Monday, 19 April 2010


Joan Collins needs no introduction, with a career that spans five decades she's a woman who can swan in anywhere. That's just what she did down at the BFI the other night at a screening of 1958 film Rally Round The Flag, Boys! She's quite a vision to behold as well, Joan stands her ground in the glamour stakes.
After the screening she took her place centre stage and chatty Joan engaged in conversation. The whole thing kicked off with a reminisce of her starlet days and she can remember everything and everyone. Meeting Marilyn Monroe who warned her about Hollywood casting couch scenario's, taking diet pills to control her weight (obviously they were speed based... Joan on speed can you imagine!) Her 5 marriages the latest to Percy being her ideal, getting broody in her late twenties and bringing up her kids whilst very nearly on the dole, being 'forced' to try cocaine which she didn't like, her archive films, directors names, parties, more parties and yet more parties!
Joan oh Joan, she's had her ups and downs and through it all she's retained an image that sparkles through adversity. And it's really that image that we all seem fascinated by. She's stated that she must have been born with the 'happy' gene, and it's true she does sail through life with a cheery optimism. She once said 'You get the face you deserve after 40', so if it's all about attitude Joan scene steals every time. She's at home with her iconic status and knows she deserves it even though some have dashed her acting abilities saying Joan basically always plays herself!

Joan Collins is camp, kitsch and all those things we love her for. But her attitude is thoroughly modern and grounded, she's led a life with an honesty that stands up for itself. Ask Joan a question, any question and she'll relay an answer in direct fashion. Joan put's her youthful image down to her gene pool, exercise routines and denies any surgery. She knows all the tricks and even though she laughingly said when remembering her figure in younger years that she wouldn't ever have that waist again, it has to be stated Joan's figure is that of a 50 year old, er actually younger if you really have to compare!
What doesn't Joan not do? Joan likes working and actually has to work to maintain her lifestyle. She has three homes internationally, she's a self made woman. I do sense that Joan really doesn't know the word 'retire' and why would she, her philosophy on the subject as she sees it is that people that do retire drop dead after a few years! Primarily an actress, Joan includes writing on her list of talents. Once again some people are quite flip about her turn of phase but does she care, not on your nelly!
It seems Joan is quite a modest creature, stripping off apparently not until the late 70's with various film's most notably The Stud, but actually from quite early on she appeared to be in some state of undress, perhaps her pin-up days seemed quite demure compared to some of her later scenes. Joan doesn't dwell on regrets though, even when it comes to her selection of husbands who disappointed her in various ways she tends to close the book rather swiftly, preferring to dwell positive aspects even when there appears to be none. Perhaps her general outlook indicates Joan's tireless ability to remain astute and clear thinking.
From her so called dubious roles in 'B' movies Joan eventually found herself one of the most highly paid TV stars in Dynasty. The early 80's saw Joan emerge as Alexis Carrington, a role she relished. Aspects of the character allowed her to investigate a statement wardrobe appropriate for the role, almost single handedly Joan Collins invented 'power dressing' in one fell swoop. Gradually Alexis came to represent a camp version of a powerful 80's woman. Her ideas on image affected the whole cast and soon they were all interested in the most outrageous designs of the time.
Does Joan have a motto? Well she's got quite a few including, 'There are two kinds of human beings. There are drains and there are heaters. Some people drain you and some people warm you. If people become too much of a drain, I say, 'That's it. Time to say goodbye'. Obviously not one to suffer fools gladly, Joan comes out with these common sense pearls of wisdom on a regular basis. On preserving her looks, 'Base not Botox' and 'Skill not surgery'.

Joan continues a career in TV and film, her appearances always cause a bit of a stir. These sort of dames never cease to amaze me, come think why isn't Joan 'Dame Joan Collins' yet! She bloody well should be, then she and Dame Shirley Bassey can have a laugh together!
Paul Newman and Joan were great friends, and for Rally Round The Flag, Boys! Paul insisted Joan be cast. Joan has a whole heap of stories about her Hollywood days...
Joan's art of spanning decades seems quite effortless, probably the original 'yummy mummy', and she's even commented on this, she combines style with function.

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

ANGIE BOWIE IS IN TOWN... an interview from 2008

So it’s like the early 70’s and there’s this ‘Glam Rock’ thing going on in London. Ziggy Stardust and The Spiders From Mars have arrived with an avant-garde entourage. Angie Bowie and their son Zowie have become the alternative family unit. Biba is instated in Kensington High Street and theatrical rock star ‘looks’ have become all the rage. Hard to imagine what it must have been like…

ANGIE BOWIE… I’m hungry that’s what’s the matter with me, lets have some sandwiches, I don’t know about you…

PRINCESS JULIA…Yea, I’ll probably have a nibble… Going back to then, I remember you being integral to, you know, the whole ‘Ziggy’ image and everything, you might not want to go on about it too much but it was such a pivotal moment for me and my comtempories, you were like always in the loop…

ANGIE BOWIE… Yea, thank you… yea I guess I was, I hadn’t really thought about it like that, I guess it was bizarre and it’s pretty true… like with David, David was used to theatre and costumes, where I just didn’t think his choices were accentuated enough… Where as with the boys, in the band, who had never dealt with theatre… What I did was very naughty…

Meeting Angie Bowie is an intense experience, her multi-tasking mind darts from one subject to another, connecting experience and revolutionary thinking with something like an abstract common sense. Her dedication to the subversive/ underground is where circumstance has led her. Angie’s tough inner resolve leads her to question the fringes of society and her place in it.

