The view from the Cliffton suspension bridge
Saturday, 29 August 2009
The view from the Cliffton suspension bridge
Tuesday, 25 August 2009
I don't really believe in Rock and Roll anymore, at least not in the sense of the here and now. There are many artists, singers and musicians about, holding up the British music charts which, by the by, seem to be hanging by a thread, but very little can truly be called 'Rock'n'Roll'. To put it another way, there is very little which can be called rebellious, outlandish in the non-fashionable sense, or just plain stupid. Many pertain to achieve the highly sought after 'rock status', what with Doherty and Winehouse's stellar drug abuse, and the ever so effervescent way with the public, BUT, if we roll out from the Lester Bangs house of rock, taking stock of the Stooges and of course the upfront Iggy Pop, there seems to be little or nothing in the race to the base of rock.
Monday, 10 August 2009
"An artist is somebody who produces things that people don’t need to have" - Andy Warhol
Wednesday, 22 July 2009
Thursday, 9 July 2009
On the 8th July 2009, I attended a Charity event for the late Mark Blanco. This event, co-ordinated by his mother, Shiela Blanco, sister, Emma Blanco, and a host of Legal types, such as Michael Wolfkind and Craig Rush, served to raise awareness of the following campaign which has been running since 2006, and will continue to run until justice is served. The event last night touched my heart, and prompted me to write about the case in hand. I wanted everyone to learn about the Blanco family, and their tireless effort to gain closure to their suffering, together with friends, and those benevolent legal advisors who have spent their time on a case they truly believe in.
So please read on, and support a worthy cause.......
On the 3rd December 2006, in the early hours of the morning, MarkBlanco fell two floors to his death after an altercation with the 'artist' now named Peter Doherty. Having been rushed to hospital with severe injuries, within 24 hours he was dead, his family at his bed side. This tragic incident has left the family bereft of a son and a brother, and many friends bereft of a kind hearted, intelligent and creative soul. The strange events that surrounded his untimely death served only to create unrest throughout Mark's inner circle of relations and friends, an unrest which caused their grief to lengthen, with no closure in sight.
The events that preceded centered around a flat , belonging to a Paul Roundhill, in the East End of London. This man, dubiously known as Doherty's 'Literary Agent', is at the centre of the events from here on out. The party was attended by Doherty, a man acting as a sort of security guard, named 'Johnny Headlock', Roundhill himself, a number of females, including a girl named Kate, though accordingly not Miss Moss. Mark himself attended, as he was interested in discussing a new play named 'Accidental Death Of An Anarchist', which he was to be taking part in. Mark was very keen for Doherty to come to a show, as he knew that this would of course raise the profile of the show. Mark really cared for the project, and wanted this play to be a success. Both Roundhill and Headlock allegedly took very badly to him, taking items of his clothing, such as the cap he was wearing, and setting fire to them using lighter fluid. Hardly the antics of kind and gentle young men. Mark is said to have been ejected from the flat once, via the front door, but, upon returning to the flat to pick up his stolen effects, within minutes lay dying on the ground, two floors below. The ambulance was called a full four minutes after the event, by the girls present at the party, in which time Roundhill had only condescended to throw some tissues from the balcony. Doherty himself was seen on CCTV footage running from the area, apparently to attend another party that night.
In statements to the Met. Police following the incident, Johnny Headlock, real name Johnathon Jeannevol, reportedly accused Mark Blanco of being very drunk, which he concluded could have been how he 'fell' from the balcony. The balcony incidentally had a four ft. high railing. Roundhill, who admitted to Marks murder just days after his death, ratracting his statement when questioned later in the proceedings, felt that the young actor was simply star struck, and therefor acting very odly around Doherty. To this, friends and family have responded that, having been educated at Cambridge University, Mark had rubbed shoulders with many famous and noteworthy persons, and had bee taught to take this all in his stride.
All this aside, there was a second injustice to be done, this time by the initial Policing of the incident. after a few hours spent at the scene, the area was re-opened. One particularly harsh blow to Marks mother, Shiela, she visited the scene a few hours after marks death, where she discovered one of his glass lenses lying on the ground. Obviously there had been no thorough forensic investigation carried out. however, Scotland Yard still insist that there was a fully investigation carried about before the decision was made to close the crime scene completely. Marks death was apparently free from 'suspicious circumstances.'
The painful mistrust and desperation for truth, felt by Ms Blanco, led her to pay for a private post-mortem, when it was discovered that there was in fact no trace of alcohol or drugs, in his system. This fuelled the fire, and still today the fight is continuing for justice.
To date, Shiela and her family has spent more than 25,000 pounds on the legal battle, but there does not seem to be an end in sight. Doherty, who has been in the courts more times than can be counted, and who has consistently failed to appear at his own hearings, still evades any kind of real sentencing for any of his offences. Whilst Ms Blanco states that she has no positive or negative feelings towards Doherty, but just just wants to know the truth, it seems that the three key witnesses who could give her the ability to move on, refuse to do what is honorouble.
The Benefit / Memorial event which I attended was both moving and wondeful. It was a testament to the sheer strength of human character. Shiela was amazing, speaking about her son with a warmth and love which brought such awe to everyone in the auditorium. Mark's friends, many of them performers and artists like him, described Mark in such a way that he seemed to take shape before our very eyes, fleshed out by stories about his life, his passions, and his posessions that he owned and doted on. It is a very sad thing when people can tell you all about someone and you just wish you could have met them. Mark was a budding Actor, Magician, Philosopher, and Writer. I had the pleasure of hearing one of Marks short stories, and from this I can also say he was a very humourous man. Everyone who knew him gave him such a shining appraisal, that it became more than words, but pure love and affection that was palpable.
Though the heading of this article may seem very bitter towards Doherty, it is the love that I felt through the friends and family, in their words and their performances, that compelled me to write this, because I truly want everyone to know, and to help as much as they can, to bring family and friends of Mark to a point where they can keep the memory of Mark alive, and not the horrible way he met his end.
If this has touched any part of your heart, and made you feel sad for the loss of such a wonderful person, please go to below address and help Shiela and Emma Blanco to put and end to this. Please follow and support this case, because there is strength in numbers.
Thankyou for reading.