Paul Gorman is…

Joe Stevens’ best photograph: Tousled Bowie at a moment of transformation

Jan 29th, 2015

//Just over CSM’s shoulder: David Bowie and a railway guard, Paris, May 3, 1973. Photo (c) Joe Stevens//

“In those minutes, you could see he really was about to become a major pop star.”

In The Guardian today, photographer pal and hero Joe Stevens has picked a favourite image from his six-decade career: a slightly tousled David Bowie and a French railway guard at a Paris station.

According to my copy of Kevin Cann’s definitive Bowie diary Any Day Now this would have been May 3, 1973; Bowie had travelled by train from Japan, on the Trans-Siberian Express through Russia, Poland and Germany in the company of the late NYC legend Leee Black Childers and Bowie’s friend and backing vocalist Geoff MacCormack.

Stevens’ captured Bowie at a moment of transformation; alighting blearily in dress-down mode from the train, the rock star was met by wife Angie and a gaggle of glamorous friends. In a matter of minutes he had changed into the Freddie Buretti-designed outfit seen here and was swept away to a reception and press conference in the Rouge Room of the George V Hotel.

Just in shot – and identifiable by his frizz and shoulder bag strap – is Joe’s NME compadre (and another pal and hero) Charlie Murray.

Read Joe’s reminiscence here.

I am proud to say I edited Kevin Cann’s book Any Day Now: David Bowie The London Years 1947-74. It is a thoroughgoing delight and highly recommended – if you don’t already own it, purchase a copy here.

Charles Shaar Murray wrote a wonderful preface to my music press history In Their Own Write (which he ended with the following note to me: “You bastard. You’ll be hunted down and strangled like a dog for this.”)

Copies of In Their Own Write are available here.

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James Last Orchestra takes on Silver Machine, Children Of The Revolution and School’s Out

Oct 21st, 2013

As a follow-up to yesterday’s Hawkwind post here’s the James Last Orchestra taking on the group’s big hit Silver Machine and segue-ing it into T.Rex’s Children Of The Revolution and Alice Cooper’s School’s Out.

Fun facts: Last’s nickname is “Hansi” (he was born Hans Last). He has sold more than 70 million records in his career.

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Derek Boshier: From Doris To Chemical Cowboys, Chelsea College Of Art January 18

Jan 5th, 2012
Pauline's Gone Digital (for Pauline Boty), Derek Boshier,  2011.

Pauline's Gone Digital (for Pauline Boty), Derek Boshier, 2011. Diptych, 5' x 10'. Acrylic on canvas from the series Paris Texas, Paris France, Paris Hilton.

This month’s arts calendar in London is marked by a rare treat: From Doris To Chemical Cowboys, a talk by the great British artist Derek Boshier at Chelsea College Of Art’s lecture theatre on January 18.

Los Angeles-based Boshier will be discussing recent projects as well as providing insights into earlier achievements, including his part in the Pop Art explosion of the 60s and his Texas work of the 80s.

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Penguins: James Tormey’s Raymond Chandler covers

Nov 1st, 2011

The exclusion of designer James Tormey  – and in particular his early 70s covers for a series of Raymond Chandler books – from Phil Baines’ history Penguin By Design: A Cover Story 1935-2005 has long rankled with me.

I was expecting to find out more about the man whose remixes of Hollywood classic stills led me to Chandler in my early teens. But there is no mention of Tormey or these covers, which hummed at the time with the revival of interest in 40s cinema, and film noir in particular.

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From The Vaults: Patti Smith, Andy Warhol’s Interview, October 1973

Mar 25th, 2011

As a companion to today’s post on the Horses cover, here’s another Patti Smith item from the archive: a feature by Penny Green from the October 1973 issue of Andy Warhol’s Interview magazine.

Coinciding with the publication of Smith’s poetry book Witt, the photographs for the Interview piece were taken by Barbara Walz (who later produced The Fashion Makers with Bernadine Morris).

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