The Sohemian Society proudly presents
two more humdingers coming your way.

Next Wednesday (April 17) Gary Lachman takes us
on 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)


I Belonged to the Blank Generation:
Blondie, CBGB, and NYC in the 1970s

A talk by Gary Lachman

Upstairs at: The Wheatsheaf
25 Rathbone Place, North Soho
(off Oxford Street, nearest tube: Tottenham Court Road)

Entrance: £4

As 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'.

A 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.

His 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.

Gary 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.

He's 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.



Speaker: Sean O'Connor

This event will take place at:
The King and Queen
1 Foley Street, W1
(on corner with Cleveland Street)

Entrance: £4

In the summer of 1946, the sadistic murders of the charming but deadly ex-RAF playboy Neville Heath shocked post-war Britain to the core.

Heath’s 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.

Against 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.


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