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Take Hat, And Party

Stuart Bailie | 16:40 UK time, Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Stuart Bailie in New York

Here's a photo of myself taken in Times Square, New York, 1988. It's my first time in NYC, hence the excited look. The bonus for me is that I'm standing outside the Bond Building, an old casino that the Clash had commandeered in 1981 for some historic gigs. Back then, I didn't know the name of my hat. I just liked the shape and the old-fangled style. Tom Waits used to wear one, and Bruce Springsteen also, around 1975. Likewise with Dr John. I remember someone called it a Po' Boy cap, connecting it to Depression-era America. That would explain why George Clooney wore it during O Brother Where Out Thou and why the American street gang, the Dead End Kids were accessorised in Angels With Dirty Faces, taking no lip from that gangster Jimmy Cagney. Anyway, the style has been somewhat revived this winter. Now I find that the retailers call it the newsboy cap, the eight quarter cap, the baker boy or even the Big Apple cap. I've even heard it described as the Gatsby. A lot of names for a humble bit of headgear.


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