Terry O'Neill Shot Rock & Roll: The Photographer on His Image of The Police

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© Terry O'Neill The Police, 1982

By Terry O'Neill

I was photographing The Police in 1982 for a magazine. They were at the height of their fame and I wanted to picture them like three street fighters. They seemed to me to be the band that were taking on all-comers, punching above their weight in sell-out tours and had elbowed their style of music to the top. They were a pugnacious band with their punk, jazz and reggae influences and had led the new wave after a decade of glam rock. They must have liked the shoot because they used the images on several album and single covers. At the time the band were starting to move in different directions; Sting was making movies and doing solo albums, Stewart Copeland was writing movie scores and I felt there weren't going to be many more opportunities to get an iconic shot of the band together in a studio.

See Terry O'Neill's other images in Who Shot Rock & Roll, currently showing at the Annenberg Space for Photography through October 21, 2012. To learn more about the photographer and his work visit his official website.

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