Elvis Duran: Madonna is ‘difficult’ but I want to interview her again

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Z100 morning show star Elvis Duran is one of the country’s most recognizable radio personalities, with a nationally syndicated show that’s considered the go-to destination for musical A-listers and up-and-coming talent.

Duran, a Z100 fixture since 1989, is revealing a more personal side of himself in his new memoir, “Where Do I Begin? Stories From a Life Lived Out Loud,” co-written by Andy Barr (Atria), out now.

The Texas-born Duran, 55, spoke to The Post about the book and about his life and career.

Why did you decide to write the book now?

I’ve been thinking of writing a book for a while … but I never thought it was the right time. I think I got to the point where I could actually examine my life as a story — it was all just scattered for so many years, but then it all kind of made sense. Since then I found out through other people how they knew it was time to write a book and they all said the same thing, “A life lesson was learned.”

What was your life lesson?

I settled down in my personal relationship with [husband] Alex [Carr]. A radio guy’s life is typically nomadic, moving from town to town, and even though I’ve been in New York at Z100 since 1989 it still felt like I was moving from apartment to apartment and really not unpacking all my boxes, in a way. I finally found life was solid. I was having a relationship with someone I wanted to get married to [Duran and Carr were married Sept. 14 in New Mexico] and we found another home out in Santa Fe and we’ve talked about moving there eventually full time. I guess I grew up, which is kind of frightening.

Was there anything off-limits that you wouldn’t talk about?

No. What I wanted to do is try to talk about things I don’t talk about on the radio, which is my family life, my parents, what my household was like, why I was intrigued with radio … and then talk about the crazy years. There’s a chapter about when I was in Houston and did way too many drugs. Look, I was very out there and active and partying in the beginning ages of AIDS. I survived that, thank God.

You came out during a phone call with a listener in 2010. How did you feel about that?

It wasn’t planned at all. I think it was more of me being honest about my real life than it was about just being gay. In all these years the show had been about the dating lives of people on the show but I never really talked about my home life. I never wanted to be the center of attention as far as my personal life — I wanted to be the emcee. Then, I realized I was dating in the city of New York and the trials and tribulations involved with that and thought, “This could be interesting, let me open up.” It just so happened that I was gay. Everyone in the room [when I came out] looked at me like I just dropped a bomb. It was just an unremarkable event [and] no one really gave a s–t. It was like, “OK, you’re gay. What else?” That’s when I realized I could have done this a long time ago, and it wouldn’t have been that big of a deal.

What’s your takeaway from the book?

It’s the story about a little kid who dreamed of being on the radio and here it is, 50 years later, and I’m still doing it. Writing the book I got to know myself, and I like myself: It sounds corny but it’s true, and I think it’s important for everyone to examine their life. It’s not just one big blurry mess; it’s a story and you can figure out who you are and why you ended up like you are. It was always my dream to find a way to connect with people; I was a geeky little kid, I was gay and didn’t know it for a while, and I didn’t understand how to make friends. I found that through radio. And doing it now, especially with social media, there’s an immediate connection with people and that’s what we’re all looking for: communication, friendship and connection. That’s what radio is, and that’s why I love doing it.

‘Writing the book I got to know myself, and I like myself: It sounds corny but it’s true.’

Is there any one guest you’ve never been able to get?

There is. I want a one-on-one with Justin Timberlake with my questions and my own connection. He’s been sort of an elusive interview, but that’s the one I’m waiting for. He’s talented and so fun, and I want a crack at him.

Can you name some bad interviews over the years?

When I met Barry Manilow he was a huge jerk, and I wrote about it in the book. His people got in touch with someone at [syndicator] iHeartRadio and said, “Why is he calling Barry Manilow an a–hole?” Because he was the night I was with him. There are artists I want a redo with. I had a bad experience with Usher. We just didn’t connect, and he didn’t want to be interviewed that day. Madonna is another one. I want a redo with her because I never really feel like I connect with her. She’s difficult. I’ve interviewed her four times, and it never worked. I don’t know what it is with her — or with me.

Z100 host Elvis Duran
Z100 host Elvis DuranGetty Images

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