By Rebecca Bulnes
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By Chuck Strouse
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"When you're successful in one field, people tend to come at you from other fields," Taylor explains. "I wasn't really interested in doing it at first, but my management was telling me: 'You don't have to act, you won't have to audition ... all you have to do is turn up.' But then I'd see all these young serious actors who took their craft very seriously, so I started to realize that if you know the material, that really helps too. I spent a year where I went to a lot of auditions and learned about humility."
In 1999 John remarried, this time to Gela Nash, cofounder of the immensely successful Juicy Couture line of casual clothing and accessories, for which he currently serves as a male consultant. He also overcame his drug habit and settled into a life of domestic stability. However, it was the collective decision to reunite the five original members of Duran Duran that has Taylor waxing effusively this particular afternoon. Having resolved their old animosities via a series of phone calls, the bandmates regrouped in March 2001. They would eventually sign with Epic Records, which released the critically lauded Astronaut in 2004.
"I had reconciled to the fact that it was over," Taylor says. "But once we opened up to the possibility, we all came on board.... We found a way back to each other, and that made us stronger than ever. We have a good time with each other now, and we're all really loving it."
One factor that has definitely made a difference is that now they have the power to choose when and where they play live, a decision Taylor says has had a significant effect on the band's overall attitude. "The first time, we were doing nothing but touring, and it was too much, so we were determined not to get caught up in that again. We don't have to go out on tour; we can limit our gigs to a few big shows. We're in control now, and I'm in control over how I cope with whatever is happening."
In fact the group was initially apprehensive about the prospect of doing any shows at all. Taylor has vivid memories of their first appearance after getting back together. "We had been booked for a big reunion concert in Japan where Duran Duran's always had this huge following, and we had only one day's rehearsal. They were expecting 100,000 fans, so it was significant for us to go there after all those years. I remember right up until an hour before we went on, we were asking each other: öDo you think this is really going to happen?' We really weren't sure. But it was just fantastic; it felt just like the old days, and we all felt really good about it."
For now Taylor and the rest of the band are looking ahead to finishing their next album, which, he reveals, will feature a track co-written and produced by Britney Spears's ex-paramour Justin Timberlake. "After we recorded that, I left New York dazed," he enthuses. "I thought to myself, Wow, what's happened now? It's really that good."
Mainly, though, Taylor is happy simply to be back at work and playing alongside his long-time colleagues. "I love my job. I love the creative process," he gushes. "That's all it takes to keep me on the plane, to get me to that rehearsal. It's like, show up and keep the guitar in tune. I'm actually petrified that someday I'll have to get a regular job."