/ 'Hard Rock: A Tribute To Ken Wilson' film

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Rob Parsons on 12 Jan 2017
On the BMC website at https://www.thebmc.co.uk/hard-rock-the-film-ken-wilson-bmc we read:

"Hard Rock premiered at Kendal Mountain Festival 2016 to a welcoming audience ...

"If you missed it at Kendal, don't worry, we've got a special Xmas pressie for you. Every BMC member will be emailed an exclusive invite to watch it online over Christmas."

Did any BMC members get such an invitation? I didn't.

Does anybody know how/where I can watch this film?

Thanks.
Monk - on 12 Jan 2017
In reply to Rob Parsons:

I got an email on boxing day called something like boxing day treat with a code to watch the films. Not sure I can find it now, sorry.
Si dH - on 12 Jan 2017
In reply to Rob Parsons:

Covered on a previous thread, do a search and there was the reply from the guy who can fix it for you. Basically, they don't have everyone's email address.
Rob Parsons on 12 Jan 2017
In reply to Si dH:

> Covered on a previous thread ...

Ah, thanks - I didn't know that.

philipivan - on 12 Jan 2017
In reply to Rob Parsons:

If you work it out can you post an update. I'm a member, get plenty of advertising emails but didn't get a link to the film.

Cheers
keith-ratcliffe on 12 Jan 2017
In reply to Rob Parsons:
I got this from the BMC
https://www.vimeo.com/195784092
with a password of BMC2016
Rob Parsons on 12 Jan 2017
In reply to keith-ratcliffe:

Thanks for that.
Shapeshifter - on 13 Jan 2017
In reply to Rob Parsons:

Thanks for posting the inquiry - I didn't see an email either. Really enjoyed that.
keith-ratcliffe on 13 Jan 2017
In reply to Rob Parsons:
I thought twice about publishing the link and password but having watched it again I feel that it should be available to as wide an audience as possible. He really was a hugely influential figure in climbing. Best quote " Tomorrow's chip paper"
Rob Parsons on 13 Jan 2017
In reply to keith-ratcliffe:

I would also have thought twice, but in this case I think you did fine; the BMC can always change the password if they are determined to restrict availability; but, like you, I don't see why they either want to, or need to.

What comes across in the film is Wilson's directness: an admirable quality. One thing he never did was bullshit.

I never met him personally, but I did see him in a 'bolts' debate at a BMC conference Buxton in the early '90s or so. On the opposing panel was a completely-unprepared Jerry Moffatt: it was almost embarrassing to watch the outcome.
Post edited at 10:43
Steve Woollard on 13 Jan 2017
In reply to Rob Parsons:

Excellent tribute to Ken and "the day".

I also missed the email so thanks for posting.
Tyler - on 13 Jan 2017
In reply to keith-ratcliffe:
> I thought twice about publishing the link and password but having watched it again I feel that it should be available to as wide an audience as possible.

Well as long as you feel it's ok to give access to something that's not yours, and has been restricted by the owner, that's fine. Do you have a Netflix account I could use as well? I'm sick of paying my subscription and feel that those films should be available to as wide an audience as possible.
Post edited at 11:33
22
NigeR on 13 Jan 2017
In reply to Tyler:

> Well as long as you feel it's ok to give access to something that's not yours, and has been restricted by the owner, that's fine. Do you have a Netflix account I could use as well? I'm sick of paying my subscription and feel that those films should be available to as wide an audience as possible.

I hardly think this is depriving the BMC of income ?
Mike Highbury - on 13 Jan 2017
In reply to NigeR:
> I hardly think this is depriving the BMC of income ?

And, in the non-hammy bit, seeing Steve Mac bounce his foot up the Corner deserves as wide an audience as possible.
Mick Ward - on 13 Jan 2017
In reply to Rob Parsons:

Poignant.

Mick
NigeR on 13 Jan 2017
In reply to Mick Ward:

> Poignant.

> Mick

Isn't it just Mick. And quite beautiful.

Must admit to a bit of moisture in the eyes watching that - for many reasons.

NigeR on 13 Jan 2017
In reply to Mike Highbury:

> And, in the non-hammy bit, seeing Steve Mac bounce his foot up the Corner deserves as wide an audience as possible.

That's how you climb it isn't it?
Mick Ward - on 13 Jan 2017
In reply to NigeR:

Agree, very emotional indeed. Don't worry - there were no dry eyes round here!

