Inspector Burge Investigates the Image
Poster by David Wills and Barney Fulcher
From the collection of Andrew Bayowski with gratitude.
Photographs (C) David Wills 1966
1967 Photograph of David Wills by Colin “Barsnstable” Fulcher.
Copyright 2009 Aten Skinner.
Leigh Court, West Ken. 1967. Marvel at the composition and see note appended below.
When Barney, or Colin Fulcher as he was then, Burge and I moved into Leigh Court in 1964, Fulcher had already worked on a couple of posters for the Muleskinners. Fulcher and I worked well together, and, feeling mutually compatible in the spirit of the times, agreed to share jobs, which we did for while (65 on and off through early 69). We worked as a loose cooperative, knowing we had an understanding, with similar ideals and amusements.
Fulcher’s adopted band, the Muleskinners, had broken up by June of ’64. The Image was a concept band, meaning that, since we didn’t exactly have a band now, we invented the idea of one; with the job being to materialize the band and complete the Image. I’d been reading about optical after-images, and I expect Barney had too. Corporate Image was/is Madison Av talk for the ‘House-style’ of us typography and graphic-biz blokes. The tools of the Hidden Persuaders of which we were both somewhat cognizant.
Working on a page of roughs, I drew Burge as a Townshend figure whirling his arm leaving a trail of pictures that Fulcher liked. I took photographs of us room-mates standing on Conran Tote Boxes in my room with one source, insufficient lighting. Colin Letrasetted my words, although I’m pretty sure I wrote “… for half a mo” not ‘minute’ perhaps that wasn’t exact enough.
Barney also asked, as we were working on it, if we should put comic book whoosh lines coming from Burge’s wild swinging arm, behind the trail of pictures. But I, in dull mode, said it would complicate matters. Now I see what he was thinking of, how that would have added the Barney touch – it would have been cool.
With the idea being that the roughs were the creative notes of a larger art project, I kept them, along with much else of that time, in a portfolio I left behind at Leigh Court in 69.
Goya’s influence on Rock and Rolling
The scale of the large figure of Inspector Burge (called Roy here on the titchy pic) but often known as ‘Bump’ because of his abilities to rend wood with one blow, is referenced in my mind to the looming figure of that atributed Goya, ‘The monster eating his own’ (or similar name).
The star as the after-image to stare at was obvious to us both. It was one of those sticky school-book stars from a stationer’s.
On the small pictures at the top, I drew the border in a clumsy thick and lumpy way on the picture of ‘Woll,’ unlike the sophisticated fine ’01 Rapidograph of his-nib’s (i.e. Barney’s) boxes on the rest of the ‘Band.’
Colin, as he then was still, said as how he looked like “One of the Animals” with four legs, that that’s what he was doing in his pic. The pegs on the guitar were overexposed and disappeared in the contrasty print, so were drawn in and elongated by me, and they look like it too. Colin said, “… it’s OK, looks cool. It’ll make a new fashion for long pegs.” You might note that there is only one guitar between all us guys.
Snaps by Fulcher Photo
That portrait of me as a young punk in 1967 by Fulcher is one of the few actual pix snapped by him still extant, other than his Lorry pic of the for Muleskinners 2nd poster. He destroyed all the photographs he took at school on his Minolta 35mm.
It was the last shot on the roll. Which was appropriately serendipitious for Colin, the Master of Serendip, for, coming at the end of the roll of film and improperly removed from the camera – prior to winding in the ‘lead,’ it was exposed to daylight – seen as a flare on the left that made a Photogram of the fluff on the film cassette light-baffle. (There will be a test.)
The snap shews my new, protest crew-cut for a trip to New York. Not wanting to be one of the crowd, my hair was clear-cut in answer to all the length in evidence on the heads of heads of heads around. That’s my Perkinje-pattern related, Opticon-like device, a lamp-shade purchased at Habitat, top right. Fulcher assumed that was why I had bought it, and I think he may have advised Habitat to buy it in the first place. Not until he pointed it out did I see the connection.