“From the first time I saw a photograph being developed and printed, I was hooked. I couldn’t believe it. It was like magic.” — Dennis Morris
Dennis Morris, a legendary British photographer, is a camera connoisseur ever since he was 8 years young. In the East End, where he grew up, he was oftentimes called as Mad Dennis because of his penchant and preference for photography over football. At age 11, one of his photographs was printed on the front page of the Daily Mirror, a newspaper in England.
It was 1973 when Morris’ music photography career began. Morris was 14 years young when he was invited by Bob Marley to photograph the reggae remainders of the UK Tour. His shots of Marley and The Wailers became so popular and the images appeared on the covers of Melody Maker and Time Out even before he turned 17.
After a few years, the frontman of the punk rock band Sex Pistols, Johnny Rotten (who was then an ultimate reggae fan), personally asked Morris to be the band’s official photographer. Morris trailed the band and took innumerable undisputed shots of Rotten, Vicious, and the rest of the band.
Dennis Morris has written two photobiographies:
1) Bob Marley: A Rebel Life: A Photobiography, 1973-1980
This is a visual celebration of the king of reggae, Bob Marley. Morris photographed him for several years until his death in 1981. The book includes 150 photographs, 50 of which are in color. “Can I take a picture of you?” were his first words to Marley.
2) Destroy: A Photographic Record of the Sex Pistols, 1977
This is a stunning black and white photographic compilation of the Sex Pistols which were taken within a span of 12 months: from their business travels to their inevitable downfall. According to Morris, “The Sex Pistols were the voice of the young, white youth of England. But it was done in a different way.”
To date, Dennis Morris continues to be a pioneer in music photography. He now lives in London with his family. View more of his collections, exhibitions, and publications at www.dennismorris.com.