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  • davidwills 2:14 am on January 27, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: balsa wood models, , Bubbles, , , , 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.

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    • 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: , , , , , Bubbles, , , 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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