Will Noble14 Hair-Raising Pics Of Punk London In Its Heyday
The 1970s UK punk movement was fast and furious when it hit. The Roxy — London's first and premier punk club — only lasted 100 nights.
But photographer Sheila Rock was there to capture the scene that would violently swerve the course of music — and fashion — forever.
In her book, Young Punks, Sheila Rock relives the gritty, grubby — and occasionally glamorous — age, with pictures of bands and artists who've now long etched their legacies into music history.
Rock was a regular photographer for The Face magazine, shooting many of its covers — and giving her access to the likes of The Sex Pistols, The Damned and The Cure.
In this in this updated, reprinted and repackaged edition of Young Punks, the Buzzcocks pose pre-gig outside the Marquee club on Wardour Street. John Lydon, aka Johnny Rotten, poses swaddled in a red coat — about to embark on his post-Pistols music career. And employees of BOY on the King's Road show you don't have to wear a uniform to work.
Punk — which burgeoned in London clubs like the Roxy, the Marquee and the 100 Club — was about the fashion as much it was the music. Says Rock: "Punk permeated everything in fashion, music and lifestyle and its influence was everywhere you looked.
"My job as a photographer was to capture what was happening and let the pictures tell the story."
The SEX shop on King's Road — owned by Malcolm McLaren and Vivienne Westwood — became an icon of the punk movement, and, like many of London's punk clubs, didn't last long (it was open only from 1974-6).
Indeed, many of the venues photographed by Rock here have long since bitten the dust. But as Kurt Cobain, who was inspired by many punks bands, would later say in his suicide note: "It's better to burn out than to fade away".
Young Punks by Sheila Rock is available now on Omnibus Press, RRP £25.
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