Al Jolson

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Al Jolson

Postby alanmac » Thu Mar 11, 2004 4:47 pm

Ok, an obscure one this...

Does anyone remember the graffiti around glasgow years ago where 'AL JOLSON' was sprayed everywhere from the barras to sauchihall street?

I used to find this graffiti really bizzare, it stood out a mile from the usual 'F**k this or that' and 'tracey loves tam' type stuff, and was literally everywhere!

There's a few references to it on the web (http://www.wolfetonesofficialsite.com/london.htm being one) so at least I know I'm not going mad. Its probably been more than 15 years since i've seen 'Al Jolson' sprayed anywhere, but I'd like to know who was behind it and why??!?
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Postby DickyHart » Thu Mar 11, 2004 5:36 pm

The Al Jolson thing was sprayed everywhere by a busker, who stood and sang jolson songs, the fella was obsessed with him. he sprayed it near wherever he sang. He ended up being put in a mental home. poor guy.
This might be not be 100% accurate but this is my understanding of the story.
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Postby duncan » Thu Mar 11, 2004 5:45 pm

did he do it in blackface?
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Postby DickyHart » Thu Mar 11, 2004 5:50 pm

He did on occasion yes, he was pretty awful if memory serves!!
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Re: Al Jolson

Postby duncan » Thu Mar 11, 2004 6:08 pm

alanmac wrote:I used to find this graffiti really bizzare, it stood out a mile from the usual 'F**k this or that' and 'tracey loves tam' type stuff, and was literally everywhere!


i'd quite like to see this graffiti. does anyone have a contemporary photo of it? or even better, know someplace where it's still up? unlikely i know, but today i saw some graffiti from 1991 in the city centre, so it's not impossible...
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Postby Fossil » Thu Mar 11, 2004 6:39 pm

yeh I remember this also I heard it was a wee guy from the east end, it was his nick name.
Got this pic awhile ago what was the year? I’m sure its the Poll tax demo anyone remember?
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Postby duncan » Thu Mar 11, 2004 6:49 pm

The Modern Fossil wrote:Got this pic awhile ago what was the year? I’m sure its the Poll tax demo anyone remember?


1990

http://www.socialistalternative.org/lit ... /ch38.html
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Postby Pgcc93 » Fri Mar 12, 2004 12:05 am

Och! the wee Al Jolson fella was .........wait for it ...........just lookin' for his Mammy!
:roll:
>Cue pathetic drum roll and cymbals<
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Al Jolson

Postby alanmac » Fri Mar 12, 2004 9:56 am

yeah, I remember that guy now!
I didn't make the connection that it would be him doing the graffiti too.

Hope he's still singing away in whatever institution they locked him up in.

I've a vague memory of taking a photo of my friend outside the barras (after a Damned gig around 1987 if I remember right!) next to an 'Al Jolson' sprayed on the wall. I'll see if he's still got it next time I see him.
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Al Jolson

Postby cumbo » Sat Mar 13, 2004 8:31 am

I don't think he did sing!
I thought it was a mime.He had a tape recorder and a trilby hat to collect the money I think Avril Patton may have painted him In her Barras Painteing that hangs In the Peoples Palace
Anyone remember??
There are a few Glasgow nutters in that Painting .
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Postby alanmac » Sat Mar 13, 2004 10:24 am

Thats right so he did!
I'll take a look next time I'm passing the peoples palace, it'd be nice to think he's been immortalised in a painting or photograph somewhere.
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Postby Fossil » Sat Mar 13, 2004 12:36 pm

Bum tit tit bum tit tit play yer hairy banjo
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Postby DickyHart » Sat Mar 13, 2004 1:33 pm

yes that definently him, I even rememember this being shown now.
great piece of research TMF.

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Postby Fossil » Sat Mar 13, 2004 1:49 pm

thanks Mr Hart.......
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AL JOLSON

Postby cataclyzm » Sat Mar 13, 2004 2:00 pm

Hello,

Just to add another tangent on the urban myth trajectory regarding the eclectic spraying of the name: Al Jolson everywhere in the East end and centre of Glasgow.

I was told many years back, that the ubiqutous spraying of this name in some of the most hauntingly obscure places(sometimes in parts where it would be unlikely to be seen by anyone), was carried out in one single night's work on the basis of a bet.

One friend dared the other to emblazen this name on as many parts of the city as he could humanly reach in one entire evening's duration. He certainly fulfillled his mandate, and I was told this many years ago by a pretty reliable source. In terms of artistic relevance, it doesn't get more profound than one human consciousness reaching so many parts of the city and I think it is and was wonderfully pointless. I'm not sure about the busking part, as in order to busk in so many places he must have performed to many escalllonia hedges and Glasgow city council neglected shrubbery in his time.

Maybe the debate rages on?

Robert Kelly.(not the same person as Robert K).
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