Monday, March 10, 2008

Telegraph obits

The Telegraph obituary of Paul Raymond, London's King of Porn, in its own inimitable style...

The current revival of Soho had little to do with Raymond, but stems from the spending power of the affluent homosexuals who have pitched camp in the area.

Raymond's last major purchase was in 1994, when he brought the "Island Site" in Piccadilly, incorporating the Café de Paris, large sections of Rupert and Coventry Streets and the old Rialto cinema, which had screened his film Erotica in 1982.

The Paul Raymond Organisation never went public, and after this purchase he was said to be the richest man in Britain.

Many — particularly male journalists — found Raymond's candour charming, and he could be generous to employees. Nor did his lifestyle follow the American fashion of vain exclusivity and pretence; he remained a louche and unhealthy man of vulgar tastes, though he wore good suits.

Tall, with an artificial tan that mummified his skin like cracked toffee, a mane of hair like brittle silver lamé and a smear of moustache, he latterly evoked Dracula lurking in the guise of an Oxford Street spiv.

He sported heavy gold jewellery, a gold Rolls-Royce and had a penthouse next to the Ritz. He did not affect intellect; fearful that reading could destroy his instinct for the popular, he claimed he had not touched a book since infancy.

& so on

1 comment:

Jenny Davidson said...

This really does strike me as the best obituary EVER; thanks for linking...

(NB thematically related--did you ever read the novels of Derek Raymond? They are fabulously good, I highly recommend...)