|Passion, perseverance, persistence….|
Andy continues,“Christine and I have been working on the book for over six years. I’m not entirely sure either of us (especially her) realized how much work would be involved, or how much the experience would change us. Weekend after weekend was spent behind the camera, in front of the computer, or transporting posters to and from the archive. Foot rubs and back rubs often became the most popular currency, used to squeeze just a little more photography out of Christine before the end of a day. I had no shame. The color correction process was possibly most arduous, as Christine worked to make each poster image accurately represent its true colors. I think she had some words for the band when it came to matching all the pinks from the last album campaign! In the end, she did a spectacular job and we made sure the colors were popping off the printed pages.” Hmm. Maybe I should have interviewed Christine as well. I wonder how she feels about the journey she’s taken and committing herself to a project with such fortitude. She sounds like the perfect partner, and what I love most about this story is that it is clear that Andy’s passion became shared by Christine – in a huge way. Fandom in action, most definitely.
|Nine pallets…1000 books!!! Well done!|
The book is not quite ready for purchase, but I have been told that they are getting Durandy’s site ready to handle sales. “There will be 1000 copies of the book produced. The price and all details related to sales will be released when the book is closer to being ready for purchase. I will say that careful consideration went into the decision on price. I would like to see this book end up in the hands of every fan who has reveled in the Duran Duran concert experience or felt their life enriched by the band’s music.”
As someone who is in full-support of this project, I can and will personally attest to Andy’s words. Let’s face it, we all know of a recently mentioned book project that is clearly out of this world, price-wise. Unattainable by all but the wealthy amongst us. This is not something that Andy wishes for his book. He didn’t take on this project as a way to finance his passion for collecting, but rather as a way to share his collection with all fellow fans. In fact, I had a phone conversation with Andy a month or so back, and I know it has taken convincing on the part of not only well-intentioned friends and people such as myself, but also Christine to not decide to give this book away…which I will reiterate: he absolutely should not do! I do not know the pricing on the book, but as I said before, given my discussions with Andy, I will still put my own vinyl collection on the line when I say it will be far more affordable and reasonably priced than other recently mentioned books. It was no exaggeration that Andy had to be talked into charging for it at all…and besides the plain and simple fact that he shouldn’t give his books away, there was other reasoning to take into account.
Andy has spent far, far more than any of us will ever know to attain (and maintain) this collection. Storing an archive is not a simple, inexpensive investment. However, Andy does this willingly, and happily. While many of us spend our life savings to go on road trips and tours, vying for front row tickets, meet and greets and photos…Andy collects objects that, without his care, would simply disappear. Then he takes meticulous care of them, ensuring their preservation from the moment they enter his guardianship. That alone costs far more than the face value of any book. When one day in the future the touring stops and there is nothing but music and memories left behind, these posters will not only be a telling tale of the band’s history, but also of our own. I hope to one day see Andy’s work in a museum. Who knows, maybe there will be a Museum of Fandom somewhere….
Special thanks to Andy Golub and Christine Born – best of luck ahead!
I distinctly remember hearing about Durandy in probably 2004 or 2005. All I really knew was that there was a fan up in the Pacific Northwest who collected Duran posters. I won’t lie, I had heard he was obsessed with amassing his collection and that to some, he seemed a bit extreme. Now, I say that with a smile on my face because the fact is – I get it. To many, I’m a blogger in the community who is trying to get a book published. Pretty accurate. What many don’t know is that prior to blogging, I spent about five years getting a specialized degree in Gemology combined with a certification in Appraisal Studies. My emphasis is in Decorative Arts Appraisal – which covers a huge area from Gems and Jewelry to various kinds of art work. So, Andy’s collection is of special interest to someone like me – and not just because I happen to be a Duran Duran fan. One thing I learned very quickly about collectors, especially collectors of paper ephemera (items that are meant to be used for short periods, like tickets, pamphlets, posters, etc.) – is that by the very virtue of what they collect, being meticulous or extreme not only comes with the territory, it is very much required. A collector must be on top of getting what they want since the items are “available” for very limited windows of time, and collecting paper goods requires a very specific type of care and storage, as you’ll soon read. What Andy has taken the time, energy, patience and passion to acquire is simply astounding, and while I know there may be some that still can’t quite understand his passion and diligence, I am nothing but amazed.
|An elusive poster – do you have this?|
Andy’s collection includes “over 10,000 pages of articles, 200+ published books and hundreds of posters.” It also “encompasses a varied array of unique artifacts, including a pair of Japanese binoculars, briefcase and a Las Vegas casino table cover (which fits well with the Hard Rock casino chip). The memorabilia is preserved under archival conditions, inside acid-free bags and boxes or mylar sleeves for the large posters. Posters larger than the mylar sleeves have been mounted onto linen by my ‘poster doctor’ for long term conservation with minimal stress on the paper.”
For the uninitiated, acid-free storage is absolutely necessary. You see, paper is naturally absorbent – and our typical surrounding air is contaminated with all sorts of chemicals and acids that while not necessarily harmful for humans, rapidly degenerates paper. As it is, posters are printed with inks that are not naturally pigmented ink – their ink may very well contain acids that do not hold up well over the long term, so storing these special works of art in acid-free conditions along with consistent, non-extreme temperatures and a dry environment is key. Moisture, heat, chemicals, even the acid from our own skin (i.e. fingerprints!) permanently damages and ruins paper artifacts.
Andy has learned from his conservation mistakes the hard way. “I wish I had never gone through a phase of laminating article pages. Ugh. I learned that’s one of the worst things you can do, since the lamination is not archival and can definitely affect the paper over time. Magazine pages are usualy printed on cheap paper with cheap chemicals, and lamination essentially seals the paper up in its own bad juices. Paper is organic and needs to breathe, although that means it can absorb elements in the environment – so smoking around your collection is also a no-no.”
