There's three things you have to know in a business.
First of all, get the money.
Second of all, never forget to get the money.
And third of all, always remember to never forget to get the money.
[camera clicks] [rock music playing] No one really goes into this thinking that they're going to get stinking rich.
I tell people coming up now, you have to have a passion for this.
You have to love it [camera clicking] because you're not going to make much money.
You're doing it for that thrill at the time.
Even now, talking, I feel a kind of a tingle, going whoa.
I was spending more money on drinks than I was on the pictures I was making.
When I started showing these photographs, I wasn't thinking money.
Oh, I'm going to do this because I'm going to open a gallery and make money and rock-- hell, no, I was on a mission from God.
Most music photos weren't taken with anything in mind other than appearing in a magazine or on a record cover.
There was no documenting history.
There was no fine art, let's put this on the wall.
They were disposable.
I knew that these pictures were going to be in an archive, and eventually, hopefully, somebody will want them.
It's art for the sake of money.
And that's my motto.
And that's my life.
[chuckles] Rock iconography is as saleable is the music itself.
I wanted music photography to be taken seriously.
And I think, finally, we've been able to do that.
[rock music playing] One thing that's lacking in photographers' heads is their connection to the commerce side.
[music playing] I always wanted to make art.
I always felt like an artist, and not just be a journalist.
I wanted people to feel it.
But I had to pay my rent.
I wanted to make money.
My dad, he said, look, if you want to be a photographer, just remember, you have to make enough money to live off your art.
For a lot of photographers, that's a completely novel idea.
You do it because you want to make a life for yourself.
So that when you get to the end of your life, you can say, I did all this.
I'm addicted, yes.
If it's good, I don't know.
But I'm addicted, you know.
And I don't know anything else.
That's all I know.
When you listen to a piece of music, it does something.
It turns you on.
It puts your stomach into a turmoil.
It throws your hips out into a dance.
And when you see the pictures that went with it, you see your bedroom walls.
You see those magazines that you shared with your friends at school.
It is absolutely key to our early lives.
People have always collected something, you know.
And now people who used to have posters on their walls, a Mick Rock poster of Iggy Pop that they ripped out of a magazine, now they're paying thousands.
It wasn't a popular thing in the '70s.
I mean, you would take a magazine ad, and you'd frame it, if you did something like that, or you put it on the back of your door.
You know, that type of thing, in your bedroom.
I have a lot of Beyoncé on my walls.
Um, I actually just took them down, like before I moved from my parents to my apartment.
But Beyoncé was the only idle, kind of artist, that I had on my wall.
A lot of Debbie Harry, Kate Bush, Iggy Pop, Ian McCulloch because his hair was just so amazing, Nick Cave, tons and tons.
There was no wallpaper left.
Some of it was just because it was a brilliant photo.
[camera clicks] NEAL X: I must have had a T. Rex.
I did have scrapbooks that I used to cut out pictures I liked of rock and roll icons.
I had millions of posters all over the walls of Duran Duran and David Sylvian, pictures by Andy Earl.
And when I started taking photographs, uh, um, on a foundation course, I thought this is brilliant, I can capture exactly what I want.
The reason I got into photography was because I wasn't patient enough to make a film.
And I liked being able to go out on my own and take pictures.
And I love music photography.
And I love the fact that it basically allowed you to be as creative as you wanted to be.
[camera clicking] I went to the Rainbow.
I was at a gig there to see the band Yes.
Went down to the front, where there were these photographers shooting.
Nobody stopped me.
I had one roll of film.
And I shot that.
And at the end of the gig, I was sort of elated.
And the photographers were packing up.
And two of these guys, they said to me, oh, um, are you professional?
I went, yes.
And they said, well, we-- we're the photographers here at the Rainbow.
We're going off to make a film, would you be interested in maybe taking over this photography.
They said there won't be money in it.
But you get some expenses.
And I was like, yeah, I-- I can do that.
And then about two, three weeks later, they gave me a pass for the Rainbow.
And on it was written "photographer".
I thought, well, that's it, that's what I am now.
I've never made a huge amount of money.
But I'm here in my mid 60s, and I'm still shooting.
And I still shoot with some new bands.
Even now, I get excited about the sort of talent and seeing it develop and watching them blossom.
And it's become my DNA.
[chuckles] [rock music playing] So I started learning photography and shooting when I was 14.
And early on, I figured out how to sneak my camera into, like, Madison Square Garden.
Elton John was one of first shows I ever saw in the, you know, nosebleed seats.
['Rocket Man' by Elton John] ♪ She packed my bags last night pre-flight ♪ ♪ Zero hour 9:00 AM ♪ ♪ And I'm going to be high as a kite by then ♪ I had this whole thing where I would strap the camera to here.
And I'd put the-- put the lens in my sock.
And they're not going to suspect, like, a 15-year-old girl.
And I'd put together the camera, you know, when I got inside.
And then just walk down and down and down with a tele-- 400 millimeter telephoto lens, and, you know, took pictures of Elton John on stage.
♪ I'm a rocket man ♪ ♪ Rocket man, burning out his fuse up here alone ♪ So I was always figuring out ways to sneak into things with my camera.
