Sex Pistols’ Photo Session by Adrian Boot at Glitterbest Offices in London, 1977

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Renowned photographer Adrian Boot captured the rise of punk culture in the 1970s, documenting rich moments of musical history. Loved and hated in equal measure but impossible to ignore, it was during the summer of 1976 that the punk movement gained notoriety. The Damned, Sex Pistols and The Clash ignited the imagination of the disenchanted youth amidst the social unrest of 1970s England.
Adrian hesitates to recognize punk as a “movement” and explains:
“Then punk came along and crossed over with reggae and the whole ‘Jamaica scene’. Basically, they all lived on the same council estate so the music crossed over and you got a lot of white kids going to reggae ‘shebeens’ and vice versa. So, that’s how I kind of got involved in The Clash and the punk scene, as well as the reggae scene which was beginning to grow.
“It always strikes me as quite strange the way that, years later, people try to intellectualize these phenomena. At the time, punks were almost the dregs of society; people who couldn’t get jobs and were disenfranchised. Not much has changed – young people are still in the same state! The difference in those days was that you could still go to art school for free, mess around for three years and even form a band, which a lot of people did.
“They didn’t care whether they were good enough to play music and the record companies weren’t that interested anyway. So, from that point of view, I guess punk was a bit of a cultural thing, but I certainly didn’t think it was anything special. It was a bunch of kids from the local council estate trying to form a band and doing their own magazines – lots of people were doing lots of different things.
“The Clash were really easy – they were nice people and quite well educated; they were the ‘art-school crowd’ I was talking about. With the Sex Pistols – well, John Lydon was an intelligent guy and he didn’t suffer fools. The others, well, you wouldn’t even try to have a conversation with Sid Vicious, but I only photographed the Sex Pistols two or three times.”

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