Saturday, May 22, 2010
Carl Teper: Did the Blitz Kid switch barrister's wig for mascara?
Is Carl Teper in this photo? I don't think so
I was disapppointed to see the philanthropist, barrister and sometime deputy district judge, Carl Teper, not depicted in the recent Boy George TV biopic Worried About the Boy. Or, if he was depicted, I couldn't pick him out in the Blitz nightclub shadows.
It only occurred to me after I'd reviewed it that Carl, whom I very unhappily encountered as a law student at the Middle Temple around 1980/1, was one of the so-called Blitz Kids - a curious and rather wealthy addition to the clubber clique that included Steve Strange (Gemini), Boy George (Gemini), Marilyn, Martin Degville, and others bound for i-D Magazine-plus celebrity.
Quite what drew him to this milieu I do not understand: for the most part, the Blitz Kids were working class, self-created androgynes seeking escape from stifling suburbia to pop/fashion infamy. Rich boy Carl in his sober suits, or the Carl presented to me at the time, was intent on a career at the Bar: politics interested him, too - certainly I recall him telling me that he'd joined both Tory and Labour constituency parties in two different parts of London, which I thought glamorously nonpartisan at the time. These days I'd call him a tart.
Looking back now, I assume he threw his barrister's wig off at night for the piratical shirt and dayglo cake eye liner and shimmer powder; ooh yeah, baby. Well, one is forced to speculate, playfully....
Nothing Carl ever said to me made much sense - he was inclined to the self-empoweringly cryptic when not doing the football pools or eating his din-dins at the MT - but I'm sure our judiciary (or at least the English Bar) is better for this intrepid social voyager who has many friends in showbiz (eg Boy George, Barbara Windsor), journalism (eg Matthew Parris, Adam Mars-Jones), and in several other areas of life. I wonder if he's still a Freemason.
Aged nearly 55 now - yes, another fucking Gemini - he may not want too much attention focusssed on his New Romantic period. But surely a fly-on-the-wall doc of his life - with the gaudy 80s flashbacks interspersing glimpses of his doubtless intriguing work as a parking adjudicator - would make fascinating TV.