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New book jam packed with illegally snapped 80s concert photos

Julian David Stone was a terrible French horn player. 

As he explains in the prologue of his new book, “No Cameras Allowed: My career as an outlaw rock & roll photographer, 1981-1987,” Stone picked the instrument not because he was necessarily interested in it, but because that’s what John Lennon was holding on the Sgt. Pepper album cover. 

Dissuaded from being a musician himself, Stone did the next best thing, dedicating several years of his life to going to shows and smuggling in cameras to snap thousands upon thousands of photos from the biggest rock acts of the 1980s, from Talking Heads and the B-52s to U2 in Dublin a year after War’s release. 

“Over 250 gorgeous photos of 40 different bands are all packed up in this beautiful hardcover book. If you were there in the 1980s, flipping through the book will bring everything back, like finding that old Men at Work concert t-shirt at the bottom of a dresser drawer. (Yup, they’re in the book too!,” Stone wrote on his Kickstarter page. “If you weren’t, then you’ll love seeing some true musical icons in action, and hearing all my stories about evading security, outrunning roadies, turning pro and then having everything come to a crashing end at a Bruce Springsteen concert.” 

He lovingly details some of his more important moments, including this story from his first on-the-sly photo shoot of the Ramones in Palo Alto, California, in April 1983. 

As he details it, Stone was an 18-year-old music fan, eager to see the Ramones and to take some photos. 

“Imagine my surprise when a large security guard, after searching my bag, blocked me from entering the club. With a deep scowl, he flatly intoned ‘No cameras allowed,’” Stone writes. “Minutes later, back at my car, as I was about to toss my 35mm equipment onto the back seat, I froze. 

“Was it the Ramones? Was it being 18? Was it that streak of rebellion that we all want to believe we have? Perhaps it was all three — because I decided I was going to photograph the concert anyway.” 

He creates a system of hiding his gear on him, in places that might not be subjected to the routine guard pat-down — remember, we’re talking about the 1980s here — and manages to capture some really great music moments in the process.
Curious? Check it out here.

Amber Healy

I write about music policy and lawsuits because they're endlessly fascinating.

Amber Healy has 520 posts and counting. See all posts by Amber Healy

One thought on “New book jam packed with illegally snapped 80s concert photos

  • I question the use of the term “illegally”, since sneaky concert photos aren’t against any laws, only band or venue policy. I did order the book, though.


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