Emerging in the 1970s, punk was the sound of rebellion and revolution and found success on both sides of the Atlantic, with extensive and idiosyncratic punk scenes developing in both the United States and the United Kingdom. The early punk movement was defined by an American sound: the Stooges, New York Dolls, Television, Patti Smith and the Ramones developed a thriving scene around the iconic New York club, CBGB. But it was the second wave of UK acts that came to define what punk would look and sound like.
Inspired by their US counterparts and guided by several music ‘svengalis,’ most famously Malcolm McLaren and Bernie Rhodes, UK punk bands exploded into the limelight in the mid-‘70s. Led by Johnny Rotten, the Sex Pistols began playing shows that often ended in a frenzy and occasionally led to riots. Joe Strummer and Mick Jones’ band, The Clash, developed their politically-conscious brand of punk by incorporating new sounds from across the globe. Groups like the Buzzcocks, the Damned, Siouxsie and the Banshees, X-Ray Spex and The Slits also made headlines for their raw, angry sound and evident disillusionment with mainstream society.
The history of punk is peppered with iconic moments, gigs, stories and images. The Sex Pistols on the Bill Grundy show. McLaren and Vivienne Westwood’s Sex shop on the King’s Road. The Clash performing at London’s Rock Against Racism concert. Paul Simonon bringing his bass crashing down on the front cover of London Calling. It’s these classic moments that have enshrined punk as the music of the dispossessed, discontented and disenfranchised and that ensures the punk tradition continues today.
Whether you’re looking for a Sex Pistols poster or The Clash poster, prints of John Lydon or JJ Burnell, our collection of punk posters, prints and photos contains a wide range of images waiting to be discovered.
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