1. Metallica, 2001 by Mick Hutson
2015 Lollapalooza Headliner
“Lars pointed at me while walking and in mock anger saying, ‘This is your fault… YOUR fault.'”
“12 noon, New York on a Friday – “Of course I’m in New York and yes I’d like to take Metallica outside.” These responses to the PR were met with disbelief and “What did I have in mind?”
Outside, two stretch limo drivers were waiting patiently at the beck and call of said record company in central New York.
I thought I would have a chat with them… and after some persuasion (including 50 bucks) they agreed to take part in my plan.
Metallica had duly given me 5 minutes to do a ‘walk outside’ but I needed a clear street.
A nod to the first limo driver from behind the camera and within seconds a New York main artery was blocked by 24 feet of stretch limo doing a 3-point turn.
Taxis slowed, and I quickly ushered Metallica into the now empty space in the middle of the road. They walked down it with a dam of cars in front of them.
I wasn’t quite happy with the shot, so I asked them to do it again. The once patient blockade of yellow cabs erupted into horn blaring, and one taxi driver left his cab swearing at the top of his voice.
James grinned. Lars pointed at me while walking and in mock anger saying, “This is your fault… YOUR fault,” before we all scampered off the road laughing like naughty schoolboys.”
2. Florence Welch, 2012 by Matt Kent
2015 Glastonbury Headliner
“The lighting was quite moody, which combined with her flaming red hair gave her an almost Pre-Raphaelite appearance.”
This one was taken a couple of years back at the O2 arena in London. The lighting was quite moody, which combined with her flaming red hair gave her an almost Pre-Raphaelite appearance.
A year later I had a small exhibition entitled ‘Sirens’ in a south London pub, near to my then home. I didn’t realize that Florence had also moved into the area and on opening night she walked past.
Unfortunately by the time I’d got out of the pub to try and entice her in, she had gone, just disappeared! I thought that was in keeping with the almost ethereal nature of the shot.”
3. AC/DC, 2010 by Christie Goodwin
2015 Coachella Headliner
“It was a challenge to avoid the monstrous rolling cameras that swept from left to right”
“This picture was taken during the 2010 Download Festival where AC/DC were headlining the first night.
The band had shipped their own larger than life stage, which had been set up next to the main stage. A mountain of Marshall amps was covering both sides of the stage, just to make sure that the Midlands and neighboring counties would hear the rock icons loud and clear.
A handful of photographers were allowed to cover the first two songs, and I was one of the lucky ones to do so. We had to climb upon a small sub-stage just under the main stage, and it was a challenge to avoid the monstrous rolling cameras that swept from left to right on the same platform. No health & safety on this occasion!
I particularly love this picture because you have a mega band on a mega stage with a mega set up and on walks the Geordie frontman Brian Johnson, with a cap and ripped shirt looking just like most of the people in the crowd – still very much in touch with the working class roots he sprung from.”
4. Bjork, 1990 by Kevin Cummins
2015 Wilderness Headliner
“Half way through she said to me, ‘Who is this man again?’”
“This shot was the cover of the NME Christmas edition, and the idea was to shoot the major stars of the year.
Evan was really excited to meet Bjork, and in his typical style, he was flirting with her on set and offering her copies of his CDs. He even brought a guitar and tried to sing to her. She was blasé and not really bothered about the whole thing.
Half way through she said to me, “Who is this man again?”
I have shot Bjork many times, and she’s always in her own world, but still very focused. I thought it was just brilliant that she was prepared to do the cover shoot when she didn’t even know who Evan Dando was!”
5. Prodigy, 1997 by Martyn Goodacre
2015 Benicassim Headliner
“The ground shook when the first beats to ‘Smack my b**** up’ kicked in.”
“A Prodigy gig in the 90’s was the perfect antidote to the Brit-pop dirge that had taken over the music scene in the UK at that time. It wasn’t Beatles haircuts, anoraks and whining songs; it was hardcore dance meets thrash-punk and live they not only sounded amazing, they looked amazing.
It was as close to the apocalypse as possible.
The air of anticipation before the band arrived on stage was an unbearable adrenaline rush and being in between the stage and a vast crowd of Prodigy fans, you could only feel blessed as the tension hit an all mighty high.
I’m not exaggerating when I tell you that the ground shook when the first beats to ‘Smack my b**** up’ kicked in.
The hardest thing was taking a photo of all this. Keith and Maxim rarely stay in one place for a second, and the stage is eight foot high. Add constant strobe lighting, no auto focus and you can only hope your film will catch something that is usable in the two songs or less you are allowed to be there for.
To get an iconic image under these circumstance is luck.”
Browse more music photography in our Redferns Collection on Getty Images