The Smiths 1983 & 4: Previously Unseen Photos

I went to primary school in Camberley, Surrey. I was in the same class as Guy Van Steene. We went our separate ways aged 13 but kept in touch over the years. Guy came to a few of The Buzz Clubs I organised and we saw a fair bit of each other when I was living in London. We shared a mutual taste in music and were both friends with another music lover (and later Creation Records employee) John Andrews (who is now Andrews Arcadia – collector of vintage fishing tackle and Caught By The River MC).

Here’s Guy and myself in a class photo from 1978.

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John told me recently that Guy had quite a few photos from the ’80s and ’90s that I should see. What a treasure trove unfolded! There are a few gems ahead, but here, as a starting point are Guys photos of The Smiths from 1983 and 1984. There aren’t many – Guy told me he would only snap a few per gig as getting them developed was expensive! They are grainy and full of character.

Here’s Guy outside The Rock Garden in Covent Garden where he and John first saw The Smiths in the summer of 1983 when he was 17 or 18. (By coincidence I became the band booker at this venue in 1989)

1983

Here’s John, at The Buzz Club a few years later, held at the West End Centre in Aldershot.

1986

I’ll let Guy continue:

The Smiths Westfield College 17.11.83 was an adventure with me driving up to London.  Naturally I was excited about going to see the band again after John Andrews and I first saw them at the Rock Garden in the summer.  John remembers that we were late getting to the gig.  Am not totally sure who was with us but it would probably have been my mate Bill Denton who was a friend of a friend.  Bill became a great gig buddy in the eighties but now contact has unfortunately been lost.  I took along my camera (Olympus 35RD) which I usually carried with me at the time with a roll of black and white film for artistic effect.  We had got into The Smiths through the sessions on John Peel.  Attire was a long ‘crombie’ type coat picked up at a jumble sale or in High Street Kensington market and combed back hair as a subliminal nod to Ian McCulloch (we were big Bunnymen fans). Shoes were Doc Martins with Pringle socks. As to the gig itself it was cool to snap Morrissey dancing with his arms in a ballerina style and a couple of Johnny Marr close-ups.  Afterwards we hung around and and sat on the stage when Morrissey came over for a post-gig chat which was cool.  I took a couple of pics of the crowd and in particular the one of the chap sitting on the stage smoking a cigarette had caught my eye as I thought he perfectly fitted the evening.

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The next Smiths gig we got to was at Reading University 22.2.84 armed once more with my trusty Olympus camera and another black and white film.  Again am not too sure who was with me apart from John and do not remember too much about the gig other than somehow afterwards we ended up backstage.  I did have a few pictures here but cannot find them and these ‘lost’ pics were of Johnny Marr who was now wearing beads and smoking cigarettes whilst chatting away mostly to a girl who John knew.  At the gig itself I was glad that I managed to get the picture of Morrissey with his arms pointing upwards and tongue sticking out and one with him wearing national health glasses and flowers hanging from his back pocket.

Guy found more pictures from this gig, including the shots taken back stage a few days after I posted this. Click here to see them!

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Thanks Guy – more soon…..

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