Duran Duran: The First Four Years of the Fab Five by Neil Gaiman

Second paragraph of third chapter:

Their debut gig was at Birmingham’s Barbarellas, supporting a local band called Fashion. People who saw them back then say they were awful. Nick Rhodes has said ‘The original Duran Duran wasn’t so much a group as a series of get-togethers… an evening of pretence with Duran Duran just about sums it up: John has been equally dismissive of the early years. ‘We were really on a bit of an art school trip at the time: he told one journalist. And later, ‘We tried all sorts of line-ups in the early days. In fact we were something of a joke in Birmingham.’

Neil Gaiman’s first ever book, and the last of the Humble Bundle of Gaiman rarities that I acquired a few years ago. I confess that I was never particularly into Duran Duran; they pleasingly drew their name from the film version of classic French comic Barbarella, and recently little U has decided that she likes the video for Save A Prayer.

The kindest thing that can be said about this book is that at least its writer went on to greater things. 1984 was the peak of Duran Duran’s original burst of fame; the five central musicians were all still in their mid twenties, dealing with the sudden acquisition of fame and riches about as well as any self-centred young men do (which is to say not very well). Gaiman can’t quite disguise the fact that the people he writes about are not very nice, or in the end very interesting. Nick Rhodes’ androgynous presentation does leap out as unusual for the time; but Boy George was already taking it further. Not really recommended, and not all that easy to get either.

This was the shortest unread book on my shelves of those that I had acquired in 2015. Next on that pile is The Limbless Landlord, by Brian Igoe.