Archives for posts with tag: cockney

I completely forgot to mention one of the best British gangster films ever made, The Long Good Friday. It was my new found English friends Dorian and Oli that recommended it a few weeks back. We had a little party at Oli’s place and he put on the main theme from the soundtrack and even though I was a bit confused hearing something like that at party, I was instantly in love. Watch the trailer, find the film and see it, especially now when the Long Good Friday and Easter is closing in.

The Long Good Friday

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Jocelyn Bain Hogg – The Firm

The Firm is a searing photographic document of the British organized crime world, which received instant recognition. Over a four-year period Bain Hogg documented different aspects of the underworld, from exile in Tenerife to the broad spectrum of activity in the United Kingdom. Since Brighton Rock in the 1940s, photographers and film directors have been trying to capture the personalities and characteristics of the British urban gangster on film. These are not the faces of criminals who hide behind the facade of respectability or the corruption of political influence. They are, in fact, the real thing, men who hold their head up when challenged, and who seek no false redemption in the face of public vilification. Bain Hogg has captured for the first time in The Firm the weft and warp of these faces to whom violence is common currency and to whom loyalty is above all.
The project is currently being revisited, ten years later now that the old capos have passed away and in the wake of escalating gang crime in the estates of the UK.

All images © Jocelyn Bain Hogg

Jocelyn Bain Hogg

Jocelyn Bain Hogg

Jocelyn Bain Hogg

Jocelyn Bain Hogg

Jocelyn Bain Hogg

Jocelyn Bain Hogg

Jocelyn Bain Hogg

Jocelyn Bain Hogg

Some more images of Dorian Crook. Photographed in my studio in Barcelona by me.

All images © Claes Gellerbrink

Claes Gellerbrink Photography

Claes Gellerbrink Photography

Claes Gellerbrink Photography

Claes Gellerbrink Photography

Claes Gellerbrink Photography

Claes Gellerbrink Photography

Air traffic controller, pilot, stand-up comedian, model and general cockney gangster from the Sixties, Señor Dorian Crook. Photographed in Barcelona by Claes Gellerbrink.

All images © Claes Gellerbrink

Dorian Crook, Barcelona 2011. © Claes Gellerbrink

Dorian Crook, Barcelona 2011. © Claes Gellerbrink

Dorian Crook, Barcelona 2011. © Claes Gellerbrink

Dorian Crook, Barcelona 2011. © Claes Gellerbrink

Dorian Crook, Barcelona 2011. © Claes Gellerbrink

Rod Stewart

I was raised with Rod Stewart, my mum used to listen to Atlantic Crossing* every weekend when she was cleaning the house. Growing up I didn’t know better and I thought that was how Rod Stewart had always sounded, boy was I mistaken. Later in life, maybe mid-teens I found a Rod Stewart vinyl with his greatest hits from before his move to America and after that day I was in love. I realised that this guy could really sing and that he wasn’t just some sleazy ballad singer that entertained mums when they were cleaning.

Rod Stewart

This was magic. His voice, the songs and especially the guitar playing. I think I have been in love with Ron Wood’s guitar playing for as long as I have listened to Rod Stewart. There was something special about the chemistry between the musicians on Rod’s albums and as soon as I bought my first The Faces album I knew why. Here you had the whole Small Faces but with Ron and Rod instead of Steve Marriot. The rhythm section had played together for years and Ron and Rod knew each other from touring America with the Jeff Beck group. They sounded amazing from the start.

The Faces

The Faces became my favourite rock band and I still have more respect for them than The Rolling Stones. They created a whole new genre in England inspired by southern rock, boogie rock, blues and soul. After reading Rod Stewart’s, Ron Wood’s and Ian McLagan’s biographies you start to realise that they probably had quite a lot of fun during their drunken heydays as well. On their tours in America they always had a fully equipped bar on stage with a bartender dressed in a tailcoat. Ian also requested a white grand piano for every gig since they were so convenient to line up coke on, everything so the band could stroll around on stage and get their refreshments when needed.

Rod Stewart and Ron Wood

I used to be a photographer for one of the main papers back in Sweden and was once sent to shoot Lenny Kravitz in Copenhagen. On the way back to Malmo the journalist I was with started to tell me stories about his life. He had seen The Faces live in Copenhagen in 1971 and he claimed that was the best rock gig he had ever seen in his life, all the Rolling Stones and Bruce Springsteen tours he had witnessed included. He also told me that he saw the Faces play in Lund two days later and that was the worst gig he had seen in his life. The boys were so drunk that they couldn’t stand up straight or play properly, they just fell over each other all the time. I think I would have given quite a lot of money to have witnessed the mayhem of the drunken Faces as well.

The Faces

After a few years in London I actually ended up in Muswell Hill, close to where Rod Stewart bought his first house when he started to make some money. And every time I took the bus from Muswell I went past Highgate and Archway where Rod grew up and went to school. By the way, his family house the old post office has been replaced by a gas station, to my disappointment.

The Faces

Rod Stewart has probably helped me more than anyone else through the difficult times I have faced in the past. I think every time a girlfriend has dumped me I have locked myself away with a bottle of whisky and listened to either some early Rod Stewart or The Faces loud on the stereo. According to me the best medicine there is for broken hearts.

Rod Stewart

This is why I love Rod Stewart, such a voice:

And this is why I love The Faces, the cutest band ever:

My Rod Stewart play list in Spotify:

http://open.spotify.com/user/claesito/playlist/5njdz0bsYRTY1j2MQzGlAC

*Atlantic Crossing was Rod Stewart’s first solo album without Ron Wood and the others from the Faces. It was recorded in 1974-75 with some of the best studio musicians in America and even though it’s not his worst album, it can never be compared to his 5 previous albums.

A nice interview with Michael Caine from GQ when he got 2007’s Lifetime Achiever’s award. I was a bit surprised that one of my favourite actors is obsessed with probably the worst type of music in the world, Chill-out music.

While Caine was having dinner at Elton’s house in Nice, during the meal he became aware of the chill-out music in the background. Every time a track came on, Caine would mention what it was called, who it was by and offer some little Michael Caine “Not a lot of people know that” titbit. Elton asked him how come he knew all this stuff, and then Caine admitted that he was a total buff, and knew more about chill-out than any other form of music, apart from maybe jazz. He also admitted to making his own compilation tapes and CDs. “Elton said I should release my own compilation CD, and promptly rang Lucien Grainge, who runs Universal: ‘I’m going to get you a record deal,’ said Elton. And he did. Two minutes later I had a three-album deal! So I pulled a lot of records together and started compiling what I thought was the best stuff. And I’ve put it all on this record. The weird thing about this type of music is that no one really knows anything about it – who writes it, who records it. It’s actually very neglected.”Taken from the GQ interview.

His friend Doug Hayward has always said you should never argue with Caine, and if he says it takes a man eight seconds to fall off Tower Bridge wearing a mohair suit and seven seconds wearing a Harris Tweed suit, then you shouldn’t argue as he’ll produce evidence. He’s forthright, occasionally loud, but never rude or overbearing. Taken from the GQ interview.

Michael Caine