April’s sun

I dipped my toe into 2006. An old back up  CD with all my personal stuff from the old company I worked for: A collection of photos, songs and postcards.   I had never looked back until now at that CD.

It’s strange at times because I have kept everything.  I’m a paper girl, with loads of harddrives and memory sticks scattered all over the place, an old fashioned luddite and ephemerist (or hoarder depending on how you look at it!).  I noticed the estate agent at the end of the road doesn’t appear to even have a printer let alone a computer.  It’s all laptops and clouds. However, I feel unsure about all this.  Everything feels very unsafe hanging up there on a cloud no matter what people say.  During my recent difficult period letters and things that I found were vital.  A paper trail, hidden pieces of paper all buried in the house saved me.  In my obsessive way I could even find out how much the European Lottery Guild or ELG conned my aunt out of thousands of pounds!  Anyway, here’s some stuff on a theme of April….

Cover of Blighty The National Humorous Weekly April 24 1954

Cover of Blighty The National Humorous Weekly April 24 1954

 

Storyville 40 April May 1972 cover photo Fats Waller is courtesy of Roy Cooke

Storyville 40 April May 1972 cover photo Fats Waller is courtesy of Roy Cooke (Storyville was a Jazz magazine that ran from 1965 -2003) featuring jazz history and discography.

True Story Cover April 1953 No 365Jean Simmons

True Story Cover April 1953 No 365 Jean Simmons cover who co-stars with Victor Mature and Robert Newton in Gabriel Pascal’s screen adaption of Bernard Shaw’s ‘Androcles and the Lion’ for R.K.O (Printed by Ben Johnson and Co., Ltd,. York.

After 12 years I’m finally having to say goodbye to what I would call my home which was in no way perfect but it was my home filled with memories which stretch back to 2005 before I even had my music break which was 2008 when I went to America to work with supremely talented David Baron who is releasing his first solo album Anthem of Stars on Hear & Now Recordings. Two tracks are now available here on Amazon.   I couldn’t have done it if I had had to pay the full price of rent in London. So for that I am so happy.  I went to America several times  I released 3 albums and I travelled more than I had ever dreamed I could do.  I was free.

I’m sad that my aunt died but she was very old, she never had to leave this house and she had me.  She had a very fruitful film extras career in her 80s including playing David Walliams grandmother on the Royal Variety Show, Harry Potter and numerous other films besides and we got on well.  To my astonishment she even has an IMDb page. !

As she was once

However, if mourning her death was one thing what followed was a nightmare.  I am indebted to my boss during this hard time.  I have been unable to do any music. I have managed to ensure that I won’t be made homeless.  I have found somewhere close by to live……

Unmarked unknown postcard

Unmarked unknown postcard

 

On top of this I developed what they called the 100 day cough, the Adenovirus which travelled from Australia and is related to the hooping cough virus. Despite numerous visits to the nurse and finally the doctor all he could say was ‘that’s a very fruity chest’ and tell me I had another four weeks to go. Even the Queen had it at Christmas and she’s never ill.  I picked it up off someone on the plane coming back from Mexico.

From True Story April 1953 'Our Glorious Queen Part IV

But this hardly bears a mention whilst tragic events take place all over the world.  I turned the News off at the end of my bed about a year ago.  I was on a loop and I couldn’t get out of it.  I’m always listening.  Always worrying.

But I am also a warrior.

Part of article about Rock Hudson from Picturegoer Film Annual 1956-57

Part of article about Rock Hudson from Picturegoer Film Annual 1956-57

Here is some ephemera I have found around my room and I can see I have been hoarding.  I work in a private house and I noticed a letter to Rutger Hauer on the hallway table where the post is displayed.  An agent who must have been a real big time lives upstairs.  Occasionally I see letters for Peter O’Toole as well which is all the more strange since he passed away a long time ago!    Suddenly the memories came flooding back and I found this…

Rutger Hauer sent to Lettie who joined the Rutger Hauer fan club some years ago

Rutger Hauer’s office sent this photograph to Lettie who joined the Rutger Hauer fan club some years ago

I joined the Rutger Hauer Fan Club because of the Guinness Adverts and got sent this really quite nice photograph!   I’m still a big fan and saw him recently in one of his earliest roles in a very good film called Turkish Delight (1973).  It is the most successful Dutch film ever made but virtually unknown here.  A classic 70s film if you like that era which I do.  There were no happy endings in the 70s…!

Back to music,  I went to Mexico in February and this was shot on an airplane runway.   I actually liked it in colour but I think in black and white suits the mood. I believe finally ‘If?’ will be out very soon.  I have some promo copies already.  It’s quite down tempo, personal, and it really started so long ago that the songs perhaps are definitely part of my life then than they are perhaps now.  I can’t wait to finish off all the videos.  I will drip feed them out.  I think the next video I will put up will be called ‘If?’ the title of the album which was filmed in the Aquarium lift at the Berlin Radisson Blu Hotel last year.

Lettie in Mexico February 2017

Lettie in Mexico February 2017

I’m glad it’s finished and at 35 minutes it’s short too!

The most I guess upbeat track Volcano produced by David Kosten was inspired by my trip to Sicily and Mount Etna which erupted the other day.  She vents her anger every so often just like I do sadly.

View from the top of Taormina with a view of Etna to the right May 2013

View from the top of Taormina with a view of Etna to the right May 2013

I won on the Grand National  on One for Arthur; the second successful bet I have done in the last six months.

Unmarked and unknown photograph

I had just watched another depressing 70s film with James Caan in it called The Gambler (1974) so I don’t want to get into the habit….

