Mark Knopfler - Happy 69th birthday..

All I seem to do is post on peoples birthday's. Or at least it feels that way. I must do more than a birthday blogs! Anyway, it is of course the truly amazing Mark Knopfler's 69th birthday today. I have known him, not well i hasten to add for a long time. I first met Mark and the whole band, Dire Straits in early 1978. I was shooting lots for Phonogram records, and their Vertigo label around that time. Dire Straits were signed to Vertigo. I was asked to go and shoot them at their little residency at the Marquee in Wardour Street, London. I think I was asked by Bob Nolan at the record label. If you read this Bob, was it you that sent me to shoot them? Anyway, Dire Straits were bloody brilliant.. I worked quite a bit with them that year. Funnily enough, later that year is when I was in USA on tour with Bob Dylan, that Bob asked me to put him in touch with Mark, which I did. The rest is as the say, history. Mark met up with Bob and they worked together on Bob's next album 'Slow Train Coming'. I have photographed Mark quite a bit over the years and its always been an absolute pleasure. I was working with another fabulous band recently called The Staks Band who hired Mark's superb recording studio in West London. Mark was in the studio complex some of the time, so I showed Mark the photo that I have posted here from The Marquee 1978.  Mark has asked for a copy for himself. Which was nice, as I guess he liked it. I have now added this photo to the Fine Art print sales on my website. Anyway, Happy birthday Mark.

Here are a few photos of Mark Knopfler. The first is a very early Dire Straits shot at the Marquee, Wardour Street, London in early 1978. The next is with the great Joe Brown! Yes, Joe 'Bloody Brown. That was taken at the Lonnie Donegan benefit concert in 2004. The last photo was taken at one of Mark's own gigs at the Royal Albert Hall in 2005.

#MarkKnopfler #DireStraits #Fender #Guitarist #Musician #SlowTrainComing #BobDylan #BrewersDroop #Music #Musicphotographer #TourPhotographer #JoeBrown #LonnieDonegan #LiveMusic #Marquee #TheMarquee #Vertigo #Phonogram #Nikon @markkopfler

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Country life!

During the morning I was sitting at my desk and working on a few things when I realised that there was a kind of dust cloud out the back. I look up and realised that there was something going on behind what appeared to be dust.  I decided to grab my camera snd head outside. I immediately heard the growling of vehicles & machinery. The farmers behind our house had decided to do some work in the field. It was quite amazing to me. Only because I am a city boy really. Born in the East End of London and lived in cities most of my life. Anyway, the dust that was coming off the field was immense and once it filters into our house, it will cause a big problem with all printers, cameras etc. So, doors and windows shut.. Here are a few shots of the scene before I saw the combined harvester and some of the Red Kites flying through the orange dust cloud along with one with blue sky after the dust subsided.. The joys of country life..  #Countrylife #Harvesting #Farmers #RedKite #Nikon @UKNikon #Countryside #Farm

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Tony Bennett is only 92 today!

All I can say, I am glad I had the pleasure of photographing him. I know quite a few of us music photographers have. But, I also have such happy memories of listening to his voice & music as a little child. My parents would often be playing his albums. In fact, I can remember on a hot summers day, sometime in the 60's, when my mum and dad sat us all down for a Sunday lunch and Tony Bennet was on the record player. Amazing voice and for me great memories. Happy 92nd to you Mr Bennett. Oh, by the way,I took this photo on 13th April 2005 at the Royal Albert Hall, London, England.

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Richard Wright - Pink Floyd

Today, 28th July, was the 75th birthday of the Late Richard Wright. Brilliant, unassuming and often the underrated member of Pink Floyd. In my opinion, he was a sublime keyboard player, writer and arranger. I first met and worked with Richard and Pink Floyd just prior to their stunning show at Knebworth, UK in 1975. Pink Floyd were and are still one of my all time favourite bands.  Richard's input and style, in my opinion, played a very big part in the band. He was coincidentally born in Hatch End, near Pinner, on the outskirts of London, the same town as my wife Lyn. I worked many times with Pink Floyd through the years and was thrilled when I was there in 2005 at Live 8, when they reformed for that concert. That was a big moment for me as a fan. I was photographing the whole of Live 8 from the photo pit and that was one hell of a show. The last time I actually spoke to Richard was in May 2007, backstage at The Barbican in London. This was at the tribute concert for former band member Sid Barrett, who, like Richard, was a founder of Pink Floyd. I remember being backstage and rather surprised when suddenly I was standing with all four members of Pink Floyd. They were all chatting and seemed to be getting along just fine. That was, David Gilmour, Richard Wright, Nick Mason and yes, Roger Waters. So, Happy birthday Richard and wherever you are and whatever you are doing I hope you too can now 'Shine On'

