This is what happend that year:
The beautiful shape of Concord took flight for the first time
The Beatles’ performance on the roof of the Apple building in Savile Row,
causing major chaos
Brian Jones was found dead in a swimming pool after a cocktail of drugs and booze
John and Yoko protested in bed and released Give Peace a Chance
Man stepped on the moon for the first time
Now I’m 25, married, baby on the way, living in my first house on the edge of Epping Forest, painting one of the bedroom walls in a stylish bitter chocolate colour...
Our bedroom in '69
while listening to The Beach Boys’ Smiley Smile album and ferrying furniture from Habitat Tottenham Court Road – the only place to buy affordable contemporary furniture at the time...
These were the paper bags used at Habitat in '69, nice illustrations by Juliet Glynn Smith who produced a lot of textile designs for Habitat at the time. The one below, featuring the fashionable pink and red of the 60's, was my choice for curtains.
– my life was falling into place. Among the very many things that went up on the walls of my house was this...
It was silk screened onto tin and cost just a few pounds
in 1969. Apparently these now go for over £1,000. I wished I’d held onto it.
My new professional life in the highly civilised world of publishing, situated in the heart of London’s Mayfair, was a revelation and a baptism of culture. Until that point, my main interests had been design, film, music and fashion. At Heinemann there was a whole plethora of fascinating people who would expand my view on everything over the coming years.
I was a pretty lazy reader and suddenly had masses of books to absorb and authors to familiarise myself with. I also had to learn the art of ‘persuasive’ presentation. Part of my job involved having to convince the chairman and the sales, editorial and managing directors (the latter being completely colour blind) that the cover designs I’d commissioned or produced myself were right for the job. These people were mostly two or three decades my senior and extremely articulate. I slowly mastered the art. At the same time, I was seeing many designers, photographers and illustrators. It was wonderful to be exposed to such talented and experienced creatives at my relatively young age.
In addition to responsibility for book jackets, I had to handle print production and the design of all publicity material. It was a demanding role. But with the Publicity Director William Holden, my default mentor, right next door, my afternoons would often be spent sitting on a squashy sofa, whisky tumbler in hand, while listening to some hilarious literary stories brilliantly re-enacted by Roland Gant, the editorial director.
a Punch cartoon of Roland Gant by Sherriffs
Drink was very much the order of the day in that ‘60s publishing era. It all seemed so glamorous and sophisticated to me. I would just sit there soaking it all up.
This was the Heinemann's spring catalogue for '69 with illustrations by my old Cato/Peters/O'Brien work colleague Ginger Tilley.
The above cover was designed for me by John Larkin of Larkin May. Back then all beautifully retouched in the old analogue way using a brush and paint.
It was also a pretty male-dominated industry at the top of the tree, with the female members of staff, most of whom were from relatively well-heeled backgrounds, twinsetted and pearled tapping away on large, noisy typewriters, all with perfect RP accents. My first year was an immersion process. Later, I would emerge a more rounded and confident person.
During my first year at Heinemann I was keen to meet other publishing art directors. Nicholas Thirkell was at Macmillan producing some brilliant work and was the first to engage the services of a new outstanding collective called Bentley/Farrell/Burnett.
This is one of the jackets they produced for Thirkell in 1969. It was beautiful and made me as envious as hell. The challenge was on.
That year I was reading:
I became an ardent fan of J.P.Donleavy and read everything he'd pened
And my films for that year:
and the indie Easy Rider directed by Dennis Hopper mostly high as a kite.
The West Coast had a hold that year with all things American.
My second album was the very British Unhalfbricking by Fairport Convention with the angelic voice of the late Sandy Denny
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