Paul Gorman is…

Mod fashions in Mojo

Jun 29th, 2011

I have a piece on mod fashions in the new Mojo special MOJO ’60s.

To mark it, THE LOOK blog is featuring scans from a great interview with the Small Faces keyboard player Ian “Mac” McLagan from Rave magazine, April 1967. See here.

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Glastonbury 2011 in nine photos: Mud, Billy Bragg, Spirit Of 71 + more mud

Jun 29th, 2011

Talking Barney Bubbles with Billy Bragg in the Spirit Of 71 Cafe. Photo: Dom Chambers.

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Vinyl: John Cooper Clarke’s Innocents EP

Jun 21st, 2011

Front cover, Innocents EP, 1977.

Chance encounters with heroes can be tricky, but bumping into John Cooper Clarke outside the Festival Hall late one evening last week proved pleasurable beyond all expectation.

Clarke looked the bomb, naturally in dark glasses as midnight approached, his frame draped in a coat worn across the shoulders gangster-style with white silk scarf hanging loose. Charm personified, he returned my compliments with words of praise with which I’m still coming to terms.

It hasn’t taken much to versify them into this lame appropriation of Clarke’s rat-a-tat style:

“I know your work,

I’ve got The Look,

I was first on our block with that book.”

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Charles Shaar Murray on Clarence Clemons

Jun 21st, 2011

Lean on me: Clemons + Springsteen in Eric Meola's Born To Run cover shot.

Here is Charles Shaar Murray’s contribution to my Clarence Clemons obit in today’s Daily Telegraph; his quotes fell victim to space considerations.

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RIP Gustaf Kjellvander

Jun 20th, 2011

While I was writing an obituary for Clarence Clemons today, my friend Yuki Yoshioka texted me with the information that our mutual acquaintance the Swedish musician Gustaf Kjellvander died suddenly in his sleep on Saturday. He was 31.

Yuki says Gustaf popped into his thoughts this morning. On a whim, Google led him to Gustaf’s Wikipedia entry, which had been updated with this sad news.

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My brother’s new book: Broken Pieces

Jun 17th, 2011

My brother Michael’s new book, Broken Pieces: A Library Life 1941-1978, is a personal and professional memoir.

Read about it here and buy a copy here.

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Blessed & Blasted: J’aime, Je n’aime pas. 1975

Jun 17th, 2011

Roland Barthes in his office at the École Pratique des Hautes Études, Paris, 1963. Henri Cartier Bresson/Magnum.

Interesting to note that Roland Barthes’ “anarchic foam of tastes and distastes” is contemporaneous with You’re Gonna Wake Up. No surprise then that J’aime, je n’aime pas became the starting point for updates and personal interpretations among list-loving binary-fixated bloggers from the mid-Noughties onwards.

Here is a translation of the Great Signifier’s original, complete with coda:

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Blokes Of Britain: Chris Salewicz

Jun 16th, 2011

//Author image for US edition of Bob Marley: The Untold Story, 2009. Photo: Grzegorz Lepiarz.//

NAME: Chris Salewicz



Chris Salewicz is a neighbour and friend. My admiration for his work harks back more than three decades, when his words shone from the pages of the NME.

As detailed by In Their Own Write, this was no mean feat since Salewicz was part of the formidable team whose members included (deep breath): Max Bell, Angie Errigo, Pete Erskine, Mick Farren, Chrissie Hynde, Nick Kent, Nick Logan, Ian MacDonald, Kate Phillips, Charles Shaar Murray, Neil Spencer, Tony Tyler…

Now Salewicz deals in big subjects as an author, broadcaster and film-maker: his Strummer and Marley books capture the definitive portraits of these imposing figures, while involvement in such ventures as the documentary Beats Of Freedom denotes a mature reflection on his Polish roots.

In addition, Salewicz’s role as an aide-de-camp in Mick Jones’ ongoing Rock & Roll Public Library project betrays the highly attuned visual sensibilities conveyed in these, his answers to the Blokes Of Britain Questionnaire:

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I like a bit of a cavort: Duck For the Oyster

Jun 10th, 2011

Malcolm McLaren’s musical brilliance was first showcased on the seamless + timeless Duck Rock; it’s a really jumping record and this is one of the many highlights.

Sure Malcolm would have appreciated this Youtube collagist’s approach; the footage is from David Hoffman’s 1965 film  “Bluegrass Roots”, shot in Madison County, North Carolina. There’ll be contributors to online Ivy League forums creaming their chinos to the gear worn in this (I like the Elvis-style bell sleeve shirt worn by one chap).

Now dos-e-do + promena-a-a-de!

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Going to Glastonbury

Jun 4th, 2011

I’m going to Glastonbury. The festival, that is.

These aren’t words I anticipated ever typing. It’s good to confound expectations, particularly your own, and now I’m looking forward to it; there will be lots of pals there, and I have a purpose.

I’m going as a “performer”, booked as result of the Barney Bubbles connection (he created an elaborate sleeve to house the triple album Revelations, released to pay the debts accrued from the 1971 Glastonbury Fayre).

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