Punk News

Never-Before-Seen Clash Photos Uncovered!

Rock Photographer Steve Rapport has discovered a ‘Clash treasure trove’ of long-lost photos. He shares his exciting archival finds exclusively with Punktuation!

Rock Photographer Steve Rapport recently discovered ‘punk treasures’ as he dug through boxes of his archived photos – many of which sat forgotten, gathering dust in his garage for years.

As reported in Punktuation, back in July, Steve rediscovered amazing photos of Joe Strummer taking part in the 1983 London Marathon.

“The boxes were from a photo agency that I had asked to return my archives, Steve explained when we last spoke to him. “When I opened the first box and saw all these photos of Joe I actually think I burst into tears.”

CHECK OUT: Unseen photos of Joe Strummer running London Marathon Here

However, fast-forward a few months and a few more boxes of rediscovered contact sheets and negatives later, Steve’s latest finds are just jaw-dropping.

The first rediscovered set of photos capture The Clash playing at Tiffany’s Nightclub (formerly the Locarno Dancehall and now the City Library) in Coventry on 28th November 1978. The tour was in support of their second album release ‘Give ‘em Enough Rope’.

“The quality of these photos aren’t great,” Steve admits. “I was just a student. I snuck my camera past security and just secretly snapped away. They’re raw, and I guess really just fan photos, but I like the feel of them.”

Click photo for larger image ©Steve Rapport Photography

Next out of the dusty cardboard ‘boxes of punk’ are more Clash rarities – this time from the 30th July 1982 playing at The Fair Deal in Brixton (now O2 Academy).

This show eventually turned out to be the very last Clash gig in London with Mick Jones in the band.

Things had begun to disintegrate right before the release of ‘Combat Rock’ when drummer Topper Headon was fired because of his heroin addiction. Strummer, Jones and Simonon soldiered on with Terry Chimes reclaiming the drum stool. However, the friction within the band was beginning to boil over around the time of this Brixton gig.

Click photo for larger image ©Steve Rapport Photography

Jones and Strummer, the creative forces in the Clash, were starting to head in different directions. No one outside of the band’s inner circle knew just how poisonous things were becoming.

“I remember it just being a brilliant gig,” Steve says, who was there as a fan but also taking photos for the UK weekly pop/rock newspaper Sounds.

Joe Strummer ©Steve Rapport Photography

“Rediscovering these photos is great – Sounds only published a couple of them of course, but looking through the old contact sheets I’ve discovered some really amazing shots that have never seen the light of day.”

Steve says he still has hundreds of contact sheets to sift through.

“It’s so exciting finding all these hidden gems. They really capture that moment in time. I am discovering more photos daily. I am about to rescan some incredibly cool Beki Bondage and Vice Squad photos and I have come across brilliant Bow Wow Wow photos on tour in the USA. I can’t wait to share them,” Steve enthuses. 

Keep your eyes peeled – Punktuation will bringing you more of Steve’s ‘punk finds’ as he delves into more unopened boxes in the coming weeks.

Framed prints can be purchased from Steve website (link below). A perfect Christmas present idea!

Joe, Terry and Paul leaving the Fair Trade stage – the last time they would perform in London with Mick Jones in the band. ©Steve Rapport Photography

Stay up to date with Steve Rapport Photography

If you like this, you will enjoy…