New York photographer Leee Black Childers seen at last night’s preview of his London exhibition. At left,
Patti Palladin of the 70s punk duo Snatch, at right the original Sex Pistols bassist Glen Matlock who went on to form the “missing-link” band, Rich Kids — over his shoulder, Childers’ picture of McLaren and Westwood. Photographed by Shapersofthe80s
❚ MORE LIKE A “WHO WASN’T THERE” EVENT, than a “who was”, wrote one Facebooker today. At the ripe age of 66, American photographer Leee Black Childers was in London last night to share his memories of Andy Warhol’s Factory acolytes in a selling exhibition of his work at The Outside World Gallery in Shoreditch. Titled Drag Queens, Rent Boys, Pickpockets, Junkies, Rockstars and Punks, the show has been organised by the two British co-authors of Cassell’s 2001 book Punk, Stephen Colegrave and Chris Sullivan. Colegrave rose from playing in various punk bands, famously The Lurkers, to become today the European marketing director of Saatchi & Saatchi. Sullivan’s journey as a clubland party promoter was propelled by the punk explosion of 1976, and most notably inspired the long-running Wag club in Soho.
Leee Childers travelled the length of the US as Bowie and Iggy tour manager between 1972 and 74. He also managed Johnny Thunders and The Heartbreakers when they accompanied the Sex Pistols on the 1976 Anarchy tour. On sale in London are his candid shots of Bowie, Iggy, Debbie Harry, Patti Smith, Johnny Thunders, the Rockats, Sid Vicious, Jayne County, The Star Spangles.
Leee says he loves rock fans who respect eccentric behaviour. In particular he’d like to meet “The new set of crazy, aimless, useless, doomed people like Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan and Pete Doherty. I love time wasters. There also numerous dead people I would like to meet, but unless considerable advances are made in science (as opposed to TV) I am doomed to frustration, which fortunately I am very comfortable with.”
London did its best last night to serve up some punk-ripened partygoers, and afterwards at the nearby George & Dragon Princess Julia was joined by Chris Sullivan spinning suitably retro sounds such as Was Not Was from 1981.
❏ At Facebook Tracy Jenkins reported: “Tonight was a scene for all the old scenesters! It was the old CBGBs / Max’s Kansas City crowd. Galaxies collided in a fabulous mix of friendly familiar faces, from the worlds of art, fashion and Soho, at Leee Childers’ private view… Pam Hogg, Ray Gange, Bruno Aleph Wizard, Stuart Leslie Goddard, Bobby Gillespie, Glen Matlock, Gail Sparkle Moore, Olanski Solanke, Johnny Vercoutre, Vivien Of Holloway, Jenny O’Drag, Mark Powell, Spizz Energi… what an amazing night. Oh, and Steven Severin, I did indeed give Leee Childers a big kiss from you!! (And he of course, gave me one back, which I am to deliver back to you.)”
❏ Andy Polaris enjoyed “A walk on the wild side with Leee Black Childers’ exhibition in Shoreditch tonight. Great photos of Patti, Iggy, Bowie, Divine, Lou Reed etc. A blast to see some familiar faces especially Adam Ant (looking great) and Patti Palladin of 70s punk duo Snatch. Along with familiar faces from Blitz and Beat Route — Karen O’Connor, Fiona Dealey, DJ David Hawkes, Ali King, Suzie Cooke, Barnzley Armitage and original Banshees guitarist John McKay. I come home and switch on TV and some political show is playing Walk On the Wild Side in the background.”
❏ Rhiannon Ifans reports today: “Was a good nite. Me, Jeff Phobics and Gaye Advert went to local bar for a sitdown afterwards. Have already hung up my Siouxsie, Severin and Thunders photo.”
❏ Drag Queens etc runs for a week at The Outside World Gallery, 44 Redchurch Street, E2 7DP. On Friday Oct 21 Leee Childers is in conversation with Chris Sullivan at The Society Club, 12 Ingestre Place, W1F 0JF (tel 020 7734 1433) while his photographs go on show and on sale there till Oct 28.