It’s only in the last month or so that we have started working with photographer Chalkie Davies, and his beautiful images are proving very popular with our clients. Chalkie is a ruthless and discerning editor – only the very best examples of his work are selected for release on the collectors market, and his edition sizes are very small. A maximum of just 30 examples of an image will ever be offered.
This month we profile his portrait of The Clash, taken in London in 1977. Chalkie’s recollections are always good reading, and I will leave it to him to set the scene on the background to this photograph.
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"On April 7th 1977 the first Clash LP was released. We put them on the cover of the NME to coincide with this pivotal moment in Rock history.
Their manager, Bernie Rhodes, decided that to maintain maximum street credibility the photos and the interview should be done on the Circle Line. Tony Parsons and I were to meet the band at midday on the Baker Street platform.
We started the interview but it was incredibly noisy. I took photos but the moving train was not the easiest place to work: the smoking car we were in was filthy and I was also worried about camera shake.
I negotiated for a different location, we got off the train and tried Kings Cross Station but it was crowded and people kept coming up to us so I dragged everyone to an alleyway I knew near Oxford Street.
Bernie had been very specific, no individual shots, only group ones, and the clothes were important and I was to make sure I featured them. Looking at this photo you can see three distinct characters, each completely different from the other, and just like all the other great bands when you put them together the sum was much greater than the parts.
In the end we used a close head shot photo for the cover, this frame was never used. So for more than 35 years it has remained unseen, but I think it stands the test of time quite well. What comes across to me is just how young we all were back then, in 1977."
You can see more of Chalkie’s work here