A Man and His Band

With his new book, Andy Golub elevates the love of Duran Duran to an art form.

In most cases, one could safely assume a storage unit packed wall-to-wall with stuff to be a good setting for an episode of Storage Wars. The Duran Duran “archive,” however—a 10´ by 20´ Eastside storage facility filled with more than 10,000 articles of band memorabilia—does not fit this description. Each item in this exhaustive collection of buttons, posters, photos, and miscellany—like a bottle of “Some Like It Hot” sauce and an (unused) condom—is meticulously categorized by size and country of origin, faithfully maintained and organized by the band’s biggest fan, Andy Golub, aka “Durandy.”

“I started my archive to commemorate the band and preserve their history,” Golub says, who began collecting Duran Duran memorabilia in 1984 when he was 12. He now finances his efforts through a day job as a legal assistant, and shares his small museum with other Duran Duran fans—Duranimals, as he calls them—as often as he can. In addition to a few regular visitors, the archive sees 10 to 15 new fans a year, and Golub shuttles each one to the site personally and walks them through the collection. A self-described ’80s-music fan with an eye for design, Golub says “It was a combination of visual elements and the careful attention the band paid to its image and its look that captured my imagination.”

That evolution of style is represented nowhere better than in Golub’s hundreds of posters, his area of special expertise. Last year, with the help of his fiance, photographer Christine Born, he assembled his favorites—a whopping 543 images—into a carefully curated coffee-table book, Beautiful Colors: The Posters of Duran Duran. In the book’s introduction, he writes that “Graphic design was employed as a professional signature, enabling otherwise utilitarian posters to become an extension of Duran’s identity.”

The glossy hardcover book chronicles the band’s many styles, phases, and world tours from its early beginnings in the late ’70s through 2012, most accompanied by expert commentary. A glowing forward by the band’s own Nick Rhodes acknowledges the importance of posters in its history and Durandy’s role in “conserving and archiving” them. “When John Taylor and I played our very first show, the poster design was of utmost importance. It was the first aesthetic statement of who we were, or perhaps who we were aspiring to be . . . To this day, he and I still agonise over images, colour schemes, typefaces and stylisation relating to every aspect of our band’s visual presentation.”

Asked if the other three band members—John Taylor, Roger Taylor, and Simon Le Bon—are equally appreciative of his unusually focused support, Golub says “They put their full wind into my sails,” noting that he was backstage with the band when he proposed to his fiance and Simon Le Bon jokingly advised Born to ‘think about it.’ ”

Some would say Golub’s obsessed, but he prefers the word “passionate.” “I have tried to channel my passion into creating an experience for others,” he says. “I’ve never gone into debt, never broken the law . . . For me [commemorating the band] is about the history, the memorabilia, preserving things that would be lost in time . . . some people won’t be able to relate and that’s OK, but I’ve never lost sight of the real goal: to be able to save and preserve their history.”

His book—which sells for $75 on Amazon and through his site, durandy.com—is the ultimate expression of that passion. And radio personalities like Dori Monson and Josh Kerns of KIRO, who’ve interviewed the superfan, agree that Durandy’s devotion is delightful. “Dori and the rest of us have decided we are jealous of Durandy . . . not because of his musical tastes, but his passion,” wrote Kerns in a 2011 blog post. He then quoted Monson as saying ‘I wish I could get as excited about any night as you were about Friday night’s Duran Duran concert.”

“It’s a very short life we all have,” Golub says. “It’s important to embrace the things you love.”

gelliott@seattleweekly.com

Golub will sign copies of  Beautiful Colors at ’80s cover band Nite Wave’s show this Saturday, March 15. Tractor Tavern, 5213 Ballard Ave. N.W., 789-3599, tractortavern.com. 9 p.m. $10.

 
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