Jordan: Defying Gravity book launch, Brighton.


Jordan Mooney: Defying Gravity.

Jordan/Jordan Mooney, is an English model and actress noted for her work with Vivienne Westwood and the Sex boutique in the Kings Road area of London in the mid-1970s, and for attending many of the early Sex Pistols performances and regularly seen at other punk gigs. Her style and dress sense was striking bleached platinum-blonde bouffant hairdo with dark eye make-up. This and her dress sense and style made her a highly visible icon of the London punk culture. Along with so many of the characters at the time, she is credited with helping to create the W10 London punk look.

Jordan Mooney

Jordan Mooney

The other Queen, the one who lives in Buckingham Palace may have been celebrating a birthday, but the Prince Albert was to have a proper knees up with one of the true icons of Punk Rock, Punk Royalty. Billy Chainsaw was placed to fill the interviewer’s chair. We were promised there would be a Q&A session and then a book signing. VIP guests and top punk tunes on the decks from Up Yours! DJs, this promised to be a memorable night.

Billy Chainsaw

BILLY CHAINSAW was born and raised in Birmingham. Inspired by the onset of punk, in the late 1970s he escaped factory life and moved to London to work for Siouxsie and The Banshees. On parting company with the group in the mid-90s, Chainsaw became editor-in-chief on one of Paul Raymond’s adult publications (the American version of Club International). He now lives in Hove.

Billy Chainsaw - photo by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

Billy Chainsaw – photo by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

Jordan Mooney: The interview

Jordan was ushered onto the stage at the Prince Albert in Brighton, a well known and long established music venue. Jordan sat down and got her self comfortable in her “throne” for the evening with one of her many instantly recognisable photographs hanging from the back wall. I have to say the Albert team had gone all out for this all seated event. The music died down as Jordan settled into a truly fitting regal style chair. Billy Chainsaw sat in the interviewers chair, he took a last swig of beer and I think we were ready.

This is tricky because I am giving away no spoilers, you will have to go and see Jordan at one of her signings and then read the book!

Billy opened the session inviting Jordan to talk about her early life and growing up in Seaford. Jordan was calm and relaxed after her previous 20 hours had involved a trip to Belfast for in store signings and Q&A sessions. She then headed back to Brighton for an in-store appearance at Resident Records and then to top the 48 hours off, Jordan was in The Prince Albert!

Jordan Mooney - photo by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

Jordan Mooney – photo by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

Jordan gave a moving account of her early life and events surrounding her childhood. Jordan had everyone’s attention from the get go, and as she related her memories, at times, you could of heard a pin drop. Extraordinary considering how many people were in the room. She had her audience hanging on every word.

Billy expertly delivered the questions to Jordan allowing Jordan plenty of time to provide answers to his questions. He got Jordan to take us on her first trips up to London whilst she was trying to find a job. She knew where she wanted to work, but had to wait for a vacancy.

Both Billy and Jordan gave a fascinating insight into the club life, and gay clubs in Brighton or London. They remembered how wonderful the clubs were and accepting they were. As punks, during the punk days they had no where to go because of the way they looked. Billy recalled the time when you were lucky to get into a pub in those days, even luckier to get out in one piece.

Timmy DeRella was the MC and delivered a large refreshment for Jordan.

Timmy DeRella was the MC and delivered a large refreshment for Jordan. Pic by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex.

Jordan then gave some insights into her love of Bowie. We moved onto the Sex Pistols and Jordan made the crowd listen intently as she told us a few of her personal stories and reflections. One memory shared involving Paul Simonon from The Clash and The Pistols .She made us draw our breath, remember history and also made us laugh with her delightful insights. She recalled how she would go and see Rod Stewart, she was a fan as was one of the Sex Pistols. The conversation moved onto the drug culture that cropped up at that time and Jordan fondly remembered Dee Dee Ramone and Johnny Thunders, and the impact the drugs had on the scene at the time.  Jordan recalled her vision of the end of The Sex Pistols and shared some of the conversations and events from that time.

The light that burns twice as bright burns half as long.

Jordan shared with us the time working in SEX, recalling times with Vivienne Westwood and Malcolm McLaren. She also mentioned Sid Vicious and Nancy and the film released at the time The Great Rock and Roll Swindle.

Jordan moved on to cover how she met with Adam Ant and her role in jubilee. Did you know she used to manage Adam & The Ants, sing with them and even eventually married an Ant. Her love and respect for Derek Jarman was so heart warming to hear, and a mention for a certain co-star in Jubilee! You will have to read the book!

Jordan: Jubilee

Did Jordan sing Rule Britannia? Sorry, you are going to have to read the book!

And Finally

Jordan and Charlie Harper and Defying Gravity

Jordan and Charlie Harper and Defying Gravity

Running on the back wall were various photos from Jordans life and her book including the picture of her and Charlie Harper. Vivienne, Pistols, Bowie, Adam Ant they were all there, including Kate Moss wearing THAT Venus T Shirt which had belonged to Jordan.

Timmy DeRella with mic in hand masterfully darted amongst the crowd gleaning questions from the many who had waited.  He handled it really well. So, Jordan sat and chatted for nearly two hours straight, then handled another 30 minutes of questions. Topics covering fashion, music, The Sex Pistols, Adam Ant, Marriage and cats!

Jordan left the stage to a massive cheer and round of applause. Jordan took her position, pen poised and ready to sign. Even after that intense session this fabulous lady did not stop smiling, she did not stop talking to people and she posed for a few fan selfies. This lady is quite remarkable. This book by Jordan and the wonderful Cathi Unsworth is quite remarkable.

Jordan: Defying Gravity

Jordan: Defying Gravity

I spoke to a couple of people who had travelled down from London to see Jordan again. They had been at a similar event in the 100 club. They had thoroughly enjoyed the outing to Brighton and were so happy to have been able to see Jordan again.

I first met Jordan. I think it was, in Lewes with Paul Cook at a Sharks gig a couple of years ago, and then again at a UK SUBS gig. We have seen few bands now, bumping into each other, and I always enjoy meeting her, even if for just a brief hello. She has a way about her that makes you feel at ease and comfortable. She has an extraordinary impact on everyone she meets. She works now as a veterinary nurse and breeds cats. But look back at those pictures and videos and that person in the pictures is still very much there, that twinkle in her eye, those T Shirts, a wonderful warm sense of humour – BUT I can confirm Jordan is still very much a punk at heart, and is fiercely active at many music events. Jordan wanted it to be special tonight, in her home town, and it was.

A short while ago Jordan had asked if I had the book yet. I said “No, not yet Jordan” and explained I wanted to do the talk, the Q&A’s, I wanted to queue up and get my purchased copy signed. I wanted to do it properly, and I am so damn glad I did. I would not have missed that special June evening for the world. We often compare notes after a gig – best gig of the year so far, that kind of thing. Jordan, you have topped many of the gigs I have been to – period – it was a wonderful evening. You evoked so many emotions in me and the audience. A birthday bash at Buckingham Palace or the Prince Albert with Jordan? The Prince Albert for me, and no doubt the crowd that sold out the Prince Albert!!

Now, you will have to excuse me…. I have a book to read! And no, dear reader, you cant borrow it! Get your own!

Thank you Jordan for allowing me to capture the evening. A night I will always remember.

Check out Jordans Defying Gravity page on Facebook

Grab a copy at all good book stores or from here.

Congrats to Timmy and Debs DeRella and the Prince Albert team, great job Will Moore on the setting.

The music was provided by Brighton DJ’s Jayney BlamBlam & Simon Price – fabulous selection guys – loved it and you gave the evening a fine punk polish with some classic punk tunes.

 

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