#RichardWright #PinkFloyd #Keyboard #Floyd #DarkSideoftheMoon #AbbeyRoad #Musicphotographer #England @UKNikon @PinkFloyd #LiveMusic #Tourphotographer #RogerWaters #DavidGilmour #NickMason

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Happy 75th Birthday Sir Mick Jagger

A big Happy Birthday to one, if not the fastest moving & brilliant performers I have photographed. On a good day, Iggy Pop comes 2nd. Sir Mick is also an astounding songwriter. I remember turning up at Earls Court Arena in London in May 1976 and standing in front of the stage waiting for the show to start. I still to this day don't know why I did this. But, I took my usual camera equipment; two Nikon F2s bodies, lenses etc.. But, I also took along my Hasselblad. Now anyone who knows a bit about photography will know that the Hasselblad 500cm wasn't really designed for that kind of shoot. Anyway this daft photographer took it anyway. When one looks into a Hasselblad, the subject that is actually moving in ways that you could find hard to follow. Especially when it was Mick Jagger.. He was so fast and all over the stage.. That was my first time shooting the Rollings Stones live. I have worked with them quite a few times since and each time I have been very aware Mick Jaggers on stage sprinting and dancing. Anyway, it's not about me and my daft selection of cameras back in 1976. It's about the god like genius that is, Sir Michael Philip Jagger. So, happy birthday.

Here are a couple of pictures of the birthday boy. taken 27 years apart. The black & white photo I took at the gig at Earles Court in London in 1976. The colour shot I took on the 40 licks tour in either, Denver, Colorado or Phoenix, Arizona (I cant quite remember where), in January or February 2003. By the way, in my opinion, he looks God-Like in the colour shot don't you think? 

@MickJagger #MickJagger #SirMick #RollingStones #40Licks #EarlsCourt #London #1976 #RockNRoll #LiveMusic #MusicPhotography @UKNikon @TheRollingStones 

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Amy Winehouse - Sad, Sad day!

Seven years ago today, on the 23rd July 2011, I was sitting in a meeting in Maidenhead, Berkshire with my friend Mike, when my mobile phone rang. It was my friend Jon on the phone. He just said to me "Amy is dead". I was stunned.. I found it hard to take in. Although a part of me wasn't surprised. What a loss! What a tragedy!  In hindsight, this was a long time coming. At the time, when I heard this awful news, I remember being angry as well. I knew that there were certain people who had been leading Amy down the wrong path. Anyway, enough of that for now. She was such a talented, lovely person and missed so much by so many people.  I worked quite a lot with Amy (studio & Live) between 2004 and 2011. Here is one shot of her at Nelson Mandela's 90th birthday concert at Hyde Park, London in 2008. The legendary singer, Paul Rodgers is bottom right on this photo. I seem to remember that the next day I was down at Glastonbury with Amy again.  She was performing on Pyramid Stage on the Sunday.. 

#AmyWinehouse #Amy #NelsonMandela #LiveMusic #HydePark #London #Gig #Mandela #Birthday #Singer #Songwriter #Performer #NikonPro #BacktoBlack #Frank #PaulRodgers #Free @amywinehouse

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It's another birthday - Happy birthday Brian Harold May.

The first time I met Brian was at Queen's Hyde Park concert in London 18th September 1976. In fact, that is when i met Brian, Freddie and the whole band. . Today is Brian's Birthday and I would like to wish him a wonderful and Happy Birthday. Here are a few photos of Brian, the oldest is from that first day when I met him in 1976 and a couple more recent shots.. Brian is a charming and lovely chap. Let us not forget, he is also a amazing guitarist, musician and songwriter.

#BrianMay #Queen #Guitar #Musician #LiveMusic #1976 #Portrait #FreddieMercury #Songwriter #NikonPro #brianmayforreal @brianmaycom

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Nelson Mandela at 100

In June 2005 I flew up to Tromso, 200 miles north of the Arctic Circle, at the top of Norway.  I, along with fabulous photographer & wonderful chap, Dave Hogan were the official photographers for this event, which was in aid of Nelson Mandela's 46664 charity. Many fabulous artists flew up there to take part. Some of those were Brian May & Roger Taylor (Queen) , Robert Plant & Strange Sensation, Annie Lennox, Peter Gabriel, Razorlight, Sharon Corr, Johnny Clegg, Zucchero & many others. It was a truly magical event. The sun was up 24 hours a day. No darkness at all, which was strange to say the least. I remember doing a portrait shoot with Annie Lennox as she came off stage at around midnight. It was so bright that she wouldn't take her sunglasses off.  When former president Nelson Mandela arrived up there, Dave and I were allowed to take some nice photos of Nelson Mandela.  This was a privilege to say the least.  As yesterday was what would have been his 100 birthday, here is one of my portrait shots of him on that morning back in June 2005. 

