Whilst DJ obsessives in this country could tell you the minutia with regards to New York’s celebrated club culture of the ’70s, I’m often surprised to find that they know precious little about what was happening here in the UK at the same time David Mancuso, Nicky Siano, Larry Levan and the other NY legends of the ’70s were bringing Disco to the fore. Maybe they think that there wasn’t much happening here, and that UK DJs were simply following the US lead, whilst, to the contrary, nothing could be further from the truth – go back into the ’70s, before Disco hit its stride, and you’ll find hugely influential figures including Ian Levine, Colin Curtis and Les Spaine in the North, Chris Hill, Bob Jones and George Power in the South – DJs with a wealth of knowledge between them, who made their mark on popular culture here at root level. These are giants, upon the shoulders of which subsequent generations of British DJs stand, whether they know it or not.
One of the world’s most celebrated clubs, The Haçienda in Manchester, opened 30 years ago today, on Friday May 21st 1982. In June 2007, a little after the 25th anniversary, the inimitable Manchester-based writer / musician, John Robb, author of books including ‘The North Will Rise Again: Manchester Music City 1976-1996’ (2009), ‘The Stone Roses And The Resurrection Of British Pop’ (1996) and ‘Punk Rock: An Oral History’ (2006), did a short interview with me about the club’s legacy:
Alan Moore remains a constant source of inspiration, and since my last post referring to his work, ‘The Masked Movement’ (https://blog.gregwilson.co.uk/2011/12/the-masked-movement/), I’ve read some more of his books, as well as listened to numerous interviews courtesy of the wonderful world of YouTube.
I started writing this before I headed off on my travels to Hong Kong, Australia, New Zealand and back to Australia again (concluded on my return home, having made notes along the way). I’ve been very preoccupied with time, or, to be more precise, the lack of it – this is where my head was at:
Before I headed off on tour I pulled out my recently acquired copy of Bob Dylan’s autobiography ‘Chronicles: Volume One’ (2004), which I’d specifically earmarked for this trip. However, on my connecting flight from Manchester to London I realised that rather than packing it in my hand baggage, as intended, I must have put it in my suitcase, so, with my luggage checked through to Hong Kong, when I arrived at Heathrow I went into WH Smith to see if I could find something else to read on the journey. I was really looking forward to the Dylan book, so, when I saw it on the shelf I decided to get another copy, and pass the spare one on somewhere along the way.
“I suppose when I was writing V For Vendetta I would in my secret heart of hearts have thought: wouldn’t it be great if these ideas actually made an impact? So when you start to see that idle fantasy intrude on the regular world… It’s peculiar. It feels like a character I created 30 years ago has somehow escaped the realm of fiction.” – Alan Moore 2011
“In my work as an author, I traffic in fiction, I do not traffic in lies.”
Thanks to Vinz on the Brownswood forum I came across this fascinating illustration of how nothing created is truly original. Looking at music, film, literature, science and technology, ‘Everything is a Remix’ is a four part series of visual online shorts produced by Kirby Ferguson, a New York-based filmmaker. The first three instalments are currently available to view, with the final part coming soon:
Further to the two recent posts below, relating to my latest obsession, just wanted to round things up on the Watchmen front.
Further to the recent post – ‘All Along The Watchmen’: