Jerry Lee Lewis - The Killer

I think it was 2006 that I was doing a little bit of work with the legend, Jerry Lee Lewis. We arrived in London and I think the show was Shepherds Bush Empire. I had arranged with Jerry & his daughter Phoebe, that in London, we would do a photo shoot in his dressing room. So we arrived at the venue around 2:30pm. I was told we would do if after the sound check. So, I casually waited around within range of his dressing room. Just in case it happened earlier. The soundcheck was supposed to be at about 4pm. I sat there, I then got up and paced up and down the corridor. I was rather hoping to get the nod from Pheobe, for me to come into his dressing room. Anyway, the time for soundcheck came and went. Jerry didn’t leave his dressing room. The hours passed and there was no sign of me doing the ‘promised’ photo shoot. I was still loitering around near his dressing room and it was now nearly show time at 8:30. I had not moved from my position outside his dressing room. Then suddenly, the door opened and out came Jerry. He looked at me and calmly said “Lets get this done, shoot” So, I did. I had been waiting for 6 hours and had 5 seconds to get that shot. Jerry then stumbled past me and headed for the elevator to take him down to the level with the stage on it. I then went down in the elevator with him and Pheobe. When we arrived at the back of the stage, Chas Hodges of Chas n Dave fame, whispered in my ear “Did you get the shot then”. Chas n Dave were supporting Jerry on this tour. Chas & Dave had been rather amused by my loitering and patience all day.

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Jerry Lee Lewis is without doubt, one of the legends of that ‘Rock n Roll’ era. He is also known as ‘The Killer’, I never really knew why. One thing I do know is that about 8 months before Elvis died, Jerry Lee turned up drunk in his car at Graceland. He crashed into the main gates then whilst trying to throw a bottle of Champagne out of the window of his car, it smashed the window of the car as he forgot to wind it down. The security called the police and they found one very drunk Jerry Lee Lewis with is car embedded in the gates at Graceland, a smashed window and a loaded gun on him. So, was he going to shoot Elvis or just drunk and happened to have a gun? Who knows. So, back to London and there was I bravely facing this dangerous man in the corridor and I shot him (well with a Nikon). All in a days work eh!

Amy Winehouse RIP

Everyone who knew Amy, or loved Amy, seems to have posted a little bit about her on social media. She left us 8 years ago. There is so much I could say about my time with her, but won’t right now. I am sure I have written lots about her in the past. So, instead, here are a few photos that I took of her. She was a lovely talented girl and its very, very sad that she is not with us.

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Bob Dylan & Neil Young London

It’s not too often that you get the chance to shoot these to Legends, on one night, in the same place. However, last night in London it happened. It was in the wonderful Hyde Park. It was billed as a co-headline, but Neil went on first and he allowed us to shoot two songs from the pit, which was nice of hm. As usual, he was quite phenomenal. He also had an amazing band with him including Willie Nelson’s son, Lukas Nelson. I didn’t manage to get shots if Lukas.We were allowed in the pit, but only on one side, so, he was not visible to me.

Big Bob, big bad Bob… They look like they should all have revolvers on and just about to rush into a saloon, somwhere in New Mexico or Dodge City in the 1860’s for a shoot out…

Big Bob, big bad Bob… They look like they should all have revolvers on and just about to rush into a saloon, somwhere in New Mexico or Dodge City in the 1860’s for a shoot out…

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After Neil’s storming set, on came Bob. This was a different feel to Neil’s energetic set. Bob allowed our photographers to shoot not from the pit, but he kindly allowed us two songs from the mixing desk about 3 miles north of the stage. He was also playing hide and seek from me, by hiding for most of the two songs behind his piano and a lovely microphone and stand. It was challenge to say the least. When all of the photographers including me were being led out from behind the stage in the media tent, we were split into two groups. When we got out to the mixing desk, one group were taken left and the other right. All of my photographer colleagues who were taken left seemed to have clear shot of Bob straight down the piano. However, us on the right had a side on view and he was mostly hidden. So, it’s a bit of the luck of the draw. I tried shouting ‘Bob. It’s me! Danny! over here’ I don’t think he could hear me though the crowd. It’s times like this that I realise how lucky I have been in the past with access. I sometimes have to stop and think, was that really me at 20 years old and being on tour with him as his official photographer and having such an amazing time and great access. Still, here we are, and we have all moved on a bit since then, I suppose. I at least have great memories and of course, lots of photos! Also, a highlight for me was to see my lovely friend a fellow phoographe, and a brilliant one by the way, Dave Hogan. It’s always so nice to catch up and spend time with him.