Risk nothing, get nothing.
I know everyone would like to, like, you're not supposed to do that.
Everyone's like, you can't say-- but those hall monitors of life, they don't get to enjoy it the way we do, the way you and I do when we let ourselves go.
Ray Charles was always-- I loved him as a kid.
And he came to San Francisco State in 1971.
I showed up, and basically made up, on the spot, an assignment.
And his manager said, no, no, man, nobody can shoot Ray Charles during his show.
And I said, this is really important, you know.
We could be talking about a cover here.
You know, listen, I'm going to be inconspicuous.
Ray's not even going to know I'm there.
And the guy was like...
I'm going to let you in the pit.
And I said, hey, no problem.
So I think I'd shot a roll of film.
But I'm thinking, the really good picture would be for me to have a wide-angle lens really close to the keyboard, and kind of get the keyboard and Ray and-- You know what?
He's not going to see me.
So I kind of creeped in real low.
And I think I'd taken six or seven pictures.
And all of a sudden, the music stopped.
And Ray says, ladies and gentlemen, I know y'all came here to see Ray Charles and his orchestra.
You paid good money, and not be interrupted by a photographer.
And I was so embarrassed.
I almost felt invisible.
And I was just waiting for him to stop.
And I kind of turned, and his manager was like-- So that was the end of Ray Charles.
But I-- I did manage to get those great pictures.
[light jazz music playing] What I learned was that-- and it was early on from Miles Davis.
I learned, you know, to not mess up the vibe.
When I was photographing Miles in Copenhagen, I was a student.
I had just purchased my first camera.
There was me and there was a professional photographer there.
He had his motor drives.
He had his Nikons.
And he proceeds, in the middle of a solo, to blast off.
[imitating camera clicking] Miles had the mute on.
So this was not some blaring moment.
And there was a little subtlety to it.
Miles emptied his spit valve on the guy, and basically said, get the [bleep] out.
He turns to me, and he says, you can stay.
You can stay.
[smooth jazz music playing] [rock music playing] There's this perception that money is being made hand over fist by photographers from photos.
It's just not true.
[rock music playing] We are music photographers.
We're shooting live music.
But we're also commercial photographers.
We're selling something.
We are selling a performance.
We're selling music.
We're selling something that that person wants to bring to the crowd.
You're not just shooting to hang in somebody's bedroom.
After all, it's all business.
Behind the art is the business.
So you may be looking at a picture and speaking to a photographer.
However, behind that there's a deal, a merchandise deal, a deal to use the sleeve, a deal to, you know, perhaps have a single and an album, and a-- you know, whatever the deal is going to be.
[rock music playing] To make the change from being a commercial photographer, you need a vehicle.
And the vehicle is an exhibition.
As a result of the exhibition, you hope that you might get a book.
From the book, hopefully, you will get interest from people.
You will increase your profile.
People will become more and more interested in your work.
And eventually maybe you will sell prints.
I made a lot more money selling one print than I do selling a book.
I make more money selling a print than I made for the whole night of taking the picture in the first place, you know.
Producing a coffee table book of music photography is really a labor of love, for everyone involved.
The only money you get from a book is the advance you get, which usually doesn't cover your costs to put a book together.
You don't make money on the royalty from the book.
You get like $0.50 or a dollar a book.
But you make money because if you have 150 pictures in a book, that becomes a catalog of a lot more images that people can choose from.
[music playing] It really, really is an expensive process to get a book at the end of that that will last forever.
It's worth it.
It's worth every penny.
ELLIOTT LANDY: I've done nine books, I think ten books now.
This is the first day in the festival, maybe even before the music began.
This one is towards the stage.
And this one is from behind the stage.
I was taking the picture from up here, back here.
And these great musicians, what they wanted to do was very free form, very improvisational.
I didn't put any pressure on them.
I didn't want to use them to get somewhere and things like that.
I was just there for the picture.
[light guitar music playing] For me and my pictures, these pictures I shot in the '70s, as we went through the '80s, people were like, why are you showing me these pictures?
These are old bands.
I don't need pictures of old bands.
And then I sort of boxed them away a little bit because people didn't call up.
And then Nirvana hit in the early '90s.
And that coincided with the book, "Please Kill Me" coming out, which explained what the New York punk scene was versus the British punk scene.
And from that point on, people started calling all the time, which has never stopped.
This influence seems to have turned into history for lack of a better word.
[rock music playing] I get a call in 2014 from a fellow named Herb Powell, who is a biographer and a writer.
And Herb was working on Maurice White's biography.
Maurice White said, you've gotta go see Bruce Talamon.
He's got the great Earth, Wind & Fire work.
My work is different, you know, because I was on a stage.
I wasn't in the pit.
You know, so I had like an access that a lot of people didn't.
Now, Herb looks at the work.
We make a deal.
And then he says the fateful words, well, what else you got there?
And so then I start pulling out, you know, I mean, Stevie, Bob Marley, Aretha.
And he says, you know you can do a book?
And I said, OK, well, we'll see.
Now, I had done a book in 1994 on Bob Marley.
I had 18 rejection letters.
It was only through the intervention of Eli Reed, the first Black member of Magnum.
He says, call my guy at WW Norton.
And I called Jim Marrs, The late Jim Marrs, who was a vice president.
We made a deal in a day.
And "Bob Marley, Spirit Dancer" came out.
And that was my first book.
So after Herb had said something in 2014, I go to my book agent.
And we put together a mock-up of, you know, what I've got.
She takes it around to all the big photo book publishers.
And everybody loved it.
Nobody was willing to pull the trigger.
I was a little fed up.
I did something, shall we say, that one tells one's children and significant others not to do on the internet at 3:30, 4:00 in the morning, possibly if you've had one or two extra glasses of wine.
I sat down and calmly wrote a note, two paragraphs, to Benedikt Taschen.
If you're going to fall on your ass, you might as well go down in flames.
I introduced myself.
I said there have been photo books done on jazz, the Rolling Stones, the Beatles, David Bowie, Elvis.
But I said, there's never been a photo book done on R&B, soul, or funk music.
I'm attaching seven pictures.
I hit spellcheck.
And I say, if you're interested, I'd love to speak with you.
I pushed send.
Now it's 4:45 in the morning.
I go to bed.
1:30 that afternoon, I get a call from New York.
[music playing] It's the senior editor for TASCHEN Books.
And he says somebody in Germany thought that I should see it.
And he got it.
He understood it.
And he took a chance.
['Give Up The Funk' by Parliament] That's the way I got the gig.
I would not suggest it for everybody, but it worked for me.
Bruce Talamon writing directly to Benedikt Taschen was absolutely the right thing to do, because nobody was going to do it for him.
[camera clicking] I'm an absolutely enormous Beatles obsessive.
Read all the books, listened to every podcast going.
Commission comes up, Paul McCartney in London, 2003.
And at this point, I'm actually living in New York.
And they're like, you can have half an hour with him.
I was like, I'll do it.
I don't think there's been a decent-- this is my thought at the time-- there's not been a decent portrait of one of the 20th century's greatest songwriters since 1969.
I bought my own plane ticket, flew back.
McCartney was about to go on a tour of arenas.
And he had hired the London Arena just to rehearse him for like a week.
They said to us, come at 8:00 and be ready to shoot him at 10:00.
In he walks.
And his band, they were playing something, like an Elvis song or something like that.
They were just sort of warming up.
And McCartney comes in.
And he's supposed to come to me for his picture.
But he can't resist the band.
He was like, oh, can you just give me five minutes?
I just got to do this.
And he jumps up on stage, joins in with the band, and they play.
And then they play another song.
And then they play another song.
And then it just goes on all day.
So the good thing about that is that I get to have my own private Paul McCartney show all day.
I mean, I'm literally phoning every single person I can think of.
And then it gets to about, I don't know, 6:00 or something.
Everyone's knocking off for the day.
And a car drives in for him into the arena.
And he just jumps off stage to get in the car.
And I'm like, um.
And he's like, oh, God, so sorry, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.
He comes over to the backdrop that we'd set up.
I shoot maybe a minute and a half.
And he goes, OK, you've got enough, haven't you?
I'm doing this live thing at the BBC.
I got to go.
I got to go because it's live and I can't be late.
And I just had this moment where I just thought either I'm going to lose him forever, or I just have to swallow my kind of courtesy and politeness.
So I said, well, I-- I don't really have enough because I came here prepared to have half an hour with you.
And the other thing is that I live in New York.
And I came all the way over to London for this.
And he said, you live in New York?
And I said, yeah, yeah, yeah, I live in New York.
And you came all the way over here?
Yeah, I came all the way over here for this.
And he goes, oh, God, I'm really sorry.
Um-- it was a Friday.
He goes, when are you going back to New York?
And I said, I'm going on Tuesday.
And he said, I'll tell you what.
What are you doing on Monday?
I was like, nothing.
And he says, come back on Monday.
You can leave all your stuff set up over the weekend.
I'll give you half an hour.
I was like, deal.
And he's like, deal.
And we shook hands on it.
And as he goes to get in the car, I had this fantastic moment with him where it was like we were colleagues.
I said, bye then, Paul, have a good weekend.
I'll see you Monday.
He was like, yeah, see you Monday.
Gets in the car and goes.
So he comes back on the Monday.
He's really cooperative.
He's really nice.
While we're doing the pictures, we're chatting about New York.
He talked about the first time the Beatles went to New York, just how amazing it was hearing themselves on the radio, all that stuff.
But I'm not really getting anything from him that is particularly good.
So I have to kind of calm him down.
I just said to him, can you just do less?
Stop doing this.
And just put your arms by your side.
This is March, April, 2003.
Now the Gulf War, the second Gulf War, was only a few days old.
They just invaded or started airstrikes.
And so that was what was going on in the outside world.
So I said, just give me less, less, less.
And he said, what's the matter?
Don't you like a bit of whimsy?
And I went, not when there's a war on, Paul.
And it was supposed to be humorous.
But he took it completely the wrong way.
And his face just literally went from that whimsical Maccer face that we all know, it went to absolute thunderous.
The sea disappeared and the shingle was revealed.
And it was like, oh my God, that is-- that's the real Paul McCartney right there.
And I had two frames.
