Photography: Kings Road summer 1976
Thanks to Neal Purvis for alerting me to these captivating photographs taken in London in the hot summer of 1976 by German holidaymaker Klaus Hiltscher.
As Neal points out, Hiltscher captures the mood of the city in that specific period; I don’t believe my recall is playing tricks on me when I write that every day – from May through to September – was glorious in terms of the weather, and more often than not eventful in a variety of ways.
The summers of 1975 and 1977 were also unseasonably warm, but there is something about being alive and aware in London in 1976 which stays in the memory. Maybe that’s explained by my age (I was 16), my circumstances (I was content in my first creative job) or the feelings of new possibilities with the coming of punk.
Whatever, these images evoke that happy time and place. My selection concentrates on the Kings Road; look out for:
• Gary Craze’s children’s clothing store Meeny’s
• The Chelsea Drugstore
• The Bluebird Garage
• Stop The Shop (the split-level outlet which at one time had a revolving floor and was occupied in the 80s by Fiorucci)
• Tom Salter’s Great Gear Trading Company
• Chelsea Antique Market
• Antiquarias (as featured on the manifesto shirt You’re Gonna Wake Up)
• the Chelsea branch of John Simons and Jeff Kwintner’s Squire Shop
• The Pheasantry facade
• The Man In The Moon (scene of early gigs by Adam & The Ants)
Visit Hiltscher’s flickr set here for more wonderful images from his visit to the UK that year.