Smiling Bob!. I do have some lovley happy shots of him from back in the day and must dig them out.

Smiling Bob!. I do have some lovley happy shots of him from back in the day and must dig them out.

It really is quite a nice experience for me to photograph Bob at any point in his career (even if he is hiding), oh and Neil of course, as the really are both. living legends. #BobDylan #NeilYoung #Legends #HydePark

One of My Favourite Celebrity Families 'The McCartney's

Sir Paul McCartney has played an important part in my life. I am guessing I am not alone there! Being one of The Beatles was quite a big deal. Saying that, it might be hard or even impossible for some younger people today to realise how big the Beatles actually were. There music is played on most radio stations around the world every day and that started more than 55 years ago, which is truly astonishing. When I was younger one of my friends became rather close with Linda McCartney’s oldest daughter. We therefore spent a lot of time with the McCartney’s in their St Johns Wood, North London, home. That was quite a long time ago. Anyway, I love seeing them and was thrilled to take this picture of them about 8 years ago. What a lovely, warm & talented family they are. Left to right, Mary, James, Sir Paul & Stella McCartney

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Here is a blast from the past - Iron Maiden

Here is a lovely old shot from 2005 with my pals backstage after an amazing gig in the UK at the Reading Festival with Iron Maiden band, friends and family. When I get some time I will dig out some more Iron Maiden shots from the US tour as well. #HappyDays #Goodtimesroll #IronMaiden #DanceofDeath I think!

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Cornbury 2019

I was hoping that this year, at the Cornbury Music Festival, it wasn’t going to be too hot. So, luckily, it was just right. Nice and bright but temperature- wise, it was perfect. Added to the fact that so many performers on the main stage were our friends. We arrived quite early and got sorted backstage. We spoke to Joyce & Sam Moore who were being driven up from London. Whilst backstage, other artists were arriving. Alfie Boe, The Beachboys, Paul Carrack, Chris difford and others. It was a bit of a love in as we all seemed to know each other rather well, which was nice. There is quite a lot for me to say about this day, but, due to the fact that I am in a bit of a rush right now, I will make it brief - ish. Highlights for me? Well, the whole day! The Staks Band are on another level. They kicked off on the main stage with the brilliant Robert Hart, who is normally with Manfred Mann, standing in for Steve Overland, who would have normally been with us, but, he was perfoming with Slash in Spain. Then, another amazing singer, Vanessa Haynes, from the band Icognito joined Staks. Robert and Vanessa then did a few songs together which was brilliant. Next on and standing backstage was someone I am proud to call my friend, Grammy award winning, Soul Legend, Sam Moore. The band started up with one of Sam’s hits from when he was with ‘Sam & Dave’, Hold On. Then, followed by ‘Soul Man’. Sam ended The Staks set and his guest appearance with a stunning version of ‘Imagine’. Now, I have to say, it was the best version of Imagine I have ever heard, really, yes, the BEST. Something that none of us knew was about to happen at the start of Imagine was, Sam called out over the crowd ‘Sarah’, who is my daughter, ‘where’s Freddie?’ [my grandson that is]. They waved from the front of stage in the family encolsure. He then dedictaed imagine to Freddie, who’s 8th birthday was the next day. I was gobsmacked! None of us had any idea that was going to happen. We had been having dinner the night before in London with Sam & Joyce and I guess that Freddie’s birthday had been mentioned at some point. But, no way we knew that Sam would dedicate a song to Freddie.

