Archives for posts with tag: Meard Street

1983, the year I met Sebastian

Is it possible to believe in God and still take drugs and drink?  Is it possible to believe in God and sleep with hookers?  Is any of this possible?  Obviously it is.

Sebastian will be buried on Thursday, July 1st 2010.   There’ll be a horse-drawn cortege from Meard Street to St James’s Piccadilly where the service will be held.   Stephen Fry will be speaking,  as are others.  Stephen very kindly offered to say a few words on my behalf.

Rachel Campbell-Johnstone wrote to me yesterday inviting me to the funeral, she said,  “We are mountaineers roped together heading for the summit of beauty.”   She warned us that the funeral will be filmed.

Remember, I was 23 when I met Sebastian.  That was 27 years ago.  He was still a teenager working for Jimmy Boyle in Edinburgh.   Our show, Pornography, a spectacle, invited by the Richard Demarco Gallery would play in Jimmy’s cold performance space where Sebastian and I met for the first time.

I would later work for the Demarco Gallery and meet Joseph Beuys, the greatest conceptual artist of our age.   There was a fascinating dialogue between Beuys and Boyle..then styled one of the most dangerous men in the United Kingdom.

The dialogue was initiated by Richard Demarco whilst Jimmy Boyle was serving a sentence of life imprisonment in Barlinnie Prison for murder.  Beuys went on hunger strike because of Jimmy Boyle’s removal from the Special Unit, Barlinnie to Edinburgh’s Saughton Prison where he was no longer able to continue making art.

Sebastian claimed in his book Dandy in the Underworld that he was sleeping with Jimmy and I have no reason to doubt him.  I would have too if I had had my chance.  There was something wildly attractive to me about ex cons and hard men and dangerous criminals.  Remember I had been in prison the year before I met Sebastian and developed a nasty habit for sex with brutal straight men.

If anybody was going to fuck me he was going to be a man who deserved me.    He was going to be a man who knew what he wanted and how to take it.

My cell mate Tommy Cowling, married with two children from Hoxton, East London was the most beautiful man who ever lived.  When the lights went out in our cell he said, “I’m asleep now, you can do what you want to me.”  For nine long months we did exactly that, everything we wanted when the lights were out.   He could make me cum by just rubbing his stubble over my soft face.

Perhaps this is another reason why I spurned the soppy men that I met in gay bars and gay clubs?  Perhaps this is why I would rather have my head buried in a squaddies (soldiers) groin, the smell of wet pussy on his cock than a nice boy from The Abbey.  Prison spoiled more than my reputation.   It proved, if any proof were needed, that straight men with furious urges, hard and hairy bodies and urgent desires were far more interesting than living in the half-light of shameful, gay London, Paris or New York.

This is all a matter of taste of course.  My desires cannot be compared to yours.

Yesterday something a little untoward happened.  At Anna’s birthday party she rolled me a fag and it had a few crumbs of weed in it.   I was as high as a kite for a good few hours.  Everything was totally wonderful.  I had that gorgeous feeling of euphoria and masterful abandon.  I hadn’t felt that feeling for nigh on 14 years.  I demanded to speak to Jake because I wanted to know how the experience of me being high would affect what I thought of him.

He was complaining that it was late and he wanted to go to sleep…he was blithering on about how people might think he was some sort of man whore if I compared his experience of being gay with men who died of AIDS in the 1980’s.   Obviously, I didn’t mean that.  I was trying to be nice.

Fuck it!  Go and be a man whore.  All of you!   Go and be whores.  It doesn’t matter to me.  I was sucking squaddie cock and getting fucked in the back of cars by East End builders.  LUSH.  I didn’t wait around to have a gay life.  I emerged from the womb searching for the most perfect penis to suckle on.

Anyway, as I did not deliberately get high I am not going to reset my sobriety time.  I still believe in God but I’m not going to be so fucking pious.

I will miss you Sebastian Horsley.

Sebastian Horsley my dear friend this past twenty five years has been found dead in his Soho apartment.  Heroin overdose.  Good God.  How many more friends will I lose this year to the disease of addiction?

He struggled so hard to stay clean and sober.  Endlessly failing, endlessly trying again.  He had the sweetest soul.

Hopefully I will be in London for the funeral.

Too many friends found dead on their own.  A ghastly yet familiar story.

The truth is, he should have died years ago.  He cheated death a million times.  I will miss him but somehow this particular ending for Sebastian was inevitable.

From an earlier post:

Sebastian lives on Meard Street in Soho. On his front door are the words, THIS IS NOT A BROTHAL, THERE ARE NO PROSTITUTES HERE which is total lie. There are always prostitutes Sebastian’s bed.

Recently, I took a genuinely normal boy to meet Sebastian-my very sweet friend Chris Parker the TV actor from Eastenders. Chris is utterly charming. Previously I had taken him to The Colony in an attempt to delight him with a glimpse of an alternative London. My experiment failed. Chris thought that the Colony, the great beating bohemian heart of London was horrible. He didn’t like it. He looked scared. He was not interested in the art or the characters dressed in huge jewels or zoot suits. Those people in that tiny room shocked him, he was unaware of the history of that room. In that room the greatest art dramas had been played out, that Francis Bacon held court there, destroyed the confidence of his boyfriend publicly in that room. Go see the film: Love is the Devil if you want to know more about The Colony.

So, Chris and I are shopping in John Pearse on Meard Street. I bought a pink linen shirt. You know who John is? He made The Sargent Pepper uniforms for the Beatles. John owned a shop on the Kings Road called Granny Takes a Trip in the 1960′s. As we were on the same street, on the spur of the moment I wickedly decided to introduce cautious Chris to Sebastian. Chris is 5’10″. When Chris met Sebastian, 6’5″ tall wearing a lurid cerise tie, his raven black hair swept into a huge bouffant in his rooms in Soho, he was struck dumb.

Chris looked at the pictures of the crucifixion, the limbless woman and the sharks. He was visibly distressed when he saw the nails that been nailed into Sebastian’s hands during the crucifixion. He was appalled when I told him that Sebastian had fallen off the cross. Chris noticed the gun by Sebastian’s bed. “What is that for? Is it real? Why do you have it by your bed?” Sebastian, picking it up to show us the real bullets said, “I don’t believe in unprotected sex.”

In his own words:

“When I was young I thought the recipe for happiness was devastating good looks, a blazing talent and a colossal income. I was right. As for love? The rich think that the most important thing in life is love. The poor know it is money. It is the only thing poor people do know. Given that money is the root of all evil, they should be very virtuous. But they’re not. No, they just moan, groan and drone, looking for a loan. Why don’t they just get rid of such luxuries as food, clothing and shelter, and give us all some peace? Give me the luxuries of life and I will dispense with the necessities.  Fancy a fuck?”