£18.99 / £30
328 pp. | 210x146mm
50 photographs in BW & Colour.
Limited edition (200 copies) signed hardback with set of four badges and a paper-cut Maxie doll with a selection of 1970s punk and anti-fashion outfits.
“Max, as I always knew her in those happy punk /post-punk days, has a gentleness and elegance of mind and body. Thank you Max for all the foresight you have, and are showing. You’ve always heralded the future.” Jordan
“Before punk was even called ‘punk’ – when something foul to most but the sweetest nectar to the few was bubbling up from the depths – there was Max.” Ted Polhemus
“Max was there – from proto-punk performing and the early punk rock Sex shop scene, to drumming at the beginning of Adam and the Ants and the Monochrome Set, then on through post-punk with Rema-Rema and cyber-psychedelic-punk with Psychic TV.” Tom Vague
Today’s call, he’s talking nineteen-to-the-dozen, speeding almost. (I know he’s not actually speeding because he never ever takes drugs – he doesn’t even drink or smoke.) But he sounds like he is, he hardly draws breath, the ideas come so thick and fast. Adam, he’s decided on Adam. Adam Ant. The band will be called The Ants. Like The Beatles, except The Ants. It’ll be bigger than The Beatles (“believe me, Maxie”).
While working as a photographer’s model, gallery usher, and exotic dancer, Dorothy “Max” Prior witnessed the births of Adam and the Ants, The Monochrome Set, The Sex Pistols, and Throbbing Gristle, as well as drumming in her own cult band Rema Rema and recording with Industrial Records.
Her exuberant commentaries, each presented as a stand-alone episode, illustrate the multilayered nature of the London music, art, and fashion worlds of the late 1970s, and the overlap between the early punk scene with the city’s rapidly evolving club and queer cultures.
The title refers to the legendary house in South Kensington, where the author lived from 1976 to 1982. Through twelve vivid, engaging, and occasionally shocking vignettes, Max maps out the wild and exhuberant counter-cultures of late ’70s London, including:
• Working life as a go-go dancer, model and stripper.
• The queer counter-culture that gave way to punk. Disco meets Punk in the gay clubs of 1970s London.
• A celebration of the women at the crux of the gay/punk axis, including Vivienne Westwood, Jordan, Louise’s DJ Caroline, and the fabulous and feisty Sharon of the Bromley Contingent.
•Inside The Band With No Name, which became Adam and the Ants and The Monochrome Set; and spawned Bow Wow Wow and Rema Rema.
• Halcyon days working at the ICA: including Helmut Newton’s ‘dead’ women, Mary Kelly’s dirty nappies and Throbbing Gristle’s infamous Prostitution exhibition.
• The notorious Eaton Square squat, whose inhabitants included various gay and trans performance artists and a real live lion.