Tagged: Portobello Road Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • davidwills 1:28 am on July 9, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , Portobello Road, , , , , ,   

    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 11:49 pm on July 26, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , Portobello Road   

    Aten sends a scan of his dad’s painting for an Indian restaurant 

    Barney Bubbles’ son Aten Skinner very kindly sent us this scan of his dad’s work, for which we all thank him sincerely. Aten said, “Hope the viewers like it.”

    I know nothing about the history of this painting other than that it was painted by  Barney for an Indian restaurant in London. I would guess it to be painted about 1974. I could make up a story, about how Barney paid for a vindaloo and popadoms with this painting, but I won’t. If any astute reader, and there are many hereabouts,  has any other knowledge, please do tell.

    • R and M 10:02 pm on July 28, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      A BIG thanks to Aten for sharing this. It is great to see it.

      Visually it feels really close to the 1974 Hawkwind tour programme Barney Bubbles did; the background in particular is an exact match. The tour programme was featured on this blog a while back. To save everyone searching and searching, here’s a link to it so you can make the comparison. https://davidwills.wordpress.com/2008/12/06/mucha-blonde-in-bbubbles-heist/
      So David, your 1974 date for this painting is probably a good guess.

      Very interesting to see a BB monogram on this, given the whole ‘anonymity’ thing Barney had going on.

    • Lia 4:00 pm on July 30, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks and hello to Aten. I first met Barney when he stayed at out house in San Francisco. In those days we spent a lot of time at the Avalon and the Filmore but one summer evening we came up with a recipe for Sara Seagull (Barney’s name for me in those days) Soup:
      1 c orange juice, fresh
      1 c yogurt
      1 pt fresh strawberries
      sugar to taste

      Blend ingredients.
      The first smoothie?

      The recipe was published in 1971 in the vegetarian cookbook, The whole Wheat Heart of Yasha Aginsky by Carrie Rose (E P Dutton)

      • davidwills 4:16 pm on July 30, 2010 Permalink | Reply

        Hi Sarah, and thank you so much for the interesting food item. If you have any more memories to tell, a thriving industry of Barnologists is awaiting your every word.

        We are particularly interested in who Barney met in San Francisco, and what he did when out and about. I particularly recall his delight in the sweet (candy) wrappers he saw. But he was not impressed by the creativity of the light shows he worked with. They were nowhere near as advanced as he was, his freewheeling approach to the art took him places they thought not true to the form. If he could do it, he did. Anything is of interest – our readers are fanatics.

        Wiki and others say inaccurately that Barney was influenced by Mouse and Kelley, not true. They were stuck in an old rut as far as he was concerned, nothing to learn from them. They were reshuffling old ideas that had already been done. Mouse (or was ir Kelley?) went back to the US and told John Goodchild who was at that time working at Rolling Stone, that Barney was just another scraggy hippie. (possibly true if you saw him, but hidden under that hair was a noddle of gold.)

        (I wrote about much of this somewhere back in the older posts.)

    • David Wills 5:12 am on August 22, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Hi Folk
      David Wills tells tales: I’m out here in the wilds of Clayton Street, far from the old folks at home on Ashbury. All the folk are sad and weary,.. sod that. We havin’ fun. Bought me a new wooly zip coat from Tibet, warm enough to heat a witch’s. Cat Bell and Richard my hosts like my green tomato, cabbage and baked tofu, no roots (Jain influence), vegan soup, with artisan bread. I hear that the seventeen-year-old, fair-haired willow pattern Aless (she’s making a movie today) and Lynn the fabulous tip-typist poet are whorling away on the paperwork for our 10 10 10 International Binary Day at the Ashbury-Haight Block Party. The bands including Lynn and the Thunderground, The Jug Town Pirates, Galaxxy Chamber, and the Screamers All the homesteaders on Ashbury are for the block party. I know, I asked them all. This approval is important ’cause the city wants to know that we have the OK of the nabe. And we do.

    • acrobat reader x pro 2:28 pm on January 7, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Hey may We reference some of the content present in this entry if I web page link back to you?

  • davidwills 6:03 pm on December 10, 2008 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , Portobello Road   

    The exotic Hawklords tour programme and Rem Koolhaas’ Delirious New York 

    Hawklords Tour programme

    Photograph by the grace of Chris Gabrin

    The following conversation was conducted in the Van Dieman’s Land of the comments dept. below, but is so central and interesting to the whole shebang of Barney’s work I thought to include it as an item. Enjoy. Nazar can be found here: Nazar Ali Khan


    Nazar Ali Khan: The 1978 Hawklords tour programme makes interesting reading if you’ve read Delirious New York by Rem Koolhaas (published in 1978). The text, which still has HW fans scratching their heads, has been posted here –


    David WIlls: You can read Rem Koolhaas at http://www.scribd.com/doc/202962/Delirious-New-York

    Here’s the intro from the Hawklords tour programme: 

    “Strong in Hygienic Industry
Founded in 1953, by a dream concurrent with space flight to the moon, Pan Transcendental Industries, together with macroscale investment from the state and corporate capital, found it possible to embark on a wholesale megastructural rehabilitation of the globe. A dream which soon became an enlightened reality and one from which the majority of the world’s population benefit today.”

