Museum Retrospective 2015-2020

In 2015 I premiered my Retrospective at the National Museum Wales, in Cardiff.

64 Prints spanning my 15 years in the Industry of Human Hapiness. 43,000 people attended the show during it's three month run. It moves to the Victoria Gallery in Bath in 2017 and then will slowly wander it's way around the UK until 2020

Elvis Costello's Orchestra

Elvis Costello and his Orchestra - hammersmith Palais 1981

This photo has to be the largest group of people that we ever shot. It was originally used on the inner bag of the Trust LP in 1981, the Orchestra comprises of all the people who worked for Elvis at the time, plus the Guest Artistes on the Record, Glenn Tilbrook and Martin Belmont. You will recognize Nick Lowe playing Sax in the front row and the incomparable Cynthia Lole sitting next to Glenn. Barney Bubbles designed the Music Stands especially for this photo.

It was taken at Hammersmith Palais as that was where EC had spent many hours watching his father, Ross, rehearse with the Joe Loss Orchestra. Instruments and Dinner Jackets were also rented for the occasion.

Given the size of the place it took every strobe pack that we could get our hands on, twelve Balcar packs were spread out under the balcony, even with that amount of power, 28,800 Watts at full power, the exposure was only F5.6 (for photo nerds only).

What was great about this shoot was that everyone did exactly what we asked and paid attention during the entire process. Given how hard it usually was just to get to get Bands to listen to instructions it was incredibly helpful that everyone did what we said. But, this was a special bunch of people who took the photo very seriously, and I thank them for that...

Eric Clapton's Helicopter

Eric Clapton Arrives at Blackbushe 1978

Here is a photograph that shows the level to which Rock Stars are pampered. It is taken Backstage at Blackbushe Airport at the Bob Dylan Concert.

Dylan was quite happy to arrive in a coach with his Band, he enjoyed looking out if the window at the surrounding British countryside, but Eric Clapton had a different idea, he wanted to excerpt the minimum effort to get to the gig, and wanted it done in the shortest time possible.

So a Helicopter was sent to his Country House where it landed in on his lawn. Eric walked the short distance from his house to the waiting Helicopter.

After a journey of less than thirty minutes he arrived at the Gig, the Helicopter landed about 200 yards from the Backstage area, but to save him from any physical exertion and to keep him in the luxurious style he was used to a Rolls Royce was parked nearby.

Eric then walked over to the waiting Rolls, got into the back seat, and was driven to his dressing room, a journey which took less than a minute to complete.

How nice it must be to live inside a superstar bubble, to have everything at your disposal, to simply have to walk about twelve steps from Helicopter to Rolls Royce.

But, to me, as well as documenting one of Rock's more surreal moments, it shows off the impeccable style of the British Roadie, just take a look at the guy's shorts, it's living proof of why Roadies often got more girls than the Band.

 

Elvis Presley's Star

Elvis Presley's Star on Hollywood Blvd 1977 When this photo was taken in 1977 the US had just produced a worldwide phenomena, Star Wars, and I was in Los Angeles on the Thin Lizzy and Graham Parker Tour. I had seen Star Wars at a press screening in London earlier in the year, but, the chance to see it at the famed Gauman's Chinese Theatre in Hollywood was a something I was not going to miss. With a gig to go to in the evening I decided to attend the 12.00 showing, it had only just recently been released and the cinema was pretty full considering the time of day. Seeing Star Wars on this massive screen in such a legendary Theatre was a great experience, in fact I stayed for the next show and saw it a second time. Afterwards I wandered off to a comic bookstore to seek out some Star Wars material, I did not realize that I was walking down the Hollywood Walk of Fame, back then it was exactly that, a long line of legendary Actors and Actresses, then, lo and behold, I was standing at Elvis Presley's Star. He was of course well past his prime at this point in his career, but that afternoon standing by his star had quite an effect on me. He may have had his career ruined by entering the Army, or more likely by making too many bad films, but you can't deny his ability as a stage performer. The following year I was at a Ted Nugent Concert at Hammersmith Odeon, we heard the news that Elvis had died during the encore, I was going to visit with Phil Lynott after the gig and broke the news to him. Philip was deeply affected by hearing of Elvis's death, he went to his room and wrote King's Call. The NME put him on the cover the following week, just a photo, no words, there was nothing you could say really, other than the King was Dead...

