Cinema - the same. Great films. Great directors. David Lean, Ken Russell, Stanley Kubrick;
Dr. Zivago, Lawrence of Arabia. 2001: A Space Odyssey, The Carry On films. The James
Writers of the highest ilk. Len Deighton, John Sullivan, John le Carré, Arthur C. Clarke,
Frederick Forsythe, Ian Fleming.
New actors. Michael Caine, Peter O’Toole, Richard Harris, Oliver Reed, Sean Connery,
Glenda Jackson. Julie Christie, Judi Dench, Rita Tushingham etc etc.
Music to die for. The Stones, Pink Floyd, Hendrix, Phil Spector, The Beatles, Wings,
Yardbirds, Genesis, The Who and masses more. Venues such as The Marquee, Ad Lib, The
Richmond Jazz Festival and Eel Pie Island to see and hear them. Plus jazz legends at iconic
Ronnie Scott’s. The best jazz club in the world.
A man on the moon just sixty years after man learnt to fly. Just incredible.
The overhanging threat of the Third and final World War did nothing to obliterate our being.
Khrushchev banging away with his shoe at the United Nations was seen as a highlight of the
Even my son, an extremely successful businessman in his twenties says, “You know Pop, I
am so envious of your years back then.” It’s true. And this is from someone who, for half his
working existence, travels the world. Even in these times, moving at four times the speed of
light, those days past still leave their mark. Maybe that is what life is missing now; time to
enjoy it. By that, I mean living life to the full and beyond.
So, I’m thinking to myself, this age of change merits a book. A tome or two that
demonstrates life as it was then. A time to record all for posterity and tell it like it was way
back when, in those heady, adrenaline fuelled fun packed days.
Being a creative humanoid, what platform can I utilise that can set the scene then? When
Alan Parker was a photographer; David Puttnam, a photographer’s rep; Charlie Sattchi, part
of a two-man creative team; Maurice Sattchi, nestling with Michael Hesaltine at Haymarket
Press; Branson launching Virgin. When the pill was inline with mini skirts, mini cars, mini
everything and hotpants. Online hadn’t conquered the world. And all the world was an
ongoing crazy stage.
Then, I had it. Not to write a lengthy, yawn inducing publication. But to break the whole into
a series of cameo littered short editions of connecting foibles. This particular journal provides
a series of sketches relating to some of my overseas trips spent in the company of John Cross.
Photographer extraordinaire, soothsayer and master of many side-splitting, diverse
occurrences. Perchance, we were destined to become friends, muckers. However, before
meeting him, I would like to provide a little more background, including a furtherance of
mine, in order to set out the scenario back then.