Surrender After is the title of photographer/director Jean-Francois Carly’s show of nudes opening at Forge & Co in east London next week.
“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.”
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).
Jaunty: Barry Plummer’s striking photos of Malcolm McLaren + Vivienne Westwood in the Wild West End spring 1979
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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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.
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.
In this excerpt from an interview for a 2009 exhibition, Hopkins talks about how he became a photographer and the rocker photo-shoots:
“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.
I’m looking forward to participating in ShowStudio’s live broadcast discussion of today’s Louis Vuitton A/W 15 menswear show in Paris.
Vuitton artistic director Kim Jones has been trailing the show on his Instagram feed with tantalising hints as to the direction and content. Jones’ A/W 15 collaborators include Judy Blame, Nellee Hooper and Mark Lebon – all names associated with the late shoemaker John Moore’s magical 80s north-east London art/fashion space The House Of Beauty & Culture.
//Malcolm McLaren, 1973. Photo: David Parkinson. Bryan Ferry, 1976. Photo Richard Wallis//
A couple of years back I showed examples of photography by the late David Parkinson to car-nut graphic design maestro Jules Balme; I knew he would be interested in the incorporation of a 1959 Cadillac Eldorado in a 1973 Let It Rock fashion shoot.
What drew Balmes’ eagle eye was not the car fin detail, but the fact that Malcolm McLaren in the shot below sported a tie of the same distinctive Atomic-style 50s pattern as worn by Bryan Ferry in the video clip for his 1976 solo hit Let’s Stick Together (and subsequently on the sleeve of the compilation of the same name rushed out to capitalise on the single’s success that year).
//McLaren and models in Let It Rock attire – right are examples of the so-called “Alan Ladd” and “Jazz” suits – photographed in Acre Lane, Brixton for Club International by David Parkinson, summer 1973//
The post-hippie/glam/space rock mix-up: Alun Anderson’s beguiling photographs from the 1973 Windsor Free Festival
“When these photographs were taken, everything about them was everyday and unexceptional. These were the clothes we wore, the Hawkwind festivals that filled our summers, the drugs we took, the love we had, the way we moved. Only looked at from a distance does something extraordinary seem to emerge. Whether it is possible to live in the present with this view of what is around you, I don’t know.”
Alun Anderson, 2015
“Today’s artist, if he does not want to run down and become an antiquated dud, has the choice between technology and class warfare propaganda. In both cases he must give up ‘pure art’.
Either he enrolls as an architect, engineer or advertising artist in the army (unfortunately very feudalistically organized) which develops industrial powers and exploits the world; or as a reporter and critic reflecting the face of our times.”
From Last Round, the conclusion to Art Is In Danger
Today I’m returning to Blessed & Blasted – my occasional series about art manifestos – with Art Is In Danger, issued as a small book in 1925 by George Grosz and John Heartfield’s brother Wieland Hertzfelde.
This choice has been triggered by a charity shop acquisition of the catalogue for the 1979 London exhibition Neue Schachlichkeit And German Realism Of The Twenties, an examination of the so-called “New Objectivity” which arose as a reaction to the establishment of Weimar Germany.
PiL logo tape, flyers for the Limelight and Generation X, Allen Jones artwork, the 1967 Gear Guide: Excavated ephemera of a London youth
During a recent visit to his mother’s north London home, NY-based expat DJ, art/publishing player and blogger DB Burkeman took the opportunity to recover some of the ephemera of his youth, including the items you see here.