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  • davidwills 6:38 pm on January 1, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: 4000 Weeks Holiday, Album Art, , , Barney Bubbles, , Bob Bromide, , Definitive Biography, , , , , ,   

    Barney Bubbles – Ian Dury, 4000 Weeks Holiday 

    Barney Bubbles orginal (almost) design for Ian Dury's '4000 Weeks Holiday': Front

    Barney Bubbles original design for Ian Dury’s ’4000 Weeks Holiday’: Front (photo on cover by Bob Bromide)


    Barney Bubbles original (almost) design for Ian Dury's '4000 Weeks Holiday': Back

    Barney Bubbles original design (almost) for Ian Dury’s ’4000 Weeks Holiday’: Back

    Hello New Yearers, Happy New Year! To kick off this season’s delights, here’s a little-seen item from the repertoire of my old friend Barney Bubbles.

    Late 1983 Barney designed a cover for Ian Dury’s ’4000 Weeks Holiday’ LP, only for it to never really see the light of day. I say ‘never really’, because nearly everywhere across the world a different artwork solution was used, but Barney’s original design did make it onto the cover of the Portuguese issue (amongst a tiny handful of other seemingly random places I am reliably informed). Check out the pics above. The photo that Barney used on the front cover is by Bob Bromide.

    My English friends RandM (Barney boffins of extraordinary detailedness) are quick to point out that even the Portuguese version is not totally true to Barney’s original artwork; apparently only a copy of the original UK test pressing complete with test sleeve is. Why so? By the time the LP came out to the public (after Barney’s tragic demise), the record company changed the tracklist by removing ‘Noddy Harris’ and adding ‘Inspiration’, and so the record company had dutifully tweaked the design of the tracklist accordingly. But, this Portuguese issue is pretty darn close to Barney’s original design, so here it is goddamit!

    Pondering why the tracklist changed? The company execs feared the legal ramifications of upsetting Enid Blyton’s estate with the ‘Noddy Harris’ lyrics “Winnie The Pooh is having a wank. And what are you up to? Said Thomas the Tank…Fuck off Noddy you stupid prat. Fuck off Noddy in your rotten hat”.

    Keep smiling and see you all again later for more tales of daring-do.
    IanDuryRAM1983

     
  • davidwills 6:59 pm on September 10, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Barney Bubbles, Cassandra Wedd, Germaine Greer, Simone DeBouvoir   

    Funky Old Attidudes 

    Women’s lib happened for me on Thursday, 6 October 1971 at 3:30 PM, in the studio at the newsweekly, Ink, when the wittily observant beauty Cassandra Wedd said I should, “Wise up.” It struck me in a flash – that what I had begun to learn about mens’ attitudes towards women in the previous five years or so was in need of repair. The times had changed – time to get with it. I talked to the hilarious man-skewer Germaine Greer, read Simone DeBouvoir’s ‘Second Sex,’ walked through a door before a woman (and later reverted to tradition), I did some washing-up, learned to cook, the whole works. I’ve spoken with other people, men and women, and they often agreed that the change in attitudes between the sexes around that time was sudden for those who got it. But some never learned, and I don’t think my friend, Herr Barney B. ever did. He was still writing to me in 1976 that he and his mates were trying to get over “misogyny.’ I have a strong feeling he seldom or never scrubbed a floor, washed the dishes or thought a woman smarter than himself.

    I’ve been a-musing on the subject ‘cos my newly wooed darling, the adorable Tamala, had concerns that I had an interest in bondage, having seen my recent posts – and was considering the possible ramifications. Happily, being tied or tying doesn’t do it for either of us, but the subject arose and led to discussions before the air was cleared. Nowadays honesty in relationships is uppermost, healthy and hella fun. Collossal orgasms, cleaner dishes, better food and, ah yes, what a great life….

