‘I’m Nobody’s Nephew’ – Rare Quentin Crisp interview

‘So you sit there. There’s the nail, and there’s the piece of wood. And you wait.’ Probably for the Great Dark Man to bang it in. Broadcast on UK television in 1975, the day after The Naked Civil Servant aired, thrilling and shocking the nation, this fine interview by the great Mavis Nicholson is one that I don’t recall seeing before. Though of course, Crisp didn’t really do interviews – he declaimed. Gloriously. Crisp was forever in the dock, making a final, impassioned appeal to […]

Dear Hero in Prison – Quotes From Morrissey’s Autobiography

Well, I’ve read that book. You know, the fastest-selling music biography ever. And while it would be hideously indecorous of me to review it – especially since Morrissey was kind enough not to mention my biography of him – I will say this: It certainly didn’t disappoint. In lieu of a review, here are some especially cherished lines. Because of course, everything that he says rings true-oh-oh-oh. On his hometown …we live in forgotten Victorian knife-plunging Manchester, where everything lies wherever it was left over one […]

David Bowie’s Bisensuality

Mark Simpson on how Bowie, the 1970s progenitor metrosexuality, shape-shifted masculinity  (Originally appeared in High50 magazine, March 2013) The video for David Bowie’s first single in a decade, the melancholic, low-key ‘Where Are We Now?’ – featuring the faces of Bowie and an unnamed woman superimposed on conjoined puppets – is striking for all sorts of reasons. For those who can remember such things, it is also a striking reminder of his 1979 Saturday Night Live US performance of ‘Boys Keep Swinging’, with Joey Arias and the late great Klaus Nomi on […]

Flora Men

After my dad had a health scare in the 1970s butter was banished from the Simpson household and replaced with Flora, probably partly as a result of this ad, which ran in heavy rotation for what seemed like most of my childhood. I continued eating it myself for years after leaving home. Back then we – or, rather, our mothers – were told that butter with its saturated fats was bad for you. Flora margarine which was ‘high in polyunsaturated fats’ and made from sunflower […]