For two frames he absolutely hated me.
This absolute granite face.
And then almost like a palate cleanser, I said to him, OK, now just close your eyes.
He closes his eyes.
I took two more frames.
I said, OK, thanks very much.
I got it.
He didn't like that shoot.
Because at one point, I think someone from his office, they contacted me trying to buy the negatives.
And I wouldn't sell them.
And then 15 years later, weirdly, there's a book by Paul Du Noyer, called "Conversations with McCartney," which is, I think, Du Noyer's interviewed him more than any other journalist.
And McCartney chose a picture from that shoot for the cover.
So 15 years later, he had come around to liking it, which is nice.
Rock and roll was not considered fine art.
To sell rock and roll pictures there's one market, which is fans.
A guy who can afford it wants Led Zeppelin on his wall because he loves them.
And that's what he's going to live with.
But to get into the real photography market, that's more about the history of photography, the status of the photographer.
It's more like the art market, where it's not necessarily about a good painting.
It's about did Andy Warhol make this painting?
Then it's a good painting.
So you have to establish a name.
But it takes years.
It takes years, especially if you want it to happen while you're alive.
[music playing] CHRIS MURRAY: I opened my art gallery in 1975.
And it's kept me busy for 35 years doing that.
But here's what I want to tell you.
At that time, there wasn't a single gallery, a single museum, a single curator, a single art critic writing about music and photography.
It wasn't happening.
But when I started doing the first shows, the people came in droves.
I mean, droves.
And the media, the music media loved it.
I didn't go to the art critics.
I went to, like, Richard Harrington at the Washington Post who's probably written 15 major, brilliant features about the exhibits of Govinda Gallery, which are the first ones for all these photographers.
So the people came.
And they bought.
And I just was going to do it because I knew photography.
I knew rock and roll.
I loved it.
And I wanted to find the best of it.
So God, not only was I finding the most brilliant photographs, I was getting to know these really talented and gracious and fun-loving photographers.
[music playing] Selling prints is-- is really a difficult job.
And you need to work with a really good gallery who understands their market.
And Chris Murray had a fantastic market because he'd-- he pioneered showing music photography.
And Washington DC was a fantastic place to do it because it had a thriving liberal middle class, very art-conscious market, who were interested in it.
You want people to show up.
You don't want to have the exhibition and people don't show up.
You want to take pictures that people want to see.
And yeah, it's nice when people tell me that I'm an inspiration because I have so many inspirations.
That's how you learn.
You learn by looking at other people's pictures.
They're not only looking at me.
If they're inspired by me, they're looking at like 10, 20, 30 other people too.
One gallery owner came up to me and said, you know what?
We think you should make prints and sell prints of your work.
I said nobody wants prints of this work, come on.
She said, give us a chance.
We'll put together a show.
She put together a show.
Sold out the show.
[music playing] Here at the gallery, since I've been here, the first music exhibition we did was probably 1991, maybe even before that.
But I would say, of all the galleries that I know, we probably have shown more music-related photographs than anyone.
And I would say the photographic market really evolved over a period of time.
But it took a long time for it to happen.
So for many years, we dealers, photography dealers, were hanging on by our fingernails, trying to survive, because we really had to try to build the audience.
We had to find the audience.
We had to educate the audience.
We had to inform them of the reputations and the history and background of these artists.
And it was difficult because photography wasn't really embraced as an art form until much later.
[music playing] In 1981, at the time the only gallery showing photography in London was The Photographers' Gallery.
And that was run by this extraordinary woman, Sue Davies.
And I went with my portfolio to see her.
Being the visionary that she was, she teamed me up with an older photographer called Harry Hammond, who'd come in to see her just a week or so previous with his portfolio.
And she realized that between us, we could create a 30 year of music image, which nobody had ever done.
And this was the beginning of interest in the archive.
But what was most important was that an established gallery was taking the genre seriously.
Oh, it was terribly popular.
Thousands of people came.
Of course, they loved it.
I mean, you know, because you're seeing all your heroes.
And you know, we didn't realize how many people absolutely adored all the 1950s and '60s pop stars.
But, oh, look there's so-and-so.
There's Jimi Hendrix.
NEAL PRESTON: The fact that anyone knows what I've done, appreciates what I've done, whether or not they know my name, that's never been important me.
But the fact that they get pleasure from having this image on their wall, that's how I get my cookies.
[rock music playing] [light music playing] When we first began representing pop culture back in the '80s, a lot of our colleagues in the business thought we were committing professional suicide.
But the reality is, at that time, a lot of the negatives and the slides were in shoe boxes.
It turned out that not only did we, in effect, pull them out of-- not obscurity because the works were famous-- but brought them into a world where they had never been, but where they belonged, in this fine art world.
You know, I started collecting in the late '70s.
And there weren't galleries to buy them from.
They were like a photographer that I would meet.
And I'm saying, like, I love your stuff, I saw those photos in Creem magazine or Melody Maker.
Some of them would send me something because I was this kid that was, you know, trying to get into their world.
About 20 years ago, I became a collector.
And I remember walking past the gallery and there in the window was an amazing photograph of the Rolling Stones, a picture I'd recognized because I had the album as a teenager.
