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EDITORIAL Something’s going on... A man named Moshe calls up a radio station and warns of a biological attack in the Ukraine, to be carried out by the Baxter pharmaceutical company, disguised as a vaccination. Moshe, a pharmaceutical biologist and ex-member of Mosad is pursued, attacked with teargas, then tasered, in the US and subsequently incarcerated in a Los Angeles mental institution. Something’s going on... The Bank of England is exposed for secretly loaning £61 billion to HBOS/RBS, with the tax payer as guarantor. Something’s going on... Monsanto continues massive expansion of its Round-Up herbicide. Causing chemical poisoning of the environment and continues to promote the planting of its genetically modified Round-Up resistant soya beans in freshly cleared Rainforest. Soya bean production is shipped to Mexico (epicentre of swine flu outbreak) and Poland, sold to Smithfield meat company to feed pigs on gigantic, previously state-owned, farms, causing massive environmental pollution including the spreading of disgusting diseases to the local population. Something’s going on... Supermarkets continue to expand at the expense of local shops and locally produced produce. Something’s going on... A glamour model falls out of nightclub drunk. Something’s going on... News International and the Murdoch Corporation, are still exempt from paying taxes in the UK. Something’s going on... Tony Blair fails to become President of Europe. What is a President of Europe? Something’s going on... Guantanamo Bay remains open, more troops to Afghanistan. Living proof that Obama is corrupt… He is President of the United States. Something’s going on... Huge swathes of male population still shopping at Topman, Asda and Primark. Something’s going on... André Leon Talley’s penis exposure wardrobe malfunction is not available on the internet. Something’s going on... Bankers set to receive record bonuses in early 2010. Something’s going on... 2012 deadline of Mayan Calendar fast approaching. Something’s going on... Student photographer arrested under Anti-Terror laws for taking photo of a chip shop. Something’s going on... The experience of life, trapped by a mortgage and television that spurts out rechurned flabby propaganda and the X-Factor. Something’s going on...
I’m as mad as hell and I’m not going to take this anymore.
All copyright remains the property of the publisher and the original creator unless otherwise stated. © 2009 The Daily Terror
A review of Forbidden History: Extraterrestrial Intervention, Prehistoric Technologies, and the Suppressed Origin of Civilization, edited by J. Douglas Kenyon. words by Colin Wilson
This is a book that provoked waves of nostalgia in me for a dozen years ago, when the tremors of the ‘forbidden history’ revolution were just beginning to upset the world of academic archaeology, I happened to be close to its seismic centre. For all practical purposes, this consisted of two men: the subversive Egyptologist John Anthony West, and the Boston geologist Robert Schoch. One day in the autumn of 1993, I received out of the blue a letter from John West, containing a magazine article describing how
he had persuaded the police sketch artist Frank Domingo to go with him to Cairo with a view to studying the face of the Sphinx, and giving his opinion on whether it could be the pharaoh Chefren, the builder of the second pyramid. Domingo, said the article, had compared the face of the Sphinx with the bust of Chefren in the Cairo Museum, and concluded that the answer was no. The chin of the Sphinx is bigger than Chefren’s, and the angle from the ear to the mouth is quite different. And this, said the article, seemed to demonstrate Schoch’s conclu-
sion that the weathering of the Sphinx was caused by rain, not by wind-blown sand, and that the monument is probably around five thousand years older than it is generally supposed to be. All this delighted me, for I had been impressed by West’s 1979 book Serpent in the Sky, which summarized the views of that extraordinary philosopher and Egyptologist Schwaller de Lubicz, and concluded by citing his conviction that Ancient Egypt was colonized around 9,000 BC by survivors from the destruction of Atlantis, and
that this explained the amazingly high level of its culture in pharaonic times. I did not know West and had never contacted him. But his letter was a marvelous piece of synchronicity, for I was planning to write a book arguing that Egypt was the heir to Atlantis, and was even then working on a film script for the producer Dino de Laurentis, based on the same idea. It was not long after this that I met John West in New York, and learned from him that a fellow Englishman named Graham Hancock was writing a book arguing that civilization is thousands of years older than we assume. And John also told me about the Canadian librarian, Rand Flem-Ath, who was writing a book that theorized that the site of Atlantis had been at the South Pole. The result was that when I got back to England, I wrote to Graham Hancock and Rand Flem-Ath, and was soon in friendly correspondence with both. Graham allowed me to read his book Fingerprints of the Gods in its original typescript, and when he and his family drove to our house one Sunday, he and his wife Santha were severely broke, having spent the advance on travel and research. and were praying that his book would keep their bank manager at bay. It did more, of course – made him a millionaire, and made every literate person familiar with his conviction that civilization probably dates back at least twelve thousand years, to the end of the last Ice Age. My own book Before the Sphinx (whose title
my publisher insisted on changing to From Atlantis to the Sphinx, to get ‘Atlantis’ in) came out in May 1996, and managed to clamber on to the best seller list for few weeks, inducing euphoria in my publisher and bank manager. I also became acquainted with Rand Flem-Ath, was excited by his theory that Atlantis was in Antarctica, and wrote an introduction to his first book When the Sky Fell. It was Rand who introduced me to Atlantis Rising when, in 1998, he sent me a copy of the magazine with his article ‘Blueprint from Atlantis’, arguing that the regular, grid-like pattern of the placement of hundreds of the earth’s sacred sites indicates that they were laid out by a protoAtlantean civilization. He also suggested that he and I should collaborate on a book about the theory, and I agreed instantly, resulting in a two year collaboration that resulted in The Atlantis Blueprint. Forbidden History, edited by J. Douglas Kenyon, tells the whole story, and far more, for Doug Kenyon happened to be one of those editors of genius whose finger was on the pulse of the intellectual revolution of the period, and who commissioned articles that covered the whole story from the explosive debut of Immanuel Velikovsky to Graham Hancock’s exploration of the underwater architecture of Yonaguni. The result is a fascinating chronicle of history in the process of happening. It feels at times like being in the Place de la Bastille on the day the French Revolution broke out.
opposite page: The Street of the Dead in Teotihacan, Mexico.
Before launching into its major contentions, Forbidden History fires a few opening salvos with Will Hart’s review of The Facts of Life: Shattering the Myth of Darwinism, by Richard Milton. Milton is a science journalist, whose book Alternative Science sits by my bedside. It considers some of the notions that modern science has condemned, like cold fusion, telepathy and bioenergy, and mounts a vigorous defense. His other book The Facts of Life is not anti-Darwin, but it is anti the kind of rigid modern Darwinism that reduces nature to a mindless machine. Milton does an excellent destructive job on Richard Dawkins, and offers an interesting analysis of the half-forgotten ‘vitalist’ Hans Dreisch, whose ideas turn out to be much sounder than the Neo-Darwinists allow. Like Goethe, Milton sees nature as a living force, capable of self-repair and evolution. And as someone who acquired his first notion of evolution from Bernard Shaw (a name I hardly dare breathe outside the pages of Atlantis Rising), I am delighted to see Milton taken as seriously as he deserves. The argument against the dead hand of scientific reductionism continues in David Lewis’s piece on ‘Evolution versus Creationism’, which discusses the 2-videotape set of The Mysterious Origins of Man, the NBC documentary (with commentary by Charlton Heston) which covers some of the staggering evidence for the ancient past unearthed by Michael Cremo and Richard Thompson in their book Forbidden Archaeology. I have to admit that my first
this page: The Great Sphinx of Giza, possibly more than 2500 years older than traditionally thought
reaction to the book, when I read it in 1996, was suspicion, since the authors were members of the Bhaktivedanta Institute in Florida, which taught a form of Hinduism. But I was soon convinced of their scientific credentials, as they went on to cite dozens of geological anomalies that were suppressed by the scientific establishment in the 19th century – for example, the skeleton of a kind of prehistoric horse called the Hippocamparion, dating back five million years, whose bones looked as if they were broken by the hand of man. And in 1874, archaeologist Frank Calvert found the bone of a dinotherium engraved with the picture of a ‘horned quadruped’. All this is certainly breath-taking, and I am still not sure how I feel about the evidence of how, after the great California gold rush of 1849, miners found themselves unearthing baffling artifacts – such as a stone pestle wedged tightly in a 9-million-year-old level of rock, or an iron nail embedded in a chunk of gold-bearing quartz that was known to be 38 million years old. This is the kind of thing that makes me want to say ‘I pass’. I do not disbelieve this evidence; I simply clutch my head in despair. Yet, as Doug Kenyon points out in the following chapter, which includes an interview with Michael Cremo, Forbidden Archaeology is a work of ‘irrefutable scientific facts’. No wonder orthodox archaeologists cringe when they are asked to give their opinion. I share their angst. In the following section, we move into the mainstream of the forbidden his-
Poseidon, the god of the sea and “Earth-Shaker”
tory revolution. Velikovsky gets a well-deserved reconsideration in no less than four chapters, and Schwaller de Lubicz, John West and Robert Schoch hove into view. So does that eccentric and brilliant mind Paul LaViolette, who believes that some of the catastrophes our solar system has encountered are due to cosmic shock waves caused by an explosion in the galaxy’s centre – an explosion that he believes will be repeated every 26,000 years. A less disturbing, but equally compelling, view held by two British scientists, D. S. Allan and J. B. Delair, in a vast and impressively researched book called Cataclysm! Compelling Evidence of a Cosmic Catastrophe in 9500 BC, presents the case for some huge cosmic body, which they call Phaeton, hurtling through the solar system and causing the catastrophe that took place at the time Plato claims Atlantis was submerged. Like Rand and Rose Flem-Ath and Graham Hancock, they speak about the catastrophe myths that point to a day ‘when the earth nearly died’ (which is the title of Allan and Delair’s book in the UK). There follows a lengthy (ten chapter) section on Atlantology, which opens with an interview with the father of modern Atlantology, John Michell, who has made discoveries about the science that went into the building of Stonehenge and other megaliths, which leave him in no doubt that ancient man had a far more sophisticated technology than we assume, and argues that their intimate mathematical
knowledge of the sun and planets reveals the existence of a tradition that seems to extend back far earlier than our present estimates of the age of civilization. Michell has always seemed to me to be a figure of immense significance. The chapters that follow include two by Rand Flem-Ath, one outlining his theory that Atlantis was in Antarctica, and the other on the notion that the grid-pattern of ancient monuments proves that they were laid out by an ancient worldwide civilization, such as that posited by the great Charles Hapgood in Maps of the Ancient Sea Kings. And since I worked so closely with Rand, it behooves me to explain my own present estimates of these theories. The notion of Atlantis in Antarctica, which originally struck me as highly plausible (for reasons explained at length in our collaboration The Atlantis Blueprint), I have finally come to reject. My reason is simple. Plato talked about some longstanding conflict between Atlantis and the Athenians, and I think long and hard before rejecting any of Plato’s central theses. But how on earth could there be a war between Atlantis and Athens if they were separated by more than five thousand miles? And what of Schwaller’s view that survivors from Atlantis created Egyptian civilization? That would not make sense either. All this suddenly took on new meaning last year when an American explorer named Robert Sarmast set out on an expedition to the south-east of the island of
Yonaguni, city beneath the sea off the coast of Japan
Cyprus, and found a mile beneath the sea some interesting sonar evidence that Plato’s Atlantis was, in fact, on a plain that was submerged when the Mediterranean came into being. (He believes this happened over a long period, in several inundations.) Originally dismissive of this notion of ‘Atlantis in Cyprus’, Sarmast’s discoveries have made me more open minded. And, after all, if Atlantis was Cyprus, Plato’s story of the war with Athens, and Schwaller’s belief that survivors of the Atlantis Flood fled to Egypt, would suddenly make sense. Rand’s theory about the grid-alignments of sacred sites still seems to me convincing. But I have never agreed with his notion that the sites were ‘laid out’ by Atlantean scientists trying to forecast future movements of the earth’s crust, and I said so in Blueprint. Of the importance of his discovery about alignment of religious sites I have never had any doubt. The fifth section of Forbidden History contains no less than five chapters by the excellent Christopher Dunn, the engineer who started from the irrefutable fact that the cutting of the vast stone blocks of Ancient Egypt could simply not be explained in terms of copper chisels and wooden mallets. How, he asked, were the Egyptians able to produce basalt surfaces machined to an accuracy of a thousandth of an inch? His notion that the Egyptians could make use of sound in ultrasonic drills sounds absurd, but it is hard to think of other plausible solutions. Any amateur archaeologist
who wants to test out his powers of creating plausible theories could not do better than to start with Dunn’s five chapters on Egyptian technology. Forbidden History ends as controversially as it began with a section called ‘New Paradigms to Ponder’, which moves into the realm of UFOs and possible influences from other planets – something I have never doubted since reading Robert Temple’s tour de force The Sirius Mystery, which shows that the Dogon tribe of Mali knew that Sirius B was a white dwarf. And I think that no one who is intimately acquainted with the work of the late Professor John Mack on the abduction phenomenon can doubt that something very odd is going on. (It is interesting to note that towards the end, Mack also became increasingly interested in the evidence for survival after death, and was in London to research it at the time he was knocked down by a car.) But there is obviously not enough space left in the book to go into the vast field of UFOs, and the possible influence of extraterrestrials on human civilization. Doug Kenyon offers an informative chapter on Zecharia Sitchin, and acknowledges the breadth of his scholarship, while adding: ‘ While Sitchin’s ‘facts’ may be beyond challenge, many of his conclusions are another matter,’ and cites John West as feeling that ‘there are subtleties in the high wisdom of the ancients that have completely eluded him.’ A piece on Richard Hoagland and the Face on Mars is equally informative and
How were the pyramids made with such precision?
