20 Crazy Duran Duran Facts You Never Knew Before

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They’re among the most popular bands in the New Wave movement, with hits from the 80s that fans still listen to today. With their quirky lyrics and out-of-the-box wardrobe, it’s no wonder there are so many fun Duran Duran facts out there to discover.

Here are 20 crazy Duran Duran facts you’ll be surprised to learn.

1. They Were Nightclub Employees

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Like many bands, it wasn’t an immediate success when Duran Duran first got started. Their first live appearances came at the Rum Runner nightclub in Birmingham, where they worked as part-time employees.  

2. They Have an Unreleased Album

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In 2006, before Duran Duran first lost guitarist Andy Taylor, the new wave band recorded an album called Reportage. The album was shelved after the adverse reaction of Sony, who found the angrier, more political songs didn’t produce contenders to lead off as singles. In the words of Tom Petty, “their A and R man said ‘I don’t hear a single.'”

3. The BBC Banned Them

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Duran, Duran may have had MTV in their pocket for several years, but they almost lost it all in 1997 thanks to their “Electric Barbarella” video that was considered overly risqué. Instead, it was edited for the program to reflect less racy content. This may be one of the Duran Duran facts that upset fans, but it’s better than being banned altogether, as was the case for BBC and MuchMusic in Canada. 

4. Duran Duran Had Their Own Board Game

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In the 1980s, fans could bring their love of Duran Duran into the family game night if they played Milton Bradley’s board game Arena, named after their 1984 live album. Wanna play? Search for it on eBay, gather two to four players, and accumulate as many points as possible by collecting video and band member cards.

Related: 16 Facts About Bono

5. Nick Rhodes Could Be a Chemistry Teacher

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Keyboardist Nick Rhodes isn’t just talented in music but also chemistry; at least, that is what his teacher apparently thought. His teacher would leave him to lead the classroom to place bets on horses. In 2007, Rhodes told American Way, “It was not a good room to be in because people lit up paper darts on Bunsen burners and threw them around the room. I’m amazed that the school never burned down, and I used to get left in charge.”

6. Simon Le Bon is an Actor

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The next entry on our Duran Duran facts list is for the thespians. Before joining Duran Duran, lead singer Simon Le Bon started in theater and television. He has been in everything from a Persil soap commercial and the West End theatrical production of Tom Brown’s Schooldays

7. Simon Le Bon Almost Drowned

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Simon Le Bon nearly drowned on two different occasions. The first time came during the video shoot for “Wild Boys,” where he was strapped to a rotating windmill and it abruptly stopped while he was underwater, and the second happened a year later when his yacht capsized during a race. He doesn’t believe in making Greek Gods mad, does he, because it sounds like Poseidon might have it in for him.

8. One of Their Songs Was About Dental Surgery

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“Medazzaland” off the band’s 1997 album of the same name has a funny backstory, to say the least. The crazy title came about after Simon Le Bon returned still sluggish from dental surgery, and one of the bandmates commented, “You’re still in Medazzaland, buddy.”

9. Roger Taylor Has His Own Documentary

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Searching For Roger Taylor was a 2000 documentary produced by major Duran Duran fan Aaron Barnett, which can be streamed on his website. The documentary highlights Roger Taylor’s absence from the band from 1985 to 2001 and the early 1980s New Wave movement in general.

Related: 16 Best Movies About Music

10. They Get Credit for the First Paid-For Digital Single

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Duran Duran has always been innovative in the world of music. That was no different in September 1997 when they issued the first-ever paid-for digital single that world has ever known, “Electric Barbarella.”

11. They Dominated the James Bond Themes For 20 Years

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Besides the actions and the girls, if there is one thing that the James Bond franchise is known for, it’s the theme songs. Duran Duran’s song “A View To A Kill,” recorded for the 1985 Bond film of the same name, was the only one in the first 20 years of the franchise to reach number one on the charts. Note: Paul McCartney‘s mega-hit for the Bond movie Live and Let Die only reached #2.

Related: New Beatles Song in 2023 Will Be Their Last

12. John Taylor Wasn’t Part of “Come Undone”

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“Come Undone” is one of Duran Duran’s most popular tracks ever recorded, but bass guitarist John Taylor was not part of the official recording. “I’d gone back to LA. We’d put that album [1993’s The Wedding Album] to bed, and I said, ‘I’m not coming back for one more song,’” he told the BBC.

13. “Save a Prayer”’s Video Ended in a Hospital Stay

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Andy Taylor probably didn’t want to “Save A Prayer” after that video shoot in Sri Lanka, as it led to him being put in the hospital after developing a tropical virus. “Don’t fall into a lagoon full of elephant’s urine and wash it all down with more booze and a bucket of chillies,” he said of the ordeal.

14. They Had to Pay for Their Start

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When Duran Duran joined Hazel O’Connor for their first national tour, they had to pay to be her opening act. We’re not sure how much, but it’s probably safe to say that they’ve earned it back tenfold since then.

15. Princess Diana Was a Fan

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Duran Duran proved they were worthy enough to have a royal following. The late Princess Diana of Wales was a huge fan. It was even referenced in the Netflix series The Crown as a young Diana is listening to “Girls on Film” while gliding around Buckingham Palace on rollerblades.

16. They Were Almost No More in the Mid-80s

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Duran Duran has been conquering the music world since 1978, but their 45-year career almost ended after only seven years. The band split in 1985 after John and Andy Taylor left to launch The Power Station, while Simon Le Bon and Nick Rhodes formed Arcadia. Meanwhile, Roger Taylor played drums for both groups before Duran Duran reformed in 1986.

17. Their Name is Based on a Film Villain

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Learning how a band comes up with its unique name is always interesting. This entry on the Duran Duran facts list is no different. Their name came from Dr. Durand Durand, the villain of the 1968 film Barbarella starring Jane Fonda.

18. They’ve Appeared in Duran Duran Look-a-Like Contests

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Look closer the next time you’re at a Duran Duran look-a-like competition because you may just be looking at the “Ordinary World” singers themselves. They pull out their best sequins, shoulder pads, and classic 80s attire for these competitions before surprising the crowd with the reveal once prizes are given out.

19. They’ve Earned the Title “Worst Album of All Time”

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Not everyone is going to love you. Such was the case for Duran Duran’s Thank You album, deemed the worst album of all time by Q Magazine.

20. John Taylor has a Video Game Character Based on Him

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Duran Duran fans will recognize the protagonist in the video game Devil May Cry. Dante is based on John Taylor’s signature 80s look.

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Written by Katie Peterson

Katie Peterson received her bachelor's degree in English from the University of Saint Mary in Leavenworth in 2015. She has worked in journalism since 2015, beginning as production assistant and eventual head staff writer of the Fort Leavenworth Lamp newspaper in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. Currently, she is a multimedia journalist with the Diocese of Nashville's Office of Media and Evangelization where she writes, does photography, and edits for several types of content, including the Tennessee Register, Catholic Awakenings, and She has also worked as a freelance journalist with the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas's newspaper, The Leaven, since 2016.
In her spare time, Peterson enjoys reading, spending time with her pup, Sadie Lynn, singing and songwriting.


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