Tim Barrow – Photographer
Tim Barrow studied photography at the Plymouth college of Art & Design in the early 80’s with the intention to become a surf photographer. Instead he ended up in London wearing out the rubber on the soles of his feet, until he found an open door that led him into the beautiful world of reggae music. He worked alongside journalist John Masouri for Black Echoes music paper and shot numerous photos of reggae artists.
We are proud to present a selection of his work, handpicked by Tim himself, with additional notes by the photographer.
Photos: Tim Barrow
Facebook: Tim Barrow
Copyright: 2019 – Tim Barrow
For more Tim Barrow photos please check out his book Reggae Portraits 1986 – 1990. It’s a series of black and white portraits by Tim Barrow taken between 1986- 1990 whilst working as a freelance photographer for Black Echoes Music newspaper. Some of the reggae biggest superstars can be found in this little book.
Justin Hinds 1992
I Love Justin Hinds, another all time favourite One of Jamaica’s finest. Mr Carry Go Bring Come. I photographed him at Floyd Lloyds house in North London firstly in 1992 then again the following year. He was here to do shows, I think they were the first shows that he had ever done in the UK. I caught him at the Hackney Empire in North London in October 1992. It was a great live show he had Rico Rodriguez, Eddie Tan Tan Thornton and Michael Bammie Rose as his horn section. This picture was taken in Floyd’s front room with my makeshift studio. This one is an unpublished alternative to the one used in Black Echoes and the one used on Trojan Records Ska Uprising album.
Ken Boothe 1987
“Mr Rocksteady” The Legend that is Mr Ken Boothe. This photo was taken outside the home of Mikey Reuben Campbell in west London in 1987. Poor Ken had a bad toothache, He suffered through the photo session, then I drove down to the dentist. It was the first time that I had met Ken. He is a really warm and friendly man with a voice to match. This is a alternative unpublished picture than the one that was used on the front cover of Black Echoes and later on the Trojan Records Ken Boothe Collection Eighteen classic songs, of which the print quality left little to be desired !!
Dennis Brown 1986
“The Crown Prince” Another of my all time favourites. This was the first time of meeting Dennis. He and Freddie McGregor were at a rehearsal studio in Acton West London rehearsing from some shows. I managed to get a couple of rolls of him done quickly as Dennis was in a hurry, he had to get to the airport to meet some people that were flying in.
Carlton Manning 1996
“Love me Forever” All time classic album from Studio One. Carlton Manning, it was thanks to Jah Shaka and John Masouri that I got this opportunity. It was at a house in South London somewhere between Brixton and Clapham, maybe Shaka’s. Can’t quite remember now. A cold winter’s night in 1996. One of those golden moments !
Joe Higgs 1988
Tutor to the Wailers and the Wailing Souls. Poor Joe was stranded in London on his way back to the USA from a tour in Africa with Culture. He had a visa issue and could’t fly on to America. He was held up in a flat in Hackney North London. I remember driving him places whilst he waited for the issues to get sorted. His Family Album for Lloyd Evans Blue Mountain records was out at the time. The picture was taken in a bedroom at the flat using a makeshift studio.
Buju Banton 1995
One of several meetings with Buju. This one was in 1995 at the Kensington Hilton Hotel In Shepard’s Bush West London. Taken in the hotel Lobby with a makeshift studio setup taken using a Hasselblad film camera. Buju has always been a great professional at all three of the sessions that I have done with him. A Different colour shot from this session was used on the front cover of Black Echoes to go with an interview with John Masouri.
Garnet Silk 1993
It was a great honour to be able to spend a few hours in the company of the great Garnet Silk, listening to him being interviewed by John Masouri for Black Echoes. The interview and photo session which I did after the interview took place in a conference room at a hotel in Wembley North London in 1993. I used the makeshift studio setup that I always used back then, I never knew beforehand where I was going to be able to take photo’s and in what conditions. Always having to work in tight situations, this gave me control on the type of pictures I wanted to take, under any limitations.
Delroy Wilson 1986
Another of the Legends of Jamaica. This was the first time that I met Delroy, it was taken in Clapham South London in 1986. Michael Bruno, Frank’s Brother was there looking after him. He was a little apprehensive at first, especially as the Polaroid that I had taken as a test had solorized on itself which made it look a little psychedelic. Delroy didn’t like it much ! Michael reassured him that everything was cool and we proceeded with the session. When he got to see the final prints, he was pleased and every time I saw him after that he always greeted me like an old friend.
Alton Ellis 1993
The Great Alton Ellis “Mr Soul of Jamaica” An all time favourite of mine. I had had the honour of meeting Alton on several other occasions, but this time he had invited me to visit him at his home in Northolt in North East London. This photo was taken in the front room using my makeshift studio and a 2 1/4” Sq Hasselblad film camera. I did shoot some colour film, but my preference has always been Black and White. Alton was such a great guy and always a pleasure to work with, always made sure I had a pass for his shows at The Hammersmith Palace.
Roland Alphonso 1997
I had the great privilege to do a photo shoot with the then line up of the Skatalites in 1997. I hired a studio at Holborn studios in North London for it. Roland, Lester Sterling, Lloyd Brevett and Lloyd Knibbs and Doreen Shaffer of the original Skatalites were all there. Foundation Stones of Jamaican Music. They were here doing shows and promoting the Ball Of Fire Album for Island Jamaica Jazz. They were all great fun and Roland was such a sweet man. I got to see them play at the Camden Jazz Cafe with Tommy McCook, Such Cool Cats.
Burning Spear 1992
This was the first shoot that I did on behalf of Black Echoes on my second stint with them. It was also the beginning of my working relationship with John Masouri. Spear was doing a show at St Georges Hall in Exeter Devon, which is about an hour away from where I live. I did the portrait session backstage before the show, then did picture of the show. Spear was in good spirits and can always be relied upon to deliver a great show, he always has a good band with him.
Prince Lincoln 1996
This was the second time that I got to photograph Prince Lincoln. The first was at the recording of Revelation for the songs of Bob Andy Album for Jove records. Recorded at A-Class Studios. The session went on till the early hours of the morning. A True Experience indeed! However this photo was taken in a flat above his Rasses Fish Mart and grocery store in Tottenham North London for an interview with John Masouri for Black Echoes to promote his last album 21st Century.
This was the time of his big hits Don’t dis the Trinity, Heathen Reign and Tour. John and I went to meet him at his hotel, only to find that there had been an issue the night before and they had all left, not knowing where they had gone ! After a little while of frustration John was able to track them down and we went on to catch them up. I can’t remember for one minute where this photo was taken now though, but it very nearly didn’t happen. When you have travelled for 4 hours to meet someone and they are not there ! But well done John Masouri without whom most of these pictures would not exist. I got to see Capleton at Reggae Sunsplash in Jamaica that year and for me he tore the place down.
Aston “Familyman” Barrett 1999
The great Bass player and Bob Marley’s right hand man. I met Fam’s at John Masouri’s home in Brighton where this photo was taken in John’s front room. John was working with Fam’s on John’s Wailing Blues the story of Bob Marley’s Wailers Book. What a great book it is too.
Heros all the same