equally balanced. And a chapter on Paul LaViolette by Len Kasten places that bold and difficult thinker where he should be – among the most interesting theorists in the field. But LaViolette’s theory that pulsars could be some kind of beacon created by ETs left me in the same state of mind that I feel after reading his books—fascinated but troubled scepticism. He appears again, together with David Bohm and the Holographic Universe theory, in the book’s final chapter on ‘The Physicist as Mystic,’ in which David Lewis argues that the old materialist paradigm is now gasping its last breath. And as if setting out to upset anybody who still clings to reductionism, he quotes at some length the words of Yogananda from The Autobiography of a Yogi, declaring that ‘My sense of identity was no longer confined to a body, but embraced the circumambient atoms.’ And he points out that while, in the jargon of modern physics, this would be described as Non-Locality in the electron sea, Yogis call it ‘Oneness with Supreme Consciousness, Ultimate Being, or God’. This makes a fitting conclusion, like the last bars of a symphony, and underlines that this book, which covers such an immense range of topics, is really about one thing: a basic change in the nature of human consciousness. Forbidden History is often hard to find, although it is now in stock at Through The Looking Glass, 63 Amwell Street, London, EC1R 1UR.
The Daily Terror news reports. Things we’ve found and things that have found us.
photograph by Nina Honawar
photograph by Marley Lohr
MR. HARE Above adventures of the night, come adventures of the night in tropical climates in Mr. Hare’s world. The ‘Hot Steppers’ are the latest collection of shoes by the emerging talent of British footwear. Pulling fine shoes from a Keepall is a little pleasure that ranks next to favourite smells, tastes and tunes. The major emphasis is on the materials. After the decadence of AW09s ‘Purest Form’ Collection, Mr. Hare wanted to create something with just as much presence, but much greater depth of character. The heart of this collection is made of Vachetta. Vachetta is a vegetable tanned leather which means it isn’t produced in such an environmentally damaging way and the leather retains much more of its natural characteristics. You are about to enter a two-way relationship if you purchase a Vachetta ‘Hot Stepper’. You must polish them regularly with natural beeswax polish and in return they will age and grow with you. They will form a Patina where the colour-
ing will become distinct and unique. The more love you give them; the more reason they will give you to love them back. Mr. Hare has dedicated this collection to a selection of dancehall generals who, through their sheer brilliance, have given us reason to tear up dance floors across all continents. Above the thrill of music that moves your physical and emotional state, there is only love. Stand up Johnny Pacheco, Victor Boa, Fela Kuti, Phil Spector, Raphael Cortijo, Sir Coxsone, King Tubby, Cachao, Ray Barretto, Sir Jablonsky and all the others. The dancehall is also where youth honed its style, physical expression, and moves. The saddle shoe and then the brothel creeper were amongst the first shoes of youth when teenagers first came into their own after World War II. You will find them reimagined here. ‘Hot Steppers’ are the further adventures into the realms and possibilities of male pedal elegance and this ongoing shoe conversation.
Tropical rainforests absorb nearly a fifth of all man-made CO2 emissions around the world, which helps greatly to minimise the effects of climate change. However, these same rainforests are currently being destroyed at the rate of an area the size of a football pitch every four seconds. To make matters worse, when the rainforests are burnt down - to clear land for commercial farming or mining, for example - they release all the CO2 that they have stored back into the atmosphere. The alarming scale of this rapid burning of the rainforests around the world means that CO2 emissions from tropical deforestation are actually higher than from the entire global transport sector. The Prince’s Rainforests Project (PRP) was set up in 2007 by HRH The Prince of Wales following reports from leading climate change experts, including the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, to promote awareness of the urgent need to take action against tropical deforestation. Destruction of the rainforests has very real and very serious consequences for us all - today and tomorrow. The PRP has launched a global awareness campaign to improve understanding of the link between rainforests and climate change and the need for urgent action to stop deforestation. All you need to do is add your name to the list at www.rainforestsos.org
THE ELIXIR OF LIFE?
FASHION CONSPIRACY About 4 years ago, New York fashion week was witness to one of the most hilarious ‘wardrobe malfunctions’ in fashion history! Anna Wintour’s sidekick André Leon Talley sat front row like Mike the Flasher of Wimbledon Common in Joe’s Cafe. After a visit to the bathroom he forgot to do up his fly which
was absentmindedly hidden by his shirt tails. Though the exposé was covered momentarily by page 6 of the New York Post, all evidence of the incident appears to have been erased from history. Our enquiries to US Vogue have gone unanswered. Smells to us like a coverup, or should that be cock-up?
SHARK ATTACK Human beings are skilled at justification. Every year humans slaughter millions sharks yet we depict them as vicious and bloodthirsty killers. No more than 12 people a year are killed by sharks worldwide. In fact, it is more dangerous to play golf than to swim in the ocean with sharks. More golfers are struck by lightning and killed each year than the total number of shark fatalities. Many more humans are struck and killed by boats every year than are attacked by sharks. We kill sharks for food, for sport, and so that some of us can make a tasteless, expensive soup to impress our family and friends. It is the mass slaughter of sharks for the sole purpose of taking their fins that is responsible for the incredible diminishment of shark populations around the world. The fins are highly prized. The fishermen catch the sharks and slice off the fins, unmindful of whether the shark is alive or not. The bodies, most of them still alive, are
tossed back into the sea to bleed to death or to be attacked by other sharks or fish. Most disturblingly is the growing amount of juvenile sharks being killed off the African cost. Chinese shark fin merchants offer considerable sums of money to fishermen, many of whom are opportunistic rather than skilled fishermen. No one can be certain how many sharks are killed each year, but it is estimated to be over 70 million. Already 18 species of sharks have been listed as endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
In the 1960s, farmer David Hudson found a heretofore unknown property during soil sample testing. As he electrically charged the soil sample he noticed a small amount of a metallic substance appear. He named this bizarre property the Orbitally Rearranged Monatomic Element (ORME). He took the ORME to various scientists in order to carry out further experiments. They first weighed it and then heated it. During the heating process the property began to decrease in weight, not unusual for a property if it was changing from solid to gas. Eventually, the ORME, upon reaching a certain temperature disappeared, yet it still registered a weight. As they cooled the ORME it reappeared in exactly the same configuration as it had when it was first put in the weighing pan. So the ORME had not only disappeared, it had gone somewhere. Had the manipulation of this atomic material shifted it to another dimension or could it lead to the discovery of invisibilty technology? The ORME could be safely ingested, although at first it seemingly it had no healing benefits, further tests showed that it could “cleanse” DNA – potentially resulting in improved cell reproduction. Hudson commercially named the ORME Monatomic Gold. It is believed that Monatomic Gold is an ancient, yet long forgotten substance that could facilitate extraordinary lifespans, and cure many diseases by allowing the body to operate as close to perfection as possible. As science continually makes new discoveries on the contructs of atomic forms – protons have mass, the immense energy between electrons – the secret yet to be discovered in how to harness this energy into a usuable fuel source. One reason is because the big corporates haven’t yet figured out a way to monopolise it for financial gain.
words by Liam Maher
The Shirt Tails Gang: Rural Tailors?
Did the Shirt Tails Gang of the Five Points in pre-civil war New York start out as a secret order of the Paramilitary Wing of the Rural Tailor’s Guild? On one hand it is a wild claim and the temptation to associate the Shirt Tails with the Rural Tailors. There are a number of intriguing aspects to the actual history of the Shirt Tails which make this avenue of investigation even more enticing. All the gangs operating in New York prior to the Draft Riots were in fact social-clubs focusing much of their activity on acts of political “persuasion”. In addition to the usual Dickensonian exploits in street-crime the Shirt Tails motivation came at least in part from a concern to make sure that politi-
cians whose priorities were sympathetic to their own were placed in office. The Kerry Bothers Connection Legislation effecting the off-loading of textile raw goods by New York dock-workers, the taxation of both raw goods and finished goods, dictation of approved hours of operation for garment retailers, enforcement of restrictions on the qualifications (skill and immigration status) of garment workers and tailors… all of these were of fundamental importance to certain elements of the New York underground.
Historian Tyler Asbinder reports on the subject; “In fact, gangs like the Dead Rabbits and Bowery Boys were political clubs that met at nights and on weekends to promote their candidates. They would fight at the polls and sometimes beat up their opponents, but not just for fun or plunder,” “So why fight? Nearly every scuffle was designed to help a gang’s chosen candidate into public office. Once there, the candidate would reciprocate, bestowing good, steady-paying patronage jobs and municipal funds on his constituency,”
It is known that the brothers John and Richard Kerry who emigrated from Ireland to New York in the early to mid 1850’s were active in the city in their efforts to bring political pressure to bear in some of these areas of legislation. The Kerry brothers are also widely accepted as having been central to the Rural Tailor’s Guild in Cork, Ireland before fleeing to the Americas. It is even thought that they may have been founding members along with the enigmatic figure, “ Young Meagher”.
The Shirts of the Shirt Tails History records the way that the Shirt Tails gangs styled their clothing as follows: “ The Shirt Tails were a mid-19th century street gang based in the Five Points slum in Manhattan, who wore their shirts on the outside of their pants as a form of insignia and as a sign of group affiliation. Although the Shirt Tails were one of the more violent gangs of the era, they kept their weapons—as many as three or four at a time—concealed beneath their shirts; this discreet measure stands in contrast to competing gangs who flaunted and brandished their weapons in order to intimidate,” “Never numbering more than a few hundred members, the Shirt Tails, like many other gangs, disappeared shortly before the American Civil War (although they did participate in joining a coalition of gangs under the Dead Rabbits during the New York Draft Riots), with its remaining mem-
bers dissipating or joining one of the other various gangs.” There is some speculation that this “insignia” and “discreet measure” served a second function less widely accepted by historians. Namely it served as a not-toosubtle reminder of the gang’s primary source of patronage, the Rural Tailors. To wear one’s shirt un-tucked was certainly not a style of which the signification was inert. The social, cultural, and esthetic difference between Rural Tailors and their above-ground cousins on Saville Row and other old European city centers would have been dramatically expressed by such a nose-thumbing of “accepted” styles of dress among the aristocracy, the powerelite and even the less sinister but certainly compliant “dandies” of the time.
The Connection to the Welsh Author-Tailor, Daniel Owen As the Research Group has already reported, there is an additional connection between Owen and murky “out-of-town” tailors who came to meet with Owen under the pretense of performing in a theatrical production in Mold. Photographs taken of these visiting tailors show a few of them to bear striking resemblance to mug-shots taken of convicted member of New York’s Shirt Tails Gang. This maybe because they are in fact the same men. It may also be because they are close relatives of the New York convicts. At this stage is impossible to determine.
Owen’s expulsion from the Methodist ministry also hints at some affiliation. The “Official” position of the Methodists toward the working of the New York street culture of the day was widely damning and helped to pain a picture that was so extreme and simplistic as to amount to lies and anti-tailoring propaganda. “ The Five Points,” wrote one Methodist reformer, had become “the synonym for ignorance the most entire, for misery the most abject, for crime of the darkest dye, for degradation so deep that human nature cannot sink below it.” The fact this official church proclamation uses the metaphor of “DYE” to cast aspersion on the community of the Five Points and the operations of political activists like the Shirt Tails Gang amounts to a direct assault on the ethics, culture and values of the Rural Tailors Guild in New York, the Americas, and throughout the world. In addition it reported by the historian Rebecca Yamin that, “…much of what was written in newspapers, tracts, and books, was colored by religious zeal, a desire to sell papers, or plain-old fear. Middle-class outsiders looked at this neighborhood that was teeming with activity,” This additional motivation is also the type of thing that the Rural Tailors would have seen as insidiously promoting the new middle-class hegemony being ushered in the Industrial Revolution and ensuring that the world order would mar ginalize Rural Tailors and sentence them to virtual extinction in the long run.
