Andrew Golub (a.k.a. “Durandy”) contacted me shortly after my memoir Friends of Mine: Thirty Years in the Life of a Duran Duran Fan was released. We have yet to physically meet in person, but that minor technicality hasn’t stopped us from becoming fast and good friends. He embraced Friends of Mine as an individual yet universal fan experience, and has offered me nothing but praise and support ever since.
I, on the other hand, envy his massive Duran Duran collection from afar.
For those not in the know, Durandy has amassed one of the largest, if not the largest archives of Duran Duran memorabilia in the world. His particular passion is posters (more on that in tomorrow's post).
Collecting wasn’t something I touched on in Friends of Mine. In hindsight, I wish I’d devoted a chapter to it, but I wasn’t sure where or how to fit it in, what the context would be. (Something to consider for a second edition, perhaps?) I am, at best, a collector wannabe. Even during my Duran-Duranged years throughout the eighties, I pressed my nose up against the Duran Duran merchandise glass window. There just weren’t enough pennies in my pocket to buy it all. And what I do own has been lovingly used—posters have multiple staple-holes; album sleeves are worn, faded, frayed; magazines cut up for scrapbooks, notebook collages, and art projects given away as gifts. I don't regret this. (The Velveteen Rabbit was always one of my favorite stories when I was a kid.)
I didn’t have the foresight to see what would have value thirty years down the line. (Ditto with my Smurfs and Star Wars figures collections, regrettably long gone, into the ether along with my childhood.) I didn’t buy the calendars, didn’t get my mitts on every single piece of vinyl or poster. And, most regrettably, somehow missed that Into the Arena board game. Even now, I regret not taking advantage of some of the more recent collectibles: the Christmas baubles, for one (I bought this year’s set, however).
Since writing Friends of Mine, a curious thing has happened: Whereas I expected to need an extended break from all things Duran Duran, I’ve fallen in love with them all over again, and am deriving more joy from them than ever. It’s a more pure joy and pleasure, not one covering up adolescent pain and heartbreak. It’s not helping me cope with life, but rather a celebration of life itself. And it still, always, goes back to the music.
And it’s made me want to be a collector—not an archivist, like Durandy (although I certainly wish I had that kind of drive and passion), but to attain those pieces of memorabilia and merchandise that have value to me. For instance, thanks to eBay and the resurgence of vinyl, I’ve found vinyl editions of The Wedding Album, Thank You, Liberty, and Astronaut (can’t afford Red Carpet Massacre—help a Duranie out?). I got my hands on the board game (used, in decent condition, but not as pristine as I would’ve liked). I’m using these items too (well, the albums and board game, yes. Some of the newer items, like the No Ordinary EP, for instance, I’m keeping intact). I keep bookmarking other things as well—pins, 8 x 10s, vinyl purses, etc.—with the hopes that I’ll hit the big time with my books and not have to be so picky and choosy with my purchases or bidding.
In contrast to serious collectors, what little I have is nowhere near impressive. To me, however it is gold.
When I was a teenager, my bedroom walls (and ceiling) covered in posters and pinups, I dreamed of someday owning a house with a room that would house my collection—I’d re-hang posters, display my pins, set up my turntable and store my vinyl. Then I grew up, and the house never came. My vinyl, posters, and scrapbooks went into storage. I looked back on my teenage dream and thought it was silly.
Until now. Today, I want that room all over again. I think my small, humble, amateur collection deserves it. And perhaps it’s a way to keep the spirit of Duran Duran—the music between us—eternal, while still remaining firmly ensconced in the Now.
What Durandy’s passion, commitment, and ambition for his archive has given me is the desire to put order into my collection. To assess priorities, figure out what I want it to be from here, almost treat it as a work of art. Because it just might be a living sculpture.
Tomorrow I’ll post a review of Durandy’s book Beautiful Colors: The Posters of Duran Duran. Trust me, you won’t want to miss it—the post or the book.
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I'm an author of commercial women's fiction and a writing instructor. My claim to fame: I can say the alphabet backwards.