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Philip Townsend (1940-2016)

As the Sixties swung and Britain subverted the old order, photographer Philip Townsend (known as ‘Mr Sixties’), captured many of the stars of that decade, including the Rolling Stones was there to record all the prime people of the time, beautiful and ugly alike: the debs and their beaux, louche lords and club owners, press barons and business moguls, stars and socialites, artists and creatives, royals and ruffians, and above all the new aristocrats of pop and rock, spearheaded by the Beatles and the Rolling Stones. And he documented the peacock gear they wore, the sleek cars they drove, and the aeroplanes that flew them to fresh horizons.

Remarkably, Townsend's entire photographic career exactly spanned that most remarkable of decades, when London was the coolest of capital cities: he took his first serious pictures in 1960 then, in 1970, he put away his cameras for good and casually consigned his pictures to a cupboard.

When he looked at them seriously a few years ago, he found a half-forgotten treasure trove, a time capsule that vividly resurrects those photogenic times. The rescued works are now sought by magazines and newspapers throughout the world, by galleries like the National Portrait Gallery, and by collectors. The reason is simple: Philip Townsend's pictures are the Sixties.

 

Rolling Stones, The (RS005PTOW)

The Rolling Stones

One of the shots from the very first photo shoot in early 1963. Taken five days after Andrew Loog Oldham signed the band.

Prices from £291.67
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Rolling Stones, The (RS001PTOW)

The Rolling Stones

The Stones having a quick smoke before their appearance on 'Thank Your Lucky Stars' at ATV studios in Birmingham.

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Rolling Stones, The (RS003PTOW)

The Rolling Stones

This was the second and last time that the Stones wore these check jackets.

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Rolling Stones, The (RS006PTOW)

The Rolling Stones

Don’t try this now as you would probably drown. Standing on the Thames during the first photo shoot.

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Rolling Stones, The (RS008PTOW)

The Rolling Stones

Does she still like The Stones?. Outside 113 Cheyne Walk. Later Mick, Charlie and Bill all got houses in the area.

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Morrissey performing upside down on a monitor during his Kill Uncle Tour at the Jones Beach Theatre, Wantagh, New York in July 1991

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Artwork by Storm Thorgerson designed to promote Pink Floyd's exhibition Interstellar

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David Bowie (DB007MR)

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David Bowie, Lou Reed & Iggy Pop during a press conference at the Dorchester Hotel, London in July 1972

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David Bowie (DB002DUFFY)

David Bowie

Contact sheet taken from the photo shoot for Aladdin Sane

Prices from £245.83
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Paul Weller

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Cliff Richard (and the Shadows)

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