HOPI BOTANICALS “The country of the Hopi, in North Eastern Arizona, is arid and semi-desert. From the last stronghold of this people on the precipitous boat-shaped mesas of the high plateau, offshoots of the mountain knots of the Carrizos, one sees only barrenness, but barrenness painted beyond description. To the south the strange, fantastic outline of the Mogollones, 110 miles away, flanked by the mighty mountain mass of the San Francisco, and the the north and east mesa after mesa fading into the horizon. A nearer view of the plain reveals a waste of sand, sparsely dotted with the characteristic vegetation of the arid region and cut by gullies and washes, which rarely by the good will of the rain-gods give a glint of
water. A few cottonwoods among the cornfields in the beds of the washes delight the eye by their dark green foliage, amid so much desolation, while in the distant mesas scattered cedars have a foothold. Clear air, the wondefully blue sky, and the effect of the bright sun on the many-tinted sandstone make a landscape which the dullest eye must behold with admiration. As has been pointed out by my colleague, Dr Fewkes, the aridity of the climate has had a profound effect on the religious beliefs of the Hopi.” Walter Hough, 1897 This is the landscape from which comes the organic perfumery of Hopi Botancials, a collection of natural solid perfumes, packaged in “old Trading Post” inspired tins.
Has baxter international released a biological weapon? words by David Rothscum
Evidence appears to suggest that Baxter International is responsible for a new deadly outbreak of viral pneumonia in Ukraine.
In February of 2009 Bloomberg reported that Baxter “accidentally” sent vaccine material containing both live Avian bird flu and seasonal influenza to multiple laboratories worldwide. A laboratory decided to test the vaccine on its ferrets, but the ferrets all unexpectedly died. It must be noted that Baxter has made a “mistake” like this before. Blood products produced by Baxter once contained HIV. Thousands of haemophiliacs died due to this, and many went on to infect their spouses. Later in the year, a bizarre story emerged on the internet. The Huffington Post reported on a man named Joseph Moshe who was arrested after an hour’s long standoff with the LAPD because he had supposedly made threats against the White House. The man was able to withstand multiple rounds of tear gas, most delivered by a remote-controlled robot. The arrest had more than a few suspicions of overkill; the man was apparently unarmed, no direct threat to arresting officers. Moshe was also allegedly tasered. However, the internet community was very skeptical of the true reasons behind this man’s arrest. Comments on the Huffington Post website immediately began pouring in about an unreported side to this story, namely that Joseph Moshe was a Mossad Agent specialised in biological
warfare who had called into a radio show to warn people about a biological weapn that was being made by Baxter international that would be spread through vaccine and would cause a plague upon its release. Although anyone can make a doomsday claim and we should never believe anyone (and it must be said that the Truth movement handled this well, the message was spread without being proclaimed as gospel), the amazing part about Moshe’s claim was the location where Moshe said the biological weapon was being produced. Moshe claimed that Baxter’s laboratory in the Ukraine, out of all places, was creating this biological weapon. For Moshe to correctly name the country where a new epidemic would be unleashed, requires either inside information, or an incredible coincidence as anyone with a basic knowledge of statistics can confirm for himself. Let us assume for a moment that every person on our planet has an equal chance of giving rise to a new lethal epidemic due to a virus that mutates as it spreads through his body. The Ukraine has 46 million inhabitants. The current estimated global population is about 6.7 billion. This means that if a new epidemic were to arise, the chance of this epidemic starting in the Ukraine would be 0.69%. However, it appears that this virus is a form of flu. This
makes the odds of being right when guessing that a deadly flu is going to break out in the Ukraine even smaller. The reason for this is that back in early August the vast majority of influenza infections were found in countries other than the Ukraine. Up until the 29th of October, there were only two non-lethal swine flu cases reported within Ukraine’s population. Then on the 30th, there were reports of an epidemic. The symptoms resembled a horrible sudden viral pneumonia that causes victims to drown in their own fluids from heavy internal bleeding. These sudden lethal symptoms of hemorrhagic pneumonia are similar to the 1918 flu pandemic. Just before Ukraine’s pneumonic plague, there were many reports of small aircraft and helicopters spraying unidentified aerosols over populated areas. The aerosols made breathing difficult for those exposed. The government denied this activity. The fact that this man managed to predict an outbreak of highly lethal influenza in a place where we would least expect it, two months before it actually occured, lends credence to his claim that Baxter International is responsible for the outbreak and shows that top microbiologists can pose a problem to the people responsible for this ongoing disaster.
words by Mark Donne
Strife through a Lens
The earthly opposite of the undulating ridges of the Hindu Kush mountain range in Afghanistan could conceivably be the chewing gum acne pavements and poundland retail precincts of Chatham, north Kent. It is almost impossible to draw any parallels between the two geographic locations, their landscapes or their populations. But alas, both have now been twinned by a shared characteristic: a focus in the war on terrorism. On 8th July this year, an amateur photographer Alex Turner was detained in Chatham High Street by council officials, then police officers for snapping away at a disused flyover and an adjacent fish and chip shop. Turner patiently waited for the officers to complete their investigation processes until - for reasons known only to the uniformed guardians - Turner was arrested under section 44 of the Terrorism Act 2000. Prior to the parliamentary passage of the Terrorism Act (in the middle of a post 911 “national emergency”), police officers required “reasonable grounds for suspicion” to stop and search an individual in the street. In Mr Turner’s case, snapping a fish and chip shop with a basic SLR may have been too flimsy a pretext for even the most vindictive of law enforcement operative, so section 44 can be quoted; which removes any necessity for suspicion. As it transpires, after an interval of public humiliation and the ritual application of handcuffs to denote the daubing and seizing of a criminal, Mr Turner was released and allowed to go on his way. His case re-
mains the subject of an official complaint to the Professional Standards Department of Kent Police. Fellow amateur photographers have nobly descended on the town centre during peak trading hours and snapped anything in sight, in a direct challenge to such absurdly draconian conduct. But the issue is not going away, 2008 saw a threefold increase in the use of section 44. Astonishingly, civil liberties campaign group Liberty report that less than 0.1% of people arrested – not charged or convicted – under section 44 of the terrorism act – were done so for any actual connection with alleged terrorism. So while indulging in a pursuit as innocuous as amateur photography in landscapes and town centres across the UK might land you a terrorism charge, the same cannot be said for the boys in blue. And it is clearly not only the garden of England where the art and act of photography and the criminal justice system have collided. As demonstrated so vividly at the Kingsnorth protests, the controversial G20 demonstrations in London, and most recently when Essex Police filmed residents attending a public meeting on the future of Southend Airport with their local MP, the UK police forces enjoy carte blanche to film and photograph whoever they please - in the act of openly and recognisably legitimate activity - without any cause for suspicion. There is no question that civil resistance to this analogous practice is building as, ever increasingly, amateur and professional photographers across the UK report be-
ing stopped by police while pursuing their hobby. To highlight this, photographer Spike Brown recently used his slot on the fourth plinth of Trafalgar Square to photograph himself holding placards reading: “I am not a terrorist”. The British Journal of Photography has now launched a “not a crime” campaign. They say: “Police routinely invoke antiterror legislation to prevent photographers from carrying out their work, “ Tourists, particularly foreign tourists, are also targeted by police, as was the case with an Austrian father and son recently who made the mistake of photographing a building of an extremely sensitive nature – Walthamstow bus station.” On a recent heart charging visit to Chatham to observe the “Dad’s Army” squadron of snappers who took to the high street in defence of Alex Turner, the sense of confusion from normal citizens, topping up mobile phones and devouring inordinately long pork sandwiches in the later summer light was palpable. As parades of Victorian shops and the historic Theatre Royal around where they sat were encircled by developers carving a new identikit retail zone, people talked spontaneously to each other, between themselves and to me with genuine astonishment and irritation at Turner’s experience. This is good news. Because in the words of George Orwell, the writer that described Britain as a nation of hobbyists: “In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.” Some truths are applicable from Kabul to Kent.
make-up for youR alter ego It’s not often a brand jumps out, slaps you in the face and boldly announces, ‘this is me, deal with it’.
But that’s exactly what cult new UK-based cosmetics range, Illamasqua has done. Conceived amidst the dark drama of 1920s Berlin, developed by professional make-up artists, embraced by alternative cultures, and made by a unique British brand, Illamasqua is worn by those who refuse to be everybody. Dubbed ‘make-up for your alter ego’, there’s certainly nothing subtle about Il-
lamasqua’s impressive colour-true palette. With over 100 shades of eye shadow alone, a visit to the Illamasqua counter is like those trips to the sweetshop you hankered after as a kid. Better still, it won’t rot your teeth. Instead, it’ll invitingly whisper, “dare to be different” in your ear, then leave you to indulge in truly professional night-time make-up to your heart’s content.
‘Dark Angel’ a tribute film to Sophie Lancaster In August 2007, 20 year old Sophie Lancaster was kicked to death, simply for dressing differently. As a brand that promotes the right to experiment and self-express through the way you look, Illamasqua is committed to changing attitudes towards subcultures. In tribute to Sophie, Illamasqua has commissioned ‘Dark Angel’ – a short film that’s a haunting rendition of Sophie’s story, featuring the music of iconic British band, Portishead.
The film launched on MTV on 26th November – Sophie’s birthday. As a result, the Sophie Lancaster Foundation hopes to generate £500,000 to fund national youth workshops on tolerance. But they can only deliver this essential education programme with your help. Please, please show your support and watch the film. We’re hoping to reach 1,000,000 hits, so forward the link and help us spread the message.
Refreshingly, Illamasqua is also a brand with a conscience. Proud supporters of The Sophie Lancaster Foundation, Illamasqua promotes the right to self-express through the way you look. In tribute to Sophie Lancaster, they’ve recently commissioned the short film ‘Dark Angel’. Show your support and watch it at: www.illamasqua.com/sophie
THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS “If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will take you there” Lewis Carroll
Could this be an appropriate description for the present direction of humanity? Through the Looking Glass is a new retail concept offering the possibility to experience an alternative viewpoint on where we are going. Selling specially selected, new, used and antique books, covering a wealth of knowledge from the esoteric to Einstein from Forbidden Archeology, to an ever growing collection of rare and new editions of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.
A wealth of ideas that demand DEBATE. Tea being one of the pinnacles of civilised ritual and mental satisfaction, will be available to those who may rent a cup from the beautiful array of fine china, which is also offered for sale in elegant sets alongside the specialist books. Inside this Wonderland you are invited to contribute your ideas, tell stories and share your knowledge. With a private screening room and a pretty kitchen in the basement, those people truly interested are wel-
63 Amwell Street, London, EC1R 1UR
comed by private invitation to participate and get involved. Regular and irregular events, screenings, resident witch advice, paranoid group meetings,book groups, cult films and documentaries will be announced on the website and discussed in store, all offered with tea and empathy! ‘Through the Looking Glass’ is the new brain child of Faye Marie and Joseph Corre, and an authorised distributor of ‘The Daily Terror’. Through The Looking Glass is open Tuesday to Saturday, 11am until 7pm.
THE BIRTH OF STREET-STYLE PHOTOGRAPHY
Paul Hartnett has been documenting the extremes of youth culture, with a sharp focus upon menswear, since his first club snap back in 1976. His private collection of street-style dates from 1850 and looks surprisingly contemporary. All photographs © Paul Hartnett, words by King Adz
Despite having worked within the constraints of a street and club situation since 1976, Paul Hartnett’s thousands of unique images are razor-sharp, composed almost clinically. He has always made it a priority to get in close to a subject, documenting the essential details with care. From London’s New Romantics, Goths and fashionistas to Tokyo’s Harakjuku Kids, New York’s electro scene and the new rock world exploding Paris, Hartnett’s impressive archive of photographic work is characterised by a poetic appreciation of imperfection, personality and eccentricity. “ Working within the restrictions of a street location or club venue means I have to work fast,” says Hartnett. “I like to be very minimal in my approach, stripped right down. No props, no set-ups, no team around me, nothing premeditated.” Again, unlike so many street-style snappers, Hartnett has amassed a photographic archive, dating back to the dawn of photography, 1850. “Becoming a collector happened quite by chance. I found a shoe box of vintage images – daguerreotypes, tintypes, cabinets, CDVs – at a flea market in Colne, Lancashire. Since then I’ve been attending photographic fairs, advertising in anorak photographic publications such as ‘Picture Postcard Monthly’, even trawling through e-bay, hunting out early examples
of street style. Each day I’m on the prowl for examples of radical menswear. Right now I’m very interested in delving into the area of early teenage groups that worked a gang vibe, gang looks, unique regional street-style,” says Hartnett, whose archive is based in a converted brewery that is his home in Haworth, Yorkshire. From slum kid Casanovas in tight-fitting morning dress trousers and shrunken tweed jackets to pubescent prodigies accessorised with dandy neckwear and bowlers, there’s a distinct reek of dapper
resourcefulness and queer tough theatricality to many of the collected images. “I’ve dug up images of the UK’s Bright Young People, degenerate sodomites living a disease-ridden decadence at Oxford, Cambridge, Bloomsbury. I’ve come to treasure youth tribes such as Lancashire’s Scuttlers and Birmingham’s Peaky Blinders - any visuals I can lay my hands on that have a feel of subversive and seductive rowdyism, extraordinary adolescents who embody an era, images that point towards a future yet to occur.”