Elvis Presley's Star on Hollywood Blvd 1977

When this photo was taken in 1977 the US had just produced a worldwide phenomena, Star Wars, and I was in Los Angeles on the Thin Lizzy and Graham Parker Tour.

I had seen Star Wars at a press screening in London earlier in the year, but, the chance to see it at the famed Gauman's Chinese Theatre in Hollywood was a something I was not going to miss. With a gig to go to in the evening I decided to attend the 12.00 showing, it had only just recently been released and the cinema was pretty full considering the time of day. Seeing Star Wars on this massive screen in such a legendary Theatre was a great experience, in fact I stayed for the next show and saw it a second time.

Afterwards I wandered off to a comic bookstore to seek out some Star Wars material, I did not realize that I was walking down the Hollywood Walk of Fame, back then it was exactly that, a long line of legendary Actors and Actresses, then, lo and behold, I was standing at Elvis Presley's Star. He was of course well past his prime at this point in his career, but that afternoon standing by his star had quite an effect on me. He may have had his career ruined by entering the Army, or more likely by making too many bad films, but you can't deny his ability as a stage performer.

The following year I was at a Ted Nugent Concert at Hammersmith Odeon, we heard the news that Elvis had died during the encore, I was going to visit with Phil Lynott after the gig and broke the news to him. Philip was deeply affected by hearing of Elvis's death, he went to his room and wrote King's Call.

The NME put him on the cover the following week, just a photo, no words, there was nothing you could say really, other than the King was Dead...

Dr Feelgood in Belfast

Dr Feelgood in Belfast 1978

The Feelgood's were pretty much the NME house band back in the mid seventies, we would review them at any opportunity and I had become friends with them via Jake Riviera. They had an animal intensity about them, but also a purity, a raw, sexual, hard and intense kind of purity. Lee in his white suit doing the splits and jerking off with the microphone, Wilko machine gunning the audience with his guitar and zig zagging around the stage like a maniac, plus with Sparko on Bass and the Big Figure on drums they had a magnificent and stoic rhythm section. 

A couple of the most memorable gigs were actually parties, Led Zeppelin made the mistake of inviting them to play the post gig party they threw after the dates at Earls Court in 1975.

Playing in quite a large room somewhere in the depth of that huge semi deco building that bands like the Zep's and Floyd somehow made intimate, the Feelgood's turned a lot of heads away from the bar, it was a short set but a lively one, I often wonder if the short set was because Peter Grant, Led Zeppelin's manager did not want people to forget the real reason people were there, to see Page and Co give an American sized show in the UK. Plant preening and Page with his Violin bow and laser was impressive up to a point, and eighteen thousand punters went home happy but it was the other four piece, the ones from Canvey Island I enjoyed the most, they played their hearts out, just like they always did.

They also played the NME party in 1976 at Dingwalls, packed to the rafters they ripped the place up with their own brand of Rock and Roll. That night Ian Dury arrived with a razor blade on his earring, Punk was just around the corner.

 They also played the benefit to Save the Hope and Anchor, an awesome venue in North London, playing in a basement with sweat dripping off the ceiling, it was so crowded you could hardly breathe, they put in one of the best live shows I had ever seen.

Thanks to Jake I often went to Feelgood's gigs when there was a spare seat in the bus or on the plane, one time we flew to France and came straight home in this little light aircraft, not even bothering to spend the night there.

Despite knowing them so well I only shot them offstage the once, and sadly this was after Wilco had left the band. It was in Belfast, and I was not really prepared for the shock of seeing the true side of Northern Ireland.

