I’ve never done an interview or a book review as a blog before, but I totally should because I have so many talented author friends, right?
So, for my first, I sat down electronically and asked my wonderful friend Andy “Durandy” Golub some questions about his latest work, an updated/newly-revised edition of Beautiful Colors: The Posters of Duran Duran. Many thanks to Andy for taking the time out of his busy schedule to share some thoughts with us. You can purchase his book directly from Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/Beautiful-Colors-Posters-Duran-Second/dp/0578770873
CAP: Why Duran Duran? Why posters?
AG: I never tire of revisiting the circumstances that ignited my passion!
In late 1984, “The Reflex” was the catalyst, enveloping me in a fierce, sudden appreciation of Nick’s soaring synth melodies, Simon’s distinctive vocals, and intriguing lyrics that begged for thoughtful contemplation. That was before I saw the video, which cemented my fascination with this charismatic band. I remember being enthralled with how Duran owned the stage, drawing the audience into an ecstatic frenzy and creating a powerful exchange of energy between the fans and the band. It was a visceral experience, and I pride myself on staying closely connected with that original emotion – it paved the way for the journey I’ve been on for over thirty years. While “The Reflex” fired up my devotional engines, the entire Ragged Tiger album catapulted me into full Duranie mode. The music could certainly have been enough to do the job, but with my penchant for art and compelling visuals, I found the album resonating with me on many levels – starting with the cover; Malcolm Garrett’s graphics, combined with Rebecca Blake’s stunning band photo, effectively owned my imagination. I found myself yearning to know more about these five pop enigmas who radiated style and glossy confidence in every photo session. There was no turning back.
It didn’t take long for my collection to take off, as I pored over magazine racks, eagerly spending my meager income from babysitting and newspaper routes. The appetite was insatiable as I learned about the band, contemplated my favorite member, and absorbed every photo session. Total Duranie seduction. I remember keeping my memorabilia in boxes around my room, constantly vigilant about storage conditions, temperature, and fingerprints… those should have been warning signs!
My poster collection escalated quickly – I was utterly captivated with their bigger-than-life size! Who doesn’t like to see their favorite band photos enlarged to dizzying dimensions? Duranie bedrooms were built for treasures like this. However, the posters took on more meaning as I obtained promotional material for specific shows. I saw posters representing milestones and memories for fans, as well as the band… this category of ephemera seemed to speak to the essence of what it means to be a Duran Duran devotee, following the band on tour and losing yourself in the magic of live performances.
With so much material in my custody, I slowly developed an archival sensibility, thanks to a dear friend whose background in poster restoration and museum curation helped shape my direction. By the time of my first public exhibition in 2001, I had a new confidence in my efforts and pride in what I was building. I felt a deeper connection to the band as this path evolved, and I soon realized how my collection resonated with other fans. Friends loved coming over to see the latest acquisitions, and suddenly heartfelt stories were shared, emotions ran high, and it felt like there was something much bigger happening – bigger than me, bigger than the band. Nostalgia is a powerful, unifying force, and I’ve discovered a profound sense of purpose in bringing people together with my collection. Duran Duran generates so much happiness, and if I can help others connect with that joy through memorabilia and celebrating their own beloved memories, it makes me feel like I’m making a difference in the world. That’s what the band does, and I couldn’t imagine a better example to follow.
CAP: How many books have you written?
AG: I have produced three books, including the current re-release. The first book’s focus on large posters required Christine [Born]’s photographic precision in a makeshift studio, but much of the smaller content in the second book allowed me to get more involved with scanning items at home. The Music Between Us examined the band’s legacy through a more personal lens, linking rare concert ads with memories from fans who saw the shows. I felt so emotionally connected to everyone who contributed; I was touched by their trust, moved by their testimonials, and prompted to consider my own concert experiences. There is so much emotion when the lights go down, and I imagine all the untold stories that led to each fan being there in that moment, watching their heroes take the stage. That’s what I tried to capture and celebrate, and still do. The Music Between Us is essentially a love letter to my fellow Duranies.
CAP: What brought you to do a second edition of Beautiful Colors?
AG: Back in 2012, I had no idea how my first book would be received by the fan community. Self-publishing is already a daunting undertaking, but when I’m dealing with the reputation of a world-renowned musical icon and its fiercely loyal following, there’s not a lot of room for mediocre standards. Fortunately, the book was received very well and is now widely regarded as a collector’s item. Since then, Duran Duran has forged ahead, always a band in motion; most significantly, the Paper Gods album was released and the ensuing tour lasted four years, encompassing an ambitious amount of geography. Of course, these new tour dates produced a wealth of fresh posters for my Archive, and it quickly became clear that I had enough material to give Beautiful Colors a proper update. I am so proud of the band’s legacy, and if I am committing myself to chronicling DD’s trajectory, I can only go so long without updating the story.
