A very rare photo of Toyah is included in a new book, Punk London 1977, which will be published in May.
Punk London, 1977: Thrilling Photos of a Subversive Era
In 1976, Derek Ridgers started shooting punk rock shows in London with a borrowed camera, pretending to be a professional photographer. Edging his way up to the stage, the mid-20s, burgeoning shutterbug witnessed and documented the cultural explosion by night, while by day working as an art director in advertising. Little did he know, his hobby would blossom into a decades-long career, photographing everyone from James Brown to Tony Blair and working for outlets like The Sunday Times, The Independent, GQ and NME. In his latest book, Punk London 1977, Ridgers collects over 130 vintage photos from his early career, capturing the formation of one of the world’s most exciting and influential musical movements. Cuepoint asked Ridgers to elaborate on select photos from his fascinating book.
Photographer Derek Ridgers captured a riotous scene exploding in front of his lens
“That is Toyah Willcox. That was at the Man in the Moon pub in Chelsea at an X-Ray Spex gig. I had a conversation with her and she told me she was going to be famous. Of course I didn’t believe her.”
Photos taken from Derek Ridgers’ Punk London 1977, available May 1st, 2016 from Carpet Bombing Culture. Reserve your copy now from Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other fine retailers.
• Continue reading at Cuepoint. (Photo © Derek Ridgers)
Eeeek!! This is amazing – ZACHT VOOR HAAR >> An astonishing #flashbackfriday to 1977. A rarely seen and seldom spotted shampoo advert modelling shot by a young Toyah. This advert was printed in Dutch magazines and the tag line translates as Soft for you. (Thanks to The Official Toyah Instagram)
• There’s no gimmicks! The above has brought this to mind – From 20 years later…
A rare photo of Toyah from 1983. I’m not sure where this, circa The Vow, shot originates from but it was obviously taken at the same time as the photo session these two, previously available, photos are from. Click below to view a larger version.
A variety of previously unseen photos of Toyah, from well-known photo sessions, have been appearing in various places online recently. Here’s a glimpse of four via low resolution thumbnails. (Thanks to Mark for photo four)
• Toyah 1980 #1: An original copy of the eight-page fanzine Fagends, from 1980, recently sold on ebay for a tidy £77! It includes a review of Toyah’s Glasgow Tiffanys gig from the Ieya UK Tour. The fanzine is available to read online, via scans at the ‘Still Unusual’ website – You may have to scroll down, there’s no direct link – View here…
• Toyah 1980 #2: Three photos, two of which are previously unseen, of Toyah from The Blue Meaning era in 1980 are on sale at photographer Brian Griffin’s website (Photos © Brian Griffin) – View these fantastic photos here…
• Echo News: Clare Balding rambles in Leigh: In the 26 series of the show Clare has made, she has walked with Toyah Willcox in Worcestershire, with taxidermists in Boston, and with a bereavement walking group in Shrewsbury – Continue reading…
• Live 2014: Tickets for the Live Wyre Festival, which Toyah plays on Sunday 1st June, are now on sale – More info and buy tickets here…
• Namechecking!!: Mentions for Toyah in a couple of recent online press articles: Herald Express: South Devon Arts Centre is also hosting artists such as Toyah, The Wurzels, Beverley Craven and China Crisis later in the year – Continue reading… Northumberland Gazette: Some pretty big names in the music industry have graced the series, including Status Quo, 10cc, Marc Almond, Alison Moyet, Toyah and Midge Ure – Continue reading…
• 80s Heaven: Toyah – View here…
• Toyah by Simon Harrison: A fantastic polaroid of Toyah from 1983 was shared by Toyah’s Official Facebook on Friday, as the Crimson Queen/Greatest Hits… Live! Tour got underway. The jewellery Toyah is wearing in the photo is also designed by Simon who was responsible for the Love Is The Law armour and original headpiece – View a larger version of the photo here… (Photo © Simon Harrison)
• Official Instagram: Toyah has shared some great photos over the last week, from on top of the Pennines, to her dressing room in Nuneaton – View at Instagram here…
• Acoustic, Up Close & Personal: ‘Jungles of Jupiter’ live at Lowther Pavilion on Thursday. Listen/watch here… (Thanks to Glyn Whelan)
• ITV Player: Splash! 2014: Public vote winners and losers revealed: If there hadn’t have been a “spalsh off” Toyah would have been in the semi finals – View here…
• The Hollywood News: Celebrate Derek Jarman With A Series Of UK Screenings: What do you get if you cross Shakespeare, ’70s punk, a liberal dose of theatrics and um, gardening? It’s Derek Jarman of course, perhaps one of the most subversive and visionary British film-makers of the last forty years – Continue reading…
• Pointless Celebrities: This repeat aired again last night on BBC1 and is now available to watch at BBC iPlayer…
• The Lee Mack Show: This re-aired last night on BBC Radio 4 Extra and is now available to listen to at BBC iPlayer…
• This is it Philly: Film Screening: Jubilee at Galleries at Moore – This has already taken place (on Thursday evening) but thought I’d give it a mention anyway – View here…
A vaguely rare photo of Toyah from the ‘Love Is The Law’ album shoot. This is a lesser-used variation of a couple of similar colour photographs that were taken to promote the album. I think it was used in one, maybe two, music paper & magazine articles. Click below to view a larger version.
