Paul Gorman is…

Jasper: Memories of the London fashion label and a Barney Bubbles connection

May 15th, 2017

//But Is It… ART, t-shirt design, Ian Harris for Jasper, 1979//

I’ve dug into collector and graphic artist Ian Harris’s rich archive again and turned up a brace of t-shirts he designed in the late 70s for Jasper, the eponymous London-based fashion label operated by entrepreneur Jasper Hamilton Holmes from showrooms in central London.

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The Stiff Records clock: When You Kill Time You Murder Success

Feb 13th, 2017

//The Stiff Records clock. Concept: Jake Riviera, design: Barney Bubbles, lettering: Caramel Crunch, 1977. No reproduction without permission//

Stiff Records was on fire in 1977.

The British independent record label, with owners Jake Riviera and Dave Robinson snapping up acts and art director Barney Bubbles applying his unsurpassable skills to the visualising of their music, came straight out of the traps 40 years ago this month with the release of the first ‘punk’ LP Damned Damned Damned by – who else? – The Damned.

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‘Misfits in the pantheon of pop’ : Barney Bubbles exhibition at Leamington Spa’s White Room Gallery this weekend

Apr 12th, 2016
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//Four of the five 60in x 40in posters designed by Bubbles for the 1977 UK tour by Stiff Records’ artists//

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//Jacket sported by Jake Riviera in the late 70s decorated with badges, adorned with a ‘Jesus Of Cool’ promotional tie produced for Nick Lowe and accompanied by a Roberta Bayley photograph of Riviera in the jacket in 1977//

Music fan and pop ephemera collector Mike Hobday is realising a long-held ambition this weekend with a show of designs by the late graphic artist Barney Bubbles at The White Room Gallery in Leamington Spa, Warwickshire.

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Barney Bubbles’ cube letterhead design for Riviera Global Record Productions

Dec 14th, 2015
BB - Riviera Global letterhead 580

//A4 letterhead, Barney Bubbles, 1978. No reproduction without permission//

This company letterhead was designed by the late graphics master Barney Bubbles for music entrepreneur Jake Riviera during the latter’s tenure at 60 Parker Street in London’s Covent Garden in the late 70s.

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Design by Barney Bubbles – who would have been 71 today – for Mick Farren’s 1977 Stiff Records EP Screwed Up

Jul 30th, 2013

//7in sq paper sleeve, front: Screwed Up, Mick Farren, Stiff Records, 1977//

//7in sq paper sleeve, back: Screwed Up, Mick Farren, Stiff Records, 1977//

This is the sleeve designed by Barney Bubbles – would have been 71 today – for Screwed Up, the 1977 EP by the rabble-rousing writer and performer Mick Farren, who died at the weekend after collapsing onstage during a performance with his band The Deviants of their poem/song Cocaine & Gunpowder.

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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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SXSW installations: The look of music

Mar 16th, 2012


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.

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Letter from Ian Dury to Roberta Bayley

Feb 17th, 2011

Ian Dury sent this letter to Roberta Bayley in May 1977.

As the late songsmith’s biographer Will Birch explains here, Dury was just a few months away from achieving nationwide fame.

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