Food in the press

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There have been a couple of articles about the Kaleidoscope reissue/companion album in actual physical magazines recently – a 4 page article in DJ Mag (Todd Edwards cover) and a 6 page interview with not only PC and myself but Matt & Jon from Coldcut/Food too in the current issue of Electronic Sound (Drive cover). There was also a 2 page lead review of the album(s) in the previous issue of ES (Field Recording cover) too. Lots of rarely or never before seen pics too.DJ 2 DJ Kal review ES Food 1 ES Food 2 ES Food 3 ES Food 4 ES Food 5 Kal review ES

East Village Other covers pt.2 – Underground Comix edition

p15932coll8_56807_full More pages from the Wisconsin Historical Society G.I. Press Collection of The East Village Other papers I came across, all scanned in high res, (much higher than here). As the 60s heading to a close The Other started featuring a selection of the underground cartoonists of the day, namely Robert Crumb, Vaughn Bodé, Susan Morris, Spain Rodriguez, Kim Dietch and Charles Francis Winans. As well as striking covers, several artists did comic strip ads for Douglas Records and a lot of this art – save for some of the Crumb works – I’ve never seen reprinted elsewhere before.

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East Village Other covers pt.1

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Perusing the Wisconsin Historical Society G.I. Press Collection I came across a stash of East Village Other papers, all scanned in high res, (much higher than here) and started going through them. Here’s a selection of things that caught my eye from the covers and back pages.

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Possibly Susan Morris‘ work above?

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Is that an early Spain Rodriguez inking the figure above? The clouds don’t look like his work but the darker ink work doesp15932coll8_57300_full p15932coll8_57353_fullp15932coll8_18538_full

Grunt Free Press

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I was sent a link to the Wisconsin Historical Society G.I. Press Collection online which is a treasure trove of alternative and free press publications surrounding the US military 1964-1977. One of the best finds was a monthly paper called the Grunt Free Press, full of counterculture news and graphics from the hippy years including colour double page spread posters in the psychedelic style. Here are some of my favourite details.

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Middle Earth flyers part 1.5 – The Magical Mystery Tour

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The full page back cover advert above appeared in the 9th Aug 1968 issue of International Times magazine, promises much and looks like some sort of insane bargain for the princely sum of £3. The idea of the event, as you can read from the text, was to take 3,000 paying punters on a Magical Mystery Tour via a fleet of blacked out buses. 90 minutes later attendees would disembark inside a ‘walled Pleasure Garden’ with deer roaming in the grounds  for 48 hrs of music, mischief and mayhem. Undoubtedly taking its name from The Beatles’ song of the same name released the previous year, there were reportedly the first showings of the film of the same name due to take place but I’ve not been able to confirm this.
The first sign of the impending gig was a small ad in the back of the 12th July 1968 issue of IT with just these words…
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This also seems to coincide with the moment when Middle Earth at the King St. address in Covent Garden moved to The (New) Roundhouse in Chalk Farm with some reports suggesting that this event even took place at that venue. Again this seems to be pure speculation and hardly fits the bill of the advertised ‘lawns and woods within the walls’ plus how would they do a six hour firework show indoors?

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Above is a full colour poster for the event by Hapshash & The Coloured Coat although it’s been credited solely to Michael English too. A version of this image also exists for the First International Pop Festival in Rome earlier the same year, and it appears that the poster may have been over-printed, adding new band names whilst obliterating the original festival name and date. According to Middle Earth club DJ, Jeff Dexter, this was, “put together by Giorgio Gomelsky with Dave Howson from Middle Earth.” I’d speculate that they wanted to add to the promotion for the event with an eye-catching poster at short notice, thinking that few would have seen the Italian festival poster? Hapshash had of course done many posters for both UFO and Middle Earth and were pretty much the premiere poster designers for that era in the UK along with Martin Sharp. If anyone has any further info on this I’d love to know more.

First International Pop Festival
Below are both sides of a poster (or possibly flyer) designed by Ozmosis – who had also assembled the ad at the top of this post plus the smaller flying baby one. I’ve not been able to dig up anything about who Ozmosis were from anywhere –  Jeff Dexter didn’t know, psychedelic poster collector, Peter Golding had heard the name but no more, antique book and magazine seller, Adrian Sclanders of Beatbooks drew a blank and artist and ex-IT arts editor Mike McInnerney hasn’t so far got back to me.Magical Mystery Tour posterMagical Mystery Tour poster back
So what happened? Any eye witness accounts, footage or reviews of the event are missing in action whereas there are plenty for the 14 Hour Technicolour Dream or The Million Volt Light & Sound Rave. You’d think something as ambitious as this would be up there as one of the events of the era? The answer seems to be in a small news piece in the 23rd August 1968 edition of IT. IT_1968-08-23_B-IT-Volume-1_Iss-38_019
Jeff Dexter again, “The Mystery tour never happened due the weather and lack of sales, but there was a quickly put together event by coaches from Covent Garden to a very smart reception space the ‘Baronial Hall’ in the City of London.”
The Doors / Jefferson Airplane gig mentioned here two weeks later has of course passed into legend though…

 

Middle Earth flyers part 1

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Middle Earth was one of the original, late 60s psychedelic clubs in London, coming shortly after The UFO (pronounced You-Fo – Underground Freak Out) club on Tottenham Court Rd. and pitching itself up in King St, Covent Garden. It actually started out as The Electric Garden but after a disastrous opening weekend with completely misjudged vibes, heavy security and bizarre VIP areas, it had a change of name as well as management and became Middle Earth. See below for eye witness details of the opening event – all these clippings taken from the International Times magazine online archive which is an invaluable resource of the times.

