Duran Duran Induct Roxy Music Into Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
"They were a shock to the system, a psychedelic Sinatra crooning pop-art poetry over driving drums, saxophones and oboes, heavily treated electric guitars, and the most out-there synthesizer parts you've ever heard," Lebon said. "The musicians themselves were dressed outrageously, each one with an individual, well-defined look. Put it all together and what you got was pulp-science fiction."
He also discussed the sweeping influence of Brian Eno during tonight's ceremony at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. The band's most famous ex-member, Eno later produced a host of rock acts including U2 and Peter Gabriel.
He'd "become the world's most imitative musician – a one-man zeitgeist," LeBon added. "Eno helped shape some of the most significant artists of our time. He also has the distinction of being the musician most frequently cited in answers to clues in the New York Times crossword puzzles." As the assembled crowd broke into laughter, LeBon added "'Musician Brian, three letters.'"
The news of Duran Duran's involvement was made official a little more than two weeks ago, but Taylor first broke the news at the beginning of this month during an appearance on Jonesy's Jukebox, the Los Angeles radio show hosted by former Sex Pistols guitarist Steve Jones. After coyly saying Roxy Music would be inducted by "someone close to our hearts," Taylor more or less came clean.
"I think Simon and I are going to do it, which is incredible," he said, noting that Roxy Music were "mind-blowing ... they were like from outer space almost." Taylor recalled seeing the band's video for debut single "Virginia Plain" back in 1972: "I remember seeing them on television, and they were just like nothing we'd ever seen before, were they?"
In the mid-'90s, Taylor showed his love of Roxy Music by producing a tribute album called Dream Home Heartaches: Remaking/Remodeling Roxy Music. Taylor recorded his own contribution, a version of "Just Another High," which featured drums by Matt Sorum, formerly of Guns N' Roses and the Cult.
Taylor once explained that, in addition to being inspired by Roxy Music's rhythm section of John Gustafson and Paul Thompson, the lyrics on their third album, Stranded, opened up a world of possibilities to him.
"It's a very exotic record," he said. "Bryan Ferry's writing alludes to a lot of places that any suburban boy might want to go to. There's a song on there called 'Amazona.' ... There's 'Song for Europe,' which is the song that he famously sang, you know, half of it is in French and you're going, 'Wow. This guy's really sophisticated.'"
The 2019 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will air April 27 on HBO.