     
  • davidwills 1:44 pm on June 27, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Barney Bubbles, , , , , Imperial Bedroom, , , ,   

    Barney Bubbles – Waxing Lyrical 

    A waxing moon might be considered a good choice of icon to help sell a circular slab o’ vinyl (wax, vinyl, geddit?). That probably wasn’t the thought Barney had when he did this greysome poster for Elvis Costello’s Imperial Bedroom LP though, but you never quite know…

    Elvis Costello Imperial Bedroom poster - by Barney Bubbles 1982

    Elvis Costello Imperial Bedroom poster – by Barney Bubbles 1982

    ‘Barney was a ‘cutter’ nutter.
    I recall being in a corridor at Twickenham Art School and Fulcher (AKA Barney’) was rolling his shirt sleeve sleeve down. For some reason, I forget how it came about, but he told me that he and some other guys liked to cut themselves with razors or burn their arms with cigarettes, “You wouldn’ understand.” he said. So true. This was especially macabre considering how, much later, he killed himself by plastic bag after having expertly slashed his own face.

    Incidentaly, our good friend Chris Higson may have been a inflluence, his face was totally disfigured after being practiced on by burn surgeons during the second German war, Higson had caught fire with a paper bag on his head.

     
  • davidwills 8:41 am on June 23, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Barney Bubbles, Basically, Billy Childish, , Chiswick Records, Chrissie Hynde, , , Fred Burns, , Incendiary Device, , , , ,   

    Barney Bubbles – Bondage Mayhem 

    My indefatigable London correspondents R&M tell me a fresh film about punk rock act Johnny Moped has been laid and hatched by Fred Burns, son of The Damned’s Captain Sensible. Sadly only a trailer can currently be seen though, click here. The trailer features Barney Bubbles’s bondage maypole video; a video he directed for Johnny Moped’s ‘Incendiary Device’ track (something Barney wrote me about in a letter once). Here’s a still from the video showing what I’m goin’ on abaht:

    Still from Johnny Moped video 'Incendiary Device', directed by Barney Bubbles.

    Still from Johnny Moped ‘Incendiary Device’ video, directed by Barney Bubbles.


    R&M also tell me that Barney used this bondage theme for press ads for Johnny Moped’s LP Cycledelic. And so here below, for your sweaty pleasure, are three of the published press ad variations. The photos are different in each ad, as are the graphic dingbats Barney put in the top corners, and R&M tell me this isn’t even the complete set. Boy, Barney never did like to make life easy for himself!
    3 Press ad variations for Johnny Moped's Cycledelic LP, by Barney Bubbles. Thanks to R&M for the pic.

    3 Press ad variations for Johnny Moped’s Cycledelic LP, by Barney Bubbles. Thanks to R&M for the pic.


    Don’t forget to drop by again soon tomcats!

    Fred Burns film’s website is here.

     
  • davidwills 8:13 pm on April 9, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Alex Sanders, Barney Bubbles, , , , , Friends, , , Magick, Naked, Newspaper, , Witch   

    Barney Bubbles – Friends With Sleeves Rolled Up 

    barneybubbles4
    Here shared for your viewing delight is a page taken from underground newspaper Friends, featuring a snap taken by photographic legend Phil Franks (the essential silver-salt and cellulose documenter of the happenin’ Grove Gate London underground of the late 60s and early 70s), to whom thanks are given.

    The exposed flesh of witch Nicki was being painted by myself and Barney Bubbles at the time, captured by Phil, and printed in Friends for posterity; a naked flesh canvas to play out our painterly symbolism upon. I am absent from this particular frame, and Barney is darting out-of-sight (as usual), sleeves rolled up in earnest painterly mode. Underneath the photo? Some text about Alex Sanders’ coven, and musings on the dangers of the Ritual of materialising Astaroth.

    First outed in R&M’s seminal ‘The First Barney Show Ever 2001′, now republished here. And lest I forget to mention, another similar but different (and also by Phil) pic of the scene got used by me in an erotically charged mag at around the same time.

    Want more? Did you see this earlier blog entry, where Barney is spotted on video walking through the Friends office, scalpel in hand.

    See you again soon, dear readers.

     
  • davidwills 7:44 pm on February 1, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: 1983, , Barney Bubbles, Buddy Holly, , , , Heartbeat, instant records, , line records, Phillip Goodhand Tait   

    Barney Bubbles – Heartbeat 

    Heartbeaaat
    With Valentine’s Day approaching, and matters of the heart coming to the fore, here displayed for your timely appreciation is Barney Bubbles’ sleeve for Phillip Goodhand-Tait’s 1983 single ‘Heartbeat’. A track originally recorded by Buddy Holly, an icon Barney was happy to often parody in his graphixeffex. My London correspondents (whom I thank for the image) tell me this was one of the last sleeves Barney designed.

