Saturday, August 8, 2015

June 30 2015 STAYIN' IN TUNE Unofficial Biography of MICK JONES - Book Launch at The Horse Hospital

Here's the book cover being created. It's a RottenPunk and Pistol painted collaboration.  I think it's very clever with the Young Mick Jones, the BAD Mick Jones and Mick Jones in a posh suit Mick Jones and ... well I'm sure you like it too.  

 I have to admit though, when I first saw the finished book cover I thought MICK JONES had written the book because his name is really big and you sort of have to squint to read "unofficial biography of... by Mick O'Shea... 
 I thought blimey, Mick Jones has been busy and I wonder if it'll be as good as Viv Albertine's autobiography. (Hers was a page-turner, very in your face with a bitter-sweet bit about Mick Jones.)

I hadn't heard of Mick O'Shea before. Blimey, he's been busy. He's written 14 books - Sex Pistols, Amy Winehouse and eek Harry Styles?? WTF? Anyway we clicked "Join" or "Going" and the evening went like this:

We met up at the  Friend At Hand pub   (food in there looked and smelled great) before the doors opened across the tiny cobblestone street at the venue - The Horse Hospital 

Spizz put his teeth in and, yes, they light up.  He designs AND makes all his own clothes. I like them. They light up in the dark, too.  The other bloke in the photo is shirt designer - Denis Sullivan* - who came up by coach from Bournemouth. The bus actually broke down in the heat near Fleet (nightmare). BUT he turned up same time as Keith Levene (early Clash/PiL) who commented on his t-shirt (PIL). That was Denis' day made right there and it wasn't even 7:30 yet.
Rhiannon Ifans (fabulous photographer) wore a fabulous Vivienne Westwood dress (right). Dave Patten wore a hat. He's plays in Special Branch (band). 
Rhiannon, Tony, Spizz, Anne, Dave
Pat Gilbert and ?

Pat Gilbert (in hat) showed up. He has written a very good book (some say THE book) about The Clash called Passion is a Fashion. (He writes for Mojo and was just back interviewing Keith Richards in NYC.)


Before I go any further I have to say the atmosphere at these "punk related" events nowadays is interesting.  It's very different from when punks used to be in little factions like we were in 1976/7  standing at the bar saying, "I'll be in here while Blondie are playing, waiting for Television to go on."   I used to boycott The Clash after their fans gobbed on my mohair jumper. Grrr. Now look at me, going to Unofficial Biography book launches!  And the weather was nice and we could stand outside and have a chat in the cobblestone street (without too much loud music).

Look there's Mark P (Sniffin' Glue) and Tony D ( Ripped and Torn) standing together.   Mark Perry was just back from a meeting with his record company, discussing art work for his NEW album (more on his album later).

 7:30pm. I am escorted into a dark room with a well-lit tressle table of books for a tenner.  I saw Mick O'Shea and asked him to sign a copy for the Lad.
The author Mick O'SHEA ... photo by James Willment
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the equipment
Rude Boy Ray Gange was in another corner with his DJ equipment.  I don't know what to call his equipment or how it worked (where's the record? CD?)...

We all milled around for a bit.
I heard someone say, "Have we been invited to a disco?"  Then Mick O'Shea stood near the DJ desk but he's not got a very loud voice. Not sure what happened but then he stood on the DJ Desk. He opened the book. Not sure what he said but I heard the bit about Bernard Rhodes saying "Send me a copy and I'll see if you've got it right." But I could be wrong. There were some more good sounds.
I think everyone was in a chatty mood.  Went out for fresh air.
3 more lovely outfits
For some reason, I still had Viv Albertine on the brain. I remembered her saying that Keith Levene taught her to play guitar and that he told her to keep her hands clean
Viv Albertine was RIGHT! CLEAN HANDS!!

Keith Levine with Kieron Bourke  (left) and Paul Jones (right)
David Cameron (?) checks the hands. Adie Hess (shares Keith's birthday 18 July) checks the photos
Sorry, he's NOT David Cameron. Just looks a bit like him.
The man in the center (Robert, actually) told me that Dr Jill organised this event and Dr Jill told me she also organizes Louder Than War events with John Robb. I knew about those because I'd watched John's interview with Viv Albertine recently. I thought it was very good. Anyway, apparently she's got a Louder Than Words Festival at the Albert Hall.  If you follow the link you will see there's a Q&A with Peter Perrett from The Only Ones and another one with Whispering Bob Harris. Now I don't know how many punks it takes to fill the Albert Hall, but maybe we'd like to go and find out.

Fiona Cartlege and Mark P
If you thought punk was dead, think again. Not only are there ephemera-related exhibitions looking back, but there are exhibitions about the influence. Here's Fiona having a chat to Mark P about HER collection of Sniffin' Glue magazines which she's got in a show about Fanzines at the South Bank(15 July near skate park) Need to update this. (waiting for Friend request...etc)

MOST OF ALL I'm very excited to tell you that Mark Perry is going through a truly creative phase right now. I've heard the NEW Alternative TV album (and his rehearsal "tapes" from yesterday) and he's definitely got a fantastic group of musicians on his team.  Drummer, Dave Morgan, produced it and it's got a real inner earthy depth with some forward-motion groove on the bass synthesizer, er, ... I don't know what equipment they used. Nor do I care what equipment they used to be honest. It's got gritty life lyrics, thoughtful and atmospheric and I really don't believe he'll need to gig and play his old albums in their entirety in the future. I hope they get some tour dates for this one though.

Cover art by Sam Dodson
Yes we all had a good chat. Off we went home... 

June 18 Jam at Somerset House