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The Duran Duran Timeline
<< 1970s 1978 1979 >>

Duran Duran is born, as John Taylor, Nick Rhodes and Stephen Duffy pull together its earliest lineups and begin playing shows in and around Birmingham, England.

Date Event
Jan 5 "The first time I ever went to Nick's house we listened to Autobahn by Kraftwerk, we watched the Elvis 1968 Special and played Elvis Costello's Armed Forces because it was the day it came out" - Stephen Duffy.
Feb 16 Andy Taylor is 17 years old today.
? Andy joins covers band Automatic Pop as lead singer and guitarist, and they begin performing at strip clubs and American airbases in Germany, playing six 45-minute sets a night. (source)
Feb 20 Warren (with his classmate Richard O'Brien) as a member of the band Time Warp participated at the first Rocky Horror convention in New York, USA. Warren is a music director and guitarist. (source)
Mar/Apr After leaving Shock Treatment, John and David Twist join Dada. John begins playing electric guitar.
April 18 John's Dada played one of the gigs at the Crown, Birmingham. He is a lead guitarist. One of the songs "Birmingham UK" was recorded on Phillips portable cassette recorder and later (in 2022) released within a compilation "Un-Scene! Post Punk Birmingham 1978-1982". This is the earliest recording of a DD's member. (source), (Spotify).
Apr 26 Roger Taylor is 18 years old today.
May Dada begin a residency at the Crown on Hill Street in Birmingham.
? Andy Taylor and his band were touring France, Belgium, Holland, Sicily often driving several hundred miles a day between gigs, he also did a ten week residency in Greece.
? Keith "Cowboy" Wiggins, a member of the South Bronx group Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, has been credited with coining the term Hip Hop in 1978 while teasing a friend who had just joined the US Army by scat singing the made-up words "hip/hop/hip/hop" in a way that mimicked the rhythmic cadence of marching soldiers. The band were nicknamed "The Hip Hosters". The basic style of this music had been around since 1973. Cowboy later worked the "hip hop" cadence into his stage performance, later joined Melle Mel, and worked on White Lines.
Jun 8 Nick Rhodes is 16 years old today.
? Nick leaves school at sixteen as John fails his A-levels; they begin planning a band together.
Jun 20 John Taylor is 18 years old today.
summer Dog Days: Harrow Tech, Harrow, England (with Supercharge, 98th Precinct, and another band)
Simon's punk band plays it's first and only show.
summer Simon spends three months working at Kibbutz Gvulot in the Negev desert in Israel, 1978, where he encountered a completely new way of life. He learnt to drive tractors, lumberjacking, orange picking and looking after children. He loved it he considered it absolute paradise, 4 hours work in the day then swim, sunbathe followed by chatting up Israeli women. Simon recalls: "I have travelled a bit previously. I went to Israel for one or two weeks and actually ended up staying for three months in a kibbutz. It was just great. It was really glamorous hard work. I was a Lumberjack most of the time and I'd go again if I had the time." [Quote from a 1981 unknown interview published in the 1982 Rock Show calendar]. Simon would later go on to describe part of his job as Tree Surgeon; making a new tree grow by planting a stick next to it.
summer Simon writes early lyrics for "The Chauffeur", "Careless Memories", "Sound of Thunder", and "Tel Aviv". (YT source for The Chauffeur).
end of summer Simon returns to England, works as a hospital porter at Northwich Park Hospital Accident and Casualty in Harrow. ( (YT source).
end of summer Simon sings in dark electro punk group Rov Ostrov at Harrow Collage. (YT source).
? Simon writes lyrics to "Waiting for the Nightboat" while waiting for the night bus home from Harrow hospital, where he worked as a night porter.
