PT Madden, Emma Harrison & Jah Wobble
Raw, confrontational, rowdy and often exhilarating, punk rock burst upon the music scene of the late 1970s, inspiring and offending in equal measure. A major exhibition marking the heyday of punk at Liverpool Central Library has been extended due to popular demand to Sunday 3 March 2019. The exhibition was developed jointly by the British Library, Liverpool John Moores University, and Liverpool Libraries. Punk 1976-78 is a free exhibition revealing the extraordinary impact punk had on music, fashion and design across the UK between 1976 and 1978.
A fascinating series of talks, live bands and a disco has also now been developed in connection with the exhibition. The attitude and style of punk inspired a complete upheaval in artistic expression, fashion, design, media, and music. In a series of conversations led by Professor Colin Fallows, meet and hear some of those who both spearheaded the new spirit, or used it to unleash their own creative freedom. Colin Fallows is an artist, curator and Professor of Sound and Visual Arts at Liverpool John Moores University.
Punk was brilliantly documented by numerous photographers, but the images captured by our first two speakers of the evening are among the most memorable of all.
PT Madden caught the Sex Pistols at the very beginning, and his 26-piece photographic artwork Sex Pistols – April 1976 is a unique artistic document of a live performance by the then barely known group. He kept the negatives under his bed for almost 40 years, allowing only a few of the exposures to be seen in recent years.
Emma Harrison is a multidisciplinary artist working in painting, scenic and public art, film and photography. Her friendship with Slits singer Ari Up in the 1970s led to Harrison documenting an entire early performance by the Slits. Her unprecedented access to the group meant she was also able to take a series of intimate dressing room photographs prior to the show. In addition to photographing the early punk movement, she also played a part in the early graffiti movement in New York. In the 1980s and 1990s, she worked extensively painting and designing scenery for feature films including The Company of Wolves (1984) by Neil Jordan; as well as painting and designing scenery for pop videos for clients including: Boy George, Dr. Feelgood, Duran Duran, Malcolm McLaren and many more.
Jah Wobble aka John Wardle originally met John Lydon, John Grey and Sid Vicious at Kingsway College in 1973. It was Vicious who originally nicknamed John ‘Jah Wobble’, and would also loan him his first bass guitar. As a lover of dub reggae, Wardle took immediately to the instrument, and in 1978 Lydon asked Wardle to join Public Image Limited (aka PiL) where his bass sound became the backbone of the band. After two magnificent albums, including the internationally acclaimed Metal Box (1979), Wardle left to pursue a hugely diverse musical career, often blending in his genuine passion for Eastern and Global music. His acclaimed autobiography Memoirs of a Geezer was published by Serpent’s Tail in 2009.
This event is part of Liverpool Central Libraries ‘Punk 1976-78’ season.