The legend, Sam Moore

The legend, Sam Moore

After the set, The Staks Band, Sam & his and my family all headed back to our backstage camp. There we started to meet up with The Beachboys, Mike Love, Bruce Johnstone and the briliant & very funny, Beachboy drummer, John Cowsill. Paul Carrack arrived with his wife and kids. It was so funny as my kids, who were all there, grew up with Paul’s kids as well. We were all quite close. Then the wonderful Chris Difford arrived and that seemed to complete the ‘Love In’. We stayed on to watch Paul’s set and then we all watched The Beachboys. That was hit. after hit after hit………. amazing.

What a day. Thank you Staks, Robert Hart, Vanessa Haynes and of course, the legend, Sam Moore,

The Legendary Soul Man himself, Sam Moore

The Legendary Soul Man himself, Sam Moore

Vanessa Haynes

Vanessa Haynes

The wonderful Staks Band backing vocalists

The wonderful Staks Band backing vocalists

Mike Sturgis

Mike Sturgis

Stefan Redtenbacher

Stefan Redtenbacher

The one and only (Brilliant) Robert Hart

The one and only (Brilliant) Robert Hart

Paul smashing it on the main stage just before the Beachboys.

Paul smashing it on the main stage just before the Beachboys.

My mate Bruce Johnstone of the Beachboys.

My mate Bruce Johnstone of the Beachboys.

The family nearly all together. Actually, Where is Michelle? Lyn me & our family and Sam Joyce and theirs minus Michele whomust be outside!

The family nearly all together. Actually, Where is Michelle? Lyn me & our family and Sam Joyce and theirs minus Michele whomust be outside!

Mike Love of the Beachboys

Mike Love of the Beachboys

LOVE, SAM & DAVE. Mike Love, showing some Love to Sam & Dave. Actually Sam Moore & Staks Band founder, David Fitzsimons

LOVE, SAM & DAVE. Mike Love, showing some Love to Sam & Dave. Actually Sam Moore & Staks Band founder, David Fitzsimons

John Cowswill (The BeachBoys) and Sam Moore

John Cowswill (The BeachBoys) and Sam Moore

The lovely Lottie B, Sam Moore & Kevin Robinson

The lovely Lottie B, Sam Moore & Kevin Robinson

Alfie Boe & Mike Love (The Beachboys)

Alfie Boe & Mike Love (The Beachboys)

The amazing Robert Hart

The amazing Robert Hart

Lottie B

Lottie B

Stunning percussionist and lovely chap, Karl Vanden Bossche

Stunning percussionist and lovely chap, Karl Vanden Bossche

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What is it about THIS Band - The Staks Band, that is.

I have been working with The Staks band for a year or two now and it’s now become blatently obvious to me that there is something very, very, special building here. When I first saw and heard them, I was a little confused. There were so many people in the band and their sound was mind-blowing! They are such brilliant musicians & singers. I mean WORLD CLASS. I realised that they were not the first giant group of musicians to get together. For example, Joe Cocker did it with Leon Russell back around 1970 with his ‘Mad Dogs & Englishmen’ tour. Then there were a few other bands with lots of members. I am not referring to Goldie Looking Chain or Polyphonic Spree, all of whom had loads of members. Staks are very different. The Staks Band are fast becoming the band that everyone wants to perform with. Just to make things even more exciting for Staks is the fact that, quite often now, they have the AMAZING singer and absolutely lovely guy, Steve Overland as lead vocals. I have to say, he is also one hell of a songwriter as well. Steve is away on another mission this weekend, but, the fabulous Robert Hart from Manfred Mann is jumping in with the equally brilliant Vanessa Haynes from Incognito. The quality within this band is IMMENSE. In fact, I havent seen this before in my short (not so short) life in the music business. Some of the people who have performed with Staks are Steve Winwood, Joss Stone, Jack Bruce, Lulu, Imelda May, Paul Carrack, Natalie Imbruglia & Beverley Knight.

