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Art Attack: Some Great 1970s London Graffiti Photos.

Art Attack: Some Great 1970s London Graffiti Photos.

Above Photo: Timeless 1970s British Graffiti.

I was interested to see an article about a catalogue of black and white photographs recording London’s political and counter-cultural graffiti in the 1970s, which was republished for the first time in almost 40 years.

Scandalous rumour about one of Britain's best loved people back then - a TV presenter - and someone from the Royal Family. Also a remarkable insight into the gay marriage issue, abck int he 1970s.

A bit of scurrilous graffiti about a popular female childrens’ TV presenter and someone from the Royal Family. I really like the cooker dumped on the street – a common sight back then.

The images were part of the early work of photographer Roger Perry but were last published in 1976.

Anyone who's read Bombed Out! will know why I like this - it shows an urban canal. I also like the extremely articulate anti-authority graffiti, and the bust rail in the foreground, which now, no doubt, would be stolen for scrap.

Anyone who’s read Bombed Out! will know why I like this – an urban canal and a tow path. I also like the extremely articulate anti-authority graffiti, and the broken footpath rail in the foreground.

Underground art culture lovers succeeded in their bid to republish the collection, called The Writing on The Wall, after raising more than £10,000 through a crowd-funding campaign.

Has resonance for Bombed Out! as well as being the name of a song by Punk band, the Clash

Has resonance for proceedings in the book as well as being the name of a great song by Punk band, the Clash

I have used some of the photos here, adding my own comments as to why I like these particular photos.

I like the juxtaposition of the slogan 9"Strike a body blwo to Capitalism") with the then-snazzy advertising hoardings, a clash of cultures fighting it out on the wall of a dilapidated building.

I like the juxtaposition of the slogan (“Strike a body blow to Capitalism”) beneath the then-snazzy advertising hoardings, exhorting people to buy. A clash of cultures fighting it out on the wall of a dilapidated building in King’s Cross, London.

Often it has nothing to do with the graffiti, but because of what else these excellent photos tell you about the time and the place – on the gritty streets of 1970s London. And they all have resonance with contemporary social issues detailed in my Punk and New Wave Memoir, Bombed Out!

Again - a great piece of "WTF" sloganeering, and the presence of the dog just tops the photo off brilliantly.

Again, a great piece of “WTF” sloganeering, and the presence of the dog just tops off the photo brilliantly.

Three memorable pieces of Liverpool graffiti which have stuck in my head from those times are:

  1. “Jackie don’t go a way” (with the gap between the “a” and “way”) which was daubed on a bridge over the motorway leading from Liverpool to London.
  2. ‘The Lies The Pies” – also daubed on a motorway bridge between Liverpool and London.
  3. “Some Say God, We Say Dylan” – which was daubed on a wall near where I lived. I know seeing it was one of my earliest memories, because I couldn’t understand it. I didn’t know who or what Dylan was.

Buy a signed copy of Bombed Out! here: http://www.bombedoutpunk.com/buybook.php

Clearly there was a lot of deification of musicians going on back in the Seventies.

Clearly there was a lot of deification of musicians going on back in the Seventies. I like the dog taking a piss underneath the slogan, as well as the woman looking at the photographer, no doubt wondering ‘What the hell is he taking a photograph of?”

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 www.bombedoutpunk.com © Peter Alan Lloyd

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