Concluding, Hartnett almost whispers conspiratorially, “I gain more inspiration from rescued images such as these than the H&M zombies parading the streets, clubland’s fakes and flakes, the jaded disco sodomites and Fashion Week sideliners who are so relentlessly desperate to be photographed for the now defunct pages of self-appointed style bibles such as (animated yawn) ‘i-D’. I’m just so repelled by unimaginative, infantile, generic shitheads working gauche chic, totally repulsed by lamelamelame London bollox.”
Paul Hartnett is currently writing a novel, tentatively entitled ‘ YOU BITCHES’. King Adz is currently putting the finishing touches to a Street Culture A to Z, published in September 2010 by Collins.
CATHERINE THE GREAT This infamous 18th Century Russian Monarch famous for her grand palaces and sumptuous banqueting was also a notorious nymphomaniac within court circles. Fortunes were spent commissioning the finest craftsmen, jewellers, tapestry makers and giant vegetable growers to furnish her palaces with specially commissioned pieces that indulged her sexual appetite. No chairs, tables or occasional furniture were spared the adornment of literally thousands of erect cocks and open cunts to titillate the whimsy of the Queen. After her death, rumoured to be caused by the appendage of her favourite white stallion, Vladimir (named after The Impaler) who slept on satin sheets in his own palatial stable, court servants were hurriedly instructed to literally remove by sawing off all sexual references to furniture and furnishings throughout the palaces. Very few items were saved (pictured here) from this desecration of Catherineâ€™s palatial Temple of Venus.
ZOOPHILIA Animal Passion
The bizarre characteristics of people and their obsession with animals is demonstrated most lucidly through the Animal Passions documentary, available for viewing on YouTube. Pour yourself a large whisky and marvel at one manâ€™s desperate desire to imagine the outcome of the offspring created through his relationship with Pixel, his cute little mare. Just say neigghhhhh!
words by Liam Maher photographs by Taka
A Child Of The Jago is a child of the street. The destitute and illegitimate progeny of a hopelessly rundown environment. In the case of Joseph Corre and Simon “Barnzley” Armitage, the street is Great Eastern and the physical environment is a former Victorian slum in East London where the alley wise hero of Arthur Morrison’s book, A Child of the Jago, takes place. But the spiritual environment that has catalysed Corre and Armitage’s enterprise is an even more threatening and sprawling slum, that of the creatively impoverished and commercially corrupt homogeny represented by the menswear status quo. Corre and Armitage are acutely aware that the world their new child is entering will offer it no sympathy and give it no quarter. A Child of the Jago isn’t being
raised to expect a warm welcome. It’s being brought up to cause trouble while it contrives to raise the bar. The zeal for agitation is a natural extension of the pair’s stylistic inspirations. The attitude reflects the sartorial excesses of the original dandy and the raw unpredictable razor’s edge of Rock & Roll stitched together with the excruciatingly rigorous standards of the Saville Row tailoring tradition. This all makes for a volatile cocktail of no-rules merchandising. Milkman jackets reminiscent of work wear’s golden age are presented alongside Scottish cashmere and fine shirting crafted in Jermyn Street factories. At the same time the tyranny of forced fashion “cycles” and industrially contrived “trends” receive a brutal Liverpool kissoff, neutralised and dismissed as waste-
creating crutches habitually brandished by brain-dead corporations well and truly only in it for the money. But neither Corre nor Armitage are interested in disposable rebellion or a shallow veneer of style. They don’t believe standards of quality have been lost so much as they have been stolen, kidnapped, hijacked and brutalised by the mainstream fashion system. And they clearly don’t care how much shoe leather is worn away in their efforts to free quality from its current confinement. They have wired together a clandestine alternative network that unifies select Saville Row tailors with irreverent young talents from Japan’s best fashion academies. They have identified hole-in-the-wall suppliers of ultra-premium deadstock menswear fabrics and implicated them deep within
Intentionally Local and Accidently Sustainable It is good for the ecology if folks are granted access to quality and discontinue thinking of clothing as disposable. Garments created with care from the best locally produced material the way Corre and Armitage are making them get better with age, not worse. The notion that waste could be dramatically reduced merely by a systematic revolt against the calculated cycling of prepackaged trends is not theoretical, it’s very definitely real. Not afraid
to antagonise a bully, their child of the Jago is doing its part right in their own backyard. If customers adopted this attitude en masse it would doubtless herald the end of waste in fashion altogether. Goliath would fall and David would remain standing and David would be better dressed than ever.
Exclusive and Richly Storied It is also good for customers to gain access to something genuinely unique. As individual as a human heart, Corre and Armitage’s designs are rendered in fabric combinations that could literally never be reproduced. So if desire for exclusivity and products with real narrative are on the rise, then A Child Of The Jago is stomping impertinently in the right direction. The highly combustible flashpoint of the concept is the store itself. Designed after scenic illustrations of Hogarth’s Gin Lane, the finished space provides a languid and lurid framework for the full Terrorist collection as well as a dedicated bespoke tailoring service that employs the same remarkable dead stock fabrics. The basement houses a lush gallery of carefully curated vintage that is treated
as a purebred cousin and sold right alongside their own creations. One can expect to see everything from Napoleonic uniforms to antique French work wear along with complimenting curiosa like the leather -and-brass artificial leg of a long dead Hell’s Angel gang member, classic Rock & Roll 45s and 12” disco singles and an extensive library of out-ofprint outré literature and underground artifacts from all across Europe. There is a bit of the feeling that you’ve stumbled across some nameless nobility on the downslide, who has been forced to sell off the family silver. A Child Of The Jago’s concept and Corre and Armitage’s Terrorist menswear label carry the distinct odour of something incendiary and there’s a chance something really might burn. But the most flammable materials in its path seem to be the creative mediocrity and depressing absence of quality that have grown like dry weeds across the current fashion landscape. If this detritus burns off it will only serve to enrich the earth and ensure the new soil is fertile enough to nourish the stylistic bravery and deep quality that their new vision proposes.
photograph by Koji Shimaura
their plot. Maneuvers that combine with their abandonment of artificial fashion cycles and grant them access to the best pure wools, rich silks, sharp gabardines, rugged twills and a host of one-of-a-kind yard goods of unrivalled quality that can otherwise stack up in the dust left by built-in-obsolescence and an inefficient and cynical marketing system. Almost by accident their provocative approach ensures their own product, the dangerously named “ Terrorist” collection, bears certain highly desirable market characteristics.
DAZZLE One of the new pieces from A Child Of The Jago shows the blindingly brilliant use of “dazzle” – a type of camouflage originally developed for use on naval vessles in World War 1. Credited to artist Norman Wilkinson, it consists of a complex pattern of gemoetric shapes in contrasting colours, interrupting and intersecting each other. At first sight it seems an unlikely way to hide a ship at sea. However, the technique, cited as one of the earliest examples of disruptive pattern design, was to make it more difficult for the enemy to identify the type of ship, therefore its size and distance – this being before the time of
radar detection systems. As each section of ship was painted with varrying lines and blocks of white, grey and black the shape of the ship was visually broken apart – making it near impossible from a distance to distinguish bow from stern. Dazzle’s purpose was confusion rather than concealment. Its effectiveness is not certain, with little use against submarine attack, but proved a morale boost for the crews onboard and the amazed crowds living and working around the docks. Dazzle-ships in Drydock at Liverpool is a 1919 painting by Edward Wadsworth documenting the startling visual impact of the dazzle application.
The Shoddy Subversion
The Iyaric dialect was developed to shine a light on how hegemonic vocabularies can insidiously create and reinforce negativity and cultural oppression. Dedication becomes Livication to remove the hidden reference to death. Everliving replaces Everlasting to neutralize the implication of something being “last” and final. Rastafarians keep their eye (or ear) tuned to protect their values from quiet abuse and manipulation. But there’s nothing inherently negative in the construction or phonetic of the word “Shoddy”. There was no reason for anybody, even a militant Rastafarian, to identify it as needing special protection. So how did Shoddy come to mean something bad when it started out meaning something good, something nearly miraculous?
Renew, Reuse and Recyle the Cloth. Recapture, Resurrect and Reclaim the Meaning The mainstream mechanism of contemporary fashion depends on a black magic capable of conjuring culture-wide forgetfulness. Like Obi-Wan, “these are not the droids you’re looking for…”. Like George Orwell, “we are at war with Eurasia and have always been at war with Eurasia….”. We celebrate Eli Whitney’s invention of the cotton gin in 1793 and Sanford Lockwood Cluett’s development of Sanforisation. We honor Charles Mackintosh’s creation of rubberized cloth and are still impressed by John Barbour’s refinement of waxed canvas. But untill last weekend I, at least, had never been told of Benjamin Law’s invention of Shoddy
in 1813 (a mere 20 years after the cotton gin) nor his nephew’s development of its close relative, Mungo. Benjamin Law was the first to organise, on a larger scale, the activity of taking old clothes and grinding them back down into a fibrous state that could be re-spun into yarn. The importance of the industry can be gauged by the fact that even in 1860 over 7000 tons of shoddy were being produced in the town of Bately with 80 firms employing a total of 550 people sorting the raw material. Essentially, Law created a means of grinding down used wool garments and blankets to fibers which could be respun and woven into Shoddy cloth. This allowed for the production of wool from an entirely new source in the midst of a national wool shortage and gave rise to the rag and bone trade as more widespread means of gathering these raw materials. His nephew figured out how to compliment the Shoddy offer with a more premium fabric recycled from the clippings of unused wool scraps leftover from the tailoring and garmentmaking trades. This recycled but also unworn material was called Mungo. So it turns out shoddy doesn’t mean shoddy at all. Shoddy doesn’t mean slapped together, substandard or poor. Or, at least it shouldn’t. It should mean ingenious, resourcefull, renewable and loaded with character, texture and history. Nothing shoddy about that. It seems to me Shoddy could refer to the search for character, texture and history among today’s rag-piles as well. It’s the endeavor of market pickers and vintage purveyors all-over the world. Shoddy is the
gorgeous output of the searchers and sellers from The Rose Bowl to Spitalfields, to Clignancourt to Waterlooplien to Brimfield and so on. Today’s rag and bone elite. My wife discovered this shoddy bit of lost history recently and couldn’t wait to fill me in knowing it would be right up my street. I always feel a little stupider than usual when something like this emerges. I feel stupid and a bit like I’ve been tricked. Is there some self-serving entity out there who intentionally corrupted and undermined the true meaning of Shoddy only to return a century later heralding the dawn of the new Greening and admonishing us all for being so late to cause? Yes, there is such an entity. It’s our industry with all of its narcissistic artifice and ritual forgetting. We know and we forgive it for the most part. After all, we love the field we’re all tilling in, turnips and all. We’ve also got the humility to realize that not everyone has forgotten. Companies like Remstar in Romania, Trans-Americas Trading Co in the USA and the Eros Group in India are actively marketing their reground wool product under the Shoddy name today. While they continue this far-from-shoddy tradition, we also fumble to find words for something that already has a name. For what its worth we work fairly hard at DENHAM on our own shoddy projects, re-cutting japanese boro cloth, re-using military gore-tex, deconstructing rubberized marine ponchos and reworking surplus army blankets for recent designs. We’re not the only ones and we admire the efforts of our contemporaries occasionally involved in the same pursuit. But neither us nor any of them ever called our work shoddy.
