|Born||November 11, 1953|
|Associated acts||Duran Duran|
Denis O'Regan (born November 11, 1953) is a renowned photographer of rock and pop musicians. Although his imagery is particularly associated with the punk movement, Queen, David Bowie, and Duran Duran, O'Regan has photographed everyone from AC/DC to ZZ Top, documenting Punk, New Romanticism, Grunge, and Heavy Metal along the way. His work has been widely published and exhibited.
Born in London to Irish parents, O'Regan grew up in Barnes, West London and attended St Benedict's School, following which he was offered a place at nearby Ealing Art College, famously attended a generation before by Freddie Mercury, Keith Richards, Ronnie Wood, Ray Davies and Pete Townshend. However parental influence prevailed and he was temporarily diverted towards a position in the City of London as a trainee broker at Willis Faber & Dumas, then as a trainee underwriter at Lloyd's of London.
Prior to this orthodox career move O'Regan had witnessed The Beatles at the Hammersmith Odeon in 1964 with his mother Marie, and in the early Seventies he smuggled a camera into the same venue to photograph Paul McCartney and Queen. Inspired by seeing Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page perform at Alexandra Palace, and David Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust at Hammersmith, O'Regan taught himself photography. He resigned his day job, toured Europe on a student rail pass, and returned to comprehensively document the readily accessible Punk explosion in London. A major contributor to NME in the late Seventies, O'Regan combined his love of photography and travel when in the Eighties he toured with some of the world's top rock bands, including those he had grown up with as a fan.
As official photographer O’Regan undertook European and world tours with many artists, including Thin Lizzy in 1980, 1981, and 1982; David Bowie in 1983, 1987, and 1990; The Rolling Stones in 1982; Duran Duran in 1984; Spandau Ballet and Neil Diamond in 1985; Queen in 1986; Pink Floyd in 1994.
O’Regan was appointed official photographer for Live Aid at Wembley Stadium in 1985, and in co-operation with Bob Geldof produced the record-selling commemorative book. He also shot Live 8 in Hyde Park as an official photographer in 2005. Record album covers featuring his live work include Queen’s Live Magic, Live at Wembley '86, Queen on Fire - Live at the Bowl, Knebworth '90, Pink Floyd’s P*U*L*S*E, Sting's Bring On The Night, The Cure's Seventeen Seconds, Duran Duran's Decade: Greatest Hits, and the Rolling Stones' Forty Licks.
Denis O’Regan has produced numerous books, including Images Of Punk, Queen’s A Magic Tour and Queen – The Full Picture, David Bowie’s Serious Moonlight, Duran Duran’s Sing Blue Silver: Photographed Around The World 1984, and his work has featured in publications such as TIME, Life, Newsweek, and Photo as well as national newspapers and pop and rock magazines across the world. O'Regan received a dedication from UK 'lad-lit' writer Tony Parsons in his Punk eulogy The Boy Looked At Johnny, and features in diverse biographies and autobiographies including The Fun Starts Here by Paula Yates.
It is widely accepted that O’Regan pioneered the use of autofocus cameras in the late Eighties and of digital cameras in the late Nineties: he shot and uploaded photos to national press from the backstage area of the MTV 1998 European Music Awards, and Paul McCartney’s return to The Cavern in 1999, pictures from which graced numerous front covers the following morning. In the same year O’Regan founded one of the UK’s first legal music download sites, which sold a milestone 25,000 tracks in the months prior to the millennium (four years before the launch of Apple's iTunes store). He has been an avid user of Apple Macs since 1987 - and Photoshop since 1990 - and continues to exploit the cutting edge of technology.
O'Regan worked closely with Duran Duran during the 1980s and 1990s and reunited with the reformed band for rehearsals in 2003 and European tours in 2004/2005. In 2005 he photographed Live 8 in London's Hyde Park as official live photographer, and his work has been exhibited at various venues including Proud Galleries, the Air Gallery, backstage at MTV's European Music Awards (London and Rome), and backstage at the revamped Wembley Arena. Denis was appointed official photographer for Kylie Minogue's New Year's Eve 2006 Wembley Arena show, and as of 2007, limited edition books are in production with Duran Duran and Queen.
Denis O’Regan has two brothers, David and Declan. He lives in west London with his wife Nicola - whom he married in 1998 - and their son Rory Benedict, born in February 2006.
A selection of Denis O'Regan's work
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