Friday, June 26, 2009

An Exclusive Jewellery Sale

Andrew Logan held an exclusive jewellery sale for a sole customer at his London studio today. Ann Sharkey, who in her heyday was the best dancer on the London stage missed Andrew Logan's jewellery sales in the evenings held at his studio this week.

Ann was unable to buy Andrew's jewels from his on line shop, as she hasn't got a computer yet (shopaholics desperate to buy Andrew's baubles, click on Andrew Logan's shop to buy buy buy!), so Andrew kindly invited her round to his place to buy something in person this morning.

After Ann had a good look round viewing Andrew's diverse collection of his jewellery displayed on all the walls, she was torn between buying a bracelet, a broach or a necklace, but finally settled for a GIGANGTIC blue ring, which any Pope would be proud to wear on his pinky finger. (Ann even tried on the crown which has been historically plonked on the head of every winner of Andrew's Alternative Miss World contests over the years, but Andrew had to tell her it wasn't for sale).

Sunday, June 21, 2009

A Stand to Attention Jazz Concert On The South Bank

When I went to see the talented Stefani Crone dance in the Clore Ballroom at the Royal Festival Hall alongside the interesting School of Harmolodics, I hadn't realised that the last ten days had been devoted to Ornette Coleman's Meltdown; produced by the charismatic Glenn Max, the Curator of Popular Music at the Royal Festival Hall. If I'd realised, I would have booked myself in for Moby, and the 'bohemian' likes of Patti Smith (I wonder what her golf handicap is now?), and the Yoko Ono Plastic Ono Band etc.

After I marvelled at the School of Harmolodics' avant-garde performance (wow! What a shindig!), I bumped into the ubiquitous Jeff Dexter, who promptly invited me to a show at the Royal Festival Hall later that evening.

The Charlie Haden's Liberation Music Orchestra was performing with guest appearances from the legendary Ornette Coleman and Jeff's old mate, Robert Wyatt. Did I want to go, he asked? (Is the pope Catholic?!).

I dived at the chance and was duly in seventh heaven, seated in the best seats in the house (we were almost on the stage) nodding my head to the free jazz (It was a shame I hadn't donned my matelot striped sweater and beret for the event). Amazingly, five of the sublime musicians had never played with each other before: the composer/musician Carla Bley, who was the MD of the evening was partially responsible for their miraculous gelling. Unfortunately, Ornette Coleman arrived on stage too late to actually perform, but when he did show, the entire audience respectfully stood up as if in church.

After the fantastic show, I followed Jeff to the backstage party, which was bulging with jazz musicians. It was like a zoo! Brilliant stuff.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Sun of gOd

Gregory Sams, the 'social thinking' author of Uncommon Sense is hosting his second UK launch tonight of his new book, Sun of gOd (Paul McCartney sings 'Sun is Shining' from his 'Fireman' album) on the nifty promotional video) at the inSpiral Lounge. (His first London launch was recently held at the October Gallery, and I've already got my signed copy of the book which is fascinating and thought provoking stuff! I gave him my novel, Frantic in return!).

Hoppy, who will be in attendance is having his own photographic exhibition (starting June 19) at the Idea Generation Gallery. Also, a poet called Becs will be delivering her commissioned 'Ode to the Sun' poem which is devoted to the Sun and inspired by Sun of gOd from which the content is drawn. And for all you poem lovers out there, this is an extract from Becs' opus ( who knows? She might be the the future Poet Laureate!):

"I'm the biggest bling
On your galactic ring,
The jewel in the cosmic crown
Of the Universal Palace.
I exist without; ego, love or malice.”

Sliding towards worship, away from illumination,
You – I?
I – it – creating separation?!
But you can do it all!
“Please ripen these grapes for me. All the way round if you please…”

Interstellar Rockefeller shamanic priests were – a coursing conduit from planet to star,
Surely the purest connection by far?!
Bacteria is perceived as miniscule billions, disconnected, single and free,
Rather than one intelligent entity!
And when it comes to procreation
Bacteria don’t need no sex, it’s an easy mission
It’s all done with binary fission!

