SEX became a magical place. People spent hours there; no one wanted to leave. In it, I created a feeling that was both euphoric and hysterical. You felt an enormous range of possibilities – that whatever was happening couldn’t be predicted, but it was a movement toward a place unknown.
Malcolm McLaren, Musical Paintings [JRP Ringier 2008].
One of the most prescient pieces published about 430 King’s Road in its incarnation as SEX appeared, appropriately enough, in sex magazine Forum in the mid-70s.
And, after more than 35 years, I’ve tracked down the writer and the photographer who, for the first time anywhere, recall the revolutionary retail environment and the sexually-charged photo-shoot featuring future Sex Pistol Steve Jones, performer Chrissie Hynde, radical shop assistant Jordan, film-writer Alan Jones and, of course, Vivienne Westwood.
The feature appeared in the June 1976 issue of the magazine and was written by expat American Forum staffer Len Richmond, later to pen hit British sitcom Agony and Three’s Company (the US version of the UK’s Man About The House). The photographer was Chelsea-based freelance David Dagley.
“In 1973 I’d arrived in the UK from San Francisco with 300 bucks in my pocket and found that I could work as a journalist because nobody cared about whether I had a green card,” explains Richmond down the line from Los Angeles.