Paul Gorman is…

For Jim Walrod – ‘Decoration is the danger, function is the idea’: The On 1st experiment in conceptual art retailing

Sep 27th, 2017

** This post is dedicated to the New York design thinker and doer Jim Walrod, who has passed away. Just a couple of weeks ago I mentioned my intention to post about On 1st to Jim over dinner. Of course, he knew about the store but was excited to see what fresh info I might have turned up. I’ll write about Jim when I have collected my thoughts; wherever he is, I am sure Jim will join us all in the necessary proclamation: Fuck Trump**

//At the entrance to 1159 1st Avenue at 63rd was Sven Lukin’s two-tonne illuminated sign. Photo: Bert Stern//

//On 1st interior including displays of Roy Lichtenstein wallpaper and Gerald Laing plates. Photo: Bert Stern//

In conversation this summer, British artist Duggie Fields revealed to me that, during a sojourn in the US in 1968, he had been in line to work at photographer Bert Stern’s “architecturally mind-blowing” art store/publishing house On 1st in Manhattan’s east side.

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A bastion of splendid non-conformity: Brian Griffin’s photos of Duggie Fields at home in the late 70s

Aug 18th, 2017

//Duggie Fields at home, late 1970s. © Brian Griffin. No reproduction without permission//

//Duggie Fields’ apartment, late 1970s. © Brian Griffin. No reproduction without permission//

Among my current projects is an article for Apartamento about the great British artist Duggie Fields and his flat in London’s Earl’s Court.

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Junior Murvin: Memories

Dec 4th, 2013
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//My copy of the Tedious/Memories 12in//

Junior Murvin – who has died aged 67 – will forever be associated with the rebel cool of his 1976 Lee Perry-produced single Police & Thieves. Yesterday morning’s BBC Radio 4’s Today news programme displayed it’s trademark ham-fisted approach to pop culture when eagerly proclaiming the song his shining achievement by managing to misname Paul Simonon “Mick Jones” in an interview introduction and rushing to gush unconvincingly over an excerpt of The Clash’s version.

Personally, I favour another Lee Perry collaboration from the same period, the epic single B-side Memories.

I bought the UK 12inch mix on a shopping spree in a record shop tucked away in an Earl’s Court side street one late afternoon in 1977 on the recommendation of the shop assistant.

At 8mins 45secs, Memories is not only a sonic adventure to match the very best of 70s dub, but also a sweet, romantic song, the yearning, regretful theme over Perry’s bubbling cauldron of rhythms perfectly matched to Murvin’s falsetto whoop (I found Police & Thieves too preaching, which I guess is why it made sense for The Clash – always complaining about being told what to do, they tended towards dictating to their audience).

The flip, Tedious, is pretty good, as were other Black Ark explorations such as Closer Together, but nothing in my view in Murvin’s body of work touches the tenderness of Memories.

Remember him this way:

 

 

 

 

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For the first time in 36 years the whole article: Forum June 1976 featuring SEX + Incognito Leather

Oct 25th, 2012

//Photo detail (from left): SEX customers Danielle, Alan Jones + Chrissie Hynde; Vivienne Westwood; assistant Jordan.//

As a follow-up to my recent post about the rarely seen 1975 interview with Malcolm McLaren in soft porn mag Gallery International, here is another exclusive: for the first time since publication in June 1976, the full article featuring McLaren and Vivienne Westwood’s shop SEX in British sex guide Forum.

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Duggie Fields: Listed Londoner speaks out against ‘regeneration’

Jan 7th, 2012

Duggie Fields, Listed Londoner 580

As Out magazine’s Listed Londoner this month, Duggie Fields gives voice to the concerns of many of us: the desecration of this city’s fine buildings by evil property developers – abetted by lax local authorities and supine architects – in the name of “regeneration”.

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