Raphael Tuck & Sons Gem Easter Series No 3 3637

Raphael Tuck & Sons Gem Easter Series No 3 3637 April 14 1911 Dear Jill Just a card to wish you a very happy Easter I know that I should not have time to write to you before. Love to you and to your mother, Maud

Postcard Bonnes Paques

Postcard Bonnes Paques Le Coq dit bonjour a Vignette

Avec un baiser 16 Avril 1911

Avec un baiser 16 Avril 1911

Date unknown from Claire in Germany 'On Friday I'm going to see Zulu finally I hope its just German subtitles and not dubbing ..Happy Easter

Date unknown from Claire in Germany ‘On Friday I’m going to see Zulu finally I hope its just German subtitles and not dubbing ..Happy Easter

The weather is so nice I am definitely up for a game of Miniature Golf…

Miniature Golf in Central Gardens Bournemouth The Photographic Greeting Card Co 1968

Miniature Golf in Central Gardens Bournemouth The Photographic Greeting Card Co 1968 from Lettie’s collection which she believes to be the largest collection of Miniature Golf postcards in the world! (Only because nobody else collects them!)

 

H A P P Y    E A S T E R !

x x x

Miss Zena Dare postcard

Miss Zena Dare on the back ‘with fond love from Uncle Arthur’ April 22 1905

Yosemite National Park, California date unknown produced by 5 Associates, San Francisco California

Yosemite National Park, California date unknown produced by 5 Associates, San Francisco California

Lettie's lyrics to 'Goodbye'

Lettie’s lyrics to ‘Goodbye’ just found from the album  ‘Age of Solo’ 2008

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Kiss me under the mistletoe

So another year slowly ebbs its way through the last days of December.  I do love this time of year.  I’m a December baby.  On my Birthday I went to the gym for a swim and couldn’t get through the barrier.  I looked up and the lady at the desk in a dead pan voice goes ‘Happy Birthday’. Strange because that was it and then she let me through!  My gym is creepy.  It knows me too well.

But this December there has been tragedies ensuing all over the world.  I used to watch the news because I had TV at the end of my bed.  I moved it six months ago.  I still watch the news but it seems to me the balance of the world is tipping.

from-film-review-by-f-maurice-speed-macdonald-1951-52

From Film Review By F Maurice Speed (Macdonald) 1951-52

Looking back on the year singing with John Cooper Clarke and Hugh Cornwell at the London Forum on November 29 was my musical highlight.

john-cooper-clarke-and-lettie-at-london-forum-29-november-2016

John Cooper Clarke and Lettie backstage after gig at London Forum Tuesday November 29 2016

I was very nervous as I only had the soundcheck to rehearse but thankfully it happened during the only week where I haven’t been under the weather in the last two months.  I am so happy that Johnny Remember Me made the BBC 6 playlist.

Last week I went to see Roland Gift who was astounding as ever.  I took this shot after the gig. I love the colours and light.  The night comprised of comedians, Roland Gift performing but also of a meat raffle.  It was great despite the fact I was ill.  It was good to catch up with Dave Barbarossa again who was playing drums.  My pictures were too dark to give Roland justice and Dave always hides behind a symbol.  But what a great band and the keyboardist was playing bass as well as lead lines – astoundingly good.  Over a year ago now Dave and I wrote a song called Hypnotise Me which I really hope we get to record next year.

photo-4

After Roland Gift gig at Tufnell Park The Dome 15 December 2016 where Dave Barbarossa played

 

I rushed to get some interesting postcards and Ephemera Fair in Bloomsbury for Christmas and only managed to catch the fair by about 30 minutes.  I was looking for a magazine that said December on it.  I was reading it (and I never really normally go for such magazines as  Woman and Home) and on my way home was horrified by what I found inside.

 

Woman and Home The Magazine of Delightful Suggestions December 1926.jpg

the-lucky-stencil-plate-from-woman-and-home-december-1926-the-magazine-of-delightful-suggestions

The lucky stencil Plate from Woman and Home December 1926 The Magazine of Delightful Suggestions

lucky-stencil-from-woman-and-home-december-1926

Lucky Stencil From Woman and Home December 1926

from-woman-and-home-the-magazine-of-delightful-suggestions-december-1926

From Woman and Home The Magazine of Delightful Suggestions December 1926

It seems so amazing to me that in 1926  Hitler was on the ascent and perhaps even thought of as a rather glamorous figure by the english press. How horrifying to have decorated your home in the Swastika and to think this magazine is called ‘The Magazine of Delightful Suggestions’ I guess it’s only with hindsight that we can look at it like this.

Anyway, on that unsavoury note I just wanted to say a Very Happy Christmas and Best wishes for the New Year.

aristophot-real-photo-co-ltd-london-1909-best-wishes-from-mary

Aristophot Real Photo Co Ltd London 1909 ‘Best wishes from Mary’

to-my-dear-wife-wishing-you-the-best-of-everything-for-xmas-love-bert

To my dear wife wishing you the best of everything for Xmas Love Bert

23-dec-1908-dear-lydia-alice-and-will-of-6-gossage-road-plumstead-london-wishing-love-to-their-mother

23 Dec 1908 Dear Lydia Alice and Will of 6 Gossage Road Plumstead London wishing love to their mother

raphael-tuck-sons-christmas-postcard-series-1800-phototyped-austria-to-miss-eva-ashling-25-longfield-road-dover

Raphael Tuck & Sons Christmas Postcard series 1800. Phototyped Austria To Miss Eva Ashling 25 Longfield Road Dover

with-loving-christmas-wishes-from-daddy-master-harry-benton

With Loving Christmas Wishes from Daddy Master Harry Benton

 

for-albert-from-grandmother-no-date-or-markings

For Albert from Grandmother no date or markings (she almost looks a bit sinister this girl on the right!)

with-loving-wishes-for-happy-xmas-from-your-friend-undated

With loving Wishes for happy Xmas from your friend undated

unused-post-card-printed-in-germany

Unused post card printed in Germany

My new album will be out next year called ‘If?’.  It was mastered recently by Tim Young. I’m still working on the films for every song.

