Paul Gorman is…

Zippo Records: 13th Floor Elevators mural, Cope’s Droolian LP, MC5′s motherfuckers tee + The Conqueroo Dog

Sep 18th, 2014
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//13th Floor Elevators mural inside Zippo Records, Clapham Park, south-west London, mid-80s, courtesy Pete Flanagan//

Pete Flanagan, owner of the long-gone Zippo Records in Clapham, south London, has sent me this photograph of the shop interior.

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//Front cover, Droolian, Julian Cope, Zippo/Mofoco, 1989//

It sums up everything that was wonderful about this unique space, where Pete established a hub for like-minded souls. With staff including Edwin Pouncey (aka Savage Pencil), Pete also released otherwise hard-to-find records via his own independent imprints. These included Heartland, 5 Hours Back and MoFoCo for Julian Cope’s towering LP Droolian.

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//Droolian’s back cover//

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//Zippo’s distinctive price label (this from The Many Faces Of Gale Garnett, an obscure 1965 release on RCA)//

I bought a lot of music and also an example of every one of the short-run t-shirts Zippo sold, including my favourite, this MC5 number (other owners, and there can’t be many because they were printed in very limited numbers, include Bobby Gillespie).

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As a local I was a Zippo regular with our Battersea hound Tom. Pete christened him “The Conqueroo Dog” after the four-legged friend on the cover of his reissue of the Austin band’s 1968 release From The Vulcan Gas Company.

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//Front cover, From The Vulcan Gas Company, The Conqueroo, 1968/reissued 1987 on 5 Hours Back//

When Zippo closed I bought a whole load of stock and had a few happy years trading in vinyl as a sideline, until my back gave out.

Pete’s still at it, running Soho Music which is now on eBay – see here.

I bumped into Edwin P a couple of years back; he was in the company of another great person who was also a former Zippo staffer. Can’t for the life of me recall his name but hopefully he’ll see this and get in touch.

See what Savage Pencil is up to here.

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Henry Hate curating Amy Winehouse show

Sep 18th, 2014

henryOur pal Henry Hate is London’s tattooist of choice.

Henry’s also a prolific visual artist, and his interests combine in his curation of the forthcoming charity exhibition When I Walk In Your Shoes, which opens at Notting Hill’s Westbank Gallery on Monday.

The subject of the group show is Henry’s late friend and customer Amy Winehouse. Named after a line from her song Help Yourself, When I Walk In Your Shoes runs from September 26 – 30 at 133-137 Westbourne Grove, London W11 2RS.

More details here.

Find out more about Henry ‘s Prick Tattoo here.

 

 

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John Hilliard: Not Black And White at Richard Saltoun Gallery

Sep 4th, 2014
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//1, 2, 3, 2004. Giclée Iris print on museum board. 91 x 120cm//

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//Black Depths (1), 1974. Black and white print and Letraset on museum board, 2 parts. 72 x 72cm//

Looking forward to Not Black And White, a retrospective exhibition of work by British conceptual photographic artist John Hilliard which opens tonight at London’s Richard Saltoun Gallery.
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Promo curio: Diana Crawshaw and the Granny Takes A Trip Dodge in Tim Rose clip

Aug 19th, 2014
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//Still from Long Haired Boy: Diana Crawshaw outside 488 King’s Road, 1969//

Diana Crawshaw – who designed for such boutiques as Mr Freedom and Paradise Garage – has contacted me about an appearance she made in an early pop promo clip: Piers Bedford’s short for the 1968 single Long Haired Boy by American singer-songwriter Tim Rose.

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Nick Abrahams: Lions and Tigers and Bears

Jun 27th, 2014
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//Artist/filmmaker Nick Abrahams in a catsuit with a cat//

Looking forward to the opening tonight of Nick Abrahams’ new work Lions And Tigers And Bears.

Abrahams is releasing a companion single which includes a recording of a snail eating a lettuce.

snail, eating – from ‘Lions and Tigers and Bears’ from nicholas abrahams on Vimeo.

Lions And Tigers And Bears runs at the Horse Hospital until July 19.

There’s an interview with Abrahams at The Quietus here.

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David Parkinson feature in new issue of GQ

May 1st, 2014

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My feature on the work of the late fashion photographer David Parkinson is in the June issue of GQ UK, which is out now.

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Visit GQ online here.

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Electric Colour Company: Blueberry Hill – London’s shortest-lived boutique – and the customised Ford Fairlane 500

Apr 29th, 2014
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//Electric Colour Company’s Roderic Stokes and David Smith with Carol Davey at Blueberry Hill, 91 King’s Road, London, 1970//

Here are a couple of images relating to late 60s/early 70s British design studio Electric Colour Company; I’m writing a magazine feature about their exceptional body of work which ran from signage, custom-built furniture and shop designs (notably Mr Freedom, Paradise Garage and City Lights Studio) to lighting modules, display objects, interior decoration, murals, custom cars and fashion accessories.

