Music is a powerful force. It’s something that engrains into life—it’s able to trigger the thoughts, feelings and memories of a time.
Many people say when they hear a specific song, they feel immediately transported back in time. Hearing Cyndi Lauper’s “Time After Time,” might spark memories of high school proms, Beastie Boys’ “Fight For Your Right,” might trigger feelings of teenage rebellion, or Prince’s “Nothing Compares 2 U,” might rekindle feelings and memories of a past relationhip.
Music has a way of connecting to those moments—those feelings—unlike many other things.
Andrew Golub of Bellevue is not impervious to the effects of music.
He was about 12 years old when he first heard Duran Duran.
He was sitting in the car in the parking lot of Tower Records. “The Reflex” barrelled into his ears.
“I think I must have sat there for a couple hours. It hooked me. It was nothing like I’d ever heard before. It introduced new imagery, new sounds…I was captivated,” Golub said. “It hit me with the force of like 1,000 suns.”
That was it. He was a goner.
Now, more than 30 years later, Golub (formerly a legal assistant) has amassed what is maybe the world’s largest collection of Duran Duran memorabilia.
Golub, also known as “Durandy” to Duran Duran fans — also called “Duranies”— has spent more than half of his life collecting anything and everything Duran Duran.
A Duranie is born
After hearing “The Reflex,” Golub wanted more. The music moved him in a way he had never experienced before.
As an awkward teenager having just moved to Olympia from his Magnolia home, Golub struggled with the life change. Duran Duran became his refuge.
“I was an awkward teenager trying to find my voice,” he said. “They were just irresistible.”
Golub returned to his Magnolia home just one year later. However, Duran Duran’s Simon Le Bon, John Taylor, Nick Rhodes, Andy Taylor and Roger Taylor came with him — in their makeup-wearing, headband-wearing, hair-sprayed glory.
Golub remembers scouring through teenybopper magazines for any and all Duran Duran articles and photos. He ripped out several articles and photos from various magazines and arranged them into one magazine.
“They had a firm hold on their image. They created this brand that was irresistible,” he said.
He presented his makeshift magazine to his mother who, of course, realized what had happened, and made him pay for the magazines he damaged.
As Golub’s fascination with the band grew, so did his collection. As a teeneager, Golub remembers being faced with the dilemma of how to arrange his Duran Duran posters upon his bedroom ceiling, as it was the only remaining non-Duran Duran postered-up surface.
He recalls one poster in particular. It was a photo of the band standing backstage in a hallway.
“It was bigger than life,” he said. “It was like I was unfolding the picture of the band to the soundtrack to my life.”
Overcoming fan adversity
Golub faced backlash for his emphatic love for Duran Duran. He said he was often made to feel like his enthusiasm for the band was a problem. Concerns from friends and family developed as his collection grew. However, Golub has never gone into debt through his collections.
His sexuality was also questioned. Although he is engaged to his longtime girlfriend, many people assume he is gay — not that there’s anthing wrong with that, he said.
Golub has even faced bullying from other “Duranies.” In previous articles, blogs and online groups, other Duran Duran fans have attacked him for his 30-plus-year pursuit.
He almost boxed up his collection in 1989.
“I began to feel like my interests weren’t valid. I thought maybe I shouldn’t do this anymore,” he said.
However, he realized he was doing something that was bigger than himself.
“You know, it takes a lot of courage to be yourself,” he said. “It’s something to defend, honor, protect and ensure.”
To Golub, the archive is a safe place for Duranies to be themselves.
“Duran Duran is a positive force for people,” he said. “Duran Duran has helped people through life’s challenges. And that’s what keeps me connected to my own story.”
Meeting the band
As Golub’s Duran Duran collection grew, he channeled his passion into creating relationships with local radio stations, staying in touch with the band’s fan community and lending a fraction of his collection to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Museum in Cleveland.
His efforts with STAR 101.5 paid off in March 2005 when DJ Budwill hosted KOMO/4’s “Northwest Afternoon” show and had the band as his guests. Golub created Duran Duran factoid flash cards for him.
Golub’s diligence in forming relationships with the radio stations has not been in vain. Over the years, he’s received Duran Duran items leftover from band visits to the studio.
While Golub is a dedicated fan, he’s not the type to follow Duran Duran on tour. He said he knows some fans save up all their money to follow their favorite band on tour, or, just do whatever they can to be near their idols. But not Golub. He has been to about a dozen Duran Duran concerts, and he has met the band a few times — the first in 1999. However, he loves them enough to give them their space.
The band knows him and of his archive. Golub said they were surprised to learn the breadth of his collection. Some of the items Golub has, the band has never really seen. Golub said the band considers him as their unofficial official archivist
Golub’s Duran Duran archive inhabits a 10-foot-by-20-foot storage unit in Bellevue. Nearly every inch of it houses meticulously organized Duran Duran memorabilia. Everything is arranged in order, whether it’s chronological, by country or by band member. He keeps track of everything: oversized 60-by-40-inch posters rolled in canvas, photos stored in special Mylar sleeves, a board game, vinyl pencil cases, jackets, buttons, stickers and socks.
