I was saddened to learn of Gary Haisman`s passing. This photo of Gary, sporting a Boys Own t-shirt, to me, is iconic. It appeared in the June 1988 issue of ID. In an article that focussed on London clubs, Shoom, and Future. The “Amnesiacs”. The folks who brought the Balearic Beat of Alfredo Fiorito, and Leo Mas, back from Ibiza to the UK`s capital. Seeing this photo, Gary in strobe and smoke fueled abandon, made me want to be a part of whatever he was part of. Set me off on a mission. What the fuck was “Boys Own”? Where could I get, how could I earn, a t-shirt? It sent me Acid House adventuring, and I`m sure I`m not the only one. Personally, it sparked a 1000 hedonistic nights, and no doubt, across the UK ignited 1000 x 1000 more stories. Another thousand-fold when Gary, with Dancing Danny D (Mob), gave the Second Summer Of Love its battle cry.
I guess it`s not so strange to have someone that you`ve never met have such an impact on your life. Though those people are usually authors, film-makers, musicians. Artists in a more traditional sense. Perhaps the one thing these influences share is a desire to inspire.
For thirty years I`d been after that t-shirt, and one finally turned up in the post last Monday. A present from my sister on my 52nd birthday. I was so fucking chuffed. I didn’t know whether to wear it, or frame it. Then Gary died.
When I put it on last night, getting ready to DJ in Tokyo, looking in the mirror, all I could think of was Gary, the photo, and how anyone wearing this reissued repro, could only hope to be a pale imitation.
I put it on. I took it off. I put in on. I took it off. I put it on.
I wore it in tribute. A salute. A Balearic black armband. To pay my respects.
Gary Haisman RIP.
Photograph by Dave Swindells.
T-shirt designed by Dave Little.