David Bowie, the subject of some of Finnell’s most iconic shots, was the photographer’s favourite, his stage sets always proving “photographer lighting friendly.” The sale includes some of his most iconic images of Bowie, including Bowie as The Thin White Duke from the Station to Station tour (Los Angeles Forum, February 9, 1976), guided at £250-350, and Bowie as Ziggy Stardust during the eponymous tour (Long Beach Arena, March 10, 1973) at £200-300.
Led Zeppelin sets were always more challenging as “the lighting was terrible - dark and evil.“ Nonetheless he took some epoch-defining images of Jimmy Page and Robert Plant including those from the Physical Graffiti Tour (March 27, 1975).
In the last 49 years Finnell estimates he has amassed close to 200 000 concert negatives. He still prints his photographs, typically gelatin silver prints, in the old-fashioned way in a dark room using the original negatives.
Although he has sold his prints through galleries in Europe and the US, this is his first time Finnell's work has been available at auction in the UK. “I like auctions” he says. “I am an old hippie. People can buy direct from an auction house with less fees than if buying from a gallery. Gallery overheads are too high."