Archive visitors are often agasp when they begin to realize just how much he has.
“Even those who have made multiple visits to the archive have maybe seen 60-70 percent of everything,” he said.
Golub has only been able to display part of his archive twice — the first was a 2001 exhibition he put on at the Art/Not Terminal Gallery called, “Duran Duran—A Retrospective” with 160 posters taking up three floors. A second smaller exhibit took place in 2007.
When someone visits the archive, Golub does his best to cater to their interests. For instance, he will pull out memorabilia that features more of a fan’s favorite member, or a fan’s favorite era of the band. Each person’s visit to the archive is unique to them. Golub gets as much out of it as they do.
It’s not just the stuff or even the music that draws people to Golub’s archive.
“[Duran Duran] defies culture and distance,” he said. “It’s the music between us.”
Golub has had people from across the country come just to see his archive.
“I invite them to share their memories,” he said. “I like being able to zero in on the little kid inside them. It’s something everyone can relate to — it’s a powerful force. It’s happiness at its most basic level.”
To him, he feels like he’s making a difference.
“It brings people together,” he said. “I know what it’s like to feel alone. We’ve become a family.”
Collection becomes archive
Golub began collecting Duran Duran merchandise in the 1980s, but he didn’t start seriously archiving his collection until around 2001.
Through a personal mentor, he began to realize he was doing something bigger than himself. It was evident after his first exhibition.
“I began to realize I was building something here. I was filling holes in the band’s history. It just evolved with the collection…an unconventional path,” he said. “People were telling me that what I was doing was important, and that was really validating.”
Golub self-published his first book, “Beautiful Colors: The Posters of Duran Duran,” in 2013. It took him nearly six years to complete it.
The book examines Duran Duran’s career through posters. From 1978 to present day, the band’s evolution is chronicled with rare and vintage promotional posters from Golub’s collection. Tours, tribulations and triumphs are charted as each album is released, viewed through an array of art and photography. Highlights in the book include posters from Duran Duran’s formative years, previously unseen posters that were never put into production, insights from artists on their creations and a foreword by Nick Rhodes (a founding member of Duran Duran).
A few years later, Golub self-published his second book, “The Music Between Us: Concert Ads of Duran Duran,” in 2016.
The book examines Duran Duran’s influence on audiences around the world, seen through the lens of fans’ concert memories. With rare handbills, flyers and advertisements as context from Golub’s archive, four decades of Duran Duran’s live experience are quantified in the words of those who attended specific shows. Whether describing the first time ever seeing the band, or recounting frenzied efforts to catch John Taylor’s eye on stage, fans reveal themselves with remarkable humor, poignant candor and absolute pride in their devotion to Duran Duran. A music icon’s history comes to life in the voices that speak the loudest: the loyal Duranies.
Aug. 10 was Duran Duran Appreciation Day. According to the Duran Duran Wiki, the day was created by a DJ in Michigan whose birthday is Aug. 10. The band loved the idea and has used it as an opportunity to reach out to its fans through Facebook and Twitter.
Golub organized the third annual Duran Duran Appreciation Day last Saturday. To his knowledge, he is the only one to create a formal celebration for the day.
For the first year, he and his close Duranie friend Jennifer Walsh stood outside in downtown Seattle and held signs exclaiming their joy for the holiday.
“We got a few honks and a few cheers,” Walsh said. “It was a lot of fun.”
The second year yielded a larger response. About 12 people, including Golub and Walsh, stood outside, played Duran Duran music and danced on the street corner with their hand-made signs.
“It was a blast,” she said. “I think Pearl Jam was in town for a concert and a lot of people were walking around wearing Pearl Jam shirts. But when we showed up people were kind of confused, but then random people — including Pearl Jam fans — started singing along and dancing with us.”
This year was bigger and better. Golub had at least 35 people tell him they’re coming to celebrate. And they’re even coming from out of state.
“I’ve made T-shirts for this year’s appreciation day,” he said. “I’ve had about 182 orders for shirts.”
Golub and Walsh were excited for this year’s celebration as it gave them an opportunity to be with their “Duramily.”
“The music brings us together,” Walsh said. “It’s something we can all relate to—it’s all been a huge part of our lives and it’s powerful.”
The Duran Duran Appreciation Day took place from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Tilikum Place Park and concluded with a performance of Duran Duran hits by Tiger Tiger at the Sunset Tavern in Ballard. Tiger Tiger is made up of the members of ‘80s new wave cover band, Nite Wave.
“It [was] nothing but love,” Golub said. “It’s important to honor who you are, express yourself and celebrate it.”
To learn more about Golub and his archive, visit his website http://durandy.com/. Golub encourages people to reach out to him to learn more about his archive or to visit. He can be reached through his Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/durandysarchive/.