Pose With Wine

Bit of a gap in my diary, but I’m back now. So what have I been up to?

I’ve just written the phrase, ‘days of wine and poses’ by way of a response and as a title for the entry. Then I realised it’s the Wrong Kind Of Pun. Puns can make you sound like a matey fake-everyman playing to an imagined gallery (the literary equivalent of a corny wink). I am not that kind of writer. At least, I like to think I’m not.

If I’m worrying about a pun, it’s probably a sign I should take it out. Rewrite it. Fiddle with it. Try reversing it. Poses And Wine? Sounds too much like a Cliff Richard song. Poseur With Wine? Too hard on myself. Pose With Wine could be the title of a painting, like Figure With Meat by Francis Bacon.

You see, these are the things that bubble around my brain on this rather chilly day in September.

Last week: I am pulling off a Pose With Wine at Mr Bacon’s old drinking and posing hole, The Colony Room in Soho. I am there with Clayton Littlewood, having first met for coffee at Bar Italia, then dinner at Stockpot. Pure Soho stuff.

Clayton used to live in a basement flat under Old Compton Street, which fascinates me. He could hear the prostitutes upstairs plying their trade. He says it was always noisy, unsurprisingly, and almost impossible to get any sleep at night. But that the mornings made up for it: Soho at 7am has this incredible atmosphere. The quiet after the storm, sobriety kicking in, people with proper jobs starting to get up and go to work. Streets caught naked, clear of teeming crowds. Small children go to school here too,  not always something you associate with Soho (just been watching this video about Soho Parish School). A sense of recovery, of the sun getting its own back on decadent humans, of pores getting a chance to breath.

We visit the Colony Room in Dean Street at a critical point in its 60-year history. A party of regulars, including Salena Godden, have just been to the private view of a much-feared auction, where some of the Colony’s art is being sold. Michael Wojas, the manager, plans to move the club out of its Dean Street premises, in order to save it from escalating rents. To this end, he’s selling off the artwork on the club walls, including a 1950s mural by Michael Andrews. Some club members have protested, both about the move and the art sale. There was even a story in Private Eye about it all. (Interview with Mr W here)

I initially lent my name to the rebel members’ ‘Save The Colony’ campaign, but have now changed my stance to a neutral onlooker, having understood more of Mr W’s point of view. It won’t be the same away from 41 Dean Street, but then it wasn’t the same after the smoking ban, anyway. I hope it continues in new premises, as long as it’s still in Soho.

[Update after the auction: The good news is that the Michael Andrews mural sold at a good price, according to the Independent, to ‘a representative of the Andrews estate… in the hope it can be placed in a museum.’]

Clayton L tells me it’s about time I pitched a non-fiction book to agents and publishers. ‘The Manesake Diaries’. ‘Boy With A Too Many Track Mind.’ ‘Secret Diary Of A Fallen Boy.’ The secret being there’s no sex in it whatsoever.

I could focus on the ‘modern dandy’ episodes, the music biz and DJ adventures, my veteran blogger status, the unlikely Shane MacG capers, and the general Being Dickon Edwards philosophy. Whether such a volume would draw a decent book-buying crowd or not, I don’t know. Only one way to find out. All I have to do is… work hard at it. Ah. The W word. Okay.

***

RIP Paul Newman, giving the newspapers a good excuse to print huge close ups of those famous eyes. Far nicer to see those in the corner shop, first thing on a Sunday, than anything more to do with banking or the ‘credit crunch’. The latter phrase being as tiresomely over-bandied about in the press as the word Facebook was last year. ‘Tortoise Breeding & How The Credit Crunch Will Affect It’, that sort of thing.

RIP also Bryan Morrison, music biz manager and publisher, whose clients included Wham, Pink Floyd, and very nearly, Orlando. We went to his office for a single meeting, during our mid 90s hustling days of being The Next Big Hubristic Thing. Mr M turned out to be the proper personification of a rock ‘n’ roll¬† impresario: cigar in hand, which he used to make a point, gold discs on the office wall, 1960s anecdotes about The Pretty Things. As we walked in, he pointed at me and said, ‘LOVE the look!’


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