He enriched our lives so very much. His final remarks are, I think, simply a measure of his essential humility. The reality is that his legacy will inspire future generations, as it has inspired ours'.

The BMC did well to commission this - lovingly filmed.

Mick



eroica64 - on 13 Jan 2017
In reply to keith-ratcliffe:

Well, pretty damn amazing film. Just lovely filming - kudos to Right Unconquerable team especially but it was all exquisite. The sequence of the lad getting to the top of Tryfan was wonderful. Well done to everyone concerned.
alex - on 13 Jan 2017
In reply to

Glad you're all liking the film.

We sent the code to all BMC members so that they could watch it first. Apologies for any current member who didn't get the email, but looks like you've solved it ;).

We'll leave the film up there for a week before taking it down and then releasing on BMC TV.

If you like the film and you're not a member, do think about joining us as it allows us to keep paying tribute to climbing's characters with films like these:

https://www.thebmc.co.uk/membership


John Gresty - on 13 Jan 2017
In reply to Rob Parsons:

Having twice been on the receiving end of a rant from Ken, and also personally hearing him spouting off about being kicked out of Leeds wall only 4 days after it happened, this film did not seem to represent his outspoken nature.

I'm not sure whether I agree with them or not, it would be good to see somebody taking up his role of 'keeping up the standards'

However I can relate to his more reflective outlook shown in this film as medical reasons now also put myself in a similar situation of probably having to abandon climbing after a lifetime of playing on the rocks.

John Gresty
keith-ratcliffe on 13 Jan 2017
In reply to alex:
I hope you understood my motives for giving other people access to this film. I saw a trailer at Kendal and so much wanted to see the whole thing. You kindly sent me the link & password for me to watch and I felt so moved by it I decided to share it. Thanks.
1
Tony Jones - on 13 Jan 2017
In reply to alex:

I've been thinking about joining for a while. Having now watched the film, I feel an obligation to do so. I already feel that I've got pretty good value from my first year's subs. Thanks; it's a worthy tribute to a very important figure in post-war British climbing.
Offwidth - on 13 Jan 2017
In reply to John Gresty:

Really sorry to hear that John. Please don't give up on UKC as well we need more input from wise older climbers like you.
pneame on 13 Jan 2017
In reply to Rob Parsons:

Just watched it again - really excellent and captures so much of the essence of climbing in the UK (non-sport climbing, obviously!). Brought back a lot of happy memories
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Gordon Stainforth - on 13 Jan 2017
In reply to pneame:

I suppose we should be very grateful for what we've got with this interview, but I still have a deep sense of regret - as I think I've mentioned before - that we don't have any extant video footage of Ken when he was in his prime.
jon on 13 Jan 2017
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

> I suppose we should be very grateful for what we've got with this interview, but I still have a deep sense of regret - as I think I've mentioned before - that we don't have any extant video footage of Ken when he was in his prime.

Volume controls wouldn't take it, Gordon.

keith-ratcliffe on 13 Jan 2017
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:
I think there is scope for a tribute piece of biographical writing - Ken Wilson by his friends & enemies. Up your street Gordon? I only ever knew him through his publications but those who knew him personally could produce a great work.
Post edited at 20:14
Gordon Stainforth - on 13 Jan 2017
In reply to keith-ratcliffe:

Well, I've already written a short tribute on my own website.
pneame on 13 Jan 2017
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

I would agree, Gordon. However, the medium of his time was the written word with carefully selected photos and we have a lot of that!
What we don't seem to have too much of are the gems like this:
http://www.ukclimbing.com/images/dbpage.html?id=277684
But then, Ken was a recorder, a debater, a firm "keeper of standards". I don't think it was ever about him, as this interview shows. For the rest of us, of course, we would have had trouble steering without him.

Personally, I have a sense of regret that I didn't have a digital camera in the 70s and 80s! But I absolutely would not want the loss of mystery that comes with all that technology. Things and people are of their time and, as I think we've said before, you can never go back.
Gordon Stainforth - on 13 Jan 2017
In reply to pneame:

This was the last picture I took of him, 9 1/2 years ago:
http://www.ukclimbing.com/images/dbpage.html?id=71314
keith-ratcliffe on 13 Jan 2017
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:
I read that and it is an excellent tribute. However as a great cronichler of the climbing world himself I do think that Ken Wilson deserves a book of his own life story. It would be a brave person to take it on but what a tale to tell.
Gordon Stainforth - on 13 Jan 2017
In reply to keith-ratcliffe:

