Friday, July 30, 2010

Punk Rock Ephermera

I'm sometimes surprised by the stuff that appears from old boxes I haven't looked in for years. Yesterday I came across these items of punk memorabilia which I'd forgotten about.

There are two issues of Sniffin' Glue, the original punk fanzine. This was founded by Mark Perry in 1976 London, and ran for a year or so. I bought these two issues in 1977, in the King's Road in Chelsea. (I'm fairly sure that's red ink, and not blood, on the cover)

On the cover of one issue there are pictures of Johnny Rotten, The Clash and the Damned. I think it's the magazine staff on the other. I notice that picture was taken by Jill Furmanovsky, who went on to become a well-known photographer.

Sniffin' Glue had a big role in driving the punk rock explosion in Britain. It was certainly an innovation. I'd never seen a fanzine before Sniffin Glue appeared. Soon afterwards there was proliferation of fanzines, though I don't remember buying any others.

My other piece of ephemera is a little Raincoats booklet, from a year or two later. That's not really punk rock, of course, it was post-punk, and very different in a way. But similar in other ways. It was a creative period in Britain, and there were a few years of this sort of creativity which flowed together. Though the all-female Raincoats were nothing at all like the Sex Pistols or the Clash, they wouldn't have flourished, or probably even existed, without the creative energy and freedom created by punk rock in London. Creative energy which got me writing, as I may have said before. Hundreds of times.

I don't remember when I got the Raincoats booklet and there's no date on it. It was probably soon after their first album came out, in 1979. It think it came from the original Rough Trade shop in Kensington Park Road. I saw the Raincoats play on various occasions around that time.

I don't know what to do with these things now. Put them back in the box, I suppose. But I'm glad I found them anyway.

I just did an interview, answering reader's questions, here at JennIRL.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Hello Kitty

I'm finding Twitter confusing. I didn't realise there's a link you have to press to see if anyone has replied to your posts. I only found out after I asked my friend @Abby about it. I'm still confused about what posts go where.

This brings on some gloom about the modern world. I've been through websites, newsgroups, message boards, forums, Myspace, Facebook, Twitter and God knows what else, when all I really wanted to do was generate a little publicity, sell a few books, and spend the rest of my time watching SpongeBob SquarePants. Was this so unreasonable? Yet now here I am, trapped by technology. Clearly my life has gone wrong somewhere.

* shakes fist at modern world *

I noticed some Hello Kitty bags in the supermarket today, and I was interested in this, because you don't see much Hello Kitty merchandise around here. (Vex, Kalix's friend, is a fan of Hello Kitty) I quite wanted to buy one, and wondered if there was someone I could give it to as a present, but I couldn't think of anyone. My niece is too old, and would be scornful of it. And I couldn't really justify buying it for myself.

Hello Kitty has a little bow around one ear. This looks pleasing, but I'm wondering if it's really practical. Would a bow really stay on a cat's ear? I think it might just fall off all the time.

I was going to finish this blog with the stunning revelation that Hello Kitty was inspired by the broad flat colours of the great artist Matisse, particularly the paper collages he created late in his career. That would have been a good piece of information to pass on. But I've just remembered it wasn't Hello Kitty that was inspired by Matisse, it was Miffy the Rabbit. Hmm. I have no real opinion on Miffy.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Soo Catwoman T-shirt

Here I am in my new Soo Catwoman t-shirt, which I love dearly. Notice the expression of deep concentration as I struggle with the difficult task of taking a picture and talking on the phone at the same time. Afterwards I had to sit down and rest.

Also in picture - MacBook Pro, box it came in, nice little tartan head-scarf, World Fantasy Award, box of tissues, edge of trusty old Mac iBook, blue mug, assorted books, wicker basket containing socks, TV remote and envelope containing bill for something.

I bought this t-shirt from Catwoman Clothing which is the creation of Dion, Soo's daughter. To paraphrase her daughter's words, very many people have used pictures of Soo Catwoman over the years, on books, magazines, posters, clothes, record sleeves and so on, without either asking permission or paying any money, so now they're reclaiming it.

You can buy various designs of these t-shirts either at Catwoman Clothing's Myspace or Soo Catwoman's website.

Here's another picture of one of their t-shirts -