Home > 1980s, Smash Hits > R.I.P. Eric Watson: 1955 – 2012

R.I.P. Eric Watson: 1955 – 2012

March 28th, 2012

The photographer Eric Watson, who took great photographs of numerous pop stars in the 80s, including Toyah, for ‘Smash Hits’ magazine, died on 18th March.

Born in Newcastle, Eric moved to London in 1974 and studied fine art at Hornsey College of Art from 1977 to 1980. His fellow students included Stuart Goddard (who became Adam Ant) and Mike Barson from Madness. On leaving college, he worked as an assistant to the photographers Red Saunders and Gered Mankowitz (known collectively as the Rembrandt Brothers), then photographing covers for Madness and Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark.

In 1981 he was invited to work for Smash Hits, after the editor, David Hepworth, saw photographs Watson had shot for Madness. He became the magazine’s main photographer and at around the same time Neil Tennant, whom he knew through a mutual friend from Newcastle, was made assistant editor.

Read a tribute to Eric, from former ‘Smash Hits’ editor, David Hepworth and his obituary from ‘The Guardian’. (Thanks to Gill)

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