by Francesco Mellina, with an introduction by Paul Du Noyer - £20.00 March Design (2014)
paperback ISBN 13: 9780993091605 | ISBN 10: 0993091601
Francesco Mellina was born in southern Italy. He taught himself English by listening to early Beatles and Rolling Stones records before setting off, at the age of sixteen, on a tour of Europe that would see him settle eventually in Liverpool.
He trained in photography at Liverpool Art School in the 1970s and went on to manage the Liverpool band, Nightmares in Wax, later re-named Dead or Alive. He also set up the independent record label Black Eye Records. He was well known on the Liverpool music and club scene through personal friendships with many local musicians and artists. His photographs record the fashions of the various subcultures in clubland during their pivotal post-punk era.
During this time Francesco also developed a career as a rock photographer, capturing on film some of the best-known musicians of the period. His photographs document the iconic Liverpool bands - Echo and the Bunnymen, The Teardrop Explodes, Pete Wylie and Pete Burns - as well as dozens more from elsewhere who were to go on to achieve worldwide fame, including The Clash, The Ramones, New Order, U2, Kraftwerk and The Stranglers. He was a regular contributor to magazines such as The Face, ID, Melody Maker and NME but the photographs of Francesco Mellina reveal a whole lot more than music-mag band shots. Francesco took in the atmosphere of the times. The sights, the sounds, and that pungent, perfumed aroma of the late seventies, early eighties music scene are evoked by his pictures, taken as he stood amongst the audiences of small venues. An observer of human nature, he photographed the onlookers, the spectators, the congregation, the house, the crowd and their clothes, costume, hair, make-up; all the little flourishes that made the people in attendance as important as the act on stage.
(Price & availability last checked: December 2014)