The Teds, Chris Steele-Perkins & Richard Smith
Dewi Lewis Publishing, ISBN:1-899235-44-2

'In early 1954, on a late train from Southend, someone pulled the communication cord. The train ground to a halt. Light bulbs were smashed. Police arrested a gang dressed in Edwardian suits. In April two gangs, also dressed Edwardian-style, met after a dance. They were ready for action: bricks and sand-filled socks were used. Fifty-five youths were taken in for questioning. The following August Bank Holiday the first "Best Dressed Ted Contest" was held. The winner was a twenty-year-old greengrocer's assistant. The Teddy Boy myth was born.'

Actually, this is the first time I am reviewing a book on this website. Of course there are many books and magazines listed in our 'Bookshelf', but I felt this marvelous re-release needed some extra attention. Originally published in 1979 The Teds is a classic of British documentary photography. It is a vivid and absorbing book combining image and text to tell a fascinating story that spans some three decades. Chris Steele-Perkins is a member of the prestigious Magnum Photo Agency. His work has been published and exhibited world-wide and he has won several major awards, including the Tom Hopkinson Prize, the Oscar Barnack Prize and the Robert Capa Gold Medal.

If you came to this place, you must be a teddy boy, a rocker, a rockabilly cat or kitten or whatever. In any case, you sure dig rock 'n' roll, rockabilly and/or fifties lifestyle, and this book was meant for you! The photographs are wonderful, shocking or down right scary. They tell a story of their own, even without the words. Learn about this rock 'n' roll mainstream in England, which evetually spread all over Europe. The Teds movement never died, they're still around everywhere where there is rock 'n' roll to be found, paying tribute to their British and American heroes like Gene Vincent, Eddie Cochran, Billy Fury, Crazy Cavan and Flying Saucers and many more.

Out of stock for almost 15 years. You were lucky if you get your hands on a second edition paperback from 1987 (Travelling Light/Exit, London) through an auction or a rare books market, let alone you could find an original. Over the years I got dozens of e-mails from people asking me if I knew where they could get a copy. Well, here it is available again, a hardcover of "The Teds" for a new generation of teds and rockers. Don't miss it!

Dewi Lewis Publishing
8 Broomfield Road, Heaton Moor
Stockport SK4 4ND, England
Phone: +44 (0)161 442 9450

Reviewed by The BlackCat, 2002