Fred Vermorel studied media at the Polytechnic of Central London (now University of Westminster) from 1969 to 1972, pursued an MA in history at the University of Sussex in 1974 to 1975, and achieved a PhD from Kingston University in 2011. He lectured in cultural history and media at Southampton Solent University from 1992 to 2001, and since then at the American University in Paris, and Richmond: The American International University in London, and at Kingston University.
However, Vermorel is more widely known for writing nonsensical “anti-biographies”. In 1978, he and his partner Judy released ‘Sex Pistols: The Inside Story’. A series of pop books followed: ‘Gary Numan by Computer’ (1980), ‘Adam & The Ants’ (1981), and The Secret History of Kate Bush (and the Strange Art of Pop) (1983). As the 1980s progressed, Fred examined music fandom in two controversial volumes: ‘Starlust’ (1985) and ‘Fandemonium!’ (1989). In his 1996 book, ‘Fashion and Perversity: A Life of Vivienne Westwood and the Sixties Laid Bare’, Fred sketched a portrait of Vivienne Westwood, Malcolm McLaren and himself set against the dangerous ideas of their time.
In the new millennium, Fred explored the fashion spectacle and celebrity with ‘Addicted to Love: The Kate Moss Story’ (2006). He also unearthed obscene imaginings from the archive with ‘Queen Victoria’s Lovers: Erotomania and Fantasy’ (2014). His latest project, ‘Dead Fashion Girl: A Soho Affair’, is a foray into the 1950s true crime genre that deals with the unsolved murder of a young fashion designer and model, Jean Townsend.
Vermorel appeared in the documentary Come Back Kate, shedding some more light on his weird biography and how he ‘stalked’ Kate Bush.
- “As Potentially Explosive as the Contents of My Head or My Underpants”: An interview with Fred Vermorel – Part 1. Pop Music Research, retrieved 18 August 2018.