30-dec-1909-mss-h-jeffery-i-wish-you-a-happy-and-prosperous-new-year-with-love-from-the-sender-xxx-coloured-enamelette-series-x-194

Nearly 110 years ago and this was posted on 31 December.  It would have arrived on 31 December.  The post must have been so fast in those days!  Everything seems to be getting worse – the trains, the post…I’m wondering how to get back from Suffolk on December 29 since the whole railway network seems to be at a standstill.

dated-dec-31-2-on-1906-waterville-me-miss-emma-raullard-skowhegan-me

Dated Dec 31 2 on 1906 Waterville ME Miss Emma Raullard Skowhegan ME

I love this postcard and it’s message.

to-kate-i-wish-i-could-meet-you-at-this-time-from-johnny-undated-unmarked-series-no-e39-printed-in-saxony

To Kate I wish I could meet you at this time From Johnny undated unmarked Series No E39 Printed in Saxony

Many of these postcards have been distributed to my friends so I feel like they all end up in a good place.  This was sent to my friend Louise a very talented songwriter and singer.

dear-annie-i-have-managed-to-get-an-l-do-you-think-we-should-shine-like-these-if-we-ever-had-our-photos-on-pc-i-dont-love-e-24-feb-1905-huddersfield

In return she sent me this.  I should get my hair done but it’s just the money…

carousel-room-raymond-of-london-brompton-road-produced-by-john-milner-studios

Carousel Room Raymond of London Brompton Road Produced by John Milner Studios

Thank you so much for listening have a great Christmas and Happy New Year…

lettie-at-mandys-party

Lettie at a friend’s Christmas Party December 2016

xxx

 

 

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All Hallow’s Eve

This Time It’s Personal has made the album charts and in this review in Louder Than War it is described as nothing less than a “Modern Masterpiece”.  Although my contribution is very small it is my crowning musical achievement.  It has also coincided sadly with the loss of someone close to me who was quite old but without whom my musical journey would have been impossible.  It will all be changing for me in due course it’s just a question of time and what on earth I do next…

But with 31 October just around the corner here is Johnny Remember Me by Dr John Cooper Clarke and Hugh Cornwell.

In the meantime I carry on and my feet took me to Bloomsbury for the monthly Postcard Fair.  It’s not for the faint hearted because the more obscure the things I find the more expensive they are but something unique is priceless.

So to the end of October….

photoplay-october-1955-vol-6-no-10-cover-ann-miller

Photoplay October 1955 Vol 6 No 10 Cover Ann Miller

picturegoer-national-film-weekly-octobber-28-1950-cathy-odonnell-189-high-holborn-london-wc1

Picturegoer National Film Weekly October-28 1950 Cathy O’Donnell 189 High Holborn London WC1

This little girl looks familiar from another postcard I bought last time – what a strange postcard…

on-back-%22family-associated-with-marshalls-threshing-boxes-gainborough-lincs-otherwise-unmarked-and-undated

On back “Family Associated with Marshall’s Threshing Boxes Gainsborough Lincs”

biltons-marionettes-a-real-photograph-undated

Bilton’s Marionettes A Real Photograph undated

concert-party-hms-%22fowey%22-february-1938-basra

Concert Party HMS “Fowey” 22 February 1938 Basra

During World War II HMS Fowey picked up survivors from German U Boat attacks, acted as escort for other ships and was deployed in convoy defence in the North Sea.

unknown-photograph

Unknown Photograph

unmarked-postcard

Unmarked Postcard

They are rather haunting these images….they all have stories.  I said to the dealer how mysterious I felt they all were and he said that was his thing…

llorelle-photograph-from-paris-magazine-7-december-1949-number-7-month-magazine-paris

Photograph by L’Lorelle from Paris Magazine 7 December 1949

This magazine called Paris is an early dirty magazine produced in Paris of all places!  My friend Giles Lyon who owns the Worlds End Bookshop gave it to me with various other pieces of ephemera.  So many magazines I have never heard of.

%22peter-peter-pumpkin-eater-%22-enchanted-forest-pub-by-marks-fuller-inc-rochester-ny-fynmore-studio

The Enchanted Forest “A World of Fantasy in a wooded setting for Young and Young at Heart” Old Forge, New York

On the back it goes:

Peter, Peter Pumpkin-eater

Had a wife and couldn’t keep her; 

He put her in a pumpkin shell

And there he kept her very well

A lot of people say to me that they they didn’t know I had a blog or news page. I can’t seem to get my mailing list together or post enough on Facebook to spread the word which is quite frankly just a small word in the wildnerness but  I just wanted to thank James Sapsard who kindly told me once to keep doing what I do…

Here is a new song which we have just mastered with Tim Young called City – the album ‘If?’ will be out next year….

lettie-on-roof-top

Lettie on the roof some years ago (Photograph by Ian Hall) – a roof that may be disappearing soon

johnny-remember-me-clock

John Leyton Johnny Remember Me clock bought on Ebay October 2016

Time to reset those clocks…x

 

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It’s all about Johnny

A massive thank you to both Dr. John Cooper Clarke and Hugh Cornwell – the video for ‘Johnny Remember Me‘ is out now.   How extraordinary to be part of this incredible journey.  Thank you so much to Dr. John Cooper Clarke, Hugh Cornwell and Sony Records for not only having me on the album singing but also in the video…

In the film, I play the ghost of Johnny’s dead girlfriend who died a year ago.  The dress which I found on Ebay is quite something!

I will never forget this.  The album ‘This Time It’s Personal‘ is a timeless masterpiece.  A covers album of songs we may know but perhaps may have not heard for years.  Who knew Dr John had such a rich and beautiful baritone voice on top of being one of England’s best loved bards.  I was a huge fan of Snap, Crackle & Bop (1980) but on this excellent album he doesn’t sing. Obviously Hugh Cornwell knew he had a voice !  What a collaboration!  I can’t wait to see the live shows.    Of course Hugh Cornwell’s legendary songwriting talents, musicianship and voice are not such a secret.

johnny-remember-me-by-geoffrey-goddard-meridian-music-c-1961

Johnny Remember Me by Geoffrey Goddard featured and recorded by John Leyton and produced by Joe Meek Meridian Music Publishing Co Ltd (c) 1961

johnny-remember-me-sheet-music-meridan-publishing-1961

Johnny Remember Me first page of sheet music Meridian Music Publishing (c) 1961

john-leyton-from-the-set-of-krakatoa-east-of-java-1969-signed-photograph

John Leyton signed photograph from film Krakatoa, East of Java (1969)

But as is my obsession to dig a little deeper into the past I bought a little ephemera relating to the original artist John Leyton.  Joe Meek the legendary producer got his girlfriend a classically trained singer Lissa Gray to sing the original backing vocals in the shower. Despite the song being under censorship for being a death ballad it reached No 1 and stayed there for 6 weeks.  The best article written on the song was in the Financial Times some months ago.  To read it click here:

the-life-of-a-song_-johnny-remember-me

The song has a dark story to it.

