Posts Tagged ‘Mick Jones’

Love from Miss Stacia…

Thursday, February 10th, 2011

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This is the letterhead Barney Bubbles produced for Hawkwind’s Stacia Blake in 1973.

By that time Stacia – who was always billed by her first name – was an integral and popular part of the Hawkwind experience. Hence the need for headed paper.

Blake’s commanding stage presence and interpretative dancing added a vital female physicality to the aural and sonic battery the group launched on a near-nightly basis and for some fans, this writer included, they were never quite the same after her departure in 1975.

It was an honour to receive this a few months back in the post from Blake, these days an accomplished artist based in Ireland.

She had heard about the staging of Process and wanted to make her contribution, which was much appreciated, not least by fans such as Mick Jones and Jah Wobble, who remembered her role in Hawkwind with affection and admiration.

More photos from the Process private view

Tuesday, September 28th, 2010

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Courtesy of Chelsea Space director Donald Smith, here are some more photos underlining what fun was had at last week’s private view for Process. These and others will soon appear on the Chelsea Space site.

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Video commissioner Cynthia Lole, Caz Facey, writer Nick Vivian and Jake Riviera view the exhibits.

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Donald Smith with writer Chris Salewicz and Jerry Dammers.

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Designer Olaf Parker with writer/curator Paul Gorman.

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Musician Leo Williams with Paprika and Leo Junior.

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Painter and former Kilburn & The High Roads member Humphrey Ocean with the 1977 Psstt! ad featuring himself and Ian Dury.

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Jake Riviera, music publisher Peter Barnes, Mick Jones and Nick Vivian.

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Kate Moross and her VJing team.

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Clothier Lloyd Johnson whispers to arts event organiser Michael Barnett while musician Bruce Marcus chats to the V&A’s Catherine Flood.

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Mick Jones and Jerry Dammers.

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Nick Lowe talks Barney.

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Chelsea College’s Nobby Graham and Lloyd Johnson.

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Writer/filmmaker Paul Tickell looks on as artist Bruce Maclean strikes a Blockhead pose.

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Musician/writer Dave Barbarossa and his wife Alison view the music press ads.

 

Process private view party

Wednesday, September 22nd, 2010

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Last night’s full-moon private view for Process was quite a wing-ding; the great and the good were out in force, with Kate Moross and her crew VJing to a psychedelic/punk/prog/folk/whassat? soundtrack of music for which Barney Bubbles designed.

Jerry Dammers, Jeff Dexter, Nick Lowe, Mick Jones, Jake Riviera and Jah Wobble are just a few of the legends who dropped by to have a sticky-beak.

What would Barney have thought? “He’d have run a mile, but would have loved it,” said Nick Lowe.

Virginia Clive-Smith, who worked with Barney Bubbles in Conran’s design department when he was Colin Fulcher, wholeheartedly agreed, and Paul Conroy, whose association with the designer started with the Kursaal Flyers’ Chocs Away has just written: “Barney would be embarrassed…but secretly very proud.”

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Images thanks to Mrs Gorman and Madame, who wrote up the party at her blog.

Aura revelations

Wednesday, February 18th, 2009

The record label Aura is mentioned in Reasons To Be Cheerful, though there wasn’t sufficient space to go into detail on Barney’s designs for this relatively obscure and now collectible indie.

“I remember Barney occasionally working for Aura in the late 70s and early 80s,” says his friend Brian Griffin, who provided an image for the cover of England’s Trance by Placebo (not the mid-90s Swiss/American glam trio). The design credit on the 1982 album reads “Photography Consultants”.

 

 

Meanwhile Barney’s assistant Diana Fawcett contributed two sleeve designs to REASONS as examples of his work for the central London-based company (whose single packaging featured a convex upper lip on the envelope front).

During the late 70s Barney’s music workload was focused at Stiff Records, Radar and Chiswick, though from time to time he would make room for commissions for other independents such as Aura, Charisma and Chrysalis.

 

 

Founded by producer/photographer Aaron Sixx, Aura is best known for having released the work of US avant-jazz performer Annette Peacock.

Her career had been put on hold when she was bound by a contract to David Bowie’s management Mainman (which also looked after Iggy & The Stooges, Dana Gillespie, Jobriath, Mick Ronson and, yes, even Lulu). Freed from this set-up,  Peacock signed with Aura and promptly unleashed such critically acclaimed albums as X-Dreams and The Perfect Release

Recent years have witnessed a revival of interest in Peacock. Her track Pony featured on Morcheeba’s Back To Mine compilation and just last year she collaborated with Coldcut.

 

 

Aura was home to other maverick talents such as Nico and the great Memphis rock & roller Alex Chilton – in 1978 Sixx released a clutch of 1974 recordings by Chilton’s group Big Star as The Third Album (also known as Third/Sister Lovers).

 

Front cover, Kizza Me by Big Star 1978.

Front cover, Kizza Me by Big Star, 1978.

Big Star’s previous album Radio City had featured The Red Ceiling by the group’s Memphis friend, the celebrated photographer William Eggleston, who also played piano on the version of Nature Boy which appears as a bonus cut on later editions.

The band’s working title for their third album Sister Lovers was a reference to the fact that Chilton and drummer/vocalist Jody Stephens were romantically involved with Eggleston’s cousins, Lesa and Holliday Aldredge. Their respectively fractious relationships proved the wellspring for many of the darker album tracks. 

Jody said this week that he knows nothing of the genesis of the Aura cover, in which a model is swathed in the Tennessee Flag.

 

Back cover, Kizza Me by Big Star, 1978.

Back cover, Kizza Me by Big Star, 1978.

On the full-colour album sleeve the stars have each been granted 10 fizzing fuses; a reference, maybe, to the indoor fireworks delineated within. The monochrome front cover photograph for the  Kizza Me single progresses the theme with the (literally) inflammatory depiction of the Tenessee flag alight and the stars – without graphic adornment – aflame.

On the back, 10 frames are arranged geometrically into another pentagram. This is not just a nod to the band’s name. The pentagram  recurs throughout Barney’s work, as do flags, banners and other heraldic devices.

In comparison with the rarity value of The Third Album (as a result of the cult following maintained by Big Star to this day), California Sun by KK Black is more of a curio.

 

Front cover, California Sun, KK Black, 1978.

Front cover, California Sun, KK Black, 1978.

By the late 70s, The  Rivieras’ 1964 surf anthem had become familiar to punk audiences, having been a staple of The Ramones’ live set (and appeared on their second album Leave Home), but Black’s version failed to capture public interest and sank without trace.

 

Back cover, Californian Sun by KK Black, 1978

Back cover, Californian Sun by KK Black, 1978.

The noteworthy aspect of Barney’s design for this release relies on the way in which Black’s “new wave pin-up” appearance is enlivened by effective use of the spiky extended single lines which not only spell out his name on the front but also wrap around the fold onto the back.

KK Black was a pseudonym of Kelvin Blacklock, a schoolfriend of  Mick Jones who had been vocalist in the guitarist’s pre-Clash bands The Delinquents, Little Queenie and London SS, and went on to join The Damned drummer Rat Scabies’ short-lived White Cats before recording this single and one other, a version of The Herd’s I Don’t Want Our Loving To Die, before disappearing from the limelight.