The Third Leader: Happening, man!

  • @charlesnevin

Ah, yes, Sixties Time again. Curious, isn't it, that a decade so opposed to the past has become such a nostalgic piece of it? Ironic, too, that the the last unironic decade, the fresh, dangerous decade, should now be such a cosy cul de sac.

It's being recreated this time at the Riflemaker gallery in Soho, which is transforming itself into the legendary Indica gallery. I was going to say that it's a happening, but, as more proof of the above, that is one word which hasn't been used entirely seriously these past 30 years, even without a "man" immediately following it.

Still, the Indica. The Indica was so big, cool and crucial that even the people who were there can remember it. And what people. The roll call of the Indica-connected is enough alone to make you slightly distanced and suddenly peckish (and, indeed, it was named after a sub-species of the wacky leaf): Lennon, Ono, Burroughs, Polanski, Tate, Ginsberg, Corso, Julio Le Parc, on and on.

The Indica was where Lennon met Ono and took a bite out of her £200 installation, an apple (metaphor; heavy). This was when IT stood for International Times, founded in the Indica's basement. It was also the sort of place that would have Paul McCartney carpenting for the opening night, Marianne Faithfull cleaning the loos and Marc Bolan as errand boy.

But, of it all, the most dated part comes from John Dunbar, co-owner and Faithfull's former husband. Asked about Indica's origins, he said: "There was a reason why we did Indica in the first place: to have fun."

To have fun! How quaint.