John Leyton who still lives in Essex is not only a very successful musician but also an accomplished actor and one of the very few survivors in the film The Great Escape (1963).

TO ORDER ‘THIS TIME IT’S PERSONAL’ CLICK HERE

It’s a great album and I personally think the perfect present for all at Christmas!  Which is why I have bought several copies.

I will post again this October but I wanted to keep to the point ..This time it’s important!

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Johnny Remember Me

Coming soon …

JCC-social

I am singing the backing vocals on a song originally recorded by John Leyton.  It’s a fantastic song and was originally banned by the BBC as were all ‘death’ ballads at the time…It’s so exciting for me to be involved in this project with two legends Dr John Cooper Clarke and Hugh Cornwell and I can’t wait for the album to come out on October 14 2016. You can preorder the album from here.

I have a few things coming up and I will post shortly about it again which includes another song with Anthony Phillips and James Collins called Sunshine On Your Shoulder as well as finishing off the album with Mark Vernon. It is very difficult to get stuff out there though when you are an unknown but I think and hope the songs may have their own journey and in a way they are a story and a history and they mark my life like chapters.

I had a good time in Berlin on a nearly wholly paid for trip by Universal Music Production- here I am in the NHow Hotel where they put us up (the first rock hotel in Europe!) looking a bit like I’m a JCC and HC fan judging by my outfit!  One lift played electronica music and another played rock.  I think this was in the rock lift.  I called this the pink hotel and the other the blue.

Lettie in the NHow lift Berlin June 2016

Lettie in NHow lift in Berlin Friday 10 June 2016

The aquarium in the Radisson Blu Hotel….  I booked into the hotel on my first night … and I put it on my credit card that never gets paid off…here is a diver cleaning the tank to give you an idea of the size of it!

Cleaning the tank - view from hotel room Radisson Blu Berlin

View from Lettie’s window 9 June 2016

But even more thrilling was seeing my friend Erin Lang

a beautiful singer songwriter and friend…who came with me to Sea Life and came down the AquaDom, the lift.

DSC_0028

Erin and the depressed Grouper June 10 2016 at Sea Life Berlin

Here’s a video of us performing when I first met her in London…

Erin will be releasing her album soon here is the link to her website Foundling

Since I wrote last time the whole world has changed.  It’s a brave new world and frightening.  My feeling of this time is perfectly captured in the most extraordinary show I have ever seen by Robert Lepage at the Barbican.  The man with the trumpet beware America.  I was so enraptured by Opium and Needles which plays out in a cube I went twice. A beautiful, extraordinary piece of theatre centred around Miles Davis and Jean Cocteau, which explores loneliness, pain, heartbreak, addiction and genius through enthralling theatrical acrobatics and manoeuvres, with touching moments of comic dialogue from the central character who is going through a painful break up.  Robert Lepage plays two characters.  Miles Davis doesn’t speak but moves around the cube moaning into his trumpet the pain and sorrow he feels and we feel.

robert-lepage-needless-and-opium-intro

Must-See: Canadian Stage’s revamped version of the Robert Lepage hallucinatory classic, Needles and Opium from Toronto Life 2012

I will find some ephemera for next time…

Lettie and Sam Taylor Wood

Me Collectors Room Berlin with video by Sam Taylor-Wood June 10 2016

xxx

 

 

 

 

 

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May and Halcyon Days

I am writing to celebrate the release ( Halcyon Records) through  Cherry Red Records of a new single ‘Halcyon Days (Days to Remember) written with Anthony Phillips and James Collins.  You can buy the track on iTunes HERE

The video below for the song was created by Rune Ness.  A very talented director, animator and filmmaker.  You can see his videos HERE.

Enjoy on this sunny summer May evening…

THANK YOU SO MUCH TO EVERYONE INVOLVED

xxx

 

 

 

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April purple showers

April seems like a culmination of a few deadly months.  It feels like a wave just systematically took away part of our childhood.

Peacock (Photo by Lettie taken on iPhone 6) April 2016

Peacock in flight in April 2016 (Photo by Lettie taken on iPhone 6)

Peacock flying 2016 (Photo by Lettie)

Peacock flying in April 2016 (Photo by Lettie)

April…

Cover of Woman The National Home Weekly Week ending April 14 1951 published by Woman High Holborn London WC1 Telephone Temple Bar 2468 (100 lines)

Cover of Woman The National Home Weekly Week ending April 14 1951 published by Woman High Holborn London WC1 Telephone Temple Bar 2468 (100 lines)

I am very pleased to say on our label Halcyon Records and my dear friend and at times collaborator Anthony Phillips and James Collins we are releasing a track called ‘Halcyon Days (Days to Remember)’ in about four weeks’ time for digital download through Cherry Red.  Rune Ness who has done the most stunning videos for me in the past, now on Vevo, is doing a film for the song and it looks great.  You can see the stills at www.halyconrecords.co.uk.

cover_image_14

This was designed by Rune Ness.  Please check out his wonderful site by clicking here.

I can’t remember the last time I picked up my guitar. I miss those hazy, lazy, crazy days when the summers went on for ages.

In the South of France some years ago

In the South of France some years ago

I’m also releasing on May 20 another track on Claps Records called ‘Hungry’.  The track by the fantastic Italian Tartana based DJ Giacomo Donati features myself on vocals.  Keep an eye out for it.  So pleased to be releasing these tracks on Claps Records.  It’s a completely different sound for me.

