For a photographer, covering the biggest rock band on the planet is no small feat, especially when it comes to meeting the band’s young fans. This was certainly the case for famous British photographer Denis O’Regan, who had unprecedented access to Duran Duran in his Sing Blue Silver tour in 1984.
For example, the group (Simon Le Bon, Nick Rhodes, John Taylor, Andy Taylor and Roger Taylor) are said to be holed up in hotels under pseudonyms and pursued by their predominantly female fans who camp out on the ground floor. It got to the point where O’Regan himself received phone calls in his hotel room from those fans hoping to connect with a member of the band.
“If you wanted to find the band, you called the best hotels and asked me,” O’Regan recalled to news week with a laugh “So I’d get a phone call in the middle of the night, ‘Oh, how’s John?’ “Well, thanks for waking me up. But as far as I know, it’s fine. It was interesting in New York, having to move all the time. So a lot of that kind of blocking.”
It’s just one of the rare moments that O’Regan, who has photographed rock luminaries like the Rolling Stones, David Bowie and Queen throughout his career, recalls photographing the 1984 tour, which is the subject of his latest book. of pictures. Duran Duran: carefree memories. First published in 2015 as a limited edition premium book and now reprinted as a consumer version. carefree memorys features aerial footage of O’Regan capturing the British band at the height of their popularity.
“It’s really for the fans,” O’Regan says of the new edition, “and the band is also very, very excited about the idea because it’s an affordable version for people who can’t afford the special limited edition.” . So that made everyone happy, including me. »
By 1984, Duran Duran were global superstars, taking the world by storm with hits like ‘Hungry Like the Wolf’, ‘Rio’ and ‘Is There Something I Should Know’ and their groundbreaking music videos. Before joining Duran Duran down the road, O’Regan had just completed a stint photographing David Bowie in 1983. serious moonlight route.
“David thought he was crazy,” O’Regan recalled. “He said, ‘What are you going to do after the tour?’ I told him, ‘I’m going on tour with Duran Duran.’ his hero.
“Towards the end of serious moonlight tour, we were in Australia, where Duran Duran was recording Seven and the Raggedy Tiger. They arrived at the hotel. A lot happened that night and they asked me to go on tour. The Bowie Tour ended after the Duran Duran Tour began. Of all the places, the little I missed was the UK. [dates], but I joined them as soon as I could thereafter. It was to do this tour or not. »
O’Regan’s moment to photograph the Sing Blue Silver The tour was flawless as Duran Duran took America by storm, much like another British rock band had done two decades earlier.
“They became big on this tour because they really became stars of MTV,” O’Regan said of Duran Duran. “MTV had just started, and the girls went crazy when they came to the States, which was what everyone expected. The band did not realize that it would be like this exactly 20 years after the Beatles. It was a new kind of Beatlemania. And for me, it was great to have been inside while it was happening. So that part was really fun.
Within carefree memories, O’Regan’s photos of the band onstage document the energy and excitement of a Duran Duran show from this tour, which is symbolized by a photo of John Taylor looking into the camera with a wide smile on his face. . Additionally, the book features many candid shots of the band behind the scenes, as well as in hotel rooms and limousines, featuring all the musicians in light, contemplative moments never before seen by audiences.
“When I’m on tour and I spend a lot of time documenting a band,” says O’Regan, “my goal in my mind is to do a book at some point anyway. That’s how I see a lot of photos, although at the time I was producing photos to send to the press, which was very helpful for the band because when they weren’t in the UK, the photos were sent to the UK to keep. the presence. »
O’Regan’s close-up and intimate photos paint a portrait of Duran Duran enjoying themselves like never before, even when the band members lived in a bubble under the intense gaze of the media and their fandom.
“There’s a photo of John Taylor’s feet on the dressing room table with a bottle of champagne next to it. [them] says O’Regan. “And for me, that kind of summary of being on tour with Duran Duran. So I took this photo, but it was never going to be a press photo. It was always going to be in a book. That’s why so many photos were taken in the first place. »
In addition to being musically talented, the members of Duran Duran were extremely photogenic.
“They weren’t an old grizzly rock band,” says O’Regan. “They were five beautiful, fashionable and popular people. Therefore, it was a pleasure to photograph them. The next morning when you’re at the airport, not everyone looks very glamorous. So you have both sides. You never know what a tour is going to be like. »
O’Regan’s friendship with Duran Duran dates back to 1981, when he first photographed the band performing in their native UK for a German magazine. He had an admirer in the person of John Taylor, who was already familiar with O’Regan’s photos for the British music press.
O’Regan said: “So I went to the show and then I went to his dressing room. I have met them all. John said, ‘Denis O’Regan? I know you. did you take these photos NME and you had this picture on this page. So we had this connection. »
Another important element of O’Regan’s book is the photos of Duran Duran’s female fan base, who played a huge role in the band’s history. And like Duran Duran, O’Regan himself was in the eye of the storm.
“He was accompanied by a police escort,” he recalls. “Security has been well thought out. It was the old story of having to pick up the car in the underground car park and then go out to the hotel on that side because if we entered through the lobby there would be a butcher shop. And in one place, we went through the kitchen. It was just ridiculous. »
O’Regan recalls one particular night in New York when he and John Taylor decided to go out alone, which didn’t turn out to be a good idea.
“Of course, fans suddenly appeared out of nowhere. So it was a bit like a scene from A hard day’s Night With the two of us running down the street with all these girls running after John, and me going out, I think next time I’ll go out to dinner alone. (some laughs) The fans at the shows are the ones who make these events. And some of these girl photos were taken through limo windows, so you get the real reaction. »
With this new edition of carefree memories, O’Regan says he hopes Duran Duran fans get to see their heroes. “I want each photo to say something, and you can look at the background and you can look at them, and think that it does. You can put all these photos together and get a piece of your life in this four month period or whatever.
“It was a great moment for the band’s career. I love when people see these ideas, and that’s why I take the photos, really. I don’t need to take as many documentary photos offstage. But I do it because at the end of the day, I want people to be able to see them, and the band too. »
Duran Duran: carefree memories by Denis O’Regan, published by ACC Art Books, is available now.
Source : nouvellefr.com