Sofa so good
Watching the wonderful bitter sweet docu drama Inside Llewyn Davis brought back the memories of spending days, weeks, months crashing out in other peoples pads. The time 1969-70. The place in and around Hampstead-Frognal, Downshire Hill, Chalcot Square. Was I really there.?So I got thinking of crashing at Roger Perry’s. He, a photographer friend of Tony Elliott the founder of Time Out who I was quite friendly with at Keele University.
As it happens Roger had a flat in the large house owned by the eminent literary critic William Empson. I only found that out later. So anyway I googled Roger Perry and sure enough there he was . His particular interest in alternative theatre portraits having been snapped up by among others the National Portrait Gallery.
One of my abiding memories,of his flat, was of getting very stoned and listening for hours on end to the Rolling Stones “Let it Bleed” LP. One of the few I ever bought. Its true, You Cant Always Get What You Want. But of course you can try. There are many who say you should try. I digress.
But what blew me away was that Roger Perry had been dead 23 years . He had had to give up photography because of rhemeutoid arthritis and retired to the country to devote himself to his other hobby Lancia cars. And he clicked his last in 1991. My last sighting was probably about 1971.
OK at our age people die,nothing outstanding in that. But what blew freaked me a little was that as far as my (non) relationship with Roger Perry went it didn’t matter. His work was on the web, he was immortal. That is , we can all be immortal. Unlike other generations we will not be reduced to decaying , forgotten stone in some distant church yard.
Long after the family have died and moved on that forgotten grave stone is sometimes spotted by some burial ground tourist. They may not realise what village Hamden lies beneath . And so it will be with our remains and memories on the web. Unless one is looking it will never be found unless by some google eyed tourist who stumbles by accidently. But in my case I was looking for Roger Perry who all those decades ago kindly put me up for a few weeks. And he was easy to find.