Behind the lens with Kevin Cummins Roses splatter shot

Legendary music photographer Kevin Cummins shares anecdotes from his time photographing The Stone Roses at “Sonos presents… The Music, The Myths and The Mayhem.”

Having photographed everyone from The Happy Mondays to David Bowie, Duran Duran and of course, The Stone Roses, Cummins was once described by The Buzzcocks’ Pete Shelley as “sometimes more important than the bands themselves.”

Interviewed by music journalist Lois Wilson (Mojo, Q, Kerrang! and NME), Kevin Cummins talked through the influential late 80s-to-early 90s scene. Starting from his time as a student blagging into gigs with nothing more than an empty camera case all the way to shooting Joy Division in the snow and capturing the iconic Stone Roses ‘splatter shot’ NME cover from 18 November 1989.

“We spent the morning turning the place into a polethene cube so when the band turned up and lay in place, Guitarist John Squire opened a gallon tin of paint and just threw it across them! I kept thinking, “god, this isn’t going to work at all, this is not what I thought it was going to be like! John continued to be build the paint up by throwing it across the band and then tipping it over his head and getting back into the shot so we built it up colour by colour. At the end of the shoot they needed to get showered but I had to break the news to them that there were no showers in the building so they put hand prints all down the stairwell of the building!”

For those who missed the event, here’s the video of Kevin Cummins talking through The Stone Roses iconic ‘splatter shot’.

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