Adding to their arsenal of risqué videos — remember the naked mud wrestling in 1983’s “Girls On Film?” — Duran Duran’s latest, “Falling Down,” stars a bevy of nearly-nude beauties, but this time they’re in rehab. “We subtitled it ‘Supermodel Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,’ only it’s not Jack Nicholson, it’s Lindsay Lohan…or someone like her,” says bassist John Taylor, 47, who, along with his bandmates, plays a doctor at a facility that could be called the Betty Ford Models Clinic. The patients’ lack of clothing and excessive smoking were apparently the reasons the clip’s been banned by U.K. TV, according to a spokesperson for the label. “It’s a storm in a teacup,” Taylor says of the controversy. (And, anyway, the band had the foresight to prepare a PG-13 version too, which is now in medium rotation stateside on VH1.)
The theme of starlets and scandal extends to the cover art and title track of Red Carpet Massacre, Duran Duran’s 12th studio release, which drops November 13. “It’s the zeitgiest,” Taylor says. “Should we put a bet on how long it’s gonna be before there’s a sitcom that takes place in a rehab? I would bet you there’s one in development right now, because that’s where the next ‘Friends’ is gonna come from — it’s gonna be based in a rehab. Celebrities go off to rehab, they check into Promises, and nobody knows what happens there. All we know is they come out and they’re back!”
“Of course, what happens in our video isn’t really what goes on in rehab,” adds the 12-years sober Taylor of the clip directed by Anthony Mandler (also the man behind the lens for the Killers’ “All These Things That I’ve Done”). “I’ve got first-hand experiences. This is a parody.”
As for the band’s tradition of showcasing scantily clad babes, they explain it this way: “We’re true artists,” Taylor defends with a laugh. “The entire story of art, from Picasso back, is about old dudes trying to get close to young chicks. What we do is nothing new.” Wild boys never lose it.