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King Callomon

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Cally Callomon

We've been enjoying punk pedigree with Cally Callomon.

In his highly acclaimed autobiography Head-On/RepossessedJulian Cope wrote "Cally Callomon had a punk pedigree, an experimental pedigree, a Krautrock pedigree, the lot. He knew his music because he had lived it."

This afternoon in foggy London town, Captain Carney and Malcolm Boyle have been filming more people for People In A Film.  Part time Art Director, Manager, Stroller, Set Designer, Ancient Cyclist, Master Dilettante, Editor, Tourist, Author, a founding member of the Guild of Dabblers and Scribblers, a Certified and Registered Dab-Hander and A Master Of Oily Seas, Cally Callomon is a delicious contemporary of the Pink Flag boys.

By the time punk arrived, British art schools had long been a hotbed of musical activity, spawning some of the nation's most innovative rock acts from the '60s onward. 

Watford Art College's faculty was instrumental in the development of a younger generation of artists.  Interviewed by Wilson Neate for Pink Flag, alumni Cally said of college teacher Hansjörg Mayer “Hansjörg shared a way of thinking with Peter Schmidt, Michael Werner and Brian Eno in particular.  They encouraged what we called intuitive orienteering: a quiet way of saying. “There are no boundaries, and you’ll only discover something new by trying new things.’  It wasn’t airy-airy-fairy-do-what-you-like-and-discover-yourself; it was hard-line and quite strict,”  

Like many punk contemporaries, Wire had roots in the art school tradition. At Watford Art College in 1976, guitarists Colin Newman and George Gill formed Overload with audiovisual technician Bruce Gilbert (also on guitar). Subsequently, the three recruited bassist Graham Lewis and drummer Robert Gotobed (aka Robert Grey), and the first Wire lineup was in place.

Cally Callomon noticed Wire’s insular nature, his abiding memory of the band encapsulating their self-reliance: “They travelled around in a Land Rover pulling a trailer.  They weren’t part of a scene.  They didn’t hang out.  They didn’t make friends.  They came across almost like a straight-edge group.  I think people found that quite hostile.”  

Cally Callomon started off as the drummer and songwriter for 70s punk band The Bears and 80s indie band The Tea Set. Formerly manager to Julian Cope whom he signed to Island, Cally also was the co-founder of Bam-Caruso Records, A&R for EastWest/WEA and head of Island Art, Island Records' art department. He is the executor of Nick Drake's estate. He currently works for the Bill Drummond arts project Penkiln Burn.

Carney and Malcolm also interviewed Mo Andrews today, who has thoroughly enjoyed a life time under the influence of Wire.

People In A Film is currently in production, produced by Graham Duff and Malcolm Boyle.  You can find out more about it here.