My great friend Marco in Paris emailed me today : “I did this painting today with the help of my crew ( Grim Team ) helping me out on place de la Republique! Its Paris motto : float don’t sink! “.

I was in Paris with him in January weeks after the ‘Charlie Hebdo’ bombings and in April for a show at the Musee d’Arabe. It’s a beautiful city with so much heart and soul. It will rise above this shit again. Art fights senseless violence and destruction.


Paris January 2015

Stretch & Bobbito


Went to see the Stretch & Bobbito movie in Harlem and take a photo of the legendary duo.

The Stretch and Bobbito Show started on WKCR-FM (Columbia University’s student radio) in 1990 and ran for eight years. They introduced the world to unsigned artists such as Nas, Biggie, Wu-Tang, Big Pun, Jay Z and Eminem. The late-night program had a cult following everyone from music lovers to guys in prison tuning in for the offbeat humor, interviews and the exclusive tunes.

Bobbito says that he realized while making the film : “300 million-plus records have been sold by the unsigned artists that came to our show. The first time I added it up, I was like, you’ve got to be fucking kidding me.” Those huge celebrity musicians all turned up to be on screen for this movie, showing love and respect for Stretch and Bob and the radio show changed music forever.

Their movie Stretch and Bobbito: Radio that Changed Lives is a must see for any hip hop music lover. It will make you happy.






Ledfoot aka Tim Scott Mcconnell is part Cherokee, part Irish, he grew up in the Appalachians, learned to play guitar and joined a band. We met in Reykjavik couple of weeks ago and did a photo session on a roof in the wind and rain. He plays 12 string guitar with with porcelain slide and steel finger picks,  performs self-written songs he calls ‘ Gothic Blues’. Springstein is a fan, he recorded his song ‘High Hopes’. Ledfoot is an original, the real deal.



Tracy Chapman

Tracy Chapman has a greatest hits album coming out. She is using some of my photos from the shoot I did with her in 1988 in the CD book and press. When I shot this photo of her in 1988 the record company had been searching for the right photographer to shoot press pictures. They had already done three photo shoots with some big name photographers but Tracy didn’t like the images and the record company knew she was going to be important. They needed someone who she would get along with and that turned out to be me. She arrived at my studio unaccompanied and we decided to take a stroll through the East Village – stopping at various spots to grab a couple of shots, talking about politics, music, racism in America – I was shooting Tri X film so there was no way to look at what we were getting but I think she felt at ease.We stopped for a coffee in the local diner before going back to the studio to shoot a few photos with her guitar one of which ended up on the 12″ sleeve ‘Talkin’ bout a Revolution’. Tracy grew up  poor in Cleveland, her lyrics on that first album touch on lazy, cops, race riots, wife beating and escaping poverty : “poor people gonna rise up and take what’s theirs” In spite of telling uncomfortable truths about the America she saw, her debut album beat out the likes of Def Leppard and Guns and Roses and rose to #1 in the charts that summer.




“Back then it was down to earth photographs taken in scruffy clubs or backstage changing rooms. Today everything is so ‘thought about’ image-concious, marketed and packaged. I know which I prefer. ” Sir Paul Smith Menswear Designer and British Style Icon

Three months ago the United Photo Industries crew Dave, Laura and Sam came by my studio – they asked me to curate a show for the opening night of Photoville: the best music photographs from the last 4 decades, we called it ‘Down & Dirty’. They were also drawn to the ‘MashUp’ project that I had hanging on the wall (legends from the graffiti world painting on my old school hip hop photos).

I’ve spent the last three months combing through rock n roll music images and the result is ‘Down & Dirty’ on display in a shipping container at Photoville, there is a free limited edition newspaper and of course the slide show which will be shown on Thursday during the opening night party. Plus extra bonus is a mega ‘MashUp’ created by artists Cey Adams and Queen Andrea on the side of our container (visible to the folk stuck in traffic on the BQE)


This show endeavors to highlight some of the great photographers that have documented music over the last four decades. These photographers followed bands capturing whatever they could, from intimate moments at home to fans crowd surfing at concerts, to gritty backstage scenes. The images were mostly created without the help of hair and makeup, stylists, no management in sight, just the photographer and the musician(s). Photographers, some you’ll have heard of and some not but you will know their images – such as Roberta Bayley, Godlis and Bob Gruen who captured the East Coast punk scene, Mick Rock who hung out with Bowie and Iggy and shot the glam rock scene, Chalkie Davis who shot the 2 Tone scene in the UK, David Corio and Adrian Boot who shot UK punk and reggae in Jamaica, Glen E Freidman who shot West coast punk, hip hop and skateboard culture, Danny Clinch ‘s photographs of so many genres from Tupac to Johnny Cash, Lawrence Watson’s post punk Brit pop, Jonathan Mannion, Michael Lavine’s 90’s hip hop, Michael Putland’s classic rock, Mel D Cole’s modern hip hop classics and the list goes on.

None of this would have been possible without the help of Julie Grahame (for those that don’t know Julie ran one of the world’s biggest music photo agencies), AmandaGorence fabulous photo editor and producer, and the Photoville posse who were crazy enough to ask me to do this.

And the beat goes on! Hope to see you at the opening this Thursday



Crazy Legs


Congratulations to breaking pioneer Richard “Crazy Legs” Colón of the legendary Rock Steady Crew who was honored at McDonalds B-Boy Royale today with a Lifetime Achievement Award. I took these photos of Crazy Legs in 1983 at the Roxy.


Straight Outta Compton



I shot this photo of NWA in 1990 in Torrance, The band were recording, we were out on the street outside the studio when I saw a cop car, flagged it down and asked if we could take a shot with the car. I don’t think the cop knew who the band were. After seeing the movie I am even more aware, why they may have seemed a little nervous. ‘Fuck Tha Police” seems all the more relevant today. The ‘Straight Outta Compton’ movie is great. Actors who play Eazy E and Ice Cube (Cube’s son in real life) are amazing. If you are an NWA fan go see it.


The Jam


Pete Townsend said; ‘The Jam were a very real manifestation of the kind of band I would have wanted to be in myself’.”

An exhibition ‘The Jam – About The Young Idea” just opened at Somerset House in London, the band symbolized life for Britain’s disenchanted youth during the late 70s and early 80s. I photographed them several times and documented their farewell concert in Brighton which ran in Melody Maker in 1982 (below).



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. “

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 .