T h o m G o r s t
Between the Stars
Acrylic on canvas. 600mm x 900mm
This canvas, and Billy Blake is Fab are loosely set around the myth of the Cunard Yanks - the seamen who used to work on the regular passenger and cargo ships between New York and Liverpool. The myth has it that in the late 1950s and early 1960s these seamen used to make a few extra bob out of importing rare records and selling them on to musicians on the Liverpool scene, thereby creating the 'Mersey Sound'. Attractive though the idea is (and you can see a brief reference to the trade in the film Nowhere Boy about Lennon), it has also been authoritatively downplayed by Bill Harry, who was central to the action. See this link:
But these paintings are not trying to be historically accurate.
This one is on the dockside where we see a ship with Cunard's colours - which were black (not blue) and red with a white stripe between, and the other on Mathew Street, where the Cavern Club stood. When seen together, the paintings are about the distance between the two scenes: purchase and playing, or the walk from the docks to the city centre.
The titles are taken from Adrian Henri's seminal poem Mrs Albion You've Got a Lovely Daughter, which explicitly references William Blake. In one section he writes of -
. Beautiful boys with bright red guitars In the spaces between the stars