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This Mojo 2001 article does not really talk about Cat, but about a fascinating Art discovery of paintings that you may find as fascinating as I have. Just  imagine walking into this room for the first time and going back in time 30 years to, as the author writes, a more innocent time. Perhaps someone may even read this article and discover that he was the young man who painted these wonderful murals over 30 years ago. Since they lhave asted this many years untouched, let's  hope they are somehow these wonderful treasures can be preserved for prosterity. 


Mojo Magazine
Courtesy of George Brown
Written by Paul Gorman


The Art Of War
mojocollege.JPG (27193 bytes)
College unearths mystery pop artist.

collegecat.JPG (20840 bytes)When it was announced in the House of Commons in January 24, 2001 that the Royal Army Medical College on Millbank was to be sold to the highest bidder, much issue was made of the college's status as a listed building and it's prime location and proximity to Great Britain. Strangely enough however, no mention was made of the giant '70's pop murals that adorned the walls of the building.

The huge paintings - including a dramatic 20 ft high Che Guevara-style Cat Stevens and the silk -screen likeness of Paul McCartney, Jose Feliciano and Alvin Lee. They were discovered in the building, which has been vacant since 1975, while it was being converted into the new site for the Chelsea College of Art and Design. Builders came across the artworks this spring when they unlocked the door to a common room in the long-empty barracks block.

Adorning all four walls of the room are a dozen images, all black on vivid mojowalls.JPG (19722 bytes)colours such as pink, green, and orange-very early 70's. The identity of the artist is not known, nor the date when the murals were painted, but the presence of Cat Stevens, Melanie, Feliciano and what appears to be the cover of CBS compilation album 'Fill Your Head With Rock' suggest 1971 - 1972.

Painted at a time when the medical corps would have been heavily deployed in Northern Ireland, the depictions come complete with an acrostic poem which spells out the word 'PEACE'.

"We believe the murals were painted by soldiers at the barracks around 30 years ago, but are eager to find out who exactly painted them and identify all the popstars depicted," says Michael Benson, the London Institutes director of communications.

So far the Army is stumped. A Ministry of Defense photographer was dispatched to help circulate the images around the global network of ex-soldiers, but this has so far thrown no light on the mystery.

Meanwhile, the future of the paintings is unclear. The London Institute will not confirm whether they will be preserved, but their loss would be a shame. To stand in the room surrounded by the images is to be transported back to a more innocent time, when even soldiers wore stack heels and Afghan coats on city streets.mojopm.JPG (11707 bytes)

As for the musicians portrayed, having strapped our 'experts' to the rack and twisted until we got a response. MOJO is reasonably certain of the identities of all the bands, from the violinist who may come from the Fill Your Head With Rock cover (Flock's Jerry Goodmen), to Alvin Lee of Ten Years After sharing a corner with Spooky Tooth.

More importantly, do you know anything about the soldier or soldiers who brightened up the lives of the medics who slept in the dormitory next door? Is it in fact you? We feel sure anyone who displayed such musical taste in the day would be a MOJO aficionado by now.


Top Photo: Cat Stevens, Melanie, Edgar Braughton Band
Bottom Photo: Paul McCartney, Jose Feliciano, violinist Jerry Goodmen
Right Hand Photo: Pete Browns Piblokto, Spooky Tooth, Alvin Lee


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