Nothing prepares you for Belfast in the 70's. You begin to realize it's going to be different at Heathrow, no carry on bags whatsoever, triple checks on your luggage which is then wrapped in a plastic bag. Then as you go to board the plane you see your luggage again, sitting on the tarmac ready for you to identify before its loaded into the hold.

At Belfast Airport you see the Army everywhere, and that's how it is for the whole trip, no matter where you go the British Army is always just around the corner.

You have a choice of places to stay, the most Bombed Hotel in Europe, or the second most Bombed Hotel in Europe. We chose the latter.

On the way to the Soundcheck I asked if we could stop and take photos at one of the many fortified .pubs that we passed along the way. It was the Crescent Bar in Sandy Row which had been bombed in 1974, notice all the windows are bricked up and the cage covering the entrance so you can't firebomb it. This shows the grim reality of Belfast, the feeling of a city under the occupation of the British Army.

The show went well, Irish audiences are always supportive but I reckon these people in Belfast were even more passionate than usual.

The Hotel was located outside the city and on the way back our van was stopped by a patrol, a bunch of squaddies emerged and ordered us out of our vehicle. We were told to stand up against a wall, our legs were kicked apart and we were quickly searched as soldier pointed his machine gun directly at us. they went thru the van and then gruffly told us to be on our way. For once we had not been singled out because we were from the world of Rock and Roll, we were simply being treated like everyone else who lived there.

It was a little scary, but it was enlightening, you now knew a little of what it was like to live in Belfast, nobody spoke in the van when we continued our journey, we just sat and reflected on the sad, harsh reality of Northern Ireland under British Rule.

Devo at the Berlin Wall

Dev at the Brandenburg Gate 1978

I went over to Berlin to photograph Devo, we did all the normal photo shoot stuff in the afternoon before they had to go to the Soundcheck.

But it still said nothing other than, here are a bunch of weird Americans from Akron, Ohio wearing yellow paper suits and funny hats. I did have a better idea, but it would take a lot of persuasion to achieve it.

They had to leave for the airport at seven am, I suggested leaving an hour early and going to the Brandenburg Gate to do photos. Berlin was still a divided city and the Wall separated east from west. I ran it by Gerry, I ran it by Mark, once I had their votes the rest of the band agreed, and so off we went.

When we reached the Wall it was completely deserted, the band changed into their outfits on the coach while I checked out the best position for photographs. Then the band quickly posed together for a few frames, but it still didn't say that much about the situation. I asked them to march back and forth in front of the gate a few times. 

It was to be my East German homage to Abbey Road.

Out of the corner of my eye I spotted some Russians on top of the gate, with what I assumed were binoculars. Just as the band crossed for the third time the Russians stood up and I saw it was not binoculars they were carrying it was machine guns. Then a bunch of German came out of the loudspeakers, it scared the life out of us, in fact the frames are not level because I was seriously spooked by the situation.

They scarpered quickly back to the bus, I joined them and in moments we were soon on our way out of the country, the adrenaline rush was pretty strong, but, I doubt if the whole thing lasted more than three minutes, machine guns have that effect on people.

Boomtown Rats at Dachau

Boomtown Rats - Dachau Concentration Camp 1978

Pretty much every Tuesday you could board the 9am British Airways flight to Munich and find it full of Bands going to do the German TV Show Rockpalast which was broadcast live each week. I went along for the ride as there was often a spare ticket to be had. I had known Bob Geldof and the Boomtown Rats since their first single, they opened for Thin Lizzy at Dalymount Park and Geldof was a frequent visitor to the house I shared with Phil Lynott. By this time they were very successful and would do pretty much anything for a Photo, we went out to the Olympic Park to shoot stuff, it's where the Israeli Athletes were shot and although interesting as a background it put us in a somber mood, when we were done I figured we should go out to Dachau and visit the Concentration Camp, we had plenty of time and I thought it was something we should all see. I had no intention of taking photographs, especially as Johnny Fingers only wore pajamas and its hardly the place for a shoot, but, when I saw the giant sculpture over the gates I felt so overwhelmed by it that I asked the Rats to stand under it to give it some scale, just look at the emancipated people portrayed in it and the sheer power of the work. Makes Rock and Roll seem so inconsequential really, don't you think...