words by Chris Sullivan photography by Ron Galella
disco You can always judge a city by its nightlife and as such, New York, from the late seventies until the mid eighties was one big mad bag of drug-fuelled excess where pretty much anything went. Certainly the most decadent, sexually liberated, free thinking era that yours truly has ever witnessed, it was in short, absolutely bloody marvellous. Of course, we’ve all read about Studio 54, the club that paved the way for much of the excess to follow. Owned by Steve Rubel and Ian Schrager, it was located in a former TV studio on West 54th Street and was in truth, just one big hairy arsed gay disco about 100 metres long with silver banquettes and a mirrored diamond-shaped main bar located under its balcony. Undoubtedly, while poppers and bucketfuls of cocaine (usually snorted from virtually obligatory little silver spoons) were the order of the
day, gay sexual congress was rampant on the balcony and in the Rubber Room (so called because it was lined with rubber so that all the ‘stuff ’ might be easily washed off ). And while much was made of the zillions of celebrity patrons who allowed the gaff more publicity than God himself, most were in fact, ushered in from a tiny door on 53rd Street straight down into the VIP room in the basement -with a pinball machine and a few white plastic lawn chairs - never to be seen again. Certainly, ‘Studio’ music policy via the auspices of DJ’s Nicky Siano and Richie Kaczor was pure unadulterated let your hair down, DISCO – Ring My Bell by Anita Ward, Shame by Evelyn Champagne King and Good Times by Chic- that filled the club’s massive parquet dance floor with all sorts of uber glam gorgeous gals and guys with bad haircuts who hustled next to the
club’s strobe-lit columns that descended from the ceiling. “I’d have to say my favorite club was Studio 54,” remembers August Darnell, cofounder of Dr. Buzzard’s Original Savannah Band and leader of Kid Creole and the Coconuts. “It was so decadent and so exciting in that period to be part of something you knew was a world movement. The good thing was it gave people a reason to say ‘Let’s get dressed up and go out!” Equal to, if not even more exclusive, was the Mudd Club, a scruffy labyrinthine downtown site on 77 White Street where one might see punks, rockabillies, the New York literati, artists, transvestites, strippers, Bronx b-boys and Wall Street bankers all shaking a leg to DJ Anita Sarko’s seductive mix of raw funk, Latin, fifties rock’n roll and show tunes. Named after Dr Samuel Alexander Mudd, who tended to Wilkes Booth’s
leg after he shot Abraham Lincoln and was thus imprisoned for his efforts, the club was owned by Steve Mass who opened the gaff in 1978 with Anya Phillips, the stylist, singer and girlfriend to James Chance of James White and The Blacks while the door was run by the Vivienne Westwood attired Gennaro. Simply one of the finest clubs I have ever attended, it was not unusual to see Allen Ginsberg talking to Debbie Harry who, standing in front of Truman Capote might have a view of Jean Michel Basquiat clowning around with David Byrne. And as for the bands I saw among others, Bow Wow Wow, The Brides of Funkenstein, Levi and The Rockats, Debbie Harry rapping with Fab Five Freddie, The Talking Heads, The Dead Boys and Lydia Lunch. And then there was Danceteria that opened late Spring 1980 first on 37th Street, just east of Eighth Avenue and was run by Jim Fourat (former Minister for Information for the White Panther Party and a founder of New York’s Gay and Liberation Front) and the thoroughly Germanic Rudolf who, raised in Argentina, had made a few bob after opening Brazil’s first disco launderette) the club had three floors, a video lounge and a roof terrace and served liquor without a license (one bought drink tickets from a booth and exchanged them over the bar) until 8am. Madonna was the lift operator (and available squeeze for anyone with a British accent) while in the summer of 1980 busboys included one Keith Haring. A truly ground breaking club that featured among others, Mark Kamins, Walter Durcots, Freddy Bastoin and Shaunn Casset behind the decks playing a mix of disco, Motown, punk, Africa beats and Latin while the likes of The Lounge Lizards, Klaus Nomi, The Cramps and the B52’s played live. There has been much speculation as to where the name came from: “ We were building the after-hours place on 37thSt. And we needed a name...fast,”
recalls Rudolf. “ I was walking in front of Dubrow’ with 2 other guys and we commented about the fabulous neon, and then, one of guys said “Fuck this cafeteria, I want a danceteria! And I said, “That’s it! That’s the name of our club! Danceteria!” Of course there were other clubs such as Xenon, AM/PM, Tier 3 and later, Jefferson and Save The Robots but the most efficacious club of all was, The Paradise Garage, situated on King Street in Soho. Formerly a parking garage, its proprietor, Michael Brody, had wisely based it on David Mancuso’s legendary Loft parties. No alcohol was sold, fresh fruit and soft drinks were free, it was not open to the general public and had the best sound system in the world. Of course, as with many clubs back then the clientele was largely gay, made up of mainly Hispanic and black Nu-Yoricans who turned out in droves to catch the legendary Larry Levan, on his three turntables mix up the likes of, The Peech Boys, Don’t Make Me Wait, and Sylvester’s, Mighty Real, with The Clash, Pink Floyd and The Eurhythmics into one seamless never ending groove using percussion breaks, beats and accapella’s. Indeed, the crowd were there to dance and dance only. It wasn’t about chitchat it was about moving. The first time I visited ‘the Garage’ was in August 1980 and, with glamorous girlfriend on arm, I felt a little out of place as I passed the gauntlet of drug dealers shouting, ‘Coke, smoke, dope, PCP, MDA , THC, ludes, LSD - we can take you up or we can take you down, in out and around the town,’ then up the ramp and past the never ending queue of young men in slashed T shirts, shorts and sneakers. Dressed in a three piece Edwardian suit, spats, gloves, cravat, watch chain, walking stick and to top it all a monocle in the right eye, I was certainly not one of the boys and, as I walked by, I felt almost Messiah-like as a Mexican
wave of gobsmacked patrons either hit the deck in paroxysms of laughter or were so shocked that they couldn’t move. Inside it was pretty much the same. In fact I brought the place to a complete standstill in part I’d guess because many of the patrons (including my gang) had partaken of the purest, strongest MDMA ever to leave a lab which at the time was 100% legal. And then Levan played, Do What you Wanna Do, by T Connection, and I took to the dance floor, pulled out a selection of my best moves as created in Wigan Casino and honed in Crackers of Wardour Street in 1975 - fast steps - sixteen beats to the bar- eight spins on the run, a back drop, the splits and back up for more absurdly fast footwork. By the time the 15-minute track had slipped into another the whole club had gathered around to watch ‘Sherlock Holmes busting moves.’ And when I stopped the place erupted into applause. Later as I sat down to nurse my near coronary with a fruit juice, Levan came over with Frankie Knuckles and sung my praises but I could see in their eyes that they thought that someone might have spiked their drink and I was just yet another apparition. But as I told them, ‘one should never judge a book by its cover.’ Indubitably, if New York had been a book then it would have been a battered and discarded old pulp noir paperback, its faded and ripped cover entirely indicative of its financial bankruptcy while its dog eared pages showed signs of many abusive owners. But just like said tome, inside its environs there was substance and excitement and drama and danger and everything any young rapscallion might want. But all that changed when in 1994 Rudolph William Louis “Rudy” Giuliani took over as Mayor and led the city into an era of zero tolerance and killed it stone dead. Even though it is still a great city, New York today is now a quite marvellous place for ladies who lunch.
LARRY LEVAN by Lono Brazil
Lawrence Philpot, aka Larry Levan, legendary disc jockey of the Paradise Garage, record producer and remixer died on Sunday, November 8, 1992 at Beth Israel Hospital from heart failure due to endicarditis: he was 38. Larry is revered primarily as the DJ and driving force of the famous gay disco Paradise Garage. With engineer Richard Long, he custom-designed the Garage’s monster sound system and DJ booth, complete with audiophile Thorens turntables. Larry ’s brilliance lay not only in his technical skill and audio expertise, but also in his unique and eclectic taste. He confounded and greatly broadened the “rules” of what “dance music” could be, mixing everything from gospel, reggae, Philly soul and Euro-disco to rock (Stand Back – Stevie Nicks and Eminence Front – The Who, to name but two), post-punk (The Magnificent Seven – The Clash, and Talking Heads), ambient/environmental music (Klaus Schulze and Manuel Gottsching, for example), and just about everything else. He augmented this aural collage with disorienting sound effects and mind-expanding audio manipulations, working the crossover and balance controls to throw sound around the room as if it had a will of its own. Larry was a shaman who opened a sonic Pandora’s box when he Djed, with all kinds of beautiful, scary and indescribably bizarre sounds careening around the room like spirits flying out of the Ark of the Covenant. Larry cut his musical teeth at The Loft, essentially the first underground, afterhours disco. Started by David Mancuso at the advent of the ‘70s, The Loft combined psychedelic culture with proto-disco music, which then consisted of longform, psychedelic-influenced soul (Melting Pot – Booker T. & The MG’s, Papa Was a Rolling Stone – The Temptations, etc.), jazz-funk like The Blackbyrds, funky rock (Woman
– Barabas, for example) and trippy head music like Pink Floyd’s Dark Side Of The Moon. When Paradise Garage opened in 1976, Larry added gospel-and R&B -flavored disco to his musical menu. With Larry at the helm, the Garage embodied all that was beautiful about disco: glamour, unpretentiousness, excitement, hedonism, epiphany through music, black/white and gay/straight harmony, and the general concept of the dancefloor as family. Celebrities like Grace Jones, Keith Haring, Nile Rogers, Chaka Khan and Madonna hung out and danced the night away along with thousands more of Larry’s dedicated flock. As a remixer, Larry applied his inimitable touch to countless all-time club classics, including Got My Mind Made Up – Instant Funk, Ain’t No Mountain High Enough – Inner Life, Can’t Play Around – Lace, Heartbeat – Taana Gardner, Gwen Guthrie’s Should Have Been You and Nothing Going On But The Rent and many, many others. As a writer and producer, he helped create the sound of the innovative New York Citi Peech Boys and their seminal club hits Don’t Make Me Wait, On A Journey, Come On, Come On and Life Is Something Special, a joyous, mesmerizing celebration of life, love, and music. Larry’s work has a spacious, epic, atmospheric quality, with a haunting blend of joy and pain. After the Garage closed in 1987, Larry kept a considerably lower profile, doing guest spots at various clubs, including Studio 54, Palladium and Mars, and DJing regularly at The Choice, arguably the inheritor of the Garage’s underground legacy. The Choice didn’t have the grandeur of the Garage, but Larry made it his home, casting his psychedelic spell on a diverse crowd of devoted Garage heads and various other afterhours types. Although his remixing work (and, according to some,
his spinning ability) diminished, there’s no doubt that Larry, even on a bad night, was still infinitely more creative, interesting and unpredictable than any other jock around. It was that unpredictability that was the reason for many of his followers disenchantment by the mid-and-late ‘80’s: it was also the reason that legions more literally lived to hear him play, or were inspired to make their own careers in music and the music business. “Larry’s legacy is more than just a legendary nightclub and a fistful of club classics. Larry Levan was the ultimate DJ: he didn’t just excel at his job, he reinvented the concept of the DJ, blurring the boundaries of music, race, sex, sexuality, and changing thousands of people’s perception of music, sound and the world around them.” – Adam Goldstone (used with kind permission). I had the pleasure of meeting Larry and going to the Paradise Garage. It was the single most incredible experience to happen to me and my musical pursuits. It is why I play records today. Larry was a very demure reserved dude unless he knew you. We had two mutual good friends in common (Frankie Knuckles & Keith Haring) and through Keith I was able to gain access into the booth and Larry. He was a very nice friendly guy that had a no nonsense kinda vibe about himself. Unpretentious in a fabulous way. His personality was very likeable and infectious. He had a very passionate way about himself. I saw him play at a couple of smaller venues in NY (Choice) & Japan (Yellow). The last time I remember seeing Larry was early 92 he was jay walking alone across Bowery barefoot with Japan designer fashion on. I wanna say it was Kansai Yamamoto. It was around 8 or 9 in the morning. He looked troubled... Not long after I got news that he had passed. I was really saddened. It was a great loss.
Perhaps the most talented, if not the most enigmatic, female artist. The music, the chord progressions are distinctively organic, has been complemented by her uniquely sensual lyrics. Through Annette Peacock’s involvement in both the ‘60s avant-garde jazz and art circles, her work anticipated modern life styles, breaking taboos. Her songs often cross the line between male/female subject matter; they are emotionally naked yet embody a peculiar dryness. Her marriage to bassist Gary Peacock gave her immediate access to several avant/free jazz greats, the company of Albert Ayler being particularly influential. Around 1962, Gary began playing with Paul Bley. Through his connection to Bley, he joined Albert Ayler’s group in ‘64, Annette traveling with them on their European tour. The awakening of a romantic relationship between Annette and Paul Bley provided the impetus for her com-
positions becoming a major part of Paul’s repertoire. With the acquisition of two Moog synthesizers she began her performing career as a player and a singer in a group called The Synthesizer Show, using her Moog not only as a keyboard instrument but also to treat her abstract jazz vocalisations. Use of the synthesizer outside of the studio was unheard of at this time due to its complexity. Her first solo album, I’m the One, was released in 1972. Moving to Britain in the mid-70’s, she became a fixture in the avant jazz and rock circles, recording many sessions with such luminaries as Bill Bruford, Chris Spedding and Mick Ronson. So individual are the landmarks of Peacock’s biography that it seems almost
unfair that they should belong to one person; as if her life has been gluttonous for the incindents and acts of legend. She was given one of the first synthesizers by its inventor Robert Moog in 1968, she appeared topless at the Townhouse in New York, she appeared on The Johnny Carson Show, she performed the first electronic improvising band, she was the first person to sing through a synthesizer and the first to electronically treat the voice in the recording process, she was the first ‘rap’ over a rock backing, she turned down the offer of appearing on Bowie’s Aladdin Sane or performing with him in concert, she invented the ‘free-form song’, she became the first holographic actress in a show with Salvador Dali on Broadway.
