Pipe Dreams

By Alan Aldridge

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Pipe Dreams

By Alan Aldridge

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Narrative

From working with The Beatles to designing album covers for The Who, Cream and Elton John and producing the bestselling children’s books The Butterfly Ball and The Peacock Party, Alan Aldridge’s creative career has been defined by diversity and originality. But before embarking on a life in art, Aldridge’s London upbringing in the early 1960s brought him into contact with gritty East End gang culture. In Pipe Dreams, Aldridge revisits his early years and reveals a life very different from the later glamour of his rock and pop associations and artistic success. Threatened and coerced by a London gang leader, his first trip abroad results in his arrest by the French authorities and incarceration in Paris’ notorious Santé prison facing a one-year sentence. Beset by fleas and the constant threat of violence, he is made to work in the appalling conditions of the prison kitchen under the watchful eye of a brutish, alcohol-soaked chef. His only respite is the camaraderie of his cell- mates and painting for the prison doctor. As befits the Man with Kaleidoscope Eyes, only one person can tell what is true and what is imagined in this blending of fact and fiction – and he’s not letting on.

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9781909964068

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