Blessed & Blasted: You’re Gonna Wake Up. 10.1974
Sixty years after Blast, the You’re Gonna Wake Up t-shirt adopted the same truculent tone and diffuse dialectic to ring the alarms amid a culture rendered flaccid by the failure of the 60s dream.
You’re Gonna Wake Up – which went on sale in SEX in the late autumn of 1974 – was conceived by Bernie Rhodes and realised with contributions from friends Malcolm McLaren (who wrote the slogan) and Gerry Goldstein.
Of course, it is best known for carrying the following band name: “Kutie Jones and his SEX PISTOLS”.
Hence the references to artists David Holmes, Mel Ramos and Patrick Heron (and his campaign against The Tate), the literature of Alfred Bester, David Cooper, George Dangerfield, Konstantin Paustovsky and Bernard Wolfe, the work of radical journalists Alexander Cockburn and Mervin Jones and the campaigning of political activists Pat Arrowsmith and Marian and Doloures Price.
Such content dates the compilation to October 1974: The Guardian published Heron’s 14,000-word Tate critique over consecutive days between the 12th and 14th of that month; the shirt itself mentions a piece by Jones in the New Statesman on October 4 and also an Elton John interview in the NME on September 25 (in fact the issue was dated September 28).
Alongside the call-girl phone numbers taken from local newsagents there are such quizzical references as that for former Playboy Club UK head Victor Lownes: “To be avoided first thing in the morning”.
Is this because one of the contributors had encountered him leaving his club Stocks, just a few hundred yards from SEX along the King’s Road?
It’s worth pointing out Lownes was to earn the soubriquet “Disgusting” from Private Eye (whose distribution problems with WH Smith at that time are described as “censorship”).
Is “D.H.” DH Lawrence? Who was Mal Huff? And why did automotive manufacturer GKN come in for a kicking? Was this down to foreign investments or had Rhodes had a run-in with the company as a result of operating his Renault dealership in Camden Town?
It is only right that questions remain about this multi-layered slice of invective; 37 years after the fact, You’re Gonna Wake Up retains a certain amount of mystery yet declaims some kind of truth.
Enjoy the links below. These unravel to complete a portrait of a divided country and fragmented culture.
First up are the “blasted”, followed by the “blessed”. NOTE: spelling mistakes etc have been retained.
tickets/19, Honey, Harpers, Vogue in fact all magazines that treat their
25 Sept re birthday spending/West End shopping/Stirling Cooper,
entertainment when it’s really not good or not funny Bernard Delfont
narrow monopoly of media causing harmless creativity to
G.K.N./Grey skies/Dirty books that aren’t all that
The job you hate but are too scared to
pack in/Interview magazine–Peter
clothes old ideas and all this resting in the country business/The
Light Mission/All those
Jamaican Rude Boys/Bamboo
Records/Coffee bars that
sell whiskey under the
counter/THE SCENE – Ham
Legal Aid – when
you can get it/Pat Arrowsmith/
Challenge To Capitalism in New
Statesman 4th Oct. 74/Buenoventura
Shepp Muhammed Ali Bob Marley Jimi
Hendrix Sam Cooke/Kutie Jones and his
a 1955 US radio interview/Seven Days
Dangerfield/Mrs Scully love goddess from Shepherds Bush her house slaves and Search
magazine/Labour Exchanges as your local/FREE
RADIO stations/A chance to do it for more than a
month without being ripped off/The Anarchist Spray
Pop/John Coltrane/Spunky James Brown/Dewey Redman/
KING TUBBY’S sound system/Zoot suits and dreadlocks/Kilburn
American businesslike painters/Lady Sinthia 908 5569/
Experiment with Time – Dunne/John Lacey and his boiled book v. St Martin’s Art School experiment to be seen in New York.