Author(s): Johan Kugelberg
When punk first broke in the UK in 1976, music journalist John Ingham was on hand to document the very heart of the scene. He famously conducted the first-ever interview with the Sex Pistols (for "Sounds," in April 1976), partied with them, bailed Sid Vicious out of jail and witnessed the band's evolution at historic gigs (Lesser Free Trade Hall, Chalet Du Lac and the final concert at Winterland in San Francisco); he also wrote the first reviews of The Damned and The Clash. Later, Ingham would launch and manage Generation X. "Spirit of 76 "provides a previously unseen view of the beginning of the punk movement, with portraits of the Sex Pistols, The Clash, Subway Sect and The Damned at the very beginnings of their careers--the only color photographs from this first wave of British punk (as well as many black-and-white images). Alongside Ingham's photographs, the book also includes his fly-on-the-wall reportage from gigs and tours. Ingham's pedigree as a writer (he studied music journalism with Robert Christgau at Cal Arts in Los Angeles) as well as his credibility among the musicians of the era make this volume an essential missive from the core of the UK punk explosion.