite band.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Laurie

    Duran Duran has been a favorite band since middle school, and I have followed their career from the early days of Teen Beat magazine, so of course I had to read this book. The author does a fantastic job describing their early lives and the beginning of their career as a band. Even as a die hard fan, I learned a few things about Duran Duran's start. The first 2/3 of the book is extremely detailed up to Notorious and then the remaining 1/3 seems rushed with random facts thrown in and not explaine Duran Duran has been a favorite band since middle school, and I have followed their career from the early days of Teen Beat magazine, so of course I had to read this book. The author does a fantastic job describing their early lives and the beginning of their career as a band. Even as a die hard fan, I learned a few things about Duran Duran's start. The first 2/3 of the book is extremely detailed up to Notorious and then the remaining 1/3 seems rushed with random facts thrown in and not explained. Diana's death in 1997, for example, gets one sentence in the middle of band events. I enjoyed reliving my teen years, reminiscing about my favorite songs and digging a little deeper into the story of Duran Duran. The book was a quick read! Thank you, NetGalley, for the ARC!

  23. 4 out of 5

    Lee Ann

    On the lower side of 3 stars. I like Duran Duran but know virtually nothing about them except Nick Rhodes married Des Moines native Julie Anne Friedman and I had a friend who worked the reception at the Younkers Tea Room. This was a good chronicle of their beginnings, rise to superstardom, and challenges since the '80s. John Taylor's drug use is chronicled. Early on, it seems like Duran Duran, their wives, ex-wives, and girlfriends cooperated with Stephen Davis and there are good quotes. The last On the lower side of 3 stars. I like Duran Duran but know virtually nothing about them except Nick Rhodes married Des Moines native Julie Anne Friedman and I had a friend who worked the reception at the Younkers Tea Room. This was a good chronicle of their beginnings, rise to superstardom, and challenges since the '80s. John Taylor's drug use is chronicled. Early on, it seems like Duran Duran, their wives, ex-wives, and girlfriends cooperated with Stephen Davis and there are good quotes. The last few chapters, covering the last 20 years, seems to be primarily a listing of chronological events and virtually no input from the band. Davis also takes a snarky tone at times, perhaps the result of having been commissioned to write this book and then being shut out?

  24. 4 out of 5

    SandyC

    I was a huge Duran Duran fan back in the early 80s. I had two walls covered in their posters. I still enjoy their music and looked forward to reading this book. For the most part, the book is repetitive and filled with inconstancies and inaccuracies. The best parts are the artists recounting their early days and telling the story from each of their perspectives. I especially liked getting the behind the scenes info on how the videos for Hungry Like the Wolf and Rio were created. Nice that it's e I was a huge Duran Duran fan back in the early 80s. I had two walls covered in their posters. I still enjoy their music and looked forward to reading this book. For the most part, the book is repetitive and filled with inconstancies and inaccuracies. The best parts are the artists recounting their early days and telling the story from each of their perspectives. I especially liked getting the behind the scenes info on how the videos for Hungry Like the Wolf and Rio were created. Nice that it's easy to go to YouTube and re-live them. Watching the videos makes me feel like a teenager again!

  25. 5 out of 5

    Kristine

    Please Please Tell Me Now by Stephen Davis is a free NetGalley ebook that I read in late June. A chronological biography spliced with band member perspectives. The band is based out of friends from Birmingham near the late 70s with Simon joining after a background in acting and theater. They're inspired and surrounded by so many different bands and types of music, before and while getting signed, and not fully settling into a genre. It's a fine book and pulls interviews from many, many sources, b Please Please Tell Me Now by Stephen Davis is a free NetGalley ebook that I read in late June. A chronological biography spliced with band member perspectives. The band is based out of friends from Birmingham near the late 70s with Simon joining after a background in acting and theater. They're inspired and surrounded by so many different bands and types of music, before and while getting signed, and not fully settling into a genre. It's a fine book and pulls interviews from many, many sources, but it feels more like a documentary put to paper.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Nicki - The Overflowing Bookcase

    Reliving my youth and bringing back fond memories of the heart throbs that graced my walls as a teen made this a great book. I found myself replaying the videos on you-tube and singing along with vocals I thought I had forgotten. It was inspiring to read just how the band came together and the reasons behind the key members departures. Mismanaged and misunderstood this was a band that will always be a favorite and the book really did them justice.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

    Not bad, but I knew most of this already. It is a pretty basic (and sadly, kind of boring) listing of everything that went on up until 2004, then it wraps up way too fast. Worth reading for any Duran Duran fan. Although, it seems like the author hated all of the members except for Andy, but he even makes him look like a jerk towards the end.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Mags

    As a Duran Duran groupir from their heyday on the 80's, I devoured this book. Lived the tidbits that I learned about the five band mates. Made me want to blare Hungry Like the Wolf and dance around my house in fluorescent clothing. Loved it. As a Duran Duran groupir from their heyday on the 80's, I devoured this book. Lived the tidbits that I learned about the five band mates. Made me want to blare Hungry Like the Wolf and dance around my house in fluorescent clothing. Loved it.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Joshua Chaplinsky

    So much ground to cover for one book, but thankfully focuses mostly on the formative years.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Barbara M. Koester

    Great book if you are Duran Duran fan. Covers early years very well. Lots of interesting inside looks.

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