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  • davidwills 9:23 pm on March 5, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: 1960s, alice in wonderland, , balloon race, , bear driver, , , crystal palace, , director, , film, footage, hookah, lewis carroll, mad hatters tea party, mask, michel parry, mod, monsters, mushroom, pop, , , rosemary chester, , soho square, trippy, , , ,   

    Barney Bubbles – Alice In Wonderland film 

    The rare and much discussed Barney Bubbles ‘Alice In Wonderland’ film (made with Michel Parry and a bunch of our other friends) has been unearthed from the vaults and can be viewed here! Barney Bubbles (Colin Fulcher), who was my old pal back from those times can be seen on the film, as can Rosemary Chester who plays Alice.

    However, note that the music isn’t the originally intended soundtrack – it is a new song by Michel Parry’s daughter’s band ‘Bear Driver’ – and the footage has been re-edited by ‘Bear Driver’ band member Harry. Some of the locations are recognisable as Soho square and Crystal Palace Park, where the monsters are! Here are some stills:

    Barney Bubbles film still: The Caterpillar sitting on a mushroom smoking a hookah.

    Barney Bubbles film still

    Barney Bubbles film still: Mad Hatter's Tea Party, Barney is on the right, looking towards the camera.

    I’ll have many more words to add soon about this escapade, so as usual, check back for more…

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    • R and M 9:59 pm on March 5, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      In the still that shows Barney Bubbles looking towards the camera, there is a masked figure next to him. This exact same mask can be seen in one of your photos from the Sounds Good Evening held at Leigh Court in 1967. Here is the direct link to the pic https://davidwills.wordpress.com/2009/12/04/rowdy-times-at-leigh-court-high-the-sounds-good-evening/

      • Crispin & Jennie Thomas 3:28 pm on June 25, 2011 Permalink | Reply

        David ..I reckon this film must have been a long on-going project of Barney’s…Jennie and i hitched to Matala Greece and Istanbul, via Paris ( i guess 67) and ended up making ( I guess a Super-8 ?) version of Alice In Wonderland with Jwennie paying an Alice type figure..in the gardeen of a house in Boulogne Billancourt /Paris..where Barney was staying….and here we are stil together x from Stroud .Werer you there too?

    • davidwills 10:50 pm on March 5, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Yup, sure is, it’s the fromer labour PM, Mr Wilson, the taxman of Beatles fame.

    • davidwills 12:24 am on March 6, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      At one pont in the tea party there a guy wearing a pointed hat that came from a street find on the North End Road, including someone’s complete Jordanian I.D. The top hats were from the old Peterborough Road days of Chris Higson and Mick Jackson when the hats were often worn to Trad-Jaz events.

      This reminds me so much of an Andy Warhol movie. From what I read of Edie Sedgewick’s adventures at the Factory in Manhattan I can see how much we owed to Andy Warhol in our various adventures. I was at the opening party of the new Factory, I think in August 67. Went with Brice Marden’s swoon, Helen Harrington the muse, I took off with Sandy Daley, said she was the daughter of the the late Mayor Daley and sibling of #2, a videographer of an intelligent (she thought I was smart) red crew-cut beauty in jeans. She filmed the piercing of Mapplethorpe’s nipple at the Factory about that time. Over coffee in a grease-bar she invited me back to the Chelsea Hotel, I said “Why?” in that anoying inner idiot voice i know so well. She looked like I came in from the moon, “Whadda y’ think?.”

      Reading Ciao Manhattan it’s easy to imagine what awaited. But Helen’s sage advice not to get hooked-up with the Factory crowd too much kicked in and I slouched off, early as usual, leaving the party, back to the pin factory on Grand Street. Thereby avoiding a disolute life of depravity, speed and an early death.

      Yes, the Warhol crowd were represented in 1967 at Leigh Court by Helen, who loved our set-up and compared it favorably with Andy’s doings, but without the death thing. She gave smart advice that has followed me through life, “An artist is one who does art, that which is done by an artist is art.” She also said that Brice had said that once you had worked in ad agency you could no longer be an artist. I expect he said that thinking of Andy W who had toiled in the art department at JWT or similar, I figured it didn’t apply to me ‘cos I’d only worked at DPB&T long enough to act as a catalyst on the boss and send him to New York..

    • R and M 8:41 am on March 6, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      In Will Birch’s book ‘No Sleep Till Canvey Island’ this film gets a mention. Here’s a quote from it:
      “‘Colin Fulcher was into fantasy’, says Stafford Cliff, another former colleague at Conran. ‘He made a film in Kensington Gardens, where everyone had to dress up as characters from Alice In Wonderland. He was drawn towards the pop scene and underground publications such as Oz, in which he desperately wanted to be involved’.”

    • LiveUnsigned 10:51 am on March 10, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Great to hear Bear Driver involved in something like this. A very creative band: http://www.liveunsigned.com/Bear_Driver/

      • davidwills 9:28 pm on March 10, 2011 Permalink | Reply

        … er, isn’t that comment from Bear Driver, about Bear Driver?
        ‘Tis so, very creative. I think perhaps they are not getting their money’s worth from LiveUnsigned.com

    • R and M 8:50 am on March 11, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      David, whilst we’re loosely on the theme of creative projects based on literary works, do you have any recollections of the Hobbit you and Barney Bubbles made, around 1968?

    • davidwills 8:54 pm on March 11, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Hi there good people one and both, no I can’t say as how I do, having little, nay no, memory of the occasion. Are you sure I was there?

  • davidwills 9:04 am on January 22, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: 1960s, , , , , , , , 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

     
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