IT_1967-06-02_B-IT-Volume-1_Iss-14_012 Middle Earth raided

Middle Earth, an obvious Tolkien reference, John Peel was one of the resident DJs along with Jeff Dexter who would play to the crowd and the dance floor rather than Peel who would play more for the listeners out there. Jeff told me that they would be situated under the lighting rig for the light show until a small booth was built for them out with the stages for the bands to make them more part of the events. A regular track for him was The Lemon Pipers’ ‘Through With You’ apparently, the nearest thing to an anthem for the nights, he liked this because it was nearly 10 minutes long so he could go for a smoke.

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Above, the listing for the re-opening week, I like the way they were closed on the Friday that UFO was on rather than give the impression that they were competing.

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There was no consistent art direction with the adverts featured in IT and most were dictated over the phone and the magazine would come up with the designs for the issue.

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Below right: A benefit for Oz magazine with a ‘sexy Barney Bubbles Light Show’Barney Bubbles being the alias of Colin Fulcher who went on to design so many great sleeves for Hawkwind, Stiff Records and many more. Along with other pioneers like Liquid Len, he got his nickname from doing light shows where he would heat ink and oil under glass clock faces and project it across the club after witnessing this on the hippy scene in San Francisco on a trip to the States.

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One of the mysteries of the Apple Middle Earth 3 Day festival listed above was that it never officially happened, something I’ll cover in another post, but things were changing for the club around this time. Middle Earth was raided repeatedly by the police and was eventually forced to move to another venue, The Roundhouse in Chalk Farm, which I’ll cover in part 2.

UFO Club adverts from International Times magazine

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Recently researching light shows in London around the mid 60s I was perusing the International Times archive online and noticed that the UFO Club had various ‘flyers’ present in each issue around its tenure at the Blarney Club and The Roundhouse during ’66-’67. It’s no surprise as UFO initially gave money to IT and you’ll notice the first event was called Night Tripper / UFO as they couldn’t decide on a name.
There was no format, some had to be decoded and the 27th October ’67 issue featured a piece stating that UFO is Dead! Reading between the lines you can detect some general annoyance that some promised cash flow had been cut off. The final image here maybe or may not be connected but it was on the same page as the club obituary and features lights in the sky.

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There was a posthumous analysis of what killed UFO in IT nearly a year after it closed, comparing the audience’s locations as the popularity grew.

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Rian Hughes’ XX book featured in Electronic Sound

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Very pleased to see Rian Hughes’ new book ‘XX – A Novel, Graphic’ featured so prominently in the new issue of Electronic Sound magazine with a double page of layouts.If you want an idea of what the book’s about then Sci-Fi Now has a very good review.

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The Celestial Mechanic album that I created with Saron Hughes and Robin the Fog soundtrack’s the novel and also gets a mention – you can hear that here https://celestialmechanic.bandcamp.com

Print

 

Infinite Illectrik featured in the new issue of Electronic Sound magazine

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My customized turntable – the Quadraphon as I sometimes call it – is featured in the opening spread of this month’s Electronic Sound magazine including a piece I wrote about it. Once again, the magazine is full of so much it’s hard to know where to start – Suzanne Ciani, Sonic Boom, a tribute to Florian Schneider and a peek inside Neil Arthur’s memorabilia collection as well as tech news, tons of reviews and an exclusive Suzanne Ciani 7″ if you subscribe to the double bundle each month. It’s also still one of the best designed mags on the shelves.

But with a lot of major newsagents and record shops closed they’re relying on subscriptions and mail order right now so if you’ve been meaning to take out a subscription then now’s the time. There are also plenty of back issues and other vinyl in their online shop but those bundles sell out pretty fast.

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Beastie Boys article in Mojo

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I missed this last month but the March 2020 issue of Mojo did a feature on the Beastie Boys circa Paul’s Boutique and has asked me for reminisces from the time as well as a photo from the era. I didn’t realise they’d also asked the Dust Brothers, Bill Alder and Chuck D! pretty weird to see my 18 yr old face in that company, especially as I was a rabid fan at the age and would share a bill with the Boys a decade later on the London date of the Hello Nasty tour.

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And here’s the original that was taken from, my 18/19 yr old self photographed short after spraying the piece in the background on a friend’s bedroom.Kevin Foakes:DJ Food 1988
and around the same time with a hand painted jacket I used to wear in college – note graffiti photo join-ups and copies from Subway Art on the wall, car posters and hanging model aircraft were my brother’s. Bottom right, my first stereo that I learnt to scratch on.

