Chalkie Davies Goes Click At Snap, bringing crackle to pop …

Best rock photograoher Charles Shaar Murray with best music journalist Charles Shaar Murray

Chalkie Davies Snap Gallery

To Piccadilly Arcade’s Snap Gallery (Jaysus, what a gallery queen I’m becoming in my old age) with the ever-delightful Anna Chen to enjoy an emotional and long-overdue reunion with dear friend and former NME colleague, ace photog Chalkie Davies, now long since resident in New York. We were there to check out his mini-exhibition Chalkie Davies Goes Click, a tantalising teaser/prequel for a way more grand and elaborate show to held next year at the National Museum of Wales and featuring 33 classic shots from his days (months, years …) at the NME, including unforgettable images of Blondie, The Clash, Bowie/Ronson, The ‘Oo (well, Pete Townshend’s smashed Rickenbacker), John Lydon, Elvis Costello, Phil Lynott, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Sid’n Nancy, David Byrne and many, many more.

We ended up not in a Soho doorway but in one of our favourite West End eateries, The Canton, for major catch-ups and anecdotage, much of which cannot enter the public domain as long as all three of us remain alive.

Chalkie’s exhibition runs until April 26, so ankle along … hey! Ya never know … Jah Chalk might even be there in person …

Chalkie Davies Anna Chen photograph Pete Townshend's smashed guitar


Screen shot 2013-08-09 at 01.22.59

Sent to me by my blues buddy Stephen Dale Petit, this screengrab comes from the third season of Californication, and displayed within its immaculately-dressed bookshop set you’ll find, semi-prominently included, the old St Martins Press US edition of my John Lee Hooker biography Boogie Man. It also represents as close as I’m ever likely to get to sharing a frame with David Duchovny.

(I presume that’s him behind the incipient beard …)

Marc Bolan fondled my groin …


Old men — as Duff Cooper once wrote — forget. Most people would, I think, remember whether or not they’d ever had their groin fondled by Marc Bolan.

However, I didn’t — until this pic recently resurfaced … at which point it all came (you should pardon the expression) flooding back. Unless I miss my guess, this epic encounter took place during a 1976 Roundhouse gig by The Ramones.

Can’t recall who took the pic, but the leading suspects would have to be Joseph Stevens or Chalkie Davies.

I am, after all, the guy who’s been there, done that and gotten the T-shirt … but who gave it away rather than hang onto it for 30 years and then sell it to the V&A for a small fortune.