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Sat, Aug. 16th, 2008 12:30 am
JOEMUS as Slab Boys!

Shooting these pictures last week for our Joemus project, Joe Howe and I agreed that we looked -- surprisingly, and accidentally -- like The Slab Boys of John Byrne's autobiographical 1978 theatre piece about three aspiring artist tearaway Teddy Boy-types (quiffed, ciggy-lipped Phil, aspiring rocker Spanky and speccy nerd Hector) working in the colour-mixing room of A.F Stobo, a Paisley carpet factory in 1957.

It's mostly in the Ray Bans, of course, but there's a certain facial resemblance too. Check out these images of Byrne's own paintings of his characters, and some of the actors who've played them:



Now, since we're coming to the end of the recording of the JOEMUS album, it's time to think about sleeve artwork. And I thought it would be great to have an image -- a painting -- of Joe and me as Slab Boys.

I actually attended the original production at Edinburgh's Traverse Theatre back in the 70s, and I remember seeing the ultra-stylish Byrne gadding around the Grassmarket in his black 1940s Citroen. Byrne recently revived the boys in a new Traverse piece called Nova Scotia which showed them -- aged 60 -- meeting up in the north east of Scotland (where he now lives, raising his children by actress partner Tilda Swinton). He made a film of The Slab Boys in 1997 (which I haven't seen), and reminisces in this documentary about the 1993 Tokyo production (at Parco Theatre): "They looked exactly like guys from Paisley, except speaking Japanese. It was very funny. And it was a great success in Japan."



I don't have the chutzpah to ask Byrne to parody his own painting, but I'm wondering if anyone out there either is, or knows, an artist with the skill to do a parody or pastiche painting, in Byrne's style, of me as Phil and Joe as an amalgam of Spanky and Hector? The most relevant image is the one I've included twice in the strip above, the one of the pair with their heads banged together. That kind of composition -- grotesque, caricatural, gap-toothed, messy, dark, slick, devil-may-care -- would fit best on a record sleeve, and the way the two faces are almost becoming a single person would fit with what we're doing with the co-written songs on the record.

The work would be paid -- rather poorly, I'm afraid, since, unlike Phil, Spanky and Hector we don't have day jobs or rock star aspirations. If you think you could do this, or know someone who could, or have a suggestion, leave a comment here with a link to an example of the work, or email me.



Meanwhile -- so things don't get too retro necro -- here's a video of Scottish artist Chad McCail, whose drawings I like a lot, and another of a couple of today's Scottish art students (Ashleigh Reid and Vivien Murdoch) debating the cultural situation in Edinburgh while doing what art students have always done best: smoking cigarettes with ridiculous intensity.

UPDATE: I actually got quite a few responses by email and we're going with a friend of Joe's, Stefan Sadler of Famicon Collective.

17CommentReply


(Anonymous)
Sat, Aug. 16th, 2008 03:54 am (UTC)
Suggestion

For some reason, first person that came to mind was Gregory Jacobsen (Chicago)
http://gregoryjacobsen.com/gallery2008.html

But his style may be grotesque in a different way than what you are going for...

Sarah


ReplyThread
imomus
imomus
imomus
Sat, Aug. 16th, 2008 08:42 am (UTC)
Re: Suggestion

Those look pretty great, actually! But do you think he'd accept low-paid commissions for album artwork?


ReplyThread Parent

(Anonymous)
Sat, Aug. 16th, 2008 07:18 pm (UTC)
Re: Suggestion

Perhaps! What if he's a fan? I will contact him now.

S


ReplyThread Parent

(Anonymous)
Sat, Aug. 16th, 2008 11:00 pm (UTC)
Re: Suggestion

Well he was interested but I see you found someone! Oh well! Can't wait to see it.

Sarah


ReplyThread Parent

(Anonymous)
Sat, Aug. 16th, 2008 04:07 am (UTC)

I'd prefer to see this cover concept:

You and Joe pose at an amusement park entrance. You are the father, dressed very respectably, and Joe is the son, dressed like he's 10. It'd be a little perverse and disturbing, maybe.


ReplyThread
imomus
imomus
imomus
Sat, Aug. 16th, 2008 09:25 am (UTC)

Sounds quite Ivor Cutler-esque!


ReplyThread Parent

(Anonymous)
Sat, Aug. 16th, 2008 10:18 am (UTC)

why not asking the artist who did the Kubin/Momus poster some weeks ago?


ReplyThread
imomus
imomus
imomus
Sat, Aug. 16th, 2008 10:41 am (UTC)

I actually got quite a few responses by email and we're going with a friend of Joe's, Stefan Sadler of Glasgow's Famicon Collective.


ReplyThread

(Anonymous)
Sat, Aug. 16th, 2008 03:24 pm (UTC)

Famicon are based in London.

Emma x


ReplyThread Parent
imomus
imomus
imomus
Sat, Aug. 16th, 2008 03:52 pm (UTC)

Ah, Famicon the London-based collective, then!


ReplyThread Parent

(Anonymous)
Sat, Aug. 16th, 2008 09:28 pm (UTC)

Momus, do you agree that ilx are a bunch of facist fuckers?


ReplyThread Parent
imomus
imomus
imomus
Sat, Aug. 16th, 2008 09:32 pm (UTC)

What have they been doing now, then? Last time I looked in they were discussing nothing more Hitlerian than Big Brother. Or do I mean nothing less Hitlerian than Big Brother?


ReplyThread Parent
catthorpe
catthorpe
catthorpe
Mon, Sep. 29th, 2008 06:02 pm (UTC)
famicon uk

heyyy sorrrry to be a snot, actually its famicon from london and brighton!


ReplyThread Parent
schism_schasm
schism_schasm
schism_schasm
Sun, Aug. 17th, 2008 07:35 pm (UTC)
Damn, too late...

Fellow Paisley boy would have liked this assignment...

www.terryandersonfizzers.co.uk

Maybe next time...


ReplyThread
count_vronsky
count_vronsky
Sun, Aug. 17th, 2008 09:12 pm (UTC)

Sexy sexy new icon momus :)

Spanky in photo # 5 looks like Slim Jim Phantom.


ReplyThread

(Anonymous)
Thu, Aug. 21st, 2008 11:08 am (UTC)
ash and amy's video

oh gosh, i got a surprise when i saw it here. glad you found it


ReplyThread
mzui
mzui
Sun, Aug. 24th, 2008 12:19 pm (UTC)
Slab Boys..

A subject very dear to my heart, my Mum and Dad both worked at Stoddart's/Stobo & Co carpet factory on the outskirts of Paisley, my dad worked his way up trough the Slab room to a designer's chair alongside John.

We have two beautiful early 'Patrick's' in our house and an amazing renaissance style red-chalk portrait of my folks done by John. He has been in my life since I was old enough to understand what he/the play was all about, although to my lasting regret I've never met the man.

The film is worthwhile, a little disappointing maybe, he did get a lot of the people who worked at Stoddart's back then to act as extras including my parents.


ReplyThread