Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Update from my old MTV collegue Toby Amies

Simone,
how nice to hear from you, it sounds like you have an extremely interesting life, I'd like to come and visit. Congratulations on the breeding and the blog!

He's handsome that Silvestrin isn't he?

So as far as VJ's reunited goes:
After being such an arrogant angry fuck at MTV Europe I moved to NYC to work at the Deathstar as we dubbed it, had a fairly unpleasant time at MTV US and in the process figured out that fame was not really my main interest in life, but being creative was.

Someone I met in a nightclub there was going to interview Martha Quinn, one of the first veejays ever and they asked me what question would be good and I said "Ask them if they think a person can ever be bigger than a brand?"

That said I must say the first year in NYC as "the British guy" was quite spectacular and there was more sex, drugs and rock and roll available than I had imagined and my appetite was already large on departure from London.

As well as doing a fair bit of deejaying I started a band, Genius Steals, your basic Gothic funk 2-piece supergroup, we made some records including one with New Jersey House legend Romanthony [the voice on Daft Punk's "One More Time"] and played some gigs to varying levels of acclaim, very much enjoyed it though. The band split due to "emotional differences" and together with comic genius Darry Logan I started doing the US Top 20 for MTV international in a punk rock style from my own studio, Sinister Construction, a chained-up shed in Brooklyn, in many ways though the music was pretty dreadful, this was some of my best work for the channel and props to Richard Godfrey for giving us the freedom to do what we thought best.

Darry and I also made some films and one won the Dali Award at the 1999 International Surrealist Film Festival.

I started work for Film Four and began to take photography seriously as my main creative focus. I lived in a Hassidic neighbourhood in Brooklyn and my landlord used to call me "the Picturemaker" and that pretty well sums up what I was doing and still do.

Pot smoking, a windowless environment, American capitalist immorality, Bush-led conservatism, a torn heart and the vile horror of September the 11th encouraged me to leave the States and come to Brighton, retirement community for ex-rock stars, London fugitives and lazy artists.

To be continued (part 2 coming soon)....