The Gentlemen of
BaCongo The Importance of Being Elegant words by Chris Sullivan photographs by Daniele Tamagni
“Le Sap is our essence,” explains sapeur Willy Cavory, a leading practitioner of, Le Sape - The Société des Ambianceurs et des Personnes Élégantes (The society for people of elegance and ambiance)- otherwise referred as the ‘religion of clothing.’ “It is our way of life and not just the dressing,” he continues. “ It is how we express our individuality and our character. Along with our families, Le Sap, is our reason for being.” Cavory is part of a group of ‘sapeurs’ who emanate from Brazzaville, the capital of The Republic of The Congo (AKA The French Congo or Congo-Brazzaville) and are the subject of a new, mainly photographic tome, The Gentlemen of Bacongo – The Importance of Being Elegant, by Italian snapper Daniele Tamagni. A wonderful pictorial essay realised in vivid colour, the book captures the spirit, joie de vivre and creed of Le Sapeur who, with their strict code of honour, conduct and morality, enjoy a style that is certainly not lacking in eccentricity. But, when etched against the backdrop of a country torn apart throughout the 1990s by bloody civil wars which resulted in thousands upon thousands of civilian deaths, is positively more than a little surreal.
“I found these guys after going on another job to Brazzaville,” explains Tamagni on the phone from Milan. “I met one, took his picture then another and soon I met them all. They are not rich men, are very democratic and amazed me by their manners, elegance and attention to detail that provides such a contrast with their shantytown which has been bombed to pieces. And like a lot of African villages is really very dirty, very messy and very haphazard. But they are normal people – anyone can be a sapeur, no one is excluded.” Self-confessed dandies, Le Sapeurs, have taken the genteel art of dressing to its illogical conclusion. This particular group of sapeurs enjoy a style whose roots lie in the salons of Paris of the twenties but is accomplished in tones bright enough to make one’s eyes smart. Indeed, the aforementioned, Sapologists, knowingly juxtapose symbols of glut, more in common with a seventies black Chicago pimp, against their impoverished shanty towns with astounding aplomb- spending a lot more money on their clothing than on their homes. Eminent Sapeurs show greenhorn Sapeurs the ropes: how to behave socially, how to perfect their decorum and main-
tain their propriety, how to dress, how to talk, how to walk. Exalted by their community, Le Sapeurs are treated like out-andout celebrities and wallow in the warmth of exaltation like the poseurs they indubitably are. Often paid to attend weddings, funerals and anniversaries, their role is to confer events with a certain je n-est sais quoi that, inherited from an infinitely more courteous age, is entirely deficient in this the 21st Century ‘The SAPE began when the Congo was a French colony,” clarifies Tamagni. “Many Congolese people were fascinated with French sophistication and decided to emulate the French mode, and their style was further developed during the shift to independence. In the seventies and the eighties, many Congolese immigrants went to France and on their return to Brazzaville brought back ‘the cult of elegance.’” Indeed, many sapeurs, such as KVV Mouzieto (who works on the Paris Metro but comes back to Brazzaville every summer) believe in the “Matsoua” religion that instigated by Congolese intellectual, Andre Grenard Matsou -who lived for a period in Paris and worked for the French army- lies at the core of Le Sape. A man with a mission, Matsou fought for human
rights and freedom from the colonial powers and as such achieved fame as a revolutionary, prophet and consequently- a national hero. Known as the first ‘Grand Sapeur’, he was said to have returned from Paris in 1922 and, as the first Congolese to dress as an authentic Frenchman and not in trad African robes, initially caused indescribable uproar among his fellow countrymen, followed by subsequent admiration. “ To go to Paris- the capital of fashion - is historically the dream of a Sapeur,” informs Tamagni. “ This is where they would all like to go one day. Some succeed in obtaining a visa but for others it remains an improbable ideal. Sapeurs all have the same dream: to go to Paris and return to Brazzaville as an aristocrat of ultimate elegance.” Of course, le sapeur might easily be compared to the young men folk of the
Samburu Masai who, by dyeing their hair red and wearing tons of beaded jewellery, easily out do their women folk. In truth, Le Sap, are markedly more radical than any of their African counterparts. In fact, by seizing the accoutrements of their socalled betters they have more in common with the British Teddy Boy of the early fifties (who adopted the style of the moneyed New Edwardians and moulded it to their own devices) than any latter day African fellow. Irrefutably, it is this blatant refusal to kow tow to the rather dullard rules that society inflicts that has been inherent in every youth cult in the UK since the war - it is what makes us tick. And no different are Le Sapeur. In fact, many latter day Le Sapeur rose out of the bedlam of the President Mobutu era, their idiosyncratic
aspect – as much a means of insurgence as a Sex ‘‘F**k Your Mother’ T shirt in the UK punk era- specifically chosen to both irk and defy the mad leader’s order that all French Congolese should dress in traditional African costume and enjoy only their indigenous culture. Deliberately individual, Le Sape used their appearance to rebel but coupling said portmanteau with a very simple gentlemanly tenet cleverly avoided the wrath of the dictator and thus voiced their invective. In effect, by using the culture of Le Sapeur they exercised a very subtle and thus effective ideological rebellion. Today, the cult has in true African fashion taken the principal and, using what is at their disposal, twisted the ethic to create something entirely their own. “The Sape is most definitely an art,” stresses
premier league sapeur Hassan Salvadore the respected leader of The Piccadilly Group of Bacongo. “I learned how to dress from my father, [the famous Sapeur Hassan Malanda] but also by observing how television news presenters dress. It is always different for each individual. “ And without a doubt the odd personal quirk abounds. 24 year old Michel favours a white Eton collared shirt, a black and white bow tie, a pipe and a walking stick, another a shocking pink suit teamed with a scarlet bowler hat, tie and shoes, while another rum chap Ferolle dons knee high socks, a Tam O’ Shanter and full Scottish evening dress replete with kilt and sporran. “I love the style of the Scotsman,” clarifies Ferolle on the phone from Brazzaville. “ To me it is the utmost of elegance and has to be worn with pride and good manners. As a Sapeur you have to find your very own style, something that is you and the Scottish man’s style is me and many people love it.” Yet, different in style from their Parisian, Brussels or even Kinshasa counterparts (who follow the example of icon Papa Wemba and trade in brash and eminently tacky designer labels like Cavali and Versace) domestic Bacongo sapeurs such as KVV Mouzieto adopt a style more reminiscent of an Edwardian gent on LSD with a bit of the eighties thrown in. What all Sapeurs, the world over, have in common, however is tons of the ‘blingingest’ gold jewellery dripping from every compartment while the obligatory Cohiba cigar that, for the most part, remains unlit is a given. “The cigar is the symbol par excellence of the sapeur,” states sapeur, Hassan Salvadore. “The cigar is expensive and has a very important role because it gives value to the suit worn, although it has to be used carefully as a gentleman sapeur is always expected to ask his neighbour, even if he is not in a non smoking area, if he may light his cigar. The cigar is a symbol therefore of excellence and refinement. It is the tool of the Gentleman.” Undeniably, Le Sapeur lives by commonly agreed aesthetic regulations. “A good Sapeur has to know the rules of harmoniously matched colours without being excessive,” attests Tamagni. “ Their idea of perfection is to combine a maximum of three colours for each outfit. It is important to distinguish between the
gentlemen who can wear colourful clothing. Diplomat (usually a politician, an ambassador, a television journalist). The latter has to combine dark tonalities in the choice of socks, shoes, trousers, jacket, shirt, tie and so on, which means different nuances of blue tones, or grey or black. He is obliged to wear specific kinds of clothes and with more conventional colours. The Gentleman is an artist and can wear both conventional and fancy, vivid clothing. In any case eccentricity should never overcome the principles of elegance, according to the Sape. A sense of measure and a good culture is always required.” It might be easy enough to dismiss the ethic as frivolous excess in times of hardship but the discipline extends above and beyond a pair of trousers “I thinks that a real Sapeur needs to be cultivated and speak French fluently, “informs Hassan Salvadore. “ But he also must have a solid moral ethic: that is beyond appearance and vanity of smart, expensive clothing because there is the moral nobility of the individual.” “The Sape is an art and real gentleman have to know the concept of gentleness and good manners related to the inherent moral code of the individual,” affirms Tamagni. “ This is why, for these reasons, some famous Sapeurs with a certain culture, experience and refined manners teach those who want to become Sapeurs how to dress and how to behave in a social context. It is more significant to know the rules of elegance than have a Dior or a Versace outfit and not know how to dress.” Most Sapeurs are Catholic and attend church regularly, dressed to the nines, their ‘do unto others’ attitude in keeping with a profound, and many might say ‘refreshing,’ interpretation of the New Testament. “In my book you will see a picture of a priest in military uniform,” states Tamagni. “He is the priest of the Sapeurs and as he told me: ‘I dress like a sapeur because the sapeur is a good reflection of God. We respect other people, we don’t like war, we like peace and we have a moral code that is very Christian.’ This is very important for the Brazzaville sapeurs.” “The sapeurs’ relationship with the faith is important, they are believers, they share Christian values,” adds Tamagni. “During a church service the preacher will always speak about peace and violence and turning the other cheek, and when there’s trouble brewing a true sapeur will always
try dialogue, always try to be diplomatic and avoid conflict to the last because a true Sapeur does not hate others while many might have seen war and death first hand.” Of course such moral high ground has attracted the attention of the government who have attempted to use the group to their own ends. During the celebration of independence last year the authorities invited Le Sapeurs to attend (and thus support them) because, held in high esteem, they add glamour, sophistication and positivity to any event. But many sapeurs declined the invitation. As Tamagni attests “A real sapeur is a revolutionary and many do not want to align themselves to any party because tomorrow there might be another election or even a coup and they want to remain totally autonomous.” Yet, hanging out in the bars of Brazzaville such as the Baba Boum, Le Sape do what guys do - they drink, talk and dance to the Cuban rhythms of Rumba and Charanga, which originated in the Congo and were re-imported from Cuba in 1940’s and 50’s and still dominate the dance floors. Occasionally Le Sapeur hold exhibitions in which they, just as their Parisian counterparts, challenge each other to stylistic jousts or throw downs - their armaments or moves being a Panama hat, a bow tie or even a pair of socks. “ Braces from Jermyn Street, England,” one might say as he opens his purple jacket,” “ Orange tie with matching socks, handkerchief and pants. Beat that!” might call another with a spin. “Now that many Congolese Sapeurs live in Paris, the Sape is in continuous change,” explains Tamagni. “Some Sapeurs like to call it, ‘Sapologie’ like a science or a religion: they have their blog where they discuss, they theorize, and they make videos. Many Sapeurs from the Democratic Republic of Congo live in Brussels, and claim Sape was born in Kinshasa. However, what I have tried to document is just a part of the story from Bacongo-Brazzaville: the real cradle of the Sapeurs.” “The white man might have invented clothes,” concludes Brazzaville Congolese musician King Kester Emeneya modestly. “But we have turned it into an art.”
The Gentlemen of Bacongo – The Importance of Being Elegant by Daniele Tamagni is published by Trolley Books.
kitchen sink words by Chris Sullivan
“If I had the whip hand,” proclaims teenage protagonist Colin Smith in director Tony Richardson’s groundbreaking, The Loneliness of A Long Distance Runner, of 1962. “I’d get all the cops, governors, posh whores, army officers and members of parliament and I’d stick ‘em up against the wall and let ‘em have it.”