There was also the perfect timing of a major band milestone: Duran Duran is celebrating its 40th anniversary! The pandemic has diminished everyone’s hopes for major public festivities around this milestone, and I love the idea of my new book helping to fill that void a little. I believe it’s important to honor not just what the band has achieved over the years, but also how they have touched lives around the world. For countless fans, including myself, Duran Duran represent a deeply personal emotional journey. In that spirit, I am very attached to this book, a tenderly constructed homage to four decades of music, magic, and memories.
It didn’t take much work to convince Christine to climb back into the photographer’s seat, and for the next couple years, I was schlepping posters back and forth from the Archive again! I wrote a whole new chapter for the Paper Gods album and tour, and it was a delight to fill the pages with previously unseen images. However, I felt strongly about creating a second edition that didn’t just seem like the first one reproduced. I care a great deal about my fellow fans’ experience, and it was important to do everything possible to ensure that people who got the first book still felt like they truly had a limited edition. So, in addition to all the new Paper Gods posters, I went back into earlier chapters and swapped out several images for different ones, many of them recently acquired. In the end, I believe the book became a super-sized, ultra-upgraded success: the content grew to 300 pages, populated with 150 fresh posters, more reflections from band members, and a very special Afterword from someone close to the band. One of the biggest thrills was dressing the book in properly luxurious style – a stunning new cover and a sexy slipcase! As Duran Duran is so much more than just something to listen to, I wanted the book to offer more than just a reading experience; Beautiful Colors is a comprehensive study of art, music, and photography, the stuff that coffee tables dream of. It’s a book to be digested slowly, with a plate of comfort food, Rio playing on the turntable, and Duranie friends gathered around to help elucidate the nuances of Simon’s lyrics and the universal appeal of John’s cheekbones. With its vivid, glossy dustcover and distinctive housing, I’d like to think Beautiful Colors could also easily become a fashion accessory. Something worthy of Nick Rhodes.
CAP: How did you become the “official unofficial” archivist of all things Duran Duran?
AG: I usually tend to reject such titles, but I’m touched at your suggestion! It’s been a slow, steady evolution, always following my heart, staying true to my focus, and embracing the bigger meaning in everything. It’s never just memorabilia. It’s never just the band’s story. These are memories that belong to all of us.
CAP: What do you consider your rarest piece? Your most unique piece, if different?
AG: In addition to thousands of posters and print material, my collection entails a broad range of rarities, from a vinyl display that hung down the side of a venue to a tiny toy pinball game from Argentina. The DD merchandising frontier is vast and bountiful, constantly keeping me amazed, amused, and energized by what I see out there! Maintaining a collecting focus has proven critical for me over the years, but I’ve occasionally made exceptions for some unusual items I’ve acquired; three specific gems come to mind:
- The blackjack table covering from the Red Carpet Massacre-era remains a special treat.
- Two six-foot promotional flags from 1987 still give me goose bumps, knowing an extremely limited amount were made to promote the Notorious album in a record shop’s window display.
- A number of photography contact sheets count among the most thrilling pieces, offering a never before-seen look at some of the band’s most well-known photo sessions. These sheets reveal the band’s personalities in fascinating ways and are among the first items I bring out for visitors to the Archive. I suppose any candidate for a favorite item would hail from the band’s earliest years, such as one of the posters from Hazel O’Connor’s tour in 1980, which featured DD as a supporting act. Treasures like this bring a surreal sense of perspective, as I think about how long it’s been since the poster was used to promote a band of young New Romantics from Birmingham. Forty years on, I feel incredibly fortunate to have such a piece of history in my care.
Two posters from the Rum Runner own their place among the rarest pieces in my collection, representing the fertile musical atmosphere that gave birth to Duran Duran. I enjoy imagining where these posters were displayed as young nightclubbers made their way to the Rum Runner for a long night of dancing, dressed up in the colorful, flamboyant fashions that defined the New Romantic movement. It was all happening a world away from where I grew up, yet my life has been forever influenced by this remarkable scene in Birmingham. It’s humbling to have such mementos, giving me a small, but deeply moving connection to my favorite band’s origins.
CAP: How many DD concerts have you been to? How many times have you met the band?
AG: I have only been to a handful of shows over the years, much to many people’s surprise. I tend to stay close to home on the tours, letting others follow the band while I dig into the relentless hunt for press coverage and promo posters as the tour progresses. However, when the band swings into my town, I am there with all my heart and soul!
I have been fortunate to meet the band on several occasions, usually associated with presenting copies of my books or a commemorative poster that Christine and I have designed. It’s probably my way of making sure I have something to offer the guys other than my breathless palpitations and ridiculous attempts at conversation. If I remember my own name in the moment, it’s a miracle. Although I’m frequently touched by seeing how the band recognizes me, so when it comes to introducing myself now, the pressure is most definitely off.
CAP: Favorite DD lyric?
AG: I’ve never given that so much thought! There are so many lyrics that speak to me, raise my goose bumps, and provide great fodder for discussion… Anything from Secret Oktober would probably qualify.
