The Smiths, Morrissey, Johnny Marr, Andy Rourke, Mike Joyce, ‘Salford Lads Club, No.I’

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

‘This shoot really should have gone to a big-name photographer – an Anton Corbijn or a Pennie Smith – but it went to me, a fan using a cheap Nikon with the wrong lens. I'd sent Rough Trade, the Smiths' label, pictures of the band playing, and Morrissey liked them. They asked me to shoot what would become the inside sleeve to The Queen Is Dead.’ Stephen Wright for The Guardian

‘Apparently it is the most famous photo session of The Smiths and that makes me smile. 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 images. The Salford Lads photo session was shot on a cold, dark, winter day in Salford, yet somehow it set the right mood. I and friend George Pace went to shoot the session mid December with a pocketful of film and a bit of taxi fare. It seems so casual and un-posed and in a way that’s just how it came together.’ Stephen Wright. Originally from Reading, Stephen bought his first camera at  age 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. These days his body of work sits as part of the collections of the National Portrait Gallery, London, the Manchester Art Gallery and the Salford Art Gallery. All rather funny when the original film was processed in a bedroom-darkroom, with the chemicals kept in old drinks bottles.

National Portrait Gallery
BBC
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Manchester Evening News

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