the only ones - The I-94 Bar

How The West Was Won – Peter Perrett (Domino)

how the west was wonThe Horniman Museum in South London is a monument to its founder's eccentricities.  A giant stuffed walrus vies for space beside antique musical instruments.  Medieval torture chairs sit next to a delightful selection of monk’s undergarments.  Both horsehair and spiked.

They had a couple of live piranhas and a virtual history of pipe smoking.  The Addams family would have felt right at home.

One unusual exhibition was a wheel of Chinese opium.  It sat happily in its case for 80 years until some reprobate walked in, opened the case and vanished off into the English Autumn.

The legend shared by South London’s heroin users was the perpetrator was one, Peter Perrett.  This wasn't based on fact.  He just lived around the corner from the museum. 

The Haunted Writings of Lionel Johnson, the Decadent Era’s
 Dark Angel - Edited and with an essay by Nina Antonia (Strange Attractor Press)

incurableNina Antonia crops up at the I-94 Bar yet again. Perhaps best known for:

  • Her compelling, astonishing book (the first if you discount Morrissey's) on The New York Dolls (a band renowned for decadence at a time when decadence was almost a rite of passage),
  • Her bio of Johnny Thunders (the film currently out doesn't use her research, so you can guess what it'll be like),
  • Hr bio of Peter Perrett,
  • And a book with Pete Doherty.

One begins to rather wonder about Antonia's fascination with doomed, beautiful men... 

As she reveals in "The Prettiest Star" (nominally the story of Brett Smiley) she's clearly drawn like a moth to a flame; and she's been writing in solitude and sacrifice for well over 30 years... suffice to say she should be better known.