Hi, I’m Robert Davidson and I was a rock ‘n’ roll photographer in the 1960s. It was one of the most exciting times to be involved in the music scene.
Born in Dundee, I took early retirement aged seventeen. I went to live in Paris, where I met legendary Time Life photographer, Emil Cadoo. Two years later, I returned to London to pursue a life in photography. I worked for a number of portrait and fashion photographers, and took the first test shots of Twiggy.
The rock ‘n’ roll years
At the same time, I became friends with Tony Secunda, manager of The Moody Blues, Procol Harum and The Move. As Secunda’s official photographer, I was privileged to take photographs of some of the most famous names in the business. These included The Rolling Stones, Frank Zappa, David Bowie and Arthur Brown.
A photographic career spanning six decades, so far…
I have never stopped taking photographs. My career has taken me all over the world – or perhaps, I took my career all over the world. I’ve shot the famous and infamous: celebrities, gurus, God men and monks; supermodels and street dwellers. I have studied animals, children, landscapes and flowers. I travelled to Bosnia during the early 1990s and documented the Bosnian war.
However, the work I am best known for is the poster of Frank Zappa on the toilet.
Toilet Poster or ‘Zappa Krappa’
The poster I produced of Frank Zappa on the toilet became a best-seller. It was affectionately known to fans as ‘Zappa Krappa’ or ‘Phi Zappa Krappa’.
“The proliferation of the unconventional image, with poster reproductions reaching into the millions, propelled this intimate portrait of Zappa into the fabric of pop culture.”
I Shot Frank Zappa
Find out how I found myself in the bathroom with one of the world’s most influential rock musicians of all time; read the curious story of the missing Zappa Krappa negatives and how they were returned to me almost half a century later – I Shot Frank Zappa.
I Shot a Guru
I will holding a photographic documentary evening on Wednesday 9 May, 2018. I will be describing my experiences of three gurus, including: behind-the-scenes reportage of the notorious Bagwhan Shree Rajneesh, or Osho, from my rare perspective as one of his Saayasins in Poona, India during the 1970s; previously unseen images of Amma, and pictures and tales from meetings with Guruji.
The Royal Seven Stars Hotel, Totnes, Devon
Wednesday 9 May 2018 at 8pm
Entry: £8/ £6 concessions
Doors: open 7:30pm
Talks – Photographic documentary evenings with Robert Davidson
I hold photographic documentary evenings, which are popular events. I have many stories to tell, and very much enjoy relating my experiences! From rock ‘n’ roll to holy men and reportage of the Bosnian conflict, talks include I shot Frank Zappa, I Shot a Guru and I Shot a War. If you would like me to appear at a venue near you, please get in touch.
Purchase limited edition fine art prints by Robert Davidson
Limited edition fine art prints from the photo shoot with Frank Zappa at The Royal Garden Hotel in London are available from Whitebank Fine Art. Please click on the link above to explore the works, and contact Whitebank to purchase.
Buy limited edition Frank Zappa posters from Robert Davidson
I am in the process of having my website updated. Coming soon: Robert Davidson online shop, where I will list limited edition prints of the original Frank Zappa posters. Watch this space!