(c) Terry Smith - Steve Strange and Stephen Jones at Blitz Club
(c) Terry Smith - Blitz Club
(c) Terry Smith - Stephen Linard
(c) Terry Smith - Chris Sullivan and Steve Strange
(c) Terry Smith - Von Thyssen and Steve Strange
(c) Terry Smith - Outside the Club
(c) Terry Smith - Rusty Egan
(c) Terry Smith - George O'Dowd
(c) Terry Smith - Blitz Club
(c) Terry Smith - Dave Stewart at his flat
(c) Terry Smith - Robert Plant & Paul Martinez
(c) Terry Smith - Fine Young Cannibals eating ice cream
Lucy Bell Gallery is pleased to present the first exhibition of Terry
Smith’s unseen Blitz Club pictures, a rare snap shot of The Blitz Club while it
was the hothouse for the New Romantics movement.
The Blitz Kids were a group of young people who
frequented the weekly Blitz club-night in London between 1979-80, and are
credited with launching the New Romantic movement. Steve Strange
and Rusty Egan hosted Tuesday nights at the club and imposed a strict dress code. Among
core photographs are George O’Dowd then a Blitz cloakroom attendant, who went
on to become internationally famous in his own right as Boy George/ Culture Club. The club was also a showcase for young
fashion designers who set the trends in London during the 1980s, including Steven
Jones, Kim Bowen, Fiona Dealey, Stephen Linard, John Galliano, Darla Jane Gilroy
and Helen Robertson of PX. These rare images portray The Blitz Club at its zenith
featuring Steve Strange, Rusty Egan, Martin Degville (of Sigue Sigue Sputnik), George O'Dowd, Philip Sallon, Princess Julia, Kim Bowen and many more.
Smith was working for Time Magazine, when he went to visit Steve Strange at his
flat in London.
"I wanted to win his trust, as that was the way I
approached all my assignments, to sit down and have a chat before I started
taking pictures, to tell him roughly what I wanted to achieve and to see if he
had any ideas. He was charming and engaging and obviously took to me, I was 35
at the time and so didn't want to portray myself as at all cool, or give myself
a "trendy guy" persona, the main aim was to reassure him. In
the 60s Time Magazine had run a cover and helped to coin the phrase
"Swinging Sixties". They had a good reputation for intelligently
spotting and writing about trends that were emerging, changing the cultural
face of Britain. Steve would have understood this. I went along in a suit with
3 cameras around my neck with writer Ken Banta, an Ivy League Scholar, who was
wearing a polo shirt. We went looking as deliberately square as possible as I
wanted to emphasise that I was an observer. We went several times over a fairly
The exhibition not only includes
unseen images from the Blitz, and its' denizens, but a series of images of some
of the musicians who were part of the 80s music scene. Including Sique Sique Sputnik, The Eurythmics, Boy George, Elvis Costello, Fine Young Cannibals, all shot with Terry Smith's unique humour
and sympathetic eye.
Terry Smith, who lives near Folkestone, is now 72 and has worked on many
assignments for the New York Times, USA Today, Business Week magazine, People Weekly, and
Financial World magazine. Notably, his assignments have included stories on the work of Medecins
Sans Frontieres in Northern Iraq, and on the plight of the
Falkland Islanders just one month after the Argentine surrender. His work is
held in the National Portrait Gallery Collection.
Starting his career as copy boy
in 1960 for Time Life International in London and gradually learning the trade
himself, he worked his way up to Press Librarian, Press Telegraphist, and
eventually to Photographer and Correspondent.
myself extremely fortunate," says Smith, "because I worked in the
last couple of decades when my passion -- black-and-white photography -- was
still in the ascendancy”
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