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Workshop - Stuff by Members
Written by NHA   
Monday, 24 August 2009 23:15
Article Index
We Were There, Dudes!
NHA Workshop - WWTD - Prolog
NHA Workshop - WWTD - Darkroom Pete
NHA Workshop - WWTD - Crayon Soap
NHA Workshop - WWTD - The Awakening of Detti
NHA Workshop - WWTD - Moments of Stunning Interaction
All Pages



Slot 01 – Darkroom Pete by Alex Ramonsky

  • Observer: Alex
  • Main Character: Pete
  • Location and Date: London – United Kingdom – 48 (aBBm)


I met Pete in London when I was 17. I was moving in to an apartment in London and as the furniture was being delivered, I couldn't help notice a young lady from the apartment next door, dressed only in a short red nightie, banging on the door of the (communal) bathroom shouting "come out, you obtuse bastard". The 'obtuse bastard' in the bathroom turned out to be Pete, and the scantily-clad young lady was his girlfriend.

Traditionally one goes round the apartment next door to borrow milk, tea etc. when one has just moved in, and that's really when I met them properly because they invited me in for dinner and talked my ass off. The bathroom, I found, doubled as a darkroom (in the olden days you used to have to take photographs with rolls of film that you developed yourself in trays of chemicals, or got a pharmacist to do it) and Pete was a photographer. So the bathroom was off-limits when films were being developed and you had to use the one upstairs.

I was working in Kingsbury Hospital at the time, and Pete from then on never went short of chemicals : ) Pete introduced me to photography, decent cannabis, my first LSD, the politics of having no politics, and the hassle of trying to live a life with no hassle. We moved together to a shared house in London and spent three happy years there, after which we all moved to different locations, but visited each other often... ...there is one public house in England that I have never been in not tripping, and it's Pete's fault. All my memories are laced with much laughter. A typical 'Pete' excerpt: we're walking home from said pub, and a public phone box is ringing on th street. Pete answers it and it's some teenage girl saying, "is Mikey there?" Pete says, "Nope, this is the FBI. Mikey's number is -(and gave his own phone number) then we ran back to his house where of course the phone was ringing, he picked it up and the girl said "Hello is Mikey there?" Pete says "Nope, it's the FBI again...we know what you're doing, and we know who you're doing it with" and hangs up.

Pete did photographic work for the navy (but never joined), various magazines, and later when he went into video, documentaries for all kinds of people. His work took him to locations around the world, and into adventures like accidentally chatting up a transvestite, 'road running' (racing on foot across the tops of cars in traffic jams) in Singapore, being arrested in Italy for conspiring to cheat a casino (he wasn't) and (with me) setting up the original Entelechy Institute (which I now find myself chair of), and becoming an 'open source' video pirate (in the olden days when movies still came on video).

Pete hated the media, publicity, hype, nosiness and hassle. He stood for our right to privacy and personal confidentiality, and worked steadfastly to fuck up public databases, inserting names like "Mr Umbadingi Wartflap, South Africa" in Barclay's bank payroll, for example. His hacking was always purely and simply for a laugh. It was Pete who made the Spice Girls bald on their very first website. It was Pete who portrayed the Pope with a christmas tree shoved up his ass on the Christian Foundation website...and it was Pete who took out London's County Hall computer system leaving employees with the screen message "you fathead" for a whole afternoon. He was a gentle person with a great sense of fun, gregarious, honest and always somehow shy. In later years he travelled around Australia, filming most of the landscape on DVD. Nobody knows why.

If you would like to honor Pete's memory, his advice was "have yourself a good time"  Smile he would have been horrified by the idea of a public memorial, so please don't do that.



Last Updated on Sunday, 03 October 2010 16:47