1967: Colin Fulcher the ‘Kulcher Vulcher’

In 1967 Colin Fulcher, the ‘Kulcher Vulcher’ (T. Conran quote) began to use his nom d’art ‘Barney Bubbles.’ Whilst I worked under the guise of a buzz-cut skinhead, proto punk, Sid Squeek (please note I was a ‘Sid’ before the Sex Pistols’ Sid), bofe of us worked together, working part time as the A1GoodGuyz. From August to December of that year we were designing and writing Oz12 along with a gang of friends, making it a communal enterprise.

For our younger, or otherwise new readers innocent of history, Oz was an alternative press psychedelic, colour zine of the underground, quite subversive to the untainted minds of suburban sixties Britain. Oz 12 was an experimental issue, a series of large uncut sheets that, when de-stapled, instead of pages, opened up to become big posters. ‘The Tax Dodge Special’ as I labelled it, or the ‘Play Issue’ as R.Neville called it, or just ‘OZ12′ as it came to be called.

Sometime during September (?) ’67 I flew off for 30 days in New York to escape from DPB and T, the Marlebone High Road ad agency I grumpily desked at (one of my accounts was the London Labor Party when they lost the election in ’67, I designed the posters). Run by mega-hip Norman Berry, he let me go for as long as I liked, but I never went back.

In Manhattan, I interviewed graphic icon Milton Glazer at Pushpin Studios, I represented the A1GGz, so I had both of our works in the bag; (It was a big ol’ black and battered guitar case.) Milton particularly admired Fulcher’s letter head and logo of a peacock for a paint suppliers he worked on at Conran;

I met with the keenly observing writer Paul Krassner at his ‘office’ of the Realist – sitting on the milk crates and the floor of his place in the East Village, I was oggling the voluptuous Whore-nun Maria, who had three locks on her apartment door.

I advised Abbie Hoffman in jean jacket with many pins and buttons and badges, not to tread on the portfolio as he burst in and lunged across the floor covered in unfiled folder piles, which, somewhere, included the Pentagon Papers. Abbie and Paul were discussing tactics for the upcoming Chicago National Democratic Convention, I advised them to stage a police riot… (see the movie).

Hanging out at painter Brice Marden’s pin-factory loft on Grand Street in Little Italy with Brice’s entertaining friend Helen, soon to be his wife. Helen had stayed with us A1GGz at Leigh Court in London and had invited me to stay. Brice, at that time Robert Rauschenberg’s co-worker, invited me to party at Robert’s place in the Bowery, I got to drive the great discs of ‘Revolver’ in his studio, figured how to turn them all at once so a moire pattern appeared and evaporated much to the artist’s delight. Wore a six-inch wide tie to Max’s Kansas City and so got preferential seating in the centre along with Warhol’s crowd… Great times.

When I got back to London Barney had orged a paste-up party with John Dove and the others to finish the art except for the A sheet, which included the ill fated cover.

I had shot the group we never used (shewn elsewhere in this image-mine) of the A1GGz Gang, but Jon Goodchild suggested also shooting Cream, the band, as an alternate (but which we also didn’t use). So on a Thursday afternoon in Leigh Court, West Ken, London WC2, at about three in the art’ernoon, the Cream arrived talking about groceries. They all saunter into my white walled room with the brown knobbly carpet that Barney and dancer Mary Lexa once did it on.

Eric Clapton was out to lunch, glazed and confused, in 501’s and a shirt no tie; Ginger Baker with fringed leather jacket, boots, shades and a frown, looked like he could kill you, and might; Jack Bruce wore a suit with lapels wide enough to fly, built to impress an attorney, our Bruce was aware, bored and wanted to leave.
The entourage was there for about 25 minutes and split. Barney goes, “Huh. They were boring, weren’t they.”

We didn’t use the snaps because Barney and I were Richmond ‘Stones freaks and didn’t want no Ealing Cream in our tea. About ten years ago I came across those 24 exposures of the Cream, taken on Infra-red 35mm film, 400ASA,. they are now filed in a locked container in the Sausalito boat yard (near where I used to work at Whole Earth with Stewart Brand).

You’ll have to wait awhile to see the snaps, but one day I’ll dig ’em out…

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