From the Hip
Mick Jagger told me I was the only photographer to take his picture before lunchtime
It was precisely this lucky scoop, portraying the young and fairly sleepy Rolling Stones at the tables of a London café, that baptised John Hoppy Hopkins career (and the pages of this book), photographer of the Stones, the Beatles and many others, famous and not, on the 60s cultural and political scene. Thanks to an extraordinary ability to step into various worlds, over the years Hopkins lens has collected the most diverse personalities: from beat poet Allen Ginsberg to the holy idols of black American music (Louis Armstrong, Ray Charles, Duke Ellington) right on to pacifist leaders Martin Luther King and Malcolm X. But the 150 plus photos also document the peace & love marches, young heroin users, bikers, Mods, tattoo artists and, more generally, all the outsiders of the 60s counterculture.
Setting aside his Cambridge degree in physics and a promising career as a nuclear physicist, John Hopkins drifted into photography when someone made him a present of an ordinary camera. The Sunday Times, The Observer, Melody Maker, Jazz Journal and Peace News are only some of the publications he contributed to before founding, with the help of Paul McCartney, the first British underground daily, The International Times. Hopkins must also be credited with opening the first psychedelic club in London, the legendary UFO, and with being one of the most active supporters, towards the mid 60s, of a young band then unknown: Pink Floyd.