Entirely indicative of the principle and ethic behind a group of radical young film makers and writers who churned out a series of films that came to be known as, ‘kitchen sink dramas’, Smith’s words reflected the wave of discontent that echoed around post war Britain and is still very evident today. Indeed, the two finest British films released this year are pure kitchen sink in that they deal with the harsh realities of working class Britain. The first, Shifty, directed by Eran Creevy, is set on location on an estate in Harlow Essex, stars Riz Ahmed as a young Pakistani crack, coke and puff dealer whose life spirals out of control just as his old mate returns home for a visit. The second, Fish Tank, helmed by Andrea Arnold, takes place in a tower block in an equally depressing Kentish satellite town and stars newcomer Katie Jarvis as Mia foul-mouthed, aggressively violent and desperately yearning 15-year-old with a slovenly mother, a noisy kid sister (Rebecca Griffiths) and dreams of becoming a dancer. And, while today such themes might even seem almost commonplace, in 1959 the truth was anything but. Prior to the ‘kitchen sink’ revolution, the British profile had been defined on screen by characters who populated the works of Noel Coward or Terence Rattigan – Saville Row suit wearing cads like Terry Thomas or impeccable cricket loving heroes, as played by the likes of John Mills or David Niven and whose vowels were the product of expensive public schools such as Eton, Harrow or Winchester. To be sure, up until the late fifties most onscreen hookers, police constables and villains expressed themselves in upper class tones more reminiscent of an Oxford Latin professor. Yet, such tomfoolery could not last forever and, as the realities of urban post war British existence loomed, a new voice blasted its way into the country’s consciousness that, evident in the aforementioned cinematic genre, not only defined what it was to be of this country, and poor, but set the tone for the entire future of British drama. Of course, the movement was just one facet of a countrywide re-assessment. People had fought and died to keep the UK going and, after the war, the British working classes, fed up with their lack of voice, began to shout loudly. Teddy Boys in 1953, with their meticulous mockery of upper-class Edwardian dress stepped
out for the first time in opposition to what novelist John Fowles called, ‘the grotesquely elongated shadow of that monstrous dwarf Queen Victoria.’ They demanded the same luxuries as the New Edwardians enjoyed and used their black market income and contacts to circumvent the straitjacket of rationing to ape the style of this gang of eminently effete, superbly stylish but garrulously gay men while artists and writers- no longer content with being considered as mere second class citizens- woke up and demanded their dues in a similar fashion. Irrefutably, not that different from the British Punk Rock movement, said form was all about now- all about what it was to be in that place at that moment and at that time - and that time was the present. It had little truck with retrospection, little time for the problems of the upper classes. It was solidly about being working class in fifties Great Britain and the struggles inherent in that. Certainly, said kitchen sink dramas and Teddy Boys were just two manifestations of the proletariat’s demands. As much a part of the post war egalitarian revolution as the formation of the NHS and the DHSS, such dramas gave the people of Britain a much needed tongue and, appealing to the rank and file, boosted our much ailing film industry that, dying on its feet, survived only via the auspices of Hammer’s Dracula franchise and Carry On Films. To be sure, looking back it is virtually impossible for us to imagine the fuss these ’kitchen sinkers’ caused. Billed as ‘A savage story of Lust and Ambition,’ one of the first of the genre, director Jack Clayton’s Room At The Top (1959) was given an X (over eighteen) certificate on its release in 1959 and was banned by the Association of British Boys Clubs lest its members were infected by its racy content. Based on the best selling novel by John Braine, its central character, Joe Lamptonexquisitely rendered by Lawrence Harvey - is essentially a go getting former POW on the make and on the up. Something of a bounder, who simply endeavors to rise above his otherwise preordained place in society via his congress with Susan Brown (Heather Sears), the daughter of a local factory owner while at the same time hiding the salami with the older Alice Aisgill (Simone Signoret) the wife of a wealthy solicitor, Lampton is a man who will do
whatever to achieve his aims. Nothing too scandalous about that you might say but, without a doubt, much of the latter day furore was due to Lampton’s laid-back declaration that he was glad to have been interned by the Hun in a prisoner of war camp- because he could then study at being an accountant and avoid being shot. So on one hand his blatant desire to rise above his station was seen as unbecoming and rather gauche while his attitude, was considered by the powers that be to be simply... un- British. The term ‘kitchen sink’ was coined by art critic David Sylvester who, after seeing a work by painter, John Bratby, that featured an image of a contemporary kitchen sink, penned a piece in 1954 that, referring to a group of artists who celebrated the banality of urban existence was entitled ‘Kitchen Sink.’ Subsequently the moniker was applied to anything that celebrated or reenacted such and when playwright John Osborne’s, Look Back in Anger - a play that dealt with a working class man, Jimmy Porter (Richard Burton) and his questioning of the social strata - popped up at the Royal Court Theatre in 1956, and actually had the front to plonk an ironing board on the stage, it personified the discipline. Yet indubitably, the principle that propelled the whole movement was certainly in the ether. While Osborne’s production was receiving rave (and controversial) reviews, up North a 17-year old Mancunian, Shelagh Delaney, who had never heard of Osborne, was penning the play, A Taste of Honey, that, championed by Joan Littlewood (an out and out communist under surveillance by the MI5 from 1939 till the late fifties who was also artistic director of the famed Theatre Workshop) opened in the Theatre Royal Stratford East in May 1958 and in 1961 was made into a film. Directed by the great Tony Richardson (who also directed Osborne’s play and the subsequent film in 1959) it is a milestone in British film work that comments on, and puts into question, class, race, gender and sexual orientation in mid-twentieth century Britain, Both immediate and compassionate it was the first film to ever voice the complexities of life as a teenage working class girl in the UK as its protagonist Josephine (Rita Tushingham who won the best actress award at Cannes), – a plain Northern teenager – is shunned by her drunken slapper mum (Dora Bryan) gets
Richard Harris is Frank Maclin in This Sporting Life (1963) pregnant by a black sailor (Paul Danqua), befriends a gay man, Geoffrey (Murray Melvin) and as a consequence finds out just who she really is. And while Delaney scribbled away up North, hatchling author, Alan Sillitoe, was knocking out the merchandise in another country. A former RAF wireless operator in Malaysia, the writer was diagnosed with tuberculosis and so, in an attempt to recover, moved first to France and then Mallorca where esteemed novelist, Robert Graves, encouraged him to write about what he knew. The result was the novel, Saturday Night Sunday Morning, which published in 1958 truly set the cat amongst the pigeons. A tome that dealt with the disillusionment of post-war Britain, and the lack of opportunities for the working classes, it was adapted to film by Karel Reisz. The movie made a star out of Albert Finney who as, Arthur Seaton, a hardworking factory worker who works like a dog all week at his mindless job for bugger all money then spends the lot on weekend sessions in the pubs and clubs. A force of nature, Seaton, who juggles relationships with two women, one of whom is married to another man but is pregnant with his child and the other who is neither, is a Great British anti hero- unashamedly anti-establishment, indeed unashamedly anti everything: “That’s what all those silly laws are for, to be broken by blokes like us,” he says. Director, Reisz was a Czechoslovakian Jewish refugee one of 669 saved by Sir Nicholas Winton prior to WW2. His parents died in Auschwitz while he, shipped to England, was educated in Oxford and subsequently founded the film journal Sequence with Lindsay Anderson and Gavin Lambert. A founding member of the Free Cinema documentary film movement
Rita Tushingham in “A Taste of Honey” (1962)
that really broke down the boundaries in Brit cinema, Reisz’ first film under the FC umbrella, Momma Don’t Allow (1955) was co directed by Tony Richardson while his groundbreaking, We are the Lambeth Boys, of 1958 was one of the first films to accurately depict life as a young aspirant Ted in working class London. Without a doubt, the epicenter of the kitchen sink phenomenon, Free Cinema, was co founded by Tony Richardson who trading on the success of, A Taste of Honey, turned Sillitoe’s second novel, The Loneliness of a Long Distance Runner (1962) into one of the great British films of all time. Starring Tom Courtenay as, Colin Smith, an adolescent anti capitalist miscreant who refuses to accept the factory floor in favour of a life of petty thievery, this totally excellent film can boast all the hallmarks of anti establishment cinema. Ending up in a grim Victorian borstal Colin discovers a talent for long distance running that, seized upon by the prison governor (Michael Redgrave) provides Colin with yet another source of inimitable rebellion. Not to be outdone, fellow FC founder, director Lindsay Anderson, in 1963, made This Sporting Life, a film that battered down the doors of contemporary Brit drama and launched the film career of Richard Harris who as Frank Machin, a miner turned rugby star, gave the performance of his life while confederate John ‘Midnight Cowboy’ Schlesinger came up trumps with A Kind of Loving (1962) Billy Liar (1963) and Darling (1965) three examples of the form that tied the knot and closed the bag. Often compared to their more loudly heralded French New Wave counterpart, the British kitchen sink dramas were, in my opinion, even more realistic than their
Gallic foil (the nearest being Truffaut’s 400 Blows) and arose from filmmakers who rejected the bourgeois timidity of their national cinema and strove to change the form. And even though their universally acknowledged glory years ended in the cinema in 1965 their influence has resounded ever since, forever influencing Britain’s greatest directors. In 1965 Ken Loach took a discerning leaf out of the kitchen sink clan and took the form to its rightful and most egalitarian home – TV. For the massively influential BBC One, The Wednesday Play slot he directed writer Nell Dunn’s superlative, Up The Junction that told of petty thieving, sexual encounters, births, deaths and backstreet abortion followed by Cathy Come Home, in 1966 a TV play written by Jeremy Sandford (who also penned the superb Edna The Inebriate Woman in 1971) about a homeless mother and father trying to hang onto their kids, In 1969 Loach helmed the superb, Kes (1969) that exemplified the form. Consequently the great Alan Clarke took the manner to an altogether different level with, Scum (1979) Made in Britain (1982) and the sublime, Rita Sue and Bob Too (1986). More recently, Nottingham born Shane Meadows cites all of the above as the main influence on his work such as, Dead man’s Shoes and, This Is England, while Paul Abbot, the writer of Channel 4’s, Shameless has delivered not only the kitchen sink but the toilet pan as well. “I grew up with all those kitchen sink dramas,” informed the 37 year old Meadows in interview with me last year. “They were the first films I ever understood. They dealt with the types of people I knew and the situations I was aware of and in my opinion they are as relevant today as they were back then.”