And it just got me thinking that I didn't realize you could get these things.
So I started to research it.
I was tracking down photographers, going to see them in a private capacity, buying pictures from their archives.
And the more I looked into it and the more I saw, the more I realized there was just a whole wealth of work out there that needed to be seen.
[music playing] I'm often asked, is what we sell art?
And my answer is categorically, yes, it is.
And not only that, it's-- it's great art.
And the reason is because great art is something that gets you on an emotional level, something that grabs you by the gut, and brings some pleasure if you own it and you have it on your wall.
I was in this unique position to develop relationships with dozens of these photographers and cover the waterfront, so to speak, in terms of the music and both their approach to things.
And that's fascinating because all the photographers have different approaches, have different things behind them that they bring to the table, their own personal lives even.
I have to give kudos to Chris Murray because way back when, I called up Chris, and I said, hey, Chris, I've got some photographs.
Would you like to see them?
And he could have easily blown me off and said, yeah, yeah, I'm busy right now.
But he said, no, come on down to Washington.
And he spent hours with me, going through my stuff.
And he looked at everything.
And he said, well, first I see a book, and then I see a-- a show.
And that was very profitable because nobody had seen my work before in galleries.
And we had put something like 40 or 45 photographs in the show.
He had a whole bunch of them on the ground, leaning against the walls, ready to hang.
He called me up, he said, Frank, you'll never believe this.
I said, what?
He said, we've sold almost 20 of them already.
We haven't hanged the show yet.
People just came in saw them on the floor, and bought them.
[rock music playing] GUY WHITE: Probably our most popular subject over all the years, is Bruce Springsteen.
His fan base is of a certain age.
And-- and they have disposable income to spend on-- on the work.
And we've sold more Bruce Springsteen pictures to collectors all around the world than any other.
Guy White sold that one singular 75 by 55.
We did an edition of one of one of the Big Ass series.
And a collector in Italy paid really big money for that.
And I'm looking at the print, and I'm saying, why is this one more popular than Frank's barbershop, where he's leaning against the barber pole and he's got the Al Pacino hair, and there's all this symbolism in the photo?
And then one day, I was staring at it, and it hit me.
[snaps fingers] I said, oh, my God, this is "Thunder Road," "from your front porch to my front seat, the door's open, but the ride it ain't free."
You know, he's waiting for his girlfriend to come down from the front porch across the street.
[hip-hop music playing] I was the chief photographer and the photo editor of the "New York Rocker," which, it was sort of an underground music paper in the late '70s and early '80s.
They asked me to take a photo of Tina Weymouth of Tom Tom Club and Talking Heads, and Grandmaster Flash, together, for a cover photo.
And it was sort of a story on how uptown was meeting downtown.
And I remembered that there's this beautiful handball wall that was done by a graffiti artist, Lee Quinones.
I thought that would just be a perfect environment for the shoot.
And they just totally hit it off.
They'd never met.
And you know, we're playing the boom boxes.
And they're like dancing and getting down, and doing the bump.
♪ Freakin in the den just to make you move ♪ ♪ Because I'm Cowboy and I got the groove ♪ LAURA LEVINE: After the photo shoot which went on for hours, Tina played him some of the tracks from the Tom Tom Club record.
And apparently he said something about that riff and how you're going to be hearing it everywhere.
And within months, he had incorporated the riff of "Genius of Love" into one of his songs, called "It's Nasty, Genius of Love."
and that became a big hit.
[hip hop music playing] ♪ We want to rock you ♪ So literally, a new song came out of the two of them getting together at this photo shoot, which was just-- that's never happened before in my work.
And that was just really an honor.
And to this day, it's in the collection of the National Portrait Gallery at the Smithsonian.
And it's been shown in a lot of museums and exhibitions.
♪ Like dy-na-might before it blows ♪ ♪ Who needs a band when the beat just goes boom ♪ Now we have unbelievable portraits of our musical heroes.
And you'll see more and more and more of these photos ending up in every museum in the world.
Because they're going to have to have the great portrait of Jimi Hendrix.
They're going to have to have the great portrait of John Lennon.
They're going to have to have the great portraits of Bob Dylan.
It's just going to happen.
[rock music playing] Why, is my work, and not only mine, in museums and galleries all over the world?
Something [bleep] weird went on that it became the main stream culture, instead of outsider and rebel, which was the part of the romance of being a rock photographer.
[rock music playing] You shouldn't pigeonhole music photography as music photography.
It's much more than that.
It was documenting pieces of history that happened that we can never recreate again.
And so that's why I'm happy now it is starting to be thought of as an art form.
The Sex Pistols show, their last show in San Francisco, I thought that was one of the two or three all-time greatest moments in rock history.
I didn't even want to do the show at first.
Rolling Stone called me, and they said, oh, hey, can you shoot it?
And I went, the Sex Pistols?
Are you kidding?
The lobby of Winterland, which wasn't big, was jammed.
And it was the entire punk scene from LA that had come up, meeting the San Francisco punk scene.
And when they came on-- there was no pit-- it was like pandemonium.
It was like a riot broke out.
There was sweat dripping off the walls.
The crowd was constantly surging, where I was picked up off my feet.
