London: Michael Dempsey for Big O Publishing Ltd, 1978. 1st Edition. Small folio, publisher's photo-collage illustrated stiff paper wraps.
Elusive photobook documenting the punk rock scene at London's famous and short-lived club the Roxy. In 1977, music promoters Andrew Czezowski and Susan Carrington took over a club in SoHo called Chaguaramas, which they renamed and overhauled into an exclusively punk rock venue. London clubs were practically banning anything that resembled punk, reviled at that time, and the Roxy provided an essential space for the emerging scene. The Clash played the opening party, and over the next few months the club hosted Siouxsie and the Banshees, the Slits, the Police, the Buzzcocks and the Heartbreakers, among others. Despite the club's success, it was a short 100 days before the couple was kicked out and the Roxy came under new ownership. Before that, though, the couple met hard-drinking, punk-curious publisher Michael Dempsey one night at an Adverts show. Enthralled, Dempsey reached out to the band with an offer to manage them, then convinced Czezowski to publish a book about the club. "The whole book came together in the usual Punk Rock style. 'We've got an idea; we can do it, so let's do it.' They had no solicitors, no advisors and no agents. They thought it was a great idea and just got stuck in" (Paul Marko, The Roxy London Wc2: A Punk History). Illustrated throughout with black-and-white photos by various photographers (Derek Ridgers among them), with an eight-page section of color photos and reproductions. Designed by Edward Barker, front cover by Archie Schwert, rear cover by Ralf Jedraszczyk. The book was re-issued in 2017, with this 1978 first edition notoriously scarce and fragile. Some creasing to spine and bumping to edges, rear signatures over-opened and starting to separate but holding. Very good. Item #775