Munchhaufens Abenfeuer marked 2 June 1926 Nr 4923 Serie 325

Munchhaufens Abenfeuer marked 2 June 1926 Nr 4923 Serie 325

My hope is when me and Mark’s album comes out in the Autumn (fingers crossed!) I will perform a little again.  I have, instead spent more time creating films (which he hasn’t seen and will probably tell me he doesn’t like but since January he’s not be around much so I’ve proceeded without him!)

They are personal and haven’t cost a penny except for some old transfer of 16mm film because they are all made by me and I’m free (!!) I’ve been grappling with Final Cut in a very basic way.  More time has been spent thinking about the films as ideas do not come so easily.  I have been collecting footage for quite some time.  I’ve done about five now.

I turn to April which is now ending.

Dance and Dancer. April 1956 This month's full ballet Guide Edited by Peter Williams Vol 7 No 3jpeg

Dance and Dancer. April 1956 This month’s full ballet Guide Edited by Peter Williams Vol 7 No 3

 

Film Review by F Maurice Speed Macdonald & Co publishing 1951-52 (cover shows Debra Paget and Louis Jordan in the film Bird of Paradise

Film Review by F Maurice Speed Macdonald & Co publishing 1951-52 (cover shows Debra Paget and Louis Jordan in the film Bird of Paradise

I’ve created my own deadline.  Perhaps that’s what I should do every month. Above are some of the things I bought off Cliff under the Westway who pointed out that Fiona Hawthorne had done a sketch of him so I went looking for it down the Portobello Road.  I found it.

Quick sketch of Cliff under the Westway by Fiona Hawthorne hanging on the wall up the Portobello Road

Quick sketch of Cliff under the Westway by Fiona Hawthorne hanging on the wall up the Portobello Road April 2016

He didn’t mind me taking a photo of him one Sunday morning.  He’s not on the internet so if you are interested in magazine ephemera he is there only on Sundays.  I just can’t get over what great things I find down there.

Cliff under the Westway April 16 2016

Cliff under the Westway April 16 2016

Here are some rather weird images I have found recently at the Bloomsbury Postcard Fair.

Unknown postcard

Unknown postcard

 

On back is written Frances Jones of Gainsborough Lincs Possibly on 6th Birthday

On back is written Frances Jones of Gainsborough Lincs Possibly on 6th Birthday

Unmarked unknown postcard

Unmarked unknown postcard

This is great this postcard…

A Curious Love Letter undated unmarked on the back

A Curious Love Letter undated unmarked on the back

I just can’t believe what beautiful things we used to create on paper.

Novelty postcard unmarked

Novelty of unmarked postcard

Contents of Novelty unmarked postcard

I saw Jah Wobble at the Dingwalls with Mark and BJ Cole who did an album with him some years ago.   I have seen BJ Cole play a number of times.  He’s a legend but he wasn’t playing that night.  It brought back memories of my support gig for Peter Murphy at that venue some years ago.  Jah Wobble was fantastic.  Never had I fully understood the power of the bass until that gig.

Jah Wobble 14 April 2016

Jah Wobble 14 April 2016 (Photo by Lettie)

The Dingwalls seemed so clean.  I remember watching The Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster and Black Rebel Motorcycle Club in what I imagine was a smoky filled dive that stank of beer and reefa outside. Last week the venue was packed with young guys probably every bass player in London and the familiar balding heads of blokes who never forget their heroes  ….

Jah Wobble Dingwalls 14 April 2016

Jah Wobble Dingwalls 14 April 2016

I also went to see Rich Hall who, whilst picking out members of the audience, found out that the guy at the front who was seated on his own (cause his mate couldn’t make it) was a Mojo Magazine journalist.  He was excellent as he always is and what a great band so I hope he wrote a great review!

I spent a lot of my twenties in the bars.  Even though I was in a band, I wasted a lot of time.  But maybe nothing is a waste. I always had time to watch a good film and was a pilgrim to the local video shops wherever I was – in Acton, Video City in Notting Hill, Brixton and now my local library.  I’ve been watching the films of Pressburger and Powell. Beautiful, dreamlike and full of colour.

From Film Review by F.Maurice Speed 1951-2 Two sceneces from Tales of Hoffman - London films Powell and Pressburger

From Film Review by F.Maurice Speed 1951-2 Two scenes from Tales of Hoffman – London films Powell and Pressburger

I also watch a lot of film noir.  Gloria Gaynor used to stuff cotton wall in her mouth so she could get that perfect pout.

Gloria Grahame in R.K.O Radio's Roughshod from Film Review 1951-2

 

Unknown undated little book of magic tricks.jpeg

Unknown undated little book of magic tricks

Over and out for now… x

Unmarked postcard

Unmarked postcard

Posted in BJ Cole, Ephemera, Jah Wobble, Lettie, Music, Postcards, Singer Songwriter London | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Happy Valentine’s Day

On February 29 I release a track with Ghustav called “All I Ever Wanted’ on Claps Records. It’s a rare thing – only happens once every four years!  We got 4/5 from DMC Magazine

Claps Records is the new Italian label set to rumble it’s way on to the global dance music scene from DJ/Producer Luca Guerrieri (DVS Records / D:vision) and event specialistMarco Roncetti (Marula Club / Tartana). Tuscany based House producer Ghustav teams up with highly acclaimed UK singer / songwriter, Lettie, who lends her captivating, sultry voice to Claps’ debut release ‘All I Ever Wanted’. The result is a gorgeous slab of Deep and sensual House music, underpinned by an infectious 90’s style piano hook and oozes femininity and cool!

I was interviewed IHOUSEU for 60 seconds

IHOUSEU 60 seconds lettie

David Bowie’s passing was a truly monumental loss not only for everyone who grew up listening to his music  and became so inspired by his exceptional talent and fearlessness (I would never have written ‘Hang On’ without his influence) but to those who worked with him of which Gail Ann Dorsey (who I have not met) and Zac Alford are the only two I know. Their loss must be hard to fathom. Gail has spoken to Rolling Stone magazine about it. Life was enriched and changed forever when they played with him.

I found these postcards somewhere in the attic.  I can’t seem to keep up with anything these days but I do try and sometimes I’m not in the mood to say much so I will report more soon.

