Tuesday, 24 April 2007

'ebaygum'...and a teardrop slowly trickles down

I’ve had a weekend of…..Bubble wrap, parcel tape, tippex, marker pen, scotch tape, brown paper, Handle With Care tape, Customs Declarations and Air Mail stickers – yes, I’ve been ebaying. This was a weekend of ebaying with a certain finality. After 28 years I sold ALL my photographic equipment. Back in 1979, fFor want of something else to pursue, and as Phil Collins said to me, "well, it keeps you off the streets", I started photographing music concerts. I finished 4 years later when I discovered something I DID want to pursue, I started writing.

I had the most beautiful camera (I think) ever made. A Nikon F2A, black body with a bevy of precision Nikon AI lenses – holding the camera you could be seduced by the weight, the balance and the smooth, precise action of the shutter. The F2A was pure scientific artistry!

I’ve started to recall some of the most memorable concerts I snapped……
CHRIS REA – my first at The Venue, Victoria (Branson’s short-lived venture into music venues). He leapt off stage and started jumping onto tables playing a mean guitar.
CHARLIE DORE – again at the Venue, very hot. And the lovely Charlie was blistering.

JUDIE TZUKE – Dominion Tottenham Court Road. I arrived and got my camera ready, except…that I could not get the cover off the camera body. Nothing would budge the cover - I had jammed it on at the previous gig. .I just stood in the pit and watched a great show…feeling a complete twat. Next week, I went out and bought a second camera body.
THIRD WORLD – Hammersmith Odeon, a thunderous performance and a sweeeet lingering atmosphere.
THE TOURISTS (later The Eurythmics) – Hammersmith Odeon. The best singers/musicians ‘give’ photographers great shots. Annie Lennox KEPT giving me terrific shots. I was the ONLY photographer that night – remember this was 1980 and they were not big then – and as I walked out the Stage Door, Annie came up to me and asked if I wanted to join them upstairs. Naively, I replied that I had to get the rolls to Melody Maker asap. What kind of fool was I? I TURNED DOWN ANNIE LENNOX!!!
AL STEWART – Hammersmith Odeon. Not the greatest Stewart fan but a man’s gotta earn a crust. I was snapping away when I realised that the bassist was throwing me glances. 2 or 3 more snaps and I realised that it was an old schoolfriend, Robin Lamble, brother of Fairport drummer, Martin.
JOHN SEBASTIAN – Dominion. Leader of the much-lamented Lovin’ Spoonful played a solo gig of wit and great songs. Wonderful!
SQUEEZE – Rainbow, Finsbury Park. Rock’n’roll at its best.
JOHN MARTYN - Apollo, Victoria. Crap venue…..in the pantheon of unique Brit singer-songwriter-performers. A guitarist of exquisite beauty and peerless invention. Phil Collins was on drums and invited me for a beer.
MARIANNE FAITHFULL – Dominion. In front of an adoring audience a rare and mesmerising performance. She 'gave' me some wonderful shots.
RICHARD AND LINDA THOMPSON – Dominion. The acrimonious last few months of their musical partnership. Thompson is Britain’s finest axeman – and that includes you too, EC.
FAIRPORT CONVENTION - Half Moon, Putney. I was the only photographer at the release of Patrick Humphries' biog of FC. After the obligatory glad-handing and self-congratulation, Fairport played for the invited audience - the ONLY performance with Linda Thompson as lead singer. A boozy lunchtime time was had by all.

Not many of my crummy hand-printed photos left but here are 3………

....perhaps I could ebay these now. Who'll start me at a tenner....okay then, I'll take a fiver....look, final offer - 3 quid and I'll sign the lot!


Jane E said...

Do you know, I think I saw The Tourists at Hammersmith about then (with Fig) ....

Minx said...

This post only had the title up when I popped in yesterday. I thought you were having a minor breakdown. Glad you're not.

Sometimes we have to leave stuff behind in order to move forward onto a new path. Keep your photos, so much else can be lost or mis-remembered. Photos don't lie - much!