zoot suit audio chapter
Wednesday, 10 June 2020
Here's the first of my audio chapters of my book Rebel Rebel . Few articles of clothing have caused riots that resulted in hundreds of arrests, scores of injuries and international headlines. And then again few have the history or social gravitas of the zoot suit- an item that, more than just a jacket and trousers, defined its wearer as part of a culture that, unafraid of the consequences, chose to…
David Bowie (Part II)
Tuesday, 12 February 2019
In the summer of 1978 Bowie played Earls Court and attracted the full retinue of Bowie freaks, many of whom had switched to full Westwood kit a few years before but now reverted back to Bowie circa 1975-77. After the show we went to Billy’s, a seedy basement club run by a Jamaican pimp. It was underneath The Gargoyle Club in Meard Street, Soho, a hooker-infested back…
David Bowie (Part I)
Tuesday, 12 February 2019
When it comes to music and style, contemporary or otherwise, only one person has dominated both categories during their own lifetime and that is David Bowie.
Frank Sinatra was a contender, but then he didn’t write his own songs. Others, such as Miles Davis or James Brown, certainly had the music, but they lacked Bowie’s diversity ‒ and lost the style plot for decades.
shaded- the curious life of the common or garden sun glass.
Saturday, 7 January 2017
SUNGLASSES – A HISTORY
It never ceases to amaze me how sunglasses, a thoroughly practical item borne out of necessity, became so massively iconic.
By all accounts the first notable man to use them, albeit in a primitive form, was the Roman Emperor Nero, who used tinted glass to watch his gladiators chop bits out of each other. Subsequently, Chinese magistrates in the 12th century used…
Richard Pryor - 'Sprinkle my ashes in about two pounds of cocaine. Then snort me up!’
Tuesday, 13 March 2018
‘Rumours of my death spread as far as New York newspapers,’ remembers Richard Pryor. ‘It’s a bitch to be watching the nightly news and see the motherfuckers talking ‘bout you in the past tense!’
News of the great comedian’s demise had at this point spread throughout the civilised world, even pervading the sanctity of the man’s own bedroom. He recalls his housekeeper walking…
Robert Capa- Perhaps the greatest war photographer that ever lived
Tuesday, 6 February 2018
In 1938 the UK’s Picture Post magazine described 25-year-old Robert Capa as ‘The Greatest War Photographer in the World.’ During his career he covered five armed conflicts in 10 countries, left 70,000 negatives and left behind an extraordinary record that told not only of the darkness of war but of the human condition.
‘I worked with Capa a lot,’ wrote writer and former…
Wednesday, 27 September 2017
Prior to this interview, the last time I saw Iggy Pop was in October 1981 when he stayed at my flat in Kentish Town. He’d ended up there because he’d been having regular sex with a rather attractive New Yorker friend of my then American girlfriend, Holli, who was staying with us at the time. Iggy didn’t want to go to a hotel because he’d played a gig in Marseilles a few nights before…
The Zoot Suit -More Than Just a Jacket and Trouser...
Monday, 3 April 2017
THE ZOOT SUIT
Few articles of clothing have caused riots that resulted in hundreds of arrests, scores of injuries and international headlines. But then again, few have the history or social gravitas of the zoot suit. More than just a jacket and trousers, it’s an item of clothing that defined its wearer as part of a culture that chose to stand outside of accepted society, unafraid of the consequences…
Levi's 501 xx - the Rebel Yell.
Tuesday, 3 January 2017
The Levi's 501 XX jean is the most iconic garment ever produced. Never has an item of clothing inspired such adoration, commanded such high prices or been the chosen mufti for so many global arbiters of taste from Clark Gable to Marilyn Monroe to Johnny Depp. It is a totally unique product. It is a true style statement. It is one of the all time great sartorial classics.
But, even though the 501…
Allan Heyl .. South Africa's biggest bank robber
Tuesday, 25 October 2016
'The reason I am making this recording is to explain how we actually went about committing these robberies,’ says Allan Heyl, once South Africa's most wanted man. ‘There were rules: no shouting, no flashing guns, no planning and no designer violence. It was not Tarantino. In fact, the outstanding feature of all the robberies was that they went off so calmly that they were actually mundane…
Brilliant Chang : The first Celebrity Cocaine Dealer.
Monday, 30 November 2015
“Chang dispensed Chinese delicacies and the drugs and vices of the Orient,” reported The Pictorial News in 1922. “He demanded payment for his drugs in kind.” The rag went on to further advise its women readers, “who retained sufficient decency and pride of race”, that they turn down “this fellow with lips thin and cruel, tightly drawn across even yellow teeth.”…
Bootsy Collins....Master of Funk.
Tuesday, 31 May 2016
BOOTSY COLLINS: TOUCHING BASS WITH THE MASTER OF FUNK
by Chris Sullivan
Amiable, engaging and very much not full of shit, Bootsy Collins is all that and more. The psychedelic, Funkadelic legend played bass on such landmark James Brown cuts as Soul Power and Sex Machine and was a leading member of the P-Funk (Parliament and Funkadelic) collective.
Now he's bringing music to a new generation…
In memory of David Bowie - a radio show
Friday, 15 January 2016
In case you missed me on Soho Radio earlier this week, you can listen again to my 2 hour radio show dedicated to David Bowie here. There's interviews with Glen Matlock (Sex Pistols) and Clive Langer (the producer of Absolute Beginners), plus lots of music from the great man himself.
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Jacques Mesrine- The Greatest Bank Robber that ever lived ?
Thursday, 19 November 2015
At around mid day on November 2ND 1979, a BMW, driven by well dressed man pulled up behind a covered lorry at a set of traffic lights in Porte Clignancourt, a busy Parisian quarter. Within seconds the lorries tarpaulin was pulled up and a gang of men opened fire on the car, killing the driver and severely injuring his lady passenger, girlfriend, Sylvie Jeanjacquot. No gangland assassination,…
Here's a little taster...
Tuesday, 10 November 2015
I am finding new pieces all the time, lurking in some off file where they shouldn't be...this is one such example...
Here’s a sample :
The above photo taken at 5am after a 24 hour session shows Rhys in fine fettle, Charlie Breaker ex-gangster, bare-knuckle boxer and purveyor of parts, Howard Marks and yours truly.....
Howard Marks and Rhys Ifans in Alicante on the set of Mr. Nice
The Rebel Rebel pub crawl
Wednesday, 7 October 2015
The idea for this Soho pub-crawl emanated from those marvellous folk at Unbound, yours truly being rather reticent about such shenanigans, but in for a penny in for a hangover. This tour of the square miles hostelries will hopefully hit all my old haunts (basically Soho’s finest ale houses) and begin in The Coffee House on Beak St., move onto the Sun and 13 Cantons, whizz across to the Blue Posts…