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East End showbiz photographer's exhibition at the O2

PUBLISHED: 16:00 25 September 2009 | UPDATED: 14:56 05 October 2010

Shirley Bassey

Shirley Bassey

IN the period when Britain dominated rock and roll, one East Ender was there to document it all. Harry Hammond, who was born in Bow in 1920, became Britain s leading showbiz photographer and captured the definitive images of every leading British musician

IN the period when Britain dominated rock and roll, one East Ender was there to document it all.

Harry Hammond, who was born in Bow in 1920, became Britain's leading showbiz photographer and captured the definitive images of every leading British musician, as well as visiting Americans.

From The Beatles to Cliff Richard, Dusty Springfield to Lonnie Donegan, from Acker Bilk to Shirley Bassey, Hammond was there.

Drawing on the Victoria and Albert Museum's archive 'The Birth of British Rock' in the O2 Bubble tells the story of how Britain was at the centre of this cultural revolution and shows how East Ender Harry Hammond was the only one who was invited into the dressing rooms and studios of these emerging icons.

Sir Cliff Richard, subject of many of the photographs in this exhibition, said: "Paparazzi seem intent to present their subjects in the worst possible light. In the days of Harry Hammond, photographers only wanted to show the best of you. I guess that's why it was always such a pleasure to have Harry Hammond."

Halfway to Paradise: The Birth of British Rock, by Harry Hammond is on at the British Music Experience at the O2 from today (Friday).

Tickets cost £12 from www.britishmusicexperience.com


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