ANGIE BOWIE… but I’m a naughty person and I’m a Greek Cypriot, I like to get a result without anyone knowing they’ve been maneuvered into doing it. So I just concentrated on the boys until David got pissed, I just made those boys so fabulous, that finally he (David) said ‘What about me?’. So I said, ‘Oh, I thought you were gonna’ handle it all yourself, Oh, you want me to do it, little ole me…! Ok, I don’t know about that! Ok, sit still, watch this.’… You know how it is, you can’t get people to do stuff if they don’t wanna do it.

PRINCESS JULIA… That ‘look’ stands up today.

ANGIE BOWIE… I just couldn’t say anymore, I was like, ‘com on guys, you can’t just go up there in a pair of jeans’

The Bowie’s seemed like the most unconventional couple ever, both bisexual and experimental with image and attitude. In ‘pop’ terms they appealed to a young avant-garde generation willing to take risks. Coming ‘out’ became the norm in the 70’s playground…

PRINCESS JULIA… What was it like? Did you feel like you were in on an amazing movement, which you helped create?

ANGIE BOWIE… I’ll tell you what, I don’t know how to answer the question… What did it feel like, er, hard work that was the most important thing, cause all I did was work. See, I get up really early, so while everyone was sleeping and being musicians, erm, I’m not like that, I’m not interested in that, I’m get up and go… come on!

PRINCESS JULIA… What’s your star sign…?

ANGIE BOWIE… Libra, you want it done, lets do it! Don’t think about it, lets go… So I was always up and on the phone, so by 10 o clock …. Then my day was pretty much done, do you know what I mean? From about 6 to 10 I’m really hot. I’m gonna die soon, we’re all gonna die soon, I got 20 or 30 years left, that’s it babe, I got so much shit to do, I haven’t even begun… I mean, I’ve begun, I think I’ve made a pretty good start. So what it was like? really busy, to answer your question. The shows were very exciting, very glamorous, fulfilling, satisfying, all that good stuff, that moment of watching something come to fruition, seeing them up there looking great, with lights on them unlike bar bands, which was how it was at that time, pretty much … they didn’t use theatrical lighting, that was something I couldn’t tolerate, I couldn’t tolerate anyone talking between songs, there’ll be no one talking between songs, no ones interested in the title of the next song, no one gives a shit! Just do the song…


ANGIE BOWIE… An’ I got the lights right, an’ it started to look good, an’ I made sure that they looked brilliant, how they were dressed… and as soon as they heard that applause, that different applause, not that polite applause, that hurrrggghhh!!! applause, they shut up an’ did what I told them. So then my life became faster… an’ I could deal with them faster, I didn’t have to trick them into doing stuff, I didn’t have to trick them into putting make-up on.

The end of Angie and Dave’s relationship didn’t end to well. Angie’s role somehow became blurred and she became almost written the Glam Rock legacy. Her first book ‘Back Stage Passes’ was a slightly edited version of events due to a gagging order, her second book ‘Free Spirit’ a little more ‘tell all’ and her notes in ‘Bisexuality’ have become strong reference points. Her latest book ‘Pop Sex’ is soon to be with us and along with a body of music entitled ‘Moon Goddess’ that proves this ‘gal’ hasn’t been idle over the years, she is looking forward to hosting the ‘Outsider Film Festival’ this month. As Angie put it herself ‘The bitch won’t die!’

And here is Angie doing a gig at the 100 Club April 2010!!!!

PRINCESS JULIA… You had the attitude, the look, it was obvious from your pictures… So what are you doing now…have you got a boyfriend?

ANGIE BOWIE… I gotta’ boyfriend, yea he is young, I had to order a young boyfriend, because, oh fuck, old hippies become middle-aged desperados, they’re no use, you know, it doesn’t help because they were hippies. Yea, I have a boyfriend who I met Atlanta. I thought about my two most favorite men, Lee Black Childers who is from Louisville.


ANGIE BOWIE… I thought you would, I thought about Lee and then I thought about Jayne County. This will make you giggle, I remember Jayne telling me that in the country side all they would do is think about going to Atlanta where they would do what she called ‘wrecking’. They would drive through town screaming out of the window at all the cute boys, ‘wrecking’, causing a ruckus, I think that’s cool...

Tuesday, 6 April 2010


I was intrigued to see Aeaea, a duo consisting of Martin Tomlinson from Selfish Cunt taking the lead and Sam Ant on gadgets and vocal response. Quite simply this was the best thing I’ve seen and heard for ages… the ranting of Tomlinson over synth compositions were aptly hysterical, majorly poignant and I want to see more!

Photo's-PJ from gig at This New Battlefield at The Drop 5/4/10