1939 - 2015
Hoppy graduated from Cambridge University in 1958 with a Master’s in Physics. He briefly worked for the Atomic Energy Authority, but lost his security clearance following a jaunt to Moscow for a communist youth festival and peace mission, when he was arrested by the KGB. He resigned and turned to photography in 1960 working for The Sunday Times, Melody Maker etc.
Hoppy captured the mood of the fast-changing 60's photographing The Stones and The Beatles on their first wave of stardom. In stark contrast he recorded the seediness of the early 60's London underbelly, shooting grubby tattoo parlours, bikers' cafes etc. In the mid 1960s Hoppy founded Britain’s first underground newspaper the International Times, he co-established a publishing company, promoted Pink Floyd and set up London’s first all-night psychedelic club, the UFO.
By June 1967, Britain’s fertile and diverse counterculture took much of its inspiration from him - he was the closest thing the movement ever had to a leader and became known as the ""King of the Underground"". Revolutions are, almost by definition, factional, but during those golden years, the working-class anarchists, vaguely aristocratic bohemians, musicians, crusaders, poets and dropouts were united in their respect and affection for Hoppy. That he was seen as leader of this amorphous movement led to his downfall. Hoppy’s flat was raided, a small amount of hash was found, he was arrested and sentenced to nine months in prison.
Outrage at the sentence inspired a 'Free Hoppy March' to Trafalgar Square, ubiquitous graffiti and a full-page protest in the Times, paid for by Paul McCartney. At the end of the 60’s Hoppy turned to video as an art form and educational tool, researching the social uses of video for UNESCO, the Arts Council etc. Later, he worked as a technical journalist, coauthored distance learning video training courses, explored macro photography of plants, co-authored academic papers and never stopped being cool.