James Haynes (born 10 November 1933), commonly known as Jim Haynes, is a former figure in the British "underground" and alternative/counter-culture scene of the 1960s. He was involved with the founding of Edinburgh's Traverse Theatre, the paper International Times and the London Arts Lab in Drury Lane for experimental and mixed media work.
Life and work
Haynes was born in Haynesville in Claiborne Parish in far northern Louisiana. He spent several years in Venezuela and attended an unnamed university. In 1956, his military service brought him to Scotland and he decided to stay there afterwards. He attended Edinburgh University and, among other writing and musical activities, helped in the foundation of the Traverse Theatre and the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. He ran the Paperback Bookshop in George Square ("at the sign of the rhinoceros head" - there was a stuffed trophy head on the pavement outside), which he boasted was "Britain's first paperback only bookshop", until the University redeveloped the Square and he lost the premises.
In 1966, he relocated to London in the middle of the "swinging 60s" and became heavily involved in the underground cultural scene, co-founding the pivotal alternative paper International Times, known as "I.T.", along with others including Barry Miles and John Hopkins.
In September 1967, Haynes co-founded the Drury Lane Arts Lab space for mixed-media, but it closed in late 1969.
In 1969, in Amsterdam, he co-launched Suck newspaper for sexual freedom, which was also available in the United Kingdom. The first issue contained a long and unrestrainedly descriptive erotic poem attributed to W. H. Auden and an explicit photo of Germaine Greer.
Haynes then taught Media Studies and Sexual Politics for 30 years at the University of Paris. Over this time he has held open house on Sundays in Paris, and published an irregular newsletter about his life and times. In addition he has written an autobiographical memoir, titled Thanks for Coming, and frequently attends annual arts festivals such as the Edinburgh Festivals.
At Christmas 2009, Haynes and his open house parties were featured in British television advertisements for multinational foods company Nestlé: "When the coffee and 'After Eight' mints come out, Jim's always got a story to tell."
Footage of him appears in a documentary 'Echoes of the underground' which also features Lee Harris Brian Barritt, Henk Targowski and Youth. The score for the film was written and performed by The Moonlight Convention.
Haynes had a heart attack in August 2011 on his way from Glasgow to the Edinburgh Film Festival but recovered. His newsletter is to be found on his website.
- Official website
- International Times (IT) Archive
- The Arts Lab Newsletter - Jim Haynes tells it like it is - October 1969
- Unfinished Histories - Alternative Theatre recorded interview with Jim Haynes