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  • davidwills 7:35 pm on February 14, 2012 Permalink | Reply  

    Hmm. Does any body ken when Fulcher was in Australia? I wonder would it have been in 1982?

    I ask because that’s when I was there too. Considering it’s import, him dying and all, It would be a wry thing if so.

    While I was there in New South Wales I got to commune with (read about) a local cultural hero, Wyndradine of the Wirrajuri (sp?) who was a charismatic Australian original who attracted a large following of cross-cultural supporters with his astute oratory. He talked back against the Pommie (British) settlers and cleverly defended his land with deft tactics.

    I became interested in Wyndradine because of similar doings in the 1880’s I knew about in northern California Pit River Indian country. Pit River was so named by the European invaders but the Amerindians there are more properly known as Payute. But Payute is not their own name for themselves either, it is nearby Shumash(?) language for ‘people to the south.’ The Pit River name was derived from the fact that the Amerindians thereabouts buried their food in holes in the ground.

    It was from these people that the ethnologist Lord Pitt Rivers took his name (I think it may have been his wife who asked for the added ‘T’). My first job, when I was 15 or so was writing captions for his collection of African masks, Amerindian canoes and the like in the obscure but incredibly exotic ethnological museum in Dorset England. The collection is now dispersed to the Met in New York and in the Pitt Rivers Museum in Oxford. It my belief that the Pitt Rivers Museum is the world’s best museum. No dainty cabinet of curiosities this, it is an enormous warehouse of the stuff of life all higgledepigledy strewn about with none of that moderne museum elegant space that ruined the British Museum for me.

    Like the Australians, the Payute successfully defended their land. They hid in the tunnels of the of volcanic pumice. These Modoc crags were defended under the leadership of ‘Captain Jack.’ The Payute were the last Amerindians to successfully fight off the (mostly British) Yankee farmer/ prospector/ invaders’ – who were once more enclosing the commons.

    In the 1880’s, Captain Jack in Modoc Co. California and the the Australian Wyndradine in NSW both battled back. Both killed at least two settlers with bent, unrifled guns, (this is all from memory, I could be wrong). But Wyndradine was also able to talk up a storm, He talked of how his legacy would live on, That those to come after him would shew the world what’s what – with death their ultimate ‘graphic’ ‘that being Barney’s interpretation at least. Barney was fascinated that we had both independently discovered this guy (but oddly he didn’t say when he were there, or more probably I didn’t hear). But he said he had handled a killing stone and what did I think? Then the phone rang, it was with news that Sex Pistol, McClaren was coming by, and he crouched off through the files and boxes in his basement alongside a hissing water heater.

  • davidwills 1:28 am on July 9, 2011 Permalink | Reply
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    Many of Colin Fulcher’s (AKA Barney Bubblles) album covers to be seen 

    I just found this
    Which means it’s probably been around a while. ‘Tis a view of much of the Colin Fucher (AKA Barney Bubbles) ouvre, I could correct one or two things in the biography, but a it’s good show and worth a visit.
  • davidwills 4:39 am on July 6, 2011 Permalink | Reply
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    The glossy, brightly coloured illustrations by Denis McLoughlin in the Buffalo Bill Wild West Annual 

    The glossy, brightly coloured illustrations by Trent Magreggor ? (no – see below) in the Buffalo Bill Wild West Annual of 1958 were a big influence on Colin Fulcher. I’d been looking for the artist for a while and came across the reference to the book in Kieth Richards’ book ‘Life.’

    • davidwills 4:52 am on July 6, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      I think the editor was John Groom, but who was the illustator?

    • david wills 5:11 am on July 6, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      The Comic Art of Denis McLoughlin No. 1: A Comics Monographs Special Issue ~ Book ~ Stated first edition, 2007. Perfect bound, 102 pages including covers, illustrated in black and white.

  • davidwills 2:36 am on July 6, 2011 Permalink | Reply
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    Masie P does Bengali in Whitton on a visit to Colin Fulcher’s home town haunts 

    Masie P. writes: I had a brief stay back in Twickenham last week and had yet another culinary delight from Whitton High Street.  A new Bengali restaurant has opened where the John Greigs store used to be.  It’s in the style of Southall High Street eateries, but a little more refined than the stand-up takeaway.  It is of course, completely vegetarian and non-alcoholic and the food comes in pantechnicon-sized containers and costs pennies.
    I took my son and eldest grand-daughter for a birthday treat… eight…  and the waiter was amazed that such a wee child was relishing the chillies in the dhosa.  Takes after her Nanna. 🙂
    Been painting blue angels all week…  I seem to have a comic-book streak hidden away in me somewhere, that keeps making a break for it.
  • davidwills 3:57 pm on April 13, 2011 Permalink | Reply
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    Masie Parker visits old flame Barney Bubbles’ hometown, Whitton. 