#NelsonMandela #Tromso #46664 #BrianMay #RogerTaylor #RobertPlant #Portrait #Photography #Norway #SouthAfrica #Charity #Concert #LiveMusic #Arctic #Mandela #NikonPro

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Staks & Squeeze @ Cornbury Music Festival

On Sunday (15th of July), I was back at Cornbury Music Festival. The last time I was there was quite some time ago and I was with Amy Winehouse, Elvis Costello etc.. I am guessing that was around 2004. This time I was there with The formidable Staks Band. It was a boiling hot day, which to be honest, I love.. I am not one who complains when it's too hot. I am only unhappy when it's too cold. Anyway, Staks were hot! They are such a brilliant band with stunning musicians & singers.. Quite a rarity these days! Staks performed late afternoon as it was cooling off a little. Special guest with them was the brilliant Eli 'Paperboy' Reed. Along with amazing vocalist's Shean Williams & Roachie. They were superb! It was lovely to see fellow music photographer Harry Herd today as well. He is such a nice chap..

The headline act on Sunday were old friends of mine.. The incredible SQUEEZE.. Quintessentially British and without doubt, one of the worlds greatest bands, real Rock n Roll Royalty. I photographed their superb show and after that we returned to the backstage / dressing room area where we grabbed all of our belongings and headed home.. 

Here are a few shots from the day of The mighty Staks & the legends that are, Squeeze..

#Staks #Squeeze #Livemusic #ChrisDifford #GlennTilbrook #NikonPro #Music #Musicphotographer #EliPaperBoyReed #Roachie, @Squeezofficial

 L-R Tony Remy, Eli 'PaperBoy' Reed, Malcolm Fitzsimons & Roachie

L-R Tony Remy, Eli 'PaperBoy' Reed, Malcolm Fitzsimons & Roachie

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 Eli 'Paper Boy' Reed.

Eli 'Paper Boy' Reed.

 Roachie

Roachie

 Shean Williams..

Shean Williams..

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 Staks Band

Staks Band

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 The Multi talented genius's & God's of songwriting,, Glenn Tilbrook & Chis Difford.

The Multi talented genius's & God's of songwriting,, Glenn Tilbrook & Chis Difford.

 Glenn Tilbrook

Glenn Tilbrook

 Chris Difford

Chris Difford

 Simon Hanson

Simon Hanson

 Yolanda Charles

Yolanda Charles

 Stephen Large

Stephen Large

 Yolanda Charles

Yolanda Charles

A Little Radio Interview

I did a little radio interview last week with Victoria Pearson. We had a brief chat about a few of my photos & a little bit about my life taking pics.. If you fancy a listen, its here :-https://www.mixcloud.com/KyleRickards/victoria-meets-03/

#PinkFloyd #AmyWinehouse #Photography #RollingStones #LiamGallagher #Oasis #BobDylan #Queen #MusicPhotography #Music #TheWho 
 
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Happy Birthday - Billy Cross

I first met the brilliant Billy Cross when I joined the Bob Dylan tour in September 1978. He was one of the members of Bob's band. Billy is an incredible guitarist / musician. I have got some lovely shots of him on that tour back in 1978. But, here is a shot that shows his love for flowers and his spontaneity when it comes to entertaining back stage. I also love the 'Photo Bombing' by the tea drinking, catering lady at that venue..  Big happy birthday Billy.

 

#BillyCross #BobDylan #StreetLegal #Guitar #Tourphotographer #UStour #Dylan #recordingartist #Recordproducer #Songwriter #JackScardinoandAssociates

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Bob Dylan Pavillon de Paris 40 years ago!

 

I must admit I find it kind of hard to fathom that last week on 5th July, it was actually 40 years ago that I went to Paris, France & officially photographed Bob Dylan for the first time. Okay, let me just clarify that. I had photographed him just prior to this in London, but, that was rather un-official, to say the least. But, it was the un-official pictures that I took in London that enabled me to be 'Official' this time.. As far as I knew right then it was only going to be a 'one off' for me.. However, it's a much longer story and a fact that shortly after this Paris gig, I end up in Los Angeles & became Bob Dylan's official photographer.  This was Bob's 'Street Legal' Tour. Here is one of the photographs that I took in Paris 40 years ago July 5th 1978..  In fact on the front page of my website, www.dannyclifford.com is a photo of me, with hair, taken on Bob's Street Legal tour, on board Bob's Boeing jet & it was taken by, none other than, drum roll please......Bob Dylan.. 

