Acclaimed photographer Steve Pyke has spent the last 40 years shooting some of music’s most iconic and vital stars, from Kurt Cobain to Iggy Pop. In his forthcoming book ‘Faces Of Our Time’, available to purchase atwww.unbound.co.uk/books/faces-of-our-time, he tells the behind-the-scenes stories behind the portraits. Take a sneak preview, here…
Kurt Cobain, Belfast, Ireland, 1992: "Kurt was vulnerable like Sid [Vicious]. You just knew, spending time with him, that he wasn’t going to make it. I toured Ireland with Nirvana for a few days. Courtney was with him and eight months pregnant; it was a very intense time for them all. Their gig in Belfast in '92 was one of the best I've ever seen."
Lee Scratch Perry, London, 1987:
"LSP was in the room for barely a minute before he pulled out a black spray can and left his mark along the white studio wall. Quite the entry. Spliffs were constantly being rolled by the minder and smoked by Lee. He was like a magpie, his eyes darting the room for more distractions."
John Lydon, London, 1983: "The punk scene in 1977 was a huge thing in my life. The Sex Pistols were my favourite and I saw them play a number of times. The Face asked me to photograph John Lydon for their cover. He arrived with his characteristic glassy stare at my studio, dressed in a sharp grey silk suit. People think of Lydon as an extrovert but there was a shyness to him."
The Cramps, London, 1984: "I met Poison Ivy and Lux Interior at the Inverness Court Hotel; it was built by Edward VII to house his mistress, Lillie Langtry. I was photographing them in the same big, round tub Edward and Lillie would have bathed in. I empted a bottle of fairy liquid into the bath and they stepped in. They were due on stage at the Hammersmith Palais in half an hour."
C.L.R. James, Brixton, 1989: "The esteemed writer and socialist theorist was gravely ill and my time with him was brief. He was at home in Railton Rd. I was ushered in and informed by his assistant that he could no longer speak. Despite this he had a warm manner and smiled often. The session lasted about 20 minutes and we left after surprisingly strong handshakes and more smiles."
Paul Weller, Oxford, 1984: "This was for The Style Council's first gig. I had no camera so bought my first Canon Sureshot second hand at Victoria and this was the first frame I shot on it. As I walked through the small crowd of Mods, I stepped onto the first step of the tour bus and without looking through the lens, pointed the camera in Paul's direction and released the shutter."
Iggy Pop, London, 1984: "Iggy Pop, the wild man of American rock and roll, was in London for three shows. For me there is only one frame from this session. Iggy is facing the street and the slow exposure has caught him blinking, a fleeting moment that seems to catch him between life and death."
Joe Strummer, London, 1988: "Joe always had time for anyone that came into contact with him. I took this photo in the Pogues' dressing room at the Town and Country Club in London. Joe was a gun for hire that week and played most of the nights with the band. This one was caught just before the gig, practicing on his old battered Clash guitar which read 'Ignore Alien Order'."