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Defying Gravity: Jordan's Story

Jordan Mooney, Cathi Unsworth

Defying Gravity tells the story of Jordan, and it's one hell of a story where the worlds of fashion, music and art collide. Born Pamela Rooke in Seaford, she took a job in SEX, the Kings Road shop owned and operated by Malcolm McLaren and Viviene Westwood. Jordan was more than just a shop assistant. She was a muse to Vivienne. She was there when the Sex Pistols formed, when John Lydon auditioned afterhours in the shop using a shower attachment in place of a microphone. She is caught on camera when the Pistols made their TV debut on the Tony Wilson presented show So It Goes. The young Stuart Goddard who would transform into Adam Ant had a fetish for Jordan, penning her anonymous letters before she would manage the band and appear on stage with them during their formative punk years. Her beehived hair and angular make-up adorned the posters for Derek Jarman's punk film Jubilee, a film she starred in as Amyl Nitrate, alongside performances from Adam and the Ants and Siouxsie and the Banshees. It's a candid book shining a light on her relationships with Vivienne and Malcolm, the Pistols, Adam Ant, Derek Jarman and Kevin Mooney (with whom she had a short-lived marriage). Thanks to the interviews with many of those as well as members of the Bromley Contingent, other employees and associates from Westwood and McLaren's shops including Michael Collins, curator, collector and former shop owner Roger K Burton, as well as musicians Dave Barbe, Marco Pironni and Dorothy Max Prior. Jordan's biography really helps join the dots of a scene that criss-crossed between fashion, art and music.

Jordan slipped into the shadows, allowing some halfwit "celebrity" to adopt her name, while she was back home working as a veterinary nurse before embarking on a career breeding cats. Defying Gravity announces her return, reclaiming her name and putting herself back within the central role she had within the milieu of the time. It's a great read.

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