    And here a quote from ‘Delirious’ in which Koolhaas is describing aspects of Coney Island:

The sphere appears throughout Western architectural history, generally coinciding with revolutionary movements. To the European Enlightenment it was a simulacrum of the world, a secular counterpart of the world, a secular counterpart of the cathedral; typically, it was a monument and, in its entirety, hollow.
It is the American genius of Samuel Friede, inventor of the Globe Tower, to exploit the Platonic solid in a series of pragmatic steps. For him the globe, ruthlessly divided into floors, is simply a source of unlimited square footage. The larger it is, the more immense these interior planes; since the Globe itself will need only a single, negligible point of contact with the earth, the smallest possible site will support the largest reclaimable territory. As revealed to investors, the tower’s blueprints show a gigantic steel planet that has crashed onto a replica of the Eiffel Tower, the whole ‘designed to be 700 feet high, the largest building in the world with enormous elevators carrying visitors to the different floors.’ ”

    Personally I can’t see much stylish correlation between the two, I chose this quote because of the reference to the Globe Tower. I’m fairly sure that the Hawklord text was a Burroughs type ‘cut up’ generated text, and the Koolhaas text a rational exploration of architectural principles, but I do know that Barney was excited by Dutch (I think it was) architectural ideas. The globe on a spike reminds me of Barney’s idea for a block of concrete pierced by a Phantom jet described elsewhere in these posts.

    Maybe Naz could explain why he thinks there’s a connection?

    Nazar: Barney certainly had a copy of Delirious New York, as I’ve mentioned elsewhere, and was enthusiastic about the book and its ideas. Delirious New York was introduced to me by my tutor when I was a second year student at college, almost as a last resort, as my interests in Constructivism and Suprematism were considered deeply unfashionable at the time! Koolhaas is one of the most famous architects in the world now. A former screenwriter, his theory of ‘Manhattanism”, drew together Coney Island, the Rockefeller Centre, Dali, the Constructivist idea of the social condenser, and the formal 3D abstractions of the Suprematists. In the appendix to the book, there are theoretical projects based on this theory.

    Some ideas from the book are woven into the Hawklords story. For example, Koolhaas’s proposition that the elevator enabled the stacking of horizontal planes that incubated their own ideological programme is reflected in the “elevator principle” of the Hawklords text. There are similarities in the text too –

    Rem Koolhaas: “At these moments the purpose of the Captive Globe, suspended at the center of the City, becomes apparent: all these institutes together form an enormous incubator of the World itself; they are breeding on the Globe.”

    Hawklords: “Projects developing under ideal and identical conditions have the right to expand indefinitely toward heaven. Together these institutes form an enormous incubator of the World itself. They are breeding on the Globe.”

    rebecca and mike: 
beautifully put nazar. you’re talking about deep content here; not just the froth on the top of a cappuccino. some people just hone in on the bondage pics and think that’s the lot when it comes to the hawklords booklet, so it’s great to read you turning this stuff over.

    Wills: Looks like I chose the right quote, ‘Sphere’ from ‘Delirious.’ I can see there there certainly is a word-for-word connection. I was in Rem’s library in Seattle a couple of months ago, a very ‘cool house’ as they say up there. As you come down an elevator there’s a hole ‘broken’ in the wall where you can see all the internal wiring and insulation stuffing.

    Hmm. I think I may have seen ‘Delirious’ at Barney’s studio, does it have pictures of Coney Island with drawings on top, narrow newsprint with squared-up half tones in space?

    Later… Yes Barney definitely did show me Delirious New York, in ’83, handed it to me as I was sitting on a couch for me to look at while he went off someplace. I’d seen other art like it, maybe by Rem, but also at the Royal College of Art and in my ignorance thought it second hand. Asked what I thought, I indicated with eyebrows i was less than enthralled, Barney said as how it was funny how we could be so “turned on” by different things.

    Maybe Hawklords was a cut-up of ‘Delirious’ with ad ons?

    • davidwills 3:28 am on December 17, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      Is this photograph by Mr Griffin?

