Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Kevin Cummins and other goings on at the White Columns Gallery Nov 1st

click here to hear Kevin Cummins on the radio.

A good time was had by all at the KEVIN CUMMINS book launch at the White Columns gallery on Horatio street in New York on Monday even tho I read the invitation incorrectly. I told you Bernard Sumner (guitarist from Joy Division and later New Order) was going to be there and have a conversation in the gallery.


The conversation is in the book.

Jay McInerney does the introduction in the book. He wasn't there either but we didn't mind that.

The book is published by Rizzoli and it's a very beautifully paced visual story of Ian Curtis (born Ian Kevin Curtis 15 July 1956). It includes some handwritten songs and set lists and postcards from tour and it knocked me for six to see his young beautiful face.

There was also a rather nice black box of postcards ($40).

Kevin Cummins, (born 14 July 1953) a fellow Brit, was there. He looked natty in his suit and fancy shoes. He signed "Manchester has a lot to answer for." I wanted to tell him that my name was Hulme and ask him to cross out Manchester and put "Hulme" as that is where some of the Curtis photos were taken - notably the ones in the snow (none of the lads wearing enough warm clothes) and on a flyover above a motorway... but it was noisy and I'm not sure that I do have a lot to answer for.

Not as much as Manchester, that's for sure.

Except to say, I did have a psychic flash. I happened to be close to the refreshment table and spied a rather interesting lad who I had a feeling that I knew. I said, "Is your name Stephen?" I was right.

I said, "are you an English printmaker?" and he said "yes".

I could have sworn I'd seen him on Facebook or somewhere. The lad had gone to Harrow for art school and I went to school not far away but he was 15 years younger than me and he doesn't have a facebook page. So it worked out that I had him completely mixed up with someone else but this was a rather fortunate mix up as he happened to be the lad who is
Stephen Fowler who has a few walls of the gallery for his art project which stays up til December 4. I really liked his work and bought his poster.

I also met screenwriter Nick who was escaping his characters for a few days and keeping his friend company on their first trip to New York. Or at least I think it was their first time in New York.

Matthew Higgs (also from Great Britain) pointed to a picture on the wall of Joy Division at band practice. There's a sofa in the background and there's our Matthew, sitting on the sofa. When I turned to look at him it was a bit of a Chim Chimeny moment. It was like he'd stepped out of the photograph and now he was walking around as Director of the space we were in.

Matthew had brought his milk crate of vinyl from Factory Records along. It was a joy (pun intended) to see the needle in the groves. I particularly liked XODUS - the only reggae record Factory put out by English Black Boys.

The soundtrack to the evening also included a dark and gravelly Grace Jones.

Our friends John and Sabine came along. The room was cozy and as we looked around, we all thought of back in the day when clubs were about this many people and how you would just talk to people and how you would say, "where are you going tomorrow?" and hear about another good band playing and probably see the same crowd there when you turned up the next day.

At the end of the night, Matthew played the vinyl Joy Division. I have to admit, it was a bit much. Now that we're so much older than the fresh faced photogenic Ian Curtis, who hanged himself 18 May 1980 at the age of 23, I had to reach for a tissue and leave for some cold autumn air. He would have been 53.

I would have talked to him.

Kevin's photos Joy Division playing

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