10 incredible photos of young Duran Duran members at Birmingham’s iconic Rum Runner Club
As the band prepare for a huge homecoming show in Birmingham next year, take a look at where it all began for the band at the legendary Rum Runner in the city
The Birmingham heroes will embark on a huge UK tour in 2023.
Duran Duran were one of the biggest bands of the 80s, carving out hits such as ‘Hungry Like the Wolf’ and ‘Rio’ - but before they achieved worldwide fame, the band began their jouney at one of Birmingham’s most legendary nightclubs, the Rum Runner Club.
The former Broad Street nightclub, which lies tucked in between Walkabout and The Solomon Cutler, was once at the centre of the 80s New Romantic scene here in Brum.
The Rum Runner was first opened in 1964 by the Berrow family as a nightclub and quickly became the place for musicians and celebrities to hang out and where the hard rock band Magnum had a residence before going on to international fame. Following a trip to New York’s famous Studio 54 by brothers Michael and Paul Berrow, the club was then rebranded with a new music policy introduced which led to the immense success of the venue.
In 1978, Duran Duran brought in a demo tape, and were offered a rehearsal space and jobs around the club: drummer Roger Taylor working as a glass collector, guitarist Andy Taylor cooking and maintaining the interior, bassist John Taylor working as a bouncer, and keyboardist Nick Rhodes DJing. The group became the resident band at the club.
Known as the birthplace of Simon Le Bon and co’s band, and renowned for its flamboyance and ‘anything goes’ attitude, the site of the Rum Runner has now been recognised for its contribution to Birmingham’s nightlife & music culture. The club has received a blue plaque due to its musical history.
The award celebrates the legacy of the former nightclub which was once the stomping ground of celebrity fashion designers as well as members of The Beat, Dexys Midnight Runners and DJ Dick (Richard Whittingham), the aforementioned Duran Duran, and many more.
Jez Collins of the Birmingham Music Archive said: ”It’s fantastic that the Rum Runner is being recognised with a Blue Plaque from the Birmingham Civic Society, following on from the award for the DJ Tony De Vit.”
So, let’s take a look at some of the best photos of the Rum Runner Club in its heyday with the band inside.