another MashUp – CES

“Big Daddy Issues”  Another great MashUp this time by the artist CES. who began hitting trains in 1983, he was a writer for the legendary FX crew. The piece features ‘Rat Fink’ a character created by artist Ed “Big Daddy” Roth who conceived Rat Fink as an anti-hero answer to Mickey Mouse. CES has Rat Fink brilliantly shaving a tag into Big Daddy Kane’s fade.  CES explains: “I choose the photo for the fact Big Daddy Kane was my shit back in the 80′s – got to see him perform several times back then as well.”

Wild Style

Two legends meet at the Bond Street studio : Cey Adams working on a ‘Wild Style’ collage, Charlie Ahearn dropping by with my ‘Wild Style’ beanie.

Jose James Billie Holiday

Jose James’ new album is a tribute to the legendary singer  Billie Holiday We shot the cover photo in Amsterdam.

“My first clear musical memory is of Billie Holiday,” writes James in the album’s liner notes. “Billie’s voice floated through our house – grand, warm, intimate, and wholly unique…..Her work was mastery – of pain, of trauma, of faith in music and the power of transformation. I had found my teacher. Billie Holiday made me want to be a jazz singer and set me on the path that I’m walking today. “

Paris and Ford Models

Two weeks ago, driving through Paris in the Ford Models company car, suddenly the Eiffel Tower appears – its still a thrill – feel like a kid seeing it for the first time. All day shoot for Christel Vatasso the fabulous director of Ford Paris (below). I photographed a band ‘Air Bag One’, the DJ Clara Deshayes, actor Isham Conrath,  some of the models and the staff. Finished late champagne at the office, editing the photos, Paris is beautiful, we had a great time

Steve Strange

RIP Steve Strange – Steve was a fixture on the streets of Covent Garden in the punk /New Romantic years – I first met him at  the store ‘PX’ which was the premier New Romantic boutique, Steve worked there for 2 or 3 years, he helped me buy a pair of black leather trousers which I wore when I went to shoot the Clash in Milan.  He started the New Romantic movement with Rusty Egan at the Blitz Club – new styles, new dance, new music. A visionary  of his time.

New Kids New Edition

Diggin’ in those crates again with Sean Corcoran from Museum of City of New York, preparing for the ‘HipHop Revolution’ exhibition.  I came across these old polaroids amongst the HipHop photos.

New Kids on the Block are touring again – I took this photo of them for 17 Magazine in the mid eighties when they were the pin up idols of their teen generation. Discovered by Maurice Starr they sold over 80 million records worldwide. Donny Wahlberg ( the older brother of Mark Wahlberg) became an actor/ producer currently in the TV series ‘Blue Blood’. Check the message on the photo ” Betcha didn’t know that we rap”

And talking about the NEW- I shot this photo of New Edition in Boston for the cover for the single ‘Candy Girl’ in 1983. Maurice Starr had discovered them too, he loved the ‘Michael Jackson’ like high voice of Ralph Tresvant. British journalist PaoloHewitt interviewed them during the shoot and said “Some people say you sound like Michael Jackson..”  The band replied ” That’s OK cos we know we aint” . The young Bobby Brown was a lead singer in the group.

Le Salon Paris Le MashUp

In Paris for an exhibition of ‘Le Mashup’ at Le Salon d’Atelier, a lovely gallery owned by Louise Gabet-Winter. Great crowd, most arrived on motor bikes, people stand outside the packed gallery smoking and drinking beer, we sold a bunch of art. Thanks to DJ Richie Reach for the hip hop tunes. Great review from the Paris daily newspaper Liberation .

Neneh Cherry

Last night Neneh Cherry played an amazing concert at the Highline in NYC – it was stronger, wilder, more soul than ever. I had not seen her perform since 1981 in Scotland when I photographed her post punk band Rip Rig and Panic (below) for Melody Maker.

Gay Talese

I photographed the writer Gay Talese (above) for the cover of Jocks & Nerds this summer. He is a true gentleman, a legendary writer of many books and magazine stories,  and a super stylish dresser. In 1966 he wrote a classic story for Esquire called ‘Frank Sinatra Has A Cold‘  a brilliant piece of writing which became one of the most celebrated magazine articles ever published. I sent Gay a couple of prints from our session and he sent me the typewritten thank you note below. Thank you! Mr Talese.

Bill Cosby

I first fell for Bill Cosby when the 1965 TV series I Spy was screened on British TV. Robert Culp and Bill Cosby played a couple of cool secret agents masquerading as tennis pros and was shot in ‘James Bond’ type exotic locations. ‘I Spy’ was the first American television drama to feature a black actor in a lead role and was banned by certain television stations in the South.

Years later I was commissioned to shoot Bill Cosby for a poster for his Nickelodeon show Little Bill. I was very excited to meet him. It was a studio shoot and after waiting for 4 hours he finally stepped on to my set, Dr Cosby, as we were instructed to call him. was not cooperative. I managed to shoot one roll -12 shots- and he was done.

It is a shame to see your ‘heroes’ fall.