#BobDylan #StreetLegal #Musicphotography #Paris #Fender #Poet #Livemusic #Legend #Dylan

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The STAKS Band

The STAKS Band anyone? Well, there is a very good chance that they are the best band that you have never heard of..  Back around 1970 Joe Cocker pulled an incredible band together and went on to record one of my all time favourite albums, Mad Dogs & Englishmen. if you haven't heard that album, treat yourself and go and buy it.. I was warned about this prior to working with The STAKS band, that they are fast becoming the incarnation of Joe Cocker's band. Every single musician involved is absolutely 'Top Draw'. Admittedly, they are pretty much all stars in their own right and extremely well accomplished, brilliant musicians and singers. Almost all of them have contributed their outstanding musicianship to so many songs that we all know and love. There are quite a few people in The STAKS Band.  I was working with then this week, I counted about 18 people. This seems to change each time we meet due to various commitments and the band's requirements. They have had some incredible people who have joined them for live shows and recordings. Amongst them are, Steve Winwood, Jack Bruce, Beverly Knight, Madeline Bell, Paul Carrack, Steve Overland, Roachie, Sonja Jones and others. We have been in a recording studio for a few days whilst they are putting a few finishing touches to their first album. I am also off with them this weekend as they are performing at one of Britains most wonderful events, The Cornbury Music Festival. I have photographed them live a few times now and they are incredible.. if you get the chance to see them anywhere they are playing, do yourself a favour and make the effort. If you enjoy live music and real music, it doesn't get better than STAKS.... 

#Staks #StaksBand

Here are just a few photos of the band during recording sessions..

 The incredible Madeline Bell. She has sung on so many big hits and has an incredible voice. In fact she sung backing vocals on the best Beatles cover song. Joe Cockers, 'With A Little Help From My Friends' She is an absolute legend.. #MadelineBell

The incredible Madeline Bell. She has sung on so many big hits and has an incredible voice. In fact she sung backing vocals on the best Beatles cover song. Joe Cockers, 'With A Little Help From My Friends' She is an absolute legend.. #MadelineBell

 Astounding genius record producer and good friend (L) Andy Wright. To the right the brilliant vocalist Steve Overland of FM.. #Andywright #SteveOverland #FM

Astounding genius record producer and good friend (L) Andy Wright. To the right the brilliant vocalist Steve Overland of FM.. #Andywright #SteveOverland #FM

 #AndyWright (L) #KevinRobinson (R) #SimplyRed

#AndyWright (L) #KevinRobinson (R) #SimplyRed

 The one and only #Roachie

The one and only #Roachie

 Bassist, Stefan Redtenbacher. #StefanRedtenbacher #Staks

Bassist, Stefan Redtenbacher. #StefanRedtenbacher #Staks

 Mike Sturgis #MikeSturgis #Staks

Mike Sturgis #MikeSturgis #Staks

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 The control room.. 

The control room.. 

 Malcolm Fitzsimons #MalcolmFitzsimons

Malcolm Fitzsimons #MalcolmFitzsimons

 The amazing Sonja Jones #SonjaJones #LifeofBrian

The amazing Sonja Jones #SonjaJones #LifeofBrian

 Recording engineer, Gavin Goldberg (L) Andy Right Standing (middle) Kevin Robison, Standing centre the amazing guitarist, Tony Remy #Staks

Recording engineer, Gavin Goldberg (L) Andy Right Standing (middle) Kevin Robison, Standing centre the amazing guitarist, Tony Remy #Staks

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 The amazing Tony Remy #TonyRemy

The amazing Tony Remy #TonyRemy

I was Dylan's double!

About 10 years ago, or maybe longer, Mojo wrote this article about me being on tour with Bob Dylan. At times on that tour, I was used as a decoy and therefore,I was kind of his double.. We didn't look similar at all, but, we did have similar hair styles.. Mine has changed (fallen out) since then. I think he still has his though. Anyway, here is a copy of the article in MOJO Magazine..

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Abbey Road Studios

I spent a lovey day taking photos at Abbey Road Studios, London. We were working in Studio 2 which has so much history. What with me being such a big Beatles fan and all that.. I took my youngest son with me to assist as well. I think he liked it! During the course of the day I did bump into quite a few old friends and acquaintances and clients. Also, whilst we were leaving the canteen and heading back to the Studio 2 control room, we bumped into Nile Rogers. We had a brief chat about our first meeting, which was in February 1980 at a private party in Studio 54, in NYC. That was one hell of a night. Anyway, it was only a quick chat with him, which was nice... #AbbeyRoadStudio #TheBeatles #PinkFloyd #AmyWinehouse #PaulMcCartney

 

 Studio 2 Control Room

Studio 2 Control Room

 My youngest, Sam having a 5 min break on the front steps of the studio..

