Exclusive: 'A New London' according to Brad Elterman
As soon as I became quasi established as a teenage rock and roll photographer around 1977, I booked my first trip to London with my camera and a bag of photos. It was a real eye opener with the culture, lousy weather, strange food, jet lag and constipation. I was there to photograph a few bands and sell my KISS, Runaways and Bay City Rollers photos to all the British magazines. None of the editors has ever seen a photographer come across the pond to sell photos. There were a few old school photo agencies at the time, but I wanted to go directly to the source. You know the old saying to deal with the organ grinder and not the monkey.
My sales trip paid off with the first magazine licensing enough color slides to pay for my flight. The next meeting paid for my crappy hotel room and I was on my way.
While I was in London I did a few photo sessions with bands who were hot there at the time. The Real Thing, Amy Stewart and I even flew up to Glasgow for the day to photograph a band called Slik featuring this really cool singer, Midge Ure.
Last month, I returned to London, but this time instead of staying on the West End, I discovered the magic of Shoreditch with all of the cool kids, shops and amazing restaurants. Bits are reminiscent of Brooklyn or Portland, but with a different accent. The cool kids on Instagram welcomed me to their neighborhood and I met with as many of them as possible.
I stayed at the Ace Hotel and selected some cool bands to photograph, including Gwilym Gold, George Craig from the band One Night Only and Slow Club. At one point during my stay, my friend Matt Healy from The 1975 met me at the hotel for tea.
The magazines I used to shoot for back in the day in London have been gone for decades, but there are new ones with names like BEAT, DAZED & POP. All really exciting stuff and the party continues.
Photography by Brad Elterman