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Duran Duran: Simon John Charles Le Bon (translating as "Simon The Good") is the singer's real birthname, though his bandmates call him "Charlie" because their first driver was also called Simon. Le Bon said in an interview that the Duran Duran name was chosen "because it meant nothing to most people", so didn't tie the band to a particular image.
It was taken, by bassist John Taylor, from the 1968 Roger Vadim film Barbarella, where Milo O'Shea plays a pervy, mad scientist called Durand Durand. Female spacefarer Barbarella had been created five years before by Frenchman Jean-Claude Forest. Jane Fonda played the title role in the film, making it a cult classic.
The young band played many early gigs (1978 on) at the Barbarella Club in Birmingham, U.K., and the venue seemed to confirm the name as right. Later (1988) they briefly tried the ploy of dropping one Duran from their name, then (circa 1989) they were billed for a time as duranduran.
One of their bootleg records inspired the name of the Lostprophets. Related: Arcadia, The Power Station, Stephen 'Tin Tin' Duffy. Fans called: Durannies. They in turn dubbed John Taylor "Mr Beautiful" (cf Japan's David Sylvian, "The World's Most Beautiful Man"). Not the only ones with a double name: see Talk Talk, The The.
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