Saturday 1 June 2013

Sheila Rock PUNK+ Book Signing and Talk, Rough Trade East May 29th

Sheila Rock takes the applause - Photo by Dave Patten
Last night, Rough Trade East hosted a talk and book signing with renowned photographer Sheila Rock as part of a series of events to promote her excellent new book PUNK+. Sheila was accompanied by legendary DJ and Big Audio Dynamite member, Don Letts, who joined her to talk through a great slideshow of her classic images, many of which were previously unseen. Don talked about his experiences working at seminal Punk stores such as ACME Attractions, which he admitted were probably amongst the best days of his life, and of course his DJing at The Roxy. After the talk, Don played some great reggae tracks as Sheila chatted and signed copies of the book. Also in attendance were Viv Albertine, Harry Pye the ex-colleague of Steve Strange and Chrissie Hynde in the short-lived Moors Murderers, ex-Subway Sect guitarist Rob Symmons, now of The Fallen Leaves (who you can see in action at our next Retro Man Blog gig on June 29th),  The Roxy owner Andy Czezowski, designer Pam Hogg, author and Joe Strummer biographer Chris Salewicz, Martin and Paul Kelly from Heavenly and there was a surprise appearance by the ex-manager of Iggy & The Stooges, The Doors and Ramones and full on rock music legend, Danny Fields.

Danny Fields - Photo by Rhiannon Ifans
Chris Salewicz and Pam Hogg - Photo by Rhiannon Ifans
PUNK+ chronicles both designer and street styles between 1976-9 that had such an effect on fashion, society and politics, including Vivienne Westwood’s shop SEX as well as BOY, Robot and Acme Attractions. It is a fascinating insight into one of the most influential transformations of music and celebrates the scenesters who were the punk audience, and the designers that clothed the movement. As Paul Simonon (The Clash) comments: "This book is a great photographic record of a major shift in British street fashion". Sheila’s conversations with Chrissie Hynde, Tony James, Don Letts, Jeanette Lee, Glen Matlock, Chris Salewicz, Jon Savage, Steven Severin, Paul Simonon, Jah Wobble and more, provide an illuminating commentary on the punk phenomenon. As she observes "Punk was all about changing and surviving". All books are numbered and signed and feature 199 full colour and black and white photos from Sheila Rock's personal archive.

Rob Symmons with Viv Albertine - Photo by Rhiannon Ifans
Don Letts - Photo by Dave Patten
Photo by Steve Worrall
Sheila Rock and Don Letts talk us through some photos - Steve Worrall
PUNK+ is published by FirstThird Books, an independent publishing company specialising in high quality music photobooks. PUNK+ is Limited to 2000 numbered and signed books, including 300 deluxe versions exclusively available through the FirstThird Books website. PUNK+ is the second in a series of limited edition titles, following the soon to be sold-out book on the legendary Indie icons Felt. This book features some excellent early Felt photographs by Retro Man Blog's regular contributor Paul Slattery. Here are some more photos from the signing.

Rob Symmons with DJ Jeff Munday - Photo by Dave Patten
Don Letts - Photo by Rhiannon Ifans
Sheila Rock signing copies of PUNK+ - Photo by Dave Patten
You can read more about the book and see some examples of Sheila's fantastic photographs in our previous Blog feature here. We have also previously published a feature on  the excellent Heavenly Films documentary "Lawrence of Belgravia" and FirstThird's Felt book here.

With many thanks indeed to Rhiannon Ifans and Dave Patten for contributing the excellent photographs of the Punk+ Party. You can view a full set of Dave's photos at his Flickr site.

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