When Princess Julia was sixteen, she kept a diary of her exploits.
They now make for an extraordinary document of life then.
We rejoin Princess Julia – then Julia Fodor – in January 1978, as the world is about to change once again.
Her membership card to Blitz.
And the Speak Easy late night members club (for some reason called the Speak-Early).
Here’s what her diary entries look like.
Over to Princess Julia…
The Diary continued…
Sorry to have kept you waiting for the next instalment, ’78 seems to be have been the lull before the storm, by that I mean as the core punk scene dissipated a new scene was about to emerge. As ’77 departed I’m without a job and on my way to the unemployment exchange. I continued to go and see my favorite bands, get drunk and wonder what it was all about. The scene was changing and as some of the clubs shut down there were always gigs and gay discos to go to. My diary trails out before the end of the year and the entries are few and far between so I shall fill in the gaps for you. Daily life consisted of finding work and going out.
1st January 78: Went to Vi’s family party all day then to Kathy and Ben’s with Steve and Mick.
2nd January 78: Steve got really drunk, got home ate, stayed at Vi’s.
3rd January 78: As I’m not going to work went down the employment exchange.
6th January 78: Went to see the Banshees, met Vi after work, she had her hair cut, Steve talked to me all night.
7th January 78: Went to see if I could get my money and pay slips. She [Mrs Perera who ran the workshop for Jean Muir] fucking hit me, went out with Steve and Mick, boring night out but at least I know Steve really likes me, he says he’s mixed up, bloody hell, I wonder what I am then.
9th January 78: Went down the employment and they told me to fill up the form.
10th January 78: Tues. Steve wants to go out me.
13th January 78: Tinted Vi’s hair.
19th January 78: Got really drunk at the pub can’t remember what happened.
20th January 78: Frid. Saw Adam and the Ants at The Marquee, went to Vi’s.
23rd January 78: Went to see Steve, stayed there all day then we went out to see The Doll at Dingwalls. Steve really does like me, I can’t believe it.
24th January 78: Signed on made an appointment to see the doctor.
25th January 78: Wed. Didn’t do anything went to the doctors gave me some cream and said I couldn’t go on the pill.
26th January 78: Thur. Went to do that test, went to the 100 Club to see Merger got a bit drunk. Everyone was there including Kay, Secola.
27th January 78: Fri. Went to see Wayne County at the Nashville, Steve got into a fight went to Gill and Sarah’s party which was boring. Had an interview Sat, when I got home just fell asleep all day. Didn’t go out [as] there is absolutely nothing on.
A change of career. I got a job doing piecework at Berketex Bridal Wear factory situated at the bottom of Hackney Road. I’ve tried to find out some history here but as far as I can remember it was in an industrial space at The Oval, E2. When I’ve walked around there in the present day it all looks very familiar. I worked there for around 6 months and learnt basic seamstress skills making crimplene patterned dresses. I really enjoyed this job and made friends with the local ‘girls’ down there. Being born in Hackney I had this weird calling to actually work in the area.
2nd February 78: Thurs. Went to the Music Machine, I was a bit rotten to Steve but I really like him a lot.
29th February 78: Tues, Came down with the flu. Wanted to see the [Levi and the] Rockats but I was too ill.
6th March 78: First day [new job] phoned Willi [my old friend from Crimpers who I trained under in the tinting dept] and he said he didn’t mind what I did, [thinking] about being his junior again.
8th March 78: Went to work, I’m getting on ok.
10th March 78: Fri. Got payed, went to see Wayne [County] at Roc. Castle. Vi stayed with Don, I lost £3, got a mini cab home. Wayne really does like us. Packed in Steve.
13th March 78: Just went to work, Sandra [one of the girls] thinks she’s up the spout.
14th March 78: Went to the hospital then I went to work. I’m on dresses now. Vi phoned in the evening.
15th March 78: Phoned Vi at lunch met after work. Went for a drink in the Phoenix [Oxford Circus] then met Steve and Andy in Crackers.
Most of the bands we used to go and see got signed and began to tour around the UK, there didn’t seem like there was much going on. Philip Salon used to call my family home on occasion (he made a habit of having your family home phone numbers just in case) but then suddenly out of the blue Steve Strange called saying he was back in town after a sabatical. I remember the moment really well: The Kenny Everett show was on TV, Hot Gossip were dancing to Cerrones ‘Supernature’.
We went to Bang, a Monday night gay club on Charing Cross Road. It was a hairdressers haunt I sometimes went to and this outing sealed a friendship between me and Steve Strange, where we started going out to as many clubs and gigs as we could.
I started working part time at PX in Covent Garden with Steve and Jay Strongman and left the Berketex factory. 1978 was a year of change for me, I moved away from my lodgings at my family’s other house and rented a room share in Earls Court with a friend, a Scottish rent boy, by the year was out. Billy Idol lived round the corner, I had become friends with him and his girlfriend Perry Lister by now. I then moved to Kensington Church Street and shared a bedsit with the amazing Ashley Vains.
Soon Steve was thinking about starting his own night. Club For Heroes was set up at Billy’s in Meard Street with Rusty Egan DJing. This was was the beginning of the now named New Romantic era, a scene made up of ex punks, soul boys, rock-a-billies, drag queens, the gay scene and music lovers, people who liked to dress but also the regular habutés of Soho. The rest is history.