Sohemian Society proudly presents
two more humdingers coming your way.
Wednesday (April 17) Gary Lachman takes us
a trip back to 70s counter-cultural New York.
Then on April 25, we're
off to sinister post-war London with Sean O'Connor
and his biography on murderer, and inspiration for Patrick Hamilton's Gorse stories,
Neville Cleverly Heath (see far below)
Gary Valentine, Gary Lachman was a founding member of the rock group Blondie.
From 1975 to 1977, he was bassist and guitarist with the group and wrote their
early hits 'X-Offender' and '(I'm Always Touched by Your) Presence, Dear'.
regular at CBGB, Max's Kansas City, and other Manhattan watering holes, he rubbed
elbows with and bummed cigarettes from characters like Patti Smith, Richard Hell,
David Bowie, Lou Reed, the Ramones, Talking Heads, William Burrougs, Iggy Pop
and, of course, Debbie Harry. In 1996-97, he took part in the Blondie re-union
and in 2006 he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
book New York Rocker: My Life in the Blank Generation (2002) charts his
adventures in this rocked out, poetry laden, art encrusted, and sex and drug filled
scene, and portrays a legendary NYC that no longer exists, in all its filth and
squalid glory. The East Village and Bowery were the birthplace of what was later
called 'punk', but the NY version had more to do with Warhol, Fellini and Rimbaud
than safety pins and spit. Gary will talk about his life in the Blank Generation,
what was unique about the poetry enriched music of the time, and what being part
of an honest-to-goodness cultural movement was about. Bring your sunglasses.
Lachman is the author of more than a dozen books on the meeting ground between
culture, consciousness and the occult, including Turn Off Your Mind: The Mystic
Sixties and the Dark Side of the Age of Aquarius, A Secret History of Consciousness,
and most recently Madame Blavatsky: The Mother of Modern Spirituality.
But in an earlier life he was a rock and roller, playing with Blondie, Iggy Pop,
and his own bands the Know and Fire Escape.
written on the NY/CBGB scene for Mojo and The Guardian and on the links
between the occult and underground for a number of journals, including an essay
for the BFI box set of Kenneth Anger's films. He lectures regularly in London
and Europe and his music is in the forthcoming CBGB film.
HANDSOME BRUTE - THE STORY
OF A LADYKILLER
Speaker: Sean O'Connor
This event will take place at:
The King and Queen
corner with Cleveland Street)
the summer of 1946, the sadistic murders of the charming but deadly ex-RAF playboy
Neville Heath shocked post-war Britain to the core.
crimes both horrified and fascinated a hungry and exhausted nation in a state
of flux. Details of the killings made grisly headlines in the tabloids, spawning
a number of sensationalised accounts that later influenced Alfred Hitchcock and
the novelist Patrick Hamilton.
the backdrop of a society in flux, a culture at a moment of change, how much is
Heath's case symptomatic, or indeed, emblematic of the age he lived in? Handsome
Brute is both an examination of the age of austerity, and a real-life thriller
as shocking and provocative as American Psycho or The Killer Inside
Me, exploring the perspectives of the women in Heath's life - his wife, his
mother, his lovers - and his victims.
Copies of Handsome Brute
will be on sale on the night.