I actually had a few words about this with Jon Barton of Vertebrate at Ken's memorial do. I think in principle Jon's keen on the idea, but the problem is: who to do it? As for me, I've got three other books already in the pipeline ...
pneame on 13 Jan 2017
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

Just read your blog post - http://gordonstainforth.apps-1and1.net/ken-wilson-7-february-1941-11-june-2016?utm_source=rss&ut...
Excellent. And moving.
I think the best picture is of the fairly young Ken with the puckish gleam in his eyes.
keith-ratcliffe on 13 Jan 2017
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:
I am not well informed here but Tim Lewis/Geoff Birtles took on Mountain after Ken. Are they in the frame? Anyone at his later publishers? Mates from climbing days? Someone could surely step up to the mark.
Gordon Stainforth - on 13 Jan 2017
In reply to keith-ratcliffe:

No, I'm fairly sure Bernard (Newman) took if over straight after Ken and was editor for nearly a decade??
keith-ratcliffe on 13 Jan 2017
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:
Thanks for that - it seems there are several candidates for an editorial role - please someone pick it up while we still have access to people who knew Ken and are trusted by his family to create the whole story of his contribution to climbing.
PS A title of 'Next years chip paper' would not go amiss.
Post edited at 21:10
scree on 13 Jan 2017
In reply to keith-ratcliffe:

Thanks, I massively enjoyed that, made me cry in fact.
Mick Ward - on 13 Jan 2017
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

That's a brilliant photograph, Gordon. You've really caught his character marvellously (and yes, there was so much to catch!)

Mick
Mick Ward - on 13 Jan 2017
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

> No, I'm fairly sure Bernard (Newman) took if over straight after Ken and was editor for nearly a decade??

Tim was the next editor, then Bernard Newman.

I've been working on a retrospective of all four cult British climbing magazines over the last 50 years. It's unashamedly dedicated to Ken 'the greatest of them all' and, quite rightly in my view, he has pride of place. I feel very strongly indeed that with Mountain he established a standard which has rarely been equalled and never surpassed. I think he threw down a gauntlet for future generations to pick up.

Mick

Gordon Stainforth - on 13 Jan 2017
In reply to Mick Ward:

You should possibly talk to Vertebrate.
Rob Parsons on 13 Jan 2017
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

> Well, I've already written a short tribute on my own website.

Gordon, in that piece you write: "In 1979, he set up two publishing houses, Diadem and Baton Wicks ..."

Just for the sake of the record, is that what actually happened? Isn't the timeline that he first set up Diadem; that that company was later sold to Hodder; and that, after Hodder was sold on (or merged) again some years later, he set up Baton Wicks as another company?
Mick Ward - on 13 Jan 2017
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

Gordon, thank you for your suggestion but was going to approach poor Natalie, on here. It's not a book, more a long article. Maybe split it into two parts?

The first issue of Mountain I ever saw was the fabled Yosemite issue (Mountain 4?), arguably the most famous, groundbreaking and radical issue of any climbing magazine to date.

Even though I was green as Irish grass, I just knew right then that 'we're not in Kansas anymore'. And nor were we.

With one incredibly bold move (practically a whole issue about a place to which hardly no-one had been - but was incredibly important) Ken raised the bar as high as it's ever gone. Implicitly what he was saying was, "Listen up, folks, this is what truly matters."

And, for those first circa 60 issues, he delivered, again and again and again. What remains is the finest canon of mountaineering journalism to date.

Rant over!

Mick

P.S. On your blog, you pinpointed the most fundamental aspect of his multifarious character. He cared - about every facet to the human condition with which he came in contact. He never stopped caring; in fact, he simply couldn't stop caring. And so he achieved true greatness, became a sort of Jonathan Swift of our time.

'Swift has sailed into his rest;
Savage indignation there
Cannot lacerate his Breast
Imitiate him if you dare,
World-Besotted Traveller; he
Served human liberty'



Mick Ward - on 13 Jan 2017
In reply to Rob Parsons:

Ken sold Mountain about 1978 and set up Diadem. It later became an imprint of Hodder which had a long tradition of getting out mountaineering books (and a great editor, Maggie Boddy). Come the 1990s and Hodder wanted out of stuff like mountaineering and religion (where they had another strong track record, I believe). Within four days of leaving, Ken had set up Baton Wicks and carried on as before.

