Formation  |  Development  |  Getting Serious  |  Preparing to Conquer the World  
Chapter 3 : Getting Serious

Nigel, Nick and Roger still had that vision; they didn't want to be just another local band, they wanted more. It was Roger's suggestion that they replace Andy Wickett with Jeff Thomas; his friend and former singer of The Scent Organs.

New line-up from winter of 1979 to spring of 1980:
Nigel Taylor (John Taylor) - bass
Dior Bates (Nick Rhodes) - synthesizer
Roger Taylor - drums
Alan Curtis - lead guitarist
Jeff Thomas - lead voice

The group used the flat of Alan Curtis for
practicing and continued to develop their
Finally, they returned to Bob Lamb's studio
and did cut another set of songs.

The titles have been:
    M M à Go Go
    Enigmatic Swimmers
    Girls On Film
    Breaking Away

This line-up also played live:
Feb. 1st - Aston University (The Cellar), Birmingham
Opening for Fàshiøn.
Feb. 18th - Nashville (The Nashville Room), London

Early 1980, Nick and Nigel made a couple of forays to London, taking their cassette to A&R departments, but got zero interest. In February of 1980, they also walked into the Rum Runner. Owners Paul and Michael Berrow recently relaunched the club in Birmingham, based on ideas drawn from a visit to Studio 54 in New York City.

The two of them met Paul Berrow at the club that day (Michael wasn't there). Paul wanted to hear the tape right away, and he liked what he heard. He and his brother Michael were currently thinking about getting into mangement, so Paul offered that both should return to the club later that night, and should bring the rest of the band. They did ... and all instantly started making big plans. Duran were offered a rehearsal space, gear and jobs, and also have been put on a gig at the club in March.


March 12th - Rum Runner, Birmingham
First gig at the Rum Runner, opening for Fàshiøn again.
March 25th - The Zoo (Holy City Zoo), Birmingham
This gig remains unconfirmed.


All seemed to be happy with where the band was at. Then, all of a sudden, Nigel got a call from Alan Curtis, where he tried to explain that this scene is making him nervous. Alan didn't want to go on and departed, he went back to London and teamed up with his brother Dave Curtis to form Dif Juz.
Next Jeff Thomas and Paul Berrow butted heads and started arguing differences. Jeff then had to go. Nigel, Nick and Roger decided to stay with the Berrows and look for yet another guitarist and singer.

On April 26th, an advertisement is placed in Melody Maker for a Lead Rhythm guitarist. Amongst others, a certain Andy Taylor replied to the ad, and was invited for audition.
On May 2nd, coming down from Newcastle to Birmingham, Andy bumped into bits of the band Fàshiøn, who meanwhile also rehearsed at the Rum Runner.
Andy came from a totally different musical background, already being in a covers band early in his life, playing all over the north-east of England.
He'd soon moved on by joining new-wave band The Gigolos (later renamed Motorway), and performed own songs. As an experienced player, he then went on with another covers band, performing at American military bases in Germany.
However, the members of Fàshiøn guided Andy to the room where Duran was rehearsing. Nigel, Nick and Roger were immediately impressed by his playing, he perfectly complimented the rest of the group. Andy was hired and agreed to move to Birmingham.
He was installed by Michael Berrow, and also got a part-time job at the club:
Nick was deejaying,
Nigel was working the door as a bouncer,
Roger was working as a glass collector and
Andy was cooking burgers and maintaining the interior of the club.


About This Document 

This document refers to the years
of formation (1978 until 1980)
It was compiled and
developed by
Ansgar Thomann
in dedication to
the 40th anniversary
of Duran Duran's birth

Roger's previous band The Scent Organs with Jeff Thomas on vocals.

The second draft of Girls On Film was developed by Jeff Thomas.
Also See Me, Repeat Me became
M M à Go Go
in his hands.
Breaking Away later evolved into the song Late Bar.