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Jamie Reid at Strongroom Bar, 2011

Never Mind The Bollocks, Here’s Jamie Reid

Even if you haven’t studied at art school, without realising you’ll recognise the work of Jamie Reid. Just look around Strongroom – the walls and ceilings of the studios, the bar and our post production facility in Singer Street all carry his anarchic creativity.

Without doubt, Jamie Reid is the man credited with creating the punk aesthetic. His work, featuring letters cut from newspaper headlines in the style of a ransom note defines the image of ‘punk’.

When he took a Cecil Beaton silver jubilee portrait of the queen and superimposed a safety pin through her bottom lip, he created one of the most iconic pop cultural images of the late 20th Century.

And the sleeve he created for the Sex Pistols “Never Mind The Bollocks” album has been voted the second greatest album cover of all time by Rolling Stone magazine (pipped to the post by The Beatles ‘”Sgt Pepper”).

Not bad for a boy from Croydon.

So, what was ‘punk’ for Jamie Reid? “Punk was like an exorcism which cleared up a lot of the shit that was left over from the Sixties. Punk was about spontaneity and it also carried with it a really vicious sense of humour”.

Quick Facts:

  • Born January 16th 1947
  • Father was the City Editor on London’s Daily Sketch
  • Educated at John Ruskin Grammar School, Croydon
  • Graduated from Croydon Art School (alongside Malcolm McLaren)
  • Co-founded Suburban Press in 1970 – a Croydon-based magazine containing “a kind of shit-stirring mix of local politics, cut-and-paste graphics, absurd humour, agit-prop/ Situationist aphorisms and a lot of subtly subversive mischief-making
  • Former partner was the actress Margi Clarke, with whom he had a daughter, Rowan
  • Names to call him: artist, anarchist, Situationist, anti-consumerist, environmentalist
  • Best known works: Sex Pistols album “Never Mind the Bollocks, Here’s the Sex Pistols” (1977) and singles “Anarchy in the UK” (1976), “God Save The Queen” (1977), “Pretty Vacant” (1977) and “Holidays in the Sun” (1977).


Jamie’s art is publicly displayed at Strongroom Bar & Kitchen and can be viewed in the studios by appointment only