Legendary YEP snapper Steve Riding is celebrating 45 years with the paper. In the first of a week-long series looking back on his career, we delve into his very own rock photobook of Leeds.
Springsteen, bowie, McCartney, Jagger, Turner, John and Rotten. It reads like a who’s who of rock ’n’ roll history.
But it’s actually a list of just some of the big musical names snapped by Steve Riding throughout his illustrious 45-year photo-journalistic career.
For Roxy Music fan Steve, photographing the band’s 1972 visit to the Grand Theatre remains a favourite moment.
But it is closely followed in the ‘unforgettable’ stakes by David Bowie at Leeds Rollarina in 1973; Thin Lizzy at Queens Hall and Rod Stewart at Leeds Town Hall in 1972.
Steve believes the 1970s were something of a golden age for Leeds’ big name music scene, something that has only recently returned with the building of the “magnificent” First Direct Arena.
“Leeds was a big draw in the 70s for big musical stars,” says Steve. “Everybody who was anybody from that era came to Leeds.”
He fondly recalls being invited back to the dressing room by Status Quo for a drink.
Among his more bizarre – and scary – experiences was when hordes of screaming girls rushed the stage for the Bay City Rollers, and when he witnessed some of the rowdier fans’ behaviour at a Sex Pistols concert.
“When you are in that front area between the band and the fans, it can get a bit scary,” he said. “But afterwards, I thought ‘wow, I was there’.”