//From Vacant by Nils Stevenson, photo: Ray Stevenson//
If you are of a London gig-goer of a certain (getting on to be advanced) age you will remember “Jesus”, an enthusiastic audience member at many musical events in the capital from the 60s to the late 70s.
//Detail: Hynde, Rotten, Matlock and Jesus. Photo: Ray Stevenson//
Jesus was notable because a) he was personable and b) would often discard his clothes as he energetically idiot-danced stage-front. Jesus liked to frolic with abandon, more often than not exposing much, or even all of his rail-thin body.
//Susie Bubble pays tribute to Shop, The World According To…, Shop At Maison Bertaux, Posh, Shopgirl//
Rifling through her memories of Pippa Brooks and Max Karie’s Soho boutique Shop (which later mutated into The World According To… and then shifted base to Shop At Maison Bertaux), fashion blogger Susie Bubble has nice things to say about me and my work and includes in her selection of images the cover of the first edition of The Look.
This featured Libby Peder’s photograph of Pippa and James Dearlove, her musical collaborator in Posh, All About Eve Babitz and Shopgirl.
It was as Shopgirl that Pippa and James played the launch party, which was held across the road from Shop at the club Astral and featured DJ sets by others in the book, including Jeff Dexter, Count Indigo, Dan Donovan + Don Letts and Jay Strongman.
//2001 invite to the party launching the first edition of The Look//
I got to know Pippa through Shop and Posh, who I saw live a few times in the 90s. Sadly I missed this performance at Wembley Stadium on the same bill as Bon Jovi (is it me or is Pippa absolutely bricking it when she leans down to take a slug of water?):
If you’re in Austin TX – and there’s a chance you might be since hundreds of thousands of people have descended on the city for the annual SXSW film/music/interactive conflab taking place there this week – try and nip along to the Ray Ban Legendary Visions house at 78 Rainey Street on the eastside for a gander at the room collages/installations I have engineered to reflect my take on the look of music.
We knew there was going to be a bit of a turn-out because the RSVPs ran way past the 100 mark on the day the invites were dispatched, but I don’t think any of us involved in Lloyd Johnson: The Modern Outfitter expected such a huge gathering for last night’s private view.
These aren’t words I anticipated ever typing. It’s good to confound expectations, particularly your own, and now I’m looking forward to it; there will be lots of pals there, and I have a purpose.
I’m going as a “performer”, booked as result of the Barney Bubbles connection (he created an elaborate sleeve to house the triple album Revelations, released to pay the debts accrued from the 1971 Glastonbury Fayre).
Trace the progress of popular culture over the last six decades and you’ll find Jeff Dexter at some of its crucial stages of development: demonstrating the twist to modernists at The Lyceum Ballroom and advising the Beatles on which boots to wear in the early 60s; DJing for the noonday underground at Tiles a few years later and then moving into London’s counter-cultural underground as a mainman at Middle Earth and The Roundhouse, where his Implosion nights set the scene for the rise of such friends as Marc Bolan and David Bowie.
There’s Jeff hanging out at Hung On You, booking bands for the first Glastonbury and Isle Of Wight festivals, managing chart-topping America, announcing The Clash at one of their early gigs and DJing for Paul Weller at the Shepherd’s Bush Empire a couple of years back as part of the Island 50 celebrations.
And now he’s answered the Blokes Of Britain questionnaire:
Hi Jeff. What’s with your look these days?
Eclectic and vintage. I mix anything from the past, from another culture, with the standard look which has been ingrained in me since childhood. I looked at some photos today and realised I’ve been doing this since 1968!