Wee are just back from Chelsea, darling. We went the Vinyl Factory and hung out with Leee Black Childers amongst his photographs of Blondie, Iggy, Mapplethorpe rent boys etc. Seems to me he can't take a photo of someone and not make them look sexy….
The photographs are in his new book - and he got a thumbs up from us when he appeared at an In Conversation event at The Society Club, a tiny Charles Dickens type coffee shop/bookshop (yes, they have those in London) to intrepid Monday Nighters who braved the freezing temperatures.
Leee had just flown in (staying at the St. James Hotel with hot tub… it's where all thee rock and rollers stay when in town)… and maybe he was little jet lagged, i don't know, but he got little tearful when he talked about Johnny Thunders and Sid Vicious.
It is because of Andy Warhol that he became a photographer. Apparently, Leee used to blag his way in to record company parties back in the day for the Buffet Table. He told Andy Warhol that he got in by pretending to be a photographer.
Apparently, Andy Warhol pointed to Jackie Curtis who was smoking a cigarette and drinking a cocktail at the Factory. "She thinks she is a woman." The implication being you don't have to pretend. And Leee was transformed.
Andy Warhol bought a photograph from Childers for $10, but, said Leee, instead of cashing the check at a bank, he took it to the Chelsea Hotel where it was well known someone would pay him $50 dollars for the Warhol check… And, apparently, David Bowie asked him to work for MainMan… and that's where he learned he could order Steak Tartare, Shrimp Caribe and Limos and Tours and all sorts…(Continued after the jump)
You can feel the David Bowie fever here in London. There's going to be one hell of a show of his stage costumes and whatnots at The Victoria and Albert Museum in March 2013. Tickets here.
We were amongst Bowie fans when we went to The Movie Poster Art Gallery in a little back street under the Post Office Tower called Colville Place. I was told that this street was where Malcolm McLaren used to live...back in the day.
The Gallery had restored the Original K WEST sign brought in by a local, and our Gary "Spandau Ballet" Big Bowie Fan Kemp was there to switch it on. The original location has one of those London Blue Plaques. Kemp was there for the inauguration of that. With two Spiders From Mars:
Spizz Energi was photo ready:
Bigger Bowie Fan (6 feet 2) Ray Gange [do I need to say Rude Boy here?] mentioned that because it is coming up December, and its the anniversary of Joe Strummer's death, he is going to be a bit busy DJ'ing at various events, and I have to say, he's a good DJ.
One such event in JOE STRUMMER'S memory was held at the Notting Hill Tabermacle. A venue made sparkling and welcoming with Gary Loveridge's original Clash posters on display, and bands included The Men They Couldn't Hang, Hard Fi, and one time 101-er and author of "Lose This Skin", Tymon Dog.
Not being the hugest Clash fan, i had to ask, "What are all these firemen doing here?"
Apparently Joe Strummer played his last ever London gig at Acton Town Hall where he was joined on stage by Mick Jones. It was a benefit for the Fire Brigade's Union and Mick's appearance was quite emotional as the two had not played together for 19 years.
This arrangement at the Tabernacle was to benefit the Fire Brigade's Union once more, and mark the 10th Anniversary of that now legendary gig.
Sitting under Gary's posters, and selling his book A PERMANENT RECORD, was another ex-101-er and photographer from back in the day, Julian Yewdall. His photographs are mostly backstage and intimate moments around the 101-ers as they morphed into The Clash. Their friends The Slits are also featured and he had some rather good postcards for sale. Here he is talking about it while standing in the Subway Gallery.
We went along to his first night. Delicious drinks and such a funny place.
You are under the Westway in Joe Strummer's Subway:
I had a chat with Chris Salewicz. He is in the book.
He has authored many himself, and
he shares my birthday!!!
We were lucky to have a clear blue sky for our trip on the Emirates Air Line over the Thames to the O2 Stadium.
We went on the little red overground Docklands Light Railway train. it's a few carriages long and appears to run itself so it's great if you want to sit in the front and play driver with your kids. Or your boyfriend…
There's a fantastic croissant place just outside the station. A slow graceful lift into the air and a very pleasant glide over the river. You see the Thames Barrier:
...and you are lowered down onto the piazza that houses the temporary Millennium O2 Dome built for New Years Eve event 2000. It's still standing. You can even rent mountain climbing suits and go for a 2-hour walk up and over the tent structure.
We were more interested in the Rock and Roll Museum called The British Music Experience where they had a photo exhibit of Bob Dylan. We Brits like to experience Bob Dylan, lemme tell you! And there was a Mick Jagger photography show…which…gossip at the Vinyl Factory had it that you had to buy your drinks backstage at their 50th anniversary concerts that were super expensive…
On the way home from Chelsea, we came through Knightsbridge...passing Harvey Nick's windows and Harrods doing its best Las Vegas impression… and looking left into Hyde Park an incredible Mirage of lights. They have put up this HUGE fun fair in the middle of the park. The whole thing appears to be an enormous mosque. There are two turrets of light next to this magnificent massive big wonder wheel and all around are these little stalls and a helter skelter and maaaan… tt blew me away. No one had warned me… The spinning chair ride lifts you off the ground 60 meters in the air. Someone has to take me up there…
Oh! Did I mentioned we're in for the coldest winter in 100 years! We had a dusting of snow just recently… you know what the Londoners are like. Lets go home! Gossip is the Government are shutting down the main offices for 2 weeks to save electricity. (and going to Dubai? )
Turn off the light when you leave the house,
putting on my second pair of socks now, cheerio