Vancouver punk photographer Bev Davies shoots Bono
When Vancouver punk photographer Bev Davies first collaborated with Nardwuar the Human Serviette on a calendar, in 2007, a point of contention arose when Nardwuar wanted to use a photo Davies took of U2 in 1983. “That one was called a punk-rock calendar, so all cred would have been gone,” Davies told the Straight. The contentious pic finally appears in Nardwuar and Davies’s new 2013 calendar, included as a bonus with Mint Records’ compilation LP Busy Doing Nothing. But it’s more punk than you might think: it only exists because of Davies’s prior experience shooting the Dead Kennedys.
The image shows Bono dramatically poised on the verge of a deliberate fall into the audience at the US Festival in San Bernardino, California. “Bono was walking back and forth, agitated, across the front of the stage,” Davies remembered, “and I started noticing him doing this. And then I noticed that he was pulling the microphone cord, making sure he had lots of loose cord. And in the back of my head I immediately knew what he was doing, because I’d seen Jello Biafra do it. And that’s what the photograph is—just as he’s tilting into the audience.”
Davies’s colleagues in the press pit looked at her in envy when they heard her camera click. “None of them had probably shot Jello,” she says, “so they didn’t know what he was doing up there!”