THE STORY OF
Amongst the prodigies of ingenious wickedness and artful mischief which have surprised the world in our time, perhaps none has made so great a noise as Jack Shepherd, the malefactor of whom we are now to speak. His father’s name was Thomas Shepherd, who was by trade a carpenter, and lived in Spitalfields, a man of an extraordinary good character, and who took all the care his narrow circumstances would allow, that his family might be brought up in fear of God, and in just notions of their duty towards their neighbour. Yet he was so unhappy in his children that both his son Jack and another took evil courses, and both in their turns have been convicted at the bar at the Old Bailey After the father’s death, his widow did all she could to get this unfortunate son of hers admitted into Christ’s Hospital, but failing of that, she got him bred up at a school in Bishopsgate Street, where he learned to read. he might in all probability have got a good education if he had not been so removed, being put out to trade, viz., that of a cane-chair-maker, who used him very well, and with whom probably he might have lived honestly. But his mother dying a short time afterwards, he was put to another, a much younger man, who used him so harshly that in a little time he ran away from him, and was put to another master, one Mr. Wood in Wych Street. From his kindness and that of Mr. Kneebone (whom he robbed) he was taught to write and had many other favours done by that gentleman whom he so ungratefully treated. But good usage or bad, it was grown all alike him now; he had given himself up to all the sensual pleasures of low life. Drinking all day, and getting some impudent and notorious strumpet at night, was the whole course of his life for a considerable space, without the least reflection on what a miserable fate it might bring upon him here, much less the judgment that might be passed upon him hereafter. Amongst the chief of his mistresses there was one Elizabeth Lion, commonly called Edgeworth Bess, the impudence of whose behaviour was shocking even to the greatest part of Shepherd’s companions, but it charmed him so much that he suffered her for a while to direct him in every thing. and she was the first who engaged him in taking base methods to ob-
tain money wherewith to purchase baser pleasures. This Lion was a large masculine woman, and Shepherd a very little slightlimbed lad, so that whenever to had been drinking and came to her quarrelsome, Ben often beat him into better temper, though Shepherd upon other occasions manifested his wanting neither courage nor strength. Repeated quarrels, however, between Shepherd and his mistress, as it does often with people of better rank, created such coldness that they spoke not together sometimes for a month. But our robber could not be so long without some fair one to take up his time, and drive his thoughts from the consideration of his crimes and the punishment which might one day befall them. The creature he picked out to supply the place of Betty Lion was one Mrs. Maggot, a woman somewhat less boisterous in her temper, but full as wicked. She had a very great contempt for Shepherd, and only made use of him to go and steal money, or what might yield money, for her to spend in company she liked better. One night when Shepherd came to her and told her he had pawned the last thing he had for half a crown, Prithee, says she, don’t tell me such melancholy stories but think how you may get more money. I have been in Whitehorse Yard this afternoon. There’s a piece-broker there worth a great deal of money; he keeps his cash in a drawer under the counter, and there’s abundance of good things in his shop that would be fit for me to wear. A word, you know, to the wise is enough, let me see now how soon you’ll put me in possession of them. This had the effect she desired; Shepherd left her about one o’clock in the morning, went to the house she talked of, took up the cellar window bars, and from thence entered the shop, which he plundered of money and goods, to the amount of £22. He brought it to his doxy the same day before she was stirring, who thereupon appeared very satisfied with his diligence, and helped him in a short time to squander what he had so dearly earned. However, he still retained some affection for his old favourite, Bess Lion, who being taken up for some of her tricks, was committed to St. Giles’s Round-house. Shepherd going to see her there, broke the doors open, beat the keeper, and like a true knight-errant, set his distressed paramour at liberty. this heroic act got
him so much reputation amongst the fair ladies in Drury Lane that there was nobody of his profession so much esteemed by them as Jack Shepherd, with his brother Thomas, who had taken to the same trade. Observing and being in himself in tolerable estimation with that debauched part of sex, he importuned some of them to speak to his brother Jack to lend him a little money, and for the future to allow him to go out robbing with him. To both these proposition Jack (being a kind brother as he himself said) consented at the first word, and from thence forward the two brothers were always of one party. Jack having, as he impudently praised it, lent him forty shillings to put himself in proper plight, and soon after their being together having broke open an alehouse, where they got a tolerable booty, in a high fit of generosity, Jack presented it all to his brother, as, soon after, he did clothes to a very considerable extent, so that the young man might not appear among the damsels of Drury unbecoming Mr. Shepherd’s brother. About three weeks after their coming together, they broke open a linendraper’s shop, near Clare Market, where the brothers made good use of their time; for they were not in the house above a quarter of an hour before they made shift to strip it of £50. But the younger brother acting imprudently in disposing of some of the goods, he was detected and apprehended, upon which the first thing he did was to make a full discovery to impeach his brother and as many confederates as he could. Jack was very quickly apprehended upon his brother’s information, and was committed by Justice Perry to the Roundhouse, for further examination. But instead of waiting for that, Jack began to examine as well he could the strength of the place of his confinement, which being much too weak for a fellow of his capacity, he marched off before night, and committed a robbery into the bargain, but vowed to be revenged on Tom who had so basely behaved himself (as Jack phrased it) towards his good brother. However, that information going off, Jack went on his old way as usual. One day in May he and F. Benson being in Leicester Fields, Benson attempted to get a gentleman’s pocket watch, but missing his pull, the gentleman perceived is a raised a mob. Shepherd passing briskly
to save his companion, was apprehended in his stead, and being carried before Justice Walters, was committed to New Prison, were the first sight he saw was his old companion, Bess Lion, who had found her way thither upon a like errand. Jack, who now saw himself beset with danger, began to exert all his little cunning,which was indeed his masterpieces. For this purpose he applied first to Benson’s friends, who were in good circumstances, hoping by their mediation to make the matter up, but in this he miscarried. then he attempted a slight information, but the Justice to whom he sent it, perceiving how trivial a thing it was, and guessing well at the drift thereof, refused it. Whereupon Shepherd, when driven to his last shift, communicated his resolution to Bess Lion. They laid their heads together the fore part of the night, and then went to work to break out, which they effected by force, and got safe off to one of Bess Lion’s old lodgings, where she kept him secret for some time, frightening him with stories of great searches being made after him, in order to detain him from conserving with any other woman. But Jack being not naturally timorous, and having a strong inclination to be out again in his old way with his companions, it was not long before he gave her the slip, and lodged himself with another of his female acquaintances, in a little bycourt near the Strand. here on Charles Grace desired to become an associate with him. Jack was very ready to take any young fellow in as a partner of his villainies, and Grace told him that his reason for doing such things was to keep a beautiful woman without the knowledge of his relations. Shepherd and he therefore getting into the acquaintance of one Anthony Lamb, an apprentice of Mr. Carter, near St. Clement’s Church, they inveigled the young man to consent to let the in to rob his master’s house. He accordingly performed it, and they took from Mr. Barton, who lodged there, to a very considerable value. But Grace and Shepherd quarreling about the division, Shepherd wounded Grace in a violent manner, and on this quarrel betraying one another, they were all taken, Shepherd only escaping. But the misfortune of poor Lamb who had been drawn in, being so very young, so far prevailed upon several gentlemen who knew him, that they not only prevailed to have
his sentence mitigated to transportation, but also furnished him with all necessaries, and procured an order that on his arrival there he should not be sold as the other felons were, but that he should be left at liberty to provide for himself as well as he could. It seems that Shepherd’s gang (which consisted of himself, his brother Tom, Joseph Blake, alias Blueskin, Charles Grace, James Sikes, to whose name his companions tacked their two favourite syllables, Hell and Fury) not knowing how to dispose of the goods they hd taken, made use of one William Field for that purpose, who Shepherd in his ludicrous style, used to characterise thus: that he was a fellow wicked enough to do anything, but his want of courage permitted him to do nothing but carry on the trade he did, which was that of selling stolen goods when put into his hands. But Blake and Shepherd finding Field somewhat dilatory, not thinking it always safe to trust him, they resolved to hire a warehouse and lodge their goods there, which accordingly they did, near the Horse-ferry in Westminster. There they placed what they had taken out of Mr. Kneebone’s house, and the goods made a great show there, whence the people in the neighbourhood really took them for honest persons, who had so great a wholesale business on their hands as occasioned their taking a place where they lay convenient for the water. Field, however, importuned them (having got scent they had such a warehouse) that he might go and see the goods, pretending that he had it just now in his power to sell them at a very great price. They accordingly carried him thither and showed him the things. Two or three days afterwards, though he had not courage enough to rob anybody else, Field ventured to break open the warehouse, and took every rag that had been lodged there; and not long after, Shepherd was apprehended for the fact and tried at the next sessions of Old Bailey. His appearance there was very mean and all the defence he offered to make was that Jonathan Wild had helped to dispose of part of the goods and he thought it was very hard that he should not share in the punishment. The Court took little notice of o insignificant a plea and sentence being passed upon him, he hardly
made a sensible petition for the favour of the Court in the report, but behaved throughout as a person either stupid or foolish, so far was he from appearing in any degree likely to make the noise he afterwards did. When put into the condemed hold, he prevailed upon one Fowls, who was also under sentence, to lift him up to the iron spikes placed over the door with looks into the lodge. A woman of large make attending without, and two others standing behind her in riding hoods, Jack no sooner got is head and shoulders though between iron spikes, than by a sudden spring his body followed with ease, and the women taking him down gently, he was without suspicion of the keepers (although some of the were drinking in the upper end of the lodge) conveyed safely out of the lodge door, and getting a hackney coach went clear off before there was the least notice of his escape, which, when it was known, very much surprised the keepers, who never dreamt of an attempt of that kind before. As soon as Jack breathed the fresh air, he went gain briskly to his old employment, and the first thing he did was to find out one Page, a butcher of his acquaintance in Clare Market, who dressed him up in one of his frocks, and then went with him upon the business of raising money. No sooner had they set out, but Shepherd remembering one mr. Martin, a watchmaker near the Castle Tavern in Fleet Street, he prevailed upon his companion to go thither, and screwing a gimlet fast into the post of the door, they then tied the knocker thereto with a string, and then boldly breaking the windows, they snatched three watches before a boy that was in the shop could open the door, and so marched clear off, Shepherd having the impudence, upon the occasion, to pass underneath Newgate. However, he did not long enjoy his liberty, for strolling about Finchley Common, he was apprehended and committed to Newgate, and was put immediately in the Stone Room, where they put him on a heavy pair of irons, and the stapled him fast down to the floor. Being left their alone in the session time (most of the people in the gaol then attending the Old Bailey) with a crooked nail he opened the lock, and by that means got rid of his chain, and went directly to the chimney
in the room, where with incessant working he got out a couple of stones and by that means climbed up into a room called the Red Room, where nobody had been lodged for a considerable time. Here he threw down a door, which one would have thought impossible the have been done by the strength of man (though with ever so much noise); from hence with a great deal to do, he forced his passage into the chapel. There he broke a spike off the door, forcing open by its help four other doors. Getting at last upon the leads, he from thence descended gently (by the help of the blanket on which he lay, for which he went back though the whole prison) upon the leads of Mr. Bird, a turner who lives next door to Newgate; and looking in at the garret window, he saw the maid going to bed. As soon as he thought she was asleep, he stepped downstairs, went through the shop, opened the door, then into the street, leaving the door open behind him. In the morning, when the keepers were in search after him, hearing of this circumstance by the watchman, they were then perfectly satisfied of the method by which he went off. However, they were obliged to publish a reward and make the strictest enquiry after him, some foolish people having propagated a report that he had not got out without a connivance. In the meanwhile, Shepherd found it a very difficult thing to get rid of his irons, being obliged to lurk about and lie hid near a village not far from town, until with much ado he fell upon a method of procuring a hammer and taking his irons off. He was no sooner freed from the encumbrance that remained upon him, than he came secretly into the town that night, and robbed Mr. Rawlin’s house, a pawnbroker in Drury Lane. here he got a very large booty, and amongst other things a very handsome black suit of clothes and a gold watch. Being dressed in this manner he carried the rest of the goods and valuable effects to two women, one of whom was a poor young creature who Shepherd had seduced, and who was imprisoned on this account. No sooner had she taken care of the booty but he went among his old companions, pick-pockets and whores in Drury Lane and Care Market. There being accidentally espied fuddling at a little brandy-shop, by a boy belonging to an alehouse, who knew him very
well, the lad immediately gave information upon which he was apprehended, and reconducted, with a vast mob, to his old mansion house of Newgate, being so much intoxicated with liquor that he was hardly sensible of his miserable fate. However, they took effectual care to prevent a third escape, never suffering him to be alone a moment, which, as it put the keepers to great expense, they took care to pay themselves with the money they took of all who came to see him. In this last confinement it was that Mr. Shepherd and his adventures became the sole topic of conversation about town Numbers flocked daily to behold him, and far from being displeased at being made a spectacle of, he entertained all who came with the greatest gaiety that could be. He acquainted them with all his adventures, related each of his robberies in the most ludicrous manner, and endeavoured to set off every circumstance of his flagitious life as well as his capacity would give him leave, which, to say truth, was excellent at cunning, and buffoonery, and nothing else. Nor were crowds that thronged to Newgate on this occasion made up of the dregs of the people only, for then there would have been no wonder; but instead of that they were persons of the first distinction, and not a few even dignified with titles. ‘ Tis certain that the noise made about him, and his curiosity of persons of so high a rank, was a very great misfortune to the poor wretch himself, who from these circumstance began to conceive grand ideas of himself, as well as strong hopes of pardon, which encouraged him to play over all his airs and divert as many as thought it worth their while by their presence to prevent a dying man from considering his latter end, who instead of repenting of his crimes, gloried in rehearsing them. Yet when Shepherd came up to chapel, it was observed that all his gaiety was laid aside, and he both heard and assisted with great attention at Divine Service, though upon occasions he avoided religious discourse as much as he could; and depending upon the petitions he had made to several noblemen to intercede with the king for mercy, he seemed rather to aim at diverting his time until he received a pardon, than to improve the few days he had to prepare himself for his last.
On 10th November, 1724, he was by Certiorari removed to the bar of the Court of King’s Bench, at Westminster. An affidavit being made that he was the same Jack Shepherd mentioned in the record of conviction before him, Mr. Justice Powis awarded judgement against him, and a rule was made for his execution on the 16th. Such was the unaccountable fondness this criminal had for life, and so unwilling was he to lose all hopes ofpreserving it, that he framed in his mind resolutions of cutting the rope when he should be bound in the cart, thinking thereby to get amongst the crowd, and so into Lincoln’s Inn Fields, and from thence to the Thames. For this purpose he had provided a knife, which was with great difficulty taken from him by Mr. Watson, who was to attend him to death. Nay, his hopes were carried even beyond hanging, for when he spoke to a person to whom he gave what money he had remaining out of the large presents he had received from those who came to divert themselves at Shepherd’s Show, or Newgate Fair, he mostly earnestly entreated him that as soon as possible his body might be taken out of the hearse which was provided for him, put into a warm bed, and if it were possible, some blood taken from him, for he was in great hopes that he might be brought to life again; but if he was not, he desired him to defray the expenses of his funeral, and return the overplus to his poor mother. Then he resumed his usual discourse about his robberies and in the last moments of his life endeavoured to divert himself from the thoughts of death. Yet so uncertain and various was he in his behaviour that he told one whom he had a great desire to see on the morning that he died, that he had then a satisfaction at his heart, as he were going to enjoy two hundred pounds per annum. At the place of execution, to which he was conveyed in a cart, with iron handcuffs on, he behaved himself very gravely, confessing his robbery of Mr. Philips and Mrs. Cook, but denied that he and Joseph Blake had William Field in their company when they broke open the house of Mr. Kneebone. After this he submitted to his fate on the 16th November, 1724, much pitied by the mob. From Lives of the Most Remarkable Criminals, London 1735
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The Daily Terror issue 3