Friday, January 30, 2009

Reasons To Be Cheerfull

What do Billy Bragg, The Edgar Broughton Band, Paul Carrack, Carlene Carter, John Cooper Clark, Elvis Costello, The Damned, Dr. Feelgood, Ian Dury, Dave Edmunds, Peter Hamill, Hawkwind, Nick Lowe, Graham Parker, The Psychedelic Furs, Larry Wallis and Howard Werth have in common?
Well (apart from being core artists on North Fork Sound) they've all had their music wrapped in the art of Barney Bubbles. Born Colin Fulcher in 1942, he obtained his National Diploma in Design (with honours) from Twickenham College of Technology and in July 1963, created his first piece of commercial art - a poster for the Rolling Stones' appearance at the college's end-of-year dance. Now it's one of the rarest pieces of Stones memorabilia. Around the same time, he made a poster for the college's in-house group, the Muleskinners featuring none other than a soon-to-be member of the Small Faces, Ian McLagan. A love for music, fashion, art and photography played a huge part in Colin's development and in '67, he was inspired by a Pink Floyd event at London's UFO club to purchase four old projectors and create his own mobile light-show. He combined coloured inks with oil and placed the mixtures between glass slides which, when heated by the lamps' warmth, would 'bubble' and make gloopy shapes on walls at clubs like UFO, the Roundhouse and Middle Earth. An introduction to Oz magazine's Richard Neville and a move into 307 Portobello Road placed Barney bang in the centre of London's blossoming underground. He became art director for Friends (another counter-culture mag) who set up offices next door and soon freak-friendly labels like Island, United Artists and Vertigo were commissioning artwork for acts like Quintesscense ("Everything's great in Notting Hill Gate"), The Sutherland Brothers, Cressida, Cracious!, Quiver, Brinsley Schwarz and Hawkwind. It wasn't long before Barney's meticulous, expertly executed, pioneering designs were being used to separate stems and seeds across the nation. Reasons To Be Cheerful - The Life And Work Of Barney Bubbles by Paul Gorman tells of Barney's highs (and lows) so much better than I can and you'll find a huge amount of Barney's work presented magnificently between its covers. If you have even a half-decent record collection, you already have some of his work. Here, you can check out the rest.

3 comments:

Karate Boogaloo said...

Hey HT...

Have you seen this yet: http://www.barneybubbles.com/blog/ ? It was started by Paul Gorman to accompany the book.

ht said...

no, Tim, I hadn't. Thanks for the tip

Karate Boogaloo said...

I also put this up on my blog this morning: http://theworldsamess.blogspot.com/2009/01/more-reasons-to-be-cheerful.html

I sent your link to Paul Gorman. He was happy to see it.