Now, this is big news! This Sunday (Tomorrow), at Cornbury Music Festival in Oxfordshire UK, SAM MOORE, the Original Soul Man, (Sam & Dave), has flown in from the US to perfoming exclusively with The Staks Band. This will be Sam’s only performance whilst here in the UK. Sam arrived a few days ago from the USA and there have been a few rehearsals just to get things arranged perfectly. I have seen quite a few familiar faces in the audience at their small intimate gigs and we all know that somethig very exciting is building. I can’t say who, but I understand that there some other amazing artists who have said that they want to come along and play with Staks. Just to add to the excitement of The Staks world, vocal legend Madeline Bell has flown in to join Staks on backing vocals for Sam Moore. YES! Madeline Bell… This is no ordinary band. I love it that lots of people who read my blogs are messaging me and asking me to let them know when and where Staks are performing next. Oh, how funy, as I write this, Sam Moore has just come on loud and clear over the radio with ‘Soul Man’. How funnny is that. Maybe I will see some of you at Cornbury Music Festival this Sunday. We are on the main stage around lunchtime, I think. My friend Paul Carrack follows us on main stage and then The Beachboys headline. Not to forget, another friend of mine, the amazing Chris Difford (SQUEEZE) is also playing on another stage around 4pm.

Here are a few photos from the rehearsals in London over the last couple of days. If you cant get to Cornbury, then add your name & email address to our mail list which will pop up on this website and we will send out a newsletter when The MIGHTY Staks Band are performing next.

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Lulu, Sam & Madeline Bell #Lulu #SoulMan #SamMoore #MadelineBell

Lulu, Sam & Madeline Bell #Lulu #SoulMan #SamMoore #MadelineBell

Robert Hart #RobertHart #VanessaHaynes

Robert Hart #RobertHart #VanessaHaynes

Andy Ross #AndyRoss

Andy Ross #AndyRoss

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Sam Moore and the brilliant Lewis Chapman

Sam Moore and the brilliant Lewis Chapman

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RIP Alan Rogan

Last night I heard some very sad news about the lovely Alan Rogan. I first met Alan with Pete Townshend in the lat 1970’s. He had been Pete’s guitar tech ever since. Saying that he was also with a few ither wonderful guitarists as well along the way. I must say, I had no idea he was ill. But, why would I? I didnt see him that often and only at gigs. I understand that it was not public knowlege about his illness.

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He was very well repsected and liked by eveyone I know who knew him. So, sadley, its farewell to Alan RIP I do have some nice shots of Alan somehwere, but, didn’t have time to dig them out. However, here are a couple of quick grabs. One when he was with Ronnie Wood and the other on the stage at The Who in Hyde Park in 2006..

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#TheWho #AlanRogan #Guitar #GuitarTech #Fender #Gibson #LiveMusic #Tour #Music #PeteTownshend #Ronniewood #RollingStones #EricClapton #KeithRichards

Coldplay in the Jungle!

In July2005 I was photographing Fuji Rock Festival in Japan. It’s one of those amazing festivals that everyone should try and experience at some point, if possible. It’s not held, as some people think near Mount Fuji, but, it is about 4 hours North of Tokyo at Naeba Skiing Resort, Niigata. In the summer its more like a jungle than resort. It’s a very large festival, a bit like Glastonbury with Stages everywhere and miles in between. It’s very odd, but almost every time I am there, the weather changes and it goes from high humidity to some storm of biblical proportions. Usually, a Cyclone, or something similar. So, often getting between stages walking miles along muddy water sodden paths, with thousands of people trudging either way is a challenge to say the least. Not to mention, I would be carrying tons of cameras, lenses and laptop, Jaffa Cakes etc. No wonder I am even now worn out at the thought of it. I remember me having to make my way to meet up with Coldplay. I was struggling to get out to their stage in time to meet with Chris Martin before the gig. I was going to do a quick shoot for Rolling Stone Magazine. We had only allocated about 3 mins before the gig. I then was going to shoot the show. I did get there just in time and we had about 30 seconds at most. So, I got a quick nice shot of Chris on a wooden bridge crossing a small river near the backstage area. Then it was a very fast band shoot just before they took to the steps to head up onto the stage. That wasn’t one of my greatest shots. It was literally just a snap of them as they said, ‘OK Let’s go’ So, the sun was going down and they were headlining. I was shooting from on the stage. Now some people may think that the stage is a great spot to shoot from, but, quite often it isn’t. On this occasion it wasn’t. So, I left he stage and went around into the photo pit. There I saw that golden Japanese sunset along with stage lighting and additional flying wildlife and there was the silhouette of Chris Martin on the piano getting into his stride. I don’t know how many thousands of people were in the crowd, but, there were a lot, maybe 75000. Funnily enough, I didn’t have a chance to count them, so, cant be sure. However, it was one of those performances that will stay with me forever. So, here is a photo of Chris at the Piano on that night July 2005, Japan!. Oh and yes and for the recoord, it really was Yellow! please excuse the pun….#Coldplay #ChrisMartin #Japan #FujiRock #Paino #Niigata #Music #MusicPhotographer #MusicPhotography #Nikon #Hasselblad

