Paul Gorman is…

Revenge of the suburbs: David Bowie fans shine in doc about the 1983 Milton Keynes Bowl gigs

Nov 1st, 2016
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//Members of the audience from Edinburgh who preferred Australian support act Icehouse to Bowie//

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Fittingly Britain’s most surprising rock star has found his way to Britain’s newest and most surprising city, where high tech meets ecologic, where concrete meets conservation, where the silicon chip meets the fibreglass rod…

Steve Taylor, South Of Watford, Summer 1983, London Weekend Television

While putting the finishing touches to my forthcoming book about The Face magazine, I followed a line of research which lead me to an excellent documentary about the late David Bowie which I hadn’t seen since it was screened in 1983.

Shown as part of London’s regional broadcaster LWT’s South Of Watford strand, the film focused on Bowie’s immersion in the mainstream with the Let’s Dance LP and companion Serious Moonlight tour (sponsored by Levi’s in a groundbreaking marketing deal, this inaugurated the era of corporate and branded live music events).

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The doc’s point of entry was Bowie’s weekend of sold-out gigs that summer at Milton Keynes Bowl, the open-air arena in Britain’s newest city north of London in the Buckinghamshire countryside.

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”I love the book… your work cascades over the decades’: David Bowie’s last email to Derek Boshier

Jan 12th, 2016
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//Sketches for the Lodger sleeve, 1979//

I just had to write and tell you how much I love the book that has just been published. Your work really cascades over the decades and is utterly real and convincing.

Extract of email from David Bowie to Derek Boshier, November 2015

I guess it can be told now. David Bowie was at one stage going to contribute to Rethink/Re-entry, the monograph of the artist Derek Boshier, with whom the late rock star had worked in the late 70s and early 80s.

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Exclusive: Published for the first time anywhere – photograph of David Bowie with Derek Boshier and his daughters

Nov 9th, 2015
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//David Bowie with Derek Boshier and his daughters Lily and Rosa, 1993. Courtesy Derek Boshier. No reproduction without permission//

To mark the publication of my piece about Derek Boshier’s creative collaborations with David Bowie in this month’s British GQ, here is a photograph taken when the rock star visited the artist and his family at his home outside London in the early 90s.

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Installation of the exciting Derek Boshier exhibition Rethink/Re-entry at Flowers Central

Oct 6th, 2015
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//Framed sketches for CLASH 2nd Songbook with copies of the published work//

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//Specially designed by Boshier for the show, Art ‘Til You Drop tote bags and badges will be available along with copies of the monograph Rethink/Re-entry//

The installation of Rethink/Re-entry, the exhibition at central London gallery Flowers showcasing important works by Derek Boshier from the 1970s as well as collages and films made in the last year, is all-but complete.

These shots were taken yesterday as co-curator Guy Brett and I worked with the Flowers team on sequencing and final selection for the show, which opens tomorrow (October 7).

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//Three sketches for sleeve of David Bowie’s 1979 LP Lodger//

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In conversation with Derek Boshier at Flowers Cork Street next week

Oct 1st, 2015
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//Derek Boshier with his work The Dinner Party. Photo: Marissa Roth//

Next Thursday (October 8) I will be in conversation with artist Derek Boshier at Flowers Gallery in Cork Street in London’s Mayfair.

This marks the publication of Rethink/Re-entry, the Boshier monograph I have edited, as well as the exhibition of the same name I am curating at Flowers with the writer/curator Guy Brett.

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My piece on David Bowie’s early 70s stylistic ch-ch-changes on The Guardian men’s fashion page

Aug 4th, 2015

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Read my piece on the stylistic changes rung by David Bowie during the early 70s on The Guardian’s men’s fashion pages here.

I discuss his fashion collaborations with Freddie Burretti, Daniella Parmar and Kansai Yamamoto and talk about the Pin-Ups suit from City Lights Studio designed by Derek Morton. Hope you enjoy.

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The story of the Sex shop leather hood: From harmless fetish attire (as sported by David Bowie?) to theatre of cruelty design totem

Jul 14th, 2015

Gorman_03.tifDavid Bowie in Sex Gimp Mask 1974 copy
//Left: Detail of photo of model posing in leather Sex hood, autumn 1974. Photo: © David Parkinson. Right: David Bowie in leather hood, summer 1974, Sherry Netherland Hotel, New York. Photo: Dana Gillespie//

My recent post about David Bowie’s visits in 1974 to 430 King’s Road when it was in its Too Fast To Live Too Young To Die incarnation prompted Facebook friend and DJ Graham “Sugarlump” Evans to alert me to Polaroid photographs of David Bowie trying out make-up, hair and styling options in preparation for his Diamond Dogs tour of the US that year.

David Bowie in Sex Gimp Mask 1974

// Polaroid taken by Dana Gillespie in New York in 1974//

In one, as Evans points out, Bowie posed in a leather hood of similar style to the model sold at 430 as it was transformed over a period of six months from TFTL to fetish emporium Sex.

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David Bowie’s unwitting role in the transformation of 430 King’s Road from Too Fast To Live Too Young To Die to SEX

Jul 10th, 2015
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//David Bowie recording the Diamond Dogs LP at Olympic Studios, Barnes, south-west London, January 1974 during his residency in Chelsea’s Oakley Street. Photo © Kate Simon//

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//Malcolm McLaren and Gerry Goldstein in front of the Too Fast To Live Too Young To Die facade, 430 King’s Road, London, summer 1973. © Malcolm McLaren Estate//

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//Malcolm McLaren in Too Fast To Live Too Young To Die designs, Chelsea, London, from New Musical Express, April 6, 1974 . Photo: © Pennie Smith//

It is a little known fact that David Bowie was an occasional visitor to 430 King’s Road when it was operating as Too Fast To Live Too Young To Die.

This manifestation of Malcolm McLaren and Vivienne Westwood’s revolutionary boutique  – which paid design tribute to the fetishistic studded leather attire of Britain’s early 60s Ton Up Boys and rockers and sold the cult clothing associated with 40s mobsters and Latino zoot suit rioters – succeeded the 50s outlet Let It Rock in the early spring of 1973, as noted at the time by the fashion writer Catherine Tennant in British Vogue.

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//From British Vogue, April 1, 1973//

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Long-awaited monograph Derek Boshier: Rethink/Re-entry to be published by Thames & Hudson in October

Jun 19th, 2015
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//From Thames & Hudson’s July-December 2015 catalogue//

“As an artist Derek Boshier has never lost his sense of wonder at the world” – David Hockney

The publication date of Derek Boshier: Rethink/Re-entry – the monograph of the great British artist I have edited – is confirmed as October 5.

Published by Thames & Hudson with a preface by David Hockney, Rethink/Re-entry contains 300-plus illustrations, from student exercises in the mid-50s to current works including the cover, a new portrait of Hockney and chapter openers especially designed by Boshier for the project.

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LP artwork distilled, venue interiors re-appraised and video portraits of Ian Brown, Matt Johnson and Richard Strange at Peter Wilkins’ Lost In Music

May 20th, 2015
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//Astral Weeks – Van Morrison, Peter Wilkins, 2015//

Hammersmith Apollo, Peter Wilkins, 2015

//Hammersmith Apollo, Peter Wilkins, 2015//

In the 21st century, when digital downloads displaced compact discs as the format of consumer choice, music went naked into the world, unadorned by design or packaging. Yet this in turn gave rise to vigorous rear-guard action in the growing appreciation of what was fast disappearing. As if from the dead, vinyl made a comeback and the fan in Wilkins places him in a key position to cogitate this phenomenon.
From my text for the Lost In Music catalogue

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