My New Book – High Buildings, Low Morals

“I don’t know what London’s coming to — the higher the buildings the lower the morals.”

― Noël Coward, Collected Sketches and Lyrics

High Buildings, Low Morals published by Amberley 2017

High Buildings, Low Morals published by Amberley 2017

It’s been two years since my last book, for which I apologise, but High Buildings, Low Morals has at last been published and I’m very proud of it. The title comes from a Noel Coward quote and ‘the Master’ pops up now and again in the twelve chapters that make up the new book. High Buildings can be seen as volume two of Beautiful Idiots and Brilliant Lunatics and again several of the stories have come from this Nickel in the Machine website although completely re-written and with even more interesting detours, tangents and digressions. There are again plenty of brand new pictures and photographs to accompany the text.

Here are the chapters in the book:

1. The Headless Polaroids, Mrs Sweeny, Mussolini and P. G. Wodehouse

Margaret Whigham aged 18

Margaret Whigham aged 18

2. Scott’s Restaurant, the Balcombe Street Gang and the Second Blitz of London

Ross and Norris with an outsized harmonica copy

Ross (right) and Norris McWhirter on the Record Breakers BBC show. The photograph was taken four days before the IRA assassinated Ross on 27 November 1975 on the doorstep of his home and in front of his wife.

3. The Trial of Schoolkids OZ, the Downfall of the ‘Dirty Squad’

Walker's Court in Soho, March 15th 1966.

Walker’s Court in Soho, March 15th 1966.

4. Captain Sears, the Nazi Wreath at the Cenotaph and the Hitler Paint-throwing Incident at Madame Tussaud’s

Harry Price in 1932

Harry Price in 1932

5. The Charming Lord Boothby, His Friend Ronnie Kray and the Humble Woolton Pie

Lord Boothby and Ronnie Kray with friends and associates at the Society Restaurant

Lord Boothby and Ronnie Kray with friends and associates at the Society Restaurant

6. The Prince of Wales Theatre and the De-Mob Suit – Starring Sid Field and Featuring Dickie Henderson, Kay Kendall, Terry-Thomas and the Ross Sisters

Dixie Ross one of the Ross Sisters and who would marry Dickie Henderson

Dixie Ross one of the Ross Sisters and who would marry Dickie Henderson

7. A Hungry Graham Greene on the Night of ‘The Wednesday’, and the Death of Al Bowlly

 

Al Bowlly

Al Bowlly

8. When Tallulah Bankhead Met Gerald du Maurier, and the Eton Schoolboys Scandal

January 1931, American actress Miss Tallulah Bankhead pictured waving as she leaves Waterloo Station on a train, en route for the USA

January 1931, American actress Miss Tallulah Bankhead pictured waving as she leaves Waterloo Station on a train, en route for the USA

9. The House of ‘Cyn’, Jimmy Graves and the Rise and Fall of the Luncheon Voucher

Girls Playing Cards, Bellocq

Girls Playing Cards, Bellocq

10. Cocaine, the ‘Yellow Peril’ and the Death of Billie Carleton

Billie Carleton

Billie Carleton

11. Judy Garland, Johnnie Ray and the Talk of the Town at the Hippodrome

Mickey Deans, Judy Garland and best man Johnnie Ray, 1969.

Mickey Deans, Judy Garland and best man Johnnie Ray, 1969.

12. An Absolute Sirocco, Old Boy! Quo Vadis, Evelyn Laye, and the Story of Soho Girl Jessie Matthews

Griffith Jones and Jessie Matthews in First A Girl

Griffith Jones and Jessie Matthews in First A Girl

If you would like a signed copy of the book leave a comment or contact me by email, Facebook or twitter and I’ll get back to you with details. I can usually get a book to you within 24 hours.

The beautiful photograph on the cover by the way is by Carl Mydans and features a foggy Piccadilly in 1952. Here is the actual picture.

london Carl Mydans’ photograph of smog in London.jpg

Piccadilly in the infamous pea-souper smog of 1952, photo by Carl Mydans

Share

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

3 Responses to “My New Book – High Buildings, Low Morals”

  1. Tosh Berman says:

    Hi,

    I’m a huge fan of your website as well as your last book (of course). Who is distributing your book in the U.S.A. I can’t remember how I got your book last time. Maybe through Amazon? I usually like to deal with local bookstores as much as possible. Ciao, Tosh

  2. Paul Janisch says:

    I have followed your essays for years and have found them riveting. I can’t buy your book on Kindle because it won’t allow me to buy it in South Africa. Is it possible for you to put it up on the USA site – I can buy it from there.

    Thank you

    Paul

  3. LordSnooty says:

    One is a huge fan of this website and its meanderings. The new book looks like it has some wonderfully evocative photographs for this aging Londoner. Would love a signed copy.

    Snooty

Leave a Reply