Saturday, February 08, 2014

Save a Poster: An Interview with Andy Golub, Author of "Beautiful Colors"


Note: all images, photos and videos in this post are used with the permission of Andrew Golub. Big thanks for allowing me to share them!

Think you are a Duran Duran fan? Well, chances are you haven't met Andrew Golub. Golub's love for the group easily rivals that of all of my squealing, pin-wearing, locker wallpapering, Duran-mad friends from middle school combined. 

Andy Golub was 12 years old the day he heard the Duran Duran song "The Reflex" coming from the radio. Little did he know at the time that the hooky 1980s hit by the British band would spark a serious craving for all things Duran--earning him the nickname "Durandy" (a little twist on the moniker for the band's fans, Duranies) from a radio DJ after numerous requests from Golub for their songs. Soon he became the proud owner of the album "Seven and the Ragged Tiger" on cassette tape. Today he is the proud owner of more than 1,500 posters, over 10,000 pages of magazine articles, 150 books and several items of memorabilia all related to the endearing New Wave boy band. 

It's a superfan passion that culminated recently in the publication of a new book called Beautiful Colors: The Posters of Duran Duran--a lush, visual love letter to the group that showcases a selection of posters and printed memorabilia from the band's history, capturing them in their 1980s eye popping hues, hair gel wearing, makeup coated glory. It's a labor of love sure to satisfy the most diehard of Durandies, containing magazine promos, tour posters, A View To A Kill film posters and even memorabilia dedicated to spinoff bands The Power Station and Arcadia. Golub's fiancee, Christine Born, was the photographer on the project and the book includes a foreword by Nick Rhodes himself.  

Golub recently spoke to Go Retro about the book's inspiration and his admiration for the band:


Go Retro: What inspired you to begin collecting everything Duran Duran related that you could get your hands on? Did you have any idea the posters would make for a great book someday?


Golub exhibiting his first Duran Duran poster collection, circa 2001
Golub: I’ve always been a visual person, especially drawn to dramatics: the biggest, the greatest, the only… so that high standard was already hardwired into my DNA. Anything I set my mind to, I want to do it the very best I can. When my collection started to take shape, I was always aware of my focus, which has grown more specific over the years; I was interested in artifacts that had been generated in finite amounts, like magazine articles, posters, and special promotional items—essentially paper-based ephemera. As my collection evolved, the focus became more refined. Keychains and bumper stickers took a backseat to rare posters, limited photographic prints, and special memorabilia issued by fan clubs and record companies. 

However, the posters have always been the heart of the collection. Such mementos have an innate connection to the band’s history, as well as the fan community, simply due to the posters’ intended use: advertising a single concert in a specific town, attended by a limited amount of people; that one evening becomes the backdrop for stories and experiences shared by everyone  lucky enough to be there. When I consider how many posters I have acquired over three decades, I realize my archive is full of memories, not just memorabilia.

A book now seems like it was a logical decision. I’ve always envisioned ways that my collection can be enjoyed by fans whenever they want, wherever they may be. When that goal was linked with a wish to celebrate Duran Duran’s career like never before, the result became Beautiful Colors.
Go Retro: You have some unique DD memorabilia in your collection, including a Duran Duran board game. What is your most prized possession in your collection, and why? 

Golub: I am particularly proud of, and a bit amazed at the number of posters I’ve found from the band’s formative years. My book includes several of these: two promos from when Duran were supporting Hazel O’Connor on the road, and two posters from early gigs at The Rum Runner (a Birmingham club where the band rehearsed and refined their sound). The archive is full of rarities, but these early posters carry such historic gravity. The further time passes, and the more Duran Duran accomplishes, the more significance these posters take on. I’ve always felt one can better appreciate where the band is now, when one appreciates where they’ve been. 

Among the unique items lurking in the archive, one will find a pair of binoculars from Japan, a casino chip from Las Vegas, a 3-D foldout poster (with glasses), a bottle of hot sauce from 1985 (related to Power Station promotion), a condom from the 1993 tour (in original packaging), a briefcase, tote, and zippered purse from an ’84 merchandising campaign…. the list goes on and grows even more colorful! The breadth of memorabilia helps paint a picture of a band whose appeal has spanned continents and generations.
Go Retro: Duran Duran had a huge following of female fans when I was in middle school; not so much male fans. What did you girlfriend/fiancee think when she first learned about your Duran Duran obsession? 

Golub: I asked her, and she apparently had heard of me prior to our first meeting. Yet, she decided to stay. Fortunately, Christine nurtured her own affection for the band, and I enjoy contemplating how her collection really took off after we joined forces! Christine focuses her efforts on Duran’s vast audio catalogue, with thousands of vinyl records, CDs, DVDs, and cassettes - a jaw-dropping array housed in archival boxes, bags, and sleeves. It’s fun to watch visitors to the archive select their favorite categories to see first: visual vs audio! I imagine it could feel a bit like a chocolate enthusiast walking into Willy Wonka’s factory. Without the Oompa-Loompas.


Golub presenting his specially made poster to the group in 2005
Go Retro: Beatlemaniacs usually have a favorite Beatle--who is your favorite member of Duran Duran and why? Or, which one would you have most wanted to be during their 80s career?

Golub: A favorite Duran… just about impossible for me to say! Not for diplomacy, but each member truly resonates with me on a different level. I suppose I may have the most in common with Nick and John—each of them are so brilliantly visual-minded, and they both maintain their own collections of band memorabilia. Being either member in the ‘80s would have been absolutely amazing… Nick for the impeccable sense of style and culture, and John for the enduring, inspiring love of music and groove. Perhaps also for his ability to make women swoon, but then again, that talent is not at all limited to one member! 
GoRetro: Is there another Duran Duran or 80s-related project you're working on for your next big thing? Maybe a fan fiction novel for fellow Durandies?

The archivist carefully removing paper from a poster
Golub: I distinctly remember promising Christine I would give her a rest after Beautiful Colors went to print, so no more books for a while! I know the rest of the year will likely be spent promoting the book and exploring ways to take it further. I wish I could have signed copies for everyone, so I’d love to someday travel to meet and thank the people who were kind enough to want Beautiful Colors for their own. An exhibition built around the book would also be a dream. In the meantime, I look forward to improving my website and using it to make the archive more accessible to fans around the world. With over 10,000 pages of magazine articles, I have my work cut out for me. 

There’s also the exciting prospect of Duran Duran’s upcoming fourteenth studio album, slated for release later this year! With each new album, there’s always a renewed hunt for posters, which will only intensify when the inevitable next tour gets underway. I smile when I think of how I have to prepare for each tour right along with the band! In every country, every town, and every show, history will be made; the band will weave their magic, the fans will be overjoyed, and I will be committed to capturing the memories.

Reviews of the book have been nothing short of spectacular; check out Golub's site Durandy Productions to see and learn more and to purchase the book (you can also purchase it for $75 at Amazon.)

2 comments:

  1. Great interview. I consider myself a pretty big Duran Duran fan, but Andy and his girlfriend are incredible examples of fandom.

    Also, as a very visual band, I'm sure Andy has some truly gorgeous posters. I have a couple, but they are all dirty and worn from years of not appreciating them properly (it makes me cringe). I'm so happy that people like Andy have been aware enough to preserve these artworks. I can't wait to check them out!

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  2. Thanks, Amanda! I knew that you would be interested as a Duran Duran fan, and it's very obvious that this was a true labor of love for Andy and Christine. I asked about getting a copy of the book to give to a lucky reader, but understandably he needed to be very choosey about giving out copies. So I haven't seen the actual book yet, but everything he shared with me sure looked stunning.

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