"This was THE first photo shoot we ever did for ‘Death Cult’ and it was just Ian and me. I was working in the basement of Kensington Market at the time and this photo was taken round the corner outside the Vietnamese Embassy.
It seemed a good choice because as well as being near to my work the Post ‘Apocalypse Now’ time saw a lot of interest in that conflict typified by The Clash ‘Combat Rock’ album and the “look” they had… wearing “tiger stripe” specialist cammo from the Vietnam war. I also used to work part time in a shop selling military memorabilia including a lot of that stuff so kind of got fascinated by it all... plus it looked so cool... I mean nobody was cooler looking than The Clash and I should know having supported them quite a bit when I was in Theatre of Hate.
Later I even started to collect original tiger stripe fatigues and “Vietnam tour jackets” (commemorative black embroidered cotton jackets American servicemen bought to take home) that eventually sold the collection to Ian, funnily enough. I can be seen wearing a lot of that gear in the ‘Death Cult’ era especially onstage… good times!”
Billy – February 2019
Photo by Bleddyn Butcher