I first met artist/curator Robert Gordon McHarg III two decades ago, when he was developing a sadly unrealised television project based around the annual Christmas extravaganza conducted by our mutual friend, Robert Lopez, aka El Vez The Mexican Elvis.
While interrogating materials for Rethink/Re-Entry – the monograph of artist Derek Boshier I am editing – I’ve come across many delights, including these sketches in the Flowers Gallery archive for one of the most visually striking documents of the post-punk era, CLASH 2nd Songbook.
I’m assembling materials for Rethink/Re-Entry, the long-overdue monograph of the great British artist Derek Boshier I am currently editing.
The book takes its title from the early Boshier painting which inspired rock’s ultimate art-directed star Bryan Ferry to choose the name Remake/Remodel for the first track on Roxy Music’s game-changing debut LP.
Joe Stevens: Rare shot of Joe Strummer entering his punk rock future on the night of the Sex Pistols’ audience fracas
These photographs are among images to be featured in Clash Tales, Joe Stevens’ narrated audio-visual event about his experiences with The Clash at Sonny’s Tavern in Dover, New Hampshire, next week.
Artist Derek Boshier’s practice is marked by his engagement with contemporary culture; this has been a consistent aspect of his work since the earliest days of the British Pop movement.
When popular music has invigorated the wider world, Boshier has been present, incorporating Buddy Holly into his painting I Wonder What My Heroes Think Of The Space Race? in Ken Russell’s defining 1962 Monitor piece Pop Goes The Easel, and providing one of the most vivid visual documents of the punk and post-punk era, Clash 2nd Songbook.
Read the rest of this entry »
NAME: Chris Salewicz
Chris Salewicz is a neighbour and friend. My admiration for his work harks back more than three decades, when his words shone from the pages of the NME.
As detailed by In Their Own Write, this was no mean feat since Salewicz was part of the formidable team whose members included (deep breath): Max Bell, Angie Errigo, Pete Erskine, Mick Farren, Chrissie Hynde, Nick Kent, Nick Logan, Ian MacDonald, Kate Phillips, Charles Shaar Murray, Neil Spencer, Tony Tyler…
Now Salewicz deals in big subjects as an author, broadcaster and film-maker: his Strummer and Marley books capture the definitive portraits of these imposing figures, while involvement in such ventures as the documentary Beats Of Freedom denotes a mature reflection on his Polish roots.
In addition, Salewicz’s role as an aide-de-camp in Mick Jones’ ongoing Rock & Roll Public Library project betrays the highly attuned visual sensibilities conveyed in these, his answers to the Blokes Of Britain Questionnaire:
Sleevenotes make a vinyl record package complete.
When they appear with CDs they’re just too diddy; on a 12-inch sleeve they’re writ large. Like good sleeve design, the best text – whether scrawled or neatly arranged – enhances and delights.
This is Joe Strummer’s contribution to Charly Records’ rock-solid 1980 Lee Dorsey collection Gonh Be Funky, compiled by Cliff White (who was responsible for an incomparable run of reissues around this time).
This portrait of David Bowie was taken by Kate Simon at Olympic recording studios in Barnes, west London, on January 14, 1974.
Simon’s photograph captures a man on the cusp; furiously occupied in the studio, Bowie was tying up loose ends ahead of his departure for America 10 weeks later. He hasn’t lived in Britain since.
Three days before this was taken, Bowie’s production job on Lulu’s version of The Man Who Sold The World was released as a single. Applying himself to finishing Diamond Dogs, Bowie also recorded such eventually unreleased tracks as Take It Right (to become Right, a “plastic soul” anthem on Young Americans) and a try-out of Bruce Springsteen’s Growin’ Up.
Sessions with vocal trio The Astronettes – including paramour Ava Cherry – had proved inconclusive, though an olive branch recently extended to erstwhile producer Tony Visconti soon bore fruit in the form of renewed collaboration.
A month after the shot was taken, Rebel Rebel was released ahead of the marathon US touring schedule over 1974/5 which marked the severing of business relations with Tony Defries and the faltering of his marriage to Angie.
I wanted to talk to Simon about the stories behind this image and others which deliver an emotional charge yet retain the reportage stance of the cool documentarist.