An embarrassed Barney. The generation gap widens.
This is a scene from 1967, probably a Saturday in June, when the A1GoodGuyz hosted a visit from my parents for some unremembered reason (ah yes, they were returning from the Houndsditch wholesale warehouse in the East End) as we were painting our communal van on Avonmore Road in West Kensington, London. The van, an old ambulance, was to be our conveyance for adventures.
On the left is my dad Cecil Solomon, age 62, called ‘Mickey’ by the mom, who didn’t like his given names. He was working at the time, often up in Loughborough, on the TSR2 an advanced for its time fighter bomber destined for the scrap heap. He is attired in his crooked moustache and off center, tightly knotted tie and always rumpled business suit, worried his son is mixing with a rum crew, but recognizing things are different now from when he was a young man of 25 in 1930. But he thought we’d better be careful, there’s a slump round the corner, so we better save some money.
The Mother, Ena, is hugging an acutely embarrassed Colin ‘Barney’ Fulcher (AKA Barney Bubbles) who looks to be scheming revenge on me, the photographer, when the time is right. Mom, 49, dancing to a different drummer, is a ‘temp’ supply school teacher in Hampton Wick, encouraging our youthful ‘artistic’ enthusiasm. She was having a secret relationship at the time during lunch hour with a shepherd who, incongruously, lived in a shack on wheels in Home Park surrounded by suburbia.
Barney, as he was then beginning to be called, and I had read, probably in CIA funded Encounter(?) and Village Voice (me), Rolling Stone (Barney) and the Sunday Observer (both) about Wavy Gravy’s Pig farm and the bus ‘Further.’ This was the bus driven by Stewart Brand at the beginning of ‘The Electric Cool Aid Acid Test.’ Brand was also organizer of the Trips Festival of 1966, and later that year of the Whole Earth Catalog. (I later worked with Brand from 1975 to ’82 on CoEvolution and Whole Earth etc.). All that activity had a strong influence on us, carrying on as it were, our immersion in the sequence of US popular imagery, from settlers, through cowboy, to Dillinger into psychedelia. Barney was working a day-job at Conran Design Group at the time with John Muggeridge, who is looking wryly amused at mom’s embrace of Barney.
Roy Burge, in moustache next to the dad, looks to be somewhat dubious about Mr Wills Snr.