Monday, 31 January 2011

Crap shops in Gipsy Hill, part III

Less of a shop and perhaps more of a local derivatives/futures emporium for people living and dying on the cutting/bleeding edge of a living death. There's a William Hill, or something like it, in almost every neighbourhood of course. Still, it's occupying premises which could otherwise have been used to sell us more rubbish that we just don't need, and its financial model behaves more or less along the lines of daylight shoppery, but to the power of, let's say, ten, and fully designed to rob you of both what's left of your dignity and your last five pounds. No-one gets out of here alive.

Crap shops in Gipsy Hill, part II

Who knew? And if no-one knew, was it ever even there?

Sunday, 30 January 2011

Crap shops in Gipsy Hill, part I

Modern Shoe Repairs. Been crap for some years. Alas no more.


I got home a bit ago after accidentally staying the night at Dial House with Justin. Good times of course. So tired. Justin must be on his plane by now. Welcome to my olde englishe blogge, Justin.

Saturday, 29 January 2011

Crap shops in Gipsy Hill, coming soon

The ruling class get the land, and the trade-off is that we get shopping.

Friday, 28 January 2011

Something familiar, something peculiar

This was taken on a day off during that brief period when I was working as a constructivist statue in a Soviet-themed holiday camp.

Photograph: Lee Maskomi

Thursday, 27 January 2011

Legendary = boring (slight return)

Legendary. Ultimate. Unique. Already the three worst words in the English language.

I went to see the Gang of Four at Rough Trade East last night with my auld china plate Justin. Justin's band Moon Women are supporting these legendary old guys next week in Philadlephia. It was really great to see Justin but the Gang of Four were kind of boring. And yet somehow they've achieved legendary status over the past 25 years.

To be fair(er) we were watching from the side for a while and it did improve when we moved and were facing the band, but only by increments. It was trouble-free, it wasn't terrible, it was almost like easy listening without being that easy to listen to. Some of these legendary guys are more than 120 years old. Why are these old men jumping up and down like they're the heirs to Joy Division via Level 42 slap bass? That's a rhetorical question obviously. Level 42's Mark King's slap bass being one of the sounds recently revealed to have been in use during torture sessions at Guantanamo. 

Legendary = boring

I'm hoping to expand on this tomorrow. Obviously after I've done my tax and that.

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Monday, 24 January 2011

Brave new world

Lee Maskomi sent me the pic and every effort has been made to trace the copyright holder/s but I don't know any more about it 

Sunday, 23 January 2011

3D is quite rubbish (these days)

Also, if they're serious about it, maybe they could consider making it more accessible for small people. Just saying.

Saturday, 22 January 2011

Concerto for violin at the Royal Festival Hall

Il Duduce (featuring the return of Du Du)

We found Doo Doo yesterday at the Royal Festival Hall. It had been a long time since we last saw him. The menu du jour had suggested doing something cultural, a spot of supper and maybe a poetry reading so we took in a concerto for violin (see above). It was really great to see him. He had lost some weight, not that he was a fattie or anything before. Turns out Doo Doo is a vegan again. He has issues with it but he can turn that thing on and off like a switch. Doo Doo asked Belle to draw him a picture of a vegan cake.

Friday, 21 January 2011

High ten

We were a few minutes late for school just now. The lady was there, at a desk near the entrance to the hall with her big book, taking the names of transgressors. Me and Belle walked past as if it was no big deal. When we got to the pegs and we knew we were safe I said to Belle quietly "We just cheated". Belle turned to me and said "High five!" So we did. Twice.

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Today is Ass Wednesday

It's true, I just can't recall / San Francisco at all / I can't even remember El Paso

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Doo Doo, part II

I found Doo Doo. Sort of. And Doo Doo found God. Sort of metaphysically at least. Last year Doo Doo invented a complex mathematical formula that can, with ±2% accuracy, determine the random probability of the existence of God. You can find out for yourself at the bottom of this page.

Pictures from Prospect Cottage, part II

Monday, 17 January 2011

Dee Dee, part II: In a Movie

It wasn't long before Dee Dee died that he appeared as Pope Ramone in The Bikini Bandits Experience (dir Steve Grasse, 2002) alongside Jello Biafra as a porn baron in a bad wig, Maynard James Keenan as Satan and Corey Feldman playing both the Angel Gabriel and, um, himself.

Dee Dee and his wife Barbara also did the ace theme song In a Movie. Just as it had been in Rock & Roll High School Dee Dee didn't actually have too many lines, but this time round he was really great and revealed himself to be the grand character actor we had suspected all along. You can see some of Dee's Dee's scenes here in low resolution.

