Paul Gorman is…

When Chuck Berry and Little Richard played Knees Up Mother Brown on David Letterman in London

Mar 19th, 2017

//Chuck Berry with Paul Shaffer, Thames TV Studios, Lower Ground, Waterloo, London, May 16, 1995//

I saw Chuck Berry play live twice, and have written previously about the first time when, supported by David Bowie-endorsed revivalist rockers Fumble, he performed a truncated set at the Rainbow theatre in north London’s Finsbury Park in September 1973.

The second time was frankly bizarre. He and Little Richard sat in with Paul Shaffer and his band during a live broadcast of The David Letterman Show from the UK capital in 1995.

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The Stiff Records clock: When You Kill Time You Murder Success

Feb 13th, 2017

//The Stiff Records clock. Concept: Jake Riviera, design: Barney Bubbles, lettering: Caramel Crunch, 1977. No reproduction without permission//

Stiff Records was on fire in 1977.

The British independent record label, with owners Jake Riviera and Dave Robinson snapping up acts and art director Barney Bubbles applying his unsurpassable skills to the visualising of their music, came straight out of the traps 40 years ago this month with the release of the first ‘punk’ LP Damned Damned Damned by – who else? – The Damned.

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Signed copies of the Barney Bubbles book now for just £20 UK!

May 23rd, 2016

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Signed copies of Reasons To Be Cheerful, my acclaimed monograph of the radical British graphic artist Barney Bubbles, are now available from my eBay page for just £20 inc shipping in the UK.

Overseas shipping via eBay’s Global Shipping programme is subject to extra charges.

Otherwise you can buy by or paying via PayPal to this address at the following prices:

UK – £20

Continental Europe: £25

US: £30

Japan/Australia: £35

 

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Buy your copies here.

As well as a celebration of a pop culture great, Reasons To Be Cheerful is recognised as a significant design history, praised by leading magazines and newspapers around the world and voted MOJO’s book of the year . It is also a recommended reference source for graphics communications courses at leading educational institutions.

Reasons To Be Cheerful includes contributions from some of the most important graphic practitioners operating today, such as Art Chantry, Malcolm Garrett and Peter Saville.

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Brian Griffin: Capitalist Realism opens today at Steven Kasher Gallery

Feb 25th, 2016
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//Rush Hour London Bridge, London, 1974. Vintage gelatin silver print, printed c. 1974 12 x 16in//

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//Martin, Elsynge Road, Wandsworth, London, 1977. Gelatin silver print, printed January 2016 20 x 16in//

It’s exciting to note the opening today of photographer Brian Griffin’s first US solo show, Capitalist Realism at New York’s Steven Kasher Gallery.

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Seven works by Barney Bubbles feature in Making Music Modern: Design For The Eye & Ear at MoMA

Jan 26th, 2015

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//Left: Poster, 30 x 20″, one of a series of four, for Generation X residency at The Marque, Soho, London, September 1977. Right: Poster, 60 x 40″, one of a series of five for Stiff Records package tour of UK, October/November, 1977. Design (c) Barney Bubbles Estate//

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//Installation view of Making Music Modern dominated by Bubbles’ Costello poster. Also note his Do It Yourself sleeve and Generation X poster. Photo: John Wronn//

New York’s Museum Of Modern Art is featuring seven works by the late graphics maestro Barney Bubbles in the current exhibition Making Music Modern: Design For The Eye & Ear.

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Next exhibition: White Noise in Chaumont May 26 – June 10

Apr 5th, 2012

//Build-your-own poster adverts for Elvis Costello's My Aim Is True in music papers published July 1977.//

Selection has started on the Barney Bubbles presence at this summer’s group exhibition about the visual language of music, White Noise: Quand le graphisme fait du bruit (When graphics make the noise) at the 23rd International Poster & Graphic Design Festival in Chaumont, France, from May 26 to June 10.

I have supplied the text for the catalogue and last week met co-curator Sophie Demay to start the exhibit selection; Sophie is creating White Noise with Étienne Hervy, the Chaumont festival artistic director and former editor of French graphics magazine Etapes.

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When Charlie met Malcolm

Jan 25th, 2011

//Gillett + McLaren, 1983.//

Year-ends and beginnings naturally bring a sense of loss, of time passed and experiences weighed.

For me, 2010 will always mark the deaths of two individuals of personal import and also of lasting significance to our culture: Charlie Gillett and Malcolm McLaren.

These apparently disparate individuals – Gillett 68 and McLaren 64 at their time of passing on, respectively, March 17 and April 10 – shared several characteristics, not least idiosyncratic and uncompromising viewpoints and an abiding interest in bringing vanguard music into the mainstream.

Charlie was arguably folk and popular music’s greatest enthusiast – though he never liked the phrase, it is his achievement that “world music” entered western lives – and, as art consultant Bernd Wurlitzer wrote in 2008: “Malcolm McLaren is and has been an artist in the purest sense of the word for his entire adult life.”

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