SMITH, Graham and SULLIVAN, Chris. We Can Be Heroes: London Clubland 1976-1984. Punks, Poseurs Peacocks and People of a Particular Persuasion.

(London): Unbound, 2012. First edition. Quarto.Introduction by Robert Elms. Forewords by Boy George, Steve Strange and Gary Kemp. Fantastic photo-documentation of the rise of London’s club scene from Punk in the late 1970s to the New Romantics in the 1980s as seen from an insider’s point of view. In the early 1980s, when a small group of misfits began acting out their nocturnal fantasies, London nightlife blossomed and fashion, music and clubbing would never be the same again. Against the backdrop of recession-hit Britain, this was the birth of club fashion, style magazines, futuristic synth pop and blue-eyed funk. Energised by punk’s do-it-yourself attitude and David Bowie’s ceaseless image shifting, a new generation of pop stars, designers, journalists, artists and filmmakers emerged, adopting wild, theatrical attire and an ethos of continual change. Led by the enigmatic Steve Strange and the ever dapper Chris Sullivan, their scene flourished in a succession of legendary clubs: from Billy’s and the Blitz via Le Beat Route and the Mud Club, to the Wag and the Dirt Box. It gave us stars including Boy George, Sade and Spandau Ballet, as well as the faces who would shape London nightlife up to the rave era. The press dubbed these nightbirds the New Romantics; in truth this was just one stage of their endless reinvention. Together with his schoolmate, future broadcaster Robert Elms, and art-school buddy Chris Sullivan, Graham Smith was at the centre of this creative cult. He designed its record sleeves, cultivated its graphics and captured its characters, taking extraordinary pictures throughout the period, most of which have never been reproduced before. There are interviews with all the major players, incendiary and hilarious text by Chris Sullivan. This beautiful book is the first insider account of this uniquely creative time. A near fine copy without dust jacket as issued.


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