A scrapbook celebrating our 50th Anniversary of shooting Rock And Roll Photography
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This story begins with a teenager in London who loved Pop, Soul and Rock & Roll. The photo career began with someone outside the theatre ( Tooting Granada, south of London ) in 1962 where I had been to see Little Richard and Sam Cooke (I don't remember seeing Sam Cooke - one of my favourite artists), asking for a copy of photos I had snapped there.This is the original photo that started it all.
My Beatles autograph page says this photo was April 17th, 1963, but all the lists put it as the 18th, at the Royal Albert Hall in London, at a BBC "Swinging Sound 63: TV show though I'd always thought it was POP PROMS.
I was lucky to start at the beginning of the most exciting and interesting era in pop music, especially in the UK, where on one side we had Beatles, Stones, Walker Brothers and all the other pop bands of the time, we had Jimi Hendix, Cream and other heavier bands and we had had something the UK has always loved, and still does, soul music. We got to see Otis and James Brown and Ike & Tina Turner, and Motown.
Before we go to the next years I have to pay tribute to England's three biggest pop idols when I grew up. Adam Faith , made a lot of terrific pop records, later managing Leo Sayer and becoming an actor, Billy Fury .. find his greatest hits and see how good his rock ballads were, and of course (Sir) Cliff Richard. The most successful pop star ever, at least130 + hits, 64 top 20 and 14 #1's, and still doing it.
Clark 5 .. Kinks..
billy fury ..PJ
Proby is one of the great voices, and
showmen of pop, really gained mass fame in the UK when he split the
knees of his trousers on stage! ..Roy
1965 [back to top]
..Righteous Brothers - "probably best single of all time"
..Byrds.. in Londons Hyde Park at time of Mr Tambourine Man
1966 [back to top]
..Cliff Richard.. Spencer Davis Group ..Beach Boys ..Small Faces .. Troggs .. Manfred Mann James Brown. "Live at the Apollo" still considered one of the most exciting live albums ever........... Jimi Hendrix ..
.. LEN BARRY
Then Soul Music really arrived.
Suddenly we had an an invasion of one of the greatest music styles, which has remained hugely popular in the UK ever since. .. Ike & Tina Turner .. .. Stevie Wonder .. .. Wilson Pickett .. .. Otis Redding .. .. Percy Sledge .. .. Lee Dorsey .. .. Four Tops ..
1967 [back to top]
1968 [back to top]
Walker who, other than Elvis, has been
my all time favourite singer. Scott came to England as part of the
Walker Brothers who during their three years of group success were as
big as the Beatles. When they split Scott went on to solo success. He
always had an incredible talent for finding great songs, and an
artist I am proud to have worked with, both as the Walker Brothers
and solo, including the Scott 3 album sleeve. He is still a huge cult
figure.The 30 Century Man docu-film is out in 2009 and is very worth
seeing, in theatre or on the DVD
Amen Corner had a string of hits in the late 1960's. They all lived in a large house in Harrow, just outside London. Singer Andy Fairweather Low amazingly had a Cobra in the front yard , but many a time for a London gig he and Neil would jump into my MGB and have me take them, a lot of fun. Andy has spent the recent years touring with such people as Pete Townsend and with Eric Clapton (including "Unplugged") and Roger Waters . Blue Weaver and Dennis Byron went on to the Bee Gees for years, Alan Jones went into management, Clive Taylor became a recording engineer and Neil Jones became the chief photographer for his home city of Cardiff (after assisting me for a while !!).
Tommy Roe .. Rolling Stones .. Zager + Evans .. Fleetwood Mac .. Joe Cocker .. The Move
Creedence Clearwater Revival came to London .. Stevie Wonder ..The late Steve Marriott in Humble Pie ..David Bowie
John Lennon and Yoko Ono were in the headlines, from holding bed-ins to concerts to appearing on Top Of The Pops promoting their Plasic Ono Band record.
1970 [back to top]
The big Rock bands that had started to grow in late '69 began to take over the world. Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath and The Moody Blues were some.Led Zeppelin
1971 [back to top]
... Even Rod Stewart
1972 [back to top]
Jackson and Jackson 5 came to London
and appeared at The London Palladium for Royalty .. 1972 was also the
hit year for Don
Mclean while Slade
got more successful. David
Cassidy came over to England as a huge
teenybop idol and Chuck
Berry was still duck walking.
1973 [back to top]
Nilsson .. .. Tim
Hardin .. .. David
Cassidy .. .. Chuck
Berry .. .. ELO
.. .. Cat
Stevens .. .. Deep
Purple .. .. Todd
Rundgren .. .. Uriah
Heep .. .. 10CC
.. .. Elton
1974 [back to top]
1975[back to top]
Late in 1975 during one of my US visits I got to shoot what at the time seemed the big hype. But it was no hype. The show was Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band at UC Santa Barbara. That was one of the shows you left as a believer, and Bruce is one artist that the same still applies 30 plus years later.