Beastie Boys jacket

Print ads from Scientific American magazine

Industrial TectonicsI was recently sorting out a small book collection for someone and ran across a stash of Scientific American magazines from the 60s. Some of the adverts are just beautiful examples of design, from typewriters to paper, electric and gas suppliers and general engineering companies. The standard is very high, considered and fun, attempting to make the banal interesting. Here are some of my favourite examples.

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The three ads below for Fairchild Semiconductor are double pagers – look at that font!

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The Olivetti ones below are just stunning, there seems to have been so many of these ads throughout the years, enough to make a huge coffee table book easily. I’ve found them in Graphis annuals and architectural magazines before, there must be hundreds, all seemingly different.

Olivetti 2 Olivetti 3 Olivetti 4 Olivetti equation Public Service Gas & Electric RCA flower I love the little illustrations at the bottom of these Riegel papers ads, they are small sidebar ads near the back of the magazine so I’ve lumped them together in one image.

Riegel Tech Paper 5 UpJohn

Electronic Sound issue 51

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Hats off to Electronic Sound magazine for their next issue cover, the best looking (and smelling) magazine about electronic music celebrates all that is European. For anyone outside the UK reading this, the UK has descended into madness, more than half of us don’t want to leave the European Union, and most of the British people never gave it a second thought until a minority of Tory MPs decided that the new EU tax laws would threaten their bank balances thus forcing a weak Prime Minister’s hand into calling an advisory referendum on something few fully understood, either inside or outside of Parliament. The British people have been duped by the 1% and the right wing press while the supposed ‘opposition’ party has done anything but. Two days after we leave is April 1st – April Fool’s Day in the UK – but our country has become an international joke, due to lose much more than we would ever gain by leaving the EU. Rant over

Dig magazine

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Dig magazine is a new mini magazine that will fit in your pocket (perfect to take to the record shop) full of esoteric info and ones to watch for from a selection of fine DJs. Mr Thing, DJ Format, Mr Krum, Si Spex, Susanslegpolicy and more all spill the beans on a curio from their collection including anecdotes, info and cover images and there’s even a URL at the end so that you can preview said tracks in an online mix. It comes in a neat stickered sleeve that makes it look like a milk crate which the (ironically) CD-sized mag slips inside, waiting to be dug into.

Dig contents

Oh yeah, and some chancer called Strictly Kev has a page in it too, you can order it for £3.50 here…

Dig Format:Food

Frank Zappa advert + poster collages Pt.1

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Lately I’ve been studying the collage art of Frank Zappa and Cal Schenkel from the Mothers of Invention albums. On reading up on this material, including a long interview with Schenkel, I realised that Zappa himself seems to have done a lot of the artwork for the first two Mothers albums, ‘Freak Out’ and ‘Absolutely Free’, with Cal coming in at the end of the latter and doing some of the adverts. What you see below is – as far as I can tell – is mostly the work of Zappa who was a pretty decent visual artist in his own right is seems.

* Also see part 2 of this post for more!

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An ‘official New of the Mothers’ would occasionally get printed in the LA Free Press, below is the first one, a four page digest that includes a poster for a forthcoming gig.

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Freak Out newspaper poster Freak Out Off news Oct Freak Out Off news Oct2

Some variations on gig posters
Freak Out poster blue Freak Out poster red

Collage made to illustrate an interview in a music magazine

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The original paste up for an advert / flyer
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British Underground Press of the Sixties at the A22 Gallery

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Just opened at the A22 Gallery in Clerkenwell is an exhibition supporting the British Underground Press of the Sixties book by Barry Miles and James Birch that collects the covers to all (big claim I know) the major magazines of the late 60s and 70s together. The exhibition features much more than just the magazines though with archive posters, badges, promo material and memorabilia collected together in a mass of psychedelic colour and badly registered print.

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Oz, International Times, Frendz, Gandalf’s Garden, Black Dwarf, Ink, cOzmic Comics and more all feature and it’s a wonder to behold. Some of the covers verge on pornographic and serve to remind of more anarchic and sometimes unsavoury times. The book is spectacular, highly recommended at £35 from Rocket 88 and is also available at the gallery with a deluxe edition containing vintage copies of original undergrounds for a silly money price too.

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Electronic Sound issue 33

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The latest issue of Electronic Sound magazine is a cracker, a huge interview with Gary Numan, an appraisal of Trevor Key’s artwork and an opening page by me, showing the final Rite of Mu with The JAMs that happened in Liverpool recently. You can also get a great remix of Numan’s ‘My Name Is Ruin’ by Meat Beat Manifesto on 7″ if you buy the bundle direct from their website.

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Franco Grignani at the Estorick Collection of Italian Art

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There’s not much to say about this post really, I’ve posted about Franco Grignani before, quite recently. The Italian designer has been featured in a couple of exhibitions in London this year, the second of which has just opened. Just look at these images and then go and see this wonderful artist’s work, it’s on display at the Estorick Collection of Italian Art on Canonbury Sq. in London. The simplicity and precision of execution is simply breathtaking.

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