    By way of expo, Colin Fulcher was the protoname of Barney Bubbles a renown bloke what done art back when. His contemporary, Masie Parker writes about a visit to his hometown:
    ” I just got back last night from a day out in Twickenham, Whitton and environs. I got a ride up to see my kids and grandkids in Whitton because my partner had to go to the rugby match between France and England in his capacity as a corporate host.
    In between the hoards streaming into the newly expanded rugby complex/ground (80,000 capacity) and the hoards streaming out of the ground we had a brief window in which to drive down to Twickenham town centre and grab a curry from Palavi (the Indian restaurant in the cinema building).
    Every house along the road leading from Twickenham station to the Chertsey Road (past Egerton Road) had a burger van, or doughnut stall, or Thai curry van, or sausage van parked up in their front garden. Vendors selling flags, banners, hats, scarves, hooters, vuvuzelas, animal masks, face paint, proliferated between the food stalls.
    They aren’t allowed to park in the street or on the road, and so people rent out their gardens for the day.  Some peole charge £50 for a day’s parking and as so many people have concreted the front of their houses they can accomodate up to four cars.
    The whole of the area around the ground on the Whitton side has parking restrictions and residents have to buy parking permits for themselves and any visitors.  All those lovely Edwardian and Victorian houses (Do you remember the house with the small tower built onto the corner of it?  It was very much like an Edwin Lutyens design.)  that were along the road in front of the rugby ground have been demolished and the ground is about four times bigger than ever and has so many conference suites and shops in it and it even has a Marriott hotel built into it.
    Although it’s been about a year since I was up in Twickenham, it was a shock to see how things have changed.  The worst it used to be on rugby days was that you couldn’t drive along the road outside the ground for parked cars, but this has moved to a whole new level.
    On the way back from Twickenham centre, we took the road back past Twickenham Green.  My first house was in Third Cross Road.  The ammount of development along the Staines road is frightening.  There are rows of what used to be little Victorian artisans houses that have been turned into furniture show rooms, spa showrooms and car sales rooms.  The Five Oaks pub is now called The Bloomsbury and is painted in shades of cream and mushroom with the name in 3ft high letters across the front. (Joe tells me it’s still frequented by pikies).
    When we decided to leave for home at 9pm, the roads were still filled with people leaving the rugby ground and so I told Frank to turn right at the Co-op along Whitton High Street and take the back roads around the centre of Whitton and join the traffic at Percy Road.  It was just an excuse to drive past Colin’s old house in Tranmere Road…  BTW, the whole Co-op building has been bought by Lidls supermarket, soon to be opened in Whitton!There seems to only one reason for ever going back to Twickenham/Whitton (apart from my kids) and that is the Indian food.
    The sweet shop across the road from Joe’s house sells fresh baked samosas every day for 40p each.  The lady who owns the shop makes them, but nearly all the corner shops make them… My grand-daughter Honor buys them like sweeties on her way home from school.”
  • davidwills 4:48 am on April 13, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    Barney Bubbles and Edie Sedgewick in Forgotten Old Tape Mystery Drama 

    The NY Times had a recent review of a new release of an old film, Mystery X, from 1971 in New York by the recluse , Chamberlain, a TV show movie made at the Warhol Factory, with Edie Sedgewick and the Candy Darling crew.

    It reminds me of the sound only tapes that Colin Fulcher/Barney Bubbles and I, as the A1GGz, made in the years ’64 through 67.  The tapes were begun in the idle evenings and perhaps influenced by our Make a Noise event of 1964.

    We’d record at odd moments our radio show read from scripts or impromtu conversation with a Grundig reel-to-reel my dad bought. A whole show – complete with wry car ads and fluffy fashion reviews, cut-up stories of mayhem in Barnstable and news of Croydon pyrotecnics.

    “Hullo, and welcome to Radio-Active with around-up of A1 Good Guyz in town tonight. And with a roar the mighty town of London sqeaks to a halt.” and so forth. Late Goons, early TW3. I do a pretty good Wiltshire lane-crawler, or BBC announcers voice when needed, and Fulcher, as he still was, was a manic Flintstone or cheerful cockney to order.

    It’s possible our recording influenced the making of the Chamberlain flick. Ms. Harrington of New York would have been the courier, she had a copy.

    The A1GGz’s station calls influenced the Radio London call signs.

