An exhibition of photographs of David Bowie, captured by his childhood friend, photographer, and travelling companion Geoff MacCormack, will open in Brighton next month.
Back in the early 1970s, when Bowie had reached a creative peak and was touring with The Spiders From Mars, MacCormack got the call to join the musician on his travels. Then working selling advertising space for a London construction paper, MacCormack didn’t have much choice but to accept, and spent the next three years on tour, playing in various iterations of the band.
Though MacCormack had no photography training – “they’re holiday snaps really,” he tells the Guardian of the photographs – he also carefully documented the three years with Bowie.
The resulting images capture backstage moments, snapshots from the set of Nicolas Roeg’s Bowie-starring film The Man Who Fell to Earth, and scenes from Bowie’s ride on the Trans-Siberian Express (the musician had a phobia of flying, favouring cars, boats, buses, and trains throughout the 1970s).
For MacCormack, the scenes from The Man Who Fell to Earth are the highlight. “It was just one of those idyllic situations and he was enjoying working on that film and he was clearly right for it and it was all going well,” the photographer says. “That was a really nice period.”
The new exhibition will feature 60 shots from Bowie and MacCormack’s travels around the world. Back in 2018, MacCormack also shared some of the stories behind his intimate photos of David Bowie with Dazed.
Rock ‘n’ Roll with Me Bowie/MacCormack 1973-76 runs from October 17, 2020 to June 6, 2021 at the Brighton Museum and Art Gallery.