I’ve recently photographed another batch of my old 20 x 16 inch exhibition prints from thirty to forty years ago. It’s been a surprisingly successful and quick way to breathe life into old black and white work that otherwise might never have seen the light of day again.
Going through the old print boxes is a walk back down memory lane – looking back at images I produced many years ago and recalling the meanings and the stories that lie behind the individual prints. Today’s image takes me back about forty years to the days when I played the guitar. No, that isn’t me in the shot, but a very good friend from University days in whose band I played. I always thought he was a bit of a Buddy Holly lookalike.
My parents bought me an acoustic guitar when I was about sixteen or seventeen. I played and sang the music of Joan Baez, Dylan, Woody Guthrie, Burl Ives, Pete Seeger, Peter Paul and Mary, Simon and Garfunkel and others. I branched out into Pop too. I discovered Negro Spirituals. Up at University I acquired a semi-acoustic Hofner guitar and joined a Band that worked to introduce a new range of gospel music into church services. Over a period of several years we produced and marketed several LPs of music on our own record label – the first one being centred on the music of Sydney Carter (some of you might know the song ‘Lord of the Dance’, perhaps his best known hymn).
The man in the photograph was the leader of our band – Mike. Mike was a gifted musician, writer and producer. We shared a house together with others in London when we both came down to London from Cambridge, and we stayed in touch for many years, long after the group disbanded as family lives and careers took charge of our lives. Sadly Mike is no longer with us – heart disease took its toll a few years back. But every time I view this image, I think of him and the great times we shared. I still have that acoustic guitar.
To see more images from my old print archive. Click on Print Archive in the Right sidebar.