Paul Gorman is…

POP: Exciting new book to showcase Brian Griffin’s enigmatic excellence

May 6th, 2017

//© Brian Griffin//

I have written an essay for POP, the forthcoming book showcasing the great British photographer Brian Griffin’s engagement with music.

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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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‘A booby trap in Pop Art’: The tits tee featured in 1972 Frederick’s of Hollywood catalogue

Jun 2nd, 2015
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//Detail, Frederick’s catalogue. Photo: Johnny Deluxe//

Congratulations to our pal Johnny Deluxe for this fantastic spot; he happened upon this kitsch sketch of an original tits t-shirt while leafing through an early 70s Frederick’s Of Hollywood catalogue.

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//Catalogue page. Photo: Johnny Deluxe//

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All The Way From Louisville: Leee Black Childers

Apr 7th, 2014

The last time I saw photographer/manager Leee Black Childers – who has died aged aged 69 – was fleetingly, a year or so ago at the crowded launch of his book and exhibition at London’s The Vinyl Factory.

The first time I saw Childers was at The Speakeasy at a March 1977 concert by his charges The Heartbreakers. The poster for that gig, featuring his London rooftop portrait of the band, hangs behind me as I type.

That night and for the rest of his London stay over the next couple of years this Southern gent could be spotted at such haunts as The Ship in Wardour Street, his presence notable for lacquered pompadour, authentic sharkskin suits and slick black winklepickers, his reputation bolstered by the knowledge that Ian Hunter had dedicated Mott The Hoople’s All The Way From Memphis to Childers – who, in fact, was raised near Louisville, KY – and that he created the apocalyptic collage on the inner gatefold of David Bowie’s Diamond Dogs LP (which now appears spookily prescient of the devastation of 9/11).

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//The inner gatefold of my well-worn copy of Diamond Dogs showing Childers’ apocalyptic photographic collage//

Childers appeared awfully frail at the Vinyl Factory launch, so news that he had been rushed to LA’s Cedar Sinai hospital during another bout of book promotion a few weeks back was worrying but not unexpected.

In conversation in 2009 Childers revealed a promotional plan for his book then in preparation: he wanted it to be published after his death so that he could be utterly honest about his extraordinary life and set of acquaintances. The promotion would consist of a series of pre-recorded chat show appearances, all ready for broadcast as soon as he expired. He wondered whether the likes of Jay Leno and David Letterman would be up for it.

Well, it wasn’t to be. The book came out and though unwell he appeared to be enjoying being back in the spotlight.

I am told Childers’ archiving was ramshackle and can find no website dedicated to his photographic work. This is shame because no one was embedded in and simultaneously chronicling the demi-monde of glitter, glam and punk, of Warhol’s Manhattan, Iggy’s LA and McLaren’s London, in the manner of this charismatic soul.

Sayonara Leee.

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Iggy Pop’s Wild Thing jacket: Not from Paradise Garage

Jul 22nd, 2013

//From The Look blog 2009//

A few years back I wrote a series of blogs about the so-called “Wild Thing” jacket worn by Iggy Pop on the cover of his and The Stooges’ album Raw Power; in 2008 I had brokered a deal for the jacket designers John and Molly Dove to reissue a t-shirt range – including a version bearing the Wild Thing’s panther head – via Topman.

Around that time I also hooked them up with the current owner of the jacket, US maverick pop culture entrepreneur and collector  “Long Gone” John Mermis (who I’d met as far back as the mid-90s at his extraordinary Long Beach mansion).

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Iggy Pop strolls around the Losaida, 1993

Jun 27th, 2013

Directed by Bram Van Splunteren, via openculture.com

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“Late hippie fleur du mal to the power of N’: Nick Kent x 5 by Joe Stevens

Mar 12th, 2013

// Nick Kent, London 1974. Photo: Joe Stevens. "Taken at the NME offices on Long Acre. Our Nick looking dolled up, headed to the record company offices to score albums he'd presold to shops in The Gate. Kent would convert the cash into dope, fags, eyeliner, some threads, and an omelette at The Hall Of The Mountain Grill on Portobello Rd." //

Overseen by Nick Logan (with Jann Wenner across the Atlantic, the key figure in the development of the music press) the NME was happily in thrall to The New Journalism, striking alliances with such fellow travellers as Creem’s Lester Bangs and charging through the mid-70s doldrums with a manifesto which contributed to punk’s rhetoric. This was delivered with élan, a drugged-up Dog Days Of Glam sense of style. No one exemplifies this slurred, unsteady on its bony legs, fuck-you stance better than Nick Kent.

Introduction, In Their Own Write, 2001

Photographer Joe Stevens has recently posted on his website a set of reminiscences of working with Nick Kent, whose journalism – along with that of Pete Erskine, Chrissie Hynde, Charles Shaar Murray and Chris Salewicz – for the NME in the early-to-mid-70s helped set me on the path to writing for a living.

Kent backed up his verbals with a striking visual presence which trumped most mainstream pop performers of the period.

As Dylan Jones has recounted, it was to Kent that a waitress in a Chinese restaurant once gravitated for an autograph, not his dining companions Iggy Pop and David Bowie, “because he looked more of a rock star than the other two”.

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Lloyd Johnson exhibition install Day 4: Iggy in a Bluebeat hat

Jan 20th, 2012

Lloyd Johnson exhibition install: Day 4

Included in the Lloyd Johnson show are photographs of performers wearing Johnson’s apparel – above is a 1979 shot of Iggy Pop in one of the label’s jackets paired with a Johnson’s Bluebeat hat (if memory serves, Glen Matlock, who was working with Pop at the time on his album New Values, told me that Iggy half-inched it from him).

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Lloyd Johnson: The Modern Outfitter – exhibition in the New Year

Dec 9th, 2011

Lloyd Johnson: The Modern Outfitter – the exhibition about one of the greatest contributors to British street fashion and visual culture of recent times – is at London gallery Chelsea Space in the New Year, from January 24 to March 3.

The show will be centred on Johnson’s archive of garments, artwork, fabrics, ephemera and personal effects, augmented by contributions from customers and collectors from Tokyo to Sydney to LA.

For a taster here’s a trio of clips featuring Johnson’s designs:

Tom Waits’ boots (from 2.50):

Iggy’s jacket on The Tube:

George Michael’s jacket + boots:

More info on Lloyd Johnson The Modern Outfitter here.

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