My youngest, Sam having a 5 min break on the front steps of the studio..

The Amazing, Julie Felix's, 80th Birthday concert - London

It's hard to believe that my friend Julie has hit the big 80. I first met Julie at Hyde Park around 1974 ish. I actually cant quite remember the year as it may have been 1975. There was a free concert in Hyde Park and she was performing there. Also performing was the brilliant John Paul Jones (Led Zeppelin), plus many others. I also remember when I was a kid watching her TV show here in London on Saturday nights. It was quite a big deal. Especially when you think that she was the person who actually brought Leonard cohen over from Canada for her show and I do believe that that was his TV debut here in the UK. Anyway, Julie decided to perform and celebrate her big birthday by having a show in London. It sold out in no time at all. She had quite a few of her friends come along and perform on the night. It was such a wonderful show & my friend who compared the evening Martin Clarkson was also brilliant (as always).  At 80, Julie is still incredible. Why shouldn't she be? Here are a few shots of her and friends, The incredible Madeline Bell, John Paul Jones,  John Cameron & other wonderful performers. #JulieFelix #JohnPaulJones #MadelineBell #JohnCameron #HydePark #FolkMusic #Folk #LedZeppelin #BlueMink #Livemusic

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 The brilliant John Paul Jones #JohnPaulJones #LedZeppeln

The brilliant John Paul Jones #JohnPaulJones #LedZeppeln

 Madeline Bell.. What a stunning singer and lovely lady. 

Madeline Bell.. What a stunning singer and lovely lady. 

 Now here is another musical genius, John Cameron.. #JohnCameron

Now here is another musical genius, John Cameron.. #JohnCameron

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 Julie performing on stage at Hyde Park, London in the mid 1970's.. I clearly remember taking this photo.. 

Julie performing on stage at Hyde Park, London in the mid 1970's.. I clearly remember taking this photo.. 

Albert Lee

Today I headed into Hampstead, North London and met up with the legendary guitarist, Albert Lee. When I arrived Albert made me a lovely cup of tea. We had quite a long discussion about living in the US and discussed why we take tea out to the US on each trip... Albert has lived in the USA for 45 years and lives in LA. Its quite amazing the people Albert has worked with over the years.. The Everly Brothers, EmmyLou Harris, Eric Clapton and many, many others. This is a testament to his immense talent. Albert also told me a great story about how he bought a beautiful piano in London and had it shipped back to sunny California. Then, on another visit to London he brought with him the serial number for this Piano and went to the manufacturers and managed to trace it's previous ownership and therefore, its history. It had once belonged to Harold Craxton. It was in the Late Harold Craxton's amazing house where we did our photoshoot today. #AlbertLee #Guitar #Musician

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Peter Meaden RIP

Last night, Chris Chappel, Peter Meaden and I left our office (next door to The Ship) in Wardour Street and went and had dinner a few doors away in The Strada restaurant. Peter was in a very strange and distant mood. Chris and I were a bit worried about his comments and demeanor. He was often like this though. so, it wasn't something new. We left the restaurant at about 9:30 and we all headed off in our respective different directions. Chris was the only one who was driving that day. He had his little white BMW 2002, manual of course, parked in the car park next to the Ship Pub. I went back into the office as I had a bit of work to catch up on. Chris got his car and Peter headed home to his parents house by the underground. When I got into the office this morning i was shocked to find out that Peter had gone home to his parents house in Southgate and overdosed on some kind of downers and died. We were all utterly stunned. Pete had worked with The Who as I think their first manager and also publicist. This was awful news and very sad. A great loss. #PeterMeaden #TheWho

The Who - Kilburn State London

The plan today was to go to Kilburn and shoot the live show that The Who were doing today for the film by Jeff Stein "The Kids Are Alright" Chris Chappel met me there and then we went inside. This was to be the first time the band had played together in about a year. I found the performance very exciting. Lots of retakes etc. Jeff Stein is a nice man and seemed in control. I did a shoot with Pete Townshend after the performance with Pete and Mesa Boogie amps. I don't think Pete uses them yet though. According to Alan Rogan, Pete's guitar roadie, he said Pete wont use them. After the show and when the filming was finished, I headed back to the office in Wardour Street, in Soho, London. #TheWho #Kilburn #RogerDaltrey #PeteTownshend #KeithMoon