Tag Archives: assault

➤ Wise-cracking Sallon shimmies back onto London’s party scene

Philip Sallon, Alice Shaw, Mare Moto,

A frock to shock: nightlife entrepreneur Philip Sallon adds a diamante sparkle to Alice Shaw’s birthday dinner. Photograph by Alice

❚ LOOK WHO’S OUT ON THE TOWN! Here’s the first picture of the flamboyant Philip Sallon — a supernova in London’s nightlife firmament— since his three-week stay in hospital following a horrendous assault two months ago which left him unconscious on the pavement at Piccadilly Circus. He is pictured at the Chelsea restaurant Mare Moto where his close friend Alice Shaw was celebrating her birthday with a dinner last week. Alice reports: “He’s still treading carefully… Considering what he’s been through, he’s making remarkable progress. Philip suffered quite a major trauma, so it will be some time before he recovers fully.”

In that snazzy diamanté party frock (on the exclusive Primark label complete with an off-the-shoulder McDonald’s name badge), the veteran host of the 80s Mud club looks as sharp as rhinestone. On Tuesday Rusty Egan bumped into him at the London Club and Bar Awards where, he says, Sallon “cracked at least 10 cheesy jokes — so I think he’s back!”

In the early hours of April 2 Sallon was thrown to the ground in a “martial arts move” outside Ripley’s Believe It or Not exhibition and had his skull fractured by a young thug. Alice and friends started campaigning to find Sallon’s assailant by setting up the Facebook page, Supporting Philip Sallon. Then two weeks after the attack they staged a Soho walkabout at the same time of night and this resulted in a witness giving a “very detailed description” of the suspect, said Detective Chief Inspector Mick Forteath of the Metropolitan Police. They are looking for a man aged about 20 who is approximately 6ft (1.8m) tall with an athletic build. He has broad shoulders and short black hair, and was wearing a tight, short-sleeved T-shirt which may be blue or light coloured, as well as blue jeans and black trainers.

Philip Sallon, Benjamin Till, police appeal,

A fortnight after Sallon’s attack: campaigners led here by composer Benjamin Till (centre) gather at Piccadilly Circus before seeking witnesses during a Soho walkabout. Photograph by Michael Peacock

After a brief conversation by the traffic lights outside Ripley’s, this man attacked Philip Sallon who was later found unconscious on the opposite side of Shaftesbury Avenue outside the exhibition. The suspect had made off up Coventry Street towards Leicester Square. Today, however, the Met said no arrests have been made in connection with this incident. Mick Forteath still urges anyone who is reluctant to contact the police to do so.

Sallon says he remembers little of the attack. “It was a severe blow to the head. From leaving home I remember nothing. It could have been some stranger who lashes out and just hates queers. But I also can’t rule out other possibilities.”

❏ If you have information about Philip Sallon’s assault on Saturday April 2 at about 3:15am, contact Westminster Serious Violence Team on 0207 321 9315, ref 65 1803/11, or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. No personal details are taken, information is not traced or recorded and you will not go to court.

Philip Sallon, Boy George, Twitpic

UPDATE JUNE 17: Hahahahahaha. Here’s the latest photo via Boy George’s TwitPics. Philip Sallon back on form — upholstered as a Regency armchair. You can’t convince us that little knock on the head in April has done him any harm at all. Hahahaha.

➢ View video of Philip Sallon being his usual self

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2010 ➤ Ex-jailbird George takes his first trancey steps on the path to sainthood

Boy George, 2010, Amazing Grace, Ana Lains

Breakfast outing: Boy George’s comeback on GMTV with Ana Lains, March 24, 2010

❚ THE SON OF A BOXING CLUB MANAGER, camp, skinny, loud-mouthed George O’Dowd was one of the most towering egos among the original Blitz Kids in the London of 1979. He famously worked as cloakroom attendant at the Blitz club where he has since happily admitted “rifling through pockets and handbags” while he was about it. His catchphrase was “Buy us a drink, then.” If you declined, or somebody otherwise offended him, he was likely to unleash all the vitriol his tongue could muster, on friend and foe alike. If they stood up to him and lashed back verbally, he occasionally awarded them an ounce of respect.

Because he was younger than many, he was virtually the last out of the Blitz stable to put together a band and win a recording contract in 1982. It was then a slow burn before Culture Club eventually hit No 1 with Do You Really Want to Hurt Me? in the UK and No 2 the next year in the US.

