Presented on a beautiful 100% cotton paper, the humorous giclée prints highlight the vivid blazers of Billy's 'Teddy Boy' characters, who have taken to the stage with maracas, brothel creeper shoes and clashing socks. Featured on the internal front cover and end pages of the Waterstones Exclusive Edition of Billy's autobiography, the dynamic figure is inspired by his memories of the 1950s British youth subculture, which saw teenagers embracing rock 'n' roll and R&B music and experimenting with fashion.
Billy says: "Teddy Boys were windswept and interesting. They chose their clothes to differ from everyone else in society. And that was the hippie thing as well, just choosing your clothes, wearing policemen’s capes and big hats with snakeskin bands. It was a good time. They're just Teddy Boys dancing with maracas. My favourite is the yellow one. He's the most gaudy and 'clashy'."
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This release helped Billy to explore memories from his youth. He reveals: "I was too young to be a Teddy Boy. When I was a schoolboy - around 13 or 14 years old - I saw a great Teddy Boy in the art galleries in Glasgow. I saw many Teddy Boys on the street, but this guy was amazing. He was just a Teddy Boy from his head to his toes, with his suede beetle crusher shoes, drainpipe trousers, draped jacket, and velvet collar and cuffs.
"He had an earring; I'd never seen a man with an earring before. He was with his girlfriend, and she looked great as well. They were in the art galleries and they looked like an exhibit. I thought they were brilliant and that I'd like to be one of them, but by the time I got old enough, it was gone."
Billy himself is no stranger to flamboyant stage outfits: while performing for his sell-out one-man shows, his 'glam-rock' style included anything from leotards to his now-infamous banana boots. In the 2020 BBC documentary Billy and Us, his eccentric aesthetic was likened to that of David Bowie, whose Ziggy Stardust persona inspired Billy to stand out from the crowd. His own musical background - both as a solo artist and a member of The Humblebums - formed a fascination with the link between music and fashion, with Billy explaining: "Maracas were very popular in the 1950s and 60s to allow a signature look, and to leap around. Mick Jagger used to make great use of them, and they're a great posing tool."
He adds: "I'm very fond of brothel creepers; they're the foundation of the whole outfit, with the clashing socks. I remember buying a pair of shoes on King's Road. They were lilac with black soles, and I had lime green socks on. I was marching up and down the shop, trying them on, and the shop owner said, "They clash great with your socks", which sums up the whole ethos."
Released in October 2021, Windswept & Interesting: My Autobiography chronicles Billy's meteoric rise to fame in his own words. In his first full-length memoir, the best-loved actor and comedian regales tales from his tragic childhood, alongside upbeat anecdotes about everything from his time on the Glaswegian shipyards to his comedy routines, Born On A Rainy Day series, and battles with cancer and Parkinson's Disease.
"I didn't know I was windswept and interesting until somebody told me...After that, I simply had to maintain my reputation."
Excerpt from Billy's upcoming autobiography
19/03/2020'The Big Yin' revealed the fifth instalment of his Born On A Rainy Day collection. To celebrate, we gave collectors the chance to have their questions answered by the award-winning comedian.
17/02/2021The much-loved comedian reveals why colour has given his work a "totally different attitude". Only selected titles from this popular release are still available.
07/05/2021Inspired by two sold-out prints from his first-ever Born On A Rainy Day release in 2012, these stainless steel sculptures are a must-have for any fan of the legendary comedian.
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