Thursday, 25 August 2011

A story behind a photograph 4: Tony Hedley Spandau Ballet

 Tony Hedley lead singer from Spandau Ballet photographed in his limousine at the Ahoy concert hall in Rotterdam.  The photograph was published in the Dutch Avenue Magazine Summer 1985
photo: Marc T 

Pictures taken by hazard like the Spandau Ballet, Tony Hedley one are often more interesting than commissioned ones.
I was having some good time with my girlfriend and some friends in Rotterdam, The Netherlands,  After dinner we went out for a walk and took with me a light Nikon FM camera with my favorite 21 mm wide angle lens and armed with the classic TRI-X 400 ASA pushed at 1600 . One of our friends, a fashion journalist at the Dutch Avenue Magazine and good friend of the young designers Viktor and Rolf,  told us that something was going on in the Ahoy but he didn't know which band was playing. So we decided to have a look. It was already late and we saw the audience leaving the venue. Instinctively I went to  the backstage entrance situated behind the building.  In vacation or not I was a press photographer always looking for opportunities. Roadies were busy loading the trucks with sound and light equipment. I enter the backstage zone and walked in freely, only technicians were in the building. I saw a black limo and realized that the musicians were still inside.  A Spandau Ballet poster taped on a door gave the clue what was going on. The black limo started to leave the venue and  suddenly I saw good old chap Nigel Spencer,.a well known tour manager. He was screaming as usual  " Hold on a sec Tony".  Hedley opened his window and cockney Nigel told him " Tomorrow's sound check at three, can't do it later, after you have TV... it's a F... festival you know and don't be late or I F...kill you" and the limo disappeared. Before going back inside Nigel turn his head and saw me: ; "What the F... are you doing here, did not see you tonight w'a happen... no more money at The Face?  Come on let's have a drink in my loge...  F.. .shit tomorrow we are in Germany another 8 hours drive from here"...He pushed 1/2 plastic cup  whiskey in my hand and  gave me a big hug.. "I'm leaving now bloke, we are F...late... still a long  road to the next gig, wanna come with me?"
I just told him that I was on holiday with my girlfriend having great fun and that I even didn't know about Spandau being here.
Nigel just told me: " You are a F...lucky man"

Nigel Spencer, a.k.a. Doctor Miracle for having the incredible ability of solving problems in the most unusual and fast way, was a well known  tour manager for a lot of rock bands in the U.K. I met Nigel the first time in  '75 or '76 on the first Sex Pistol gig in Manchester and later  with Bow Wow Wow, Siouxie and The Banshees, Bauhaus and many others and we became very good friends.  He was a fast speaking, strong and skinny truly  London bloke,  he was recognized as a fantastic and effective tour manager.: Nigel was the first tour manager in the London New Wave music scene before joining defenately U2. Nigel lives currently with his first and only wife, also his press assistant,  in New York City. He has interrupted completely with any contacts and with music business in general some 10 years ago. For  more than 20 years he was  intensively touring around the world  with the most prominent New Wave rock bands. Since he moved to New York  I never met him again.

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