 

Beach Boys Sound Check

The Beach Boys - Dorchester Hotel 1977

You could describe my life as pure luck, not in getting the picture each time, that part was relatively easy, but just in terms of who I got to see and the circumstances under which saw them. This photo definitely comes into that category. 

Back in the 70's the Record Companies were flush with cash and were happy spending it on themselves. CBS took this to the extreme with their Annual Conventions, these multi day events consisted of flying hundreds of Record Co Execs to some exotic location and then have their best Artists perform for them, Bruce Springsteen played the 1975 one in New Orleans. In 1977 they had it in London, on the morning of the first day Elvis Costello started busking on the street outside the Grosvenor Park Hotel, his hope was to get the attention of the CBS people, instead he became a person of interest to the Police and got arrested. Luckily he got out of jail in time to play Dingwalls later that night.

The highlight of the Convention was a performance by the Beach Boys on the final night. I was pretty good at sneaking into places unnoticed and so, along with my friend Kevin, we slipped into the Ballroom via the service entrance in mid afternoon. I did not know if we would see anything but it was worth a try. We were hiding behind piles of stacked chairs when the place started to get quite active. Then, in front of out star struck eyes, out came the Beach Boys to do a Soundcheck. Better yet, Brian Wilson was with them, he had not bern seen in public or performed with them since his breakdown and in NME land this was scoop central. 

I stayed hidden for the first three numbers, behind Brian was his Doctor/Psychiatrist who would massage his shoulders between numbers, he also shouted out the words to the songs acting as a sort of full time prompter to the shell shocked looking Brian. Figuring that they might only do four songs I took my chance and darted out from my hiding place, I scurried to the front of the stage and took five very quick frames before running out of the Ballroom, thru the Hotel Lobby and out on to Park Lane. 

I had my photo and nobody was going to take it away from me. After developing it I noticed the two teacups on the floor in front of their feet. To me it really adds to the impact of the image by adding just a hint of the surreal to it. As I said I was really fucking lucky, I really did have the best job in the world...

Paul Weller - The Face

Paul Weller - The Face 1981

Whilst Terry Hall never appeared to smile, he was certainly not miserable, he just saw no need to smile, if you asked him to he did, albeit in a very minimalist fashion. The same was not true of Paul Weller.

I remember this shoot well, it was a cover story for the Face, he was wearing a bright red vest, a clean white shirt, and his hair was a perfect copy of Stevie Marriott. You could certainly direct Paul, it did not do you much good however. All you got was the look, a stare that questioned his reason for being there, that this was part of the job, that you would never see below the surface.

Being for the cover it needed to be good, I tried everything to get some kind of look on his face, every angle failed, nothing brought a smile to his face, nothing I said caused any change in him, the photo needed something and I told him so.

Out of his pocket he produced a box of matches, he put one in his mouth and the picture somehow now had a life, he moved it around slightly between frames, as if it were an important prop. His face is exactly the same in all the pictures, the position of the match governs the choice, yet somehow there is something here, a flicker of interest in his eyes, but you have to look really hard to see past the persona he has always projected, that of Paul Weller, leader of the Jam, leader of the Style Council, and now the Godfather of Pop, I'm amazed he has lasted this long.

Peter Frampton's Press Conference

Peter Frampton's Press Conference - The Paparazzi

Frampton Comes Alive, if ever there was phenomenon in the mid 70's then this was it. He was a cute blonde, formerly of Humble Pie, he took America by storm wearing a Baby Blue Satin Suit and by releasing a Live Double Album.

Eventually of course he came back to the UK, and the chaos continued, his Photo Call attracted more photographers than I had ever seen assembled for a PopStar. It was a Zoo, there was no way of getting close, no chance of a decent picture, in fact I nearly went home thinking it was a pointless exercise.

But, then I spotted a dark and dimly lit staircase, I ventured up it and found myself on a deserted balcony, the perfect place for pictures, of course he was small in the frame, and sitting next to his Manager, Dee Anthony, he certainly looked small.

