Spirit of 76: John Ingham’s visual document of the explosion of the British Punk scene

When punk first broke in the UK in 1976, music journalist John
Ingham was on hand to document the very heart of the scene.
Struck by the music, fashion and sheer iconoclasm of a
little-known outfit called the Sex Pistols, Ingham conducted
the first interview with the band, partied with its members and
even bailed Sid Vicious out of jail. He also witnessed and
documented the group’s evolution at legendary gigs shared with
other pioneering punk bands in their earliest days, including
the Damned, the Clash, Subway Sect and more.

The result is Spirit of 76: London Punk Eyewitness, a
revelatory collection of photography and fly-on-the-wall
reportage showcasing the punk movement from its most raucous,
bewildering beginnings. Containing the only colour photographs
from British punk’s first wave alongside Ingham’s inimitable
prose, this new book constitutes a rare from the trenches
report on the UK punk explosion from one of its original
participants. Here is the story of a year made up as it
happened, lived with excitement and the belief that you could
make the future whatever you wanted it to be.

John Ingham is one of the pioneers who championed Punk and
helped change music forever. Writing under the
nom-de-typewriter “Jonh Ingham” for the weekly music paper
Sounds, he famously conducted the first-ever interview with the
Sex Pistols in April 1976.

Convinced he had witnessed the future of music he followed them
throughout the year, seeing at close range their evolution at
historic gigs, including the first time they played “Anarchy In
The UK,” and even bailed Sid Vicious out of jail. He also saw
and wrote the first reviews of the Damned, the Buzzcocks, the
Clash and Siouxsie and the Banshees. Noticing that hardly
anyone was photographing these new groups, he picked up a
camera and started documenting what he saw, shooting some of
the only colour images of these bands at the beginning of their
careers.

John Ingham – Spirit of 76: London Punk Eyewitness is
available from
Anthology Editions
. All photography from Spirit of 76,
published by Anthology Editions.

From Spirit of 76, published by Anthology Editions

From Spirit of 76, published by Anthology Editions

From Spirit of 76, published by Anthology Editions

From Spirit of 76, published by Anthology Editions

From Spirit of 76, published by Anthology Editions

From Spirit of 76, published by Anthology Editions

From Spirit of 76, published by Anthology Editions

From Spirit of 76, published by Anthology Editions

From Spirit of 76, published by Anthology Editions

From Spirit of 76, published by Anthology Editions

From Spirit of 76, published by Anthology Editions

From Spirit of 76, published by Anthology Editions

From Spirit of 76, published by Anthology Editions

From Spirit of 76, published by Anthology Editions

From Spirit of 76, published by Anthology Editions

From Spirit of 76, published by Anthology Editions

From Spirit of 76, published by Anthology Editions

From Spirit of 76, published by Anthology Editions

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