A H Schram pinx Vzpominky z mladi Junbrunnen Galerie U P 551

A H Schram pinx Vzpominky z mladi Junbrunnen Galerie U P 551

C V Muttich Mlada Iaska to je Raj Salon Prague unmakred postcard

C V Muttich Mlada Iaska to je Raj Salon Prague unmakred postcard

Galerie Munchner Meister Rolf Brandt Verliebt Nr 443 unmarked postcard

Galerie Munchner Meister Rolf Brandt Verliebt Nr 443 unmarked postcard

Galerie Munchner Meister W Menzler Gefunden Nr 419

Galerie Munchner Meister W Menzler Gefunden Nr 419

Jandl Meeres- Idyll Salon International unmarked postcard

Jandl Meeres- Idyll Salon International unmarked postcard

Lord Frederick Leighton Geb 3 Dez 1830 zu Scarborough (Yorkshire)...Stengel unmarked postcard printed Dresden Made in Germany

Lord Frederick Leighton Geb 3 Dez 1830 zu Scarborough (Yorkshire)…Stengel unmarked postcard printed Dresden Made in Germany

O. Lingner Sepoty Jara Salon JP P 2084 blank postcard

O. Lingner Sepoty Jara Salon JP P 2084 blank postcard

U Zrodla milosci Unmarked postcard Frist S.M.P Kr.

U Zrodla milosci Unmarked postcard Frist S.M.P Kr.

Unknown photograph postmark Budapest 1904

Unknown photograph postmark Budapest 1904

Unknown postcard dated 22 Dec Budapest 1902

Unknown postcard dated 22 Dec Budapest 1902

 

Old unmarked card (home made?)

Old Unmarked postcard (home made?)

I came across a really interesting photographic magazine called ‘Zoom’ which still exists. It’s full of fascinating and interesting articles.  This is from 1976.  I have blown this up as this was a tiny image in a story but it’s interesting that the diver had to be balanced on a wooden pole just so he could hold the girl because it was so heavy his suit.  It was a classic album cover.  Hipgnosis did a lot of the Pink Floyd covers.

Original shot from shooting of Deceptive Bends for 10CC from Zoom Magazine 1976 April: May

Original shot from shooting of Deceptive Bends for 10CC by Hipgnosis leading designers of Rock Album covers in the 70s from Zoom Magazine 1976 April/May

I have just returned from Mexico and discovered this in one of my old film magazines.  I can’t find anything about him:

From the Picture Show Magazine Annual for 1932

From the Picture Show Magazine Annual for 1932

I went to an amazing place called Rio Legartos – the river of alligators but actually there are more crocodiles.  As you walk down the road all anyone ever says is ‘flamingo’, ‘you want a flamingo ride’, ‘you want a flamingo’ and I did…they are ‘pink’ because they eat a shrimps and larvae that are rich in carotene.  They are also one of the oldest species of birds in the world.

Flight of the Flamingos Rio Legartos February 2016

Flight of the Flamingos Rio Legartos February 2016 (the white pelicans are migratory birds from Canada and hang out with the brown headed pelicans until it gets warmer)

Rio Legartos February 2016

Rio Legartos February 2016

I got my eye on you….

Lettie and the shark Februrary 2016

Lettie and the shark February 2016

More news soon

xxx

My Chinese friend told me when I said what she would expect from the year of the monkey…

that it was a bad monkey…

I hope he’s not too bad!

Posted 4 December Budapest 1904 just the address

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Looking for the light in December

This wasn’t going to be a Christmas entry but now it has to be because I’ve left it so late. I was going to have written this three weeks ago. But my mood changed.

J'Aime Paris I Love Paris Le Moulin Rouge 36 75 0433 Editions d'art Yvon 30 Av Jean-Jaures-94-Arcuell by S.P.A.D.E.M Made in Italy

J’Aime Paris I Love Paris Le Moulin Rouge 36 75 0433 Editions d’art Yvon 30 Av Jean-Jaures-94-Arcuell by S.P.A.D.E.M Made In Italy

The children will kill children. It’s apocalyptic. It’s an enemy without a head and tail. You can’t get to the jugular. It slithers away. Like sand through our hands we just can’t get a hold but we’re being dragged down. Last resort.

Unmarked photograph

Unmarked photograph

I want to create colour in otherwise sad and desperate times that’s why I’m drawn to visual artists of all kinds.

From Picture Post Magazine 28 January 1951 article on Club de Bateau near NIce frequent visitors include Picasso and Chagall by Duncan Melvin

From Picture Post Magazine 28 January 1951 article on Club de Bateau near Nice frequent visitors include Picasso and Chagall by Duncan Melvin

Picturegoer Cover Week ending December 24 1955

Picturegoer Cover Week ending December 24 1955

Here are some Christmas covers I have found which I rather like.

Picturegoer The National Film Weekly Week ending December 26 1963

Picturegoer The National Film Weekly Week ending December 26 1963

Scene We Couldn't Forget from Picturegoer Film Annual 1956-57 'wild, wild party in 'I Am A Camera!' Remember Julie Harris - as a gay British girl in pre-war Berlin

Scene We Couldn’t Forget from Picturegoer Film Annual 1956-57 ‘wild, wild party in ‘I Am A Camera!’ Remember Julie Harris – as a gay British girl in pre-war Berlin

Season's Greetings from Daryl Hall John Oates copyright 1985 RCA:Ariola International New York

Season’s Greetings from Daryl Hall John Oates copyright 1985 RCA:Ariola International New York

 

I have travelled far this year. To the island of Ischia via Naples and discovered the music of William Walton and his wife Lady Walton’s beautiful garden…

Napoli Gallery Umberto I printed in Italy AMG

Napoli Galler Umberto I printed in Italy AMG

Lettie in Lady Walton's Mortella Gardens Ischia September 2015

Lettie in Lady Walton’s Mortella Gardens Ischia September 2015

Bathed in the volcanic pools on this wonderful island…I’ve been travelling many volcanic islands and Mnt Etna has erupted only in the last two days. The song ‘Volcano’ is all about that on the new album with Mark Vernon.