People were throwing bottles.
There were shoes flying.
People gobbing and, like, spitting.
And it was just like a full-blown riot.
And Sid was like bare-chested.
And he had cuts.
And as Johnny walked off, I remember he grabbed the microphone and he said, [British accent] don't you all feel cheated?
Threw it down, and that was it.
And I remember we went backstage.
And Sid had disappeared, and suddenly came out of this one dressing room.
He had had a black leather jacket over his bare chest.
His eyes were, like, watering, his nose is running.
He was kind of lurching.
Britt Ekland had shown up with Sunny Jim of the Stray Cats.
Sid looked at her, and kind of going back and forth, and just projectile vomited.
He almost got her feet.
And she let out a scream.
And this guy next to me, black leather jacket from LA goes, ha ha, that is so punk.
And that was it.
They broke up the next day.
[punk music playing] But if you were there, it was one of those great moments.
It was like seeing James Brown at the Apollo in New York in 1965, where if you were there, you'd say, I'd rather be there than for the Resurrection.
[music playing] Well, I'm interested in pop culture.
And the gallery was full of-- of old paintings of old, forgotten people, and photography wasn't shown very much.
I was looking for the best iconic pictures, and trying to find a way that they could come into the gallery.
Because I knew there was an audience for them.
One morning I got a phone call.
And it's the National Portrait Gallery in London.
And they start going on about how they're having an exhibit of 100 pictures of 100 famous people of English culture.
And I'm waiting for them to say John Lennon.
Because why else would they call me, you know?
100 great people from England, I got the guy.
We were doing a millennium exhibition.
And we had this idea of asking 10 famous British people to each pick 10 pictures that sums up the century.
When they said Sid Vicious, I was like, what?
Excuse me, I think I got a bad connection.
What picture are you looking for?
And they said, well, David Bowie has chosen your Sid Vicious picture to be in the exhibit.
We were in a soundcheck in Texas, I believe, San Antonio.
And we went over to the hotdog stand on the side.
And Sid and I got hot dogs.
And he was eating his hot dog.
And he just looked good in the light.
I said, wait, let me take a picture.
And he said, wait a minute.
And he took the ketchup and the mustard.
And he poured a lot more ketchup and mustard on his hot dog.
And he smeared it on his face.
And I remember that because I was shocked because I wouldn't smear mustard and ketchup all over my face.
Like, what is he doing?
And then he went, OK, and he posed for the picture.
And he had a button that said, I'm a mess.
So it wasn't an accident that he knew how to look like a mess.
Sid was a very good actor.
He might not have been a good musician, but he was a great actor.
♪ 1, 2, 3, 4 ♪ [punk music playing] Sid Vicious now has become part of the establishment.
I mean, I'm sure he would hate to have heard that said about him.
But you know, he is part of that establishment.
And what that does also, though, it makes the point that photography and photographs change their meaning over time.
But sometimes a picture becomes definitive because it captures something.
I shared a house with Phil Lynott.
And Mick and Joe from The Clash would come by.
And Cook and Jones came around quite a lot.
Sid comes over with Nancy.
And Nancy said to me, you know, will you take a picture of us.
And I said, yeah, all right.
And I thought, but everywhere is a mess.
We just got back from America.
But the bathroom, that's not so bad.
So I took them upstairs, and took this picture of the two of them, and indicated to Sid that if he did his Sid thing, it'll probably be all right.
And this one picture comes out of it.
I mean, I didn't know that picture would go everywhere.
I was just doing what Nancy asked really.
They were so sweet together.
They weren't what people expected.
They were just two people that were hopelessly in love, and had a hopeless life ahead of themselves because it was obvious what would happen.
[punk music playing] You know, The National Portrait Gallery is a big, old English building with lots of wood carvings and so on.
You go through a corridor and a corridor and all these rooms.
And we've got to a room where the exhibit was.
And there's a big arched doorway.
And in the middle of the doorway, the first picture you see was my Sid picture with the hot dog.
And I was like, where's the Queen?
Winston Churchill, you know, some important English people.
Sid is the centerpiece in the doorway here?
You've got to be kidding.
But yeah, they liked that picture.
[music playing] From the very beginning, Sue Davies said to me, you have to do limited editions.
They have to be signed and numbered.
From that very first moment, I numbered and signed my pictures.
And I would only produce limited editions of my work.
As an artist, you produce a limited edition of your work.
And you create something then that is finite, and therefore will hold its value.
And in the best cases, will obviously go up in value as well over the years.
The Charlie Watts picture, which crossed over in the early days of Q, was 300 quid when we began.
I entered it into the Jane Bown Portrait award, and won it.
And that's why it became well-known, because it won an award.
But the magazine didn't use it.
I had one conversation I knew would be good for me, with Charlie, which was that we were both taught by this guy called Gil.
He was a graphic designer.
And Charlie trained as a graphic designer.
I had a close-up attachment for my Hasselblad, which I just bought, I think.
And I didn't realize how close you had to get for it to go into focus.
So the reason that it's so intimate, that picture, and so big, is because to get it in focus, I had to walk towards him until it came into focus.
But we were having a conversation about this guy, Gil.
