Having read various brief or unauthorized biographies in my younger years, I thoroughly enjoyed hearing the complete true story of how all of the members of Duran Duran met and coalesced. Evident in Taylor's telling of it is the vast differences in personality and style of each member. With this diversity, you can see how their early decision to share all songwriting credit and make decisions together was crucial to the development of their sound. He is correct in asserting that if any one member had been allowed to dominate, the music would not have been as unique or interesting.
Much of the book is dedicated to discussion of Taylor's struggles with depression and addiction. I'm certain most of the clarity and analysis of his own behavior must have come after the fact. This is the way the human mind works, we experience first and make sense of it later. For a Duranie reading this, it seems as if there were two John Taylors living in alternate dimensions. One was a confident man charming us all from the stage and through MTV. The other was a cringing man who couldn't bear the thought that he might not be all that important after all and whose rage almost cost him the use of his most important picking finger.
I admit it is difficult for me to read about the painful parts of Taylor's musical life. As a fan, I was a part of what was driving him mad. I was one of the screaming masses at the Worcester Centrum on the Seven and the Ragged Tiger tour. Musically and psychologically I took much from them. Yes, it is ultimately a symbiotic relationship between entertainer and fan. It still seems to me that, save for a few psycho stalkers, it is the entertainer who more often breaks down under the strain.
After being treated to such wonderful detail in terms of the hyper-Duran years, Taylor's post-rehab life was somewhat glossed over. His recollections of playing solo on tour to eight people in the audience and playing on the street to people who didn't want to believe it was really him were touching. They also serve to connect us back to what this man really lives for--music. He states later in the book that as long as he still has the calluses on his fingertips and he can still make music, he'll be okay.
The book would have benefitted from more details about the years Taylor spent away from Duran Duran. He refers to making music, I would have loved to understand more about what form that took with his talent freed from the corporate music industry machine. Interestingly, he never mentions (at least by name) his solo album Feelings Are Good and Other Lies. Maybe this is because of the heavy emotional content evident in the songwriting. (The ballad Losing You still makes me cry.) Feelings Are Good was a raw album, both in terms of content and production values. It was clearly an album his soul needed to make, regardless of it's potential commercial market value. As a Duranie reading this book, I crave greater context for that album.