Paul Gorman is…

Revenge of the suburbs: David Bowie fans shine in doc about the 1983 Milton Keynes Bowl gigs

Nov 1st, 2016
wat15

//Members of the audience from Edinburgh who preferred Australian support act Icehouse to Bowie//

wat16

Fittingly Britain’s most surprising rock star has found his way to Britain’s newest and most surprising city, where high tech meets ecologic, where concrete meets conservation, where the silicon chip meets the fibreglass rod…

Steve Taylor, South Of Watford, Summer 1983, London Weekend Television

While putting the finishing touches to my forthcoming book about The Face magazine, I followed a line of research which lead me to an excellent documentary about the late David Bowie which I hadn’t seen since it was screened in 1983.

Shown as part of London’s regional broadcaster LWT’s South Of Watford strand, the film focused on Bowie’s immersion in the mainstream with the Let’s Dance LP and companion Serious Moonlight tour (sponsored by Levi’s in a groundbreaking marketing deal, this inaugurated the era of corporate and branded live music events).

wat2db9db8

The doc’s point of entry was Bowie’s weekend of sold-out gigs that summer at Milton Keynes Bowl, the open-air arena in Britain’s newest city north of London in the Buckinghamshire countryside.

Read the rest of this entry »

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Death And The Lady: Nick Abrahams’ film for Shirley Collins’ first record in 38 years

Sep 24th, 2016
shirley_collins_by_toby_amies_1

//Shirley Collins with hooden horses. Photo: Toby Amies//

“Shirley has a voice that seems to be in touch with the traditions of the past, but also the dark mystery that makes England so weird, wild and mesmerising, and it is these two aspects that I wanted to convey in the video.”
Nick Abrahams, 2016

I’m captivated by the magical film made by Nick Abrahams to accompany the Shirley Collins song Death And The Lady.

shirl1 shirl4 shirl5

Read the rest of this entry »

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Voodoo And Magic Practices: The book which inspired McLaren and Westwood’s Witches collection

Sep 23rd, 2016
img_5574

//Voodoo and Magic Practices, Jean Kerboull, Barrie and Jenkins, 1978. Translated from the French by John Shaw//

This is the book which inspired the late Malcolm McLaren to unite the design ideas he developed with Vivienne Westwood for their Autumn/Winter 1983 fashion collection Witches.

At the time McLaren was completing his album Duck Rock, which was conceived as an ethnological travelogue and modelled on the  LP series Dances Of the World’s Peoples released on the ethnographic Folkways label; in fact, Duck Rock was originally titled Folk Dances Of The World and the incorporation of an illustrated insert containing track-by-track explanations was taken from the one which appeared in the 1958 albums.

14445939_10154623298436694_1337925935652059948_n

Read the rest of this entry »

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Reckless Daughter: A barnstorming Joni Mitchell anthology

Sep 22nd, 2016

img_5563

Hats off to barnstorming Barney Hoskyns for compiling new Joni Mitchell anthology Reckless Daughter, which is published in November.

I fell under Mitchell’s spell in my early teens at the behest of an older brother and was lucky enough to see her live in the gig-crowded year of 1974 at London’s New Victoria Theatre.

Even while punk raged I kept the faith; 1975’s The Hissing Of Summer Lawns and the following year’s Hejira are stone classics to which I constantly return, and not just for the peerless music. The designs by her own hand (Mitchell is an accomplished visual artist) and the fashion-sheen photography of Norman Seeff add to the allure.

Read the rest of this entry »

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Sharks: The return of the Sharkmobile and a great shot of the band with Nora Foster in Let It Rock designs

Jul 8th, 2016
LONDON - JANUARY 1973: The Shark Car photographed in West London on 8th January 1973 (Photo by Brian Cooke/Redferns) *** Sharks;The Shark Car ***

//Island Records promo shot of the Sharkmobile outside the long closed Blenheim Arms,  Blenheim Crescent, Notting Hill, west London, on January 8, 1973. Photo: Brian Cooke//

sharks with nora

//Sharks surround Nora Foster, 1974. From bottom left: keyboard player Nick Judd (in Wonder Workshop jacket); drummer Marty Simon, bassist Busta “Cherry” Jones, frontman Snips and guitarist Chris Spedding in Let It Rock Rock N Roll Lives/Chuck Berry tee. Photo: Dick Polak//

Singer-songwriter  Steve “Snips” Parsons has been in contact; the reunion of early 70s British rock band Sharks (which he fronted) moves apace – with an album out in September, next week they are launching a crowdfunding appeal to bring back the so-called Sharkmobile.

This was guitarist Chris Spedding’s Pontiac Le Mans which – at the behest of their record company boss Chris Blackwell – was decorated with fibreglass shark’s teeth and a fin and appeared on the back cover of the group’s debut LP First Water.

Read the rest of this entry »

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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

Apr 20th, 2016
Fayette_Hauser_Malcolm_McLaren_in_Los_Vegas_1484_419 copy

//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).

tropicana1

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

ramones1978elterman

//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//

Read the rest of this entry »

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Chris Spedding: Unsung hero of Seventies style from Alkasura + Granny Takes A Trip to Let It Rock, Sex + Seditionaries

Mar 13th, 2016
Let It Rock Chuck Berry84844224-photo-of-chris-spedding-gettyimages

//In Let It Rock Rock ‘N Roll Lives Chuck Berry T-shirt, 1975. Photo: Ian Dickson/Getty Images//

Sex leather jacket -chris-spedding-studio-portrait-london-1975-picture-id121166741

//Also 1975 – pink pegs from Sex. Photo: Michael Putland/Getty Images//

Sex jodhpur boots461187237-english-jazz-guitarist-chris-spedding-in-a-gettyimages

//At home in London, 1978. Photo: Fin Costello/Getty Images//

Guitarist Chris Spedding at a Nico show at CBGB, February 1979.

//At a Nico show at CBGB, February 1979. Photo: Ebet Roberts/Getty Images//

Guitarist Chris Spedding is one of the unsung heroes of Seventies style.

I’ve been a fan of his music and look since 1974, when I acquired Jab It In Yore Eye. This was the second album by Sharks, formed by Spedding with other survivors of the early 70s music scene after leaving jazz-rock outfit Nucleus and gigging with Jack Bruce.

Read the rest of this entry »

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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

Feb 12th, 2016

IMG_1399

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Talking Punk London: In the City 1975-78 on Gary Crowley’s Soho Radio show this afternoon

Feb 9th, 2016

IMG_1360

This afternoon I’m the guest on DJ Gary Crowley’s show on London-based digital station Soho Radio.

I’ll be talking about Punk London: In The City 1975-78 – my map collaboration with Herb Lester Associates which is published on Friday (February 12) – and also playing a highly personal selection of songs in the spirit of the project where we aim to sidestep the cliches and show another side to the oft-told punk story.

Read the rest of this entry »

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

A brief journey through David Bowie’s London from the 40s to the 10s with me and Herb Lester

Jan 13th, 2016

hlbowiemap

As a tribute to the late rock star, I have joined forces with map-makers Herb Lester to create an online guide to David Bowie’s London from his birth at 40 Stansfield Road in Brixton in 1947 through his solo art show in Mayfair in 1995 to the giant retrospective David Bowie Is exhibition at the Victoria & Albert Museum in South Kensington in 2013.

Read the rest of this entry »

Tags: , , , , , ,