The exhibition opened just before Xmas and ended early in the new year 2011. It was an exhibition based around 3 important 1977 photo-sessions with some live and backstage bits and pieces added to the mix. The theme favoured by The Proud Gallery was “London Calling” the Clash in London. Not strictly true, since one of the 3 important photo-sessions was The Clash in Belfast. The other two main sections were The Clash at the Camden Rehearsal Studios and The Clash under London’s A40 Westway. Maybe it should have been called “UK Calling. The Proud Gallery in Camden is located at more or less the same location as the original Clash rehearsal studios. Aptly named “Rehearsal Rehearsals” it was also my first encounter with The Clash.
Raï is a music style that originated in Algeria in the 1930s. It appealed to young people who sought to modernize the traditional Islamic values and attitudes.
In December 1980 I traveled with Chris Salewicz to Algeria, he a mission to hook up with a French camera crew and shoot a short film for MTV on Algeria’s Ria music scene and I came along to shoot stills. Algeria was not a safe place then and the airport wasn’t at all welcoming. By the time we arrived the French film crew had been detained … indefinitely, and we were on our own. So after finding a video camera and microphone and avoiding police attention, our local contact drove us out of Algiers to Rachid Baba’s studio in Tlemcen. Chris did the interviews on film himself without a crew and I shot some stills. We left the country on the same day, minutes from the Police catching up with us. These photos were shot in the studio and at the ruins of al-Mansura.
Cheb Khaled (Khaled Hadj Ibrahim) producer. Following threats from Islamists, Khaled moved to France.
Chaba Fadela is an Algerian Raï musician and actress married to Cheb Sahraoui. She was the first woman to defy the ban on women singing in clubs.
Rachid Baba Ahmed Algerian musical producer with his studio in tlemcen pioneered Ria music. He was murdered by Islamic fundamentalists on February 15, 1995, outside his record store in Oran.
It’s September 1978 and London is damp, grey and miserable. Another Punk Rock winter is setting in, monochromatic, ripped black clothes, BDSM, conflict, aggressive vibes, the winter of discontent. The rainbow days are long gone. The good vibes, psychadelic Kodachome lifestyle, beautiful people, hippies, the electric cool aid acid test, free Love.. all gone, just faint memories. The LSD has been replaced by Heroin, disposable incomes replaced with poverty.
Then after a short plane ride, I discover that the Haight-Ashbury hippy movement hadn’t really gone away, It just relocated. Maybe it needed lots of warm summer weather and an optimistic outlook to survive, maybe that is why it had all but disappeared from London. So .. here I was in Egypt with Jerry Garcia, Mountain Girl, The Pranksters, The Grateful Dead and an entourage of grown-up hippies. For a week or so I was on the bus.. The electric cool aid acid test rekindled. Only this time it would include a Pyramid and a Lunar Eclipse. Continue reading GRATEFUL DEAD IN EGYPT→
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