Paul Gorman is…

Barney Bubbles designs go regional at the National Museum Cardiff + Ludlow Fringe Art Trail

Jun 16th, 2015
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//A doozy: This point-of-sale design by Barney Bubbles for Elvis Costello & The Attractions’ 1980 LP Get Happy!! is among rare rock posters on show at Mod Lang in Ludlow. Photo: Paul Bradshaw//

The regions are where it’s at these days, so we are told, and naturally Barney Bubbles designs can be found in the thick of it.

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Malcolm McLaren in Witches trenchcoat on the steps of the British Museum 1983

Jun 9th, 2015

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This portrait of Malcolm McLaren was captured among the columns outside the entrance to London’s august British Museum by Andy Rosen in 1983.

In the photograph taken during promotion of the Duck Rock album, which was released at the start of 1983, McLaren sported a rare trenchcoat design from the Witches collection he and Vivienne Westwood debuted on the catwalk that spring.

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Richard Hambleton + Malcolm McLaren = Witches x The Shadow Man

May 27th, 2015
Malcolm McLaren posing on the streets of NYC. April 1983. © Bob Gruen / www.bobgruen.com Please contact Bob Gruen's studio to purchase a print or license this photo. email: websitemail01@aol.com phone: 212-691-0391

//Malcolm McLaren and Andrea Linz with a Hambleton Shadow Man in the West Village, NYC, April 1983. © Bob Gruen/www.bobgruen.com. Please contact Bob Gruen’s studio to purchase a print or license this photo. Email: websitemail01@aol.com Phone: + 212-691-0391//

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//Witches Shadow Man skirt, 1983. Malcolm McLaren, Vivienne Westwood and Richard Hambleton. This image (c) www.paulgormanis.com//

An under-acknowledged art world connection forged by Malcolm McLaren during his fashion design partnership with Vivienne Westwood was to the godfather of street art, conceptual artist Richard Hambleton.

During his forays in New York in the early 80s, McLaren was struck by Hambleton’s eerie representations of The Shadow Man figure; there was one on a wall in Bethune Street in the West Village, near the studio of McLaren’s photographer friend and ally Bob Gruen.

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C’est C Bon: Nick Knight’s fond memories of Barney Bubbles

May 7th, 2015
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//The wacky picture is a photo-booth shot of Bubbles on the Stiff Records’ summer day-out in 1977. Courtesy Caramel Crunch//

Photographer Nick Knight has posted a fond tribute to Barney Bubbles.

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//Back and front cover, C’Est C Bon, Carlene Carter, F-Beat/Epic, 1983//

Among the contributions Knight made to designs by the late graphics maestro was one of Bubbles’ last, for Carlene Carter’s 1983 LP C’est C Bon.

 

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I’m featured in the Almost Famous slot on Rock’s Back Pages

May 1st, 2015

Tender + tough: Jean-Francois Carly’s Surrender After portraits

Feb 12th, 2015
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//Rebecca. Photo: Jean-Francois Carly//

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//Ale. Photo: Jean-Francois Carly//

Surrender After is the title of photographer/director Jean-Francois Carly’s show of nudes opening at Forge & Co in east London next week.

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Roberta Bayley x Richard Hell x Jake Riviera + 1 Cadillac Eldorado = Road Trip USA in the new GQ

Feb 9th, 2015
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//Polaroids taken on the journey by Bayley courtesy of the NYU Richard Hell Archive//

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//Opening spread of my feature in GQ UK March 2015//

“I’m forever grateful for Jake for giving us the opportunity. It was magical that he wanted to encourage Roberta and me to use our abilities in a new way. Just another example of his beautiful style.”
Richard Hell

The new issue of GQ UK contains my piece about the quixotic 1980 US road trip undertaken by Roberta Bayley and Richard Hell in a Cadillac Eldorado belonging to Jake Riviera (who conceived and sponsored the journey).

