REVIEWED BY Andrew James Boy George uses one word on the back cover to sum up this book "brilliant" - that says it all - but I will expand!... New York has its books like "No Wave Post-Punk Underground" and "Max's Kansas City" and now London has its "We Can be Heroes". An amazing book of outstanding photography and brilliant text to document London Clubland between 1976 and 1984. Forwarded by Iconic figures that remain in the creative music scene to this day. If you have an interest in music, fashion and clubs then this is the book for you. It's a joy reading about the music the various clubs and the people who frequented them. It was a time of dressing up, never down, less is more never came into the equation. You dressed up, You made up and You partied! All with an air of style and individuality that's rare to see these days. As a published author myself I know the hard work that goes into producing a book so well done and thank you to Graham Smith and Chris Sullivan for creating this wonderful book. We really did believe we could be heroes! By Andrew James
I obtained one of the 'first editions' hot off the press just prior to last Christmas, and can I say that it is an absolutely fantastic photographic chronology of one of the most exciting periods in British club culture. My only regret is that, living in a small midland market town at that time, I did not know of the existence of the places mentioned within the book. But the sheer perfection, yet 'grittiness' of Graham's photographs really does capture the spirit of 'being there'. Definite pride of place on my bookshelf!
Fabulous photos, great commentary. Thanks to all involved. Hard to explain how growing up in a small town in the west of Ireland and reading snippets in the music press about some of these clubs and people could help get you through from one grey damp week to the next. Only pinch of salt needed is when talking about, shall we say, the musical output of the groups that emerged from the scene. No matter how outstanding they looked, no amount of puffing from R Elms et al could convince the great record buying public that, the odd Spandau and Sade tune apart, they were anything other than a sow's ear. Haysi Fantayzee retrospective anyone?
What can i say about this book,I got mine when it was first published through UNBOUND and was so happy to have it signed by Graham AND Chris.From the time you open it and read those first forwords from the likes of Gary Kemp, Robert Elms and co you just carn't put it down.Grahams photos take you on a journey back through time to when the youth wanted to make a statement through fashion , music or art in many cases the art being them selves.you get a real feel for the club life from the key players like Steve Strange,Boy George,Chris Sullivan and all the main poseurs of the scene.Get it and i garrantee you won't put it down until you've read it all,then you will keep going back to it.A must for anyone clubing during this period,or anyone to young but wanting some insperatoin to create for a new generation.
The very opposite of an academic or anthropological voyeurs' look at a scene, this is a vibrantly photographed, passionately annotated insiders guide and tribute to one of the greatest ever eras of London clubbing. Like most of the other reviewers here, I lived through that era, and went to at least three quarters of the clubs featured, so I'd be quick to spot any misrepresentation. This book is a complete triumph, however, and heartfelt thanks are due to Graham Smith for taking the pictures in the first place, and for bothering to compile such a lovingly-packaged visual memoir to the fabulous London underground scene we had the good luck and privilege to experience - and create.
This was bought for me as a gift and I absolutely love it!! Talk about walking down memory lane... every time I pick it up to flick through I discover something else - Bloomin' Brilliant!! Great photo's and clever writing have really captured the essence of the era - well done and thank you! :o)
This unique and utterly brilliant book charts a period of extreme creativity in the music, club and fashion industries which it is unlikely we shall ever see again. As someone who was on this whole 'scene' albeit more on the fringes than those lucky enough to be featured in this book (I was in the same class at school as Christos Tolera and, thus, in the same year as Martin Kemp, too), the intoxicating energy of the whole period is catalogued to perfection.
It is seldom that I call something a "must-buy"' but "We Can Be Heroes..." most definitely falls into that category. I now split my time between London and Bournemouth and the chapter on Bournemouth not only brought back unbelievable memories, but also makes me chuckle at how such a sleepy town became involved in the whole scene!
Filled with stunning photography, full of essential (and accurate) facts, this book will, I believe, rightfully find its place in the library of definitive books about a particular era and attitude. Yes, those were the days when we really did believe we could be heroes...
I love this book even though I was born after this glamours moment in the 80s happened I wish I was around in the 80s.Great pictures of the fashion of the day it's great how people in the new romantic movement expressed themselves through what they wore and how they acted.I got this book because I love boy George and Marilyn music career.Wish this fashion would make a come back but people are different today for expressing themselves through fashion I think if this 80s era was relived teenagers of today would make fun of it and laugh.
A sublime volume about a fantastic time in youth and pop culture,uber creative and highly influential. compiled and created by the people who were THERE,a time of no internet,no facebook,no twitter, no iPhone....if you wanted it to happen you had to get creative. so much has been put out about the glam and punk periods but very little about this period of youth culture that was just as influential and iconic. packed with amazing photographs,storys and recollections of the time,i highly recommend it if you are interested in the post punk/new wave/early 80s club scene.