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I'm a journalist, ex-national papers, now working in what we call "new" media.

What an interesting figure Dylan Jones is. In the mid-eighties I used to see him at warehouse parties in places like Battlebridge Road, King's Cross. If memory serves, he may even have organised some of them. It always struck me as a very lucrative enterprise: find a warehouse, get a sound system, buy hundreds of cans of Red Stripe from a cash and carry, charge a fiver at the door, confiscate any drink that people tried to bring in, sell Red Stripe at £1.20 a go (a lot of money for a can of beer in those days), carry the money home in a big bag. Anyway, Dylan may or may not have been involved in that side of things but he always struck me as a man with an eye for the main chance.

In those days he was involved with i-D magazine and has since then woven a path trough the world of style magazines that has taken him to the editorship of GQ, which is a perfectly OK publication in its way. Somehow, however, Dylan has used this modest position to carve himself a significant role in London society. He's always cropping up at this or that event, organising or attending a private dinner for this or that famous person and so on. How has he achieved this feat of social alchemy? Nobody knows, except Dylan. I guess he must be very good with people.

He was, for a while, very pally with Peter Mandelson, which brings me to my point. This week Dylan published a book of interviews with David Cameron, which he has been working on for at least a year. So, not only has Dylan deftly ditched his friendship with the sinking New Labour nomenklatura; he is busily feathering his nest with the New Tories (do the Joneses and the Camerons share tapas in Galicia in Portobello Road? Have they holidayed together? If not, it can only be a matter of time).

But not only all that: he also read the politico-social weather more than a year ago so that, at the very moment Labour sinks below the waves of bien-pensant opinion, Dylan is reinvented as a Cameroonie. Even his Wikipedia entry (and I wonder who wrote that) makes no mention of the Mandelson friendship: it's all about making GQ 'more political (oh, come on) and taking it rightwards. And, of course, despite a year of research his book on Cameron omitted to ask the one question we'd all like to hear the answer to: "Have you ever taken coke". Clever boy.


The Scribe of Rotten Hill said...

Hmmm. As I recall, putting on a warehouse party in the mid 80s (i.e. pre acid house) was a distinctly hit and miss affair. For most people dance music was still the uncoolest thing going and the risks associated, both financial an legal (most of the time it involved breaking into the warehouse in the first place) were immense.

Of course if it worked, you went home with a grand or two, but most of the time it was touch and go.

simon said...

Certainly, the ones I went to in Battlebridge Road were rammed and I found this little interview with Noel Watson who seems to have been involved in them. He reckons he bought a flat, a BMW and a recording studio off the back of his parties.


But yes, there were risks and i guess others may not have had Noel's luck/financial acumen....