All at sea ..

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It’s all getting very real! Our move to France has stepped up a gear now that we’ve started getting quotes from removal companies to ship all our gear across the Channel. Another two months and all our worldly goods will be boxed, packed, wrapped and on a big lorry heading for South-West France.

This, of course, brings up the big question of what exactly we take over with us. Do I really need that old copy of the NME from 1985? Yes, of course, it’s got The Smiths on the cover. And that advertising brochure for the Nikon FE2 from ’83? Naturally! That’s part of my photographic history. And so it goes on. I have managed to throw out one or two things. There are only so many copies of The Face and Spin magazine that a man needs but, apart from that, I’m finding it very, very hard to part with any of my past. Perhaps I might start thinking differently once the quotes start coming in ..

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What a treat ..

 Isn’t it lovely when your day pings you out an unexpected treat? Mine last night was an email that popped up from New York and made me feel fantastic. A lot of my music photography is represented there by a gallery which is marking 30 years of The Smiths, and the email from them yesterday took me straight to this page! I’ve been belting out Smiths’ songs ever since! They’re actually offering Limited Editions of my photographs of Morrissey alongside those of renowned photographer Kevin Westenberg.What a treat ..

I shot a Wedding once down near Stratford, and went down the day before to have a good look around the venues. The church had a gorgeous cherry tree in full blossom alongside its outer wall, and I marked that as a great place to get some fantastic pictures. Next day, I whizzed the bride and groom round the corner to find .. three punks drinking lager in the shade of the tree! Unexpected treat of that day? They offered to hold my reflector, provided a really amusing shot for the album and .. gave the bride a swig of their lager! What a treat ..  

Music to my ears ..

Hey, Happy Record Store Day, everybody! I’d be buzzing down to buy some vinyl too if I wasn’t shooting a Wedding today. Or would I? I seem to have enough records already! In fact, I was quite amused by the fact that I liked this 1980 album so much I bought it twice! (Fear of wearing it out, I would say.) Bet you don’t even remember The Photos – the most appropriately named band ever .. for me! I was smitten with lead singer Wendy Wu and if I can ever find it I’ll show you the picture I had taken with her backstage at some gig or other. Discount Records in Sale was my ‘place to go’ .. and every lunchtime a hairy hippy dude called Nick would convince me that I just had to have such and such a record. He was mostly right, of course, and I’ll never forget his advice to me to leave the needle on the Spizz Energi ‘Where’s Captain Kirk’ 45. There’s a really funny mickey-take of Spock, just before the run off, that I’ve never heard on any CD version of the song. Hurrah for real music! Go and buy a single .. now!

The good old days ..

I really should know better! Going to see The Buzzcocks on Friday night was, almost inevitably, like going to see a Buzzcocks tribute band! Only two original members – with Pete Shelley looking like his own grandad – and balding men trying to scrape the remnants of their hair into a semblance of the mohicans they sported a mere 35 years ago! Still, I sort of enjoyed it, although the sound was terrible and, this being Warrington – and therefore almost just as inevitable – there was a fight just six feet away from myself and Lesley. Boys! We’re too old for all of this!..

The trouble is, there’s nothing to replace it! Nothing comes near the music I grew up with and if – as my pal says – I’m stuck in the 70s and 80s, then it’s only because there’s been nothing to drag me out of there. Today’s music positively depresses me! Anyway, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it and hey, it gives me the opportunity to show you this photograph of my old mates Roddy and Tish at The International, circa 1986 (And yes, I still have the poster in my collection!)

Stamp it out ..

Rather miffed to find a company in Nottingham was offering – on Ebay – in any size you liked, starting from £3.50, a nice selection of … MY PHOTOGRAPHS! A big thank-you to the pal that alerted me to this blatant breach of copyright! Imagine! They were quite happily prepared to make money from photographs over which they had absolutely no ownership claim! God, it drives me mad! Digital has a lot to answer for! The stealing of photographers’ images must be Stamped Out! (Cue image of big chunky boots worn by P.Paul Fenech, lead singer of The Meteors, and available to BUY – from ME – from here!)

Ah, music! I had to laugh at a selection of ads in last week’s Sunday Times. Upcoming concerts from the likes of Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton, Yes, Steve Hackett and … Julio Iglesias!! OMG! Am I stuck in 1979? …

(Erm, I hope so, ‘cos I’m off to see The Buzzcocks tonight! Oops! Blush! Sorry…)