Category

CREATIVITY

Category

After David and I had lunch, we went for a wander.

David signs copies of Kes for people that love the film. And he wanted to buy a few DVDs for our event later that day.

So we went to HMV.

Happenings.

Happenings.

Things that happen.

Things that happen in our lives that are weird and truly wonderful.

Sometimes they happen to us.

Sometimes we make them happen.

I suggest you make them happen.

Life is too short.

And happenings are too rare for you to wait.

HMV.

A happening happened to me in HMV in Newcastle.

I was walking around HMV with David Bradley.

The gentleman that played Billy Casper in Kes and won a BAFTA for it aged 11.

Buying copies of Kes.

Here’s what happened:

Google is great. 

It told me where David Bradley was. And how to contact him.

When we first chatted, David became super-protective about Kes. And about me, a clothing brand fiddling with any of Ken Loach’s iconic imagery.

Kes is considered to be one of the top 10 British films ever made. Take a look where Time Out position it:

https://www.timeout.com/london/film/100-best-british-films.

David imagined that I wanted images from the films on tee-shirts. Tea towels. Mugs.

I explained that this was the last thing on my mind!

Not Knowing When To Stop.

Sometimes, I dont know when to stop.

I like that about me.

So David asked me what I did actually want.

And I wasn’t sure.

So I blurted out that I wanted to put on an event in Newcastle.

And that 100 people would come.

To hear us talk about the film.

David had a think. And said yes.

All I had to do now was explore the creation of the event. The idea had only come to me in that conversation.

A Month Later.

One month later I was sat in a pub with David.

He’s brilliant.

He told me something that I am going to share with you now.

The Missing Scene.

He told me that Ken Loach’s favourite scene in the whole film didn’t make the final cut.

Here’s David describing the scene to me.

David also explains why the scene never made it to the final version of Kes.

More tomorrow.

Here’s how I ended up spending a day with David Bradley.

David won a BAFTA in 1969 for his portrayal of Billy Casper in Kes when he was (I think) 11 years old.

It all started in Byker, Northern England, in September 2017 when I really did see a young boy carrying a hawk down the street against the urban backdrop.

This came to mind:

And I hit on the idea of recreating Kes themes images for Always Wear Red. Images like this, from 50 years ago:

And images like this:

And, of course, this:

I found photographer Dan Prince:

And falconer John Kirtley:

And one of John’s beautiful Kestrels:

I needed a Billy Casper and John’s son Ayden was perfect:

The photoshoot happened:

There were beautiful, unpredictable, nostalgic moments:

But I wanted more.

I wanted the real Billy Casper as well – I wanted actor David Bradley.

So I set out to find him…

So yesterday we saw Brian Glover as our PE teacher. 

He then went on to play a great football match with the kids in the film Kes. It’s a rather more indulgent clip as it’s longer.

But it is definitely worth 4 minutes and 26 seconds of my day. And I hope yours too.

The Goalposts

It’s amazing how creativity can make inanimate objects famous.

Goalposts were never so iconic.

And I also remember the genuinely stomach-turning feeling of standing in a field.

Cold.

Worried.

Wondering about my own popularity and favour as the bigger boys chose their football team from a lineup that I was a part of.

I was never chosen first.

Creativity.

I was lucky enough to chat to David Bradley (Billy Casper) last year. And he said that what happened at 2:50 “Bloody hurt”.

I imagine it did.

Lesson.

There are two lessons for me here actually. About my business life.

  1. If I play against people (brands) that I can beat easily, it’s no victory really. So I aim high.
  2. And secondly, if I am the referee of my own game then of course I will win. Ultimately, the market will decide if Always Wear Red wins as the game plays out. Not me. And I need a good team around me to help. 

I’m working on that.

 

This is a 7 part story.

If you like Ken Loach’s 1969 film ‘Kes’ – you’ll have fun.

If you don’t like ‘Kes’, I’ll see you next week.

Or just stick around and by the end of the week – you probably will like it.

Man In Field Makes Us Laugh

OK let’s set the tone for the week. Let’s see whose ‘in’.

Because only a Kes fan will find this video funny, I think.

Scenario:

Man in field.

Runs towards camera wearing red tracksuit.

A tune made most famous by Monty Python plays in the background.

Dialogue? None.

Is he improvising and just doing what the hell he wants? Probably.

Why is it funny? Because I had a PE teacher like this.

(We all had a PE teacher like this).

More tomorrow.

(And by the end of the week I’ll have explained how I went from watching Kes wide-eyed and open-mouthed in 1978 aged 10, to wandering around HMV in Newcastle in 2017 aged 49, alongside David Bradley (Billy Casper), buying every copy of Kes in the shop).

OK you need to pop to 50odd.co.uk for this short story. And you’ll need sound.

Memories.

I heard this tune this week.

For the first time in years. It brought back memories.

But it did take me a few days to work out where I first heard it.

When I remembered, and looked it up, I was hooked (again) on the little film that goes with it.

Which One Are You?

So, when you watch it, what I’d like you to do is to pick.

I’d like you to pick which one is, or was, or maybe still is – you. Let me know in the comments.

This makes me smile. Especially with sound.

PS I’m the guy in the red shirt. But I wish I was as cool as Snoopy.

 

I’d encourage you to be accepting of and comfortable with how little you know. 

If you think back to a year ago from now, and think about what you have learned between then and now, I really hope it’s a lot.

It is for me.

And if it is a lot for you too, I bet there is also another truth about the last year.

It is – that you had time to learn even more than you actually did.

