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Kevin Cummins Hits The North – Joy Division To Oasis Caught On Camera
John Tatlock , September 30th, 2009 07:26

As legendary NME snapper Kevin Cummins exhibits photographs of his Mancunian muse in Yorkshire, we present a gallery of his photographs and hear the curious story of Ian Curtis' pink suit. Interviews by John Tatlock


Morrissey by Kevin Cummins Rochdale Canal, Manchester, 5 September, 1989

Morrissey's quite hard work. Normally with bands they have a really low boredom threshold, and after you've pointed a camera at them for ten minutes, they'll say "right have you finished, can we go now?".

With Morrissey it's the opposite, and he keeps wanting to try different things. I'd been photographing him all day, and we were getting to a point where the light was dropping a bit. And as he was walking in front of me, I though, maybe we'll do a silhouette of him in front of the water. What I wanted was something like . . . what I would have shot if I was shooting a poster for the film "Room At The Top". I wanted a very, very stark northern image, that could have been anybody, but obviously Morrissey is very distinctive in silhouette.

We got the bridge in, and the cobbles; the Northern leitmotifs. So it's a very generic northern image, but it's also quite clearly Morrissey. And it's very strong because of the steelwork, and he's standing perfectly; I love it.

It was the obvious shot for the cover of the book. It just says northern and Manchester to me. It's almost the brand for the book, which he won't like. But it needed something that wasn't just a band shot.