    While I’m on the thought, I seem to recall that Barney advised in some way, probably through Jon Goodchild, the Rolling Stones on the choice of the cheap pecussion drums and toy guitar used on Beggars Banquet, that is mentioned in his bio, Life, by Keith Richards, which is the best Rock and Roll book ever.

  • davidwills 2:14 am on January 27, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: balsa wood models, , , , , , Fun Boy Three, , , Lunatics, , Squeeze, The Specials   

    Barney Bubbles’ Videos 

    Barney Bubbles lights up Marilyn's smile in Elvis Costello's Clubland video

    Barney Bubbles gives Squeeze a squeeze by magnetically distorting a TV's cathode ray tube

    This list of videos below is from Wikipedia’s elegantly revised, and suprisingly acurate bio of Fulcher/Bubbles. (The live links below take you to YouTube videos.)

    As a video director, Barney Bubbles directed several videos. These included The Specials’ “Ghost Town”, Squeeze’s “Is That Love” and “Tempted”, Elvis Costello’s “Clubland” and “New Lace Sleeves” and Fun Boy Three’s “The Lunatics Have Taken Over The Asylum”. Two promos for punk act Johnny Moped – “Incendiary Device” and “Darling Let’s Have Another Baby” – were never commercially released.

    • davidwills 2:11 am on February 8, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      For new readers, the famed graphic artist Colin Fulcher used the name Barney Bubbles.

      The Specials video that he directed is very similar in construction to what Fulcher had in mind for the First Music Video Ever that we made in 1963 for a BBC competition to find an idea of what to do while music played on TV. Abstract repeated pattern, an action, fin. Made with the Modrock band, ‘them’ Muleskinners, the editing of the ‘video’ by Derek Wallbank was not to Fulcher’s liking, and I never saw it.

      Anyway, the Band broke up before the ‘video’ was finished. (it was on 8mm because he didn’t have a video camera.) Fulcher designed a really cool poster that I thought was to go with the ‘video.’ Although the poster was made earlier, it was associated in some way with the ‘video,’ and maybe featured in it, but probably not, since it would not have reproduced well in black and white. The red and blue were of equal intesity and tone, with blue condensed type on a red field – clash city in color but monotone grey in B&W. But as far as I know it has not yet (2011) been recovered from the trashcan of history. Come on lads, where is it?

      A note on ‘them’ Muleskinners. As has been pointed out elsewhere ‘them’ wasn’t part of their name. The ‘them’ came from me. When I saw the poster and asked him about it he reminded me that I’d said earlier while slapping my metaphorical buckskins, “They ain’t no goddam The Muleskinners, they be Them Muleskinners” in a rousing Westcountry American accent and that he credited it as my idea to use it on the poster. This led on to a discussion of layers of meaning in design.

  • davidwills 9:04 am on January 22, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , , , El Lissitski, ,   

    Barney Bubbles – Past Present Future 

    This pic was drawn by Barney Bubbles in 1968. It is based on the results of the parlour game ‘consequences,’ where a folded  piece of paper is passed around and the guests add to the unseen drawing above, using over-the-fold clues of where to begin provided by the previous artist.

    This was a favorite pastime of us  loose gang of chaps and chicks in the A1GGz, who hung around West Kensington, London, in the 60’s. The art appears to be a graphic drawn entirely by Barney Bubbles but is, I think, based on various preceeding games of  ‘consequences,’ played to while away stoned evenings of  ennui. I recognise the lower squiggling concoction as being derived from a particularly good result played, if memory serves me truly, with Barney, his ever faithful friend Lorry and myself one dark night during a power failure when we worked by candlelight.

    With its ‘Right awareness of Past, Present and Future’ and ‘The universe falls into chaos and the stars hurtle into disorder’ it is obviously in tune with the passing Buddhist sensibilities of Barney during our underground mag Oz 12 days, when he’d been reading Herman Hesse (unfortunately recently outed as a sometime Nazi) and considered himself a bit of a Boddhisatva ready to take on the world.

    In Barney’s ventures into the steamy world of godly reason, he’d previously incarnated, very briefly, as a  Jewish student of an uncle up North, who’d told him about the mystical Cabbala that, like some early chip circuit, held the graphic answer to the Theory of Everything.

    Reading about the Russian Suprematist, El Lissitski, it is apparent that he had much in common with Barney apart from a premature, self induced demise, in that they were both excellent robbers of graphic symbolism, taking their ideas from wherever. Like the Russian expat Jewish carrousel carvers of imaginative horses for their round-abouts in New York of the early 20th century who took their skills at creating Temple adornment, which included fancy horses, to commercial advantage, Barney and El  were both adept at creating new symbols from old ideas.

