Punk+ (2014)

July 15, 2014

Punk+ (2014)

Punk+ Photos
by Sheila Rock, words by various 
Third Books, 2014)
During the punk rock movement the notion of a coffee table
book depicting the scene might have sounded like a laughably wrong-minded
notion, one that could have brought a safety pin assault on anyone stupid
enough to suggest such a thing. But the fact is the look displayed by the bands
and their fans was always as much of the force behind punk as the music.

the look was arresting, especially when captured by an ace photographer such as
Sheila Rock, whose photos of the London punk scene make up the bulk of this
attractive book. There’s photos of Sex and some of the other taste-making shops
of the time and place, photos of bands and their associates, photos of people
who were just around and wearing the look, etc. There’s also running commentary
from people like Rock herself, Jon Savage, Paul Simonon, Don Letts, Chrissie
Hynde, Jah Wobble, et al. But hearing
that list of names should not give one the idea that Punk+ is a comprehensive
oral history of the punk scene in England, and I can’t imagine that was the
idea in its making. It’s more just a bunch of cool photographs of the time with
a smattering of passing thoughts from some of the principals. If someone not
familiar with punk asked what the people involved in it actually looked like at
the time, you could simply hand them this book and say, “In England, they looked
like this.” For more detailed history and analysis of the scene one will need
to look elsewhere, but if you want a gander at striking photos of the day by
someone who was in the thick of things, Punk+ will please. The shots of The
Clash, The Buzzcocks, and the very early Cure alone make this worth having
– Brian Greene
© Copyright http://www.psychedelicbabymag.com/2014
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