The Smiths, Morrissey, ‘Free Trade Hall, No.I’ © Stephen Wright at Proud Galleries

The Smiths, Morrissey, ‘Free Trade Hall, No.I’

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© Stephen Wright
Manchester, U.K. 1984
Fuji crystal archive lustre finish photographic paper print hand signed by the photographer
Accompanied by a Certificate of Authenticity

This iconic close up photography shot of Morrissey while performing live onstage, and with flowers hanging from the pocket of his jeans, is one of New Musical Express (NME) fifty classic photos of all time. Stephen Wright, from Reading, bought his first camera at 21 from the £40 he won on a premium bond. By 1983 he was taking live pictures of Manchester bands like The Smiths for music magazines and record companies.

‘A strange shot but most people at the time knew who it was immediately – Morrissey had toured throwing gladioli around on the 1984 shows. I’ve always hoped Levis would pay me lots to use it as an advert. Sadly not happened yet!’ Stephen Wright

‘To me I count myself so very lucky, as a huge fan to have got the opportunity to see and shoot The Smiths live and then to get to meet them and shoot the Salford Lads image. The first live show I shot was in 1984 at the Free Trade Hall – I was so skint I could only afford one reel of film and had to walk a long way home. From this show I caught the shot of dead flowers hanging from his jeans, but my favourite now is of Morrissey waving flowers above his head, shot from the side of the stage. More live shows followed and then Rough Trade asked me to shoot a session…’ Stephen Wright

National Portrait Gallery
BBC
BBC
NME
ITV
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The Quietus
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Manchester Evening News

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