'So Keith Moon nicked a flag ...'
brianinatlanta2001 at yahoo.com
Sun Sep 6 14:00:47 UTC 2009
From The Observer:
How the Observer's Colin Jones got the definitive photo of the Who
In the 60s, pop wasn't simply the preserve of the teen mags and red-tops. Among the most-forward looking broadsheets, the Observer, under David Astor's editorship, boasted critics including George Melly and later Nick Cohn, as well as film critic Penelope Gilliatt, champion of the Beatles' A Hard Day's Night.
In March 1966, the Observer Magazine published a famous story about the Who. Written by John Heilpern, it concentrated on the business brains behind the band's rise: manager Kit Lambert ("I like the blatantness of pop, the speed, the urgency") and his partner, Chris Stamp. But the iconic cover was the work of photographer Colin Jones, thanks to the assistance of Keith Moon. "We were at Manchester airport," Jones now recalls, "when the editor called asking me to shoot a cover, in colour. Pete Townshend had his Union Jack jacket, so I thought a Union Jack in the background would work. Keith said: 'I know where to get one of those' - and he ran downstairs and up the hotel's flagpost and nicked the flag from there!"
The son of an east London printer, Jones trained as a dancer at the Royal Ballet School, before being seduced into life as a photojournalist. Working at the Observer, alongside colleagues including Jane Bown, he travelled the world. "I was more a fan of classical music; but when I got to know the Who, I got to like them, all right."
Caspar Llewellyn Smith
The Who: In the Beginning is at Proud Central, London WC2N, 24 September-15 November. www.proud.co.uk -Brian in Atlanta
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