Underground Icons and a Rocking Revolution

As one of the few professional photographers involved in it from the outset, Keith shot many of the major movers and shakers in the late ‘sixties underground scene, as well as some of their more surprising cultural allies.

Like many art college alumnae in the ‘sixties, Keith gravitated towards the vibrant if somewhat disorganised counter-culture that was starting to displace the moribund arts and media traditions of post-war Britain. IBM’s invention of the golfball typewriter typesetting machine and the emergence of relatively cheap web-offset printing also meant that freedom of expression – artistic, political and ideological – could no longer remain carefully managed, if not repressed by the commercial establishment. The inevitable consequence was a sudden slew of underground periodicals such as International Times, Oz, Black Dwarf and Frendz, whose desire to upend the status quo and celebrate newfound freedoms inspired a whole generation of writers, artists and photographers, which of course included Keith.

Sharing a flat with Oz’s first art director, Jon Goodchild and later Time Out founder, Tony Elliott, Keith soon found himself photographing subjects as diverse and sometimes shocking as Hell Angels orgies, anti-Vietnam War Marches and a very nude Germaine Greer. And it also brought him together with many of the so-called ‘progressive rock’ artists whose record companies’ advertising revenues largely kept the underground press afloat, something that would have great portent for his later career.

All images are available for sale as high-quality hand printed editions.