Images by Graham Smith
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WE CAN BE HEROES
IN MY OWN WORDS
BY GRAHAM SMITH
Punk that only a year earlier had ignited my life was dead as far as I was concerned and now, aged 18, I was hunting to fill the void. I entered a grotty Soho subterranean dive bar named Billy’s. A camp Welsh cossack posed by the entrance as the electronic beats of Kraftwerk pounded from the speakers, sounding like the future had arrived early. Several androgynous couples danced a robotic jive, looking like replicant toy soldiers. I thought I saw Marilyn Monroe flirting with a dapper Bryan Ferry in his 40s GI look. I know I saw someone wearing an iron as a hat. But where had this strange new breed come from? And how had everyone found this dingy den of iniquity? The look was retro but it definitely felt like tomorrow. So the following week I went back...
We became a gang that made nightclubbing our lifestyle – it was our fuel, family and an after-dark gateway to fulfil ambitions. We were narcissistic and hedonistic, but more importantly we inspired each other to push boundaries. It was about rebellion, creativity, originality and being yourself outside normal and straight society...
©Graham Smith 2011