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  • davidwills 2:36 am on July 6, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Colin Fulcher, , , , , , ,   

    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 8:31 am on April 17, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , art graphic design, , bruce thomas, Colin Fulcher, , , elvis costello and the attractions, Gone In The Morning, LP Rock, , , Spring, Stained Glass, Sutherland Brothers, , Tulips   

    Barney Bubbles Tulips – An Open and Shut Case 

    Well regarded Barney Bubbles historians RandM (or for those unfamiliar, Rebecca and Mike) have forwarded this seasonal contribution from their Barney symbolism files, for which we are truly thankful… thank you folks!

    Hi David,

    Well, it’s Spring-time, so we thought you might like us to make a Spring-related contribution to your blog.

    In 1972 Barney Bubbles designed the cover to Quiver’s LP ‘Gone In The Morning’ in a faux-marquetry style (although the stained glass in the centre of the design was on real glass, but sadly got accidentally smashed many years ago). We’ve commented before that the flowers on the front of this LP are tulips, but maybe now is a good time to dig a little deeper (if you’ll pardon the gardening pun) into the symbolism of them.

    Quiver Gone In The Morning LP 1972 - Designed by Barney Bubbles

    Tulips (spring-blooming perennials) grow from bulbs, and these bulbs can be seen towards the bottom of the design on the front and back of the LP. Tulips respond to the daily rhythm of light and dark, causing them to open and close, and so on the back of the LP Barney has shown the tulips closed (accompanied by a photo of a partially obscured sun, presumably a sunrise), and on the front of the LP has shown the tulips open (accompanied by the fully lit stained glass design). The tulips’ opening and closing  – or coming and going – with light and dark is a reference to the LP’s title ‘Gone In The Morning’. It doesn’t stop there though, the flowers and bulbs also represent arrows (the bulbs are the arrowheads and the flowers are the flights), a reference to the band’s name Quiver.
    Barney’s work is like a visual cryptic crossword, but a crossword that doesn’t help by letting you know how many letters are in the answer!
    The band’s bassist Bruce Thomas subsequently played with Elvis Costello and The Attractions, which regular readers of your blog will know Barney did a lot of work for too.
    Best wishes,
    RandM
     
  • davidwills 9:58 pm on March 16, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Colin Fulcher, , , , ,   

    Barney Bubbles and Barney Google and Barney Rubbles: What’s the connection? 

    I recently played a compendium of  Vaudeville tunes and heard for the first time a song with a catchy hook called, “Barney Google with those great big googly eyes” which  Barney Bubbles may have been familiar with, he certainly had the googly eyes to match. (Possibly this song was an  antecedent of the search engine Google’s name too.)  He never mentioned that song – but I know he was a fan of  ‘Barney Rubble’  from the Flintstones (he would have been ‘Flintstoned’ no doubt) and their phrase “Yabbadabadoo !” which he frequently used.

    .. And here ladies and gints, is the song itself, which seems to imply carnal love of a horse, nabbed from the Wikki entry for ‘Barney Google’, who was the eponymous character from the strip cartoon out of Chicago begun in 1911:

    Who’s the most important man this country ever knew?
    Who’s the man our Presidents tell all their troubles to?
    No, it isn’t Mr. Bryan and it isn’t Mr. Hughes;
    I’m mighty proud that I’m allowed a chance to introduce:
    Barney Google—with the goo-goo-googly eyes,
    Barney Google—had a wife three times his size;
    She sued Barney for divorce,
    Now he’s sleeping with his horse!
    Barney Google—with the goo-goo-googly eyes!
    Who’s the greatest lover that this country ever knew?
    Who’s the man that Valentino takes his hat off to?
    No, it isn’t Douglas Fairbanks that the ladies rave about;
    When he arrives, who makes the wives chase all their husbands out?
    Barney Google—with the goo, goo, googly eyes,
    Barney Google—bet his horse would win the prize;
    When the horses ran that day,
    Spark Plug ran the other way!
    Barney Google—with the goo-goo-googly eyes!
     
