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Millions of people saw Paul McCartney choke up at the start of “Hey Jude” during his performance at the Opening Ceremonies of the London Olympics.
Across town that night, Duran Duran was part of the Celebration Concert in Hyde Park and the band’s bassist, John Taylor, said he, too, was moved by the enormity of the proceedings.
“It was the biggest crowd we’d ever played to in the U.K.,” he said Thursday on a phone call from his U.S. base of Los Angeles. “I think the two moments were when we did the ballads. I could just see the whole crowd swaying. I thought, ‘This is a career high. Hold onto it.’”
During their hour-long set, Duran performed “Save a Prayer” and “Ordinary World,” which the band dedicated to “a peaceful Games.”
Taylor and his wife, Gela Nash, are admittedly Olympics addicts, and are big fans of the U.S. women’s gymnastics team.
“Those girls! Oh my. We’re all in love with them. If I had been born 30 years later…,” he said with a laugh.
Other favorites in the Nash-Taylor household are swimming and synchronized diving, which the couple has recently become a fan of watching.
Since Taylor is bi-continental, he said he’s mostly rooting for the American teams, “Except for when there is a great British contestant. But realistically, there aren’t too many.”
But Taylor, a native of Birmingham, England, will always carry a certain amount of hometown pride, saying, “I think we’ve done a great job staging the Games so far.”