    El went on a tour of the Jewish walled setlements, the schtetlach*, villages of tzarist Russia, places  ‘beyond the pale,’ documenting the carpentry Temple structures with their eloquent wooden carvings, images that were often borrowed from other cultures, English heraldic crowns and lions  for instance, or the squares, circles and triangles of Greek geometry used to describe their deic mysteries 0 and lots of horses. El took the ideas of this vibrant art and turned it to his own use, using the cube of Jewish mass as his signature. As did Barney, who could take a greasy hamburger bun wrapper and turn it into a  graphic meal. All graphic property is theft in deed.

    *Shtetlach (plural) Shtetle (singular) according the book ‘Joys of Yiddish” by Leo Rosten

  • davidwills 8:55 pm on January 8, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , Maise P, Margaret Minay,   

    Barney Bubbles snaps Maisie P 

    Colin Fulcher snaps Margaret Minay. The top pic shows the invitation by postcard, the bottom pics show the results.

    Margaret Minay writes: “I’m not sure what pictures you are going to use… The ones in Colin’s bedroom, or the ones in Syon Lodge. Or both?

    Either way, you can be sure that on both occasions I was terrified.
    I was very unsure of myself, and couldn’t really think why anybody would want to photograph me… But I was also very attracted to Colin, and as I said before, in awe of him.
    When he was taking the photographs in his bedroom, I felt slightly more confident than when he took the pictures later in Syon Lodge, because we were alone and he was quiet and thoughtful, unlike when he was in college with his mates.
    We listened to music, Leadbelly, I think it was, and, we spoke about a lot of the things I was interested in… namely jazz and politics… Because of my father’s influence I was brought up to be very left wing and we spoke about CND and my close friendship with another student, whom Colin had dubbed ‘Ban-the-bomb’ because of her involvement with the CND marches.
    He also knew I was going to a concert to see Thelonius Monk and I think he was quite impressed… It was later that he sent me another postcard with a beautiful little painting of who he thought was Monk, but in fact it was Stevie Wonder. He’d just found a picture in a magazine and copied it without realising who it was… He cracked up when I told him.
    The session in Syon Lodge was more difficult, because I was so self-conscious. He was cracking jokes all the time just to make me laugh. Nothing ever came of the photo-shoot, I don’t know why he thought anything would.

    Now I just feel melancholy, thinking of that long time ago… “

    • davidwills 1:33 am on January 10, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      I think the year is 1962, in May, please correct me should you know better.

      “Jenny’ referred to in the post card is Twick’art student Jennifer, she can be seen elsewhere is this train, she is the tall girl (wrongly caprioned by another name) with Roy ‘Bumps’ Burge in the photograph of the A1GGz painting their version of Kesey’s bus ‘Furher.”

    • David Wills 8:17 pm on January 26, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      I realize now that I saw this post card before Colin (Barney) sent it, was impressed by his use of thick rules, but was shocked by the use of the ‘w’ word and seriously thought that Maisie wold be horrified too. Didn’t mention it at the time, but expected she’d never speak to him again because she was, unlike most other arters of our aquaintance then, a sophisticated and politicaly aware person whom I very much admired,

    • davidwills 4:25 pm on February 1, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      I’m doing a recall, Misty fade, 1963, Colin is still at school, shows me the prints when we went to look at the new pad, at Leigh Court in West Ken. I had worked as a pro printer, used Picture Post’s photography printers for my prints, and was working at Town magazine, so I had David Bailey and Donald McCullen prints with which to compare Fulcher’s efforts. Thinking of a layout I say they need trimming vertically with the sides cropped off, The way I thought that he’d do it was by cutting a paper mask and gumming it to the print, as we did at work on Town magazine. But Colin actually cut the prints with a Stanley knife, and a few days later shows me, I think to myself he shouldn’t have used the one on the right, maybe just the ones on the left and in the middle. but say it looks cool anyway. I mentioned the cutting of the prints, how it makes it difficult to reproduce. He said it didn’t matter ‘cos he was going to make new prints anyway. Still at this time he thought he had got an entry to some fancy magazine who would use his pictures, maybe through Mr. Gould, although I have no rason for presuming that. Could have been his imagination. Someone must have further said something to him about his snaps ‘cos he threw everything away.

      People enjoy intimate details: I was at that time hugely jealous of Fulcher’s way with women and Maggie in particular. And Barney may also have been envious of me at other times. On a positive note over the years he certainly tried to hook me up with variously very creative women, notably Allison and Pamela Poland.

      Barney and my disagreements were worked out on the battlefield of lfe and kept track of with a loosely accounted points system. Ah, miss spent youth. Fade to sunrise.

  • davidwills 7:08 pm on January 5, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    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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