South East Wales

Chalkie Davies' rock star photos to go on show in Cardiff

Elvis Costello
Elvis Costello during his performance of 'Detectives' at the El Mocambo club in Toronto

Pictures of some of the world's most famous rock stars taken by a Cardiff-born photographer are to go on display in Wales.

The exhibition by Chalkie Davies includes images from the 1970s and 1980s of Blondie's Debbie Harry, David Bowie and Bruce Springsteen.

They photos date from his time working for music magazine NME, with many appearing on its front cover.

The collection will come to National Museum Cardiff next year.

The Clash
The Clash pictured in an alleyway near London's Oxford Street following the release of their first LP in 1977
Debbie Harry
Debbie Harry uses a pair of sunglasses to hide her tiredness from the night before during a photo shoot in 1977

Originally from Sully in the Vale of Glamorgan, Mr Davies spent four years training to become an aircraft engineer before deciding to quit for a life in photography.

Mr Davies, who now lives in New York, joined the NME as a staff photographer in 1975 and worked there until 1979, where he shot numerous covers and features.

He also toured with Paul McCartney, Elvis Costello and Thin Lizzy, later shooting the picture used as the sleeve of their Live and Dangerous record.

Phil Lynott
Thin Lizzy's Phil Lynott is ambushed by schoolboys at Tokyo Railway Station during the band's tour of Japan
Bruce Springsteen
A shy Bruce Springsteen looks up to catch his first glimpse of a poster bearing his name outside London's Hammersmith Odeon in 1975

But his passion for studio photography saw him give up touring in 1980, instead specialising in black and white portraits.

He shot dozens of record covers for many artists including The Specials, The Pretenders, The Who, Pete Townshend, Elvis Costello, David Gilmour and Robert Plant.

The collection of 33 photographs is now on at Snap Galleries in London but will come to the National Museum Cardiff from May to August next year.

Ian Dury
Ian Dury has a Union Flag painted on the bridge of his teeth ahead of his tour of America in 1977

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