Former Duran Duran star Andy Taylor has opened up on the four-year cancer battle that forced him to miss one of the biggest nights of his career.

Taylor was set to reunite with his former band mates in Los Angeles at the star-studded Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Induction Ceremony.

But in a dramatic twist, the 61-year-old pulled out at the last minute under doctors’ orders and instead delivered a heartfelt open letter to fans, family and friends.

Duran Duran’s Simon Le Bon spoke on his friend’s behalf in front of shocked fellow inductees including Dolly Parton, Eminem and Judas Priest.

In an emotional address Taylor wrote: “What an absolute honour it is to be nominated, let alone to be inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame.

“There’s nothing that comes close to such recognition.

“You can dream about what happened to us but to experience it, on one’s own terms, as mates, was beyond incredible.

“Just over four years ago I was diagnosed with stage four metastatic prostate cancer

“Many families have experienced the slow burn of this disease and of course we are no different.

“So I speak from the perspective of a family man but also with profound humility to the band and the greatest fans a group could have.

“I’m truly sorry and massively disappointed that I couldn’t make it [to Los Angeles].

“Let there be no doubt I was stoked about the whole thing and I even bought a new guitar with the essential whammy!

“I’m so very proud of these four brothers. I’m amazed at their durability and I’m overjoyed at accepting this award. I’m sure as hell glad I’m around to see the day.

“All My Love. AT.”

The prestigious Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame began inducting artists in 1986 and Taylor saw the accolade as the ultimate recognition of his talent as a songwriter with one of the biggest bands of the 1980s.

Born and raised in North Tyneside, near Newcastle, the former Marden High School pupil began playing guitar at the age of 11.

But it was only when neighbour Dave Black, who tasted success with David Bowie offshoot The Spiders Of Mars, took Taylor under his wing that the ambitious Geordie realised his full potential.

As a teenager Taylor headed to Birmingham and, following a successful audition, joined founder members John Taylor and Nick Rhodes in Duran Duran.

The pop idols went on to headline the US leg of Live Aid, sell more than 100 million albums worldwide and produce hit singles including Rio, The Reflex, Girls On Film and the James Bond smash A View To A Kill.

Taylor left the band for the second time in 2006 to focus on production work and solo material.

And just last month the multi-talented artist teased the rocky title track from his new album Man’s A Wolf To Man — due for release in 2023.

Taylor had been busily planning the LA reunion with his former Duran Duran band mates for months and fans’ expectations had reached fever pitch prior to last night’s devastating news.

“I have the ‘Rodgers and Edwards’ of doctors and medical treatment that, until very recently, allowed me to rock on,” he added. 

“Although my current condition is not immediately life threatening there is no cure.

“Recently I was doing okay after some very sophisticated and life-extending treatment.

“That was until a week or so ago when I suffered a setback and, despite the exceptional efforts of my team, I had to be honest and accept that both physically and mentally I would be pushing my boundaries [by travelling to LA].”

Thousands of fans and A-list celebrities packed the Microsoft Theatre in LA’s downtown district to celebrate the careers of Duran Duran and fellow 2022 performer inductees Dolly Parton, Eminem, Lionel Richie, Carly Simon, Eurythmics, Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo.

And Taylor had spent weeks rehearsing a slew of Duran Duran’s biggest hits ahead of a special set to mark the band’s long-awaited induction.

“There’s nothing that comes close to such recognition,” he added. “I’m proud of everything we’ve achieved together and of the way [that the band has] continued. 

“As a guitar player in a progressive band from the synth days of the early 80s — literally from the day I met Nick, John, Simon and Roger  — they truly valued the contribution of a rather noisy, versatile, Northern brat! 

“We all grew up on the same vinyl records and live gigs from David Bowie to Roxy Music, The Sex Pistols and, of course, Chic

“I could go to all of those places as a player and I developed a hybrid guitar style that fitted this amazing concept of a band.

“I loved going into the studio and recording our material because nobody else sounded like us. 

“We were ripe to absorb the art of analogue recording but with some different kit.

“Nick’s artful obsession with synth technology was something I’d never seen before and I was introduced to layers.

“Because we were instinctively the right fit, we evolved very quickly, writing Rio as our second album with the confidence that our very early success with Girls On Film and Planet Earth inspired.

“You can dream about what happened to us but to experience it — on one’s own terms — as mates was beyond incredible.

“I would like to thank each of my brothers in this great band.”

Taylor quit Duran Duran for the first time after Live Aid and, after rejoining his former colleagues in 2000, he left again six years later.

But a determination to enjoy one final swansong with his friends and colleagues meant the former Power Station star was prepared to put his heart and soul into this month’s LA reunion.

And after revealing the heart-breaking reason for missing one of the biggest events in Duran Duran’s history, Taylor was keen to address longstanding rumours of division within the camp.

“Now for the bad blood,” he added. “Well, the good news is that there is none!

“There’s just pure love and respect for everything we wrote, recorded and achieved together.

“What’s the point [of falling out]? There’s no stopping this 44-year thing called Duran Duran.”

Check out our review of Andy Taylor’s charity most recent solo show here.

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