“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




In Montpelier, France decided to take a walk. Met this man ( below) a Moroccan singer called King Habib, he invited me into his house for a cup of mint tea. I learn later he is believed to be the local drug dealer and pimp.













Talked to the ‘King of the Gipsies’ in the market, photographed him and his son.



















































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).



Tuff City


Last weekend I went to take a– portrait of CES the legendary graffiti and tattoo artist at his spot ‘Tuff City’ in the Bronx. The place is great, tattoo artists work on their clients in individual train cars, they have a recording studio upstairs, and next door is a yard for graffiti artists to paint. It seemed to me like the “Cheers” of graffiti – people drop by to chat, paint and hang out. On  rainy day I bumped into legends LAVA, TRIKE, BIDS, BOOTS, CHECKER170,BOT707,HEZE and KEYS shooting the breeze in the yard.



Welling Court Mural Project



The annual Welling Court Mural Project in Astoria Queens near 30th Ave and 12th Street took place in June this year. On a hot summer’s day over 100 artists came to paint. It all started in 2009 when residents approached Ad Hoc Art gallery owner Garrison Buxton to inquire about sprucing up the neighborhood.
What started with 44 murals has now grown to 130. The artists donate their time, and in some cases materials, other supplies are donated by local businesses. Buxton gets permission from property owners to turn their buildings into a canvas. Artists from all over the world come to paint the walls of industrial buildings in the neighborhood . If your passion is ‘Bob Marley’ then bring your kid and paint a mural, if you are an OG come paint a wall with old friends. This year artists such as Greg Lamarche, Lady Pink & Smith, Cey Adams, Queen Andrea, and Meres of 5 Poitnz fame all came to see old friends and paint. Meres-5Pointz




Take the 6 train


Compelled to take a photograph of these guys on the 6 train platform tonight at Union Square.

Streetbird Harlem


Take the B train to 116 street and Frederick Douglas Blvd. Marcus Samuelsson’s new spot Streetbird is (to quote reggae artist Dr Alimentado) ” The best dressed chicken in town” . The restaurant feels like home – thanks to the lovely staff, decor echoing the Harlem hip hop street vibe and a few of my photos on the walls. Food is off the hook, street flavors, rotisserie chicken, mac and cheese, corn bread and great cocktails.

Ron English on Bowery NYC


The legendary Ron English has a new piece on Bowery and Lafayette.

Know for his “culture jamming“, modifying advertising billboards like Camel cigarettes, replaced with Ron’s creations The Cancer Kids painted in the same style. His detailed, prolific oil painting skills are credited to his early background as an art reproducer.

English coined the term POPaganda to describe his mash-up of high and low cultural touchstones.

Black Panther Film Festival

Sad to hear about the passing of the brilliant director Albert Maysles (above) who I photographed at the 3rd Annual Black Panther Film festival. He directed ‘Gimme Shelter’ and ‘Grey Gardens’ amongst so many great documentaries.

A huge fan of his work, I asked if I could take a portrait of him after the screening of a documentary about the Angola 3 at the Maysles Cinema in Harlem. I took a couple of shots’ he asked to see them and declared I needed to get in closer and reshoot them. The final shot (above) got his approval. Thank you Mr Maysles.

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.”