Damon Albarn in a facemask: Kevin Cummins' best photograph

General Info on Blur

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‘He needed to get on a practice in Tokyo to see what they have been like. He placed on a facemask and did a shiver as a joke. Because of Covid-19, it now appears really prescient’

Blur toured Japan in 1992 and I went with them for NME. It was the first time we’d seen Japanese youngsters sporting facemasks. Damon was intrigued, so he bought one. Usually whenever you’re away with a band, you don’t get time to see something of the cities you’re in – and lots of bands aren’t that anyway. However Blur have been eager to discover Tokyo. Damon needed to get on a practice and see what that was like. He appears like he’s shivering however I feel it was a joke to fit with the face masking. Again then, it was really uncommon to see a westerner sporting a mask. Due to Covid-19, the image seems really prescient now.

NME obtained numerous letters concerning the shot. Individuals didn’t understand what was happening. How dare somebody show vulnerability? I assumed it might make a very good cover, but NME all the time needed the duvet star to be immediately recognisable and make eye contact, in order that they ran it inside.

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