     
    • Rooksby 10:41 pm on February 13, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      David, I’ve been visiting this site on a semi-regular basis since the 1st edition of Reasons to Be Cheerful appeared, & I just wanted to say that – several years on – it’s as fascinating & inspiring as it ever was. More power to you, sir – keep it Bubblin’. :)

  • davidwills 3:49 pm on November 21, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Barney Bubbles, , , , , , promo, proof, , ,   

    Barney Bubbles – Got Proof? 

    gethappyproof
    Welcome again readers to the magic theatre of Barney Bubbles. Here for the first time ever – and for your continued viewing delight – we have a previously hidden treasure, gather ’round as I explain… Shown above on the left is a rare proof of a poster Barney designed for Elvis Costello’s LP ‘Get Happy’ in 1980. See how it uses yellow, red and black; an early colour test (printed in small numbers and not even trimmed) later abandoned in favour of the main print run’s orange, mauve and black. No longer just an X on the map, but found, dug up and shared!

    Images kindly donated by Barney historians R&M.

     
    • Willi 8:05 pm on December 3, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      never a dull bub ble

  • davidwills 6:59 pm on November 1, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Barney Bubbles, , , , Get Happy, , , , , Prog Rock, Psychedelic, , Roadhawks   

    Barney Bubbles – Progressive's Progressives 

    What is this cornucopia of visual soda-pop we see below I hear you thirsty readers ask. It’s several Barney Bubbles posters, each shown in their successive stages of printing. Gasp in delight as you observe the inks being added one-by-one to create the final artistic vision. Pics hunted out by Barney boffins R&M (yes, them again) and shared here for your delight. Labels have been added to the pics to explain the ink build-up. Stay tuned for more inky tales…

    The colors in the progressives were borrowed from the Victorian era original copy of the Encyclopedia of Design and Decoration, 1885 or so, that I have mentioned before. Barney re-ownershipped the book when it was decomissioned from Twickenham art school use, and regularly used the multiplicity of extraordinary color combinations shewn therein in his works. The color-combination for the first Hawkwind poster was from a Moorish fabric design. The book was printed in something like 32 self-colors, some of which I’m sure were vegetable derived. The book is now worth a lot in the original printing.

    Progressive print stages of Barney Bubbles Hawkwind poster. 1970s.


    Progressive print stages of Barney Bubbles Hawkwind poster. 1970s.


    Progressive print stages of Barney Bubbles Elvis Costello poster. 1980s.

     
    • D.Cheema 10:01 pm on November 2, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Thirsty work!

  • davidwills 6:31 pm on November 1, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: andre the giant, , Barney Bubbles, Barrack Obama, , , giant, , , , obey, obey the giant, , , , Shepard Fairey, , Street Art,   

    Obey The Bubbles 


    Welcome thrill-seekers to an impromptu Barney Bubbles / Shepard Fairey mash-up. Made possible by reshuffling some of Shepard Fairey’s LPs that appear as part of his current exhibition in London. Cunningly created onsite by my London correspondents R&M.

    All “Shepard who”? He’s the Obey Giant guy; Barrack Obama’s Hope street artist of choice.

    Show is at The Stolen Space Gallery, The Old Truman Brewery, Off Brick Lane, London E1. Closes on November 4th.

     
  • davidwills 12:04 am on October 18, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Barney Bubbles,   

    Bit of a shrink are you then? 

    Focus like the devil, Barney chewed on a project with lazer intensity, not letting up night or day till the job was done. Unless he didn’t. Leaving the washing up to others, scalpel safely in hand, he’d cut the card.

    His masterly powers of persuasion were honed to a blast – none could avoid his masterly twist, hooked you were caught and at one with the show.

    Independent of authority our Barney was a one for not doing what he was told, do the opposite like as not.

    Egocentric, the world revolved round his nibs.

    At ease with the pain of others.

     
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