ONE ON ONE (Desert Island Discs) BBC RADIO LEEDS
BBC Radio Leeds “One on One” with Stuart Roy Clarke
14.00-15.00hrs 9th September 2013
Q. Childhood and Early Significant Events (this section can include your family life, school life, any illnesses, early achievements and your relationship with your parents)
1956 was a great year for me. I wasn’t even borne but my Mum & Dad movedinto a brand new semi, on a hill with a great view and woods and fields behind…a house I can still call home. In 1961, I came along – the youngest. This continuity and sense of family has given me a great foundation and security – with just the smallest touch of superiority : the feeling I was a special one who could go beyond what elder brother & sister had achieved.
What turned me into the photographer I have become can be traced to this childhood.
I grew up surrounded by football. I loved it. I wasn’t great at it. I wasn’t bad but I wasn’t the first choice in the Sunday team I played for. This being spare gave me the chance to cast myself as onlooker… which was compounded by my Dad being the football league fixture secretary, then secretary, vice-chairman, chairman and in all these capacities taking me to all manner of games over many years where I watched others playing, others being watched – by girlfriends, by parents, by scouts even. I started quite naturally photographing the goings-on, on and off the pitch.
Record 1 : “Leeds United” by Amanda Palmer.
Q.What happened when you finished school? (This section includes any highlights or lowlights of school life, your first job, university life)
School wasn’t plain sailing…I was sent to the grammar school, where we learnt Latin, had school on Saturdays, didn’t play football after a certain age, but did swim in the nude for lessons and even on gala day (friends & family invited) up to the age of 13!
Professional football clubs – and so too the amateur football clubs which I played for – gave me a vision of belonging to something that carried forward the name of not just a family (in villages many teams have many brothers playing as one) but the name of that place from which you were from. There was a responsibility. A pride. A United-ness without privilege.
I have always sourced everything back to my place of birth, my family, my backgarden (which incidentally had a full-sized football goal my Dad carved out of wood).
Record 2 : “In The Garden” by Van Morrison
Q.Career Path (Have you been doing the same job for a number of years, had a variety of different jobs, any unusual jobs, worst / best job)
On leaving posh grammar school, I worked in a record shop and on the market where people dropped their h-aitches pawned their much-loved records to pay for a meal or an engagement ring. I was good at communicating when with records or with football. Or when with art easel and then camera….
…I was sincere, sensitive and curious. I knew I was in for a long-haul and not for a quick business buck in whatever I did…
Indeed I was becoming A PHOTOGRAPHER rather than a Richard Branson.
Record 3 : “Irene Wilde” by Ian Hunter
Q.Relationship History and Marital Status (This section includes details of your family life, children, extended family)
I was married to photography from aged 19. I elected to go to College in London to do a degree in Film & Photography. I listened and learnt but couldn’t help but feel that the learning was ‘out there’ in the school of hard knocks and open roads.
I always thought that I would marry the girl next door, but either she was two doors down or I had itchy something and I wanted to travel and find who was out there.
Record 4 : “Thunder Road” by Bruce Springsteen.
Wanderlust, football fanaticism and photography forged together would provide me with my subject THE HOMES OF FOOTBALL which got in the way of marriage and having kids. I did this subject religiously from 1989 onwards after the Hillsborough disaster and before that the Bradford fire which horrified me and made me feel I could do something celebratory and meaningful with my camera, surrounding the national game.
In 2005 I began to let my guard down and consider another subject POP MUSIC FESTIVALS to run alongside my football epic. Still the family thing and the having-kids thing was not resolved… but suddenly, outside of marriage, outside of a proper relationship, I HAD A CHILD!!!
8 years on my daughter AVA (an unusual name then and now a very popular top 10 name now) is everything I could have wanted in a child. Thank you – the powers upstairs or wherever that make these things happen.
We have a song we are both agreed upon and start all our letters to each other Dear Darling…
Record 5 : “Dear Darling” by Ollie Murs.
Q.Big Moments and Events that stick in your mind (This section includes your significant achievements, things you’re most proud of, any awards you’ve won or events you’ll never forget)
Ava watches the X-Factor but I don’t. However, in my photography I see beauty and talent where often it is concealed and this is my talent that I am rewarded by. Every football match or pop festival which I go to, however big or small, famous or unknown, seems to reveal all sorts of wonders and people.
Record 6 : “Josephine” by John Otway.
I would drive to the end of the earth to see one of these hidden treasures – and indeed I have, my car has 330,000 miles on the -ometer
Q.Your Biggest Regret / Worst Experience
I have no regrets only fears that I will run out of time to do it all. I have boundless energy but the tooth-ache I have today reminds me or mortality, that we can and will run out of gas at some stage. In Amanda Palmer, who was the first record (“Leeds United”), I have a new best friend for the years to come – she has more energy than anyone I have ever met and I am looking to her to share the ride, share the idealism that we might yet all be wonderful and things turn out right.
Record 7 : “Wake Up Everybody” by Howard Melvin And The Bluenotes
Q.Tell us something people may not already know about you… Likes / Dislikes (anything that really winds you up, things that give you pleasure in life, how do you relax and unwind, any hobbies that you enjoy)
Fitness is the key. Feeding your mind and body with good vibes. I can be a bit negative sometimes and I am trying to overcome this with a push for BEING POSITIVE. I come from a country where moaning is a bit of a sport and talking about the weather ahead of any sport. My other love which seems to encapsulate everything is swimming in natural waters. We began in the womb, surrounded by water, we in Britain live on an island never far from it and criss-crossed by rivers. I get the exercise, the sport and the thrill from wild-water swimming and I get the big horizons and intimate moments. Especially when warming oneself off with a towel. It prepares me for stepping back into the human ring full-of-people which is where you will mostly find me: AT FOOTBALL MATCHES, AT POP MUSIC FESTIVALS, AND WITH FAMILY/FRIENDS.
Record 8 : “The Pan Within” by The Waterboys
Listen again (and actually hear song and verse) : http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p01f6fvt