1977 is notoriously known as the year of punk—The Sex Pistols released Nevermind The Bollocks, The Clash debuted their self-titled LP, Richard Hell coined the term “Blank Generation” after his 1977 studio album, The Ramones’ Rocket to Russia came out. The list is endless. Some critics even say ’77 was the year punk died, and everything after that has just been a cheap imitation.
The music, fashion and attitude spawned that year in London clubs has inspired countless designers, musicians and teenagers across the globe since The Sex Pistols sang “God Save the Queen.”
British photographer Derek Ridgers was there at the beginning, his newest book, Punk London 1977, documenting the fashions and faces that made up London’s iconic punk scene. From Debbie Harry to Ari Up, Ridgers photographed the movement’s coolest members at London clubs The Roxy and The Vortex.
Siouxsie Sioux at The Vortex
Ridgers’ photos offer an unabashed view of what life was really like for London punks. With heavy eye makeup, gelled hair and ripped clothes, misfits like Siouxsie Sioux found their home. He captured the raw honesty and true rebellion of a generation that inspired millions, telling Vogue that “punk means different things to different people and it doesn’t belong to anybody anymore, if it ever did.” Instead, Ridgers suggests, “it belongs to the world now.”