It is not every day you meet a Rock Legend and I had looked forward to the assignment, we met at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Knightsbridge on a day that Roger was giving many short interviews for chosen media. The interview was focused on his current ‘The Wall‘ tour … it is 34 years ago that Pink Floyd released the double album The Wall. Roger also talked about his opera Ça Ira which will be performed at Götaplatsen in Göteborg, Sweden on the 13th August 4 days before his The Wall performance.
It was one of those hotel rooms that lack any form of inspiration (again) … and my immediate thought was “What the hell am I going to do here”. I felt a slight panic.
I guessed that I wouldn’t be able to take him outside and I scouted around for a good location and found a suitable spot in a corridor near the hotel entrance, stupidly I asked his press team if this was OK? and their immediate response was “No, it’s out of the question” I kicked myself – had I asked Roger himself he probably would have said “Sure, why not – lets do it”.
I sat through the very interesting interview and admired the man. Charismatic.
Knowing that I had just a couple of minutes to do the images I decided to do something that I have done before with similar difficult surroundings and that was to take him out of the room and the environment by tightly framing him in the camera and make a ‘tight portrait’ and by using a shallow depth of field I threw the background out of focus.
For the landscape format images I asked Roger to sit sideways in a chair which had a flash of red colour and studs which I felt worked well – there were paintings on the wall in the background which I took down as to not clutter up the image and to take the focus away from Roger. I set up an off camera flash to his right to give a little punch in the picture.
Roger was a really nice person – just as you hope a legend should be. I hope I have his stamina and vision when I am 69 years old! (70 in September).