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Duran Duran’s Gay-Bashing Gauntlet



Nick Rhodes from synth-pop pioneers Duran Duran reminisced this week about the dangers of wearing make-up and flamboyant clothes in Birmingham in the 70s, admitting he and bass player John Taylor, were regularly terrified going home after clubbing, on the number 50 night-bus.


“We used to be absolutely rigid with fear getting on that bus covered in make-up, with dyed hair, wearing women’s clothing. Probably, not dresses but something we’d bought from Top Shop or Wallis,” he told Arts Desk writer Thomas H Green.


“Inevitably there was someone who wanted to pick a fight but you felt you wanted to stand out. You knew you had to go for it and to back out would have been complete defeat.” (The Arts Desk: )


In the same interview he chatted fondly about Duran Duran being inspired by John Foxx and electro pioneers Cabaret Voltaire, who similarly had to dodge thugs in their home-town of Sheffield in the early 70s.


Chatting to Skrufff some years ago, Richard H Kirk recalled ‘running a fine line between being provocative and getting the shit kicked out of you by football hooligans or whatever monsters were running around Sheffield town centre in the mid seventies’, though Stephen Mallinder said they rarely encountered real trouble in an interview with Skrufff last year.


“Originally we were football . . . well not hooligans but bad lads,” Stephen confessed.


“Richard and I first met at matches and were . . mmm I shouldn’t say skinhead because it was before that period but we wore mohair suits and looked the part,” he recalled.


“We ran the gauntlet with some groups of youths but we knew others who we pretty tough as well so it all worked out OK. We had a few close calls but no serious injuries.” ( )











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