News, Culture & Society

Iconic images of the likes of Freddie Mercury, Amy Winehouse and Kiss are unearthed

Rarely seen photographs of some of music’s most iconic names are going on sale for the first time.

David Bowie, Mick Jagger and Sid Vicious from punk era Sex Pistols are among the biggest names in music that are featured at a new gallery.

Top rock photographer Denis O’Regan has plundered his huge archive of photos built up over a 45-year career following music’s most recognisable faces around the world.

He hopes fans and collectors will welcome the chance to own a piece of rock history.

Top rock photographer Denis O’Regan has flown all over the globe taking snaps of the biggest names in music. He was backstage at with Queen in Budapest on 27 July 1986., part of the band’s final tour with original lead singer Freddie Mercury

During his 45-year career Denis has captured some incredible moments of the biggest names in world music. He took this image of Mick Jagger and Keith Richards on stage for The Rolling Stones' European Tour 1982 to promote album 'Tattoo You'

During his 45-year career Denis has captured some incredible moments of the biggest names in world music. He took this image of Mick Jagger and Keith Richards on stage for The Rolling Stones’ European Tour 1982 to promote album ‘Tattoo You’

Among Denis's back catalogue is this image of The Sex Pistols from 1978. Left to right is Glen Matlock, Nancy Spungen Sid Vicious and Rat Scabies. When the photographer tried to take a picture once of Vicious at a concert at the Camden Electric Ballroom the singer demanded £5 and threatened to smash my camera if he didn't pay

Among Denis’s back catalogue is this image of The Sex Pistols from 1978. Left to right is Glen Matlock, Nancy Spungen Sid Vicious and Rat Scabies. When the photographer tried to take a picture once of Vicious at a concert at the Camden Electric Ballroom the singer demanded £5 and threatened to smash my camera if he didn’t pay

Many fans will instantly recognise some of his images such as this one of Freddie Mercury of Queen strutting across a stage wearing a crown and velvet cape at one of the band's last performances together at Wembley Stadium in 1986 (above)

Many fans will instantly recognise some of his images such as this one of Freddie Mercury of Queen strutting across a stage wearing a crown and velvet cape at one of the band’s last performances together at Wembley Stadium in 1986 (above)

Kiss star Gene Simmons' stunning performance in Prague from 2008 is just one of the many images that will be going on display at The Denis O' Regan gallery in Hammersmith, West London, which opens on Saturday July 27

Kiss star Gene Simmons’ stunning performance in Prague from 2008 is just one of the many images that will be going on display at The Denis O’ Regan gallery in Hammersmith, West London, which opens on Saturday July 27

Many will instantly recognise some of his images such as Freddie Mercury of Queen strutting across a stage wearing a crown and velvet cape.

As the official photographer for the super group, Denis was given unparalleled access to their tours, including their last ever concert at Knebworth Hall in 1986.

He captured the group arriving in a helicopter as he flew alongside with the tens of thousands of fans waiting below.

Other famous shots include those of Any Winehouse, Duran Duran, Spandau Ballet and Gene Simmons from KISS.

While he had an access all areas pass for the concerts as the official photographer on tour, he was also able to catch the rock icon’s when they let their guard down.

Many of the photos up for sale show the stars backstage or in hotels.

While most stars were happy to have Denis take their photo taken not all were co-operative.

‘When I tried to take a photo of Sid Vicious from the Sex Pistols at a concert in 1978 he demanded £5 and threatened to smash my camera if I did not pay,’ said Denis.

‘I wasn’t going to pay and the manager could see what was happening and so offered to pay.

‘Sid then demanded £5 for everyone who was going to be in the photo. He could be obstructive.’

Denis, from Barnes, south West London, joined David Bowie on two of his world tours that lasted nine months each.

He got a unique insight into one of the most creative stars Britain has ever produced.

‘David was very artistic and took an interest in the photos that I had taken,’ he said.

Duran Duran's Simon Le Bon and Andy Taylor were captured larking around in a limo on route to JFK airport, New York, in 1984

Duran Duran’s Simon Le Bon and Andy Taylor were captured larking around in a limo on route to JFK airport, New York, in 1984

Thin Lizzy frontman Phil Lynott was pictured at his home opposite Kew Gardens in West London at the height of his fame. The singer fell ill there and died in 1985, with the house later going on the market for £3.7million

Thin Lizzy frontman Phil Lynott was pictured at his home opposite Kew Gardens in West London at the height of his fame. The singer fell ill there and died in 1985, with the house later going on the market for £3.7million

Freddie Mercury and his Queen bandmates were pictures arriving for their Knebworth concert in 1986. At O'Regan's gallery, a framed limited edition print starts at £500 while a one off shots of Jagger and Bowie laughing together is on sale at £10,000

Freddie Mercury and his Queen bandmates were pictures arriving for their Knebworth concert in 1986. At O’Regan’s gallery, a framed limited edition print starts at £500 while a one off shots of Jagger and Bowie laughing together is on sale at £10,000

Among the O'Regan collection is this candid shot of Freddie Mercury mischievously lifting his t-shirt for the camera as bandmates including Brian May looks before the band performed in front of 80,000 people in Budapest on July 27, 1986

Among the O’Regan collection is this candid shot of Freddie Mercury mischievously lifting his t-shirt for the camera as bandmates including Brian May looks before the band performed in front of 80,000 people in Budapest on July 27, 1986 

The Denis O’ Regan gallery in Hammersmith, West London, not only features glossy photos of the rock icons but also the contact sheets that he printed after each photo shoot.

He would show the sheets containing dozens of images to the stars and seek their approval before releasing to music publications and newspapers.

Many of the shots on the contact sheets have never been published or seen before.

A framed limited edition print starts at £500 while a one off shot of Jagger and Bowie laughing together is on sale at £10,000.

Denis, who has recently returned from touring with Bon Jovi, said he was initially looking for an office to store his vast archive when he decided to open the gallery.

As he put together the photos he realised that many of the faces staring back at him are no longer here – from Amy Winehouse to Joe Strummer from The Clash.

Denis said he was initially looking for an office to store his archive when he decided to open the gallery. As he put together the photos he realised many of the faces staring back at him are no longer here like Amy Winehouse pictured in 2007 (above)

Denis said he was initially looking for an office to store his archive when he decided to open the gallery. As he put together the photos he realised many of the faces staring back at him are no longer here like Amy Winehouse pictured in 2007 (above)

Denis was backstage for The Clash's infamous 1978 Victoria Park concert in London's East End (above)

Denis was backstage for The Clash’s infamous 1978 Victoria Park concert in London’s East End (above)

‘It’s only when you look at all the photos that you realise many of the people I photographed are dead,’ said Denis.

‘It is very sad but many did live the sex, drugs and rock n’ roll lifestyle.’

He recalled how on a tour with the Rolling Stones he became close friends with Keith Richards.

‘We were in his hotel room and he offered me some drugs. I said I wasn’t interested and he was a bit surprised saying ‘You don’t do drugs’.

‘When I told him no, he said ‘I wish I didn’t – but it’s a bit later now.’

The Denis O’ Regan Gallery opens on July 27th.

Further information from Denis.uk

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


Comments are closed.