Author(s): Roger Perry
Roger Perry's The Writing on the Wall was last seen in book shops nearly 40 years ago. It was arguably the first major survey of London's fledgling graffiti scene, and helped establish a trend which has ultimately led to the massive proliferation of such books, visible in nearly every book store and museum gift shop in the world. The graffiti Perry photographs can be seen as the roots of what we're familiar with today. It's a far more visceral means of communication, that for the most part is less worried about the style of the writing, and more concerned with the content of the message. An extensive new foreword tells the stories behind the photos for the first time, and features insights from a number of those responsible for writing the graffiti in the first place. The photos give us a fascinating window into 1970s countercultural London, with Perry giving an impartial platform to anyone and everyone that wanted to be heard over the backdrop of urban decay and regeneration. The central figures in the story are an eclectic mix, including members of situationist group King Mob, poet and playwright Heathcote Williams, journalist Neil Lyndon and even members of the legendary ska band Madness.