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Jaunty: Barry Plummer’s striking photos of Malcolm McLaren + Vivienne Westwood in the Wild West End spring 1979

Feb 3rd, 2015
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//McLaren specifically requested Plummer photograph him outside 7 Denmark Street, London WC1; Tin Pan Alley Club was one of the centres of Britain’s music business dating back to the 30s: “Some lads came along and Malcolm was pulling up his kilt in good-natured fun.” Photo: © Barry Plummer//

These jaunty photographs were taken by Barry Plummer in the spring of 1979 for a Melody Maker interview with Malcolm McLaren about the just-released soundtrack for the Sex Pistols’ biopic The Great Rock N Roll Swindle (beset by financial and creative difficulties, the film wasn’t released for another year).

McLaren was accompanied by Vivienne Westwood; they made a striking pair in mixed and matched one-off and traditional pieces with a selection of clothing from their King’s Road shop Seditionaries. By now the transition away from punk – left behind when the Sex Pistols split a year earlier – was becoming evident.

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//Westwood and McLaren looking the bomb at the entrance to 98 Shaftesbury Avenue, W1, home to McLaren’s management company Glitterbest. Photo © Barry Plummer//


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Ton-Up Boys + Girls, The Ace Cafe and the 59 Club: John “Hoppy” Hopkins’ favourite photographs

Jan 31st, 2015
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//Photo 1964: © John “Hoppy” Hopkins//

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//Photo 1964: © John “Hoppy” Hopkins//

John “Hoppy” Hopkins – who died yesterday aged 77 – was the photographer and activist best known for his associations with London’s counterculture of the 1960s and 70s, having been a founder of the radical London Free School which in turn led to the Notting Hill Carnival, a contributor to the pacifist paper Peace News, and a pivotal figure in the establishment of both the underground paper International Times and the psychedelic club UFO.

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//Photo 1964: © John “Hoppy” Hopkins//

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//Photo 1964: © John “Hoppy” Hopkins//

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//Photo 1964: © John “Hoppy” Hopkins//

Hopkins was also a leading light of the squatting movement and a brave proselytiser for cannabis usage; electing for trial by jury for possession he was labelled “a pest to society” by the judge and sentenced to nine months in jail.

According to his friend Jeff Dexter, Hopkins’ favourites among his own photographs were of London rockers, those Ton-Up habitues of the North Circular’s Ace Cafe and Paddington’s 59 Club whose outsider cool and tribal clanship he documented with acuity.

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//Photo 1964: © John “Hoppy” Hopkins//

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//Photo 1964: © John “Hoppy” Hopkins//

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//Photo 1964: © John “Hoppy” Hopkins//

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//Photo 1964: © John “Hoppy” Hopkins//

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//Photo 1964: © John “Hoppy” Hopkins//

In this excerpt from an interview for a 2009 exhibition, Hopkins talks about how he became a photographer and the rocker photo-shoots:

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Joe Stevens’ best photograph: Tousled Bowie at a moment of transformation

Jan 29th, 2015
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//Just over CSM’s shoulder: David Bowie and a railway guard, Paris, May 3, 1973. Photo (c) Joe Stevens//

“In those minutes, you could see he really was about to become a major pop star.”

In The Guardian today, photographer pal and hero Joe Stevens has picked a favourite image from his six-decade career: a slightly tousled David Bowie and a French railway guard at a Paris station.

According to my copy of Kevin Cann’s definitive Bowie diary Any Day Now this would have been May 3, 1973; Bowie had travelled by train from Japan, on the Trans-Siberian Express through Russia, Poland and Germany in the company of the late NYC legend Leee Black Childers and Bowie’s friend and backing vocalist Geoff MacCormack.

Stevens’ captured Bowie at a moment of transformation; alighting blearily in dress-down mode from the train, the rock star was met by wife Angie and a gaggle of glamorous friends. In a matter of minutes he had changed into the Freddie Buretti-designed outfit seen here and was swept away to a reception and press conference in the Rouge Room of the George V Hotel.

Just in shot – and identifiable by his frizz and shoulder bag strap – is Joe’s NME compadre (and another pal and hero) Charlie Murray.

Read Joe’s reminiscence here.

I am proud to say I edited Kevin Cann’s book Any Day Now: David Bowie The London Years 1947-74. It is a thoroughgoing delight and highly recommended – if you don’t already own it, purchase a copy here.

Charles Shaar Murray wrote a wonderful preface to my music press history In Their Own Write (which he ended with the following note to me: “You bastard. You’ll be hunted down and strangled like a dog for this.”)

Copies of In Their Own Write are available here.

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