Sunday, February 26, 2012

Song #136 of 9999 - Girls on Film by Duran Duran

Song #136 of 9999

Title: Girls on Film
Artist: Duran Duran
Year: 1981
Album: Duran Duran

I thought I'd close out my survey of 1981 songs with a song I wasn't very fond of as a kid and, frankly, I'm not that crazy about it now. But it's worth acknowledging for the impact that bassist John Taylor had on my development as a musician.

1981 is right around the time I learned how to play the bass guitar. I was in a band and we played progressive rock, so I became pretty good right away, learning all those Rush and Led Zeppelin riffs in assorted time signatures. My girlfriend at the time was pretty into Duran Duran, A Flock of Seagulls, The Jam, etc. (in retrospect, she was much hipper than me for the times) while I pretty much avoided the whole new wave scene. Eventually, though, if you want to play in a band that actually has gigs, you have to learn songs that people want to hear, which generally doesn't include Iron Maiden's "Number of the Beast."

It probably wasn't until 1983 (coincidentally, the year Duran Duran was re-released in America to capitalize on Rio's success) that I really had to start learning these songs and, man, were they eye-opening. Taylor's style was busy and funky (as funky as an Englishman can be, anyway) and I really enjoyed learning how to play this way. The songs were challenging but not impossible and served as a great primer to a style I really had no experience with at the time. So thanks John Taylor!

See you tomorrow in 1991.

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