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Talking to Rob Sheffield about Duran Duran

Duran If you wanted to talk to girls in the ’80s, according to music journalist and author Rob Sheffield, you had better have known your Planet Earth from your Rio, your John Taylor from your Nick Rhodes.

In his memoir Talking to Girls about Duran Duran: One Young Man’s Quest for True Love and a Cooler Haircut (Dutton, $25.95), Sheffield shows off his knowledge of all things Duran Duran — all things musically connected to that decade, actually — by weaving a warm and funny story of his adolescence set to a spectacular ’80s soundtrack (Roxy Music, The Smiths, The Human League, Flock of Seagulls, The Go-Gos, Tone Loc and The Replacements all make appearances).

Sheffield, 45, who appears Sunday at LitLIVE!, part of the Broward Public Library’s Literary Feast 2011, counts Planet Earth as his favorite Duran Duran song — “They were so good at being funny and sexy at the same time, which is so hard to do, but they made it seem easy” — but has great affection for the era in general. A regular on VH1 and author of the terrific memoir Love Is a Mix Tape, he is an unabashed fan of American Idol and Glee — and the ’80s songs nobody else likes, such as the (blessedly) one-hit wonder Shiny Shiny by Haysi Fantaysee.

Sheff “My wife had never heard it, and we were driving, and it came on the radio — we were listening to the Sirius New Wave station — I was like, ‘I love this song!’ and even she had to draw the line at that one and say, ‘You’re just plain wrong.’ ’’

Click here to read my interview with Sheffield; I had a blast talking to him about '80s music and could have happily done so all day. The book is a lot of fun, and if you haven't read Love is a Mix Tape and you love music, you need to do so immediately.

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