Home of the Freedom Pass Anarchists and the wonderful world of professional wrestling, psychogeography, allotments and the class struggle.
“The society which has abolished every kind of adventure makes its own abolition the only possible adventure.” Paris, May 1968
And the touts want £170 a ticket for the Camden Town Gig. "All good things must come to an end" they say, why I ask, why oh why? We may be the last British generation who had so many "good things", Dr Feelgood and cheap gigs being some of them.
Comin' over all nostalgic and with the birth and death of rock and roll and rythm and blues happening within my lifetime I would like to take this opportunity to share an experience that may be a metaphor describing the difference between my generation and the public school generation that has spawned the contemporary drivel that is popular music. Lee Collinson (later Brilleaux) and me were at school together in the early sixties. Ealing Grammar School for Boys as it happens. I lived in two places, my grandmother's caring slum in Notting Hill and my father's cold flat in Ealing. Lee ,aged twelve, would come to school with John Lee Hooker Albums and swap them with older kids for other blues classics. I was an upcoming mod with ripple soled shoes, tabbed collars and polka dot ties.Somehow , skiving off games ( there should have been more of us but the rest didnt turn up),we met at Bentalls in Ealing Broadway,pedalling like fuck in our scool uniforms and went to the West Ealing Odeon or Essoldo (I forget which) and bunked in the back door when the punters were coming out from the mid day matinee. In those days (yawn)an absolute accessory to all budding pre teen male youth was the inevitable Gat. The Gat was a .177 air pistol that popped a slug out, took ages to load and had to be pressed down hard on the end barrel to reload. I still have scars on my arse from playing cowboys and indians with these things.Never in the face, oh no, never in the face.Lee's particular take on the bunkin in film /Gat formula was that we crawled from the back exits into the empty front stalls, slink down so no-one could see us from behind and fire our Gats at the screen.We sat through the whole film popping away at the screen giggling like fuck as we saw our little holes all over the whiteness. And off we went home. When the lights went on and if you weren't in the first two rows you would never have spotted the holes.I later found out that this was a sort of secret sport and that a few other schoolmates were at it.As I remember we did this on a tuesday afternoon.My father was a regular film goer and he often went to the the cinema in West Ealing,two days after our visit he came back early from one of his film night outings and said "I'd just sat down and a bit of the screen just fell out, like it was eaten by moths, they gave us our money back though."Sometime later my Dad took me to see "Behold a pale horse" at the Hammersmith Odeon, and I honestly felt that he was chasing me down for the screen collapse like the Francoists did Francisco Llopart. Lee Collinson went on to meet up with Wilko Johnson on Canvey Island and Dr Feelgood happened.After an apprenticeship I went to Amsterdam.
Lovely stuff Gitane. I well remember the Gat. Over on the other side of town at my Sec Mod in Leyton, we all had flick knives but I don't think that it would have crossed our minds to stab another human being. "Her indooors" (Drayton Manor Grammer) reckons that their never was a West Ealing Odeon but it was called the Lido, was later denounced as "the ugliest building in West London" and is now a block of flats. What do I know?
Went to some of Wilko's South London pub gigs around 20 years ago. They were bloody excellent gigs. I'm no musician but that man was born to play.
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