  • davidwills 9:23 pm on March 5, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , alice in wonderland, , balloon race, , bear driver, Colin Fulcher, , 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…

     
    • 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 2:14 am on January 27, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: balsa wood models, , , Colin Fulcher, , , 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: , , , , , , Colin Fulcher, , 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: , , Colin Fulcher, , 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 1:07 am on January 5, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Colin Fulcher,   

    Peter Coyote and Robin Hood in real time 

    In Peter Coyote’s oh so too true memoir of the sixties he shews the driving force behind Colin Fulcher’s switch to ‘Barney Bubbles.’ By 1967 Colin had been reading Naked Lunch, On The Road, Howl, was keeping up with the Doors, and Floyd, read up on events in Frisco too. We were lectured by the visiting merchant Seaman, Hippie Jim, who told of the Dead and drugs and the Diggers in the Panhandle.

    Somewhere amongst all the Marxist jargon around at the time, the simplicity of the Diggers working ethic stood out. It was they who stole food from Cala (or was it another predecesor of what is now Whole Foods?) on Haight and the Safeway out in the Avenues, euphemistically called ‘dumster diving.’ No sirree. The fabled 70’s Haight Ashbury venue, Shady Grove’s character (and collector of my work), The Beast, ran with the lads who aquired the goods to feed the people, aquired fair an’ square under cover of jostling crowds, push carts, sou’westers and the like. They got food and gave it to poor. Robin Hood in real time.

    It was Emmett Grogan who amassed the Diggers in the Haight, to quote Peter Coyote in ‘Sleeping Where i Fall:’ “Emmett’s personal relationship to these formulations of “anonymous” and “free” was always ambiguous and complex. His notion of anonymity was to give his name away and have others use it as their own nom de plume. So many people claimed it for so many purposes that eventually some reporters would assert that there was no Emmett Grogan and that the name was a fiction created by the Diggers to confound the straight world. While Emmett’s largesse was one way of demonstrating lack of attachment to his name, it also made the name ubiquitous, and incidentally made Emmett himself famous among cognoscenti.”

    Cheap and Cheerful

    The reason I quote this is the obvious contemporary influence on what was the working relationship of Barney and myself in the A1 GoodGuyz, The oft discussed reasons for Fulcher’s dalliance with Anonymity and Free that led to Bubbles and Sqeeek’s working modus, can be found most immediately in the San Francisco Golden Gate Park Panhandle’s Digger history. Coming out of the meld of Morris and Marx with a dash of Manic the Digger’s were cool.

    One also can see here,for instance, the background to Warhol having a sub for his speeches, or in another timezone to explain my use of the Barney Bubbles credit when working on Black Dwarf.

    ***
    I recently accessed a neuron arrangement that told of why I was giving credit to Barney B on Tariq Ali’s Black Dwarf in 1967/8, for work I that had done. When I did this, I amused myself thinking how in the future this would cause attribution concerns for graphic historians.  And there was that ‘switched at birth,’ Mark Twainian ‘Pudd’nhead Wilson’ switcheroo going on that Barney espoused. Also the name change was partly because I thought he should have done the work anyway – because that was our arrangement when we started, we’d do alternate issues. I don’t think Barney really wanted to work at Black Dwarf. Yeah, he wouldn’t work in Tariq’s ‘studio’ because there wasn’t one – I had to work on the floor.  I’d take his work in with me and present it at the last minute so Tariq couldn’t mess with it.

     
  • davidwills 9:07 pm on January 4, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Colin Fulcher,   

    A real Fucker? 

    This just in from Maisie of the Motte, and found on Stumble:

    John le Fucker
    A man’s name, “John le Fucker”, is said to be reported from AD 1278, but the report is doubtful: an email discussion on Linguist List says:
    [4] This name has been exhaustively argued over… The “John le Fucker” reference first appears in Carl Buck’s 1949 Indo-European dictionary. Buck does not supply a citation as to where he found the name. No one has subsequently found the manuscript in which it is alleged to have appeared. If the citation is genuine and not an error, it is most likely a spelling variant of “fulcher”, meaning soldier.

    Maisie

     
    • davidwills 1:50 am on February 6, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      I wonder could a ‘fulcher,’ be a job description of the marauding spoils-soldier, and be cognate with ‘filcher’, to filch? As in “A fulcher filched his spoils.”

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