Sunday, August 8, 2010

The King of Carnaby Street

The King of Carnaby Street: A Life of John StephenThe King of Carnaby Street: A Life of John Stephen by Jeremy Reed

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Well first, the poet Jeremy Reed has excellent taste, but second, he's not one of the greatest biography prose writers that's out there. This book is more of a 'think' piece then a straight ahead biography. But besides that point, John Stephen is a fascinating man in an equal fascinating world of street fashion at the right time and place.

"The King of Carnaby Street" is a portrait of John Stephen who pretty much started the whole groovy Mod Carnaby Street scene. The first one to open a series of shops, he was also a taste-maker and obsessive worker. His private life was hellish like any other gay man who lived in the outlaw U.K., where at the time it was illegal to have homosexual sex. This book is a must for those who collect Mod-era subject matters. And I do, but I just wished the book was a bit more bio like and less.....well, Jeremy Reed.

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