Photographer Joe Stevens has dug deep into his archive for these three gems from his time with the underground press in London in the early 70s.
New Yorker Stevens had already made a name for himself at radical weekly The East Village Other before pitching up in London and contributing to International Times, Oz and Friends (which changed into Frendz in 1971). Later Stevens moved on to the music press and in particular New Musical Express, where he was often partnered with the likes of Charles Shaar Murray (ex-Oz) and Nick Kent (ex-Frendz).
Caroline Coon is captured at her rabble-rousing best outside the court where the case was heard from May to August 1971, while a grim-faced conflab between the three editors denotes the seriousness of their situation (although the conspiracy case did not stick they were threatened with imprisonment when found guilty of lesser charges. This was overturned on appeal after the judge, Justice Michael Argyll, was found to have grossly misdirected the jury).
An altogether jollier outlook is on display in the depiction of the magazine staff in their offices in Princedale Road, Notting Hill with the local character known as Eric The Tramp, who was taken up by the underground community and fetched teas from the Mountain Grill cafe in exchange for the odd joint.
The presence of the poster for Roxy Music’s debut LP on the office wall dates this image to summer 1972 when the magazine’s impact was on the wane. The final issue of UK Oz was published in November the following year.
Thanks to Joe for sending these and to Richard Adams, Jeff Dexter and Charles Shaar Murray for their help in identifying individuals in the last photo. If you know the identity of the female with Howard Tait – or in fact are her – please make contact so I can set the record straight.
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