If you really wanted to.

Our capacity for learning is amazing!

More.

The sad truth is that we’re not here for long. I don’t worry about not having learned and done all I want to by the time I am going to die. It’s impossible.

But I do worry about cruising along being ‘OK’.

Average.

Ordinary.

I want to become extraordinary.

Superb at something.

World-beating.

And I think that the first principle towards achieving this is to be accepting of and comfortable with how little I know.

That way, just as regularly as I hunger for breakfast, dinner and tea (yes, that’s what we call them where I come from) – I will hunger for learning.

I will hunger for learning with the same drive and regularity as eating. Many times a day.

It will become a habit.

Now… what will I learn today?

(And tomorrow. And the day after that).

In the image alongside this short story at www.50odd.co.uk, I’d just eaten the best scrambled eggs I’d ever had. This image was taken last Sunday morning. Take a look.

The scrambled eggs were cooked by a genuinely superb chef, Pete, at his house. And I was eating them with new friends.

Scrambled Eggs

As I put my knife and fork down at the end of breakfast, I paused and glanced across the table.

Pete, who I will now introduce, was sat to my left. Pete has led and innovated at numerous restaurants and was also the lead singer in a band called The Toy Dolls. When I met up with Pete in the pub the night before he was with Dave. Dave played guitar in The Kane Gang and Prefab Sprout. I chatted to Dave’s wife about cats.

Also in the photograph are Geoff and Josh, two American guys from a band called Paris Monster. We’d met them for the first time the night before. Geoff and Josh are part way through a world tour. Out of shot are Christian, Paris Monster’s tour manager, Sarah (Pete’s wife) and Lisa and Izobel – my family.

After breakfast, we all played records from Pete’s collection of about 5,000 records, drank coffee and chased dogs.

How We Got Here

This is how we got here:

  1. I left a job that dulled me. That weighed heavy. A job that was keeping me from becoming all I could be.
  2. I started a brand I was happy doing (Always Wear Red – clothing brand) but made no money at all and I worried about (just about) everything.
  3. I wanted to do a ‘Kes’ (Ken Loach, 1969) homage fashion photoshoot so tracked down David Bradley, the guy that played Billy Casper in the film ‘Kes’ 50 years ago and did it. And I hosted an event so people could meet this amazing BAFTA winning actor.
  4. Pete Zulu (Toy Dolls chap) was in the audience that day and took my photo and sent it to me. I met Pete. We became friends.
  5. I wanted to learn about fashion from the best so I somehow ended up with a hero of mine, Howies and Huit Jeans Co-founder David Hieatt and his brilliant wife and Co-founder Claire Hieatt at their house in Wales. That’s where I met a guy called Christian, a fan of a band called Paris Monster.
  6. Christian explained how he had called Paris Monster and asked why there was no UK leg to their world tour in 2018. They said they hadn’t really thought about it. Christian offered to organise it. Paris Monster said yes.
  7. Christian told me there was a Newcastle leg on the UK tour. I said they could all stay at my house if they wanted. Christian said yes.
  8. Last Saturday, Pete Zulu and I went to see Paris Monster in Newcastle. Pete invited us all for breakfast the following day. Then Paris Monster (Geoff and Josh) and Christian (UK tour manager) stayed at my house.
  9. The following morning, Pete made scrambled eggs.

It was a great weekend.

And as I popped my knife and fork down and scanned the room, I wondered how all of this happened.

And it was then I remembered.

I did number 1 on the list above.

 

Simon Sinek talks about it doesn’t he? 

Finding your ‘why?’

And today I am talking about it because I just launched a 150 second long film that I made with a friend of mine, Dan Prince – and it’s about this subject.

It’s a film about Simon Bourne. He wants to change the way people buy shoes.

And Julia Austin. Julia believes that the only way to get amazing beer is to get amazing ingredients. “It’s what’s inside that counts”, she says.

It’s about Nick Birss too. A guy that learned about coffee the Australian way. He then brought his learning back to the North of England. He believes his way is best.

And the film is about me. I believe that if you wear amazing you feel amazing, and that if you feel amazing you do amazing. I, and Always Wear Red, are Creating Confidence.

Why?

The film captures the beginning of our days. I wanted that because that’s when you feel the magic of purpose most.

Or… it’s where you unfortunately don’t feel it.

If you are reading this and it is the beginning of your day – I really hope you’re feel it.

Your ‘why’.

Because if you have a why – a purpose – you matter more and will last longer.

People like David Hieatt and Carlo Navato taught me that. They’re amazing. Just like Julia, Nick and Simon.

Please watch the film. It’s at www.50odd.co.uk if you’re reading this in your email alert.

Meet us.

Have a great day.

 

This story is best read at the 50odd website, not by daily email (as some do).

Two things.

First, I sometimes hold back from giving my absolute all to what I do. Because of being judged. What might people think? About what I look like or sound like. Or what I am doing. What might they read into it?

Is this holding me and other people back from creating the most timelessly beautiful things I can?

Yes. I need to work on this.

Second, I don’t want to die. But I know I will. I don’t know how to express my fear and concern about this.

Hope There’s Someone

This song, by Antony and The Johnsons is timelessly beautiful. And expresses better than anything I’ve ever said, how I feel about dying. It addresses both of my aforementioned issues, in one.

If this is the first time you’ve heard this artist – I hope you love what they do.

Oh I’m scared of the middle place
Between light and nowhere
I don’t want to be the one
Left in there, left in there

A Stunning Hour: