When I photographed Richard Butler in the lift of his record label CBS his band The Psychedelic Furs were in a musical transition from being an arty new wave band with punk overtones to creating a straightforward rock sound that was less pretentious and would give them mainstream success particularly in the US.The Psychedelic Furs album ‘Talk Talk Talk’ was just released at this time and creating a buzz.
I wasn’t a fan of their music and that can sometimes make it difficult to be inspired when it comes to taking photographs. I would sometimes get musicians to collaborate in the photo shoot by getting them to produce their own lighting. I had the flash gun attached to a long lead and gave it to Richard to point at himself or wherever he wanted to. It can create interesting shapes and shadows although as this was done in pre-digital days I didn’t know what I was getting until I developed the film. Highlights can get burnt out, flare can be a problem and the angles may not always be particularly flattering but that is part of the fun of it. He was a willing participant striking different poses and tugging his shirt and hair. I don’t think we said a word to each other during the whole shoot.