clarence, who had a thing for cream crumply raw silk suits, set up his music company with only one thing in mind…pleasure…such was his clear vision, that every aspect of his empire revolved only around feeling good. there would be no dark side…no down side..no misery… no unhappy endings… all the other entrepreneurs about town laughed like drains when they heard about his no contract policy… symbiotic trust between clarence and his artists was paramount. deep respect flowed back and forth, raining down buckets of gold.. those other movers n shakers never could get their cynical heads around how that simple principle worked.
his first signing, who like i say, never had to sign anything, was a twenty four year old camp cute skinny homosexual from birmingham called rubber hood… rubber hood was a compulsive shop lifter who stole from big department stores and gave to the poor…he would do quick sweeps around supermarkets for elderly people, or swipe expensive guitars and drum kits from any mega rock n roll group who extolled hypocritical political opinions. he’d then van the glistening instruments from plush city rehearsal rooms over to gifted musical kids in the ghetto… he’d come from a long line of council estate survivalists, and had taken theft to a new conceptual level..he was never ever caught.. ‘hoodie’ was a natural born entertainer, but to maintain his valuable anonymity he chose to wear a rubber hood for the audience… as success inevitably grew, he was able to have cutting edge hat designers like phillip tracy design him head gear that breathed more comfortably…. his records sounded like the grand children of john cooper clarke.. all the journalists from the credible blogging sites raved about his poetry underpinned by driving electronica…his debut album artwork ‘riding through the glen’ had him in full rubber on the back of a horse looking like zorro..everyone loved rubber hood.
clarence had global success with a girl duo called labia & vulva.. two lesbian academics who’d done degrees in fine art at goldsmiths in london…they’d ended up as auctioneers at sothebys but were bored out of their brains… their meteoric rise came with a song called ‘pleasure’..the video beheld the two of them sat with long legs spread wide infront of a wall of art deco mirrors while they flicked their beans.. there was no real lyric to the song…just them repeating the word pleasure over and over..they had the academic skill to make it rise above mere pornography by intercepting their performance with portraits of great icons and intellectuals like leo tolstoy…martin luther king, and peggy guggenheim. this ambient sounding record plugged directly into a massive untapped subculture of onanists the world over..it was like a futurist version of jane birkin’s je t’aime .. labia & vulva talked a lot about the futility and danger of shame. clarence held them back just enough from the rabid media for their interviews to be gold dust. their debut album ‘gertrude’s stain’ went viral with billions of hits and funded a solid future for the record label.
there were several other interesting artists who made minor to middling inroads, and clarence was equally passionate about their work too, but it was definitely the more radical and extreme characters who were keeping it all afloat.
every tuesday clarence would throw a party at head office on berkeley square…hook or by crook everyone involved attended…schedules were built around none of the artists or staff having any other plates to spin on that day…it was special for everyone. there were no hardcore drugs and very little alcohol…it wasn’t a rule…it’s just that none of them were much bothered anymore.. love and laughter had made those vices obsolete …
then one afternoon at the weekly party, clarence suggested they pack it all in…everyone looked at each other..there was a pregnant pause and then they all agreed whole heartedly before howling with laughter…clarence went on to explain that money was no longer an issue for any of them. clarence reminded his gang how they’d all wore so much makeup, head gear, and artifice, that their natural bare faces hadn’t been seared into public consciousness, so they could easily reclaim anonymity..and they did…these smart people….canny enough to never drag a thing out, and smart enough to get bored quickly…they all floated away out of each others lives permanently without any clingy nonsense in order to keep the memory of the experience clean… and we the audience know nothing more beyond this point about any of them.