Gothic was my first introduction to Ken Russell at the tender age of 15. I even managed to smuggle it into my English class for something we were doing about the Romantic Poets. “Here Miss Best is Julian Sands running naked along a roof top but he is playing the part of Percy Shelley so it’s like totally relevant, yes?”
Years later when I moved to London one crazy thing lead to another and for a brief and precious moment in time I met and worked with my hero Ken. The day I met him we ate a stir fry with his wife Elise (who was lovely), I got to wee in their nautical themed toilet, and we chatted about finding love and the frustration of not holding onto the rights of so much of his work. Oh we talked a bit about Ollie Reed and Nikola Tesla too.
I know that 84 is a pretty good innings, but we all hold selfish desires to eek our heroes out for a little longer to see that glimmer in their eye on the telly now and again, or read some great words spill from their mouths and into a magazine.
Well, now is as good a time as any dear friends for a Ken Russell binge. Wallow in some baked beans. Have a roll around in front of a fire with your best mate, naked whilst masturbating with a thigh bone. Stick eyeballs on your nipples and ask your close male friend to “look into my eyes”. Or simply re-watch Lair of The White Worm with a bottle of wine and your cat.
Goodbye Ken, what an incredible legacy you’ve left for us. Thank you, thank you, thank you x