PDN Photo of the Day

Joining the Rock ‘n’ Roll Circus

“After spending four years training to become an aircraft engineer at British Airways, Chalkie Davies decided that joining the ‘Rock and Roll Circus’ was a better way to earn a living than fixing broken autopilots on jumbo jets,” says the photographer in a statement about his new exhibition “Chalkie Davis Goes Click.” In 1973, Welsh-born Davies joined the UK-based music magazine NME as a staff photographer, and shot numerous covers and features for the publication. He later toured with Paul McCartney, Elvis Costello and Thin Lizzy. In 1980, he helped launch The Face, a British fashion/music/culture magazine, with the former NME editor Nick Logan. Davies stopped touring with bands and moved into a studio a few years later, primarily shooting black-and-white portraits and loads of record covers for bands like The Specials, David Bowie, The Clash, Blondie, David Gilmour and Robert Plant. Remember, this was happening in the 1980s, when album art was a BIG deal–no iTunes, no Spotify, no Internet! After moving to New York City in 1988, where he still lives, Davies opened a large still-life studio, merging his engineering background with his creative side. Davies + Starr studio was the first large studio in NYC to go fully digital in 2001. Davies’s exhibition, which is on display at Snap Galleries in London through April 26, 2014, and includes music photography from the 1970s and ’80s, is a prequel to a major retrospective show at the National Museum of Wales in Cardiff in 2015. Davies includes fun anecdotes about the images included in this photo gallery on the Snap website.

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