Bono and Michael Hutchence: The story behind the photos - U2 Feedback

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Old 10-30-2013, 04:40 PM   #1
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Bono and Michael Hutchence: The story behind the photos

Hi there! These photos have been posted here before, but recently the original photographer contacted me with his story of how they came to be taken. It's pretty cool to hear a bit about the background of these really special photos of Bono and Michael Hutchence together. Thank you again to Tim Douglas for sharing his story and photos.

Here is the story of how I came to take the photos of Michael Hutchence and Bono at Hamiltons Gallery, in Mayfair, London, near the Connaught hotel. This gallery was owned by Tim Jefferies, and was a gallery for fine art and art photography. A record company were holding their Christmas party there that night, the 19th of December, 1994. It was being thrown by Sony and Pavarotti and others were supposed to be going. I turned up there at about 6:30. It was a freezing night and fairly soon the bitter cold was biting into my bones. It was very quiet - no sign of a party, no doormen or security outside. No barriers - nothing! It is very unusual to have something like this all to ones self. But eventually discreet limos began pulling up or people just walked up the street. Andrew Lloyd-Webber and his wife, a couple of Bee Gees and their wives, Michael Hutchence and Helena Christensen - others who I didn’t recognise. And then Bono. (But no Pavarotti!) I took pics as they arrived, asking politely. I think I was too slow to get shots of Bono on the way in. I then had to wait for the party to be over so I could get them leaving. People started to leave and the last people in there were Bono and Hutchence.
Bono came out first and I asked him if I could do a pic and he obliged. He said “your beard certainly has possibilities!” He may even have reached out and stroked it. I truly can’t remember (but it wouldn’t have been an isolated beard stroking incident - Noel Gallagher did it when I was snapping him at a shop launch in Bond Street, and Carlos Santana did it during a guitar solo at the Hammersmith Odeon London in 1984! But I digress-) I took a pic, then he started to get in the back of his limo. Then Michael and Helena came out of the door of the gallery and I said to Bono, who was actually by now in the back of the car, "Is there any chance of doing a pic of you and Michael together?” He said “good idea!” and got back out and made the pictures for me, putting his head on Helena’s belly, and kissing Hutch on the cheek, etc! Bless him! Then it was over. I thanked them, he got back in the car, and I think Michael and Helena just walked off down the street arm in arm. I was excited 'cause I knew I had something that would go in the papers. I had forgotten how unwell I felt and how very cold I was! I went to look for a phone box (didn’t have a mobile in those days) and found one near Green Park underground station. I contacted a photographer friend who sold my pics for me and tried to convince him that I had something good. It was too late to go in the next morning's papers. Later he phoned to say the Sun were very interested, and a journalist might phone me up for the details of what happened. The next morning this is what indeed transpired. The guy wanted me to say that they were outrageously drunk, but I told him that they were not - they were just in good spirits, larking around, and to give the journalist credit, he didn’t distort what I said, and didn’t make out they were legless!
The photos were published in the Sun the day after that, and possibly in one other paper (perhaps Today, a daily paper that no longer exists), I can’t remember, but I was very pleased about it. Thirty-five years later I gave Bono a copy of the photo of him kissing Hutch on the cheek, when I was standing outside with autograph hunters at a Silver Cleff awards luncheon. I leant over and offered it to him, he took it, together with other people's photos, which he started signing and handing back. He was left with my one in his hand - he thought I wanted him to sign it, but I said “No! I took it and it’s for you!” so he thanked me and got in a people carrier to join the rest of the band and drove off. A couple of years ago I did get him to autograph a copy for me, when they were doing a promo at BBC radio.

Tim Douglas

all photos © Tim Douglas and

Thanks again to Tim for sharing this great bit of U2 history!

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Old 10-30-2013, 04:45 PM   #2
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Speaking of beards that have potential...

Originally Posted by GraceRyan View Post
And if U2 EVER did Hawkmoon live....and the version from the Lovetown Tour, my uterus would leave my body and fling itself at Bono - for realz.
Don't worry baby, it's gonna be all right. Uncertainty can be a guiding light...
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Old 10-30-2013, 04:52 PM   #3
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Ooooo, fuzzmonkey!
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Old 10-30-2013, 04:58 PM   #4
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Old 10-30-2013, 05:01 PM   #5
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Old 10-30-2013, 05:08 PM   #6
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Great story and photos!
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Old 10-31-2013, 01:38 AM   #7
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Thank you, comet!
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Old 11-22-2013, 09:40 AM   #8
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Hey, thank you for this story and photos, tho I am really late on seeing this! What an awesome story behind the photos, not an every day event for any U2 fan, but esp. in Pleba!!

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bono, michael hutchence, tim douglas

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