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  • davidwills 6:31 pm on November 1, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: andre the giant, , , Barrack Obama, , , giant, , , , obey, obey the giant, , , , Shepard Fairey, stiff records, Street Art,   

    Obey The Bubbles 


    Welcome thrill-seekers to an impromptu Barney Bubbles / Shepard Fairey mash-up. Made possible by reshuffling some of Shepard Fairey’s LPs that appear as part of his current exhibition in London. Cunningly created onsite by my London correspondents R&M.

    All “Shepard who”? He’s the Obey Giant guy; Barrack Obama’s Hope street artist of choice.

    Show is at The Stolen Space Gallery, The Old Truman Brewery, Off Brick Lane, London E1. Closes on November 4th.

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  • davidwills 6:43 am on June 2, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , gaye advert, , , one chord wonder, one chord wonders, , stiff records, the adverts, , tv smith   

    Barney Bubbles – The Adverts 

    A recent documentary about punk rock band ‘The Adverts’ features TV Smith, the band’s singer/songwriter talking about the sleeve that Barney Bubbles created for them in 1977 (using a photo shot by Phil Franks who sometimes comments on this blog).

    TV Smith: “I had no problem with Stiff Records, even when I thought I was being done over. I could see the point of it, for example, the cover of One Chord Wonders. They put Barney Bubbles onto designing the cover, then when we got invited into Stiff to see what he’d done, well, I felt like I’d been stiffed. But, what can you say, it was a brilliant cover. They created an icon out of Gaye and they put The Adverts firmly in punk rock history. There was no question that that cover – which I would definitely not have agreed to – was a massive step forward for the band.”

    Cover of The Adverts’ ‘One Chord Wonders’, by Barney Bubbles, photography Phil Franks.

    Photo of Barney Bubbles from ‘The Adverts’ documentary.

    Watch the whole documentary HERE, fast forward to 11.50 for the Barney Bubbles bit.

    (Info provided by Barney Xpurtz R&M)

     
    • D.Cheema 3:40 pm on June 3, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      TV Smith did not go into why he had reservations about the cover – despite its brilliance and why he thinks he felt stiffed. Stiff knew what they were doing which was to sell records. I would like to see if there was any comments made at the time. They moved to another record label for their follow up – which was a minor hit.

      • davidwills 6:13 pm on June 23, 2012 Permalink | Reply

        I ‘spect that TV Smith thought, like me, that the cover was a rippoff of the IT newspaper logo that used a coarse half-tone of Theda Bara, the It girl, but which was the inspiration, not the source.

      • Rebecca and Mike 9:32 pm on June 25, 2012 Permalink | Reply

        We spoke to TV Smith a few years ago about this. TV Smith’s reservations stem from the fact that The Adverts were a band of four members (3 male, 1 female), but only one of them (Gaye Advert, the female member) was pictured on the front of the sleeve.

  • davidwills 8:54 pm on May 3, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Ain't That a Shame, , , , , Dave Vanian, , Designer, , , Rat Scabies, , stiff records,   

    Barney Bubbles – Ain’t That A Shame 

    Well readers, I’ve been cajoling Barney Bubbles boffins Rebecca and Mike to dip into their folder of ‘stuff Barney did that not many people know about’ and they’ve come up with some goods for us all to admire.

    Pictured here below is a sleeve Barney (born Colin Fulcher) designed for former Damned punk band member Brian James in 1978. Marvel at the dextrous flicking of Barney’s favourite ink-laden toothbrush across carefully cut masks. R&M tell me that as well as creating the entire front illustration, the design of the front, back and label design is all Barney’s handiwork. They also point out to me the design of the record company name on the label (BJ Records) uses the spindle hole to not only hold the record in place, but also provide the ‘O’ of ‘RECORDS’ and the dot of the letter ‘j’; a typical economy of means.

    Want to know what the track sounds like? Listen here:

    And maybe check this blog entry where Brian talks a little about another sleeve designed by Barney, and muses on his personal dislike of folks like Malcolm McLaren.

     
    • Francesco Borseti 6:13 pm on May 15, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Mr.Wills,
      are you still in touch with Mr.Garry Rusoff ?
      I’m writing a book and I’d like to ask him some questions concerning The Evictors (1978).
      If you have the pleasure I’ll give additional informations about me and my project at my email.
      Thanks.
      Best,
      Francesco

      • davidwills 2:19 am on June 20, 2012 Permalink | Reply

        Yes I am but can’t find his numero, he lives in LA – if you 411 him you should be able to find him, if I do it first I’ll let y know.

    • David Christopher Townley Wills 3:08 am on May 18, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Oh wow… that’s a real gas guyz.

  • davidwills 8:51 am on March 11, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , dave robinson, , , if it ain't stiff, , original, , shirt, stiff records, t-shirt, vintage   

    Barney Bubbles – Stiff Records Stiff Sentence 

    Classic Barney Bubbles Stiff Records “If it ain’t STIFF, it ain’t worth a fuck” t-shirt.

    This t-shirt illustrates nicely the music hall/vaudeville aspect of Colin Fulcher/Barney Bubbles’ work and is probably influenced, if not actually composed or passed on by his dad, who was a working class man of the people sort of bloke. Dad had a fairly extensive mental joke book. He was a fan of Max Miller the radio joker who was banned from the BBC for 5 years for telling a bawdy tale of which Lord Reith (founder and director of the BBC) did not approve. Goes like this, ” I was walking along a narrow mountain pass, so narrow that nobody else could pass you, when I saw a blonde walking towards me. A beautiful blonde without a stitch on, yes lady, not a stitch. Cor blimey. I didn’t know whether to toss myself off or block her passage. ”

    There is some confusion as to whether it was a Max Wall or a Max Miller joke, but I’m fairly certain it was Miller. Don’t matter either way, Mr. Fulcher, a News Of The World sort of man, liked ’em both. I can remember the day in 1962 when Barney showed me his Paolotzi lookalikes standing in the entry to their house on Tranmere road, and ol’d man Fulcher telling that very same joke along with the story as how Miller got banned by the Beeb.

    (I got my copy of this t-shirt in ’83 when I swapped with Barney for my T-shirt celebration of the repeat integers date 7 7 77.)

    Note to readers unfamiliar with colloquial English, “Cor blimey” is a cant phrase derived from the medieval curse “God blind me if I tell a lie.”

    It is amusing that until recently there was no Googlable picture of this t-shirt except for an inferior Bowdlerized knock off.

     
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