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Full name: Nicholas James Bates.
Born: June 8, 1962, in Moseley, Birmingham.
Educated: Silverstream Junior School; Woodrush High School, Hollywood, Birmingham.
Nick Rhodes, born Nick Bates, was brought up less than a mile from John Taylor.
    Nick's mother Sylvia once owned the local toy shop in Hollywood, Birmingham. His father Roger has his own business in Birmingham.
    An only child, Nick left school at 16 and formed Duran Duran with
John on lead guitar (he later switched to bass), Steve 'TinTin' Duffy on vocals, and Simon Colley on bass.
    A longtime admirer of such musical stylists as David Bowie and Bryan Ferry, Nick's synthesiser helped to mould the early Duran sound.

"Nick was born and bred in Birmingham. He wasn't born at hospital but in my mother's house in Mosley. He weighed in at 7½ lb.
    "He was a lovely little bby - very good, and very quiet."

"As soon as he was old enough, Nick wanted to join the Boy Scouts. We put his name down and he had to wait quite a long time for someone to come round and see him. Fnally the man turned up. he said Nick could join the Scouts straightaway.
    "By then Nick had changed his mind and didn't want to go. That was the end of that.
    "As a young boy, he was very much a catterbox, very lively and extremely inquisitive.
    "He always wanted to know what was going on around him. He asked questions constantly and wanted to know absoloutely everything."

Nick as a baby

Nick as a boy

"Nick went to Silverstream Junior School and then to Woodrush High School, in Hollywood, Birmingham.
    "He quite liked school, I think, particularly art and music. In fact he still writes and sees his English teacher Mr Smart whenever possible.
    "They're very proud of him at Woodrush today. I'm told they've got a picture of the group in one of the classrooms and they play their music quite often.
    "Nick got seven 'O' levels at Woodrush. he was going to stay on to take his 'A' levels but decided halfway through the summer holidays he didn't want to continue.
    "He didn't want to go on to University either. He just wanted to get out into the world and find out what it was all about. He did help me out in the toyshop for a while for some extra pocket money.
    "Still, he was a very bright lad at school and didn't cause too many problems. He did what homework he had - but if he had problems he'd ask his father to do it for him."

Nick at the age of ten with his Cousin Collette Judd and (background) sister Annette, on the back of an inflatable whale in Weymouth. Note long hair!
Nick is still very close to his cousin Collette Judd.
    Collette is now 13 years of age and busy studying for her exams at Woodrush High School - the same school that Nick went to.
    Says Collette about her famous cousin: "You can guess I have many friends. Most are true friends but I do have trouble when I get used.
    "I get on with quite a few fans and I spend a great deal of time writing to them.
    "I also write to Simon's mum and Nick and his girlfriend when they are away because I miss them so much.
    "Nick is lovely - he's got a great sense of humour."

Nick and Collette at Nick's home, 1983

"Sometimes we used to have terrible rows. You see I'd always tell him exactly what I thought. If he didn't agree he would get mad but two days later, after thinking over things, he'd say 'Yes, mum you're right'.
    "He had a thing about dyeing his hair, too. I can remember the first time, He came home late one night, shot up the stairs calling out 'I;m home' and dived under the covers.
    "The next morning I went into his room and saw this blond head peeping out from under the sheets. I couldn't believe it.
    "After the initial scare, I became quite used to it. He went all sorts of colours . . . blond twice, purple, even orange.
    "His main interest during his teens was his record collection - I think he's got the biggest Bowe collection in Britain. He collected record sleeves as well. He used to go to the shops wth John - it was like a race - who could get there first.
    "Nick loved hoarding things. he always kept his tickets from pop concerts and various gigs. There's so much junk here at home but I daren't throw it away.
    "As a teenager he was very much a home-loving boy, very kind, very gentle and not at all selfish. He was always very truthful."

Nick with his parents Sylvia and Roger Bates

Nick's parent's home in Hollywood, Birmingham

"Naturally, Roger and I are very proud of Nck but his superstar status obviously has some drawbacks.
    "We don't see much of Nick now, and I do miss him. This year I've worried more about him than at any other time during his life.
    "It was mainly due to his health scare in Montserrat. When I heard he had been rushed to hospital for heart tests I went out of my mind with worry. I couldn't eat or sleep for three days.
    The problem with Nick is that he works too hard. he hasn't stopped for over two years but that's his way. In fact the doctor said he is a very fit person but it was stress and overwork that made him ill.
    "Nick's a workaholic. he never knows when to stop.
    "I know he s very health-conscious. he'll always spend money on eating well and staying in nice places so I don't worry about that side of things.
    "I just wish he wouldn't work himself so hard for so long."

Head of Art Mr David Hart, Nick's teacher at Woodrush High.
David Hart, Head of Art at Woodrush High School, Birmingham, recalls Nick as a very co-operative schoolboy.
    He says: "Nick is highly imaginative and talented, particularly in art. He was very capable technically and a very confident boy.
    "He knew what he wanted to do at an early age and was one of the very few schoolkids who've said to me 'I want to be a pop star' and actually achieved his ambition."
    His English teacher Mr Smart also recalls Nick as a well-motivated child.
    "He often used to stay on after school had finished - though not to work," he says.

"Fans are always knocking at our door and asking us how Nick's getting on. They're all lovely girls.
    "Last week some girls from New York came to visit us. We met them at the Aston Villa concert earlier this summer.
    "Another group of fans asked us to go to a party they were holding at the Birmingham Holiday Inn last month. It was a surprise 18th birthday 'do' for one of their friends . . . a great fan of Nick's.
    "So we did. We had a smashing evening."

"I'm looking forward very much to a good family Christmas. And I know Nick can't wait to get back home. He wants to see all the family again.
    "We'll all be going to his first concert in Manchester and then we'll see him again when they play Wembley."

Happy together - Nick and his model girlfriend Julie Ann Friedman. They met in Los Angeles last year.