When I was a teenager, I considered Duran Duran one of my favourite bands. The space in my study dedicated to D-squared wasn’t as big as, say, that devoted to Madonna or even the Thompson Twins, but the original New Romantics did leave their fair share of Blu-Tac markings on all four walls of that study room.
Since joining the music industry as a journalist, I’ve had the privilege of interviewing lead singer Simon Le Bon, talking about his heady days of partying; waxing lyrical with keyboardist Nick Rhodes about makeup and artwork; and even swapping notes on a flight from LA to New York with bass-player John Taylor. Yep, fellow Duranies have squealed with envy.
Only after my encounter with three members of Duran did I get a chance to enjoy them live: seeing them perform at the Future Music Festival in Sydney where Le Bon sounded somewhat croaky in the vocal department. Following that, there was a standalone gig of their’s at Sandalford Estate in Western Australia, where everything about the performance was tightened and polished to perfection: the instrumentalism, Simon’s singing, the backdrops, the visuals, indeed the whole shebang.
When it comes to putting on their own concerts, Duran Duran go all the way, to the point of ensuring that even the poster art for the gigs are slickly produced.
One ardent fan, Andrew (Durandy) Golub, has been so impressed with this artwork, he’s gone and collected pretty much the whole lot since Duran’s inception in the early 1980s. Golub has since put them together in the form of a coffee table book entitled The Music Between Us: Concert Ads of Duran Duran – and fans are as appreciative of the effort as they would be if they somehow managed to nick a lock of Andy Taylor’s hair.
Drawing from his own collection of concert posters – and he’s been to plenty of their gigs! – and also having invited fans from around the world to send artwork and stories in, Golub has compiled a gorgeous collection of graphic art, design and memoir. The book kicks off, for example, with a contribution from Birmingham fan Amanda Rogers who recalls her very first time catching Duran live at the Cedar Club, and doing as any decent fan would do by stealing the poster ad off the wall (next time, get us a set-list please).
It’s nice to see contributions in the book such as this as it doesn’t make the publication all about the author and his avid connection with the band but instead the bigger picture of a global community of fandom.
Laced throughout, of course, are slices of art that Andy has collected on the way, too, but in all, it reads as a global Duran fan effort – one that spans almost four decades of dissecting the band’s every live move and collecting the promotional artwork along the way; almost like collecting pretty dead butterflies for posterity and putting them into a big glass box.
The Music Between Us: Concert Ads Of Duran Duran is not only an impressive (and necessary) tome for fans of Duran Duran but an example of how one band’s aesthetic brilliance can be collated to show the impressive sum of their stylish legacy to date. Other pop and rock acts should take notes. Antonino Tati
‘The Music Between Us: Concert Ads Of Duran Duran’ is available for purchase through www.amazon.com.