From leaflet for Ischia giardini Poseidon terme 20 poools (thermal, Kneipp, ocean-water) have been installed according to the latest technical and medical knowledge from the island of Ischia of volcanic origin

From leaflet for Ischia giardini Poseidon terme 20 pools (thermal, Kneipp, ocean-water) have been installed according to the latest technical and medical knowledge from the island of Ischia of volcanic origin

From leaflet for Posiedon Ischia

S Angelo D'Ischia Ancient radioactive Thermae of Cava Scura Ed. Di Meglio Ischia

S Angelo D’Ischia Ancient radioactive Thermae of Cava Scura Ed. Di Meglio Ischia

Lacco Ameno The Island of Ischia The Sporting Swimming Pool printed in Italy dated 30 August 1970 'Ale veehio amieo, sveglia!'

Lacco Ameno The Island of Ischia The Sporting Swimming Pool printed in Italy dated 30 August 1970 ‘Ale veehio amieo, sveglia!’

Dolly admiring the Nestor's cup at the Arbusto Museum Lacco Ameno Ischia

Dolly admiring the Nestor’s cup at the Arbusto Museum Lacco Ameno Ischia the first known writing of Greek in the world

To New York to see my old boss for Thanksgiving who so kindly paid for my flight…

From Gillo Dorfles A Giccs Gondolat Budapest 1986

From Gillo Dorfles A Giccs Gondolat Budapest 1986

I took Dolly with me.  She had been to New York before so wanted to show me some sights…

Dolly pointing the Statue of Liberty and Jersey City November 2015

Dolly trying to show me the Statue of Liberty and Jersey City November 2015

Dolly hiding outside Julian Schnabel's Villa Palazzo Chupi New York November 2015

Dolly hiding outside Julian Schnabel’s Villa Palazzo Chupi New York November 2015

Dolly looking at the building work from The High Line New York November 2015

Dolly looking at the building work from The High Line New York November 2015

I saw Bob Dylan recently my hero and my greatest living legend.

I return time and time again to his records Oh Mercy is one of the later ones I love (and ignore the fact that Tom Jones murdered ‘What Good Am I’) or Infidels which has a particular resonance for me.

Unmarked photograph date unknown

Unmarked photograph date unknown

It was great to catch up with my old writing partner David Baron who was in town with the hugely talented and beautiful person that she is, Simi Stone.

SImi and David Sunday 8 November 2015 at Green Note

Simi and David Sunday 8 November 2015 at Green Note

 

image1

David Baron and Lettie in a pub in London November 2015

I have signed up with Claps Records in Italy. I have done a track with Luca Guerrieri who had a fantastic No 1 UK dance track last year with Harmony. It’s very different from my own music but I’m really pleased with the result. It should hopefully be out next year. We’ll see.

Marco Roncetti and Lettie at the Jane Hotel November 2015

Marco Roncetti and Lettie at the Jane Hotel November 2015

In the meantime Mark and I continue to mix the album, which will be called ‘Weightless’.

I took ‘Maria’ my other doll character in this endless journey of mine to Milan – here she is admiring this manger scene…

S. Ambrogio Basilica Milan Maria the doll admiring the Manger Scene from German Lager at Wietzendorf Christmas 1944

S. Ambrogio Basilica Milan Maria the doll admiring the Manger Scene from German Lager at Wietzendorf Christmas 1944

Dated 24 December 1910 from USA signed Bessie and Fred ot Delma Montanye of Broken Bow

Dated 24 December 1910 from USA signed Bessie and Fred to Delma Montanye of Broken Bow

3.30pm Dec 20 1909 Dear Jammy This is just to wish you a sincere and Happy Xmas and  a Bright new year and future hoping you are well with love from Maude

3.30pm Dec 20 1909 Dear Jammy This is just to wish you a sincere and Happy Xmas and a Bright new year and future hoping you are well with love from Maude

Christmas Joy unmarked Souvenir Post Card

Christmas Joy unmarked Souvenir Post Card

Christmas Greetings marked 24 December 1913 Wishing you a Bright and Happy Christmas With Love Janis

Christmas Greetings marked 24 December 1913 Wishing you a Bright and Happy Christmas With Love Janis

xxx

PS Although this was not obviously taken at Christmas this photograph depicts the photographer Angus McBean who always sent the best Christmas cards – some of which you can see on the internet.  This picture where I’m opening something reminds me that Christmas is often a time to remember those who are no longer here

Angus McBean, Granny and me some years ago

Posted in Ephemera, Lettie, Singer Songwriter London, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Ah August…

High Heel Magazine August 1937 Vol 1 No 5 (I think this is an early naughty Men's magazine!) published by Ultem Publications Inc 404 Fourth Ave, New York

High Heel Magazine August 1937 Vol 1 No 5 (I think this is an early naughty Men’s magazine!) published by Ultem Publications Inc 404 Fourth Ave, New York

Updating my news has been slow but my musical journey has been also.  There are some reasons for this. My computer is very slow these days and it’s more and more difficult to find original images to post!

Woman Magazine Week Ending August 21 1948 printed in Great Britian by Odlhams (Watford) Ltd

Woman Magazine Week Ending August 21 1948 printed in Great Britian by Odlhams (Watford) Ltd

I read back on my May entry and unfortunately Milan did not work out very well (which is putting it mildly). I spent a lot of time wandering the streets of Milan waiting…..waiting….thinking thinking thinking thinking thinking, walking, walking, walking too god damn much…..

Not even this jewellery display in a shop window in Milan could cheer Lettie up

Not even this jewellery display in a shop window in Milan could cheer Lettie up

I need to concentrate on finishing the album with Mark. The good thing here, though, is that we are on the final leg of the journey. I am doing one day next week on my own to nail the final song and do some important tweaks.

