Duran Duran come back like Beckham
By Alastair Himmer
TOKYO (Reuters) - Pop legends Duran Duran, famous for a string of smash hits in the 1980s, have been taking style tips from England soccer captain David Beckham in preparation for their latest comeback.
The band, who begin a world tour in Japan next week, declared they were back for good after a protracted period of declining record sales and expanding waistlines.
"We all follow the David Beckham regime -- his hairdressing regime that is," keyboard player Nick Rhodes told reporters on Thursday.
He said the band had been recording for a year and a half, on and off. "The new album is near completion. The tour is to get some energy for the final recording."
Duran Duran, who have sold over 60 million albums since releasing their first single, "Planet Earth", over 20 years ago, insisted they were no 1980s revival act, appearing at a Tokyo news conference looking slim and dressed in black suits.
"These guys had very successful records in the 1990s, so this is not just some revival band," said drummer Roger Taylor, who retreated to the English countryside after quitting in 1985.
Bassist John Taylor, whose attempt to break into Hollywood peaked with a role in the 1999 Flintstones movie "Viva Rock Vegas", said he was happy to be back with Duran Duran following an acrimonious split.
"It's all about chemistry. That only happens once in a lifetime if you're lucky," he said.
Although often ridiculed for videos that showed them perched on elephants or the front of yachts wearing silk suits, more than 50,000 Internet pages are devoted to Duran Duran, who counted the late Princess Diana among their legions of female fans during the 1980s with such hits as "Girls on Film" and "Hungry Like the Wolf".
Their penchant for eyeliner and hairspray still intact two decades on, the 40-something rockers have added an extra date to their Japan schedule after selling out one Tokyo venue in less than 30 minutes.
"We wanted to start the tour somewhere where we could be sure of a good reception," said singer Simon Le Bon, who has been in the tabloids as much for his racy lifestyle and occasional boating accidents as his involvement with Duran Duran.
"Being in a band keeps you young and wild at heart."