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Book Review

Book Cover

No Cameras Allowed
My Career as an Outlaw Rock and Roll Photographer 1981-1987 (Hardback)


Author: Julian David Stone
Publisher: For the Duration Press
ISBN: 978 0 98983 151 2
Publication Date: 16 October 2018

No Cameras Allowed: My Career as an Outlaw Rock and Roll Photographer 1981-1987 (2018. 250 pages Colour & Black and White) is a collection of photographs taken by Julian David Stone. The twelve inch by twelve inch coffee table book covers more than fifty bands.

By his own admission Stone started to smuggle in his camera equipment to gigs. Secreted about his person and reassembled in the auditorium, he was able to capture shots of some of the most important bands of the day. The book contains only a proportion of the ten thousand images he was able to capture.

It’s difficult to know the final layout of the book as it was sent as a PDF and not a completed tome, but it looks like you get quite a lot of double page spreads.

The book covers a lot of well-known acts, many of whom achieved international fame, so the biggies like Tom Petty, U2 and David Bowie should be familiar wherever you are in the world. There are a few more obscure America centric acts which I had never heard of. Overall, though, I’m guessing that ninety per cent of the bands will be familiar to the reader.

Most of the acts are accompanied with a small amount of text either describing them or something notable about the gig.

In a lot of cases it seems that he was able to move around the auditorium getting shots from both sides of the stage, which stops the photos becoming repetitive. I particularly liked the part on Talking Heads as from the pictures he was obviously lucky enough to be at one of the ‘Stop Making Sense’ concerts. Colour me jealous.

Stone finally gave up sneaking his camera into gigs. This was in part because a picture of U2 got him a professional gig, which lost the thrill and lustre of sneaking shots, and in part following a camera malfunction, at a Bruce Springsteen concert, which made him reflect on his life choices: photography or filmmaking. He chose filmmaking.

The book really does well in capturing an era prior to corporately created bands and repetitive pop songs written on the same synthesizer.


Charles Packer

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