Paul Gorman is…

Love goddess Mrs Scully revealed: The Ortonesque court case which informed the Sex t-shirt You’re Gonna Wake Up

//From The Times, September 24, 1974. Courtesy Matthew Worley//

//Mrs Scully features on the “right” side of the shirt after a reference to George Dangerfield’s book The Strange Death Of Liberal England//

//A 1970s issue of Mistress magazine//

I’m grateful to British academic Matthew Worley for having enlightened me as to the identity of “Mrs Scully”, whose name was among those printed on the You’re Gonna Wake Up us-and-them t-shirt first sold in Sex at 430 King’s Road in the autumn of 1974.

Regular readers will know I have previously investigated the many strands of the “In” and “Out” lists on the shirt created by The Clash manager Bernie Rhodes with the late Malcolm McLaren and their friend Gerry Goldstein (the full name of the shirt is per Rhodes’ handwritten title: You’re Gonna Wake Up One Morning And Know What Side Of The Bed You’ve Been Lying On!).

During his research for a forthcoming paper discussing the links between punk’s projection of unusual sexual practices and the Marquis de Sade, Worley has turned up a series of reports in The Times about the September 1974 High Court prosecution of John and Joan Scully and their lodger Eric Smith for variously keeping a disorderly house, living off immoral earnings and distributing obscene material (in the form of the femdom magazine Mistress).

The articles convey the prurient attitudes against which McLaren in particular railed at the time. Coincident with their publication he reopened 430 King’s Road as Sex (it had previously been Let It Rock) with his partner Vivienne Westwood, and You’re Gonna Wake Up was featured as a form of manifesto for the project, which aimed to blow the lid off British sexual repression.

//From The Times, September 25, 1974. Courtesy Matthew Worley//

On the shirt Joan Scully is referred to as “Mrs Scully love goddess from Shepherd’s Bush and her house slaves”. Search magazine, rather than Mistress, is mentioned. This may have been intended as a separate listing for the American paranormal/UFO-obsessed/conspiracy theory journal which had been published since the 1950s.

During the trial Joan Scully was depicted as the villain of the piece and received a hefty £750 fine and a suspended sentence. Her husband, a plumber, meanwhile, escaped relatively lightly with a £100 penalty while the lodger Smith, who was also fined £100, was described as Scully’s “slave…a meek little man”.

//From The Times, September 26, 1974. Courtesy Matthew Worley//

Together with some implications of police corruption which were apparently hastily brushed aside, the case made for an Ortonesque affair which enabled the readers of the lofty Times to relish every kinky detail.

I have now updated my most recent post on the connections to be found on You’re Gonna Wake Up to include the new information regarding Mrs Scully. It can be viewed here.

I recommend Matthew Worley’s book No Future: Punk, Politics And British Youth Culture 1976-1984; copies are available here.

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Author: / Published: Nov 28th, 2017 / Category: 1970s, 430 King's Road, Malcolm McLaren, Sex, T-shirt design / Comments: None

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