Belinda Carlisle

Belinda Carlisle in LA 1982.  The Go-Go’s received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame today.

Ghost Town The Specials

The brilliant Specials‘ song ‘Ghost Town’  has been called a ‘crisis’ theme song for the current riots by the some of the British newspapers. It is still so relevant to Britain’s inner cities 30 years later.

I took this photograph of the Specials in 1981 on the Seaside Tour during a similar time of economic crisis, cuts, racism and unemployment.

London Riots

In 1981 I was living in Streatham when the Brixton riots took place. The next day I walked down Railton Road and Electric Avenue, the streets were deserted, boarded up shops, smashed windows, burned out pubs and building. Similar circumstances in the riots all over the UK today : economic crisis, no jobs, racism, disenfranchised youth, public service cuts and same hatred for the police, same Molotov cocktails and missiles. Rioters these days wear hoodies and balaclavas to hide their faces from CCTV cameras and seem intent on looting the stores for mobile phones, video games and Carhartt clothing – seems like they have lost their political agenda. But as the Guardian online said today”A riot is neither a solution nor an unforeseen calamity but a problem brought to the surface: a manifestation of social angst and official failure.”

Welcome to the Archive of Attitude

Paul Weller (The Jam) met his hero Pete Townshend (The Who) for the first time on Wardour Street in London outside the famous Marquee Club in the summer of 1981. My friend, the writer Paolo Hewitt had organized the interview. He had grown up with Paul in Woking, ‘Smalltown Britain’ where they had seen, as Weller said “the top faces walking through Woking town center”  Weller’s look was resolutely Mod, he later told Mojo magazine “You could say it’s a fashion statement, but I think it’s more than that: the working class love of clothes, looking good, rising above your station. I don’t think it will ever die … These clothes, my haircut, reflect my attitude and the music I listen to, and they say ‘I am an individual’.”

This is one of the first shots I took of them that afternoon – it is a moment in time – Weller looking so sharp in his pin stripe suit. Sir Paul Smith said this image  “completely sums up my teenage years -self conscious and fanatical about detail”.  Later I listened to them talking about music,  mods and life – the interview and this image was a cover story for Melody Maker

Bleech and Kangol

Matt, the drummer from Bleech. posed for me for Kangol catalog shoot in Camden Town  – he had just the right attitude – could be the the 50’s or 60’s in London.  I grew up not far from Camden Town, went to some of my first concerts at the Roundhouse – it is one of the last gritty areas of London, still has  some real pubs and shops.

Smutty Smith

Smutty Smith playing stand-up bass with passion in London 1980. Smutty started the band Levi & the Rockats with Levi Dexter. Classic style white Levi’s and great tattoos.

‘Teds’ at Lyceum Ballroom- St Martins School of Art

London’s St Martins School of Art has moved from it’s old home on Charing Cross Road to King’s Cross. I attended St Martins in the 1970’s, we spent a lot of time plotting the ‘revolution’ in nearby Patisserie Valerie cake shop, drawing, listening to music, taking drugs, obsessing about art and what to wear, dancing at Rock n Roll nights at Lyceum Ballroom –  and thinking we could rule the world.

I just saw the brilliant Alexander McQueen show at the Met (he went to St Martins), so did Gilbert & George, Antony Gormley, Steven Jones, Paul Smith Joe Strummer, MIA and so many more. Those cold drafty studios in Soho spawned a lot of talent over the years.

Destiny and Lorrae

Destiny and Lorrae upstate New York – the Lady GaGa fans dyed their own hair the day before.

Cyn & Luca

Cynthia of Cyn & Luca liked my portraits of punks et al enough to hire me to shoot her swimwear look book for 2012 – we had a great day at the beach.

Alpin Hong

The artist Carl E Smith used my portrait of classical pianist Alpin Hong to create this collaboration image for Design for Humanity/Billabong/VH1 Save the Music. Alpin and I came up with the idea for the photo shoot of using the inside workings of a piano to express his classical training and his passion for of skateboarding, martial arts and video games.