Bavarian Card bought in Yoxford Antique market

Bavarian Card bought in Yoxford Antique market

I also performed with little Richard Moore, violinist extraordinaire, at a private members Club in London, which went very well and did so much for my battered confidence. We did it through amps including a hired AC Vox 30. I performed two short sets one on guitar and one on keyboard and went back to my looping keyboard. Strangers came up to us and compared the performance to the DIY attitude of the punks and the Velvet Underground, which was hugely encouraging.  People were engaged and I never thought they would be. I will try and perform in the Autumn it’s just a question of where in London. So many venues I once knew are gone.  No phones or photographs allowed in the Club so here’s one from a few months back….

Lettie In Raj's Flat April 2015

Lettie In Raj’s Flat April 2015

I have collaborated on a few things in the last year which may well turn out well in the end … who knows. You never really do know what will work and what won’t, so in the meantime I need the money to go to the studio but working for a man who spent 9 months in jail at least is not boring.

Daring Detective No 81 A Fawcett Production English Edition by L Miller & Co (Hackney) cover printed by Manton Press London SE1

Daring Detective No 81 A Fawcett Production English Edition by L Miller & Co (Hackney) cover printed by Manton Press London SE1

Larry Adler who I saw at the Jazz cafe a long time ago who inspired me to pick up a mouth organ

Larry Adler who I saw at the Jazz cafe a long time ago who inspired me to pick up a mouth organ

I have to quickly say that whilst things have been quiet on my front I have had the great honour of watching Dave Barbarossa performing with the seriously gifted Roland Gift at the Jazz Cafe, the omnipresent and brilliant BJ Cole perform with Beck at Station to Station at the Barbican, Tony Visconti at Shepherds Bush, as well as hearing the unique voice and compositions of Kirsten Morrison at Stoke Newington St Marys where Lene Lovich surprised the audience by doing a duet.  I originally crossed paths with Kirsten with Peter Murphy at the O2 London when I supported him in 2009.  She did a wonderful performance with Peter.  She is unique.

Kirsten Morrison at St Marys Stoke Newington

Kirsten Morrison at St Marys Stoke Newington

Last week I managed to catch the inimitable Eve Ferret pictured here…who can make you laugh and cry all within a moment…touching…

Eve Ferret performing her Peignoir song at St James Theatre Victoria 29 July 2015

Eve Ferret performing her Peignoir song at St James Theatre Victoria 29 July 2015

Cliff from under the Westway mentioned a magazine called ‘Dogue’ which I had never heard of. A little research I found it on Ebay.

Dogue Woof a parody of the world's most famous fashion magazine by Ilene Hockberg Cover photo by Peter Serra published by Corgi Books (c) 1986 by Ilene Rosenthal Hockberg

Dogue Woof a parody of the world’s most famous fashion magazine by Ilene Hockberg Cover photo by Peter Serra published by Corgi Books (c) 1986 by Ilene Rosenthal Hockberg

Back of Dogue by Ilene Hocberg (c) Ilene Rosenthal Hochberg 1986

Back of Dogue by Ilene Hochberg (c) Ilene Rosenthal Hochberg 1986

Running Penn ...This stunning example of his work ...apeared as a beauty shot in the recent issue of Dogue to illustrate the benefits of mud masque on canine complexions from Dogue by Ilene Hockberg (c) Ilene Rosenthal Hockberg 1986

Running Penn …This stunning example of his work …appeared as a beauty shot in the recent issue of Dogue to illustrate the benefits of mud masque on canine complexions from Dogue by Ilene Hockberg (c) Ilene Rosenthal Hockberg 1986

From Dogue by Ilene Hockberg Copyright Ilene Rosenthal Hockberg 1986

From Dogue by Ilene Hockberg Copyright Ilene Rosenthal Hockberg 1986

Debruff Turberville is recognized for her hauntingly beautiful photographs of dogs lost in thought in surrealist surroudings from Dogue by Ilene Hochberg (c) Ilene Rosenthal Hockberg 1986

Debruff Turberville is recognized for her hauntingly beautiful photographs of dogs lost in thought in surrealist surroudings from Dogue by Ilene Hochberg (c) Ilene Rosenthal Hockberg 1986

But then once I had got ‘Dogue’ I had to get ‘Catmopolitan’.

Catmopolitan by Ilene Hockberg copyright 1987 by Ilene Rosenthal Hockberg printed in Spain published by Corgi Books

Catmopolitan by Ilene Hockberg copyright 1987 by Ilene Rosenthal Hockberg printed in Spain published by Corgi Books

From Catmopolitan by Ilene Hockberg (c) 1987 'Paws to Catch your Breath, Cathletics and Feline Fitness' by Javanese Fonda

From Catmopolitan by Ilene Hockberg (c) 1987 ‘Paws to Catch your Breath, Cathletics and Feline Fitness’ by Javanese Fonda

What Gives Me Pangs of Guilt from Catmopolitan by Ilene Hockberg (c) Ilene Roseenthal Hockberg 1987

What Gives Me Pangs of Guilt from Catmopolitan by Ilene Hockberg (c) Ilene Roseenthal Hockberg 1987

From Catmopolitan by Ilene Hockberg (c) Ilene Rosethal Hochberg 1987

From Catmopolitan by Ilene Hockberg (c) Ilene Rosethal Hochberg 1987

I have also been swimming nearly every day I commute backwards in my lunch break just to do this it takes exactly one hour..

Here’s a postcard from poor old Greece…I rarely sit down to read the backs of postcards but interesting he says there’s been a cholera outbreak in Italy…

Athens postcard 11 September

Athens postcard 11 September

Back of Athens Postcard 11 September

Back of Athens Postcard 11 September

So back in the studio on Friday this time without Mark.  I WILL finish this album….but now the sun is over the yardarm I think its time for a drink…(click on any postcard or image to make bigger)

xxx

Lettie Summer 2015

Lettie Summer 2015

PS I rarely talk politics, world news or even personal things for various reasons.  There is too much tragedy and the spectrum is vast..but I wanted to touch on just one, happening all over the Middle East …..

Karnak Temple Luxor Egypt BC1550 writing on the back hard to read date unknown suicide bomber tries to blow himself up there June 2015

Karnak Temple Luxor Egypt BC1550 writing on the back hard to read date unknown suicide bomber tries to blow himself up there June 2015

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