Paul Gorman is…

”I love the book… your work cascades over the decades’: David Bowie’s last email to Derek Boshier

Jan 12th, 2016
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//Sketches for the Lodger sleeve, 1979//

I just had to write and tell you how much I love the book that has just been published. Your work really cascades over the decades and is utterly real and convincing.

Extract of email from David Bowie to Derek Boshier, November 2015

I guess it can be told now. David Bowie was at one stage going to contribute to Rethink/Re-entry, the monograph of the artist Derek Boshier, with whom the late rock star had worked in the late 70s and early 80s.

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Revised and updated with fresh links: My marathon trawl through the references in You’re Gonna Wake Up One Morning And Know What Side Of The Bed You’ve Been Lying On!

Dec 2nd, 2015

“It didn’t matter what side of the bed you were lying on, as long as you were lying on it. Everybody from (author/actress) Anne Lambton to (Sex Pistols guitarist) Kutie Jones to (socialite and writer) Anthony Haden-Guest – they were all flattered. Just goes to show how everyone loves to have their moment – good, bad or indifferent.”

Malcolm McLaren, The Look, 2006

It’s coming up to five years since I posted my marathon dissection – including extensively researched links to sources and references – of the divisive 1970s punk manifesto t-shirt design You’re Gonna Wake Up One Morning And Know What Side Of The Bed You’ve Been Lying On!

Here is a new version of that post, revised and updated with fresh links.

Enjoy!

Sixty years after Blast, the You’re Gonna Wake Up list t-shirt adopted a similarly truculent tone in an attempt to ring the alarms amid a culture rendered flaccid by the failure of the 60s dream.

You’re Gonna Wake Up – which went on sale in Malcolm McLaren and Vivienne Westwood’s boutique Sex at 430 King’s Road in the autumn of 1974 – was conceived by fellow traveller and soon-to-be manager of The Clash Bernie Rhodes and realised with contributions from McLaren and their friend Gerry Goldstein.

Of course, it is best known for carrying the band name McLaren had recently granted to a bunch of teenagers hanging around the shop: “Kutie Jones and his SEX PISTOLS”.

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Installation of the exciting Derek Boshier exhibition Rethink/Re-entry at Flowers Central

Oct 6th, 2015
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//Framed sketches for CLASH 2nd Songbook with copies of the published work//

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//Specially designed by Boshier for the show, Art ‘Til You Drop tote bags and badges will be available along with copies of the monograph Rethink/Re-entry//

The installation of Rethink/Re-entry, the exhibition at central London gallery Flowers showcasing important works by Derek Boshier from the 1970s as well as collages and films made in the last year, is all-but complete.

These shots were taken yesterday as co-curator Guy Brett and I worked with the Flowers team on sequencing and final selection for the show, which opens tomorrow (October 7).

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//Three sketches for sleeve of David Bowie’s 1979 LP Lodger//

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In conversation with Derek Boshier at Flowers Cork Street next week

Oct 1st, 2015
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//Derek Boshier with his work The Dinner Party. Photo: Marissa Roth//

Next Thursday (October 8) I will be in conversation with artist Derek Boshier at Flowers Gallery in Cork Street in London’s Mayfair.

This marks the publication of Rethink/Re-entry, the Boshier monograph I have edited, as well as the exhibition of the same name I am curating at Flowers with the writer/curator Guy Brett.

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I Groaned With Pain: Malcolm McLaren’s own t-shirts to feature in exhibition of status quo-disrupters

Jul 17th, 2015
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//The t-shirts show the deliberate production of variants within the limited edition designed and written by McLaren and printed on the simple square pattern produced by Vivienne Westwood in 1974. © Malcolm McLaren Estate//

Two of Malcolm McLaren’s t-shirts from the very first production run of I Groaned With Pain – the notorious text design produced with Vivienne Westwood in 1974 – will be featured in Eyes For Blowing Up Bridges, the exhibition I am co-curating with David Thorp at Southampton’s John Hansard Gallery this autumn.