Bikini Bandits, alongside End of the Century (dir Jim Fields & Michael Gramaglia, 2003) and Rockets Redglare! (dir Luis Fernandez de la Reguera, 2003), remains among my favourites from those that I programmed at Raindance.

Dee Dee is buried at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery and the words "OK... I gotta go now" are engraved on the lower part of his tombstone.

They call this 'The Violin'

Models: Sam Thackray, Marianne Thorne
Belle, of course, is a semi-professional.

Sunday, 16 January 2011


This was my first attempt at designing an optical character recognition (OCR) font and dates from I think early 2006. I remember being quite pleased at the time that it also had elements of stencil and blackletter typefaces. It's very nearly a full alphabet. But not quite. So I put it to one side and forgot about it until the other day. By rights, and in line with other OCR fonts it should really be called OCR-AP, although somehow it's better this way. But anyway I think I know what I'm doing now, I mean I think I know how to fix it. So I probably will, likesay later this year of course.


Me and Marky. This was at the End of the Century aftershow, put on by Slamdance at the 2nd Tribeca Film Festival, May 2003, which I was writing up for Raindance's magazine. I was completely petrified, even though obviously I look as cool as some cucumbers here. Marky's making pasta sauce now. If you are feeling hungry and live in the USA you can order a case here.

Photograph by Mo Thomas

Saturday, 15 January 2011

Dee Dee

In October 1997, while I was studying for an HND in Typography at the LCP, I took some photographs of Dee Dee Ramone when he launched his autobiography Poison Heart (co-authored with Veronica Kofman) at Helter Skelter in Denmark Street, London. It was a tiny, acoustic, yet super-exhilarating show and I shot two rolls of very grainy, high-speed 35mm film with available light.

A few months later I would use them for a college project for which I barely scraped a pass. In 1999 I wrote my BA thesis about Dee Dee. It was called Gabba Gabba Dee Dee Ramone and somehow, for some reason, it got a good mark.

Dee Dee died in June 2002 from a heroin overdose. He hadn't been using for several years and the conventional wisdom is that his last shot was just too much for his now clean system.

Joey had died a year earlier from lymphoma and there had been a global overload of shock, grief and obituaries. Joey was a rock & roll martyr. When Dee Dee died the response was on a much smaller scale, as if he had in some way been less significant.

Later, when Johnny died of prostate cancer in 2004, Johnny's death was a big deal too. Or another way to look at the discrepancy is to see it as maybe because Joey's and Johnny's deaths were from cancer and had been (somewhat) expected, but Dee Dee's, while not necessarily unexpected (Dee Dee, for example, had overdosed many times in the past), was sudden.

Reuters put a couple of my photos on the wire and The Times in London used one for their printed edition and the New York Times used another for their website edition. Other magazines, fanzines and websites around the world used them too. It was very sad that Dee Dee died but it wouldn't be untrue to say that I was pleased with the way my photographs were used.

Later I would help out on some of the pre-production of Hey Is Dee Dee Home, directed by Lech Kowalski and co-produced by Ronni Thomas and Odile Allard. I did the original one-sheet for the film and a typeface that I had made for an earlier Kowalski film Born to Lose – The Last Rock & Roll Movie (about Johnny Thunders) was used for the titling.

There is probably more to say.

Doo Doo

I never hear from Doo Doo these days. The last time I heard from him in October he sent me this picture. I hope he is alright. The idea of Doo Doo not being alright is a bit like that tearful '70s film when the dolphins are in trouble or something.

Thursday, 13 January 2011

Ceci n'est pas Jean-Luc Godard

Dessiné par Domo Arigâteau quand même (but who decided it was a good idea to remove the cigarette?)

Tai Chi

I'm going to have to miss Tai Chi today or else I won't be able to pick Belle up from school on time. Our class is sort of pretty basic really. Also I'm the youngest one by some measure, and I'm the only male apart from the teacher. Still, it's good to have a stretch every now and again. And I especially enjoy picking up the moon and putting it in the sea.

I have no idea who might own the copyright for this picture. It was scanned from a book published in the People's Republic of China about 30 or 40 years ago, and had originally been found, uncatalogued, by my auld china plate Timon in the LCP library in around 1999.

Hôtel de Buci, bonjour!

22 rue de Buci, 75006, Paris, France – this was 1994/95, it was sans-étoile in those days but sort of fancy now. There's probably quite a lot to say but perhaps not right at this moment.

Photographs 1 & 2 by Marianne Thorne, 3 & 4 by Sam Thackray

Les Sucettes

I don't know what happened to Becky and Nick. I'm sure all is well, but at some point they just sort of fell out of my purview. I sort of really wanted to use the word purview there.

Model: Becky Baur