With all of the challenges that collecting paper ephemera provides, what drew him in this direction? “I am a visual person, always drawn to dramatic presentation and vivid colors. Posters are specifically designed to capture attention and ignite the imagination, with a usually limited purpose – this makes them a particularly elusive and extremely valuable quarry. Posters also represent memories and milestones, for the band as well as the fans, so I feel as if I’m working to preserve history through a medium that would otherwise be lost in time. People visiting my archive have seen mementos from some concert in their past, and the reaction can be emotional as fond memories are recalled. It’s the fans who continue to remind me of the value in capturing these fleeting moments. The archive may commemorate Duran Duran’s history, but the memories inside belong to us all.”
What Andy says here is very true, and is of particular value because he truly has assigned himself as the steward of the archive. It is not an easy job and while upon first glance may feel as though it’s as simple as going down to the local record shop and scanning posters – the job goes well-beyond what we might ever see. He’s become an archivist and our own historical preservationist. What is slightly shocking to me, is that the band has yet to really see his collection. “The band has yet to visit the archive, but they have seen some of the rarer posters in my care. I’ll never forget their reactions! For a few Pacific Northwest shows, Christine and I assembled commemorative posters with a collage of poster images spanning the band’s career. Having the band remember cherished shows from their past or view comprehensive proof of how far they have come is a beautiful experience. I could read it all on their faces.”
His collection is daunting – this coming from someone who takes great pride in the four or five posters she has hanging in her closet and the few tour books she’s thought to keep along the way. I can’t imagine the work and time that Andy has taken with his archives, in the very same way that many people say they can’t imagine writing a blog each day. How did Andy first begin? “I would love to say I was born with the band in my heart and a poster in my hand, but alas, I only discovered Duran in late 1984. I suppose I’ve been making up for it ever since. I recall blossoming into a rosy-cheeked, card-carrying Duranie around the time of my Bar Mitzvah.” Like many of us, Duran came to Andy at the time of his ascent into teenagehood, and became a part of his life in much the same way as the rest of us. “I will never forget hearing The Reflex for the first time, being absolutely mesmerized by the sweeping keyboard melodies, catchy refrains and harmonized chorus. It was like nothing I had ever hear before, and when I saw the video…my imagination found a home. Each band member had a personality that translated through the posters, and along with the music, it was a potent combination. Resistance was futile. I fondly remember a childhood friend sitting down with me to clarify who Duran Duran was, going over a fold-out poster and quizzing me until I had it down.”
Heck, I still do that with my children! I call it “Music Appreciation Time”. I am happy to say that my youngest has it down pat and takes pride in calling the other two out on their mistakes!
Durandy has not, however, been to as many shows as many might think – he’s seen eleven shows since 1987. “My archival focus keeps me at home when the band tours, methodically tracking down posters as the band moves from town to town. The hunt often comes with only a small window of opportunity to secure success before promotional material is lost or destroyed, so I revel in fans’ photos and stories from the road! I am deeply impressed by, and thrilled for everyone who travels far and wide to catch the magic on tour! When Christine (ed. note: his fiancé) and I have caught a show, it always counts as one of life’s greatest experiences and reminds me why I do what I do.”
I completely agree. If ever we waiver about writing this blog daily (and we do from time to time), seeing the band reenergizes and gives us a renewed sense of focus every time.
|A life-changing moment, shared with the band.|
Almost every fan I know has a favorite photo or piece of memorabilia that they would rescue from a burning fire. However, what would you do with over 10,000 pieces from which to choose?! “I’ve been asked this question before and it never gets any easier to answer! A few personal photos with the band might be a logical choice, but I might be more tempted to stay and try to put the fire out.” I can imagine that, but my advice Andy would be to maybe grab photos that marked a personal event not long ago, pictured at the side, and get out!
There are pieces though, that at least historically, strike unbelievable chords. “I am very proud – and a bit amazed – at having so many posters from the band’s earliest years, when they were just a supporting act or starting out on their own. Two posters from Hazel O’Connor’s tour still give me goose bumps, and two Rum Runner posters are huge trophies for the archive. The further time passes, and the more Duran Duran accomplishes, the more significance these posters take on. I’ve always felt that one can better appreciate where the band is now, when one appreciates where they’ve been.”
Amanda and I humbly agree. Even in our own experience, we spent time walking around the city of Birmingham and even the extremely modest “Cheapside” area where the band started, back in the days of Andy Wickett. Seeing those buildings, knowing where they began and what mileage had been covered since, it’s really remarkable.
|Anyone have the Coca-Cola poster?|
Speaking of mementos, I had to wonder how on earth Andy comes across the pieces he adds to his collection. “Meeting and keeping in touch with fans around the world continues to be a wonderful resource for the poster hunt, especially when the band go on tour. I once told John, when the band gears up for a tour, I have to get ready right along with them – every date presents a potential poster to find! I am always deeply touched when fans tell me they would like to contribute to my archive, just to be a part of it or because they know their mementos will be properly cared for. I can’t imagine a bigger compliment than that.”
|How about this V Festival poster?|
So this archive is not just dependent upon Andy – it is dependent upon each of us, however
we wish to help (if at all possible). I don’t think that Andy would disagree that to a limited degree, he sees this as a sort of communal undertaking. Which reminds me that I have something that I might be able to add to this collection – a backdrop/banner from the Astronaut signing here in Los Angeles…
Tomorrow continues with the second half of our interview with Durandy – which features some VERY special news regarding a project that he has spent the past six years putting together!
By the way – if you happen to know where Andy can find The Reflex, Coca-cola or V Festival posters, drop us a line here at Daily Duranie and we’ll be sure to put you in touch with Andy!!