In November 1970 the King’s Road boutique Blueberry Hill was launched with a comprehensive fit-out – reported at a substantial-for-those-days £3,000 – by the ECC team of Andrew Greaves, Jeffrey Pine, David Smith and Roderic Stokes.

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//By the time this coverage appeared in the February 1971 issue of Design magazine, Blueberry Hill had been closed for several weeks//

Despite the extraordinary nature of the shop design – which included cloud-form light fittings in neon strip  and a timber counter with spray-on brickwork finish resembling a well-head – Blueberry Hill closed after just six weeks when the landlords opted to replace it with a more bankable betting shop.

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//Irene Smith and Dinah Adams with the ECC-customised Ford Fairlane 500, 1970//

Full-Page  ad.  'TIME OUT' 1970

//Advert, Time Out, 1970//

The other photograph shows ECC fellow travellers Dinah Adams – who designed clothes for Mr Freedom, Paradise Garage and Granny Takes A Trip – and Irene Smith with the customised Ford Fairlane which also appeared in the East End company’s advertising.

I’ll give the nod when my piece on Electric Colour Company is nearing publication.

Visit the ECC site here.

Thanks to Andrew Greaves for the photographs.

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Kate Moross: Make Your Own Luck

Apr 16th, 2014

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The industrious British designer/illustrator Kate Moross is celebrating the publication of her book Make Your Own Luck with a London exhibition surveying the impressive body of work she has assembled to date.

I recommend the book highly, and not just because Moross gracefully thanked me for what little input I may have had. Also, as a fellow dog-lover, it’s great to see that Moross’s beloved Shiba Inus Tako and Ebi are given prominence on the flyleaf.

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Unbelievable rarity: Undocumented Let It Rock clothing featured on 1972 budget LP + previously unpublished views of stock inside 430 King’s Road

Apr 12th, 2014
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//Front cover, Rock Archive, Various Artists, Windmill Records, 1972//

It is relatively common knowledge among those interested in the careers of Malcolm McLaren and Vivienne Westwood and their series of extraordinary shops that they supplied clothes to the 1973 album Golden Hour Of Rock & Roll; Let It Rock at 430 King’s Road was clearly credited on the back of the record sleeve.

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//Front cover, The Golden Hour Of Rock N Roll, Various Artists, Pye/Golden Hour, 1973//

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//The photograph on the Rock Archive cover was flipped to better accommodate the text. Here it is as originally shot//

But I have fresh information which helps towards a greater understanding of McLaren’s project to investigate the detritus of popular culture’s recent past. During a bout of research recently I came across this earlier and hitherto undocumented use of Let It Rock clothing in a music context: the front cover of Rock Archive, a budget LP compilation released by the specialist British independent label Windmill in 1972.

And I am detailing the clothes on the cover with images taken inside Let It Rock which have never been previously published.

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//Starke shirts with 50s sports jacket on Let It Rock wall, January 1972. Photograph: David Parkinson//

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//Starke label detail//

Each garment worn by the model – whose attempts at rocking out resulted in his giving every appearance of suffering considerable pain – comes from the deadstock of British brands assiduously assembled by Malcolm McLaren and his art-school friend Patrick Casey for the opening of the world’s first avowedly post-modern retail outlet in November 1971.

From the ground up, the Rock Archive cover star wore black suede Denson’s Fine Poynts, ice-blue Lybro jeans with 12in cuffs, a Frederick Starke flyaway collar shirt and a studded and decorated Lewis Leathers early 60s Lightning jacket (which featured a highly collectable 6-5 Special patch).

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One of the unpindownables of the counter culture: Jack Henry Moore 1940-2014

Apr 9th, 2014
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//Jack Henry Moore (right) outside the Melkweg, Amsterdam with fellow film-makers Kit Galloway and Dave Jones, early 70s. Photo: The Generalist/The Videoheads//

Jack Henry Moore – who has died aged 73 – was one of the unpindownables of the counterculture in the 60s and 70s.

Known principally as a pioneering video film-maker and sound recordist (the archive he leaves behind is estimated to contain more than 70,000 hours of tape compiled over five decades), Moore was central to the establishment of many of the foundation stones of the underground in London and other European cities.

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//With Lennon and Ono 1968. Photo: The Generalist/The Videoheads//

Moore joined fellow ex-pat American Jim Haynes in his theatrical experiments in Edinburgh in the mid-60s, where they staged productions by the likes of Lindsay Kemp. As in his native Oklahoma, Moore’s openness about his homosexuality necessitated a geographical shift, this time south to London.

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