Another Reason To Be Cheerful!

September 9th, 2010

For those of you who competed in our 2009 Figment Album Cover Design Contest, you’ll remember that as one of the prizes we gave away a copy of the book Reasons To Be Cheerful:  The life and works of Barney Bubbles by Paul Gorman.  At the time, we spoke to Paul about his book and why Barney’s work was so influential, so if you haven’t read it I highly recommend you do.

Fast forward to September 2010 and “Reasons To Be Cheerful” has been named as Mojo magazine’s Book of the Year 2010, and a new revised version of the book will be released in October in the UK, and by DAP in the spring of 2011 in the U.S.

I spoke via email to Paul recently as he was preparing a new exhibition of Barney Bubbles’ work called “Process:  The Working Practices of Barney Bubbles” at London’s Chelsea space gallery.  Curated by Gorman, Process will contain many never-before-seen items drawn from private collections, including student notebooks, working sketches, original artwork, paintings, books and photography.  Bubbles used them as the raw materials for the videos, record sleeves, t-shirts and posters he created for such performers as Ian Dury, Hawkwind, Elvis Costello, The Damned and Billy Bragg.  You can check out Paul’s progress putting the show together on his blog.

Paul had this to say about the newly revised version of Reasons To Be Cheerful,

It is enhanced by around 50 new images, from his student days (including watercolours of Brain jones and George Harrison for a Mods & Rockers project) to his final years (including a sketch for Elvis Costello’s “Pills & Soap” – released without a sleeve in the guise of The Impostor).

There is a lot of fresh info derived from interviews with such people as his first girlfriend and quotes from such people as Simon Cowell’s brother “Record John” who roomed with Barney in 1969.

I have also discovered the identity of his first full-time employer and have quotes from a colleague about the rigorousness nature of employment there, which no doubt helped shape him.

He was also kind enough to share some of the new images from the book with us –

So if you’re in London, definitely pay “Process:  The Working Practices of Barney Bubbles” a visit at Chelsea space, and if you want to find out more about Barney Bubbles check out Paul Gorman’s incredible book “Reasons To Be Cheerful” or read his blog.

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