I had never heard of Steve Earle when NME commissioned me to go to Amsterdam and photograph him but any excuse to go to the Dutch capital was always worthwhile. I met him in his tiny hotel room where he was sitting on his bed writing songs with an old acoustic guitar. He was very sombre and focussed on his work so it seemed easier to shoot him in his room and on the balcony rather than interrupt him too much. He seemed in a dark mood which was likely due to his serious heroin addiction at the time. Nonetheless his show at the famous Club Paradiso that night was full of pent up raw energy.
Although he was already a veteran of the Nashville music scene his music had a wider flavour than most of the country music stalwarts and he has progressively recorded bluegrass, folk and hard rock. He has also acted, written several books including a book of haikus and been a strong advocate for the repeal of the death penalty in the US. After a stint in prison on drug and gun charges he has not only worked prolifically but also managed to be married seven times! He regularly performs at concerts for a land-mine free world and against the Iraq war along with other veteran’s causes.