They soon became one of Britain’s international “pure-pop” supergroups with a blue-eyed reggae sound led by Boy George’s impressively soulful voice. The band won a Grammy in 1984. At his peak, George was Britain’s second most globally recognisable fashion icon after Princess Di. At home his unthreatening brand of androgyny had endeared him to mainstream audiences and he made himself every grannie’s favourite popstar with his line about liking “a nice cup of tea” in preference to sex. It was nevertheless a long time before he confirmed the obvious: that he was gay.

Boy George, 1987, Gabor Scott

“Junkie George”: Gabor Scott’s © 1987 photograph

The glory was all over effectively by the third album.

George was developing heroin addiction and his romance with drummer Jon Moss fell apart. Grim headlines recorded the deaths of two friends from drugs and before long the tabloids reckoned that “Junkie George” had eight weeks to live. Culture Club broke up in 1986 and the singer’s life swung between unedifying extremes as it pretty much went off the rails for the next 20 years.

These were defined substantially by his drug habits, precipitating repeated encounters with the law, a community service sentence sweeping the streets of Manhattan, and the non-release of many new recordings. He turned instead to deejaying. One small highlight came in 1995 at the ripe old age of 34 with publication of his, for many people, shockingly frank autobiography, Take It Like a Man. This week he admitted: “Nowadays I probably would have said less. The new me would not have gone as far as I did.”

His fortunes hit their lowest ebb last year when he was sentenced to 15 months in jail “for falsely imprisoning a male escort by handcuffing him to a wall and beating him with a metal chain,” as reported in The Guardian. “The judge told the 47-year-old former Culture Club front man, whose real name is George O’Dowd, he had left the escort ‘shocked, degraded and traumatised’ by the ordeal… Passing sentence… Judge David Radford said the singer’s offence was ‘so serious that only an immediate sentence of imprisonment can be justified’.” After four months, George was released on home detention curfew wearing an electronic tag.

None of which was recycled of course in this week’s principal TV interviews as he returned to the commercial pop spotlight with a new dancetrack, Amazing Grace, the first release by a new label, Decode Records. They have boosted George’s vocals with luminous support from Portuguese singer Ana Lains.

Boy George, 2006, 2009

ID parade: George on community service, New York 2006; before being jailed in Britain, 2009, and on the day of his release. Credits: Splash News, Pacific Coast News, Rex Features

In a cosy breakfast sofa chat for GMTV today, there were chill echoes of those other insouciant jailbirds, the former politicians Jeffrey Archer and Jonathan Aitken, when George showed little sign of remorse for the offences that landed him in jail. Neither did the airhead presenter Lorraine Kelly raise the issue. At least in his grilling by CNN viewers online somebody called Hillary asked: “What do you think the meaning of your life is?”

Later on Monday, George did allow one glimpse of reflection onscreen: “The biggest change for me in past two years was getting sober. I went into prison sober, with a completely clear head, in a very Zen frame of mind. I was a totally different person by the time I went to prison. It was a challenge. I discovered it was like being back at school.”

On the genesis of Amazing Grace, he said: “The song is about realising I have the best job in world. In my life there have been so many moments when I’ve been in amazing places and haven’t really been there because I’ve been arguing with someone. I’ve been at the Taj Mahal or the Grand Canyon having a row about something really petty. So what I try to do now is be present in everything I do, however mundane or however exciting… It’s also about searching for some sort of grace. It’s a spiritual song.”

There’s hope yet, then. Might we expect George, born into the Catholic Church, to follow the path of the saintly Aitken by discovering one god or another and some contrition? Let us all pray.

Boy George performs his comeback single, Amazing Grace, this morning on GMTV… and beforehand George talks about his future
At CNN on Monday George reflected on reinventing himself
before and after jail
Ladypat’s trippy video of Boy George’s Amazing Grace, featuring Ana Lains

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Boy George calls the press ‘sanctimonious’! What can a remorseless thug expect?

Nick Duerden in The Independent this April gets the measure of the man jailed for assault on a younger man: “One thing he didn’t do inside jail was ponder the crime that had landed him inside in the first place. ‘No I didn’t. Why? Was I supposed to?’ ”

Patrick Strudwick on the vile diminishing of Boy George’s crime (The Guardian last December): “We still cannot seem to take crimes of sex and violence against men seriously. The response of the authorities to female victims of rape and domestic violence is often lacking. The response of the public to male victims is one of disbelief, apathy and even humour.”

Which spurs us to reread Alan Franks’ very thorough interview from The Times last October: “What should he feel about the crime that got him jailed? Remorse, surely. Isn’t that what we want to hear before we too can move on from it? The good humour vanishes from his eyes and he says tartly: ‘I’m not going to talk about that.’ ”

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