David Bowie official tour photographer and long-time collaborator Denis O’Regan is publishing a limited edition fine art book of rare intimate photographs entitled ‘Ricochet: David Bowie 1983’.
The book will feature hundreds of personal and intimate images from O’Regan’s and Bowie’s archives, many of which will be shared for the first time ever.
The collection, which has taken years of painstaking work to produce, will be published by Moonlight Books in May 2018, in a limited edition of just 2000 copies. ‘Ricochet: David Bowie 1983’ is the definitive collectible, presented in a multi-layered, luxurious white cloth presentation box, inside a clear acrylic slip case.
Layer 1 contains 4 beautifully bound books featuring tickets, anecdotes, newsletters, set lists, blueprints and handwritten lyrics. Each hardback cloth cover features a graphic representation of one of David’s Serious Moonlight stage costumes.
Layer 2 holds three signed 20×16 inch fine art prints and matching hologrammed certificates; a 12 inch picture disc of Ricochet and Let’s Dance re-mastered by Nile Rodgers; a certificate signed by Denis O’Regan, featuring the individual book number, and the official David Bowie Estate Stamp.
Layer 3 contains an extra-large format 320 page thread sewn, case bound, coffee table book, featuring hundreds of exceptional personal and intimate images of David.
In Autumn 2018, Denis O’Regan and Penguin Random House are also producing a medium format version of the coffee table book (without extras enclosed) for retail distribution.
Every image in ‘Ricochet: David Bowie 1983’ is personally approved by David Bowie.
Denis O’Regan says of his Ricochet project with the late David Bowie:
“I published a book with David through Doubleday in 1984, for which he wrote the introduction. We then discussed projects on and off over the next thirty years, culminating in discussions about a pair of substantial books looking back at the two world tours that I covered with him.
I feel that this book documenting 1983 will fulfil my dream of sharing these intimate photographs with collectors and fans, whilst revealing an insight into the real David – as much as anyone can. I’m proud and honoured that this book was made with David’s support, and hope that it will do him justice.”
How to buy Ricochet: David Bowie 1983 by Denis O’Regan
The limited edition is available for purchase at £3,000 per numbered copy, exclusively on www.bowie1983book.com. Moonlight Books are releasing 250 books out of the edition of 2000 for advance purchase in early November 2017. Purchasers of these first 250 books will receive exclusive extras including an additional 20×16 inch limited edition print and an invitation to the launch party in May 2018, with an opportunity to meet and greet the photographer.
O’Regan’s photographs of Bowie span nearly two decades, but those taken in 1983, when he accompanied David for nine months on his most successful ever tour, are from the period when O’Regan and David became firm friends. O’Regan was given unprecedented access, and his photographs capture not only David’s unique stage performances but candid, unguarded offstage moments, or as Denis puts it: “Catching another side of the enigma”.
It’s a never seen before glimpse into 9 months of life on the road with David.
In one shot, taken in their Hong Kong hotel close to the final date of the Serious Moonlight tour, Bowie is sitting on a sofa giggling. O’Regan says: “I think it’s sweet and very David – partly because there’s a full ashtray next to him! He’s boyish and unguarded and it’s the sort of picture that you would never capture unless you were close to David for a period of time”.
1983 was a remarkably happy year for David and this shines through in so many of O’Regan’s photographs. The tour began in May 1983 with indoor crowds of 10,000 but within weeks he was playing to stadium audiences of 60,000, and by the penultimate month, November in Auckland, he played to the biggest crowd ever assembled in New Zealand.
“I think he was very happy; he really enjoyed himself,” recalls Denis.
Remarkably, every single image featured in ‘Ricochet: Bowie 1983’, was personally approved by David.
“I delivered the rolls of film for processing in one city, and they were delivered back to me a few cities later. I selected my favourites and loaded the chosen edit into a projector carousel. David then came to my room and we’d have an informal slideshow. David would say ‘yes’, ‘no’, ‘I hate it’, ‘love it’, ‘keep it for a book’ or simply ‘nah’ …”
It wasn’t until 1990, prior to the Sound & Vision tour, that O’Regan finally confided to David that it was the Ziggy Stardust concert at the Hammersmith Odeon on 3rd July 1973 that inspired him to take up rock photography. “Being David, he wasn’t very good at taking compliments. I said, ‘it’s because of you that I became a rock photographer.’ He said, ‘Yeah, you’ll probably tell Bono the same thing tomorrow night.’”
O’Regan also shares details of the equipment he used throughout the tour:
“For the entire tour I used my favourite ever film camera, the Olympus OM-3, two or three camera bodies and 135mm & 24mm f2.8 lenses. All live photography was taken without flash, and most offstage images were shot using natural light or occasionally bounced flash. Film was Ilford HP5 or Kodak Tri-X for black & white, push processed to 800 or 1600 ASA. For colour it was predominantly Kodak Ektachrome 200 transparency film pushed to 800 ASA. Of course I had to use numerous labs around the world to process huge batches of film, which were then delivered to me a few cities later. After processing and editing, I loaded the colour transparencies into a projector, and regularly put on a slide show in my room for David where he approved images for use.”
About Denis O’Regan
Denis O’Regan has toured the world as official photographer to David Bowie, Queen, the Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd and Duran Duran. He was the official photographer at Live Aid, and continued that tradition as official photographer at the Concert For Diana, MTV European Music Awards, and more recently Download, Coachella and Glastonbury festivals. In an eventful career – and purely in the line of duty – Denis has enjoyed dinner for two in Japan with Joni Mitchell, picnicked with David Bowie in Australia, partied with Prince at Paisley Park, and argued with Bob Marley in his native Jamaica. They made up. He was known as ‘Doris’ by Freddie Mercury, ‘Reg’ by Duran Duran, ‘Scoop’ by Bob Geldof and, on one occasion, ‘Yob’ by Keith Richards.