Policemen cannot lie

19720914-03One of the Gay News collective, Denis Lemon, was fined £5 when magistrate John Hooper decided to ignore his evidence at Great Marlborough Street Magistrate’s Court.

Denis was charged with the wilful obstruction of the footpath behind the Colherne pub in Earls Court — as reported in GN 5.

Magistrate Hooper started hearing the case on August 22 when police constable David Ford (480) of Chelsea Police said he’d warned Denis to move along four times. But when lunchtime came Mr Hooper decided to adjourn the case for three weeks.

PC Ford said he’d nicked Denis in Wharfdale Street where Denis had been standing in the middle of the road holding up traffic.

When the case started again on September 13, PC Ford had had his say, and Denis’ solicitor Mr Anthony Burton called Denis to give evidence.

He said: “I took photographs of police activity because of the number of allegations we have received of police harassment-outside the pub.

“I took a photograph of two policemen coming towards me and the flash-cube accidentally fell off my camera. I stooped to pick it up, without stopping, and they cautioned me to move on. I walked about 30 or 40 yards up the road to take pictures of the activity outside a coffee bar up the road to help us build up a dossier.

“I crossed the road and took more photographs and then I crossed back again to outside the Colherne and I was standing on the pub’s steps to take more photos, and the police warned me again.

“I walked around the comer in Colherne Road to take more pictures, and then I moved into Wharfdale Street and began to talk to about four people who were standing there, about the police activity.

“I was standing between two parked cars by the kerb. I was standing on the roadway, but there was no traffic for me to hold up.”

PC Ford said that Denis was standing in the middle of the road holding up the traffic. But, when it came to the case, he had very few questions to ask about the traffic.

Doug Pollard, another of the editorial collective, was with Denis when he came out of the Colherne. He said: “I had just come out of the pub when Mr Lemon came out. It was just before 11pm and he gave me a bag he was carrying so he could use his camera.

“He took a picture of two policemen and the flash-cube fell off his camera. As they were passing him the two policemen said something I did not hear to Mr Lemon, and he moved on immediately.”

Wolfgang G. von Jurgen, an actor, told the court: “I was in Wharfdale Road with a few other people and Mr Lemon was standing between two cars parked by the pavement.” Questioned by PC Ford, Wolfgang said:

“Mr Lemon was never standing in the middle of the road, and there was no traffic for him to obstruct.”

Summing up, Anthony Burton said:

“This is really a case where you have to decide whose version of the story you are going to accept.

“If there is to be an obstruction in law, there must be an obstruction in fact, and Mr Lemon may have obstructed the road but it was not wilful.

“Have we come to the day when serious inroads are to be made into the freedom of a press man doing his job? If there was an obstruction it was accidental and trivial.’

Magistrate Hooper, who wears a ring on his small finger left hand, said: “There was a large crowd outside this public house and I am satisfied that the defendant was cautioned to move on four times.”

Denis had pleaded not guilty to obstruction on Wharfdale Street. PC Ford’s mate was too sick to be in court to supply the magistrate with evidence to corroborate the police case, but John Hooper made his decision on one man’s evidence against the three defence witnesses.

Denis left the court in a turquoise zipper, leather jacket with matching slacks and dark blue shoes. He was accompanied by Mr J. D. Grinspoon.

In GN 8 Denis will be commenting on the decision and going further into the implications of the case.

Back to School With Alice

03-197207XX-10“Schools Out” — Alice Cooper — Warner Brothers Records

Whilst riding high on a wave of near overexposure in the press, and following a sell-out, critically acclaimed London concert, out comes Alice Cooper’s new album “School’s out’’. And after four previous albums, this one really makes it.

Musically it is far superior to anything they have done in the past, whilst Alice’s own songs and vocals have become more spectacular. The title track “School’s Out” is a teeny-bopper celebration of the start of the summer vacation. It might sound pretty banal, but wait till you hear it. Alice with his words and bizarre scream/vocals turns it into the Armageddon of all school breakups.

The group’s last albums have each had one or two outstanding tracks, but very little else. However, this time they succeed in producing an album which keeps your attention for more than just the opening track.

The second track is “Looney Tunes”, a seemingly innocent pubescent rock song, until the story takes a nasty twist. White-coated men come to take the song’s hero away. He’s just cut his wrists with a stolen razor.

This is followed by “Gutter Cat versus The Jets” which parodies the plot of “West Side Story’’; in fact it ends up being a straight rip-off from it. This theme reappears on the second side of the album, it’s influence being most noticeable in the symphonic “Grand Finale’’, which ends the album.

The record comes packaged in a facsimile of an old school desk, and the disc is itself tastefully surrounded by a pair of white non-inflammable paper knickers (see Grinspoon for further comments),

“School’s Out” will become one of the pop classics of 1972. It will be hated and ignored by the older and more staid generations, but loved by kids and those who appreciate the essence of what good rock’n’roll is all about.

Doug and Denis.

A PAIR OF WHITE KNICKERS, OR, A GIFT

I was surprised to find that inside the copy of Alice Cooper’s latest long-playing record that the nice man at Kinney (WEA) had sent me, there was a pair of white knickers.

I don’t know how they knew, but they fitted perfectly. In all this hot weather we are having at the moment it’s nice to have something so refreshingly cool to put on.

Know what I mean loves.

Julian Denys Grinspoon.