Tag Archives: 2012

➤ Dan Stern keeps an eye on the street in London Fashion Week

❚ DAN STERN, A STYLE-WISE OLD OWL from the 80s, was described by his pal at LSE Robert Elms as “always a pioneer” in his book The Way We Wore. These days Stern has been making a new life as the lensman behind the year-old photoblog, Street Fashion Monitor. He claims it is “the next generation of online fashion monitoring, combining the immediacy of street style blogging with the search facility of subscription-based trend forecasting services”. Your search can be refined simultaneously by choosing from 200 categories that include the prevailing weather and accessories such as walking canes and eye patches.

Here we see some of his images of the Pam Hogg and KTZ collections shown in London Fashion Week which seek to fulfil his maxim, which is also that of Jean Paul Gaultier: “Clothes are only interesting when they are on a body in motion.” Stern believes he offers “a real insight into what people do once they purchase the garments to make them their own”.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

➢ View more London Fashion Week pix at Street Fashion Monitor

FRONT PAGE

➤ Johnny Marr takes his own personal flight to the moon — on his new Fender

+++

Johnny Marr, Signature Jaguar, Fender,guitars

Take me to the moon: Marr with his new Signature Jaguar

❚ YES, THIS IS ONE MASSIVE product plug but, wow, Johnny makes it also sound like a mighty love affair. From his fame with The Smiths, Johnny Marr is indisputably the maestro of the UK rock guitar sound of the 80s. Today on his blog he introduces his own bespoke guitar, the Johnny Marr Signature Jaguar, which he has spent years developing with Fender, the Arizona instrument maker.

This 14-minute video amounts to a low-key masterclass by one of the all-time greats in his field. In a play-through of all the Jag’s functions and switches, Johnny details what goes into customising a guitar to meet the individual musician’s needs. He has dealt with each little niggle that has irritated him over the years, the biggest being the jazz switch, he says, which was prone to being thrown at the wrong moment.

Johnny concludes: “For someone who’s grown up from being a little boy thinking that guitars are the greatest object in the world bar none, to have designed your own is a little bit like designing the spaceship that went to the moon.”

His verdict: “It sounds like I’m supposed to sound, I think.”

➢ Read more at Johnny Marr’s blog

➢ Every detailed spec of Johnny’s instrument a guitar geek
could want

Johnny Marr, signature Jaguar ,Fender , Guitarist magazine,Bill Puplett ,John Moore ➢ In issue 351 of Guitarist magazine — “We sit down with Johnny, his tech Bill Puplett and designer John Moore to discuss what makes the Johnny Marr Signature Jaguar so different”

➢ Another video interview from 2007 as Johnny Marr discusses his penchant for 1963 Stratocasters (and why he called his son Nile)

FRONT PAGE

2012 ➤ Moss misses Culture Club’s new dawn in Australia

Culture Club, Jon Moss, reunion, Boy George, TV interview, Sunrise

TV scoop November 15: Culture Club announced their reunion on Sunrise, yet Jon Moss seemed distinctly uncomfortable. (Videograb © Channel 7)

❚ THE 80s REUNION OF THE NEW YEAR had been long touted and sceptically doubted. Yet suddenly on November 15 Australia’s number one breakfast show Sunrise on Channel 7 had a world exclusive: the 80s supergroup Culture Club were reforming to play live at the New Year’s Eve celebrations on Glebe Island right in Sydney harbour. That week Shapersofthe80s reported the amazing news. There on video we saw all four members of the chart-topping band with their vocalist Boy George sporting his powder blue Treacy hat, squeezed into a tiny studio in London.

Culture Club, Roy Hay, Jon Moss, reunion, concert,Boy George, Mikey Craig , Sydney, Glebe Island, But everybody’s body language looked awkward, not helped by the satellite link causing long silences in the London-Oz conversation. Once each member spoke up, however, they seemed able to laugh at themselves, including drummer and onetime lover of George, Jon Moss now married and aged 54, who attended George’s last birthday party with his wife. All three were papped there in a smiling embrace.

In the Sunrise interview, however, Jon wore a wearisome expression as he sat behind George, like some jaded husband who’s heard the wife making promises a million times before. And when asked why it had taken ten years to get together, Jon fessed up that “It takes that long to recover from the last time we worked with each other”. Nobody laughed, only averted their eyes. This might of course have been Jon being his usual sardonic self. Or, even then, he might have been suffering the terrible back pain which it is said has laid him low since Christmas .

