It was while bunking off school to wait for Bob Marley to arrive for his soundcheck at the Speak Easy Club on London’s Margaret Street that Dennis’s music photography career really began. Bob Marley was so taken with the young teenager who was waiting for him that he invited Dennis to come along and take pictures on the remainder of the tour. Running home to Dalston, Dennis packed his bag and jumped on the bus. His photographs of Marley and The Wailers became famous the world over, appearing on the cover of Time Out and Melody Maker before Dennis had even turned 17.
It was Dennis’s photos of Marley that caught the eye of the young Johnny Rotten. Rotten, a massive reggae fan, had long admired Dennis’s work and requested that he take the first official shots of the Sex Pistols upon signing to Virgin Records. Still in his teens, Dennis was the same age as the Pistols and they soon learned to trust him completely, allowing him unrestricted access to their strange and chaotic existence. For a year, Dennis trailed the band, taking hundreds of undisputed classic shots of the band. The only photographer to put the Sex Pistols fully at ease in front of the lens, Dennis’s work with the band established, not only their public image, but also Dennis’s position as one of the most exciting and striking music photographers in the country.
With a career spanning more than 20 years, and a c.v. that reads like a Who’s Who of popular music and culture, Dennis Morris continues to photograph the leading musicians of the time such as Bush, Oasis and The Prodigy. Several books of his work have been published such as Bob Marley: A Rebel Life; he has held exhibitions in the UK, Japan and Canada. His photographs have appeared in Rolling Stone, Time, People magazine, and the Sunday Times, amongst others.