April 9, 2018

From Mods and Punks to Ska and Hip-Hop, Photographer Documented Musical Subcultures of the 1970s and 1980s

Londoner Janette Beckman began her career at the dawn of punk rock working for The Face and Melody Maker. She shot bands from The Clash to Boy George as well as 3 Police album covers.

Moving to New York in 1982, she was drawn to the underground Hip Hop scene. Her photographs of pioneers such as Run DMC, Slick Rick, Salt’n’Pepa, Grandmaster Flash, Big Daddy Kane are in the permanent collections of the Smithsonian Museum and the Museum of the City of New York.

Beckman describes herself as a documentary photographer. While she produces a lot of work on location (such as the cover of The Police album Zenyatta Mondatta, taken in the middle of a forest in the Netherlands), she is also a studio portrait photographer.

Her work has appeared on records for the major labels, and in magazines including Esquire, Rolling Stone, Glamour, Italian Vogue, The Times, Newsweek, Jalouse, Mojo and others.

In a 2015 interview with American Photo magazine, she recalled: “It is amazing, 30 years later, people going ‘oh you photographed legends.’ I guess I did, but they weren’t legends when I was taking pictures of them.”

Punks at Sid Vicious memorial march, 1979

Ska girls, 1980

Mod girl, 1976

John Cooper Clarke

Tenpole Tudor

Sex Pistols

Mods on scooter, 1976

Skinheads with flag at Loch Lomond festival, 1980

Mods, The Islington Twins, 1979

Boy, Kings Road, London, 1979

Joe Strummer

Dexys Midnight Runners

Shane MacGowan

Punks, 1978

Teds, 1979

Rock'n'Roll dancers, 1980

Teddy boy, 1980

Mod boy, 1981

Phil Polecat and friends, 1980

Fan plays air guitar in mud at Loch Lomond Festival, 1981

Slim at Specials concert, 1980

Debbie Harry, 1981

Julien Temple, 1982

Skinhead and mod fans at Loch Lomond Festival, 1981

Ska fans at Loch Lomond Festival, 1981

Record shoppers, 1981

Ladbroke Grove sound system, 1979

Punks, 1980

New Romantics, 1980

Rude boys, 1981

Fans at The Jam's farewell concert, 1982

Andy's Cut and Blow Dry, London, 1980

The Beat, 1980





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