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Johnny Rotten, Blondie and Siouxsie Sioux starring in Norwich punk photographic exhibition

PUBLISHED: 15:21 25 October 2017 | UPDATED: 15:33 25 October 2017

Johnny Rotten, aka John Lydon from the Sex Pistols. Picture: SHEILA ROCK

Johnny Rotten, aka John Lydon from the Sex Pistols. Picture: SHEILA ROCK

SHEILA ROCK

They were attracted to Norwich in the 1970s to entertain hordes of music lovers with their anarchy.

Debbie Harry, lead singer of Blondie. Picture: SHEILA ROCK Debbie Harry, lead singer of Blondie. Picture: SHEILA ROCK

And 40 years later, icons from the punk era will be returning to the city in the form of photos for a special showcase.

The PUNK+ exhibition in the Norwich Lanes will display 20 pictures taken by Sheila Rock from 1976-77 when she was in her 20s.

Stars featured include Johnny Rotten, lead singer of the Sex Pistols; Debbie Harry, lead singer of Blondie; The Clash; Siouxsie Sioux, lead singer of the Siouxsie and the Banshees; and English model and actress Jordan who worked with Vivienne Westwood.

The free exhibition is running from November 10 until November 25 at The Gallery on St Giles Street.

Siouxsie Sioux, lead singer of Siouxsie and the Banshees. Picture: SHEILA ROCK Siouxsie Sioux, lead singer of Siouxsie and the Banshees. Picture: SHEILA ROCK

Gallery owner Polly Miller, who became friends with Mrs Rock while working as an art director for EMI’s classical department, said: “I’m so excited to show these iconic pictures in Norwich, which of course is a city that got the punk scene very early in the day.

“Taken right at the start of Sheila’s career they are so natural and immediate.

“She says she was just a girl with a camera, documenting this amazing sub-culture she saw growing on the streets of Chelsea.”

Hawaii-born Mrs Rock moved to London from New York in the early 1970s and captured UK punk bands in their infancy.

Billy Idol, lead singer of Generation X. Picture: SHEILA ROCK Billy Idol, lead singer of Generation X. Picture: SHEILA ROCK

Pieces of her work are on permanent display around the world, including the National Portrait Gallery in London.

The PUNK+ exhibition comes a year after the successful Punk In The East trail, which involved several businesses in the Norwich Lanes showing punk memorabilia.

Some 8,500 people from across East Anglia and further afield, old and young, were attracted to the trail.

Jonty Young, marketing manager of Norwich Lanes, said: “When punk rock started in the 1970s there was a passionate feeling in Norwich for it. A lot of bands played here. The exhibition carries on that musical legacy.”

Venues in the city where top acts played in front of thousands of people were St Andrew’s Hall, and the former People’s Nightclub and Gala Ballroom which have since been knocked down.

The exhibition, which includes the chance to buy a signed book and prints by Mrs Rock, runs from 10am-5pm, Monday to Saturday.

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