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EDWARD COLVER

ALWAYS, ALWAYS GET THE SHOT

Dr. Martens first travelled across the Atlantic to America in the early 80s, when US bands came back from their UK tours with big Docs boots in their cases. These bands started wearing them on stage back in the US, and this got their footwear noticed by their growing cult following.

Always right at the front of sweaty, manic Hardcore gigs was an unassuming photographer called Edward Colver, who would become renowned as the lensman at the heart of this disruptive scene. One night, the sheer physical force of a gig left him battered and bruised on the floor. But somehow he dragged himself up, shrugged off his injuries and kept on shooting.

‘I’ve had beer bottles bounce off my head, I once had a boot dragged across my face, but perhaps the most extreme incident came in 1983 when I was shooting a gig at the Los Angeles Auditorium. The US hardcore scene was blowing up at that time and there were 3,000 people in this venue going completely crazy — but unlike today, when everyone has a phone camera, I was the only person in there taking photos.’

‘The gig was already pretty mad, I was getting knocked about and smashed around but then something hit me really hard and knocked me flat. Turns out it was some kid trying to get to the stage. I helped him up but then a couple of minutes later I got slammed into the stage really violently, smashing my chest and side into the plywood. I managed to look to my right and the whole barricade had collapsed, the sheer force of the crowd had just crushed it.’

‘I knew I had to get out of there somehow, so I tried to get up but it was a real struggle. Then this blond kid ‘the bassist from The Circle Jerks’ came to my rescue, and I was eventually hauled offstage to the left, clutching my injured side. I was really sore.’

‘But as soon as I got my breath back, I dived straight back into the madness and kept shooting. I had to get the photos. Shortly after that incident and despite my side really hurting, I took the photo of the kid leaping above the crowd that’s featured in the book, Dr. Martens: A History of Rebellious Self-Expression. No matter what happens, you just gotta keep shooting, get the photo at all costs. It can be tough at times, but you just get back in there and keep shooting. It was just crazy, total chaos, two mad minutes. But I got the shot.’

THE ONLY THING TOUGHER THAN A DR. MARTENS BOOT
IS THE PERSON WEARING IT

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