My First “Published” Photograph..?

During a very rare office tidy-up this afternoon, I stumbled (almost literally) upon this…

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It’s a Mod fanzine – or “Modzine” I suppose – from Summer 1984, when I was a fresh-faced 19 year-old hipster who took my beloved SLR along with me everywhere I went, including a gig upstairs at the less-than-salubrious Sandwell Hotel is West Bromwich.

The band was a local combo that I’d seen quite a few times and was on chatting terms with a couple of the members, including bass player Martin “Mart” Blunt (soon to the considerably more successful outfit, join The Charlatans).

I took lots of photos and gave the band copies (that was how we did things in pre-digital days, children). Someone (named as “N. Joel”) wrote this review and used my image. It’s a pretty dreadful picture, admittedly, and not even the best one from the gig (I remember there were others of Mart smashing up his bass, Townsend-style).

Kit? This was shot on a Praktica MTL-5 with the then “kit” lens – a 50mm f1.8 – on cheap colour film. And I also remember that the light meter didn’t work. And that it weighed a ton even with the 50mm lens fitted (I have long suspected that Prakticas were recycled Russian tanks). Anyway, it was the start of a lifetime of photography and now, almost 30 years on, I remember this gig like it was yesterday.

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