Charlie, who-- who's very modest, as everybody knows, was more interested in talking about that than the Rolling Stones.
A very shy man as well, like me.
And the picture was in the bag, really.
I think we've got four or five left of the silver gelatin ones.
The last person who bought one paid 7,000 pounds for it.
I don't think I've got anything else that sells for those kind of prices.
Some of the more popular pictures from the '90s, so if I take Oasis as an example-- you can get a limited edition print of a classic Oasis album cover signed by the photographer, for 400 or 500 pounds.
And then it goes up and up from there.
COLIN LANE: I met a young music photographer who took me for a coffee.
And he was the one who was, like, you know, you should really be using your Instagram account to, like, sell some of your prints in your archive.
And I was like, yeah, OK, let me try that.
I had these boxes of Strokes 8 by 10s sitting around my closet for years.
And I literally, like, I took a picture of one of the Strokes prints.
I put it on Instagram.
I'm like, hey, I'm selling this.
I got like 20 emails, like, immediately.
['Reptilia' by The Strokes] ♪ Yeah, the night's not over ♪ ♪ You're not trying hard enough ♪ COLIN LANE: And so I've been doing that ever since, 100 bucks for an 8 by 10, 200 bucks for an 11 by 14.
It adds up.
And it's definitely supplemental income.
And I'm-- you know, I still do that today.
[music playing] I never really realized the importance of actually a photographer committing to a print.
I'm going to print this big, and I'm going to declare this a piece of art.
When I saw David Bowie's album cover for "Aladdin Sane," shot by Duffy, 50 inch print, very impressive.
He only made 25 of those that were stamped by the estate.
And it was hand signed by Duffy.
I said, OK, I have to have this.
So I bought it for a-- a great price, at-- at the time, $8,000.
After two or three years, it was over $100,000 worth, including that tragic David Bowie's death and as Duffy passing away as well.
So you can see how in fine art photography, all these things-- music photography-- this plays a role.
♪ I am a passenger ♪ ♪ And I ride, and I ride ♪ ♪ I ride through the city's backside ♪ ♪ I see the stars come out of the sky ♪ And then I started to do this-- these big prints as well.
I had, obviously, this beautiful shot of Iggy.
And I made exactly the same size of print like, uh, Bowie.
I had it signed by Iggy.
So it was from the get-go sold for a lot of money to a Canadian collector.
And I did only one, one single one.
And that's gone.
I have another one, the artist's proof.
[chuckles] ♪ He looks through his window ♪ ♪ What does he see?
♪ ♪ He sees the silent hollow sky ♪ You might go into a gallery and see an amazing picture of Bob Dylan by Jerry Schatzberg, selling for a considerable amount of money.
And some photographers will say, I've got pictures of Bob Dylan.
I'll do that.
But they haven't got "Blonde on Blonde."
They've got Dylan in Finsbury Park from a mile away.
It's not fine art.
Sometimes it's not even good photography.
Some people have said that great art is comprised of two things, one with a great passion and an inspiration, and a desire to do something wonderful that's in their head.
And the other is obsessive discipline to do it well.
And you can't have great art without both those ingredients.
Separate from each other, they have no value as art.
Dylan sells, I mean.
But Dylan's prices are very high now.
I only editioned them for 20, sometimes 25.
And so I keep the price high.
But it depends on the size.
But, uh, the very big one is now like 50,000.
But when I'm snapping away, I'm thinking I'm not going to sell one of these, you know.
GUY WHITE: And at the very extreme, where you're looking at really, really rare items, typically where the photographer's produced a limited edition, it's sold out.
Pieces like that trade for many, many multiples of their original prices.
Yeah, the best example is Iain MacMillan's pictures, the sequence of pictures that he took for the Abbey Road album cover, where he photographed the Beatles on the famous zebra crossing.
He was paid, I think, 75 pounds for that session.
Abbey Road is at the very top.
It's a bit of a Holy Grail.
So Iain produced a limited edition, I think of 25.
There were four sets, initially.
And later we were able to bring together pieces that already had been sold to make a fifth.
When Jim's talking about sets, he's talking about sets taken from that additional 25 across all seven images.
Yes, exactly, All seven images numbered exactly the same, making a complete set of the entire shoot.
We ended up, uh, selling the very first one at $40,000.
And their value has grown enormously since that period of time.
By the time we sold the fourth set, that one sold at 60,000.
And we had an example recently at auction where a set of seven Abbey Road pictures sold for 180,000 pounds.
This past year, we actually resold for one of our clients, a complete set at $900,000.
Having done that, it led to another of our clients, who became a seller at 1.25 million.
[cash register chings] Ouch.
I'm selling, you know, big quantities of photos to museums, to people like that.
And then you've got-- I love the individual collector, who would come to Govinda Gallery, and they'd be so blown away by a photo of John Lennon or something.
So collectors-- again, another sign that it is fine art.
People are collecting.
Millions of us have been collectors from day one.
I mean, we have the albums at home.
We have amassed a collection.
That imagery is the-- is the only way you saw it.
And the idea that there would actually be an original somewhere, at some point, is something perhaps never even considered or thought of.
