The Runaways in Swedish magazine POSTER.
If you were a kid during the late 70s and early 80s, I’m gonna hedge a hefty bet you probably owned a few too many posters which covered your bedroom walls. As it pertains to the youthful pastime of murdering your parent’s wallpaper, POSTER magazine founder Hans Hatwig was once quoted saying his magazine “papered the walls of a whole generation.” Hatwig actually took many of the photos himself during the magazine’s six-year run in Sweden, and Hatwig seemed to have no difficulty convincing acts from The Runaways, to KISS, Frank Zappa, and Alice Cooper to strike a pose for POSTER.
Hatwig’s affable nature led him to develop friendships with some of the musical luminaries he photographed. According to his bio, he hooked up with Angus Young early on while the band was in Stockholm in July of 1976. Hatwig and Young headed out to the Red Light District where he photographed Angus “pretending” to purchase condoms from a Durex dispenser, with other shots taken in front of the local sex shops and adult movie theaters. In all, Hatwig took about 40 images of Angus “on the loose” in Stockholm, and they are all fantastically candid, while remaining certifiably rock and fucking roll.
Earlier in 1976, Hatwig would photograph the ethereal Agnetha Fältskog of ABBA with a giant red and white lollipop clad in a barely-there white satin top and matching knee-high boots while surrounded by a gang of look-alike baby dolls. The instantly infamous images still burn retinas (in the best possible way) to this day. Just like the shot of Frank Zappa (though it appears not to be one of Hatwig’s photographs) wearing an animal print banana hammock taken in 1976 along with eight women—six of them topless—in a studio made to look like an exotic jungle scene. You can never unsee this image of Zappa and his nipply friends—life is beautiful that way sometimes.
Posters from POSTER and vintage issues of the magazine often fetch over a hundred bucks online. Thankfully, in 2008, authors Fabian H. Bernstone & Mathias Brink published the book POSTER: Nordens största poptidning 1974-1980—a 256 volume of images from POSTER, some of which never made it off of the cutting room floor. Images from POSTER follow, some are NSFW.
A shot of ABBA rocking matching tinfoil outfits from POSTER magazine.
Agnetha Fältskog of ABBA and her lookalike doll army. Photo by Hans Hatwig.
More after the jump…