shooting album cover

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Born in Nigeria and raised in New Jersey, Modu was a young photographer whose parents had been part of the first wave of immigrants.

His photos have graced the covers of Rolling Stone Magazine and Jazz Times, Chi will also be remembered for shooting iconic album covers for Snoop Dogg, Method Man, Mobb Deep, Mad Lion, and Christian McBride. His work has appeared in numerous exhibitions, including the Hutchins Gallery, Lawrenceville School, Lawrenceville NJ, the Brooklyn Museum of Art, Brooklyn NY, and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland OH.

wait. A Nigerian took one of Nas’ and BIG’s most iconic photos ever?? Dope!

Funny Japan Stories

This first one isn’t really funny but I have been asked about it a lot, it is of course the sandwich story:

David and Steve were fighting and Steve said something and swore at David. David then proceeded to grab a tray of sandwiches and launch it at Steve. He felt terrible about it afterwards but Steve had to cancel some of his tour dates because his hand was badly injured. 

The second one is a well known one but I will include it anyway: 

When Quiet Life was being made the record company gave the band £1000 to get some new clothes for the album cover-shoot. David on the other hand had other ideas and spent the entire £1000 on the red leather jacket you see him wearing on the front cover.

This one is from Mick’s autobiography:

Mick used to share a hotel room with Steve and apparently Steve used to sleepwalk a lot. Mick would get woken up in the middle of the night because Steve was switching the lights on and off and mumbling to himself. Then he would always tangle himself up in the curtains still talking to himself before taking himself back to bed.

This one is also from Mick’s biography:

David and Steve somehow found out where David Bowie lived and knocked on his door one day to see if they could see him. They were politely sent on their way and years later David constantly complained about people doing the same thing to him. 

 This is one of my personal favourites:

The band were on an airplane and Mick went into the toilet to give himself a horrendous makeover just to make the band laugh. He came out to reveal his ridiculous make up and then the seat belt sign came up and he couldn’t move from his seat. He had to get off the plane at the airport with all of the make up still on.

Another personal favourite:

Mick used to do funny dances for the band before live performances just to calm their nerves and make them feel better before they went on stage. One night the band were on a French TV show performing live and before the curtain went up Mick did his funny dance to make the band laugh. He was still doing it when the curtain went up and the entire audience saw him much to his embarrassment.

This one is literally my favourite:

David was in a supermarket one day just minding his own business, doing the weekly shop no doubt (maybe a bit of Special K in the trolley), when suddenly this woman approached him looking shocked. He was like “Oh no, she knows who I am” but before he could say anything she was like “My God! You are the best David Sylvian lookalike I have ever seen!” and he just played along with a massive grin on his face.

Some childhood stories:

Steve decided that he wanted to join tennis club just so he could stand in the park and chat to his mates unsupervised. Naughty Steve. David and Steve also hated going to school so they would rub and rub their eyes so that their mother would let them stay off with hayfever.

And of course everybody’s favourite:

David and Steve were in their hotel room in their underwear. They heard a knock at the door and assuming that it was someone they were completely comfortable being half naked in front of they just shouted “Come in!”. Suddenly, a load of fans burst in, snapped a load of pictures of them in their underwear and were then escorted away by security. Both David and Steve are now waiting for the pictures to surface on the internet and so is everyone on tumblr.

Requested by my good friend nickrhodeslittledarling

Prince and Photographers

JOE GIANNETTI: He was just beginning when I was hired to shoot the For You album cover. At the time, there weren’t a lot of make-up artists who understood how to do makeup for people of color. But he had found someone who knew. He had a giant afro, and he made it clear he wasn’t going to cut it, so the hair kind of dictated [the cover]. He came in with two of his friends. All of three of them were very at ease with doing this, which was a great relief because a lot of the other people who were there were kind of uptight. But he was just beginning and I mean…Warner Brothers was going to pay for it.

We spent a whole afternoon shooting. The longer we shot, the more relaxed he became. After a while, we were just sitting around laughing. Then we went out to California to shoot the album insert. The insert is him sitting on a bed and it looks like he doesn’t have any clothes on, but he does have a bathing suit on. It was pretty modest. It was oval window and a circular bed and he was playing. The picture was pretty nice. You think it’s kind of wild but it wasn’t, it was quite tastefully done. He had a very good attitude.

It became apparent very quickly how smart he was. And we’d have conversations about what it is to be a musician and be a performer, and I think he took that to heart. Right after, I began to see big changes in performance and how he presented himself. I used to tell him, “The less people know about you, the better off you are, because they will use it. They’ll turn it.” He knew when a manager or somebody around was trying to snow him.

You know how some performers, they diminish the people around or the fans. He didn’t do that and neither did his staff. There was a great deal of respect for other people. You didn’t feel like an outsider. You didn’t feel like a vendor. You were considered an artist for whatever you did: makeup artist or costume artist. That’s why I think he got the best out of people.

He made himself. Anybody that comes forward and says “I made him”—they didn’t! Prince made Prince, that’s the best way to put it. People forget its performance, it’s not just the music. It’s putting a show on and sucking you into the brilliance.