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The Duran Duran Timeline
<< 1978 1979 1980 >>

Duran Duran tries out several different lineups and refines their sound as they gain in popularity around Birmingham. Drummer Roger Taylor joins the band.

Date Event
? Paul and Michael Berrow relaunch their club, the Rum Runner, with an eclectic power playlist borrowed from Studio 54 in New York, walls full of mirrors, and a ton of attitude.
Jan 29 – Feb 8 Warren is in London with Frank Zappa and rehearse the future tour. (source)
Feb 12 – 19 Warren and Frank Zappa are on tour in the UK. Manchester's gig is the first concert of Warren as a guitar player. (source)
Feb 16 Andy Taylor is 18 years old today.
Feb 21 – Apr 1 Warren and Frank Zappa are on tour in Europe (France, Spain, Germany and others). (source)
Mar ? With Nick controlling the keys, setting the tempo and pushing the buttons on the Kay, Stephen Duffy singing and on bass, and John on guitar, the three made their first ever recording on a cassette tape in the space above Nick's mother's toy shop.
Mar ? Duran writes and plays songs inspired by art and literature, with titles like "Toy Room To Tokyo" and "Aztec Moon". Early songs by Duran Duran include: Lost Decade, Aztec Moon, Hawks Don't Share, Big Store, and Newhaven-Dieppe. (YT source (11:52)). Some will later be re-recorded by The Devils.
Apr 1 Frank Zappa finishes his early 1979 tour in Zurich, Switzerland. Warren returns to Los Angeles to continue to work with Zappa, and plays on the triple album Joe's Garage, along with Terry Bozzio and his new wife Dale Bozzio. (source)
Apr 21 – May 4 Frank Zappa records his triple album Joe's Garage. Warren participates in almost all sessions (except one). He provided this album with rhythm guitar and vocals. That would be his first commercial release. (source)
Apr 5 Duran Duran: Lecture Theatre, Birmingham Polytechnic University, Dept of Foundation Studies, Birmingham, England, at 6pm.
The first "Duran Duran" show; with Nick Bates on keyboards and drum machine, Nigel Taylor on guitar, and Stephen Duffy on bass and vocals; they play to an audience of about 10-30 people. (Date Ref.), (Poster).
Apr 26 Roger Taylor is 19 years old today.
Apr/May Duran Duran record their first album Dusk and Dawn (unreleased). Stephen Duffy records one of Duran's live performances in their room above the toyshop. Then sticks the tape in a drawer in his civil service post-office desk, to be rediscovered in 1999 (leading to the founding of The Devils project with Nick Rhodes).
May 10 Duran Duran: Birmingham University, Birmingham, England is cancelled.
May? Just after the band recorded their first album, they went on John's Geography field trip.
May 29 Duran Duran: The Hexagon Theatre, Cannon Hill Park, Birmingham, England.
The second and subsequent shows feature Simon Colley on clarinet and bass, "Nik Bates", "Steve Dufait", and Nigel Taylor. Nick says they were wearing women's dresses. After an instrumental first song (Toy Room To Tokyo), they play Stone Cold in El Dorado; inspired by F. Scott Fitzgerald. These early shows feature an "art school" flavor -- John covers the amps in white plastic, Nick plays tapes of chanting monks and ringing bells as backdrops to the band's music, and projects slides of architecture and John's geography field trip photos onto club walls and ceilings. (YT source).
Jun 1 Duran Duran: Barbarella's, Birmingham, England (41 Cumberland Street) with Fashion
Roger said he saw several Duran shows at Barbarella's before he joined.
Jun 2 Stephen Duffy (then known as Steven Dufait) and Simon Colley leave Duran for form TV Eye and later Subterranean Hawks with guitarist David Twist (former singer with John's band Shock Treatment, and Dave Kusworth.)
Jun 2 The band are upset see their singer poached by TV Eye, and set out to get TV Eye's singer Andy Wickett.
Jun 3? TV Eye's singer Andy Wickett joins Duran; band rehearses upstairs at Andy's squat in Cheapside.
Jun 4? A rivalry develops between TV Eye and Duran, and they go into competition to see who can release the first single. (YT source).
Jun 5 The band writes "See Me Repeat Me", which will eventually evolve into "Rio".
Jun 8 Nick Rhodes is 17 years old today.
Jun ? Fashion: Barbarella's, Birmingham, England (with Duran Duran)
Jun ? The Scent Organs play a disastrous set at a street concert in Roger's neighborhood.
Jun ? John and Andy Wickett see the Scent Organs playing at Barbarella's.
Jun Mid? A drunken Andy Wickett meets Scent Organs drummer Roger Taylor at a party, and invites him to a Duran rehearsal.
June ? Roger has a formal audition in Birmingham with the band; "See Me Repeat Me" is one of his audition numbers; he is hired on the spot to replace Nick's Kay Rhythm Unit drum machine.
June?? Duran Duran: The Hosteria, Birmingham, England
Roger says this was his first gig with the band. Note: This show is not listed officially, maybe Roger was wrong?
Jun Duran Duran's line-up; Andy Wickett, John Taylor, Nick Rhodes, Roger Taylor.