Mick
Gordon Stainforth - on 13 Jan 2017
In reply to Rob Parsons:

> Gordon, in that piece you write: "In 1979, he set up two publishing houses, Diadem and Baton Wicks ..."

> Just for the sake of the record, is that what actually happened? Isn't the timeline that he first set up Diadem; that that company was later sold to Hodder; and that, after Hodder was sold on (or merged) again some years later, he set up Baton Wicks as another company?

I think you are right - what I've written there certainly doesn't seem correct because BW certainly came later. I think my original draft got garbled from something like 'After 1979' etc. Sorry, that was sloppy.

Gordon Stainforth - on 13 Jan 2017
In reply to Mick Ward:

> The first issue of Mountain I ever saw was the fabled Yosemite issue (Mountain 4?), arguably the most famous, groundbreaking and radical issue of any climbing magazine to date.

I'm certain that I've got every issue from 1-100, though the first one I think has the cover missing. My brother also has a pretty comprehensive collection, so between us we probably have just about the whole thing. and multiple copies of some issues. But our respective archives are over 100 miles apart at the moment, and mine's in my attic.
MusicalMountaineer - on 14 Jan 2017
In reply to keith-ratcliffe:
Nice one. Thank you. Good watch.
eroica64 - on 15 Jan 2017
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

The book could be and maybe should be a Hard Rock-style thing with contributors reminiscing about the times KW got up people's noses, went ballistic with his enthusiasms, did not stand fools gracefully, went forcefully cantankerous, over the top in criticism, etc. Call it Hard Rocker and have someone like a Colin Wells do it.
jonchitt - on 16 Jan 2017
In reply to Rob Parsons:

Hey Rob

Like Si dH said, we don't have everyone's email address.

If you're a BMC member and you didn't receive it, there might be a few reasons why you didn't receive the email but if you contact me at jonc@thebmc.co.uk I can sort it out for you.

If anyone would like to receive future BMC mailings please subscribe here: http://thebmc.us7.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=46067228c24d4be503edd263a&id=06481fa93e
paul__in_sheffield - on 16 Jan 2017
In reply to Mick Ward:

Mick, I'll look forward to the cult climbing magazine retrospective. It was an era of the like we'll never see again. Apart from the fragmentation caused by digital media, the excitement of picking through the new climbs sections and planning the weekend's activities to 'have a look'. We'll never see that level of new routing again.
As a dedicated crag rat, Mountain never really meant much to me. I remember John Stevenson had bound copies of all the classic magazines, but it was 'Crags' and 'High' which were to us the really radical publications, and in retrospect, a really fascinating insight into Birtle's imagination.
Was OTE your 4th cult mag? Really reflects well on Gill who captured the zeitgeist so well.
Get writing youth!!
ads.ukclimbing.com
Sean Kelly - on 16 Jan 2017
In reply to paul__in_sheffield:
> As a dedicated crag rat, Mountain never really meant much to me. I remember John Stevenson had bound copies of all the classic magazines, but it was 'Crags' and 'High' which were to us the really radical publications, and in retrospect, a really fascinating insight into Birtle's imagination.

You had to experience the early editions of 'Mountain' to really appreciate how different it was from other contemporary magazine format and content. How the cover only had the name of the magazine and number and nothing else to detract from the photo on the front ( unfortunately not so with modern covers). And they were usually stunning images. The interior graphics was right up with what was best in typographic design and layout. And as for the content. Well look at the success of the books, Games Climber Play and Mirror on the Cliffs, that replay much of the magazines content.
I especially recall 'Mountain 14' and the story of Scottish winter climbing and the thrilling excerpts from the writings of Smith and Marshall. I personally feel that something precious has been lost when we look at what is on offer today. Most of it is either very elitest, or treats everyone as an inexperienced bimbly. But then again I'm thinking that nostalgia is not what it used to be!



abr1966 - on 16 Jan 2017
In reply to keith-ratcliffe:

> I got this from the BMC


> with a password of BMC2016

Thanks for that Kieth....much appreciated.
I didn't know Ken well....had a few conversations with him many years ago but I really enjoyed watching the video...
paul__in_sheffield - on 16 Jan 2017
In reply to Sean Kelly:

Hi Sean,
I've got the entire collections of Mountain, Crags and High, guess I was just a 'car bound puerile ticker' with no greater sensibilities ;-(
Rob Exile Ward on 16 Jan 2017
In reply to Sean Kelly:

The design was way out there. In retrospect this was probably tragic; we lost the endearing - but important - bumbly amateurism of C & R and Rocksport, to a publication that was at least at home on an Islington coffee table as it was in a greasy spoon, and one that paved the way (ironically, given the editor's proclivities) to the consumerist 'Never Stop Shopping(tm)' tidal wave that has ever since engulfed us.

