Paul Gorman is…

“Because it’s so damn good!” Extracts from my exclusive interview with pioneering illustrator/photographer Jim French, who has died aged 84

Jun 18th, 2017

//Jim French. Photo: SHOWStudio//

The American illustrator and photographer Jim French – best known for his pioneering endeavours in the field of homoerotic art – has died at home in Palm Springs at the age of 84.

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Judy Nylon in McLaren’s Smoking Boy shirt with Nick Kent in Granny’s and Brian James in leathers, inside The Roxy 1977

Jun 2nd, 2017

//From left: Kent, James and Nylon. Please advise if you are the photographer or know their identity. No reproduction without permission//

Artist/thinker Judy Nylon has sent me this great shot taken at London punk haven The Roxy in the spring of 1977.

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The Stiff Records clock: When You Kill Time You Murder Success

Feb 13th, 2017

//The Stiff Records clock. Concept: Jake Riviera, design: Barney Bubbles, lettering: Caramel Crunch, 1977. No reproduction without permission//

Stiff Records was on fire in 1977.

The British independent record label, with owners Jake Riviera and Dave Robinson snapping up acts and art director Barney Bubbles applying his unsurpassable skills to the visualising of their music, came straight out of the traps 40 years ago this month with the release of the first ‘punk’ LP Damned Damned Damned by – who else? – The Damned.

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Jordan Mooney remembers David ‘Piggy’ Worth and Patrick Lichfield’s 50s photoshoot for The Beatles Rock ‘N’ Roll Music

Oct 28th, 2016
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//Jordan Mooney and David “Piggy” Worth. From photo by Patrick Lichfield, 1976//

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//As they appeared in the Parlophone full-page advert for The Beatles compilation Rock “n”Roll Muisc, New Musical Express, June 26, 1976//

“He was a man full of wit and charm who always had an eye for new and exciting things. His special characteristics were kindness and forethought”

Jordan Mooney, 2016 

Following my recent blogs on the life of the late fashion model David “Piggy” Worth, here is a gem: Sex and Seditionaries superstar Jordan Mooney recalls her friend and in particular the time Worth urged her to join him in a 50s photoshoot by royal photographer Patrick Lichfield.

This was used for an advert and poster promoting Rock ‘N’ Roll Music, a compilation of previously released cover versions recorded by The Beatles between 1962 and 1970.

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The Filth & The Fury: Punk Fashion at the NFT tomorrow with Amber Butchart + SEX & Seditionaries superstar Jordan Mooney

Aug 5th, 2016

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Tomorrow I’m a guest of historian Amber Butchart at London’s National Film Theatre for a conversation and q&a about Punk fashion with her special invitee Jordan Mooney, SEX and Seditionaries superstar and inner member of the Sex Pistols circle.

I’ve put together a presentation from my archive to run during our chat, including images of Jordan’s striking series of visual personae and slides showing how the designs by Malcolm McLaren and Vivienne Westwood at 430 King’s Road were regularly featured in the fashion and national press from the early 70s to the time of Punk later in the decade.

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//Selection of Let It Rock designs showcased in a May 1972 issue of The Sunday Times Magazine. Photos: Hans Feurer. Paul Gorman Archive//

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Punk Fashion at the NFT on Aug 6: Sidestepping cliches with Amber Butchart + Jordan Mooney

Jun 28th, 2016
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//Jordan Mooney, Gallery International, Vol 1, no 4, 1976//

On August 6 I am taking part in a discussion about Punk visual style and culture with fashion historian Amber Butchart and Jordan Mooney, the sales assistant superstar at Malcolm McLaren and Vivienne Westwood’s shops at 430 King’s Road in the 70s who became a fashion inspiration and role model in her own right.

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//Jordan Mooney in Derek Jarman’s Jubilee, 1978. Photo: BFI//

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Punk Rockers meet The Cockettes founder downtown: When Fayette Hauser, Rory Johnston + Malcolm McLaren spent a wild weekend in Sin City

Apr 20th, 2016
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//Malcolm McLaren, Las Vegas, January 1978. Photo © Fayette Hauser//

To mark the arrival in London of the legendary founder of The Cockettes Fayette Hauser for screenings of rare films featuring the transgressive troupe, here are some extracts from an interview she gave me for the forthcoming Malcolm McLaren biography.

I’m also featuring photographs Hauser took when she hooked up with the late McLaren on the West Coast after the Sex Pistols had splintered in San Francisco at the end of their January 1978 US tour.

With meetings arranged with record company and movie studio producers and financiers, McLaren stayed at West Hollywood’s infamous Tropicana Motel on Santa Monica Boulevard, home to the likes of Tom Waits and visiting musicians from Bob Marley & The Wailers to the Ramones and the Velvet Underground (Andy Warhol’s Heat and Trash were both filmed there).

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//60s postcard for The Tropicana Motel and Motor Lodge, 8585 Santa Monica Blvd, West Hollywood, CA//

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//The Ramones at The Tropicana in 1978. With Joey Ramone (right) is Linda Ramone (in Emmanuelle Khanh sunglasses) and next to Johnny Ramone is Cynthia Whitney (aka Roxy Ramone), who is wearing the Sex t-shirt I Groaned With Pain, designed by McLaren and Vivienne Westwood. Photo: © Brad Elterman/Getty//

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Jah Wobble’s soundtrack for The Conformist: Big Youth, Blake, Buzzcocks, Joni, Miles, Stooges + much, much more

Mar 7th, 2016

by Thomas Phillips, oil on canvas, 1807243376_469804379707907_1177265336_o-1
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//Clockwise from top left: William Blake; Jah Wobble; King Tubby; Miles Davis; The Stooges; Jimi Hendrix Experience//

An essential element of the current group exhibition The Conformist is the companion soundtrack selected by Jah Wobble.

This blends Wobble’s take on William Blake’s Tyger, Tyger (from the great 1996 album The Inspiration Of William Blake) with tracks to be expected from one of the world’s greatest dub, jazz and soul fiends – including King Tubby & Augustus Pablo, Big Youth, Miles Davis and the Isley Brothers – and some surprises, such as Joni Mitchell’s Big Yellow Taxi.
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She’s A Punk Rocker UK : An antidote to male musings on 1976 and all that

Mar 2nd, 2016

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You would literally paint the news on your t-shirt that day and became part of the news, part of the progress with your artwork and your music…the women in punk were doing that; their style was a demonstration of their visual art, about what they were, where they were at and what they believed in.

Caroline Coon, She’s A Punk Rocker UK

She’s A Punk Rocker UK – Zillah Minx’s 2010 celebration of British female non-conformity – is a fantastic antidote to the current male musings on 1976 and all that.

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‘Don’t look over your shoulder, but the Sex Pistols are coming’: 40th anniversary of their first review

Feb 12th, 2016

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Today is the 40th anniversary of the gig at central London venue The Marquee by the Sex Pistols which generated their first substantial media coverage, a prescient 200-word review by Neil Spencer on page 31 of the February 21, 1976 issue of the New Musical Express.

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