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GALLERY: Kevin Cummins' Manics Shots
Danny Riley , November 13th, 2014 15:45

Before tQ editor John Doran interviews him at Manchester's Louder Than Words festival this weekend, Kevin Cummins talks us through some of his best shots of the Manic Street Preachers from his upcoming book, Assassinated Beauty


Richey alone in Bangkok with crucifix earring
I told Richey to look lost in all the chaos going on in the street around him. To think about anything he wanted but just to ignore all the nonsense and business of the hundreds of people walking past him. My original idea was to get a shot with lots of movement, but people would walk round us to avoid getting in the way.

Twenty minutes before this we'd been in a pub for three hours watching Man City play Man United on TV. As much as people love the shots of Richey that we've talked about, the reality is he liked a drink, he liked watching sport; he was a normal bloke in lots of ways. But no one wants a picture of Richey with his feet up and a pint in his hand, watching football on telly. You want the shots in isolation; you want the "tortured artist" shots almost.

Mythology is really important in rock & roll, which I told Peter Hook when his Joy Division book came out. I said to him, "I've protected the Joy Division brand for 30 years, and now you're writing about Ian Curtis pissing in ash trays." You want your rock stars to be different, you want to know that they sat on the bus reading Sartre. You don't want to know that they were getting pissed, being sick and pissing in ash trays. It's easy enough to debunk the myth, but you want pin-ups. It's not dishonest, it's just showing a picture that they want to present of themselves.