Thursday, 30 July 2009

Art and its profound affect on rock & roll

Back in the sixties I put on a show in swinging London that almost became the talk of the town.

however a few minor celebrities turned up, especially from the music world.

Yoko Ono came along a few times and took notes

one of my pieces in the show was a ladder standing in the corner of an empty white space, painted on the ceiling above the ladder and unreadable without climbing that ladder, were two words; 'FUCK OFF'.

Gary, a pop star of sorts climbed that ladder and read those two words then having climbed back down left the gallery in silence.

Years later I met Gary again, in more troubled times for both of us.

He said. 'Jan if only it had said YES on that ceiling I would never have left the Glitter Band and gone off to interfere with children in Thailand.

Picadilly urinals

Tuesday, 28 July 2009

A well balanced diet


I saw the sign and had to go in.
Mick Jones' Rock & Roll public library at Portobello green. It is there until the 23rd of August. GO.

It is not only Mick's personal archive on view it is also a walk through ones own life; the ephemera that I failed to keep is all there to be pondered over and celebrated. It is like finding something long lost and long cherished in a forgotten cupboard.
there is none of the pretentiousness of say Sophie Calles birthday presents installations. It is to me a celebration of 'My Generation'. How many librararies would allow mick and others to play Sex Pistols songs in a rehearsal room on view to the public.

Monday, 27 July 2009

how i became a coppers nark.

True story but I cannot name names or venue or city even.

I met tonight a very beautiful woman, a talented woman, an intelligent woman, fortunately i am still suffering from the after affects of the bromide slipped into my night caps by nurse Caz so was able to listen to her story.

At some stage she informed me that she was a police officer and flashed her badge.

I gave in, admitted everything, took the blame for crimes I had never committed, pleaded to be handcuffed and interviewed at legnth. I longed to help her with her enquiries on condition that there was no question of bail and that I would be kept in captivity for ever.

I went home to a warm fish and chips supper.

Caught bang to rights.

Sunday, 26 July 2009

Only in London

the Muse and memories

Sitting at the Muse at 269 on Portobello road with a coffee and looking back over all those years and remembering fondly the muses who have slipped into and out of my life; Mona Hebuterne, the ballerina, Babs, Lula mae, nurse Caz.

It dawns on me that 'Muse' is a collective noun now; they are all still with me, goading me, bullying me, kissing my metaphorical neck and laughing with me each time I clean my teeth.

The Muse at 269 is a gallery/restaurant that puts on some interesting stuff. It is also the place that rusty, fluente, tristan and I hang out at and shoot the breeze over a coffee and a beer. Check it out

Rusty tears and kitten heeled cowboys

Walking on Portobello Road this morning I spotted Rusty weeping on the pavement outside a shoe store.

'Rusty' I said, 'pull yourself together man and tell me the problem.'

'come' he said and taking me by the arm led me inside. at the back of the store on a shelf was a pair of antique cowboy boots with kitten heels.

'Them's the identical boots to the pair that Lula mae always wore when baking pear pie' he wailed.

I left him there weeping under the suspicious gaze of the stores foxy owner. 'There's a man who is going to get stung'. I said to no-one in particular.

it's a lovely store full of vintage shoes boots and clothing. I bought a pair of boots there back in the days when nurse Caz was pushing my wheelchair.

282 Portobello, notting hill, London.

Friday, 24 July 2009

Bicycle thieves

I would like to congratulate the idiot who stole my bike lock and ruined the integral lock rendering the whole thing useless.

I'm sure there are many uses for a locked motorcycle lock.

I can think of very few uses for a siezed up bike. Except perhaps throwing it at the clown.

Taking shelter from the rain in a cow.

On the way back from a symbiosium meeting the rain came. the only thing to do was take shelter in the Cow on Westbourne Park Road, Notting Hill.

Luti poured me a ginger beer (Rusty takes his with a dash of Tabasco but I find that a little excessive) to ease the passage of the coronation chicken. The Cow is a local and global institution and early evenings during the week it is the perfect local.

I like nothing more than to sit in a corner and lie through my teeth to any one prepared to listen; the missing tooth leaves a gap big enough to get some whoppers through.

It was neccessary to dash through the downpour to the Westbourne accross the road to get online. Another good pub!

Thursday, 23 July 2009

Mick Jagger, unreliable memories and the Tabernacle.

At the tabernacle, Notting Hill last night to hear Joseph Macwan and his band 'Out of Karma' (check him out). People have done good things to the old place (I remember hanging out there back in the sixties when it was squatted by a bunch of anti-establishment dreamers and schemers and downright bad guys) you should go down and take a look and a beer and maybe lunch and sit in the courtyard as I did...

and cast your eyes over the house opposite where Performance was filmed when Mick Jagger was something of a God and drugs were not only cool but obligatory and London swung like a pendulum do.