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Strange Days Indeed! LA, Hollywood Hills, The Rainbow, Roxy and all that...

More editing tonight and I was listening to music as I am doing it. Tonight, it was The Doors and the album of choice was ‘Strange Days’. What fantastic album. It brings back memories for me of when I lived in LA in the late 1970’s. My two English pals who also lived there, Craig Wolchover & David Sherman and we would often drive over the Hollywood Hills on those hot evenings from Sherman Oaks in the San Fernando Valley down to Hollywood, listening to The Doors on our way. I was usualy on my to photograph someone or a band at either the Rainbow, Roxy, Starwood or Troubadour!. Anyway, tonight’s editing, was a trip down memory lane for me. What a band! Their keyboard player, Ray Manzarek, was considerd by many, to be one of the greatest keyboard players of all time and I wouldnt dissagree with that. He had such a style and in many ways was unique. The Doors were such a force and quite incredible. Ray Manzarek, sadly died in 2013. Here is one of my last photos of Ray in 2006. #TheDoors #RayManzerek #LA #TheRainbow #Roxy #Troubadour #Keyboard #JimMorrison #1960’s #MusicPhotography

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Rocketman.. Apparently it's amazing! Or is it?

I have quite a few friends who have worked very closely over the years with Elton John. Some of them are a little upset as there are a few inaccuracies. Apparently the portrayal of Dick James is not accurate and seems to have upset a few people. I understand that there is no mention of Gus Dudgeon and a few other people as well. On the other side of the coin, quite a lot of people that I know have seen it and they have all said that they absolutely love it. I have been hearing really fantastic reports. So, I will definitely have to get myself to a cinema and see it for myself. Over the years I have worked quite a bit with Elton and I have literally just found this shot from 1976. I haven’t looked at this negative since the day the film was processed 43 years ago. I need to dig deeper into my photo archive and dig out some more of these shots.. Anyway, I love this shot and I hope you do too!

I have also added a couple of slightly more recent photos of Sir Elton.. The genius songwriter and performer, that he is.

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Happy Birthday Bob

I am thinking that today’s number (not that I have ever had a number of the day before), is 78. Those of you who are Bob Dylan fans or just observant chappies out there, may know that today is Bob Dylan’s 78th birthday. The other reason that 78 is my number of the day is because, it was 1978 when I first worked for, photographed and went on tour with Bob. At the risk of boring you all senseless, it was the ‘Street Legal’ tour and it started in September 1978 in the USA. So, here’s to you Bob ‘Jack Scardino’ Dylan at 78 and happy memories for me of 1978. Now, that for me, was a very busy year!

Here is a real ‘Happy Snap’ from that tour in 1978. I took this in either, Augusta Maine, Portland Maine, Boston, Syracuse, New Haven, or New York. Or maybe any of the other 30 or 40 dates on that tour..

Copyright 1978- Danny Clifford.  Do not steal, copy or repost the image. But, by all means share the whole story.

Copyright 1978- Danny Clifford.

Do not steal, copy or repost the image. But, by all means share the whole story.