CAP: Does the band know about your work? What does that feel like?
AG: Over the years, I’ve enjoyed enthusiastic support from all the band members, which has been the greatest vote of confidence I could hope for. Nick and John have expressed particular appreciation for what I have built – it doesn’t get much bigger than Nick Rhodes writing the Foreword for my book! Still processing that. I’ve also delighted in using the Archive to assist the band on occasion, giving my efforts a satisfying sense of purpose. Whether curating my collection, publishing books, or producing exhibitions, I love knowing Duran Duran trusts me with their reputation and has confidence in my endeavors. While I gently place the band’s support into my fuel tank and allow it to take me farther on my journey, there is always a young Duranie inside me who’s privately melting into squeals of joy.
CAP: Longest distance one of your books has traveled? How many continents have you served?
AG: Wonnnderful question to contemplate! My mind is consistently blown when I see my book traveling to far reaches of the planet. From Malaysia, Croatia, and South America to the shores of Italy and Norway, it’s incredibly validating to see so many fans across great distances consider my book a necessary addition to their collections. Forever grateful.
CAP: Do you have any FuturePast intentions/goals?
AG: My biggest goal is to stay on top of all the press coverage on the horizon, and the significant promotional campaign. With the dramatic reception and positive reviews already garnered by the new single, video, and recent Billboard performance, I expect my skills and tenacity will be tested like never before – Planet Earth is ready for a fresh Duran domination. It’s coming.
CAP: How do you keep building the collection?
AG: I am blessed to have so many vigilant friends and fans keeping their eyes peeled for me around the world. I especially appreciate those connections at times like this, when a new album is being released or tour dates approach… sometimes it’s very clear that I’m living in the wrong city for DD action! So, fellow fans’ thoughtfulness definitely leads to fresh acquisitions, but I’m also actively seeking treasures through careful sleuthing and networking efforts. Every passing year makes it a little more difficult to track down vintage ephemera, so I always feel a bit like I’m racing against time.
CAP: Where is the collection housed? Is it open to the public? Admission cost? Cost of upkeep to you?
AG: The only experience that rivals the joy of finding rare memorabilia is welcoming fellow Duranies to my Archive [in Seattle, Washington]. It may seem like a cold museum-like atmosphere in there, but the breadth of the collection and specific visitor tastes requires such stringent organization. When fans pay a visit, the whole Archive warms up with their effervescent energy and I know exactly where to go for their interests! A Roger girl prefers to get right into pictures of her man, some only want to dwell in the Notorious era, and there are plenty who hunger for everything Arcadia, so the painstaking categorization certainly comes into play. I’ve seen fans start traveling to spend time among the racks and boxes, delving into the band’s history and revisiting their own – with the resulting emotion written across their faces. I love going the extra mile to ensure every visitor feels like royalty, gets more than they expect, and returns home with very special memories! This usually includes a complimentary lunch, and an invitation to record their favorite DD concert memory on film – I’ve amassed a wonderful array of poignant fan reflections, and I hope to assemble them into a lovely presentation someday.
In addition to housing the band’s history, I’ve seen my Archive become a safe haven where fans can relax, reveal themselves, and enjoy re-living their most heartfelt moments. I know too well about the difficulties of growing up Duranie around those who don’t understand
or approve. Many fans have suffered abuse, judgment, or rejection on their journey, and I strive to create an atmosphere that allows fans to fully embrace their passion. Of course, with pandemic protocol, it’s been too long since I’ve relished that unique kind of magic – but I know visits will resume and the Archive will come alive once again! Anyone who wants to schedule a visit can write me directly, and I tend to make fans a priority, working to accommodate their timeline. There’s nothing quite as beautiful as seeing a Duran devotee in their Happy Place: the artifacts come out, heart rates go up, and everyone turns into 13-year old fans again, quivering before a big poster of John Taylor. How can I not do everything I can to make that happen?
I must admit, the expense of maintain the Archive is significant, rising every year. It’s always worthwhile, giving me peace of mind and allowing me to share my efforts with others, but I’m constantly grateful to have the resources for affording such a curatorial space for so many years. There is no admission fee for visiting the Archive, though I see more fans wanting to support the Archive somehow, which melts my heart into a puddle. Every donation goes a long way toward rent, and I do have a way to contribute support through my newly renovated website, Durandy.com. Never expected, always deeply appreciated!
CAP: Where do you see The Archives for DD’s 50th anniversary?
AG: I’d looove to see expanded sections of the collection due to overwhelming acquisitions, an exponential increase in visitations, and hopefully a blueprint for what happens to the collection in the far future. Whether an investor steps forward to establish a permanent location, or a band member agrees to take custody in my absence, time has a way of bringing perspective. I’d like to do whatever I can to ensure the Archive ends up being enjoyed by generations to come. There’s a lot of beauty in how Duran Duran represents the very best of the past, present, and future.