The Disciples by James Mollison


We are indebted to Word, middleagedad’s favourite middleagemagazine, for bringing The Disciples, a glorious new book by photographer James Mollison to our attention. Never before has a book brought together the fashion passion of middleagemum with the music obsessions of middleagedad with such perfect synergy.

James noticed a connection between musical artists and their fans in terms of the clothes they wore which was, naturally, very evident at live concerts. So he and his wife spent three year photographing audiences of a diverse range of rock and pop bands such as 50 Cents, Oasis, The Artic Monkeys, Britney Spears, Bob Dylan and Cliff Richard.

The results are astonishingly interesting, firstly because of the dedication and detail fans put into achieving the desired look (Kiss, Marilyn Manson and The Damned fans win hands down here), and secondly because this passion seems ageless, old and young alike are getting into it (Cliff’s fans do not let the fact that most of them are carrying walking sticks put them off). Some of the fans look as battered as the drug-and-alcohol weary bands (Iggy Pop and the Stooges) Even in the tamer outfits the look of the artist is very clear, with Jennifer Lopez it’s hoop earrings and a swishy hair and Radiohead fans love a jacket and waistcoat.

Anyone thinking this might be something only women do should look to the Sex Pistols photo (all male), two of whom have Mohicans, one has blue hair, two are wearing skirts and all (bar one) look close to 60.

We spent hours playing ‘spot the group’ –guessing who the audience were off to see and admiring the outfits. James also bought band T shirts from each gig which are set out in the back with some back ground onfo on each outing.

In the intro, psychologist Desmond Morris notes that James has captured for posterity a visual moment in time’, as each group’s tribe will fade into history to be replaced by other, equally passionate tribes with a varying look. Got us thinking what The Women’s Room tribe would look like, we sense a photo project in the making.

Bob dylan blokes 002

Bob Dylan blokes

Led zep

Led Zeplin fans

Sex pistols

The Sex Pistols tribe

The Disciples by James Mollison

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