1976 [back to top]
Seekers .. Wings
Young .. Peter
Frampton .. Kiss
As a working music photographer with already a long history, the punk audiences in the UK really got to me and so on a whim I decided this time to spend more time in the US. In Los Angeles we were representing Sounds (and later Kerrang) from the UK plus magazines from Europe and Japan. Although straight away I started shooting a lot of other people, some of the first live shows I shot in California were the Clash and the Sex Pistols, and the other punk/new wave acts that came west. So much for escaping punk!
In the UK we had always tried to shoot any musical artist in any genre, which we made a point of doing also once in Los Angeles. I had the advantage, in some ways, of wanting to shoot for International publications, which got me access to acts the local record company people could not get me. The combination of local and international press people made this next few years very busy and productive.
1977 [back to top]
1978 [back to top]
.. Boomtown Rats
.. Dusty Springfield
.. Kate Bush
.. David Bowie
.. The Cars
.. Talking Heads
.. Todd Rundgren
.. Judas Priest
.. Bob Marley
.. Bruce Springsteen
.. Van Halen ..
1979 [back to top]
.. Beach Boys
.. Talking Heads
.. Bonnie Tyler
.. Bee Gees
.. Herman Brood
.. Alice Cooper
.. Grace Jones
.. Def Leppard
.. Gloria Gaynor
.. Chris Spedding
.. Barry White
1980 [back to top]
1981 [back to top]
Montrose .. Alice Cooper .. Michael Jackson .. Blue Oyster Cult .. Joe Jackson .. ELO .. Stray Cats .. Sparks .. Cliff Richard .. Madness .. Sammy Hagar ..Stevie Nicks .. Hall & Oates .. Journey .. Earth Wind & Fire .. Emmylou Harris .. OMD .. Tubes .. George Thorogood .. Michael Schenker ..Tom Robinson .. Motley Crue .. Motels .. Joe Ely .. Garland Jeffreys.. Juice Newton .. Devo .. Adam Ant .. Ozzy Osbourne .. Jeff Beck .. Gary US Bonds .. Joan Jett .. Bruce Springsteen
1982 [back to top]
Asia .. David Bowie .. James Brown .. Rolling Stones .. The Who .. Cheap Trick .. Blue Oyster Cult .. Huey Lewis ..Quarterflash .. Simon & Garfunkel .. Scorpions .. Donna SUMMER .. Survivor .. Jefferson Starship .. Chubby Checker .. Heart .. Girlschool .. Ted Nugent .. Journey .. Adam Ant .. Billy Idol .. Flock Of Seagulls .. Grandmaster Flash .. J Geils Band .. Rod Stewart .. Dexy's Midnight Runners .. Gary US Bonds .. Luther Vandross
1983 [back to top]
Animals .. REM .. Pretenders .. David Bowie .. Frank Zappa .. Robert Plant .. Rod Stewart .. Michael Jackson .. Fixx .. Alarm .. Bryan Adams .. AC/DC .. Cramps .. Styx .. Lene Lovich .. Ratt .. The Clash .. Bow Wow Wow .. Toto .. Girlschool .. Marvin Gave .. Stevie Nicks .. Journey .. Quiet Riot .. Rickie Lee Jones .. Twisted Sister .. Talking Heads .. Saga .. Motley Crue .. Mary Jane Girls .. Night Ranger .. Eurythmics .. Dio .. Alcatrazz .. Michael Bolton .. English Beat .. Jeff Beck .. X ..Ozzy Osbourne
1984 [back to top]
Tina Turner .. Yngwie Malmsteen .. Judas Priest .. David Bowie .. Aerosmith .. Yes .. AC/DC .. Scorpions .. Accept .. Gary Moore .. The Clash .. Steve Miller .. Moody Blues .. Bad Company .. Cyndi Lauper .. Van Halen .. Rick James .. Dio .. Armoured Saint .. John Waite .. Michael Jackson .. Bruce Springsteen
1985 [back to top]
1986[back to top]
Neil Young Graham Nash .. Judas Priest .. Richie Havens .. James Brown .. Bon Jovi .. ELP .. Peter Frampton .. Slayer .. Kris Kristofferson .. Rush .. Robert Palmer .. Stevie Wonder .. Van Halen .. Country Joe .. Buffy St Marie .. Megadeth .. Ozzy Osbourne .. Michael Jackson .. Deniece Williams
1987 [back to top]
1988[back to top]
1989 to NOW[back to top]
1988 was the end of the first 25 years. Shooting music photography in these earlier years was a lot of fun as well as a lot of hard work and long hours. In later years, until the present, it became much more corporate with more artist control and far fewer creative pictures because of those restrictions.
The material from 1989 to the present time can all be found on the Photofeatures site.
But a great bookend is here for this career. In January 2008 I get to shoot Ringo Starr in LA. Noon on a wet January day, but a lot of fun and just a month short of 45 years from the start of this photographic journey. The new Ringo photos are here.
'Taking Aim" Unforgettable Rock 'N' Roll Photographs selected by Graham Nash. The exhibition and book including our Bruce Springsteen photo is first in Seattle and then San Diego from June 2010. and the East Coast from October.