//Activist/artist Caroline Coon leads protests outside the Central Criminal Court during the Oz trial, summer 1971. Photo: Joe Stevens. No reproduction without permission //
Photographer Joe Stevens has dug deep into his archive for these three gems from his time with the underground press in London in the early 70s.
//Oz editors (from left) Jim Anderson, Richard Neville and the late Felix Dennis in serious discussion during the trial, 1971. Photo: Joe Stevens. No reproduction without permission//
New Yorker Stevens had already made a name for himself at radical weekly The East Village Other before pitching up in London and contributing to International Times, Oz and Friends (which changed into Frendz in 1971). Later Stevens moved on to the music press and in particular New Musical Express, where he was often partnered with the likes of Charles Shaar Murray (ex-Oz) and Nick Kent (ex-Frendz).
John “Hoppy” Hopkins – who died yesterday aged 77 – was the photographer and activist best known for his associations with London’s counterculture of the 1960s and 70s, having been a founder of the radical London Free School which in turn led to the Notting Hill Carnival, a contributor to the pacifist paper Peace News, and a pivotal figure in the establishment of both the underground paper International Times and the psychedelic club UFO.
Hopkins was also a leading light of the squatting movement and a brave proselytiser for cannabis usage; electing for trial by jury for possession he was labelled “a pest to society” by the judge and sentenced to nine months in jail.
According to his friend Jeff Dexter, Hopkins’ favourites among his own photographs were of London rockers, those Ton-Up habitues of the North Circular’s Ace Cafe and Paddington’s 59 Club whose outsider cool and tribal clanship he documented with acuity.
//Jack Henry Moore (right) outside the Melkweg, Amsterdam with fellow film-makers Kit Galloway and Dave Jones, early 70s. Photo: The Generalist/The Videoheads//
Jack Henry Moore – who has died aged 73 – was one of the unpindownables of the counterculture in the 60s and 70s.
Known principally as a pioneering video film-maker and sound recordist (the archive he leaves behind is estimated to contain more than 70,000 hours of tape compiled over five decades), Moore was central to the establishment of many of the foundation stones of the underground in London and other European cities.
//With Lennon and Ono 1968. Photo: The Generalist/The Videoheads//
Moore joined fellow ex-pat American Jim Haynes in his theatrical experiments in Edinburgh in the mid-60s, where they staged productions by the likes of Lindsay Kemp. As in his native Oklahoma, Moore’s openness about his homosexuality necessitated a geographical shift, this time south to London.
//Malcolm McLaren at Joe Stevens' studio in Fulham, south-west London, 1976.//
In the late 60s, New Yorker Joe Stevens made a name for himself as an all-action photographer, covering riots, demonstrations and ant-Vietnam War marches for radical weekly The East Village Other (whose contributors’ list also included Allen Ginsberg, Robert Crumb and Abbie Hoffman).
But Stevens grew restless. “I wanted to do the same thing in London,” says Stevens. “I told my editor I’d probably return in a few weeks. By the time I did 10 years later, the US underground press had vanished.”