"Oh Mr Sun, Sun Mr Golden Sun
Shine your light on me.”

Come on over!
We’re having a blast at the furnace of fire!!

“Liar, Liar pants on fire!”
Fanning the flitting photons of light
Crystalline thermals of imperceptible flight.'

The food tonight ought to be good, as Greg invented the 'VegeBurger,' and with his older brother Craig (of 'Green & Black' organic chocs) introduced macrobiotic food to this country. First, they opened Seed, a magical macrobiotic restaurant in Paddington, which was patronised by the 'psychedelic scene' including rock musicians like John Lennon and Jimi Hendirx plus Jeff Dexter, the popular Sixties D.J. before they started Harmony Foods, which evolved into Whole Earth Foods. I used to be hooked on their peanut butter, but confess I abandoned the ying and yang 'mathematics' of macrobiotics after fasting on brown rice for days before succumbing to an overdose of Mars Bars!

Gregory is devoting his time to writing now, and judging by his latest book, Sun of gOd, he's definitely in the right orbit.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

I've got a fan!

I've just had the most thrilling afternoon giving a reading of my novel Frantic to an audience of ........... one! I went round to the legendary Jeff Dexter's house and read my book out aloud to him. Thankfully, he laughed all the way through, especially when it came to the passages 'inspired' by him: in the book, there is a 'faction' disc jockey character at the Middle Earth club in Covent Garden during the late Sixties. In real life, Jeff used to be - boom di boom - the underground club's resident D.J. and master of ceremonies before moving to the Roundhouse where he hosted his spectacular 'Implosion' events. Jeff, who had already read the book in the lavatory, gave me the biggest compliment of my life by saying he would read it again! I've got a fan!

Friday, June 05, 2009

The Summer Exhibition Is Better Hung Than Usual

You're not permitted to take photographs inside the Royal Academy, but the gallery watchdogs made an exception in my case when I went round the Summer exhibition this evening. As everyone I bumped into seemed to have a painting stuck up on the walls, the guards didn't strongly object when I snapped them plonked in front of their work.

Two artists who had red stickers daubing their paintings were Peter Clossick and C. Morey de Morand, who had two big paintings in the show. One of them ('Inside Outside') had the good fortune to be hung above a 'crap' Tracey Emin pic. People would look at it, raise their eyes heavenwards in disbelief (the £90,000 painting had been sold), then with relief, feast their eyes on Morand's colourful canvass.

Peter Clossick's painting was titled 'Santon II" and when I gushed how much I liked it, proceeded to give me a crash course in history of art, by telling me he collects Santons which were produced during the French Revolution when churches were forced to close and their grandiose nativity scenes forbidden.

Morand's pics attracted her colourful admirers: Michael Davis, photographer Lorenzo Poccianti (who took the snap of Morand in front of her 'Invisible Lives' pic), (Lady) Henrietta Rous, (author of the 'Ossie Clark Diaries'), and a visual work of art, who went by the name of Pinktessa, an ex-Blitz kid 'multi-medium' artist who looked like she had stepped out of the the late French eighteenth century herself, due to her elaborate white hair which resembled a wig from that period.

Art Payola

It's definitely worth blogging about my fave raves on this blog, as I have just been given a fantastic gift for writing about a friend on this blog. Helen Ralli, who designed the cover for Crushed, my YA novel, and is one of the geniuses on her current BA Graphic Design course at Camberwell has just posted me a beeeeautiful etching titled 'Our Lady Sally'. Thanks Helen, I shall treasure it always!

