David Corio

Afrika Bambaataa

The Venue, London
(November 23, 1982)

Welcome to the future. This was one of the first hip-hop shows in London and it was at my favourite place to shoot gigs. Bam had brought with him vibrant visions of the New York street in the form of graffiti legends Fab Five Freddy and Futura 2000. While he played, they spray-painted the backdrop. Londoners had never experienced any gig like this before – with break-dancers from Bambaataa’s Zulu Nation and a team of skippers doing the double-dutch. ‘Planet Rock’ and ‘Looking For The Perfect Beat’, two singles of 1982, along with Grandmaster Flash’s ‘The Message’, gave notice of a new musical force breaking out of New York – hip-hop and electro – and it was all rising straight off the record decks. It was amazing to witness this revolution in person.
This photo was pure luck. After the show I was getting a drink at the bar when I noticed Bam returning to the stage to pick up some records. I had just enough time to grab my camera out of my army surplus bag and snatch this solitary shot before he strode off.

Afrika Bambaataa