    • rebecca and mike 8:54 am on December 17, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      no, it’s by chris gabrin

    • rebecca and mike 10:46 am on December 18, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      chris also did the flame-hand logo bottom right corner.

      and it was with chris, that barney exhibited in the hayward gallery in 1979. the exhibition was called ‘lives’ (for which barney also did the catalogue, poster and invitation). in that exhibiton they had a mixed-media installation, part of which was a hawklords film. brian griffin recalls that he’d never seen barney happier than when he had stuff in the hayward.

      if you refer to the earlier post about the exhibition we put on in 2001, you’ll see a TV monitor on the floor: the hawklords film was shown on that monitor.

      another thing that brian griffin recounted to us once, was that although he is a listed as one of the paramedia in the booklet, he didn’t actually do anything on hawklords. although he did say that this project was a kind of homage to his (brian’s) work, such was barney’s appreciation of brian.

    • davidwills 10:53 pm on April 7, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      At Leigh Court around ’65 or maybe it was up in the tower, when he was still at Twickers in ’63, Colin shewed me Rem’s work in a big newsprinty paper, a scrabble of living Dutch boxes rising in disjointed wonder, that he raved about. Approximate quote, “It’s a living machine!” He was into Rem big time, not just a passing whim.

  • davidwills 3:49 am on November 23, 2008 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Phil franks, Portobello Road   

    Pat Synge sets the scene 

    Hi Pat (Synge): Having read your comment in the Barneylog I see that you mention you were living in/on Portobello when 307 was humming.  I asked Reb ‘n Mike gave to give me your code, so I presumptuously ask if you have any first hand Barney recollections or comment on his work and his wonders in the deep thereof. Help us recall the old dude in all ll his quirky wonder.

    I expect Barney’s memory needs a bit more there there before we forget.

    Hi David: I was just out of art school (18) and had a photo darkroom in the basement at 307 for a time (must have been in ’69). I lived just the other side of the bridge in a room above an Indian shop where all the other rooms were lived in/used by prostitutes. They were very kind to the young hippy in their midst. I was a budding photographer but, in reality, was mainly printing Eric Hayes’ work. I took some photos of Quintessence for Barney (they used to practice in the other half of the basement which was far from ideal) which he credited to Pat Mescal for some reason.

    Barney was always much in demand and under pressure to not only produce art work but to give of himself. Everybody wanted part of him.  I remember feeling that his generosity was being taken advantage of but that may have just been an impression. Certainly the house upstairs was a confusion and procession of people crashing, using the phone freely and generally making themselves at home. Great atmosphere in general but sometimes I felt that Barney was being overrun and that all he really wanted was his studio and good company.

     I couldn’t handle it all and left London (’70?)  (Phil Franks took over the ‘White Light’ darkroom) and went to live in N. Wales with Giana (and Hazelberry – the tripped out red setter). She returned to London and Barney (’71?) before they moved to west country just after Aten was born. I remember driving them there in my old Kombi. Barney and I remained friends throughout though it was complicated somewhat by the triangular relationship and the chemically induced confusion of the times. I was very saddened (but not really surprised) when I learnt of Barney’s suicide.

     I left UK and went off ocean sailing in the early seventies but did catch up with Barney when I visited London in 75 (?) when he confided interesting details about his ‘work’ in Ireland.  I now live in Tasmania and that period in my life seems so distant.

     I came across some letters from him not so long ago (that had been in my parents’ house for decades and were sent to me when the house was sold) and was surprised to learn that he had wanted me to be Aten’s godfather (I must have known but, like so many things back then, it didn’t register). This led me to do some searching and made contact with Aten through Facebook and then through him contacted Giana. Next time I’m in the UK (?) I look forward to catching up with them.

    Admiration, respect, love, an element of sadness and sometimes frustration are the sentiments that come to me when thinking of him. He was one of the best and touched and inspired many of us in so many ways.

     Regards, Pat Synge


    • davidwills 4:52 am on November 28, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      Pat: What was Barney’s ‘work’ in Eire? Was it spiritual or debt evasion, other or both? There was a sympathetic Irish Income tax for artists then. I wonder where he lived now, I fancy over the Galway Bay way, it would be.

  • davidwills 2:17 am on November 23, 2008 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Clover, Portobello Road,   

    Funky Paul Olsen trips down Memory Lane 

    David Wills to Funky Paul Olsen: I’m often reminded of why you left England the first time (in 1967); it was when you were charged for a paper bag in Safeway that you thought should be free. Funny that. I’m collecting up ol’ memories –  with Giana and Aten Skinner, Kate Moon, Judi Cowper, Pat Synge, Bob Wagner, Phil Franks, and you, recounting it all makes a vivid picture.

    Paul Olsen:I moved into 307 on December 21, 1969 and lived in the first floor front room, over the “shop” front, and moved out in May of 1970. I had my huge Monopoly painting on the wall in my room, plus lots of my Fillmore and Avalon posters.(Wills says: When Barney and I met up in the seventies sometime, ’75 or so, we visited Little Tony in what had been the old Frendz office and the Monopoly board painting was still there.)

