Sounds like a particularly fiendish pub quiz question doesn’t it?
No, the actor (whose naked form cavorting on stage in a production of The Beastly Beatitudes Of Balthazar B is still emblazoned on my memory 29 years after the fact) was not a member of Croydon’s finest alongside Fred Berk and Slimy Toad.
And no, Moped didn’t make a cameo in Four Weddings & Funeral as the punk-rock rival of Hugh Grant for Andi MacDowell’s affections.
However, courtesy of Barney Bubbles’ designs, Callow’s hands did appear on both sides of the sleeve of Moped’s 1978 Chiswick single Little Queenie.
The shot – as revealed last night by photographer Brian Griffin at a M&C Saatchi talk organised by his friend, creative director Graham Fink – was taken during BG’s Expressionist experiments which resulted in the intriguing self-published collaboration with Barney, Copyright 1978.
Callow, at that time an actor on the rise (and these days also a director, author and fine book reviewer), was one of BG’s models.
During his illuminating presentation, BG also revealed that Barney’s frontispiece portrait for his 1981 book Power was intended as the cover, an idea rejected by the publisher (who relented for the paperback issue in 1984).
“Barney made part of my nose and face out of the numerals ’71’,” said BG. “He thought that was when I started as a professional photographer; in fact it was the following year. The figure next to me, pointing to the future, is supposed to be my boss telling me to get out there and start working.”
BG has often mentioned that he first came across Barney’s work via his enigmatic illustrations for the NME. Above is an example for the music paper’s letter’s page.
It’s a great comment on the increasingly tribal aspects to pop fandom in the early 80s, and is made extra special by the fact that it carries a credit, something the limelight-shy Barney was avoiding at all costs by this stage.