Philip Morris, Rock Photographer
In February 1972 Led Zeppelin toured Australia for the first and only time, playing shows in Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane.
Sunday February 27 was a typically hot Sydney summer afternoon, but what made the Sydney Showground really sizzle was the 25,000 fans who had turned up to see a band at the peak of their powers. Bob ‘Lefty’ Townsend has commented on ledzeppelin.com
that “none of us had ever seen a PA that big before. The show started with ‘Immigrant Song’
and the memory of that riff and Page’s scream still gives me goosebumps today… It was like listening to a brand new Zeppelin album through a brand new stereo. To this day, it‘s still the best concert I have ever attended.”
Footage from the concert is featured on disc 2 of the Led Zeppelin DVD, released some thirty years after the event, which captures the extraordinary energy of the performance. Led Zeppelin IV raced up the charts as a result of the tour, peaking at #2 for several months but was ultimately held off the number one position in Australia by Cat Stevens’ ‘Teaser And The Firecat’ then Don McLean’s ‘American Pie’.
Only a handful of photographers were officially engaged to capture this extraordinary concert. Philip Morris, who was working on behalf of Go-Set Magazine and WEA Records, was one of them.
Philip Morris is the inimitable Australian rock photographer who today boasts one of the most extensive photo archive libraries of Australian rock music. Born in Narrandera, Australia, Morris started his career behind the lens in Sydney at the age of 15. He got his first official gig as a contributing photographer for the first national Australian pop publication Go-Set in the late 60‘s. His career continued to soar into the 70’s when he was a contributor to all the major music magazines in Australia, including ‘RAM’ and ‘Juke’. During this time he shot Australian legends, the Easybeats, on their last national tour, as well as almost every international band touring the country including the Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin and Paul McCartney. Shooting AC/DC’s first ever photo session in 1974, Morris is still the only photographer to have shot the hard rock legends at the famed Alberts Studios.
Morris has shot album jackets for such bands as Midnight Oil (‘Head Injuries’), John Paul Young (‘Hero’), Johnny O’Keefe, Sherbet, Daddy Cool, Marcia Hines, and The Angel’s ‘Face To Face’ – which won a best album cover award in 1978 – and he has contributed much to various books including AC/DC’s ‘Highway to Hell’, Peter Allan’s ‘Boy From OZ’ and most recently to two highly acclaimed contemporary music history books, ‘The Real Thing’ and ‘Friday on My Mind’.
Tonight, you have the opportunity to view and purchase a rare selection of Philip Morris’ Led Zeppelin photographs in the foyer. Visit www.rockphotograph.com to see more of Philip’s amazing photography.