? Someone sprays "Disco Sucks" on the door of their squat in Cheapside.
Jun 20 John Taylor is 19 years old today.
Jun 20 Roger meets dance student Giovanna Cantone
John said: "Actually, Roger and Giovanna first met at the Rum Runner on my birthday four years ago. She worked in the cloakroom and had a shaved head then." -- John Taylor, 1984
? Spurred by his chemistry with Roger, John begins playing bass seriously, taking inspiration from Bernard Edwards of Chic and other dance/disco players.
Summer Friend: "I met Nigel many times. I remember his mom working at St Jude's in Maypole with my mom. I also met him many times on the 50 night bus talked about what he was up to. You couldn't make this up sometimes Ali Campbell and half of UB40 where on the bus too and they got off at Moseley dance hall, also remember my brother hanging out with Roger down at Cheapside in Digbeth, and going to the tower block where Roger lived." (YT source, comment).
? After trying to get £2000 owed in pay, Andy Taylor was met by a man with a gun at Luxembourg Airport who insisted that he wouldn't be paid after all. (Ref)
Sep The band learn about Bob Lamb's home studio, at 68 Cambridge Road, Birmingham. Bob built it himself from a home-made kit, with egg boxes on the wall for soundproofing. (YT source), (Building Today).
Sep Duran records the 1979 Demo with producer Bob Lamb, consisting of "Girls on Film", "See Me Repeat Me", "Reincarnation", and "Working the Steel"; John plays both guitar and bass.
Sep Duran records a second demo, later released as Dreaming of Your Cars - 1979 Demos Part 2 with producer Bob Lamb, consisting of "Dreaming of Your Cars", "Love Story", "X Disco", and "To the Shore".
Sept ? John hands the Duran demo tape in as his end-of-year project at Birmingham Polytechnic, passes, and promptly drops out.
Sep 17 Frank Zappa's Joe's Garage is released. Warren is name-checked four times: first by (Dale Bozzio's character) Mary in "Catholic Girls". By Zappa (in character here as Larry) in "Crew Slut", when reassuring Mary, "of course I'll introduce you to Warren!". In the track "Sy Borg" when Ike Willis sings "little leather cap and trousers – they look so gay... Warren just bought some,". And again by Zappa during "A Little Green Rosetta" 'Then everybody moves to New York and goes to a party with Warren. hey!'.
? Zappa's fall tour is cancelled; Warren begins writing songs with female singer Dale Bozzio.
Oct 11 Duran Duran: Golden Eagle, Birmingham, England with Au Pairs
Oct 27 Simon Le Bon is 21 years old today.
? Simon performance in Sweet Wine of Youth' for the BBC, 1979.
? Simon gets an Equity Card, hoping to become an actor. He registers with the Doreen English Agency. (Card), (Card).
Nov 14 Duran Duran: Cellar Bar, Birmingham University, Birmingham, England
Nov 15 Duran Duran: Cellar Bar, Birmingham University, Birmingham, England
? During a show at the University. the crowd throws everything they can at the band, covering them in tomato ketchup. David Twist remembers "a bloody and violent show at, of all places, the Cellar Bar at Birmingham University. The [university] rugby club took huge exception to the look of the band and what began as heckling moved through the band being pelted with food, to an assault on the stage, which ended with Roger [Taylor] using his crash cymbal on its stand as an axe on one of the ringleaders. I helped them to throw their gear into the back of the vehicles they’d come in - a couple of cars. No time to break anything down or case-up - just to make a getaway." (Source).
Nov 25 Duran Duran: Red Star Club, Essex Street, Birmingham, England (with Vision Collision and The Detectives)
Dec 8 Warren Cuccurullo is 23 years old today.
Dec 8 Duran Duran: Little Lakes Caravan Park, Bewdley, Worcester, England
Dec ? Singer Andy Wickett leaves the band to form World Service.
Dec ? Roger suggests replacement singer Jeff Thomas from the Scent Organs.
Dec ? Jeff Thomas joins the band and they continue to refine the music, but this incarnation never performs live.
Dec ? London guitarist Alan Curtis (of London's Pride) answers the ad and joins the band.
Dec Mid Duran Duran's line-up; Jeff Thomas, Alan Curtis, John Taylor, Nick Rhodes, Roger Taylor.
Dec ? The band travels in Jeff's van to Alan's flat in London for practice.
Dec ? In Jeff's hands "See Me Repeat Me" becomes "Ami a Go Go" (also referred to as "Amy" or "MM a Go Go").
Dec ? Duran records a third demo tape with Bob Lamb, consisting of "MM a Go Go", "Enigmatic Swimmers", "Girls on Film", and "Breaking Away" (which will later become "Late Bar").
John designs a red, black and white cassette j-card for the demo, listing the band as:
  • curtis - guitar
  • thomas - vox
  • dior - synthesizer
  • taylor - bass
  • rogers - drums

(see collectibles for image)

Dec End? John and Nick shop their three demo tapes around to A&R departments in London; but no one is interested.
Dec ? Simon enrolls in Birmingham University drama department; dates Fiona Kemp.
<< 1978 1979 1980 >>

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