Paul Gorman is…

Janette Beckman’s Punk Hip Hop Mashup opens in London next week

Jan 14th, 2016

London show evite

Next week witnesses the opening of a London exhibition of reworked images by music/street art photographer Janette Beckman.

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‘How can you say no to a place called Watchet?’ – England Expects: The World Cup Art of Kosmo Vinyl

Jun 4th, 2014

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It’s that man again; Kosmo Vinyl has another exhibition of his artful football-based collages.

On the heels of last year’s Is Saitch Yer Daddy?, England Expects coincides with this year’s World Cup in Brazil and reflects – in Vinyl’s “lick-and-stick” style – on the national team’s engagement in the competition past, present and possible.

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//Collage courtesy Contains Art//

The show opens later this month at Contains Art in Watchet Harbour, Somerset. “I was invited and I accepted,” says Vinyl. “How can you say no to a place called Watchet?”

Organised under the auspices of regional arts body Creative Somerset, England Expects: The World Cup Art Of Kosmo runs from June 18-29.

Visit here for venue details and here for info on the show.

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‘The impossibility of fair play in democratic society because of loneliness’: Emmett Grogan on To Tell The Truth

Mar 12th, 2014
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//Emmett Grogan, contestant 2 on the CBS gameshow To Tell The Truth, 1972//

Emmett did enough, rest assured. He proved with his existence that each of us could act out the life of our highest fantasies. This was his goad and his compassionate legacy. Don’t minimise it or let yourself off the hook of his example by quibbling over details. Think about what you read, but more important, as Emmett would have said, “Dig yourself!”.

Peter Coyote, introduction to Ringolevio: A Life Played For Keeps, 1989.

I’m a recently converted disciple of Emmett Grogan.

I was turned on to Grogan’s epic meta-memoir Ringolevio by the persuasive pairing of beat music entrepreneur Kosmo Vinyl and writer Steven Daly when hanging out with them in a series of New York bookshops last year. By the time I was home a few days later I’d devoured Ringolevio’s 500 pages twice and still refer to it constantly. It is a masterpiece.

This morning this absolute delight appeared as if from out of the blue: Grogan – in his capacity as founder of The Diggers – promoting the newly published Ringolevio by participating in a 1972 episode of the guess-the-guest game show To Tell The Truth.

And naturally Grogan does tell the truth. Asked to differentiate between hippies and Yippies he caustically defines the latter group as attracted to “morons like Abbott Hoffman and Jerome Rubin”.

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//My copy of the New York Review Of Books 2008 paperback edition. Cover: Grogan on the steps of the San Francisco Municipal Courthouse, 1966. Photo: Bob Campbell/San Francisco Chronicle//

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//First edition, Little, Brown, 1972. Jacket: Larry Rivers//

Grogan also tells host Gary Moore – who praises the Larry Rivers cover of the first edition of Ringolevio – that he is working on a new book, entitled The Impossibility Of Fair Play In Democratic Society Because Of Loneliness.

Put-on or not, the sad fact is that this was just one of a number of Grogan’s projects which failed to see the light of day in the wake of Ringolevio. As Peter Coyote wrote in 1989: “Emmett’s road petered out at the end of the line of the Coney Island subway April Fools Day 1978 – where his body was found, dead of an overdose.”

Bob Dylan subsequently dedicated his album Street Legal to Grogan’s memory.

TTTT from Eric Noble on Vimeo.

If you don’t already own a copy do yourself a favour and buy Ringolevio.

As Coyote also wrote: “Think about what you read, but more important, as Emmett would have said, “Dig yourself!”.

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Ian Dury, Dany Bubbles + Barney Bubbles

Jun 26th, 2013

//Dany Bubbles, 1963-66. Pencil and acrylic, 29" x 20" (framed)//

I sourced one of the paintings which is in More Than Fair, the exhibition of Ian Dury’s artworks which opens at his alma mater, London’s Royal College of Art, next month.

Dury gave the ultra-Pop Dany Bubbles to his friend and designer Barney Bubbles in the late 70s during their spell of collaboration which resulted in a series of triumphs: single sleeves such as Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll, What A Waste and Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick, the 28 wallpaper covers of the album Do It Yourself, the Blockhead logo…

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When Kilburn + The High Roads played the King’s Road Theatre 1974: Ian Dury in Let It Rock ‘Alan Ladd’ suit + feather tie and Sue and Simon Haynes’ extraordinary Tower Bridge stage set

Apr 12th, 2013

//Keith Lucas and Ian Dury onstage at the Kings Road Theatre, November 1974. Photo: Simon Haynes Collection//

As these rarely seen photographs show, when the subject of my last book the late Tommy Roberts took over management of Kilburn & The High Roads he sought to elevate them from the pub-rock scene by upping the visual ante on every front.

//From left: Lucas, Dury, David Rohoman, Charlie Sinclair and Davey Payne//

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Is Saitch Yer Daddy: Collages by Kosmo Vinyl

Mar 13th, 2013

//Vinyl with The Clash, 1981.Photo: Bob Gruen //


Next month sees the opening of an exhibition of 53 collages tracking the fortunes of West Ham United FC over a season; they are all the product of expat football fan and music industry maverick Kosmo Vinyl.

The show’s title, Is Saitch Yer Daddy, is taken from 60s graffito adorning a wall near West Ham’s home ground. Residency in New York for many years hasn’t dampened the ardour for The Hammers of this figure who played key promotional and managerial roles for Graham Parker, Stiff Records, Ian Dury and The Clash.

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The Word’s out on The Modern Outfitter

Feb 4th, 2012

Lloyd Johnson: The Modern Outfitter in The Word magazine (290)Lloyd Johnson: The Modern Outfitter in The Word magazine (290)

The new issue of The Word magazine includes a photo-spread on the exhibition Lloyd Johnson: The Modern Outfitter.

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