Rock's Greatest Photographer

Earlier this year there was a story in the papers about a topless billboard of Kate Moss causing traffic chaos in New York. This was not news. Thirty-four years ago in London another beguiling Kate – Bush, this time – put drivers in peril from above, clad in a leotard that left little room for imagination or time to check breaking distances.

It's a picture still has plenty of power to, er, provoke today.

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It was taken by Gered Mankowitz, a man with as good a claim as any to having invented ‘the rock star’ as a visual concept. In his 50-year career he really has shot all the greats, music's kings and queens that include The Stones, Paul McCartney, Hendrix, The Jam, Marianne Faithfull, Suede, Slade, Oasis, Duran and more, creating images that are almost as indelible as their songbooks. (Many of these were taken in his Great Windmill Street studio in Soho, and now form part of permanent collection down the road at The National Portrait Gallery.)

This Saturday the great man will be signing copies of his new book Gered Mankowitz: 50 Years Of Rock and Roll Photography at London’s Snap Galleries, where an exhibition of his career’s work is also on view. More details here.

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