Graham Smith chronicled these incredible visually led times and its characters in his unofficial role as house photographer of the London clubs. Designing the record sleeves of many of the scene’s key members, Smith was at the heart of this vibrant creative community who transformed London’s nightlife and launched faces such as Boy George, Spandau Ballet, Sade and Stephen Jones.
Divided into five sections – Punk; Clubbing; The Faces; Fashion; and Music, and featuring over 450 previously unseen images, We Can Be Heroes is a definitive behind the scenes guide to a time when music, art and fashion overlapped as never before.
Key figures Boy George, Gary Kemp, Steve Strange, and Robert Elms have all contributed their own written accounts of the era and the ever dapper Chris Sullivan has written a witty and often provocative text. Smith has collected 500 quotes from 60 of the main players of the time, transporting We Can Be Heroes far out of the traditional photo book realm.
To complete this unique documentation there are club flyers, magazine covers, and graphics plotting the evolution of the scene.
These endlessly inventive and creative figures are photographed in their natural habitats – the legendary London nightclubs. From Billy’s and The Blitz, via le Beat Route and Mud Club, to the Dirt Box and the Wag, We Can Be Heroes acts as a sonic as well as a visual tour of this pioneering era by including club specific set lists selected by DJs including Rusty Egan, Mark Moore, and Jay Strongman. As Boy George says; ‘We Can Be Heroes is brilliant! So many wondrous memories and for once it has been put together by someone on the scene‘
We Can Be Heroes by Graham Smith is published by Unbound, a publishing platform where it is the support of the reader that results in the publication of a title. Due out on 8 December 2011, readers can pledge their support at varying levels – from £30 for the cloth bound book; £50 for a signed, personally dedicated first edition; £150 secures a pair of tickets to the launch party at a top London nightclub with sets by Chris Sullivan and other iconic 80s DJs; and finally £350 guarantees a deluxe volume of only 50 copies complete with two limited edition signed prints by Graham Smith. Everyone who buys a copy will see their name printed in the book in recognition of their support.
Prints from We Can Be Heroes will be on show at The Society Club, 12 Ingestre Place, from 4 November until 23 December 2011.
On 4 November at 7pm, Chris Sullivan will be in conversation at The Society Club with eminent journalist Michael Holden who will steer him through the furthermost recesses of his rich and varied past prompting ribald tales. The talk will be followed by an after party at The Aviary Bar, 17 Little Portland Street from 10pm – 3am with Chris Sullivan DJing.