//Front cover, Rock Archive, Various Artists, Windmill Records, 1972//
It is relatively common knowledge among those interested in the careers of Malcolm McLaren and Vivienne Westwood and their series of extraordinary shops that they supplied clothes to the 1973 album Golden Hour Of Rock & Roll; Let It Rock at 430 King’s Road was clearly credited on the back of the record sleeve.
//Front cover, The Golden Hour Of Rock N Roll, Various Artists, Pye/Golden Hour, 1973//
//The photograph on the Rock Archive cover was flipped to better accommodate the text. Here it is as originally shot//
But I have fresh information which helps towards a greater understanding of McLaren’s project to investigate the detritus of popular culture’s recent past. During a bout of research recently I came across this earlier and hitherto undocumented use of Let It Rock clothing in a music context: the front cover of Rock Archive, a budget LP compilation released by the specialist British independent label Windmill in 1972.
And I am detailing the clothes on the cover with images taken inside Let It Rock which have never been previously published.
//Starke shirts with 50s sports jacket on Let It Rock wall, January 1972. Photograph: David Parkinson//
//Starke label detail//
Each garment worn by the model – whose attempts at rocking out resulted in his giving every appearance of suffering considerable pain – comes from the deadstock of British brands assiduously assembled by Malcolm McLaren and his art-school friend Patrick Casey for the opening of the world’s first avowedly post-modern retail outlet in November 1971.
From the ground up, the Rock Archive cover star wore black suede Denson’s Fine Poynts, ice-blue Lybro jeans with 12in cuffs, a Frederick Starke flyaway collar shirt and a studded and decorated Lewis Leathers early 60s Lightning jacket (which featured a highly collectable 6-5 Special patch).
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