Paul Gorman is…

Unmade Up… Enlightening vignettes from Edward Bell’s unusual acquaintance with David Bowie

Sep 26th, 2017

//When they met, Bowie was scrutinising this portrait of Sex, Seditionaries and Jubilee superstar Jordan Mooney at Bell’s exhibition Larger Than Life//

“I, too, had to maintain a certain degree of detachment, and indeed to want and expect nothing of him; the paradox will always remain that, if David Bowie had not been David Bowie, then David Bowie and I could have been friends.”

Edward Bell, 2017

Edward Bell first encountered David Bowie when the rock chameleon turned up unexpectedly at a private view for the British visual artist’s first exhibition in 1980.

They last spoke in 2013, a few years before the musician/performer’s untimely demise. In the intervening period Bell and Bowie hung out in London, Venice and Los Angeles, collaborated on record sleeve projects and maintained sometimes sporadic contact, via a Swiss letter drop address and out-of-the-blue phone calls.

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Jah Wobble talks Bohemian Chelsea, Aswad, Hawkwind, Sid VIcious and selling his Metal Box bass to the JAMC

Dec 4th, 2014

wobbleThis is nice; pal and fellow Chelsea Arts Club member John Wardle talks about the importance of the immediate neighbourhood, its artistic tradition going back to the likes of Whistler, the licentiousness of the Cremorne Pleasure Gardens in Victorian times, the Bohemian atmosphere engendered by the 70s slums around the Lots Road Power Station and how all of this combined to create the breeding ground for punk.

John also talks about his love for Hawkwind, Sid Vicious, how he sold the bass he played on Metal Box to the Jesus & Mary Chain for a drink and why he should really have done the interview topless…

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Lunch with Messrs Hell + Riviera

Feb 10th, 2014
photo 3-2

//Richard Hell + Jake Riviera, outside the Chelsea Arts Club, London, Feb 2014//

I’ve had few, if any, lunches as enjoyable as last week’s hook-up with Richard Hell and Jake Riviera for a piece I am writing for GQ magazine.

Richard and Jake first met outside CBGB in March 1976, having been introduced by photographer Roberta Bayley, who was working the club door that night.

With Dr Feelgood’s Lee Brilleaux, Jake had witnessed Richard in performance the night before with Johnny Thunders in the first – and soon to disintegrate – line-up of the Heartbreakers at Max’s Kansas City.

We dined less than half a mile away from Chelsea embankment, where Richard and the rest of his next band the Void-Oids spent a pretty miserable-sounding sojourn on a leaky boat when in the UK on tour with The Clash in 1978.

As Richard recounts in his fabulous memoir I Dreamed I Was A Very Clean Tramp, he and Jake have shared a series of adventures over the years, some of which I will be covering in my GQ feature which should be out in the summer.

I Dreamed I Was A Very Clean Tramp is out in paperback this week; buy here.

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‘Because of the economic crisis, people are trying to consume as fast as possible. Ideas are dead; there aren’t any to express the mood. Fashion is irrelevant’: Malcolm McLaren + SEX, November 1975

Aug 13th, 2012

//Sex assistant Jordan, Gallery International, Vol 1, no 4.//

It’s unlikely that cities will shake or nations start to rock under the impact of Malcolm McLaren’s sexual revolution. A few people might die though.

Malcolm McLaren, at 30, is a mixture of entrepreneurial cultist, sexual evangelist, businessman, artist, fetishist and political philosopher; a psychotic visionary in the ephemeral subculture of the fashion world.

David May, Gallery International Vol 1 no 4.

In November 1975 – by which time his charges the Sex Pistols had just embarked on live performances – Malcolm McLaren was interviewed by journalist David May at 430 King’s Road, then in full bloom as radical retail venture SEX.

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Acid Aalto at Chelsea Arts Club

Mar 29th, 2011

//Acid Aalto 1, Donald Smith, 2011.//

My friend Donald Smith’s exhibition Acid Aalto opens at London’s Chelsea Arts Club tonight.

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