On Jan. 13, 1973, Derek Ridgers remembers pushing his way through the crowd at Eric Clapton’s Rainbow Concert, climbing over the fence and joining the press to photograph the rock legend. At the time, Ridgers worked in advertising and was surprised how easy it was to fake being a press photographer. He quickly realized a camera could help him approach his heroes and idols; he has been photographing famous bands and musicians ever since.
Ridgers, however, didn’t focus his camera solely on the stage. In 1976, he turned his attention toward another group of people: a loud and energetic crowd of punks. “What could be more photogenic then punks in clubs?” he asked. His new book, 78-87 London Youth, full of portraits of painted faces, colored hair, tattoos, and eccentric clothing, proves his point.