Unseen Bowie photos to go on show in Edinburgh

David Bowie died in January aged 69.
David Bowie died in January aged 69.
Have your say

THEY capture the late David Bowie at his commercial peak, thrilling audiences at sold out stadium shows and finding a moment of repose in far-flung hotel rooms.

A new exhibition of photographs of the late music superstar is to go on show in Edinburgh later this year.

The images, many of which have never been seen in public before, chronicle Bowie’s life on and off stage over the course of a decade.

They were taken by the singer’s official photographer, Denis O’Regan, who documented Bowie’s stratospheric fame throughout the 1980s and early 1990s, a period in which he played hundreds of arena gigs around the world.

As well as capturing Bowie performing in front of his adoring fans, Mr O’Regan’s photographs also capture the singer’s private side, showing him sitting alone reading newspapers or taking afternoon tea.

One offbeat image even finds Bowie visiting Madame Tussauds in London to help ensure his waxwork is fitted with a convincing glass eye.

Mr O’Regan, who was also the official photographer for Live Aid and toured with acts such as The Rolling Stones, Queen and Pink Floyd, said that having the opportunity to be the first member of his trade to work full-time with Bowie - who died in January at the age of 69 - offered him a unique insight.

“David had never been photographed in this way before, he’d never had a tour documented, so there weren’t that many photographs of him on previous tours,” he explained. “This was the first time anyone was really given that access.”

The experience saw Mr O’Regan join Bowie on his Serious Moonlight tour in 1983, followed four years later by his Glass Spider tour and 1990’s Sound and Vision concerts.

For the 63-year-old, however, it was the moments off stage that live long in his memory, when he photographed Bowie returning to his old flat in Berlin.

“If I had to chose one image, maybe it would be one of the shots by the Berlin Wall, I think,” Mr O’Regan added.

“For David, the show there in 1987 was a special show. After the soundcheck, apropo of nothing, David said to me, ‘Shall we go back to my old apartment where I used to live and we’ll just knock on the door?’

“So we did, and this bloke opened the door and tried to be as nonchalant as he could be, and we went up. It was good to have an insight into how he lived at that point.

“It’s also the other thing about him having me around all the time - things could happen on the spur of the moment and I’d capture stuff. If you turned up for a month, you might not get them, but if you’re there all the time, you get a lot more coverage.”

The exhibition of images, entitled ‘David and I’, is being organised by Off Beat Lounge, a company that specialises in the publication and exhibition of limited edition, fine art rock photography.

The show will visit the Eastern Mini Showroom in Newbridge on 17 November. Tickets are available to buy via Ticketweb.