Dorothy Max Prior 69 Exhibition Road: Twelve True-Life Tales from the Fag End of Punk, Porn & Performance

Label
Strange Attractor
Released
2nd December 2022

Format Info

Paperback edition - Signed
Signed edition. 50 photographs in colour and black and white.
Hardback book Signed Edition
Special edition with set of badges and Dorothy paraphernalia. 328 pp. 210x146mm. 50 photographs in colour and black and white.

Dorothy Max Prior is one of the great counter culture figures emerging from the first wave of punk – an original, a scene maker, a star.

She moved easily from this to that – was around the Sex Pistols, Adam & The Ants and Throbbing Gristle and played drums in Rema-Rema and Psychic TV. She was an artist who also cut one of the greatest 45s ever as Dorothy (with Alex Fergusson) – the amazing I Confess / Softness. I Confess rhymed “Subway Sect” with “musique concrète” – nothing to declare but my genius to paraphrase Oscar Wilde.

69 Exhibition Road is a vibrant, wry, and engaging account of life as an adventurous, queer young person in late 1970s London discovering themselves as an artist, and an individual.

While working as a photographer’s model, gallery usher, and exotic dancer, Dorothy “Max” Prior witnessed the births of Adam and the Ants, The Monochrome Set, The Sex Pistols, and Throbbing Gristle, as well as drumming in her own cult band Rema Rema and recording with Industrial Records.  

Her exuberant commentaries, each presented as a stand-alone episode, illustrate the multilayered nature of the London music, art, and fashion worlds of the late 1970s, and the overlap between the early punk scene with the city’s rapidly evolving club and queer cultures.

The title refers to the legendary house in South Kensington, where the author lived from 1976 to 1982. Through twelve vivid, engaging, and occasionally shocking vignettes, Max maps out the wild and exhuberant counter-cultures of late ’70s London, including:

• Working life as a go-go dancer, model and stripper.

• The queer counter-culture that gave way to punk. Disco meets Punk in the gay clubs of 1970s London.

• A celebration of the women at the crux of the gay/punk axis, including Vivienne Westwood, Jordan, Louise’s DJ Caroline, and the fabulous and feisty Sharon of the Bromley Contingent.

•Inside The Band With No Name, which became Adam and the Ants and The Monochrome Set; and spawned Bow Wow Wow and Rema Rema. 

• Halcyon days working at the ICA: including Helmut Newton’s ‘dead’ women, Mary Kelly’s dirty nappies and Throbbing Gristle’s infamous Prostitution exhibition.

• The notorious Eaton Square squat, whose inhabitants included various gay and trans performance artists and a real live lion.