London and The End of The Road

Well that was an amazing mini tour. Such great fun and what fantastic audiences. So, here is to Cambridge, Birmingham, Basingstoke, Aylesbury, Southend, Cardiff & London. Here are a few pictures from the Adelphi Theatre London.

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The shows were superb. It’s always interesting when opening for another band and it can sometimes be tough. But, I have to say, the fantastic WetWetWet fans loved Miel and her brilliant band. From the moment she hit the stage in Cambridge on her first night, the fans were with her! Clapping along during the songs that were the ‘clap along type’ and then giving such warm rapturous applause at the end of each song.

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Everyone in the Miel camp is lovely and the band as I have said are SO good. The team behind are pretty darn good as well. The engine room is driven and well oiled by Lewis Chapman. The operation was overseen by my friend (and genius) record producer, Andy Wright. He was also there at the gigs making sure it was all running beautifully, and it did! So, what a team, what a tour! Bravo Miel..

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The WWF, yes that’s right, THE WWF (World Wildlife Fund) have adopted one of Miel’s songs for a massive campaign. The Miel train is rolling on and leaving the station! So, jump on board and join all of us and buy her new brilliant album “Surrender to the Feeling'

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Miel & co - Southend

Back in Southend with Miel

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I have a soft spot for Southend. When I was about 4 years old we used to drive from the East End of London and latterly from Redbridge to Southend for a big treat on thise long summer evening. We would take the train out to the end of the pier, which I believe is the longest (at over one mile), in the world. Anyyway, Miel is back here on the tour with the fabulosu Wet Wet Wet. Miel’s performance was fantastic and went down so well with the packed, Essex crowd. Each show seems to be better and better. The songs are amazing, she is amazing and the band are amazing! Here are few shots from the night at Southend.

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Some of the Miel Crew- Levitating! “ HOW ARE YOU SO GROUNDED” Track 4 on her new album..

Some of the Miel Crew- Levitating! “ HOW ARE YOU SO GROUNDED” Track 4 on her new album..

Backstage - Miel with couple of the lovely Wet Wet Wet chaps!

Backstage - Miel with couple of the lovely Wet Wet Wet chaps!

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The Adelaides Showcase

My friend Simon is managing (amongst others) The Adelaides. They are a more recent addition to his stable of artists. They are pretty fabulous and obviously going places. One of those places is back to Nashville where I understand they are fast becoming quite a sensation. Here are a few photos that I took of them at their showcase. Onwards and upwards for them, me thinks!

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Wet Wet Wet - Back with a Bang!

Wet Wet Wet are currently touring the UK with their amazing new lead singer Kevin Simm. What a lovely talented bunch they all are. I really mean it. They are lovely, down to earth and bloody talented. So, it was a pleasure photographing them during their UK tour. Here are a few shots from Aylesbury last Friday night.

Just before the group hug on way to the stage for their show.

Just before the group hug on way to the stage for their show.

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I have just done a little interview today on Practical Photography

A little interview online at Practical Photography today. "I Toured With Bob Dylan" - An Interview With Music Photographer Danny Clifford

https://www.practicalphotography.com/learning-zone-interviews/an-interview-with-danny-clifford

#BobDylan #Queen #RollingStones #AmyWinehouse #EricClapton #TheWho #StatusQuo #KateMoss #Squeeze #Oasis #PinkFloyd

My latest Sky News Interview...March 2019

The lovely people at Sky News invited me in for a chat abouty my current & first public London exhibition. It’s on now until 11th April 2019. Heath Street Baptist Church, Hampstead, London NW3 1DN. It has been beautifully curated by the genius and artist in his own right, Alexander Rosenberg. It on 7 days a week - Weekdays 12pm -7pm Saturdays 11am-6pm, Sundays 1pm -5pm. Many unseen images of Queen, Bob Dylan, Amy Winehouse, Leonard Cohen. Oasis, Shane MacGowan, Paul McCartney, Chuck Berry, Rolling Stones, Frank Sinatra, Status Quo, George Michael plus many more… #Queen #FreddieMercury #BobDylan #RollingStones #TheWho #AmyWinehouse #LeonardCohen