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Steve is a Londoner: born a long time ago in Stepney, in the heart of the East End. His professional photography career spanned the years 1981 to 1995, during which time he considers himself fortunate to have worked with many of the greatest musicians of his generation.
Although unaware until recently that he had a distinctive photographic style, he now believes that his love for the mid-century aesthetic, and of Mies van der Rohe’s maxim ‘less is more,’ informed his rock ’n’ roll photography in a profound way.
A keen photographer from his mid-teens through his college years at the University of Warwick, inspired by the likes of Dorothea Lange, Bill Brandt, Don McCullin and Pennie Smith, he eventually turned his camera, his heart and his eye towards the punk and ska music that enlivened the dour Coventry concrete jungle of the late 1970s.
In mid-1981 his grainy photograph of Robert Plant, playing a benefit show with his band The Honeydrippers at Warwick’s Student Union, was published in the music paper Sounds, and he was encouraged by the paper to walk away from his unfinished PhD thesis, return to London, and become a full-time chronicler of what turned out to be the golden era of music.
Steve was initially out five or six nights a week shooting gigs - at that time mostly punk, post-punk and new wave - and he quickly moved on to feature work as well, at first for Sounds, and later for a wide variety of magazines, newspapers, record companies and bands.
During his relatively brief career he somehow managed to photograph what is now known as a shit-ton of incredibly influential bands and artists, including The Clash, The Jam, Ramones, Elvis Costello, The Cure, Eurythmics, Duran Duran, Spandau Ballet, John Lee Hooker, Miles Davis, Freddie Mercury and Queen, Bruce Springsteen, Sade, Peter Gabriel, Siouxsie Sioux, Depeche Mode, Iron Maiden, The Pogues, AC/DC, GBH, Black Flag, Dead Kennedys, Echo & the Bunnymen, Iggy Pop, Chuck Berry and Little Richard.
Personal favorites from Steve’s extensive catalog include the inspirational Joe Strummer of The Clash at the Lyceum in London in October 1981; the always incredible Bruce Springsteen at the Meadowlands, New Jersey in August 1984; the lovely Annie Lennox at the Churchill Hotel in London in April 1985: the legendary David Bowie on the set of Loving The Alien in Greenwich in March 1985; the enigmatic Elvis Costello at the Royal Albert Hall in January 1982; and, course, the heroic Nelson Mandela, at Wembley Stadium shortly after his release from jail, in April 1990.
Steve also has the distinction of being one of the ten or so photographers who shot the biggest show of all time - Live Aid at Wembley Stadium on July 13th 1985, a historic event watched by approximately 1.9 billion people worldwide.
In addition to his work for the music press, Steve has always supported and documented political movements that bent the arc towards racial, social and economic justice - The Anti Nazi League, Artists Against Apartheid, Amnesty International, Red Wedge, and many others.
In the summer of 1992 Steve and his then-wife Rebecca, who assisted on many of his best shoots, moved to San Francisco, and he gradually drifted away from photography as a profession. After several years in web development, he began a full-time career in 2001 teaching Tae Kwon Do and Kickboxing at Hwa Rang Kwan, his own martial arts' school in San Francisco.
In 2017 Steve was happily reunited with his photo archive, which had languished in filing cabinets in his friend’s garage in rural Oxfordshire for a quarter of a century, and during the COVID years he gradually turned his eye back towards his first love, rock ‘n’ roll photography.
A brief trip to New Orleans in March of 2022 led to the momentous decision to begin chapter three of his life in the Crescent City, and for the first time since the mid-1990s, Steve now once again considers himself a full-time photographer.
His (mostly) rock 'n' roll gallery in the heart of the French Quarter opened for business at the beginning of October 2022, and Steve can be found there most weekends, camera close by, telling tall tales and spinning vintage vinyl.
Every picture tells a story, and he’s happy to share the story behind your favorite photo - if he can remember it.
And somewhere in my soul