The Death of Photography: Punk & Hedonism Lives On, in Fascinating Photography Book by “Last Person” to see Sid Vicious Alive

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The Death of Photography: Punk & Hedonism Lives On, in Fascinating Photography Book by “Last Person” to see Sid Vicious Alive

Written and compiled by the man himself, Peter Gravelle, ‘The Death of Photography’ commences in the low-culture, underground world of punk rock at the height of its glory and tracks his career through fashion and high art. Gravelle was a pioneer in music and fashion photography and now, forty years after punk rock first hit London, he is back to share his uninhibited story. Told through a collection of bold images and a captivating narrative, Gravelle gives readers a unique periscope back into that filthy, fury-filled era; including newly-released information on Sid Vicious’s last night alive – with Gravelle by his side.


United Kingdom – 2016 celebrates so much more than Her Majesty’s 90th birthday; also marking forty years since punk rock first hit London. It was the time fledgling young photographer, Peter Gravelle, was asked to photograph a then largely unknown band known as ‘The Damned’. Like the band’s rapid growth to fame, Gravelle and his camera became a global staple that defined the punk rock era.

In fact, Gravelle was so well respected that he became great friends with many of punk’s legends, and is thought to be the last person to see Sid Vicious alive.

In ‘The Death of Photography’, Gravelle tells the story of his lucrative, drug-induced and shockingly unbelievable journey through punk’s rise and fall and into fashion told through his own images and written narrative.


A book of sex, drugs and rock and roll (and fashion).

The End of Photography is a redemption, a confessional and a reflection on forty years of hedonism and making art. Gravelle burns the myths, tells the stories and reveals a textured and

intelligent picture of a truly maverick life.

Peter Gravelle is a photographer that has a body of work spanning 40 years of music, fashion, portraiture and creativity with a backstory overshadowed by the dark side of drug dependency.

From the filth and the fury to the elegant extravaganza, ‘Peter Gravelle’, the many named photographer, has remained in the shadows of punk rock, low culture and high fashion, deflecting attention while steadily producing an epic body of iconic work.

‘The Death of Photography’ is a tour de force, a high end art book showcasing forty years of the best punk, fashion and portraiture of Gravelle’s career. Heavily stylised images are woven together with Gravelle’s own fascinating recollections from a live lived in technicolour.

There comes a time when a man needs to testify. Gravelle has no axe to grind nor star ego to feed . . . His intelligent storytelling is a fresh perspective on some of the most pivotal moments in our pop cultural history told without exaggeration or romance. This truth telling is a catharsis, not prettified or censored just what happened, because it happened.

Behind the glittering facade of the fashion business, Milan, Paris, Athens, Tokyo, NYC, LA – he has been there, witness to the dark underbelly of the trade.


● What was it really like to be friends with Sid Vicious in the last months of his life?

● How did you not know about ‘Exquisite Covers’, the design label that made most punk album covers?

● What was it like to be raving in Athens with fifteen models and a PR at the height of the ecstasy wave?

● Why is it not a good idea to fly to Tokyo to get off the drugs?

“There was a time when I was the punk rock photographer – as defined the world over,” explains the author, most notably known for his close and hedonistic relationship with Sid Vicious. “I wanted to showcase the warts-and-all story of my career before those who remember punk rock go senile. I can’t believe forty years have passed!”

Continuing, “I cover everything from my first experience photographing The Damned for free, right through to the night I spent with Sid, eventually becoming one of the last people to be with him before he died of his overdose. Many of the book’s images and stories have never before been made public.”

Readers agree Gravelle’s work is unique. One reviewer commenting, “Gives an insight into what was and is still considered to be, an exciting time of change and expectations. Fabulous images with a narrative that is interesting and honest from a man who engaged with the famous and the infamous – Great read.”

Alistair Findlay adds, “A pot-pourri, a potage, a cornucopia of obsession, addiction and creativity, THE DEATH OF PHOTOGRAPHY still stands as a unique testament of the punk era, and so much more.”

‘The Death of Photography’, from Carpet Bombing Culture, is available now:


About the Author:

North American born, educated in Britain Peter Gravelle’s photographic career spans nearly forty years. Through the early days of British Punk, fashion in Italy, advertising & portraiture in America and Japan and back to London where he currently resides. Advertising work includes clients Versace Couture, Levi’s, Hino Trucks and more whilst editorial clients include Vogue Italia, Harpers Bazaar and Vanity Fair whilst portrait commissions include Quentin Tarantino, Margaret Trudeau amongst others. The diversity of his work always seems to have a common thread, the search for the timeless image in all its simplicity. He has exhibited solely and in group shows in London, Berlin and Los Angeles and features as himself in Alan Parker’s movie, ” Who killed Nancy.” His work is also in the permanent collections of both the National Gallery, London and M.O.M.A., New York City.


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