In a recent BBC documentary he told how he once turned up to work with a black eye after a night of fighting.
“I’ll never forget one morning I walked in and I had a hell of a bruise – it had been a difficult night the night before – and a client said to me, ‘Good God, Vidal, what happened to your face?’ And I said, ‘Oh, nothing, madam, I just fell over a hairpin’.”
Later in life, Sassoon helped revolutionise hairdressing in the 1960s as his geometric, sharp hairstyles overtook the high maintenance, heavily hair-sprayed styles of the 50s.
(Later Sassoon and others in the 43 Group fought for the creation of Israel, which of course I and many other anarchists/communists would have serious issues with, but nobody’s perfect… For information about the 43 Group I recommend reading Morris Beckman’s excellent book, The 43 Group, to which Sassoon wrote the foreword)
(From libcom.org, not me – JD)
From 9 October 2011: well worth a listen (he had good taste in music as well).
Kirsty Young’s castaway is the veteran hairdresser Vidal Sassoon.
He developed the architecturally precise bobs and cropped styles that were a defining look of the 1960s. Mary Quant, Mia Farrow and Twiggy were among the glamorous clients who came to his salons in London and Beverly Hills.
His scissors and ambition lifted him out of the grinding poverty of his childhood – he spent six years in an orphanage because his mother could not afford to keep him at home. Now aged 83, he says:” I’ve had the best adventure you could possible have, for a kid that started from nowhere.”
Record: Mahler’s 8th Symphony Book: The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky Luxury: A dozen bottles of Vidal Sassoon hair shampoo
Producer: Isabel Sargent.
Dinah Washington— What a Difference a Day Makes
Billy Eckstine— Everything I have is yours
Billy Eckstine Greatest Hits, Polydor
Anton Bruckner— Part of the first movement from the 9th symphony
Artist: The London Symphony Orchestra conducted by Sir Colin Davis
Charles Aznavour— What Makes a Man
The Best of Charles Aznavour, Premier
Giacomo Puccini— Un bel di – One beautiful day – from Madame Butterfly
Artist: Kiri Te Kanawa
Arias by Puccini, ERATO
Bryan Ferry— The Way You Look Tonight
Composer: Fields and Kern
As Time Goes By, Virgin
Gustav Mahler— Part of Symphony No.8
Artist: City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra – with Jon Villars, The City of Birmingham Symphony Chorus and Youth Chorus. With the London Symphony Chorus & the Toronto Children’s Chorus all conducted by Sir Simon Rattle
Symphony No.8/Gustav Mahler, EMI
The Count Basie Orchestra— April in Paris
Composer: Vernon Duke
Count Basie and His Orchestra April in Paris, Verve