Paul Gorman is…

“Forbidden connotations”: The source of Malcolm McLaren’s Naked Footballer design identified

Sep 20th, 2017

//John Rotten performing with the Sex Pistols at Andrew Logan’s Valentine’s Ball, February 1976 in a hybrid Sex t-shirt combining the images from the ‘Tits’ and ‘Naked Footballer’ designs. Note Jordan Mooney (far left), Luciana Martinez (third right), Derek Jarman (with camera) and Vivienne Westwood (far right). Photo: Joe Stevens. No reproduction without permission//

Last summer I spent a pleasant afternoon in the company of American academic Benjamin Court, who has been researching a dissertation entitled The Politics of Musical Amateurism, 1968-1981.

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Don’t Knock The Rock: John E. Reed’s eternal image of exuberant Little Richard

Apr 20th, 2017

//London Records promotional image, 1958//

In 1956 the Hollywood photographer John E. Reed took a series of promotional shots of the stars of DJ Alan Freed’s rocksploitation flick Don’t Knock The Rock.

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George Cox: The origins of the Diano brothel creeper + samples ordered by Malcolm McLaren in 1973

Jan 20th, 2015
Malcolm McLaren 1972 (c) David Parkinson

//Malcolm McLaren in a previously unpublished shot wearing original 50s George Cox Bingley D-ring brothel creepers to match his detail-perfect Teddy Boy garb. Photo taken inside Let It Rock, 430 King’s Road, January 1972. (c) David Parkinson//

Saint Laurent side buckle patent creeper copy 3976 buckle diano copy

//Left, Saint Laurent point-toed patent brothel creepers, A/W 2014. Right: George Cox Buckle Diano made to the 1950s last//

Last season’s foregrounding by Saint Laurent of the pointed brothel creeper is just one of a run of examples of fashion brands plugging into the purity of this quintessentially British rock & roll style minted in 1949 by the UK independent footwear company George Cox.

Among the first stylistic innovators to take the design out of Teddy Boy revivalism and apply it to contemporary fashion was Malcolm McLaren, who had been selling creepers for a couple of years at Let It Rock, the boutique he operated with Vivienne Westwood, by the time he visited the Cox factory in Northampton in November 1973. Here he ordered samples for six styles, some of which went into production for sale at 430 King’s Road.

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Jah Wobble talks Bohemian Chelsea, Aswad, Hawkwind, Sid VIcious and selling his Metal Box bass to the JAMC

Dec 4th, 2014

wobbleThis is nice; pal and fellow Chelsea Arts Club member John Wardle talks about the importance of the immediate neighbourhood, its artistic tradition going back to the likes of Whistler, the licentiousness of the Cremorne Pleasure Gardens in Victorian times, the Bohemian atmosphere engendered by the 70s slums around the Lots Road Power Station and how all of this combined to create the breeding ground for punk.

John also talks about his love for Hawkwind, Sid Vicious, how he sold the bass he played on Metal Box to the Jesus & Mary Chain for a drink and why he should really have done the interview topless…

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September 13: Joe Stevens at his snarliest

Aug 14th, 2014
sex-pistols-1

//Sid Vicious, Johnny Rotten (in Seditionaries Elliot tartan suit and Anarchy flag/leather mask t-shirt) and Paul Cook of the Sex Pistols relax during a soundcheck before their performance at Randy’s Rodeo, San Atonio, Texas on January 8, 1978. Less than a week later the line-up played its final show together in San Francisco. Photo: Joe Stevens//

Lucky for some. Photographer, raconteur, wit and self-confessed exhibitionist Joe Stevens will be talking about and presenting a selection of his 70s Brit/Punk photos at Sonny’s Tavern in Dover, New Hampshire, on September 13.

“Attendees are encouraged to affect their snarliest behaviour,” says Stevens.

More details here.

This is from the January 8 show at Randy’s:

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Jim French: Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Sailor exhibition + new Colt apparel collection

Nov 21st, 2013

//Jim French Polaroid studies//

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Sailor is an exhibition of Polaroids taken by artist, illustrator and print-maker Jim French which opens tonight at New York’s ClampArt gallery.

These include studies for French’s 1969 Colt Studio print Longhorns Dance, incorporated by Malcolm McLaren in 1975 in his notorious Cowboys t-shirt design, as sold in Sex and Seditionaries at 430 King’s Road and worn by the Sex Pistols and others.

//Longhorns Dance by Colt (Jim French) from Manpower! issue 7, 1974//

//Wearing their Cowboys (clockwise from top left): McLaren 1975, Sid Vicious 1977, Siouxsie 1976, Steve Jones 1975. Photographs: Bob Gruen; Dennis Morris; Ray Stevenson; Mick Rock.//

//From queerclick.com//

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At Johnny Rotten’s pad in Malcolm McLaren’s leather jeans 1978: The story behind the photograph

Jan 4th, 2013

This just in from Joe Stevens, following yesterday’s post about his new website: the story behind the photo with Johnny Rotten above, taken in London in 1978.

We were at his Gunter Grove digs in Fulham. Malcolm (McLaren) had left his grotty leathers in my flat in NYC during the Sid and Nancy murder doings. I had them dry cleaned. Never got the $90 for that one.
He had Glitterbest problems in London. So did Rotten. I was over there to do pictures of Public Image Limited.
He made a nice curry. I crashed there with him and Nora (Forster). Ari (Up, Forster’s daughter) would pop by often.
We watched her and The Slits record Heard It Thru The Grapevine and Chrissie (Hynde) rehearsing with her new Pretenders.
Yeah, he’s holding up his trousers with a strand of white cord.
I was later a witness at the High Court trial involving the band versus Glitterbest.
I tried on Malcolm’s leather trousers. Fell in love. It was a first. Went to London in them. Never took them off. Returned two weeks later to NYC wearing them.
Had them cleaned again. This time they didn’t survive. All I got back was swatches of leather in a bag.

Stevens’ new website is here.

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Photography: Joe Stevens behind the lens

Aug 28th, 2012

//Malcolm McLaren at Joe Stevens' studio in Fulham, south-west London, 1976.//

In the late 60s, New Yorker Joe Stevens made a name for himself as an all-action photographer, covering riots, demonstrations and ant-Vietnam War marches for radical weekly The East Village Other (whose contributors’ list also included Allen Ginsberg, Robert Crumb and Abbie Hoffman).

But Stevens grew restless. “I wanted to do the same thing in London,” says Stevens. “I told my editor I’d probably return in a few weeks. By the time I did 10 years later, the US underground press had vanished.”

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Blokes of Britain: Jah Wobble

Jan 24th, 2011

//Jah Wobble, 2009.//

NAME: Jah Wobble (real name: John Wardle)

RESIDES: Cheshire

OCCUPATION: Musician

It’s well documented that, in his teenage years, Jah Wobble was a member of the Four Johns, the gang of youths who gravitated to each other while at Kingsway College Of Further Education on the fringes of the City Of London in the mid-70s.

The other members included John Beverley, aka Sid Vicious, John Lydon – later Johnny Rotten of the Sex Pistols – and Lydon’s friend, John Gray.  Knocking around east and north London, the quartet followed football and voraciously consumed music from Bowie to Can to Hawkwind to Big Youth and beyond.

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