Have you ever gone browsing round the internet, come across a fascinating website and thought, 'I'd like to know more about this?' Well that's what Cherry Lipstick did when it came across www.durancollection.com. It's run by Guille Ugarte who has a great Instagram account where he shares pics of his amazing Duran collection (amongst other personal shots) as well. And he was happy to answer a few questions about himself and the Duran-related product he is proud to own.
OK, let's start with what's MISSING on your website! Why is there nothing from Paper Gods?!
I started my site back in 2000, just coinciding with the release of "Pop Trash". Since then, there was never a fixed pattern for the updates, but I must admit that during the first years I was constantly updating the website, adding new releases or even changing the layout. I got a bit lazy around 2008 after a little health issue. Since then the updates took longer. I moved from Madrid to Dublin at the very beginning of 2015. I thought it would be the end of the website, but I was unemployed at the time and I started working on a new update that spring as I had lots of releases already scanned in my hard drive, ready to be added to the site. When I was about to upload the update, the "Paper Gods" artwork was released and I decided to change the layout as well. This last update was prior to the release of the album, in July 2015 and that's why you won't find anything from "Paper Gods". Since I don't have the proper equipment here in Dublin to go on, the project is in stand-by. But I hope to continue with it soon. Although I have not updated the website for two years now, I maintain it since I know there are other collectors who use it as a reference and I'm very proud because of this.
Is the website a catalogue of what you've got, or what there is to get?
When I started using the Internet in the late 90s, I soon discovered that I was not alone. I had friends by then that were fans, also interested in collecting but not in the same level I was. I knew then other guys around the world with whom I could share my passion. Those were the first years of the CD-Rs. Of course I had swapped cassettes before for many years, but this CD-R thing was new and exciting. I loved visiting forums and other collector's websites and get in touch with them. That way I started to know about Duran Duran releases I had never imagined.
And then I realized I could help them as well making my own website since I was surprised to see lots of new stuff, but also because I had stuff I never saw in those sites. So the main idea of durancollection.com has always been... hey, this is what I have found, here you have the details... you can find other copies out there because this thing actually exists. I have found many items using the information I have got checking other collector's websites. Basically, durancollection is a catalogue of what there is to get, based on what I've got. But don't be surprised if you can't find a concrete release in my website, since I don't have everything. I wished, but I don't.
What was the last item you bought?
I have recently got the Irish cassette of the album "Rio". As it happened with the albums, the sleeve seems to be printed in the UK, but the cassette is grey and comes with green EMI paper labels, with the legend "Made in Ireland". This is my very first Irish cassette, and this finding makes me guess that the rest of the 80s albums were also released on cassette in this country.
What have you decided NOT to buy?
I have not bought the "Careless Memories" book from Denis O'Regan. I haven't seen any copy yet and I don't doubt of the quality of the final product, but I have not decided anything about it yet.
You shared your amazing cassette collection on twitter recently (see photo above) - do you have a cassette player to play them in?
Yes, of course. In Madrid I have a cassette player, but it is true that I was not playing them too often. Since the very beginning I have been always attracted by this format. Also, and mostly with the first albums, the differences between the worldwide releases are more evident which is always a bonus for a collector.
Do you have a particular favourite period to collect, one you prioritise?
No, I collect all eras with no priorities of any kind. Also side projects and solo careers.
OK, here's some quick-fire basic questions
How much 'stuff' have you got? CDs? 12" singles?
My Duran Duran record collection contains more than 5,000 items - including vinyls, cassettes, cds, videos and other obsolete formats.
What's the rarest?
Not sure if those are the rarest, but you don't see them often. I have a "Carnival" test pressing made in translucent vinyl by Capitol Records. Then there is the Portuguese pressing of "With Compliments" or this French test pressing including the A side of the "Arena" album on one side and the B side of the "Wild Boys" 12" on the other.
What's your favourite item?
To be honest, I don't have a favourite. But when I packed everything before I moved to Ireland, I went through my records almost one-by-one - I made thousands of pictures so I had stock enough for my Instagram account and I was like, omg I can't believe I have this thing or this other. There are several promos and test pressings I love, such as the German 12" test pressing of "A View To A Kill" with picture sleeve or the already mentioned "With Compliments" from Portugal. Then there is a promo Beta for "Planet Earth" in a box with a 'Moon and Stars' picture sleeve similar to the promo US 12". The signed video for "The Flame" is also a unique item, a limited edition of 75 units. There is another test pressing from Japan for the "Election Day" 12" single, with some promo sheets giving details of a tracklist for "So Red The Rose" that included a track titled "Larold Crystal". Then the stuff I have been able to get signed by the band. I have got several signed stuff over the years, but the ones I have got signed in person are unique being my favourites the UK 7" of "Come Undone", the UK set of "The Wild Boys" and the Spanish 7" of "El Diablo". Now my favourite item is a bootleg, a double vinyl for the Unstaged show that I got signed by the four earlier this month, here in Dublin.
And, finally, what's your favourite album?
I can't pick just one! Let's say I'm more a post-1985 fan and that I really miss the late 90s era.
Thank you so much to Guille for his time and sharing his collecting stories!
You are directed now to Guille's immaculately catalogued website - but be warned: you can lose several hours clicking around the various links finding so many records you never knew existed! Here are some of the photos from Guille's Instagram account, including some he mentions above.
One of his favourites - The Flame signed video
View To A Kill OST cassette with strange choice of photo
Planet Earth "Video Cassette" with funky photo
Planet Earth 12" with signed message from JT to 'Jane'
Your editor is jealous of a lot from this collection - but not this one
Signed by all 4 of the lads in Dublin on 4 September 2017 after the Electric Picnic show - double vinyl Unstaged show