Paul Gorman is…

Was it The Fool or Alexander Trocchi? The mystery of Warhol Waking at Kensington Town Hall in May 1971

Apr 22nd, 2017

//Front of folded flyer, 6.5 x 8″//

Graphic artist, musician, fashion and interiors designer and all-round all-rounder Ian Harris has granted me access to more items from his amazing archive; this is in the intriguing category –  a flyer for a most unusual art project he visited in the early 1970s.

Warhol Waking was staged over one day in the foyer of Kensington Town Hall in west London in the spring of 1971. This tumultuous period of creative experimentation in public and private spaces was later described as representing either “the immense variety and talent of the London arts scene or its condition of cultural confusion” by artist and art historian John A. Walker.

The installation/intervention proved challenging for visitors: it comprised a typical domestic bed with sheets and blanket drawn back to reveal excrement juxtaposed with a towering orchid which drooped as the day passed and flies gathered.

Read the rest of this entry »

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Jordan Mooney remembers David ‘Piggy’ Worth and Patrick Lichfield’s 50s photoshoot for The Beatles Rock ‘N’ Roll Music

Oct 28th, 2016
jor-copy

//Jordan Mooney and David “Piggy” Worth. From photo by Patrick Lichfield, 1976//

img_6126

//As they appeared in the Parlophone full-page advert for The Beatles compilation Rock “n”Roll Muisc, New Musical Express, June 26, 1976//

“He was a man full of wit and charm who always had an eye for new and exciting things. His special characteristics were kindness and forethought”

Jordan Mooney, 2016 

Following my recent blogs on the life of the late fashion model David “Piggy” Worth, here is a gem: Sex and Seditionaries superstar Jordan Mooney recalls her friend and in particular the time Worth urged her to join him in a 50s photoshoot by royal photographer Patrick Lichfield.

This was used for an advert and poster promoting Rock ‘N’ Roll Music, a compilation of previously released cover versions recorded by The Beatles between 1962 and 1970.

Read the rest of this entry »

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Indefatigable Ian Harris + The Earth: Pop culture maverick’s 60s rock roots come to light

Jan 10th, 2016
vinearth-1

//Front cover, Elemental, The Earth, Rare Vinyl, 2016. Design: Ian Harris//

Ian Harris is one of those London characters who turns up at various stages in the capital’s post-war pop culture narrative.

Read the rest of this entry »

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Guest post: Peter Knock pays tribute to Robyn Denny (1930-2014)

May 26th, 2014
Robyn-Denny

//Robyn Denny, early 60s. Photo: Bernard Jacobson Gallery//

Artist/illustrator Peter Knock pays tribute to the British ‘Situation’ painter Robyn Denny, who has died:

Sad to learn of the death of abstract painter Robyn Denny last Tuesday (May 20).  It surprised me that he was, in fact, 83; my image of him is locked into the 60s when he was one of the hip and talented artists to have emerged from the Royal College of Art (where he studied in the 50s).

Great Big Biggest Wide London, Denny’s mural for Austin Reed’s Regent Street store, conveyed classic 1960s new age optimism, and received the ultimate seal of approval as a piece defining of its era when The Beatles asked to be photographed standing in front of it in 1963.

Read the rest of this entry »

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Unbelievable rarity: Undocumented Let It Rock clothing featured on 1972 budget LP + previously unpublished views of stock inside 430 King’s Road

Apr 12th, 2014
lir-rockarchive580

//Front cover, Rock Archive, Various Artists, Windmill Records, 1972//

It is relatively common knowledge among those interested in the careers of Malcolm McLaren and Vivienne Westwood and their series of extraordinary shops that they supplied clothes to the 1973 album Golden Hour Of Rock & Roll; Let It Rock at 430 King’s Road was clearly credited on the back of the record sleeve.

Let It Rock-Golden Hour Of Rock & Roll

//Front cover, The Golden Hour Of Rock N Roll, Various Artists, Pye/Golden Hour, 1973//

lir-rockarchiveflipped

//The photograph on the Rock Archive cover was flipped to better accommodate the text. Here it is as originally shot//

But I have fresh information which helps towards a greater understanding of McLaren’s project to investigate the detritus of popular culture’s recent past. During a bout of research recently I came across this earlier and hitherto undocumented use of Let It Rock clothing in a music context: the front cover of Rock Archive, a budget LP compilation released by the specialist British independent label Windmill in 1972.

And I am detailing the clothes on the cover with images taken inside Let It Rock which have never been previously published.

lir-redshirts

//Starke shirts with 50s sports jacket on Let It Rock wall, January 1972. Photograph: David Parkinson//

lir-starke

//Starke label detail//

Each garment worn by the model – whose attempts at rocking out resulted in his giving every appearance of suffering considerable pain – comes from the deadstock of British brands assiduously assembled by Malcolm McLaren and his art-school friend Patrick Casey for the opening of the world’s first avowedly post-modern retail outlet in November 1971.

From the ground up, the Rock Archive cover star wore black suede Denson’s Fine Poynts, ice-blue Lybro jeans with 5in cuffs, a Frederick Starke flyaway collar shirt and a studded and decorated Lewis Leathers early 60s Lightning jacket (which featured a highly collectable 6-5 Special patch).

Read the rest of this entry »

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,