• Love Is The Law & More: It’s now just two weeks until Toyah’s UK Tour begins, at Legends in Newcastle. Full tour dates and links to buy tickets available at The Official Toyah Willcox Website.
A rare photo of Toyah and Marianne Faithfull, taken at the launch party for Marianne’s album ‘Dangerous Acquaintances’ in September 1981. Click on the photo to view a larger version. (Thanks to Andi)
A fantastic retro, and quite lengthy, Toyah interview from Finnish magazine SOUNDI.
A huge thanks to Lärwi. of The Toyah Willcox Interview Archive, for the scans and translation.
Interview by Dougie Gordon, published in June 1981.
The door opens. A short, 145 cm tall figure stands in front of me. She’s wearing a blue and grey tunic which has gold embroidery on it. The fiery red hair looks a like a burning bush against the backdrop of the outfit. The figure moves forwards like a Samurai warrior poised for an attack but you can see a smile on her face which you can not resist. She’s Toyah Willcox, England’s Jeanne d’Arc of latter times.
Her moves are a part of her carefully calculated image. She’s has consciously made herself into a mystery which invites the audience to explore her world further. But you can’t fit all of the pieces together – it’s not easy to find the real person behind this made-up facade. Her aggression can turn into warmth in a second – and the other way round. Her mindset changes from a hearty laugh into the deepest despair. Her sentences are deep and meaningful half of the time, the other half you’re left wondering what on earth is she on about? Toyah is like dynamite made out of flesh, the slightest emotional spark will set her off.
She also has a soft sweeter side which the audience rarely gets to see. The aggression she hides behind when dealing with the mass media is of course there on purpose. The media in turn treats her with contempt and suspicion. For this reason she feels misunderstood and defends herself in a way even Lou Reed would be proud of.
• Continue reading at Dreamscape’s Press Archive. Read another rare Finnish interview with Toyah here.
More Toyah shots from a 1978 photo session have surfaced very recently. Until a year or so ago there were only two photos available from this collection, best known for an image used on the cover of ‘Record Mirror’ in January 1979, and now there are many more. I’ve updated Dreamscape’s Gallery with all now available from the session. Great shots of Toyah just after filming Quadrophenia and a very early band line-up. (Thanks to Andi)
Guaranteed to put a smile on your face! What a great photo, a fantastic, and rare, band shot from 1980. This was originally a Safari Records promo photo, possibly mailed out to radio stations etc. Please click below to view a larger version. (Thanks to Andi)
These Safari Records photos were recently on sale at ebay. The photos aren’t rare these days but as Safari promos they are quite unique. This was possibly the only time Safari released photos that promoted Toyah as an actress (in The Corn Is Green).
Incidentally, The Corn Is Green airs very early tomorrow (and also in June) on True Movies.
The Corn is Green: True Movies 2: Friday 24th May: 1.00am
The Corn is Green: True Movies 1: Thursday 6th June: 1.00am
Academy Award winner Katharine Hepburn stars as a schoolteacher determined to help the people of a turn-of-the-century Welsh mining town. With Ian Saynor, Bill Fraser, Patricia Hayes, Anna Massey, Artro Morris, Dorothea Phillips, Toyah Willcox, Huw Richards, Bryn Fon, Dyfan Roberts and Robin John. Directed by: George Cukor (1979).
A few more Jubilee photos from 1977 and very early ’78. View these, the last lot posted a couple of weeks ago, and a few more at Dreamscape’s Gallery. (Thanks to Andi)
Rare photos from The Tempest. Toyah played Miranda in the 1979 film and her performance won her a nomination as Best Newcomer at the 1980 Evening Standard Awards. Click below to view these photos, and more, at Dreamscape’s Gallery. (A huge thanks to Andi for these)
Rare photos from the filming of Jubilee in 1977. The film premiered in February 1978 and is celebrating its 35th anniversary this year. Click below to view larger versions of the photos. Browse Dreamscape’s recent Jubilee news here. (Thanks to Andi)