Reasons To Be Cheerful: The Life and Work of Barney Bubbles

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“He was so good I couldn’t have really competed with him.”
Sir Peter Blake

Reasons To Be Cheerful is a celebration of the life and work of one of the greatest designers of recent times: Barney Bubbles.

Bubbles—real name Colin Fulcher—was a giant of graphic design whose prodigious output is revered by musicians, artists, fellow designers and music and pop culture fans.

Reasons To Be Cheerful is published November 2008 to coincide with the 25th anniversary of the artist’s death. Author Paul Gorman is also curating a companion exhibition with Sir Paul Smith.

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Space Ritual by Hawkwind (1973).

Barney Bubbles’ body of work included early posters for the Rolling Stones, brand and product design for Sir Terence Conran, psychedelic art with poster maestro Stanley Mouse, layouts for underground magazines OZ and Friends and collaborations with many bands and performers, from counter-culture collective Hawkwind to new wave stars Elvis Costello, Ian Dury, Nick Lowe, Graham Parker, The Damned and Billy Bragg.

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left: Doremi Fasol Latido by Hawkwind (1972).
right: Ian Dury & the Blockheads logo design (late 70s).

Bubbles links the colourful underground optimism of the 60s to the sardonic and manipulative art which accompanied punk’s explosion from 1976 onwards, and influenced a generation of design talent including Neville Brody, Malcolm Garrett and Peter Saville.

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Music For Pleasure by The Damned (1977).

The lavishly illustrated Reasons To Be Cheerful will contain hundreds of images and many full-colour plates.

About the Author
Paul Gorman is a popular culture historian and author of The Look: Adventures in Rock & Pop Fashion, and the top ten bestselling Straight with Boy George.


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About Jay Babcock

I am the co-founder and editor of Arthur Magazine (2002-2008, 2012-13) and curator of the three Arthur music festival events (Arthurfest, ArthurBall, and Arthur Nights) (2005-6). Prior to that I was a district office staffer for Congressman Henry A. Waxman, a DJ at Silver Lake pirate radio station KBLT, a copy editor at Larry Flynt Publications, an editor at Mean magazine, and a freelance journalist contributing work to LAWeekly, Mojo, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Vibe, Rap Pages and many other print and online outlets. An extended piece I wrote on Fela Kuti was selected for the Da Capo Best Music Writing 2000 anthology. In 2006, I was one of five Angelenos listed in the Music section of Los Angeles Magazine's annual "Power" issue. In 2007-8, I produced a blog called "Nature Trumps," about the L.A. River. Today, I live a peaceful life in the rural wilderness of Joshua Tree, California, where I am a partner in JTHomesteader.com with Stephanie Smith.

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