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//T-shirt with central tear on light blue jersey with exterior seaming, labelled, Malcolm McLaren and Vivienne Westwood, 1974. 360mm x 375mm. © Malcolm McLaren Estate//

I Groaned With Pain is named after the first four words of the paragraph of text McLaren lifted from beat writer Alexander Trocchi’s erotic novel Helen And Desire (published in 1954 by Olympia Press under the pseudonym Francis Lengel).

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Derek Boshier: Clash art guru + original punk rocker!

Jan 27th, 2015
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//Daily Mail – Poem Of Hate, 1977. Ink drawing and newsprint, 55 x 75cm. © Derek Boshier, courtesy Flowers//

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//Drawing for CLASH 2nd Songbook, 1978. Ink on paper, 30.5 x 22cm. © Derek Boshier, courtesy Flowers//

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//Hi Consumers! Don’t Forget Nothing Lasts Forever, 1978. Ink and collage on paper, 46 x 54.9cm. © Derek Boshier, courtesy Flowers//

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//Drawing for CLASH 2nd Songbook, 1978. 33 x 22.5cm. © Derek Boshier, courtesy Flowers//

“Without hesitation, CLASH 2nd Song book is a masterpiece of graphic art”

Guy Brett, writer/curator

Interrogating materials for the Derek Boshier monograph has brought home the meshing of the artist’s sensibilities with punk in the 70s.

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The Clash: Rare sketches by Derek Boshier in the Flowers Gallery archive

May 14th, 2014

Lunch with Messrs Hell + Riviera

Feb 10th, 2014
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//Richard Hell + Jake Riviera, outside the Chelsea Arts Club, London, Feb 2014//

I’ve had few, if any, lunches as enjoyable as last week’s hook-up with Richard Hell and Jake Riviera for a piece I am writing for GQ magazine.

Richard and Jake first met outside CBGB in March 1976, having been introduced by photographer Roberta Bayley, who was working the club door that night.

With Dr Feelgood’s Lee Brilleaux, Jake had witnessed Richard in performance the night before with Johnny Thunders in the first – and soon to disintegrate – line-up of the Heartbreakers at Max’s Kansas City.

We dined less than half a mile away from Chelsea embankment, where Richard and the rest of his next band the Void-Oids spent a pretty miserable-sounding sojourn on a leaky boat when in the UK on tour with The Clash in 1978.

As Richard recounts in his fabulous memoir I Dreamed I Was A Very Clean Tramp, he and Jake have shared a series of adventures over the years, some of which I will be covering in my GQ feature which should be out in the summer.

I Dreamed I Was A Very Clean Tramp is out in paperback this week; buy here.

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Derek Boshier: Rethink/Re-Entry – assembling the materials for long overdue monograph

Feb 5th, 2014
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//Exhibition cards and private view invitations, 1973 to date//

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.

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//Rethink/Re-entry, oil on canvas, 1962//

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Junior Murvin: Memories

Dec 4th, 2013
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//My copy of the Tedious/Memories 12in//

Junior Murvin – who has died aged 67 – will forever be associated with the rebel cool of his 1976 Lee Perry-produced single Police & Thieves. Yesterday morning’s BBC Radio 4’s Today news programme displayed it’s trademark ham-fisted approach to pop culture when eagerly proclaiming the song his shining achievement by managing to misname Paul Simonon “Mick Jones” in an interview introduction and rushing to gush unconvincingly over an excerpt of The Clash’s version.

Personally, I favour another Lee Perry collaboration from the same period, the epic single B-side Memories.

I bought the UK 12inch mix on a shopping spree in a record shop tucked away in an Earl’s Court side street one late afternoon in 1977 on the recommendation of the shop assistant.

At 8mins 45secs, Memories is not only a sonic adventure to match the very best of 70s dub, but also a sweet, romantic song, the yearning, regretful theme over Perry’s bubbling cauldron of rhythms perfectly matched to Murvin’s falsetto whoop (I found Police & Thieves too preaching, which I guess is why it made sense for The Clash – always complaining about being told what to do, they tended towards dictating to their audience).

The flip, Tedious, is pretty good, as were other Black Ark explorations such as Closer Together, but nothing in my view in Murvin’s body of work touches the tenderness of Memories.

Remember him this way:

 

 

 

 

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