Archive for the Teddy Boys category

Westwood asserts rights to Let It Rock + Too Fast To Live


//Vivienne Westwood (third right) with LIR assistant Addy Isman + Teddy Boys outside 430 King's Road, Chelsea, 1972. Photo: David Parkinson.//

Vivienne Westwood has asserted her rights to the marks Let It Rock, Too Fast To Live Too Young To Die and Worlds End (the names of the shop at 430 King’s Road operated by Westwood and Malcolm McLaren in 1971-72, 1973-74 and 1980 to date respectively).

This is significant. While Worlds End has clearly been Westwood’s since she split with the late McLaren in 1984, they adopted a laissez-faire attitude to enforcing their intellectual property rights to the shop names and dozens of designs created during the 13-year partnership which also included the incarnations of 430 as SEX (1974-76) and Seditionaries (1976-80).

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430 King’s Road pictorial on new blog

A pictorial tracking the incarnations of 430 King’s Road since the early 60s has been posted on my new blog.

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“Every one I see…I give ’em a good hiding”

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And that’s how it was.

11.30am July 1977: Strolling back from a parcel delivery in the shadow of the Post Office Tower,  past The Tower Tavern.

Three Teddy Boys already in there, sitting by the ceiling to floor window. There had been several Teds picking off stragglers the previous night after the screening of Sex Pistols Number 1 at The Other Cinema in Tottenham Street.

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These three were evidently having a livener after being up all night in Soho and surrounds.  My brothel creepers probably did for it, with Hoofer army greens and a 60s shirt from Acme Attractions. I had black spiked hair (the vegetable dye ran blue down my neck in the rain) and afterwards one of the cops said: “Well, what do you expect walking around like that?”

Clocking me, the Teds tore out of the pub. I made a run for it but they soon caught up. I probably weighed 8.5 stone and, as they closed in, thought: “Gawd they look big…and old.” Probably 25/30, with kids.

It didn’t even hurt (much) when they kicked me along the pavement. I was young and limber.

When one of them pulled something metal – Razor? Knuckle duster? Six-inch nail (a popular weapon of choice)? – I bounced up and sprinted the 100 yards to the photo library, locked the doors behind me, ran downstairs and shut myself in the darkroom.


//Elisabeth Photo Library, Cleveland Street, London W1. Summer 1977//

It took 10 minutes to coerce me out. I could hear them jeering as they wandered away from the front door.

My boss called the cops,  who bullied me into getting into their car to seek out the Teds. Dazed, I went along with it, determined not to identify them as we toured the pubs in the area.

On the floor in the back of the car was a Tesco carrier bag bulging with baseball bats. Catching me eyeing the bag, one of the coppers grinned and said: “That’s what we’re going to use on these bastards when we find them.”

I still don’t know whether he was joking.

That’s how it was.