Andy Phillips

British music photographer, Andy Phillips' career spanned the late 70s to 2003 during which he photographed the likes of the Rolling Stones, U2, the Stone RosesMetallicaSpice Girls and Kate Bush.

Andy worked as an in-house photographer for Record Mirror, Sounds and Music Week. He was regularly commissioned by major music labels, media and PR companies, the music charity Nordoff Robbins and his photos were featured in Q, Mojo and Vox magazines. 

Andy joined the Rock Photographers Collective in 2020 and we're delighted to be able to share with you his archive of iconic music photography.

View Andy Phillips' rock photography

Bono, U2
Bono, U2 1980

Early life

Hailing from Greenwich, South East London, Andy left school in 1973 after turning up for the start of the sixth form, only to be asked "why are you here?"

A few days later he started work for IPC magazines.  His job was as an office junior, taking day-release at the London College of Printing, training up to be a production manger.

Then, in 1978, came an offer from his good friend Mark Perry, of punk fanzine 'Sniffin' Glue' fame. Mark wanted Andy to run the press office for the record labels and artists, managed by legendary rock manager Miles Copeland III.

After two whirlwind years they parted ways. Andy decided to turn his photography hobby into a full time occupation.

Record Mirror, Sounds and major labels... 

Andy worked on two of the biggest music tabloids of their day - Record Mirror and Sounds. He then moved onto the major record labels, collaborations with many PRs, like Lynne Franks (the inspiration for the TV show absolutely fabulous) rock legend Tony Brainsby, and the queen of prog, Sharon Chevin. Add these to many BBC, independent TV, radio music-shows, and events.

Joan Jett
Joan Jett at the Marquee club, London 1984.

Andy also held the photography accounts for both HMV and Virgin retail (at the same time), as well as music charity, Nordoff Robbins. His role was to publish in these company's chosen media, to help promote their aims.

Andy accepted commissions from many of the national newspapers, as well as the newly arrived monthly-music-magazines, Q, Mojo and Vox. In conjunction with these, he also took care of much of the corporate business photography for weekly-trade magazine, Music Week.

Ian Brown of the Stone Roses performing at the Spike Island festival
Ian Brown of the Stone Roses at the famous Spike Island event 1990.

Andy gained a reputation as a troubleshooter who could always meet a deadline. This skill was called upon regularly. His career progressed to offices in Wardour Street, Soho, with full time staff. Then in 2003, Andy decided to take a sabbatical to look after his father in his supposed last days. It turned out that this was a little premature an assessment.

Eric Clapton

Eric Clapton at the Royal Albert Hall in London 1992

Now as a full-time carer, Andy looked after his father for the next six and a half years, with no respite.

Present day

Andy now spends his time curating his photographic archives, the pick of which he is delighted to include here with the Rock Photographers Collective. He is indulging his love of music, high end hi-fi, cooking, and that stuff in bottles that goes nicely with good food.

Andy also contributes to the national carer support network by giving advice and counselling to current full time carers.

View Andy Phillips' rock photography

Rare Punk photos by Andy Phillips