After five years, we’ve decided to stop British Ideas Corporation. With 91,000 Facebook followers, we knew there was a big interest in cool British culture from the Second World War onwards, but it needed a bit of financial backing to shift it along to the next stage – a print magazine with a website. Imagine a monthly publication that had interviews with members of The Jam, New Order and The Specials, actors from Trainspotting, Auf Wiedershen Pet and Kes, along with proper footballers, artists and designers. A crazy notion! Thanks for all your support – and just so you know, we have nothing whatsoever to do with British Ideas Corporation 2.
By Lee Gale
A long time ago, I used to work for Jack magazine which, at the time, was by far the finest men’s title money could buy. Sadly, not many people agreed with that statement and Jack closed in 2004. Nevertheless, each issue would have articles that were lovingly crafted by writers with massive interests in male culture – namely football, World War II, decent comedy, obscure music and old-men’s pubs. You’d come in with an idea and it would be given the green light without question. It was an incredible environment to work in. I loved the Avro Lancaster and set about writing a long-form magazine article about its history as soon as I’d got my feet under the desk. This inevitably led to interviews with wartime RAF bomber crews.
I visited squadron leader Tony Iveson of 617 Squadron at his home in Tunbridge Wells in summer 2003. On the walls of his spotless home were paintings of Lancasters on various missions, and I seem to recall one was of 617 Squadron’s successful raid sinking the Tirpitz in 1944. Iveson was involved in three missions to sink the bothersome German battleship. I’ll put a few of my other interviews on British Ideas Corporation over the next few weeks. I’ve just read that Iveson died in November 2013 at the age of 94, so he would have been 83 when I interviewed him. He was perfectly lucid and a riveting storyteller.
Bad Wisdom: The Lighthouse At The Top Of The World
Book by Bill Drummond & Mark Manning (Penguin, 1996)
It’s winter 1992 and self-proclaimed Zen Masters Bill Drummond, formerly of The KLF, Mark Manning aka Zodiac Mindwarp and former Jesus Jones roadie and Falklands War veteran Gimpo embark on a drive to the North Pole in a rental Ford Escort whereupon they intend to lay a picture of Elvis Presley on the ground, perform a kung-fu dance, light some joss sticks and save Earth. Written as part factual-ish on-the-road account and part fantasy adventure, the mix of endless driving, bingo, daytime radio and warped carnage (Viking ice-biker chainsaw battles, lakes of blood, extreme Nordic mind trips where you swim with dolphins for a billion years) means that once the journey is over, it’ll feel pointless ever booking a holiday again. LG