Paul Gorman is…

My first concert: Count Basie and Frank Sinatra at the Royal Festival Hall, May 1970

Feb 2nd, 2017

I am fortunate enough to be able to state that the first live music concert I attended was the midnight double bill of Frank Sinatra and The Count Basie Orchestra at London’s Royal Festival Hall in May 1970.

//The headliners at the RFH, May 1970. Photo: Getty//

//At The RFH, May 1970. Photo: Getty//

I was 10 years old. My resourceful mother wangled tickets for the entire family, with one of my sisters selling programmes. That gained her access to the artists’ area; she gave me the backstage pass which I duly placed in the school project autobiography I wrote the following year.

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Books: I’ll Take You There

May 4th, 2011

//From top: Stunt rider, Hines Farm motorcycle rodeo + The Atomic Pirates motorcycle club.//

A chat with photographer/Men’s File publisher Nick Clements at the opening of his show Revival –  which looks at the re-enactment of the styles surrounding American bike culture of the 50s for his Royal College Of Art research project – put me in mind of original black motorcycle clubs the Atomic Angels and the Gypsy Pirates.

I first came across them a decade or so ago when covering another academic study, Matthew Donahue’s I’ll Take You There, for Mojo magazine. Donahue’s book focused on a true cultural phenomenon: Hines Farm in Swanton, Ohio, whose owners Frank and Sarah Hines were the first African-Americans in the region to be granted a liquor licence.

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