Duran Duran’s Andy Taylor Battling Stage Four Cancer
Robert Downey Jr. introduced the group, and then Duran Duran performed three classic songs. Members of the group then stepped to the microphone to accept their Hall of Fame honors. Frontman Simon Le Bon was the first to address the crowd, and, after a few thank yous, he read a letter from Andy Taylor.
“What an absolute honor it is to be nominated, let along be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame,” Taylor’s note began. “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.
“I’m massively disappointed I couldn’t make it,” Taylor continued. “Let there be no doubt, I was stoked about the whole thing. Even bought a new guitar with the essential whammy.” Taylor went on to express how proud he was of his bandmates. “I’m sure as hell glad I’m around to see the day [Duran Duran got inducted].”
Further parts of Taylor’s letter, not read at the ceremony, were distributed via press release: “I have the Rodgers and Edwards of doctors and medical treatment that until very recently allowed me to just rock on. Although my current condition is not immediately life threatening, there is no cure,” he wrote.
"Recently I was doing okay after some very sophisticated life extending treatment, that was until a week or so ago when I suffered a setback," Taylor said, "and despite the exceptional efforts of my team, I had to be honest in that both physically and mentally, I would be pushing my boundaries."
Backstage in the press room, Le Bon elaborated on his feelings about Taylor’s condition. “It is devastating news to find out that a colleague – not a colleague, a friend, one of our family — is not gonna be around for very long," he explained. "It is absolutely devastating. We love Andy dearly. I’m not gonna stand here and cry or anything, that would be inappropriate, but that’s what I feel like.”
Taylor was Duran Duran’s guitarist and backing vocalist from 1980–86 and 2001–06. When the group was announced as part of the 2022 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame class, news quickly spread that he’d be reuniting with his former band for the performance.
“I’ve already had a definite yes from Andy. He’s definitely up for it,” Le Bon told Rolling Stone in May, adding the guitarist was “extremely excited and very, very grateful and honored.”