simon napier-bell

Guy Hands is still hanging on. At least he thinks he is. Two weeks ago he started an action against Citibank claiming they grabbed EMI from him wrongfully.
I was enjoying London gay society circa 1961. I had a boyfriend with whom I shared a bed-sit, a good job, and a busy social life. BUT... I hadn't done the one thing I knew I had to do. Tell my parents. It wasn't quick. I went for Sunday lunch every week, and endlessly planned to get my father alone in the sitting-room. But after a year I still hadn't managed it. Then it happened. We were in the sitting-room. Lunch was over. My mother was washing up, the others had gone into the garden. 'I've got to tell you something,' I said.
This month, London's Caprice restaurant is celebrating its thirtieth birthday. Actually, it's not thirty years old at all - it's sixty. The Caprice opened in the late 40s and became an instant hit with the post-war film and theatre set. In the 1950s, I was taken there for lunch by my father. He was a documentary film director and amongst the other directors in the same company was Lindsay Anderson. Despite being passionately left-wing, they both liked a good lunch.
Those Jedward trousers are just too ridiculous to keep quiet about any longer. Its not their bum-to-ankle skin-tightness I'm talking about - it's their absurdly unnatural silhouette - neither male nor female nor even truly human. Like an asexual teddy bear.
During the 80s, with artists I managed, I visited most of Eastern Europe's capitals. All of them smelt of decay. Buildings were dilapidated and hotels grubby. You could be arrested for taking a photograph where you shouldn't, or walking down the wrong street. In Moscow, the hotel staff were indistinguishable from police. "Your flight is cancel. You will delay 48 hours. We will retain your passport. Eat in the designated place."
Ferran Adrià, chef and owner of the restaurant El Bulli (famous for its 34-course tasting menu and its waiting list of a million customers), has closed the place down. Good riddance! El Bulli wasn't a proper restaurant anyway - it was an eating disorder. And it's been spreading.
Record companies are the past. Nothing wrong with them - they served a purpose, and the names of their labels were a part of our lives. But like larders and linoleum and cars that didn't start on cold mornings, they belong to another age.