? John (18) switches to playing bass guitar, after hearing Chic and bassist Bernard Edwards. (Source).
Sept? John enrolls at the Birmingham Polytechnic's College of Art and Design for a twelve-month foundation course.
Sept ? John gets his college pass. (1st Year Collage Pass).
Sept? John attends Birmingham Art College, where he meets Stephen Duffy.
Sep 11 John and Nick attend a concert by Robert Palmer at Birmingham Odeon. (Source).
Sept ? John takes Steven Duffy home to introduce him to Nick.
Sept ? John, Nick, and Stephen create the first incarnation of their band, although at this point they didn't have a name.
Oct ? The first incarnation of the band were inspired by Autobahn by Kraftwerk, and also Olivers Army by Elvis Costello.
Oct 15 Warren jams with the Zappa band after the concert. It is recorded. (source)
Oct 20 The movie Barbarella airs on BBC1. John is watching it with his mum. He suggests Duran Duran as a name of the new band; which his mum instantly dislikes. He thinks this is a good enough reason to keep it. (YT source).
Oct 23 John and Nick saw 'The Human League supporting Siouxsie and the Banshees at the Mayfair Ballroom, in Birmingham's Bullring shopping centre. They watched in stunned, amazed silence. They had no drummer, no guitars. The band had three synthesizers and a drum machine instead. They said that seeing the Human League for the first time was a turning point for this early incarnation of Duran Duran. (Source), (Setlist).
Late Oct/
Early Nov
Nick and John spend an afternoon at the Hole in the Wall pub in Birmingham, brainstorming on a name for their band; after briefly considering RAF, John suggests Duran Duran, after the Milo O'Shea character in Jane Fonda's classic camp sci-fi movie Barbarella.
Oct/Nov? About the same time that they decide on a name for the band, Nick decides to change his last name from Bates to Rhodes, "for aesthetic reasons". (Note: It seems he changed his name April or May 1979?)
Oct/Nov? John Taylor wrote in his autobiography In the Pleasure Groove, that what made for a much more exciting proposition than for him to attempt to teach Nick guitar was to get hold of a synthesizer and make that his instrument.
Oct 27 Simon Le Bon is 20 years old today.
Oct 31 At one of Frank Zappa's famous New York Halloween shows, a young Warren narrates a story ('Ms. X') onstage, accompanied by the band.
Nov ? Stephen Duffy writes most of the melodies and lyrics, and the first song they write together is "Lost Decade" (inspired by F. Scott Fitzgerald's short story of the same name, and The Great Gatsby).
Nov ? Stephen Duffy writes the song "Kiss Me" (to become a top ten hit for him in 1985).
? Bassist Eamonn Duffy (of The Prefects) plays briefly with Duran Duran.
Late Drummer Terry Bozzio leaves Frank Zappa's band.
? Simon performs with Eddie and the Hotrods (a rock band).
Dec 8 Warren Cuccurullo is 22 years old today.
Dec 11 – Jan 5 Frank Zappa phones Warren to invite him to Los Angeles to audition with his band. ex-Drummer Terry Bozzio is replaced, but his wife and singer Dale Bozzio is kept. (source)
Dec 25 Nick's mother, Sylvia made a £200 purchase of the first Wasp synthesizer to arrive in Birmingham, at Woodroffee's music store. It was the best investment she ever made. They also bought him a Kay rhythm box for £15. It had presets such as 'mambo', 'foxtrot', 'slow rock' and 'waltz'.
<< 1970s 1978 1979 >>

Timeline duran duran wikipedia discography archive collection MESSAGE BOARD PRO

1950s · 1960s · 1970s · 1978 · 1979
1980 · 1981 · 1982 · 1983 · 1984 · 1985 · 1986 · 1987 · 1988 · 1989
1990 · 1991 · 1992 · 1993 · 1994 · 1995 · 1996 · 1997 · 1998 · 1999
2000 · 2001 · 2002 · 2003 · 2004 · 2005 · 2006 · 2007 · 2008 · 2009
2010 · 2011 · 2012 · 2013 · 2014 · 2015 · 2016 · 2017 · 2018 · 2019
2020 · 2021 · 2022 · 2023 · 2024 · 2025 · 2026 · 2027 · 2028 · 2029
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