LAST WEEK’S GEMINI
June means birthdays aplenty for Duran Duran, with John on the 20th and Nick on the 8th (and Dom in between!) If you’re a regular reader of CC you might have seen JT’s feature last month, so without further ado, let’s take a look at a few collectibles hopefully worthy of someone with Nick’s keen eye for arts and antiquities!
This photo was taken by Fin Costello at the Rum Runner Club in 1981. This was sold in packets via the fan club, and like some of the others in the series, hasn’t been heavily circulated.
INTERFERENCE is Nick’s photography book, which was published in 1984. Images from the book were shown at Hamilton’s, a gallery in London. Between the book and the show, there’s a great range of collectibles, including signed posters. Much harder to find is this unsigned version, used for promotion and contests.
Nick has always had an interest in the latest music technology, both on stage and in the studio. One interesting way this love manifested itself was Nick’s foray into producing other bands. A chance meeting with singer Limahl led to Nick doing co-production on the KAJAGOOGOO single TOO SHY, released in January, 1983. The song was a big success, reaching number one in a few countries and top ten all over the globe. This twelve inch single is from Canada.
Here’s an oddity: something everyone could collect, but only a limited number of people will actually get to use. Nick has played Roland synthesizers since the early days, building a special relationship with the Japanese company that has led to some interesting collaborations. In 2015 he programmed a collection of sounds for the then brand new Roland JD-XA. You can download them here.
For those of us not lucky enough to own a Roland JD-XA, you can see a video of Nick with one here.
And finally, Nick’s synth setup from the PAPER GODS tour, where you can see the Roland JD-XA and its little brother, the JD-Xi
One of the coolest things to come out of Duran Duran’s side projects has to be The Devils, Nick’s collaboration with Stephen Duffy, which took place loosely between the end of the Pop Trash tour in June 2001, and the first reunion shows in Japan in July 2003. Based on a cassette of the first ever live Duran show from April 5, 1979 that Duffy had found in a desk drawer, and a fortuitous meeting with Nick not long after, The Devils looked back to the earliest incarnation of the band. However, rather than put out the material as it was and ride a wave of nostalgia, Nick set aside time to re-connect with Duffy and re-record the songs. The result was DARK CIRCLES, released in the UK on July 15, 2002 and in the US on May 6, 2003 on the TAPE MODERN label. Here’s the UK cd.
The Devils project culminated with a live gig at the LIVE MUSIC HALL in Cologne, Germany on February 17, 2003, which was recorded by Arte TV for the show MUSIC PLANET 2NITE. A highlight of the gig was the use of John Taylor’s school geography trip slides in the live visuals. Duran folklore has it that those earliest gigs in 1979 featured visual effects provided by those very slides! If you are sad you missed such a fantastic event, you can find a low res version on YouTube.
These posters were hung around Cologne to promote the event.
Here’s Nick’s cover in the limited edition set of five seven inches of THE WILD BOYS from the UK. Note the price sticker on the upper right corner, one of the most common things a collector encounters when looking for the elusive ‘mint condition’ copy. Attempting to remove the sticker is usually a bad idea, as you might leave residue or in worst case damage the sleeve. Better to have a ‘near mint with small sticker’ rating than ‘fair or good with bad cover damage.’
Nick, Simon and Roger’s 1985 Arcadia project has always been a fan favourite. The album SO RED THE ROSE was many people's introduction to the work of American artist Tony Viramontes, whose illustrations adorned the cover of the album as well as the band portraits on the inner sleeve. Sadly, Tony passed away in 1988, but his visual legacy lives on in the wonderful 2013 book BOLD, BEAUTIFUL AND DAMNED: THE WORLD OF FASHION ILLUSTRATOR TONY VIRAMONTES. Here’s the cover of SO RED THE ROSE, with an alternate version Tony created for the band to consider.
Finally, how could we not end with Nick's card and sticker from the Topps trading card set from 1985. 3 cards, 3 stickers and a piece of gum came in each pack. A full set consists of 33 cards and 33 stickers. If you find a pack, for the sake of your teeth, please don’t eat the gum! Happy belated Nick! Here’s hoping the birthday lottery with JT goes your way next year!
Created by Derek Supryka // Edited by Katy Krassner // Pictures by Derek Supryka