I got my picture, it was pretty good too, there he was, surrounded by photographers, and looking straight at me. The paper loved it and ran it big. People wondered how I did it, how could I get him to look right at me.

It was easy, I just shouted "Peter, Up Here" at the top of my voice. Job done...

The Ramones - NME Cover

The Ramones - New York 1977

In early 1977 Mick Farren and I went to New York to check out the Punk scene, we went to all the usual clubs like Max's Kansas City and CBGB's, and we met up with a number of bands including Blondie and the Talking Heads.

But the main reason we were there was to do a cover story on the Ramones. Mick was old friends with Seymour Stein who owned Sire Records and he set us up with an interview and photo shoot.

We met up at Joey Ramone's apartment on a Sunday afternoon and I proceeded to drag them outside for a shoot, I had found an alley just off the Bowery and to me this summed up the way New York was back then.

The city had just declared itself bankrupt and was very different from the way it is today. The alley was full of garbage, old furniture, and homeless people. We walked to the far end where an old sofa he'd been dumped right there on the street.

The Ramones did what they did best and posed in leather jackets and ripped jeans, the archetypal punk look. I gave little direction as we were accompanied by Arturo Vega, their Art Director. I told them where to stand, and he told them how to stand. It was not my normal way of working but they trusted him and it actually made my job easier. The pictures we did together were good, and that's all that mattered.

Absolute Beginners - Sleeve

David Bowie - Absolute Beginners - London 1986

When Julian Temple made his film of Absolute Beginners he asked us to take photos of all the cast members and I spent a week on the movie set taking portraits of all the Actors. As well as appearing in the film David Bowie had written the title song and was going to make a video to promote it, the record ended up at Number Two on the Single Charts. The video was shot in a variety of locations around the Embankment of the Thames and although I had many great images from the video David and I felt that we should shoot a special photo for the cover. We set up our lights near the Houses of Parliament and waited for a break in the filming, but, not surprisingly they were running late and we ended up taking the photo just as Big Ben chimed midnight. Given the time restriction the photos were done very quickly, but, working with David is so easy that we only needed to shoot two rolls of film. On seeing the contact sheets there was one frame where he had this big smile, but his publicist told me that he would not approve it as he never smiled on his record covers. However, when we want thru the photos together David agreed that there was something special about this frame and agreed for it to be used. To this day it's the only time he ever smiled on a cover.

Absolute Beginners Contacts

Absolute Beginners Contact Sheet 1986 David Bowie is one if the easiest people to work with, he's so good in front of the camera that you can do a record cover in a single roll of film. When you are on a film shoot nothing endears you to the Director more than the ability to shoot fast. Everything was pre-lit and tested beforehand, all it needed was for David to step into the frame and pose for three minutes. Contact sheets can tell you a lot about both photographer and sitter, the twelve frames on a roll is now a thing of the past but back then it was the order of the day. When you have to hand over the sheets to the publicist you never know what you will get back from the artist, sometimes with Rock Stars only a single frame from a dozen rolls is marked, sometimes they approve three or four, but that is not the case here. In the right hand strip you can see a small X, this was the choice of David's management, safe as houses, but also kind of boring. On the whole page you can see exactly the way David marked it up, excluding only two frames as a bad photo, ignoring seven more frames as they were OK but not great. Then he has circled three of the frames including 4C, the one where he is smiling. The Art Director then marked a square around that same photo. I was very happy David and the AD chose it, but this surprised everyone who worked for him as he has never, before or since, smiled on a record cover.

Absolute Beginners Contact Sheet 1986

David Bowie is one if the easiest people to work with, he's so good in front of the camera that you can do a record cover in a single roll of film. When you are on a film shoot nothing endears you to the Director more than the ability to shoot fast.

Everything was pre-lit and tested beforehand, all it needed was for David to step into the frame and pose for three minutes.

Contact sheets can tell you a lot about both photographer and sitter, the twelve frames on a roll is now a thing of the past but back then it was the order of the day.