For me, the definitive edition was 15 - Doug Scott in full flow 'On the Profundity Trail' (we bumped into Peter Habeler a few years ago, he was different from how I had imagined him all these years!); a wonderfully elegiac description of West Penwith by Frank Cannings, and a prescient, impotent rant by a young 'has been' (which is how he was regarded at the time) - Reinhold Messner.

But I still have all the editions of Mountain that I ever bought, from 7 on, and they enthuse me even now.
GrahamD - on 17 Jan 2017
In reply to Rob Parsons:

That video is superb.

I didn't start climbing until the early 90s and therefore missing out on the real period where modern styles and ethics were being established, so the only 'dealings' I had with Ken were during his all too brief forray as a UKC user. The forums certainly weren't his natural media but seeing him talking straight into the camera like that gave a far more intense impression of the person.
rka - on 17 Jan 2017
In reply to Rob Parsons:

Once in a works canteen (bait cabin) I was engrossed in a copy of Mountain, a fellow worker who I knew had no interest in climbing but was a bit of a porn fiend, asked what I was reading, "Mount-in" I replied. He asked if he could take a look. I handed it over for it to be swiftly returned with mutterings of "it full of bluddy hills".
Rob Parsons on 17 Jan 2017
In reply to Rob Exile Ward:

> For me, the definitive edition was 15 - Doug Scott in full flow 'On the Profundity Trail' (we bumped into Peter Habeler a few years ago, he was different from how I had imagined him all these years!); ...

I saw Peter Habeler give a talk a few years back (it was an Everest event organized by Doug Scott) and I thought he was great: funny; witty; self-deprecating; very engaging; and much the best speaker on the night. I had no idea what to expect from him, and it all came as a very pleasant surprise.
Rob Parsons on 17 Jan 2017
In reply to paul__in_sheffield:

> Was OTE your 4th cult mag? Really reflects well on Gill who captured the zeitgeist so well.

It was started by Ed Douglas, of course. Later on, he was also responsible for 'Mountain Review.' That only made it to eight (I think) issues - but it was good while it lasted.
Mick Ward - on 17 Jan 2017
In reply to paul__in_sheffield:

> Mick, I'll look forward to the cult climbing magazine retrospective. It was an era of the like we'll never see again. Apart from the fragmentation caused by digital media, the excitement of picking through the new climbs sections and planning the weekend's activities to 'have a look'. We'll never see that level of new routing again.

> As a dedicated crag rat, Mountain never really meant much to me. I remember John Stevenson had bound copies of all the classic magazines, but it was 'Crags' and 'High' which were to us the really radical publications, and in retrospect, a really fascinating insight into Birtle's imagination.

> Was OTE your 4th cult mag? Really reflects well on Gill who captured the zeitgeist so well.

> Get writing youth!!


Hi Paul, sorry have just seen this. Without giving too much away (oh, sod it!) Rocksport, Mountain, Crags, OTE. Crags was kind of Rocksport on steroids. It had a focus that Rocksport hadn't - the Cream Team. And it was launched at precisely the right time. (Even Birtles couldn't control the weather - that glorious summer of '76.)

Yes, another crag rat, did little in the Alps apart from rescuing the President of the French Alpine Club (they gave me a medal - much embarrassment, hilarity and drunkenness). But the sweep, the breadth of Ken's vision, those front-covers uncluttered with crap, the striking images, the breathtakingly cool 'Mountain' logo. I was - am - lost in admiration.

Birtles played a blinder with the last issue of High. He saved the best for last, he really did.

Tom Prentice was superb at Climber & Whatever. An utter gentleman. A pleasure to work with.

Gill did indeed catch the zeitgeist superbly. Greg and her were a superb team, complementing each other beautifully. The best issue? OTE 32 - beside me now. Mick Ryan's prophetic 'The Young Ones'. And, on the front cover, beautiful, doomed Rachel Farmer reaching for the chains on Raindogs.

I need to stop farting around and send it in to Natalie.

> It was an era of the like we'll never see again.

> We'll never see that level of new routing again.

Absolutely.

Mick

> I need to stop farting around and send it in to Natalie.

Yes, you do


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