Andy Taylor, guitarist for 80s new wave band, Duran Duran, has opened up more about his diagnosis with prostate cancer.
Taylor was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2018, but first opened up about it with 5 News UK last month, after it was revealed this past November, at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony.
“I was out jogging, and I started to notice what you would think was a kind of arthritic sort of pain, and I never thought more of it than that,” he told 5 News. “I started having these symptoms…and then I noticed on my neck I had what felt like tumors. [The consultant] said it was stage four, metastatic – which is a death sentence.”
More recently, he talked with People, where he went into more detail about finding out about his diagnosis.
“The first thing I thought of was, when was the last time I had a PSA (prostate-specific antigen) test?,” Taylor said. “My father passed away because of prostate [cancer]. So, there was the family history. So I thought this could be, and sure enough.
“As harsh as it is, it’s a death sentence,” he continued, reiterating the “death sentence” phrase again. “So you sort of walk out of the hospital in a stunned silence, because you could never be prepared for…you’ve got to start from the fact that it’s a slow burn, so it’s not going to take you quickly.”
In November, Taylor did not attend the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony– in which his band, Duran Duran, were inductees–due to health setbacks regarding his cancer. Instead, he sent a letter to his bandmates to read as part of his acceptance speech.
“Just over four years ago, I was diagnosed with stage 4 metastatic prostate cancer,” the speech read. “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 with profound humility to the band, the greatest fans a group could have and this exceptional accolade.
“I’m truly sorry and massively disappointed I couldn’t make it. Let there be no doubt I was stoked about the whole thing, 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 often doubted the day would come. I’m sure as hell glad I’m around to see the day.”
He first informed his bandmates in April last year after they had performed in Ibiza, where Taylor resides but wasn’t there at the time, spending most of his time “with doctors and in hospitals”.
“In a way, it ended up becoming a massive relief because talking about it publicly,” he said of finally revealing the news, “when you’ve been living with something for so long, every conversation you have with people, you’re acting.”
“A lot of this has happened as a consequence of not going to the biggest night of my life. Strange irony,” he said, referring to the induction ceremony in November. “If I could get a genie out of a bottle and make one wish, it’s that nobody ever has to go through what I went through.”
In his interview with 5 News, he talked about what he’s been doing since being diagnosed nearly five years ago.
“I’ve made three albums since [my diagnosis],” he said, “I went on the road with some friends of mine, the band Reef, and played some shows, which were fantastic. I often say to people, every minute’s like an hour, every day’s like a week. You really wanna get the most out of life.
“I’ve been very fortunate, I’ve had so much, in terms of living the dream,” he added, “but because I do music, I think that’s probably really helped me to live with the pessimism of an incurable disease.”
With a similar attitude when talking with People, he said, “[I’m] trying to stay alive and live a life, which I am absolutely not giving up on.”