I was Mick's body double for the bedroom scenes.

That is another story.

The Tabernacle, Powis Square, London W11 2AY

Saturday, 18 July 2009

Separated by a cigarette paper 4,000 miles thick.

I got a woman said Rusty. An American woman. The only problem is that she is 4,000 miles away.

Thats about the right distance for a woman said tristan

Collaborating in El Camino

In my new found bachelor-hood I have been eating at El Camino in Portobello road, under the Westway, opposite the tented market.

It is the place you hope to expect when feeling low and humming Dwight Yoakam songs and thinking of crossing the border with all the pretty horses.

They have a shelf of Mexican toys to play with if you need to play with a Mexican toy. It is run by nice kids who treat an old man with kindness and tolerance and it;s the right side of inexpensive. you might hear the fuck word but you don't have to pay gordon Ramsay prices to hear it.

Makes me think of Rusty Mcglint and Fluente Maiale: how are those boys, maybe I should give them a call, invite them down for a Taco and a beer and perhaps even invite Tristan too; we are all walking the same road right now.

It is time to collaborate.

Electric Portobello,, Joy, Hope, Grace and Charity.

Lunch at the electric, Portobello Road with Joy and her sisters Hope and grace. My change contained an American cent coin which I have been unable to spend.
I shall give it to Rusty Mcglint the next time we meet.
The girls greeted Charity warmly.


I have just tasted apricot jam again.

Absorbent lint,masking tape and joy.

Joy, a new presence in my life, and although an amateur, an expert at putting comma's in the wrong place, is an excellent nurse with hypnotism skills par excellence and a fine turn of ankle, has agreed to tend to my immediate needs.

boy are my needs immediate.

I met her at the opening party of the International times Archive in east london, she was working the crowd as a strippergram nurse handing out packs of absorbent lint, something new to me as the only kind of lint I knew was the stuff that Babs picked from Rusty's coat as she leant in, whispered endearments and then talked of love.

I told her i was a poet, she asked what stream of conciousness was and i told her i don;t know and don;t want to know and couldn't care less then the ghost of Bukowski walked metaphorically into the room, pissed in the sink, drank all the beer... told us to fuck off.

I woke up with something resembling a hangover and a pack of absorbent lint stuck to my chest with masking tape.

as our american cousins would say: Go figure.

Sunday, 12 July 2009

Change/evolution and burlesque at cafe Ravenous

My old sparring partner Rusty Mcglint has changed.
I put this to him the other night at a burlesque show at cafe Ravenous in Portobello road.
Heck no! he said. I aint changed I've evolved.
'I aint the man I was six months or a year ago; not because I changed myself but because shit happens and it affects you. I will be a different Rusty in six months time; I ain't got no control over that, it just happens.'
He went on to tell me:'I met a woman once, Babs was the name, I loved her good and she loved me. I told her straight though; I told her I aint gonna change and she said that was fine and dandy, let's proceed. Then she tried to change me; that got to me and I couldn't cope.'

Babs. Photo: Sasi Langford
'I let her down bad and I deserve the fires of damnation for that.'

'But women do that, they fall in love with potential then try to mould the man into their ideal. If only she had let me evolve I woulda turned into something else pretty fast through osmosis and capilliary love action, through just being close to her spiritually.'

'I ain't proud of my actions but I'm proud of what I have learnt and what I have become... Long may I evolve.'

You know I respect Rusty for that... He is evolving!

I hope Babs can forgive him too.

nurse Caz, Saki and silence

To misquote my old friend Saki; nurse Caz was a good nurse as nurses go and as good nurses go, she went.

I shall not speak of her again.

Saturday, 11 July 2009

The Tree

There is a painting, a painting that has always hung in our dining room since my earliest memory.
It is a small painting of a tree, a painting of a small tree. Nothing more than that… A sapling growing in a hedge in an anonymous landscape. It measures twelve inches by eight and is set in a good guilt frame.

I have always imagined that the tree was painted by my father, painted by my father before my birth (my birth that killed him) not far from the house where I was born.
When I imagine that picture now I see it as part of a much larger canvas and in that larger canvas to the left hand side stands a young boy, a twelve year old boy, watching the artist as he captures his subjects; both the tree and the young boy.
The artist is oblivious to the child.
I lost sight of the painting when I became alienated from my mother many years ago, I feared that it was lost to me, that it rested in some bric-a-brac shop in Antwerp or on some strangers wall. Misunderstood.
I have missed that painting dearly for most of my adult life; it was ‘home’. It was the father I killed, painting a tree.
And in my imagination he painted me into a corner.
Last week I saw my sister for the first time in many years, as we were about to part she informed me that she had something of mine in her attic. Mother had given it into her safe keeping for me many years ago.
It was the painting of course.
Thank you Honey.