Happy Birthday, Cliff! and, more haste, less speed.

14 02 2012

Today I won’t be blogging about Valentine’s Day, or Whitney Houston, although I will be recalling and honouring another great musical talent, taken too soon, in the greatest tradition of rock & roll.

Happy 50th birthday, Mr. Cliff Burton! Okay, I missed the date by 4 days. That doesn’t stop me celebrating your life, or your works though. You were the ‘quiet one’ in a world of noise. When the other guys in the band were goofing off at presscalls you were diligently tuning your guitars.

At Monsters of Rock, 1985.

I was covering the Monsters of Rock Festival for All Action that year, and had a proper photo pass. Shot a few ‘interesting’ backstage pix, some from the photo pit (an area between the front of the 80,000 strong crowd, and the stage). Here’s Cliff having the time of his life; the bottles in the foreground are traditional gifts from fans, bestowed upon their heroes from long range (thrown from the crowd). Eg Def Leppard ‘bottled off’ at Reading Festival a couple of years previous – ie retreated under a hail of bottles.

As always, I had considered film developing a bit of a chore, and used to up the development temperature, to save time. Of course the risk of ‘reticulation’ ie cracking of the film base, was always present – as seen here. After removing the developer I flooded the developing tank with stop bath (which inhibits the action of the film developer)……it’s supposed to be around the same temperature as the developer but………you can guess the rest! On this small scan you might be able to make out the random cracks. Fortunately the colour transparencies which I shot for the agency were processed properly!

And the moral of this story is – it’s perfectly okay to make mistakes. Just learn from them!




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