Book review

Steve Gullick
Vision On

ShowtimeShowtime is a book about rock stars. Big rock stars, wannabe rock stars, crap rock stars, dead rock stars, underground rock stars and possibly even rock stars you didn't know were rock stars. It sheds its spotlight in all the right places - and that's a mighty fine thing to be doing!

If you've ever wondered why Evan Dando was huge when you hated his band, or if you need to know why people think Henry Rollins is a bit on the intense side and shouldn't be crossed; take a look inside. Captured here are close on one hundred mad bastards and bastardesses (?) who shaped the nineties - most of whom I suspect will also go on to shape the early part of this decade in one way or another.
    Showtime however is much more than a bunch of pics of some famous people. Primarily, it's a showcase for Steve Gullick's talent. He's the man with the plan; the photographer with a good taste in music. Each of these pictures was hand picked by Gullick and as such shows just what music photography should be about. Sometimes out of focus, sometimes losing the plot completely, but mainly bang on target.
    More than this, it's a legend of what happened in music since 1990, and that's more important than you'll ever know. People tend to kick back on their favourite bands when creating a timeline and forget that even though, for example, Depeche Mode suck big time and you wouldn't spit on them, go near one of their shows, or even mention that you had heard of them even it meant free sex, they were important enough to be instrumental in bringing us the rock behemoth that is Trent Reznor. To truly love a band or, conversely, to badmouth a band into the dirt, you have to know your shit.
    The one consistency through all of this, is that none of the artists featured are manufactured. Each icon - love them or hate them - has made it (and oft-times spectacularly fucked it up) on their own terms. Mike Scott, Björk, Chris Cornell, Frank Black . . . Jesus, there's even a brilliant photograph of Mark Lanegan in here - I'd forgotten Screaming Trees ever existed. They are all people who shouldn't really be seen together, but somehow, it fits together perfectly and makes complete sense.

This is our music generation. This is what we created. These are the people that were presented to us through their music, and we accepted, paid our money and screamed for more. Somewhere in-between all of these pictures, is us. Frightening.

:: Sion Smith

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