When you have to hand over the sheets to the publicist you never know what you will get back from the artist, sometimes with Rock Stars only a single frame from a dozen rolls is marked, sometimes they approve three or four, but that is not the case here.

In the right hand strip you can see a small X, this was the choice of David's management, safe as houses, but also kind of boring.

On the whole page you can see exactly the way David marked it up, excluding only two frames as a bad photo, ignoring seven more frames as they were OK but not great.

Then he has circled three of the frames including 4C, the one where he is smiling. The Art Director then marked a square around that same photo. I was very happy David and the AD chose it, but this surprised everyone who worked for him as he has never, before or since, smiled on a record cover.

The Clash on the Circle Line

The Clash on the Circle Line 1977

On April 7th 1977 the first Clash LP was released. We put them on the cover of the NME to coincide with this pivotal moment in Rock history.

Their manager, Bernie Rhodes, decided that to maintain maximum street credibility the photos and the interview should be done on the Circle Line. Tony Parsons and I were to meet the band at midday on the Baker Street platform.

We started the interview but it was incredibly noisy. I took photos but the moving train was not the easiest place to work: the smoking car we were in was filthy and I was also worried about camera shake. 

In the end we used a close head shot photo for the cover, and this frame was never used. So for more than 35 years it has remained unseen, but I think it stands the test of time quite well. What comes across to me is just how young we all were back then, in 1977.

 

David Byrne - Tryptych

David Byrne - London 1981

I first came across the Talking Heads  in 1977 on a trip to New York for the NME and photographed them there and again in London when they supported the Ramones at the Roundhouse.

My old friend Tibor Kalman designed their record covers and we often spoke about David Byrne, his intelligence and the need to never disappoint him by doing anything ordinary.

This photo was originally done for the Face in 1981 and as we had done many times we built a small studio in the basement gym in the Warner Brothers building on Broadwick Street. Down there we photographed people as diverse as Laurie Anderson, Bonnie Raitt and the Pretenders.

David Byrne has such photogenic features, it's hard to take a bad photograph and we had just done a series where he pulled and distorted his face, something nobody else would ever agree to do, but for him just seemed natural. As he is a very tall and thin man I then asked him just to sit straight on to the camera.

I took three successive images on the Hasselblad, altering the angle of the camera on the tripod between frames, shooting first his head, then his chest, and finally his hands resting in his lap. It seemed a perfect way to present him, the Face never used it so I'm showing it here for the first time.

I always remember Brian Eno's observation, That it will be so great when Byrne and Bowie are really old, they can sit together on an island and still look cool. Of that I have no doubt.

Elvis in the Yellow Coat

Elvis Costello Jumping 1986

If there is one thing Elvis Costello has in spades it's enthusiasm. No matter what it is he's doing he always puts his heart and soul into it.

Around the time of King of America we did a studio session together, all went pretty normally, we shot close portraits, half lengths, photos with a guitar, all the usual stuff.

I told him we had enough good photos and could call it a day, but he replied that he had one more thing he wanted to try. He disappeared into the dressing room and came out a few minutes later in this bright yellow coat.

On many people it would look ridiculous, but Elvis has this ability to carry clothes well and it actually suited him. It did not seem to me that you could do anything other than full length shots in this outfit, he even had these black watch plaid shoes to top off the outfit.

So I suggested he just jump up in the air a few times. He happily did this, doing his best Pete Townshend impersonations, but for the last couple of frames he flung his arms out wide creating the photo you see here.

It appeared first in the Face, we always offered Nick Logan out best work and he ran this photo across a spread. To me it sums up EC perfectly.

