Saturday, 22 July 2017

The Magazine for Modern Young Men

As the BBC continues its month-long celebration Gay Britannia, with plays, films, documentaries and discussions all to mark the 50th anniversary of the partial decriminalisation of male homosexuality in Britain, so the ever-marvellous John Coulthart's Feuilleton takes a look at a long-forgotten remnant of those days, the esoteric Jeremy magazine...
...a short-lived publication launched in the UK in 1969. The magazine is notable not for the quality of its contents - which seem slight considering the high cover price of six shillings - but for being the first British magazine aimed at an audience of gay men that wasn’t porn, a dating mag or a political tract. I had planned to write something about Jeremy at least two years ago... but detailed information about the magazine’s history is hard to find.

The anniversary of the change in the law has prompted a number of exhibitions and events devoted to Britain’s gay history but little of that history ever seems to travel beyond academic circles unless a notable life story - Quentin Crisp or Alan Turing, say - is involved. As with so many aspects of British culture, the conversation is dominated by America: the main campaigning organisation in the UK, Stonewall, is named after an American riot; the LGBT initialism is an American invention, as is the rainbow flag (the latter, as I’ve said before, being fine as a flag but - with its multiple colours - hopeless as a symbol). More Britons will know the name Harvey Milk than they do Edward Carpenter (1844–1929) or Allan Horsfall (1927–2012) even though Carpenter and Horsfall devoted years of their lives campaigning for gay men to be treated equally under the law in the Britain. Horsfall’s Campaign for Homosexual Equality pioneered the push for gay rights in Britain, the first official meeting taking place in Manchester in 1964. The Sexual Offences Act of 1967 seemed in later years like a poor compromise but when the alternative being offered was celibacy or the risk of a prison sentence it was a start...
..and, it would seem, an important part in this momentous history was played by Jeremy!

Read more of this fascinating article

Sunday, 16 July 2017

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Undead, undead, undead

One of the sexiest photos ever

"Yes. I guess it's the foolish romantic in me, but you see, I don’t think that sex is my muse."

"We are artists. We must not be so dependent on others' reactions. It must always remain as a very intense, passionate and artistic experience, when one makes anything, whether it's a painting, a book or a record."

"I consider my music to be non-fashion-orientated... not restricted by the time and the fashion and the musical environment of that particular year that it was released. It has a much longer, lasting effect."

"When you’re the ‘grandfather of goth’, you have to keep at least partway in the shadows."

The beauteous and talented Mr Pete Murphy of Bauhaus is - gulp - 60 years old today!

And by way of a fitting tribute, here's possibly one of my all-time favourite video "mash-ups"...

...and, of course, that opening sequence from The Hunger:

Peter John Joseph Murphy (born 11th July 1957)

Sunday, 9 July 2017

Living in colour

"The mind is the limit. As long as the mind can envision the fact that you can do something, you can do it, as long as you really believe 100 percent."

"The moment you cheat for the sake of beauty, you know you're an artist."

"I prefer living in colour."

"Smoking calms me down. It's enjoyable. I don't want politicians deciding what is exciting in my life."

"Laugh a lot. It clears the lungs."

"I do do a lot of talking, because it saves me listening."

Happy 80th birthday, David Hockney, OM, CH, RA (born 9th July 1937)

Saturday, 1 July 2017

Friday, 30 June 2017

The blues walked in and met me

"My identity is very clear to me now. I am a black woman, I'm not alone, I'm free. I no longer have to be a credit, I don't have to be a symbol to anybody, I don't have to be a first to anybody. I don't have to be an imitation of a white woman that Hollywood sort of hoped I'd become. I'm me, and I'm like nobody else."

Another day, another centenary to celebrate!

Today - following in the footsteps of such luminaries as Jane Wyman, Desi Arnaz, Helen Forrest, Hans Conreid, Dame Vera Lynn, Frankie Howerd and of course, her compatriot Ella Fitzgerald - it is the turn of Miss Lena Horne...

Not content with being sidelined as a black performer and actress throughout the tumultuous and decidedly bigoted early 20th century in the USA, Miss Horne (inspired by her grandmother, who was an early member of the National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People (NAACP)) resisted the "colour bar" that threatened to block her career, and instead forged her own pioneering place in the limelight.

She was the first black woman to land a leading-lady contract in Hollywood, she refused to play to segregated audiences throughout the War and beyond, and emerged as one of America's foremost cabaret artistes and popular entertainers - eventually gaining accolades as a jazz singer. Like many of her contemporaries, she was actively involved in the civil rights movement in the 1960s, and remained a vocal supporter of equality throughout her career.

She remains one of our all-time favourite vocalists, not least for her sublime renditions of such classics as Honeysuckle Rose, I Got It Bad And That Ain't Good, Old Devil Moon and myriad others. But of course, here's her "theme song", the one for which she will always be remembered - Stormy Weather:

Lena Mary Calhoun Horne (30th June 1917 - 9th May 2010)

Friday, 23 June 2017

Conversation pieces

"I can wear a hat or take it off, but either way it's a conversation piece." Hedda Hopper

Royal Ascot Ladies' Day 2017 was a colourful affair, as ever.

With Chelsea Flower Show a distant memory, and Henley Regatta and Wimbledon just around the corner - the Season is halfway through already.

Must grab some more Bolly, sweetie!

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

It's Mid-Summer...

...and it's the fifth day in a row with temperatures above 30C!

Don't forget your fan!!

The Language of Fans

Summer solstice

Saturday, 17 June 2017


...Dame Julie Walters...

...Dame June Whitfield...

... and Dame Olivia de Havilland!

Magnificence abounds.

HM The Queen's Birthday Honours

Friday, 16 June 2017

Weekend glamour

To celebrate his 90th birthday year, a grand exhibition of the life and work of the fabulous Hubert De Givenchy has opened just across the water in Calais.

Featuring dresses he made for such icons as Audrey Hepburn, Jacqueline Kennedy and the Duchess of Windsor, the Hubert de Givenchy exhibition will run to 31st December at the Museum of Lace and Fashion in Calais.