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Author Archives: Paul

And talking of Joe Andrews…..

…..Joe’s Basement was underneath the Las Vegas amusement arcade on Wardour Street. The Las Vegas was a very seamy place, typical of 1980s Soho. Filled with pinball machines and early video games, it was where forlorn young rent boys met their seedy middle-aged clients. “Keep out of there, cat!” Joe warned me in typically forthright […]

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Joseph Andrews.

There’s been much talk this week about Albert Finney’s breakthrough role in Tom Jones. This reminded me of Joseph Andrews, Henry Fielding’s other famous novel. And this reminded me of Gypsy Joe Andrews, who ran a photographic lab in Wardour Street called Joe’s Basement. In my first job, I went there practically every day. Thin, […]

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The original Banksy.

RIP Gordon Banks, England’s 1966 World Cup-winning goalkeeper, who died yesterday. Arguably the greatest keeper this country has ever produced, he was one of those rare people for whom nobody had a bad word. Banks is best remembered for the “Save of the Century” against Brazil in 1970 (1:15 on this clip), when England had […]

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Without Albert Finney, there’d have been no Delilah.

Albert Finney, one of our greatest actors, died yesterday, aged 82. He rose to fame in the early 60s, around the same time as a young singer named Tommy Woodward was struggling in the working men’s clubs around South Wales. In 1963, Finney starred in Tom Jones, based on Henry Fielding’s bawdy 18th century novel. […]

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An actual hero.

I’m talking about Don McCullin, the world’s most celebrated war photographer. But in a harrowingly illustrious sixty-year career, he has proved himself to be so much more than that, both as a photographer and as a human being. All I can say is watch the BBC Four documentary Don McCullin: Looking for England while it’s […]

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I wull hont you doyne and I wull kull you.

So said Liam Neeson in that famous speech from Taken. Neeson is now in big trouble for remarks he made while displaying a similar desire for vengeance in real life. He revealed that, armed with a cosh, he went looking for any “black bastard” because a man with dark skin had raped a friend of […]

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The day the music died.

Was sixty years ago yesterday when Buddy Holly perished in an air crash aged just 22. At an age when most kids are just leaving “uni”, he’d pretty much invented popular music and become the most influential artist of all time. The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, The Who and Led Zeppelin all cite […]

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Too much? Too old?

A huge fuss is being made about The Specials releasing their first new album for 37 years. I loved The Specials. They were the original 2-Tone band, ska revivalists who defined a young, fresh, multi-racial, predominantly working-class scene in the late 70s and 80s. But I’m not quite sure why they’ve done this. The new […]

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How to feel really old.

Bring to mind your earliest memory of Top of the Pops: The Beatles doing Get Back on the roof of the Apple Building in Savile Row. Be reminded all week that this impromptu gig took place exactly fifty years ago. Think about Paul McCartney having been one of the most famous people in the world […]

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Springsteen on Broadway.

I love Bruce Springsteen. But paradoxically, I’ve never liked his music. I know that sounds odd but I bet I’m not alone. He is, without question, a genuine rock icon and a phenomenal live performer. However, I was always put off going to see him by his cult-like fans, treating every gig like a quasi-religious […]

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