When I dutifully asked Helen the history behind her etching, she said:

'The character is based on a friend of mine called Samuel Parker, a first year drawing student at Camberwel, who has recently created a female alter-ego for himself called Sally Donovan. We are currently collaborating on a project together that explores the role and relevance of gender in modern society. We also exploring the theme of Pandrogyny (positive androgeny) a term coined and executed by musician Genesis P-Orridge, cult icon and singer in the bands Throbbing Gristle and Psychic TV. This term describes when two people merge themselves together by the physical and aesthetic manipulation of their bodies in order to create a 'third being' , the 'pandrogyne', a state of exsistance that only exists as a result of the union between two individuals. His philosophies were creatly inspired by writer William Burroughs, and artist Brion Gysins, use of the cut up technique that they applied to literature, as well as audio and visulas. In regards to the etching, the image is of Samuel, dressed as a female... I wanted to try and represent this as an image that would be very traditionaly beautiful. and ambiguous. This is in contrast to the reception that a man dressed as a woman, or any other sort of unusual behaviour, would normally recieve from the general public as a whole, as they would certainly not generally be considered beautiful, rather being judged for being different.'

If this is a description of intellectual art, I like it!

Monday, June 01, 2009

Time Outs

Thank God Jeff Dexter chauffeured me and the recently retired legendary journalist David May (who used the nifty 'Hack Typewriters' byline when moonlighting for the late Sixties underground press) to the Museum of London in the Barbican tonight. Without Jeff's guidance, I doubt I would have found the entrance. The Queen Mother couldn't find the museum either when she visited.

It was a sweltering hot evening, and the museum's director, Jack Lohman was sizzling with excitement at the 'enormous potential' the museum now has with Time Out. The youthful Tony Elliott, the institution's founder and owner (he is currently 'considering' selling control of Time Out to help fund online expansion), who has given 'so much' to London gave a worthy speech about Time Out's new special relationship with the museum. The Museum of London will house Time Out's massive archives, and also the museum needs to raise a final £2.3 million to complete their target for creating the new Galleries of Modern London. They are also looking for donors to their "Years of London's History" Timeline, which will wind its way round' the new galleries.

So, who was there at this glittering event? First of all, there was Richard Young the 'celebrity photographer', who was taking paparazzi shots of all the arriving guests. The ex-Time Out journalists almost wet themselves when they saw (Lord) Clive Hollick, the Labour supporting businessman/ex-chief executive of United News and Media - he was the chairman of the Daily Express, and is now a managing partner at the private equity firm KKR (Kohlberg Kravis Roberts). Aspiring gold diggers, he is married.

Also at this glittering shindig (here comes the laundry list) was Pearce Marchbank who did all the early Time Out iconic covers (he told me Mick Jagger keeps his framed bus pass in the lavatory), the film director Alan Parker, the infamous Ernie Ebam, the zany architect Piers Gough, Michael Davis, Andrew Logan, the Pink Floyd's Nick Mason, Alan Yentob and the prolific writer Barry Miles, who kindly credited my quotes he used from my old 'Ritz' Frank Zappa interview for his book on the late icon. Unfortunately, as the acoustics were so noisy, I couldn't hear anything what people were saying, hence no quotes apart from this one from Jeff Dexter:

'How many of the great & good folk here, were at Middle Earth at the Roundhouse Chalk Farm in the summer of 1968, when Tony Elliot & Bob Harris first introduced Time Out publicly?"

I hadn't seen a lot of the guests for years and some of them looked grey haired and unrecognisable. Janet Street Porter looked the same though - Jeff Dexter congratulated her on her display of her 'perfect tits' which conveniently appeared at his eye line. And, I actually recognised James Birch, the art dealer and David Robson - the Daily Express leader writer who is a distant relation. Peter York and pretty Jenny Dearden (whose first husband was Steve Marriot of Small Faces fame) must have portraits in their attics.

It was definitely worth going to the bash tonight, as Mike Plumley, the Managing Director of Blurb, an innovative music PR company is going to send me a list of good new bands to listen too. Hurrah!