Dr Feelgood - Hope and Anchor

Dr Feelgood at the Hope and Anchor Benefit 1977

There was an unwritten rule about photographing live gigs, No Flash. But, there were times when you had no choice, especially in Clubs, Elvis Costello at the El Mocambo was another one. The bands don't like it because the strobe can phase them when they are not expecting it, the punters don't like it because it destroys the ambience a bit. So I used to do it very rarely, and when I did I picked my moments carefully. I knew the Feelgoods really well so they did not mind me standing on the side of the stage, but at the Hope and Anchor the stage was tiny, and the Feelgood's were a big band by now and even in this tiny club they had a huge PA, just look at the size of the monitor wedges. I was literally a couple of feet from Sparko when I took this photo, I only ever took a few frames, and once I knew I had something great I stopped. I think this shot really sums up the energy of their live act, Wilco is on the other side of the stage so I was unable to see him, but it's nice to have a big close up of Sparko and Lee in action. They were one of the best live bands ever, and this night was the best show I ever saw them play.

Elvis Costello - Trust

Elvis Costello - The Trust Sessions 1981

Elvis Costello was the first person I ever photographed in a Studio, it was March 1978. We did it at the same time as the two consecutive NME Cover stories, one with Nick Lowe, the other of him sitting on a bench. I never showed them to the paper, mainly because they were in color, but also because Studio Photography was not allowed yet, documentary, live, or while they were being interviewed was the norm back then. 

I set about changing that, but I had to wait until 1980 and the launch of the Face before anyone took me seriously, Pop Stars on White was simply not considered interesting, it was considered to be boring, the stuff for PR photos.

But in 1979 Jake Riviera asked me to shoot EC in the Studio for Armed Forces, he had a vision of Elvis smoking, I had a vision of him standing with his guitar, his feet awkwardly bent, but in the end a painting of a Herd of Charging Elephants was used, Jake's smoking photo was put on ice, and the full length shot was printed 70 feet high above the Dominion in Tottenham Court Road.

Trust was our next venture into the Studio, this time it was somber, dark hat, coat and suit, a cigarette in hand, it got proofed, but in the end it lost out to a frame from Barney Bubbles Video for New Lace Sleeves, a color shot of EC looking over his glasses, it became somewhat Iconic.

The pose was something we came up with in the Studio, weeks before the video. That image had a Frank Sinatra vibe to it, his hand making the perfect wave, I loved it but it was not part of the brief, so it appears here for the first time.

Next up was something that was the ultimate photographic honor, the chance to use the giant 20x24 Polaroid camera, that produced an instant print two feet high, there were only five of these cameras in the world.

I called EC and asked him if he would sit for me, he eagerly agreed, the camera was incredibly slow to use, and you only got ten sheets of film, I shot nine frames, with only three decent photos, one of which appeared on the cover of the Face, the last frame however was something completely different. He looked away from the lens, I asked him to look down, wearing his black beret Jake joked that it was his Laurence Olivier pose, in retrospect that was quite a compliment.

We shot more pictures to go with the Face story, but it was 1982 and from his bag he produced a blue sweater, and matching blue glasses. I documented it, but kept it hidden, if Jake had seen that I would be in trouble, no way would he want EC to be photographed in that outfit. I thought it was cute, but it remained under wraps for 32 years.

In 1986 we worked again, around the time of King of America, as well as some Django Reinhardt looking ones, EC suddenly appeared in a bright yellow coat, and black watch tartan shoes, I made him jump up and down, jumping for joy was the Fleet Street name for it.

In 1991 he teamed up with the Brodsky Quartet and I got to shoot him with Classical Musicians, they were about to go on tour, I warned the musicians of the perils to come. You are going to get screamed at, way more than the polite applause you get at Classical a concerts, it will change you forever, you will never be the same again, I was right.

Although I had given up photographing people by the mid nineties, I did agree in 1996 to do one last session in New York, to promote North, his latest disc, I used a large format 4x5 camera this time, the results were simple, but stunning. I used my favorite trick, the black turtle neck sweater, cover up the neck, hide few pounds, it worked as advertised.

I always had fun in the studio with him, he enjoyed dressing up, and throwing a few shapes for the camera, we never failed to produce good work, the chemistry between us had been there since the first time we met, it's still there now 35 years later.

Being friends and shooting stars is the best way to work, I had similar chemistry with Phil Lynott and Pete Townshend, but I enjoyed working with Elvis the best of all...