    DW: And Barney was stoned on LSD a good part of the time… 
    PO: – aint that the truth,
    DW: Got anything to add to the Barney memories

    Old Candy wrappers
    PO: Not much….Barney stayed with me part of the time he was in SF…. 1069 Church street… between 20th and 21st… that’s where he came and stayed with me. I don’t know where else he stayed. I remember him being so overwhelmed at being in San Francisco where it was all happening, and that he took LSD one day and wandered down to the park nearby where I lived where they were having a fair, and he came back with some old candy wrappers exclaiming how beautiful they were… he was flying.

    DW says : Barney told me at conversations spread over time that he stayed a while in a Grateful Dead safe-house, with ‘Pete’ and ‘Rick’ (or similar) at 534 Ashbury, (which, co-incidentaly, is where I have now lived for 40 years or so.) it’s where Pigpen hung out in 68, he had a keyboard there. Pigpen and Janis played and sang in the front room. Barney said, “I did it all with them. Yeah, Janis too.”

    Wills: These were some of his choices.
    “Flying saucers,” candy buttons, Appleheads, Atomic Fireballs, Bazooka Gum (10-pack), Boston baked beans, Bottlecaps, bubblegum cigar, bubblegum cigarettes, candy cigarettes, candy lipstick, candy necklace, Charms Pop, Cherryheads, Chuckles, gold mine gum, Good N Plenty, Bit-O-Honey, Grapeheads, hot dog bubblegum, Jawbreakers, Tootsie Pops, Jujubes, JujyFruits, Lemonheads, Clark Bar, Milk Duds, Necco Wafers, Nik-L-Nip wax bottles, Pez, Dum Dum suckers, Fun Dip (also calked Lik-M-Aid), Pixy Stix, pumpkin seeds, Red Hots, Razzles, Ring Pop, Slo-Poke, Smarties, Pay Day bar, Sugar Babies, Sugar Daddy sucker, Sweetarts, Tootsie Roll, Twizzler licorice and wax lips.

    Olsen:: Huge Kebab sitdown
    Then he wrote to me either later in ‘68 or early ‘69 saying he was working on getting this building (307) and would I like to come and live there with him… he reserved the biggest room for me, and I moved over December 21, 1969. I wanted to move to England after having been there with you two. We all used to go up to a Greek café in Golborne road and have a fabulous huge kebab sitdown meal for 6 shillings… it would be the only meal of the day and really filled you up.

    By the way, one of my best friends over here… David Bailie, who I met in 1970, lives in Rugby Mansions, just around the corner from Avonmore Road in Bishop Kings road! He was the pirate with the parrot on his shoulder (“Cotton”) in all the Pirates of the Caribbean” movies…it certainly set him up for his retirement!

    House full of friends
    One of the guys who lived in 307 had a second-hand record stall in Kensington Market (I loved that place) and we used to go up there and visit with him during the day…but I can’t remember much else of what did together other than have the occasional jam. Quiver were rehearsing in the freezing, dank, dirty and small basement. Barney took the box room on the first landing and insisted it was what he wanted….just big enough for a single bed…he just liked having a house full of friends…and it was fun. But I moved in a girl fairly straight away and we started looking for a flat which we finally found in Barnes, and we lived there for 4 years and she lived there for another 3 and now lives in Sheen, so I was getting busy with my new life in my new country, and not too involved with Barney those first 5 months.
    And when we moved out in May of ‘70, I pretty much lost touch with Barney…. I may have seen him once or twice after that.

    Ringoes “Sure Rod.”
    Did you read or see where Ringo announced (he lives nearby…you should see his palace!) a few weeks ago that he wasn’t going to sing any more autographs? Well, at Kenney’s party, Rod Stewart walked over to Ringo’s table and said, “Ringo, can I have your autograph please?”
    • tttanja 5:43 am on November 24, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      i see that you are into art and design sort of stuff..
      I ran into this website a couple days ago and reading your blog i thought you would like come of the artists on here : http://www.graniph.com/en/artist/index.html

      take a look!

    • John Cowell 11:14 pm on November 17, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Me again. It was me who was in Kensington Market.

      • David Wills 12:36 pm on November 27, 2009 Permalink | Reply

        The building that Kensington Market was in, was at one time the store, called Blodds and Grump, or the like, and was where we bought out schoolboy uniforms for a boarding school from hell called improperly ‘Cokethorpe’, but was really Wooten Underwood Hall depending on what scam the fly by night ‘owner’ was up to.

    • davidwills 5:30 pm on March 7, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Related to the above stories, I think that Record John Cowel also used to live in Rugby Mansions, or close by, when Barney lived at Leigh Court in West Ken.

Compose new post
Next post/Next comment
Previous post/Previous comment
Show/Hide comments
Go to top
Go to login
Show/Hide help
shift + esc