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"The only number I had when I came to London was Malcolm McLaren's, who I knew from working with The New York Dolls. Within 24 hours of arriving I had met the Sex Pistols and was crushed in the back of Vivienne Westwood's mini on the way to the ICA to watch a new band called The Clash play their second ever gig." Legendary New York photographer Bob Gruen took his knack of being in the right place at the right time to another level when he arrived in Britain in 1976 and hooked up with emergent punk heroes The Clash.
Through the '70s, working as chief photographer for Rock Scene magazine, Gruen had become designated lensman to the decade's most celebrated acts, including The Stones, Elton John, Led Zeppelin and Ike and Tina Turner. He was John and Yoko's personal photographer after they came to New York in '72 and had toured with The Ramones, Blondie and Patti Smith.
When he met The Clash, though, a unique synergy of mutual respect and musical passion was established, leading to six years of documenting the globally worshipped band's adventures. Whether Strummer, Jones, Simenon and Heddon were rocking out on stage, meeting Debbie Harry and Warhol, or posing at the top of the World Trade Centre, Gruen was there, up close with his genius for iconic framing, resulting in the ideal marriage of classic band and definitive photographer.
This book, previously available only as a limited edition luxury hardback, sold out in months. The softback contains the same stunning rock'n'roll shots, along with the band's funny, poignant commentary on their times in the spotlight as the only band that mattered.
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