In the event, on Tuesday as George watched the in-flight movie Senna aboard the plane out of London and tweeted “OMG, he was a beauty & so sweet”, Jon Moss was not beside him. When Culture Club stopped over to play a warm-up gig at the Tennis Stadium in Dubai, Jon was not at his drumkit, nor did he appear in Australia. A brief announcement before Culture Club took the stage in Sydney just after midnight on Jan 1 amounts to all the public has been told: Jon was stuck in London with a bad back, apparently a slipped disc. A sharp-eyed fan in the US called Gloria recalls that George tweeted about this on December 30. He said: “Jon is very unwell sadly. He was too poorly to travel. He’s gutted, so are we!”

Culture Club, Roy Hay, Jon Moss, reunion, Boy George, Mikey Craig , Dubai Tennis Stadium,live concert

Culture Club’s warm-up gig in Dubai Dec 29: while the poster includes Jon Moss, only Boy George, Mikey Craig and Roy Hay take to the stage with a stand-in drummer. (Videograb courtesy boypierreemmanuel)

Fans naturally started to ask what’s really up behind the scenes? Old friends initially suspected a classic attack with a hatpin, harking back to the old feuding of the 80s. But talk within Culture Club circles this week confirms that Jon has suffered an authentic injury and is due to go into hospital for treatment. The camaraderie between George, Jon, Roy and Mikey is reported to have been rekindled and rehearsals actually enjoyable and relaxed enough for whoever is around to join in with the writing. At band dinners in Dubai and Sydney there was agreement that the two shows had gone well. George was being particularly sociable with everyone after hours, rather than doing his own thing as in the old days.

All the more surprising then that George hasn’t offered Jon any further sympathy on Twitter or Facebook. Nor have we heard anything about Jon’s health expressed publicly. OK, there doesn’t seem to be an active official website for Culture Club as a band, but George’s own website has stayed schtum too. Amid George’s continual tweeting during the round trip (which included a bleat about a hotel charging $8 to deliver coffee to his room), the only reference to the show itself said: “I had such a great time tonight in Sydney. A very memorable NYE, with Neil Tennant from PSBs.”

Seven words spring to mind: Do you really want to hurt me?

Culture Club, Jon Moss, reunion, Boy George, Twitter,Neil Tennant, Sydney,live concert
One other interview during December gave a glimpse inside Culture Club family relations. With George sitting on ITV’s This Morning sofa [video below] plugging his £500 coffee-table photobook, Philip Schofield and Holly Willoughby quizzed him about the infamous Culture Club split back in 1986, and the 10-year gap since the band’s last reformation.

George said: “We never really ‘fell-out’ fell out. It was more personality things. It was never financial because they’re the worst fall-outs when people fall out financially, that’s hard to come back from. But we never had any of that stuff. It was just childish stuff… What’s funny about bands is it’s a bit like being in a dysfunctional family — and people don’t change. What happens is you change the way you react to people. The thing about being grown up. ‘That annoys me but I’m just going to take a walk’ — ‘I’m not going to tell you that that annnoys me.’ You have to learn to be tolerant.”

Make of that what you can!

THREE-MAN CULTURE CLUB PLAYING DUBAI DEC 29

… AND IN SYDNEY JANUARY 1

Culture Club, Roy Hay, Kevan Frost,reunion, Boy George,  Sydney, Glebe Island, live concert,

Culture Club live in Sydney 2012: Kevan Frost substituting for Jon Moss on drums. Photo courtesy samesame.com.au

❏ Standing in for Jon Moss as drummer in both Dubai and Sydney was Kevan Frost whose credits as a collaborator with George go back to the 90s, so the music was familiar territory for him. Prominent onstage, too, was the familiar bearded figure of John Themis on guitar, another long-standing co-writer and producer during George’s years as a solo performer. Also onstage, keyboard player, percussionist, four brass and three backing singers.

Culture Club, Roy Hay, live concert,John Themis, reunion, Boy George,Sydney, Glebe Island

Culture Club live in Sydney 2012: Roy Hay and John Themis. Photo courtesy cyberchameleon.com

Culture Club, reunion, Boy George, Mikey Craig , Sydney, Glebe Island, live concert

Culture Club live in Sydney 2012: Mikey Craig photographed by Johnny Au

ALSO LIVE ON THE SYDNEY NEW YEAR’S EVE BILL

+++

➢ More NYE pix at The Music Network

FRONT PAGE