“Andy Warhol told me to find your spot, grab a chair and let them come to you… These are stories and memories I have treasured from my very eventful past history.” Recognising that he probably ought to share some of these memories, Leee Black Childers’s first book, Drag Queens, Rent Boys, Pick Pockets, Junkies, Rockstars and Punks, is a compendium of rock and roll moments, punk history and self-appointed celebrity. But it’s not just a roll call of anecdotal ditties that make Black Childers’s limited edition publication utterly compelling: it’s the visual accompaniment, his own photographs, which stead his book as the collection to aspire to own.
Eventful past history, yes; once manager of The Heartbreakers, during the late 1960s and throughout the ’70s LBC had a privileged front row seat while music history unfurled before his very eyes; and in front of his treasured lens. Drag Queens… features rare and eye-bleeding photographs and tales of the likes of Iggy Pop, David Bowie, Debbie Harry, Jackie Curtis and The Sex Pistols, allowing us the chance to retrospectively eye-witness the musicians and artists that defined a generation and made a major impact on the generation that would follow.
But it’s not just a book produced in association between The Vinyl Factory and The Society Club: between 6th and 22nd December, The Vinyl Factory Chelsea will venue an extensive exhibition of LBC’s hallowed photographs. A must see? Absolutely, if it’s counter-culture in music that whets your whistle.
The Vinyl Factory Chelsea, 91 Walton St, London, SW3 2HP is open Monday to Saturday, 10am – 6pm.