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  • davidwills 6:23 pm on May 17, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Inner City Unit, Lord Chamberlain, ,   

    Barney Bubbles and ‘Naz’ Nazar’s well-worn, Inner City Unit t-shirts 

    David Wills wrote: Hi Nazar, Why do you get so carried away in a frenzy of excitement when you spy a Bubble?  How have the products of Ditchwater Designs affected your mating habits? Tell all, avid arters are waiting. Short or long, no matter. Thanks,

    ‘Naz’ Nazar writes: Hi David. Great to hear from you. The simple answer to your question is YES! Coincidentally, I’d taken some snaps earlier this week with a view to sending them to you, and here they are.

    These are two (well-worn) t-shirts produced for Inner City Unit in 1981.

    First t-shirt features a Constructivist design by Barney,
    icut01

    icut02

    with the band’s name in cyrillic font. The shirt was sold at the merch table at the band’s gigs. I remember raising concerns about the frivolous use of Constructivist motifs by some other designers in the early eighties. Barney’s take on the situation was simple. “We all rip off the same people Naz,” he said.

    The second shirt was produced by Avatar Records to promote the release of the band’s “Maximum Effect” album.

    icut03

    The type is taken from Barney’s design for the album cover, where it was originally laid over a photograph of Nik Turner avoiding a swinging light bulb, taken by Brian Griffin. Nik asked me to produce a songbook for the album, and Barney kindly handed me a bunch of spare prints of the Maximum Effect type, without the band’s name over it, which I cut up and collaged into my own drawings (not shewn). Cheers, Nazar.

    •••

    We got a comment in Russian on this post, which my Polish friend Zeno was unable to translate with ease, anybody out there got any idea what it’s all about?

    Пора переименовать блог, присвоив название связанное с доменами 🙂 может хватит про них?

    … international experts assure me that the message is somewhat dull, it’s an ad for a web site, duh.

     
    • Marinkina 3:59 pm on May 21, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Пора переименовать блог, присвоив название связанное с доменами 🙂 может хватит про них?

    • Steve Pond 10:51 pm on February 11, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Nazar is selling himself short, he did another ICU T Shirt which is one of my favorite T Shirts ever, not directly Bubbles linked but it must have been influenced… (The one for NewAnatomy Naz, got any photos?)

  • davidwills 9:49 pm on August 29, 2008 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Hog Farm, Lord Chamberlain, Wavy Gravy   

    Barney was the wittiest and most talented of designers. 

     

     •••

    Here today…

    Barney was the wittiest and most talented of designers. Beginning fifty years ago, we were the best of friends. From September of 1958, when we first met at art school and he was called Colin Fulcher; through the time when he changed his name to Barney Bubbles in 1967; to May of 1983 when I last saw him – before he killed himself that November.

    I do know one reason for Barney changing his name was to protect his very suburban family, from what he reasoned was going to be a wild ride; he was careful to maintain their respectability and reputation in the face of his wild creativity and possible publicity.

    Sid Squeek

    Although I did occasionally sign my self ‘Eric Stodge’ or ‘Sid Squeek,’ I wasn’t really all that careful with my family reputation, and my ‘Wills’-named work may have had some negative effect on my aeronautical-engineer dad’s security clearance and his civil service career. Three months of the Oz trial on the front page of the Daily Mail would have been a problem for my dad at the Air Ministry. And the Lord Chamberlain’s office was after me, too.

    So it’s gratifying, despite all the drama, to see how, after we left college, our jolly fun in the flat at A1 Leigh Court, in West Kensington, London, so long ago, has morphed into the stuff of the history of graphic entertainment. Our saga of droll adventures back then, with its multiple layers of intrigue, art and possibly stolen Adam fireplaces, has entered the consciousness of this age.

     A1 GoodGuyz bus

    The scene in the old Taxi garage on Avonmore Road at Lisgar Terrace, in West Kensington, London in June, 1967: In black ‘All Star’ sneakers, Colin Fulcher at left, is wielding a paint rag, cleaning the radiator grill; TV person, Malcom Muggerage’s nephew, John, paints an orange wing feather; dancer Mary Lexa, adjusts her fax; Twickenham art school grads class of ’63, Jennifer and Roy ‘Bumps’ Burge discuss relationships; and standing in the shadows a Jamaican good time music DJ, Rudy (later to be famous as the subject of the song ‘Rudy’ by somebody or other in 1966 or so) as we work on painting  the A1 GoodGuyz bus.

    Perpetual Adoration

    Inspired by Wavy Gravy’s Hog Farm ‘Furthur’ bus, ours was an old Bradford ambulance with very swishy suspension. We painted it, over the summer of 1967 on the street and in the garage. I painted the Tom Mix and entwined snake on the back, and Fulcher painted the lettering “The Poor Sisters Of St. Francis of Assisi of Perptual Adoration,” (Barney chose the name, which, as it happens, is very similar to the name of one of the two convents, a Belgian sect and those Carmelite nuns who don’t talk, then on Ashbury Street in San Fancisco), in black and yellow Barney Bubble script with a fat orange shadow, all way round the rim of the roof.

    Photo copyright 2008 David Wills.

     

     
    • rebecca and mike 6:52 pm on August 15, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      like how the hub caps have been carefully taken off and neatly placed at the kerb; looks like they were in for some special treatment!

    • John Coulthart 3:22 am on August 16, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      This reminds me of some similar photos, mid-60s vintage, I was looking through recently in the Savoy office. Mike Moorcock and others of the New Worlds gang fooling about in the street making an amateur film. Mike M got to know BB very well, of course.

    • davidwills 9:48 pm on August 26, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      I seem to recall we were going to do a spiral that optical illusioned in the way that spirals do, but don’t think we ever did. I sold the bus with a dicky carb, and believe it disappeared off to Spain, repainted bland.

      ( I’m on line again, dodgy modem software fixed thanks to Henry in India. Been off for a week to Seattle where it rained, as it should. Saw, amongst other commentators, Barney’s chum, Twickenham grad, class of ’63, and sometime Small Face, Mac McClaglan, and School Kids Oz alumni, Charles Shaar Murray, opining on Jimmi’s sounds in Paul Allen’s Jimi Hendrix Experience Music Project. Most cool, lively sculptural Bilbaoish bent brass building from the outside, a jolly mess inside.)

    • davidwills 6:25 pm on February 8, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      I’m remembering that it was I was to whom the enspiraling of the hub caps was entrusted, but that I split to photograph Mary Lexa. Then left for Aunt Rene’s in Poole or some equally mundane suburban horror, and lost ‘cool’ points big time with Barney. The hub caps remained unpainted.

    • davidwills 6:31 pm on February 8, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Ah yes, that day instead of painting, I split with Mary Lexa and took some pictures of her leaping that were in the Great Box of Snaps.

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