Oct 29, 2011

Daisy's Letter From London, October 2011

Dear Mr. Boogaloo,

Hello from Sunny London. Or is it raining again? Nope, it's sunny.

Caught By The River, October 12, 6:30pm, at Rough Trade East.
RTE is a bigger version of the Notting Hill West London shop. You walk in to the smell of coffee. There's picnic tables to hang out at and an exciting cavern of records – VINYL - CD's, knowledgeable, helpful, approachable shop assistants, and books ahead. (Ham and cheese bap – four quid).

RTE stayed open late last Thursday because a young Jeff got a panel together to discuss the fine art of making zines. The lights went dark and a film was shown called MC85. It is a documentary in progress about zine-making during the 80's. There weren't any covers of the zines so I wasn't sure what they were referring to, but there were some knowing chortles in the audience. Then Emma Warren and a bunch of good looking geezers from the film took the stage.

The line up: Andrew Weatherall - a man with some great tattoo's - who put out a zine called Boy's Own. Bob Stanley - just arrived from "America" and jet-lagged. (Brits always say it like that. "I've just been to America". They never say exactly where in America.) He put out a zine called Pop Avalanche; and Andy Childs - who was questioned first because he was the oldest. He had been inspired by a broadsheet that came out of the American folk scene called Crawdaddy but was soon recruited by ZIGZAG mag and was just as awed as I was that he was allowed to interview such people as Neil Young and well - look at this list.

Having lived on the frontier in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, while the rave scene evolved in the UK, I wasn't quite sure who the Weatherall and the Stanley chaps were. It’s typical UK self-depreciating fashion that it wasn't mentioned, but from Bob Stanley’s humble zine beginnings I understand he went on to play in St. Etienne and wrote/writes for NME, Mojo, The Times and The Guardian. Andy Weatherall produced Primal Scream’s "Screamadelica". You could say he’s done his job on earth.

During question time, someone in the audience asked Andrew Primal Scream "have you got any original copies of your zine?" and he was like, "No. I was just too high on ecstasy and giving them all away with lots and lots of love in my heart to keep any." He tried to convince us he lived rough in Windsor (near Eton Boys School doe chew no) but he didn't have too. It was gently alluded to that now, in the shop, a Boy's Own Annual-type book was available, and that all of the editions of the Boys Own Zine had been hunted down and printed - in hardback. Impressive.

Geoff Travis, the shop owner for over 30 years, was on stage to confirm that, in 1976, he did indeed buy a roneo machine. What's that? Answer: an early xerox machine, or as the yoof call things all things pre-5 years ago - "Vintage" Xerox machine. Mr. T allowed fanzine makers to use it for free and leave their cut up pasted down roneoed results upon his counter tops for sale. And, yes. Mark P from Sniffin' Glue was enabled. And Geoff Travis started distributing the zines countrywide. He liked them. He liked the anti-establishment saucy naughtyness. You could tell. And he voiced that he liked seeing the kids talking to each other and excited about music. And now encouraged that of the audience around him.

Emma did a fine job of leading the panel discussion. The crowd was young and respectful. When she asked if there was anyone in the audience making zines today - a few hands went up. Male. "Any girls?" Well, yes. I raised my hand. When you raise your hand at this sort of thing, you always make a new friend and I met Fliss. She was great. Enthusiastic, full of information to swap, and it was a joy to hear her talking about her life, rehearsing songs with her friend Yoko, and going out seeing bands. Fliss writes reviews at My Musical Adventures (in the "fanzine community”). Fliss told me she doesn't care for Facebook too much. "I like being in the real world." I had a sense of looking into myself in the past/future only in a great outfit. With great hair. She mentioned the Zine Library at The Stuart Hall Library. You have to make an appointment. Note: They are closed for lunch from 1-2pm. I think that may be library budget cuts. I’ll find out.  

Saturday 10/ 22/11, Portobello Market. 
The sun was shining bright and cool. Parked outside this record shop (picture a)

'round the corner from Bob Marley’s old flat above the studios at Basing Street (picture b).

I got stuck to the pavement when a street DJ played Ken Boothe's "You sheltered me from harm."

We bought some mushrooms (a pound for a pound), said hello to Nick who cooks street Pie-ella (DELICIOUS), and we stopped in at Rough Trade (West), like you do. This shop is owned/run by Jeannette Lee. A blank white ceiling surprised us. The Totally Helpful Young Sales Lady Behind The Counter said that they had some work done and pointed to a P.I.L poster behind on the wall. "We found that behind a TAD poster."

here's another one:

Manny and Phillis run Rough Trade Vintage in the basement. What a treasure cave! A poster rack, lots of vinyl, and some very interesting books. Meanwhile, a few songs from LOW played on the shop RECORD player (David Bowie). It was unearthly how good that album sounds. I wasn't sure if I was standing on the ground or floating. When you come out of a record shop, don't you feel like you've been in a tardis or something? Like I said, it was sunny - but when you are in Notting Hill, you have a lotta flashbacks.

Have you seen this CLASH film (Stupefaction's movie of the week back in June - Tim]: It was in that black and white, late seventies London that I would have gone to see Viv Albertine (of The Slits) and The Clash at the drafty concrete coal bunker that was the Acklam Hall. Who could have predicted we would be going online to get tickets to see VIV ALBERTINE on the same bill as Vic Goddard and The Subway Sect TONIGHT. They are playing for eight pounds at Nambucca London. Note early start. I can't wait.

Here is my find of the week: Gareth Sager's Captain Beefheart Disco song "Hot Hits Vol 27" -

Scratch you later, xxxx daisy xxxxx

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