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Comprehensive and very British history of sex and society as Guided By The King Of Soho Through The Permissive Age by the King of Soho through the permissive age is universally recognised as the pre eminent expert on the history of London s Soho district an enclave of vice creativity and bohemian excess tucked neatly into the city s West End His Fear and Loathing in Fitzrovia documented the colourful and tragic life of novelist Julian Maclaren Ross immortalised as Anthony Powell s X Trapnel This biography of Paul Raymond another denizen of that wickedest of all suare miles and once reckoned to be the UK s richest man is a balanced fair and tremendously well researched effort Raymond spiv pornographer strip club pioneer and above all masterful accumulator of property is portrayed as charming friendless and calculating a seuestered and unhappy if hugely successful product of his own strict religious upbringing in a broken home Willetts writes with great brio exhibiting effortless mastery of both his subject and the milieu of sexual permissiveness which he did so much to shape Buy read and learn Members Only The Life and Times of Paul Raymond Soho s Billionaire King of Burlesue by Paul WillettsI used to walk up and down Soho s Brewer Street regularly in the late 1970s and freuently passed the Raym. In the heyday of his sleaze empire with his pencil moustache gold jewellery and trademark fur coat Paul Raymond was for many people the brash personification of nouveau riche vulgarity posing proudly beside his customised Rolls Royce Ssiveness Raymond s astute business skills and opportunism helped to change Britain beyond All Recognition His Legacy recognition His legacy now clear to see as the sex industry has been transformed from an illicit enterprise into a vast rapacious business that permeates and debases all aspects of modern culture One of the book s real stars is London s Soho district An area that has an enduring fascination for me Raymond diversified into property in the late 1970s acuiring numerous Soho freeholds and it was this that ultimately made him one of Britain s wealthiest men The book also explores Raymond s extraordinary domestic life His strict Catholic family his controlling mother his attempts at being an entertainer doing National Service his post war period as a Spiv his acrimonious divorce from his first wife his illegitimate first son his daughter s tragic death an extortion attempt familial infighting a love of money entrepreneurship London sex drugs tragedy pornography and ultimately his own rather sad and lonely demise which his vast material wealth could not alleviateRaymond was in many ways a repellent man and yet the book exerts a strong fascination as it details the inexorable success that was so closely aligned to changing public attitudes to sex pornography and business4. Ichest man Right up until he died on 2 March 2008 he was a controversial figure around whom scandal swirled Paul Willetts follows Raymond from his strictly Catholic early life to the isolation paranoia whom scandal swirled Paul Willetts follows Raymond from his strictly Catholic early life to the isolation paranoia extreme wealth of his old age. ,


Ond Revuebar in Walker s Court when I was a 16 year old messenger for a film company I never went in but was always impressed by the neon signage in the evening and the plethora of sex shops that were then a feature of the area That said I was interested in the second hand record shops that also abounded in the same streets however I always enjoyed the frisson created by the sleaze and neon London s seventies sex industry grew up around Paul Raymond s iconic and groundbreaking bar Members Only The Life and Times of Paul Raymond Soho s Billionaire King of Burlesue was my second book by Paul Willetts the first being the wonderful Fear And Loathing In Fitzrovia his BIOGRAPHY OF JULIAN MACLAREN ROSS AS of Julian Maclaren Ross As Fear And Loathing In Fitzrovia Paul Willetts does an entertaining and thorough job of evoking the life and times of his subject I particularly enjoyed how Paul Raymond helped to erode the once stringent customs and laws around sex and stripping When the Revuebar opened in 1958 the naked girls had to remain static and recreate classical tableaux The place was regularly attended by plain clothes police trying To Find A Way To find a way to him or in some cases extort money not to prosecute him His empire grew as the sixties began to swing accompanied by a wave of permi. Fat cigar protruding from his lips a curvaceous showgirl on either arm For other people Margaret Thatcher among them he exemplified the entrepreneurial spirit that enabled a poor boy from Depression era Liverpool to become Britain's ,
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