On face value, this is a rather uncoothe photo. I agree. However, the point of this blog is to show there is often a story behind a photo. And this is the case here...
In November 1992, not long after arriving in Edinburgh, I was working a shift for the Edinburgh Evening News. The photo editor approached me and said, 'I've got a job you might be interested in. Have you heard of an Australian comedian called Kevin 'Bloody' Wilson?'
I told him I had and he thrust a job sheet into my hand.
For those of you who don't know Kevin 'Bloody' Wilson (hereby KBW), he writes 'bawdy' ballads. Some might even say downright filthy, but one person's filth is another person's poetry. Either way, he amazingly popular Down Under. So much so that, without any airplay (not with songs like those he sings!!!) and initially by word of mouth alone, KBW has now sold over 3 millions records/tapes/CDs. An outstanding effort. I didn't know much of KBW's stuff at the time but what I did know was bawdy, to say the least! Here's a snippet of one of his least R-rated (more recent) songs - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZnuPeXrwFEU&feature=fvst
Back in 1992, KBW was touring the UK and had a show in Edinburgh. While there, he was sponsoring a local rugby team for their match that weekend and was going to be at the rugby club for a photo that day. Why he was going to be sponsoring the team, I can't remember.
Anyway, I set off for the club's ground in Edinburgh and when I got there KBW had just arrived. It was vert low key. The club was a small club and the clubhouse nothing much more than a glorified shed. KBW was there on his own - no PR or agent or the like. He was totally amiable and open to any suggestions, photo-wise.
I pretty much knew what I was going to do - the well cliched photo of a group of burly rugby players holding KBW as he lay in their arms, wearing the team jersey with his name (as sponsor) emblazoned on it.
We tried several takes on this theme and all was good. I was happy, he was happy, the rugby team was happy.
KBW joked around with the players and we left the club together.
As we were walking to our respective cars I told him my brother was a huge fan and asked if I could get an autograph.
'Sure!' he said, as glad as you like, and I handed him my notepad and pen.
'What's his name?' asked KBW.
'Bruno,' I responded.
And with that he wrote: To Bruno, Get F*cked (minus the *), Kevin Bloody Wilson"
I looked at it and smiled.
'He's gonna love that,' I said.
Then I said: 'Can I get a photo of the two of us as well to send to him?'
Nothing was too much for KBW and he jumped at the idea.
I had a wide angle lens on the camera and held the camera out in front of me. KBW threw his arm around me and, without prompting, thrust his middle finger into the air.
'Hey Bruno, get f*cked!' he said as I threw my middle finger in the air alongside his and snapped a couple of shots.
'Mate, he is so gonna love that,' I said to KBW, who smiled back at me. Something told me this wasn't the first time he'd struck such a pose in a photo for a fan.
'Hey,' said KBW, 'do you want to come to the show tomorrow night? I can stick a few tickets on the door for you.'
'Sure,' I said. To be honest, I was a bit dubious and thought the evening might be a bit crass. But, freebies were freebies - what the hell!
The following night I went along to the Edinburgh Playhouse with two mates, one Aussie and the other Scottish. We took our seats and the lights dimmed.
On came KBW and for the next two hours or so, we laughed our arses off. He was bawdy, he was 'blue', he was filthy - but throughout he was bloody funny. It wasn't just 'f*ck this' and 'f*ck that', as I'd expected. It was classy filth, if there is such a thing, and it was all done with a nod, a wink, a look of the eyes and a raise of the eyebrows.
What's more, the crowd all knew KBW's songs and, the Scots being the great singing nation that they are, he was accompanied by a couple of thousand others each time he launched into a song. It was fantastic!
Footnote - I sent the autograph and photo to my brother and, in the more-than-five-years I was in Edinburgh, it was the only time he rang me, outside of my birthday.
'Oh mate,' he said. 'Thanks for the photo and autograph. I've shown it to all my mates and they think it's f*cking great!'
Gear used - Nikon FM2, Nikkor 24mm f2.8 lens, Fuji 400ISO film (maybe pushed to 800ISO)