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The story goes that the French artist/photographers, Pierre et Gilles tound themselves at the gates of heaven.

‘Thank God you’re here!’ cried St Peter. ’There is a problem In heaven. Once upon a time humans died young and beautiful . . . but now we see only wrinkled bodies . . . God, a great lover of beauty conmlained . . . Then we had a brain-wave . . . it seems you are the closest living relatives of the great papal portraitists of the Renaissance, and your work is lull of optimism, empathy and spirituality, or something as close to those things as your ghastly post-modem age will allow. Even the Marquis de Sade put in a good word for you.‘

“Sade Is here?’ asked Pierre astonished.

'Oh yes,’ said St Peter, 'God moves in mysterious ways . . .’

Pierre et Gilles make beautiful, hideous, silly and sexy icons for the post-modem age by pillaging religion, Hollywood and fairy tale. This is camp of cosmic proportions!

Pierre ot Gilles ls pule by Benedikt Taschen.

:— Making waves

Some record companies have it: Motown, for example, or Stax, where the logo is as much a guarantee of quality as the artist’s name. Atlantic Records is, or maybe was, one such label. Founded in 1947 by the suave, dignified iazz fiend Ahmet Ertegun, son oi the Turkish ambassador to the United States, it was home to such giants as Ray Charles, Clyde McPhatter and Big Joe Turner. later, as the mood changed, Ertegun demonstrated his astuteness time and time again, signing white artists like Sonny and Cher, Buttan Springfield, Led Zeppelin and, eventually, The Rolling Stones.

The most compelling part of Justine Picardie and Dorothy Wade’s version at the Atlantic story, Atlantic And The Godfathers Of Rock And Roll, is their account of the early years, when independent labels across the States were run by enthusiasts living hand- to-mouth; when people were in such a rush to sign contracts that they didn’t even glance at the small print until it was too late; when the Mafia was a constant presence (although Atlantic, almost alone, seemed to have resisted infiltration by the Mob). The tale is briskly told, evoking the feel of pioneering times it’s seat-ot-their- pants stuff, like reading about early aviators and the anecdotal material is rich.

A typical story is told by the

Atlantic/Stair hit-merchants Booker T. and the Mas

notorious Mafia-connected publisher Morris Levy (now deceased), revealing the relationships between the main players to be every bit as tangled as their contractual binds: ‘She told me that George had lain on his deathbed mumbling, “Sue this guy, sue that guy, sue Morris Levy.” Then about five minutes later he said to her, “And if you need any help, go and see Morris Levy.” She said, “But you just told me to sue him.” He said, ‘Oh that doesn’t matter with Morris one thing hasn’t got anything to do with another.” (Alastair Mahbott)

Atlantic And The Godtathers Of Rock And Roll is published by 4th Estate at £9.99.

-::.‘I, \‘E'I . 'Etégir .' if ‘.;: .{-‘ . T I


"It's authenticity makes it a brave venture." Michael Fry The Scotsman

14A NICOLSON STREET, (next to Royal College of Surgeons) EDINBURGH EH8 90H Tel: 031-556 6583

AUTHORS AT WATERSTONE'S Tuesday 18th April 7pm


in conversation with Alan Taylor, discussing his new biography

Philip Larkin:A Writer’s Life

0 Admission Free 0

Tuesday 27th April 7pm TOM PAULIN

will be reading with guest poets Harry Smart 8 Don Paterson

Waterstone’s Booksellers West lind liranth IZP-i l‘rmu-s Street l'dlnlmrifli, lil l2 -l:\l) h'l (Rl Zoo Zhlm

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Two floors of comics, books, videos, trading cards, kits, graphic novels, fantasy, cyberpunk, manga

comic & Fiction


leading Science store.

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55 The List 9—22 April I993