The Slits, Chelsea 1978.

Monday, 26 April 2010 This photograph dates from a time when I was really just a rock fan, playing at being a photographer. But I’d started to look for bands and musicians to persuade to let me photograph them. With or, more usually, without any good reason. My day job was that of an advertising agency art director and, in that business, you learn to develop a certain amount of chutzpah. Back in the ‘60s and ‘70s all admen thought they were the masters of the universe anyway. So one day I rang up the Slits’ office (God only knows how I got the number) and got straight through to Vivienne Albertine. So I just nonchalantly asked her if I could do a photo shoot with her band. Now, I’m sure the very first thing she would have asked me was “what’s the photo for?” I honestly can’t remember exactly what I said. Maybe I lied, I don’t remember. At that point I’d had only about half a dozen photographs published, so I was a real novice. But certainly a novice with a lot of front.

Unbelievably, Vivienne sounded interested, came into my office in Mandeville Place and we had coffee and I managed to persuade her. Then I rang up a professional photographer friend, Lorenz Zatecky, and asked him if I could borrow his Chelsea studio one evening and, er, whilst he was at it, could I sort of borrow his assistant too. And so it was that I came to shoot this session. Eventually one of the shots (of Ari Up falling over backwards) was published in the The Face.

The photograph above has never been published.