When someone would come here, and will actually see an original of an Abbey Road or a Meet the Beatles!
or Animals from Pink Floyd, and others, because you revered the music and the imagery, and the memories, the genetic makeup of all of it over all these years, it's-- I mean, you feel like perhaps you're standing in front of something magical.
And it's riveting to see that.
Because all of that is brought forth when you experience that first look.
If you have a fascination with something, whether it's music or sport, or whatever it is, and you become a collector, then you-- you put a kind of unnatural value on things.
It's your value.
It's not someone else's value particularly.
I seriously wanted to burn my Nirvana negatives because I didn't-- I didn't want to be in my 60s, falling back on that.
No-- no disrespect to people that do.
But for me, it went against everything I was about.
In particular, there's this one gallery that I'd done an exhibition with.
And I didn't like how it went.
And they'd-- they'd actually got the prints produced for my negs.
Probably the first time I'd let that happen.
And, um, they-- they-- they wouldn't give the prints back to me.
I said-- I said, well, I don't-- I don't want the prints.
But I don't want you to have them more.
So I'll burn them here, now.
And I would have.
I mean, you know, I did get the prints off him in the end.
But I didn't want them.
I didn't burn the negatives.
I told some people I had.
Someone pointed out how important, historically, they are, and how terribly it would have been if I had done that.
And they're right.
You know, they want to be remembered.
They deserve to be remembered.
And I'm not going to let some other [bleep] make money out of them, so I suppose I'll have to.
[chuckles] [rock music playing] The rules of copyright are very simple.
The second you create that photo, you own the copyright, until such time as you do not.
In other words, you sell the copyright.
Copyright was never an issue back in the day.
Nobody-- nobody gave a [bleep] about it.
It wasn't just a question of the fact that there were no contracts.
It was of no consequence.
Because as far as anyone was concerned, the life of the photograph was so limited.
Invariably, in the '60s, it would have been a handshake deal or, you know, paperwork might not necessarily be most forthcoming.
And you work out a dialogue with our photographer.
And-- and often it's been the case that actually they did retain copyright.
The idea that a photograph would have a value a year later, let alone 50 years later, was never even considered.
I now have to use a copyright lawyer to, um, look at the contract.
You know, it's-- it's bloody ridiculous.
One of the things that I do regularly, and I stand by, is I won't be bullied by solicitors and lawyers about copyright and licensing, and things like that.
I believe that everything has to be paid for.
[rock music playing] Copyright litigation is an expensive process.
And so I think some photographers become intimidated.
Maybe they don't have the money to defend their rights.
If I was a photographer, it would drive me nuts.
I own the copyright to all my photographs.
Never sign away your copyright.
You can let them use your picture.
You can license your picture.
But do not sign away the copyright to your picture.
It is your livelihood.
RANKIN: The fine art world for music photography has definitely grown because you don't have those pictures anymore.
You know, they're not on album covers.
They're not on CDs even.
And the reality is that people still love them.
Great art of any kind should be treated exactly the same.
And if that means photography, or graffiti, or fine art painting reaches whatever value people are prepared to pay for it, I think that's great.
I think that's fine.
I think with-- certainly with images, like Bob Dylan or Hendrix or whatever, the original, you know, they're an incredibly important and special moment in time.
And I think they should have that value.
They should be treated as-- as high art.
And I've nothing against them going for vast amounts of money.
I mean, it's already changed.
I mean, those-- those photos that I-- I thought I was like-- it was devastating the amount of money that I was spending on them, for $250 for a photo or something.
Those photos today are 4,000, 5,000.
It's like the contemporary art world in a way.
It's an investment for people.
My wife's in the contemporary art world.
And I know how a lot of those people think.
And they-- they-- they buy art that they necessarily don't love.
But they know it's a great investment.
The difference with the photography is most people buy photography that they love.
Raising music photography to the level of fine art, it is important.
And it is the reason Govinda succeeded.
Music photography was always thought of as the-- as the bastard stepchild of photography.
And photography was that way for the longest time with painting.
So nobody thought of photography as a fine art form.
Then finally, they dignified photography as a fine art form.
But then you had music photography, which was, that's just musicians.
That is not a fine art form.
But we are now, I think, through galleries who really value it and see the cultural aspect and the historical aspect of it, they have cultivated that.
The curatorial approach is the whole thing, the selection, the image you select, how it's printed, how it looks.
That's why it's fine art now.
It's not that people just decided.
You know, don't forget, we just went through a battle to prove that photography was fine art, not to mention rock photography being fine art.
That argument is over.
We've proved it is.
But that required the best of it.
I mean, the real payment for everything I've done has been in the doing.
If I were a millionaire 10 times over, I couldn't have begun to do any of the things and experience any of the things I've done.
So that's kind of been the payment.
It's tough, you know.
It's always money.
After a while, you get bored, you know, just money and contracts, and that and that and that.
It's so complicated, you know.
I want to enjoy photography.
I want to enjoy what I know.
I don't want to always have aggravation, you know.
I've been fortunate enough to document probably one of the greatest eras in music and in cultural history.
And we may never have it again.
It's a series of things that came together at the right time.
And I think it will continue to inspire people.
Music photography really is of value into the future and beyond.