My good friend Pete Silverton has died but why should that be of any interest to you? Well, let me tell you why. I first met Pete twenty-three-years-ago. He was one of the best writers and most interesting people I’d ever met. We never worked together but we stayed friends and when I was made Editor of Professional Photographer magazine I saw an opportunity to commission Pete.
That commission was to write pen portraits of iconic photographers. Each month I would suggest someone and a week or so later a piece of beautifully written, immaculately researched text would be delivered. I also sent him to be photographed by Rankin and to report back, I sent him into the photographers bear pit at the end of the catwalk at London fashion Week and he survived. His articles and columns were funny, informative and insightful, they were everything Pete was. When Cafe Royal Books published my body of work titled Crash Happy: A Night at the Bangers, Pete supplied the text. Again in just a few words he said everything that needed to be said and implied everything else.
When I launched Hungry Eye magazine, I took Pete and his writing with me and when I founded the United Nations of Photography I began to post those archive articles here. Just put the words ‘Pete Silverton’ into the search bar to find them and further examples of Pete’s writing on photography.
Pete has gone but his writing is still with us. The stories he told remain with me, I am honoured to be able to share just some of them with you.
Peter ‘Pete’ Silverton
Silverton had been a journalist for over 30 years. He started as features editor at Sounds in 1976, covered Punk, went on the Anarchy Tour bus with the Pistols and Clash and later wrote Glen Matlock’s autobiography I Was A Teenage Sex Pistol and Essential Elvis. Silverton also worked as an editor at Time Out, the Mail on Sunday, the Sunday Express, Mojo, and the Guardian, and written for practically every music mag and newspaper in the land. His book Filthy English: The How, Why, When and What of Everyday Swearing was published in 2010. http://petersilverton.blogspot.com/
For Pete’s music writing visit https://www.rocksbackpages.com/Library/Writer/peter-silverton
Portrait of Pete by me.
Dr. Grant Scott is the founder/curator of United Nations of Photography, a Senior Lecturer and Subject Co-ordinator: Photography at Oxford Brookes University, Oxford, a working photographer, documentary filmmaker, BBC Radio contributor and the author of Professional Photography: The New Global Landscape Explained (Routledge 2014), The Essential Student Guide to Professional Photography (Routledge 2015), New Ways of Seeing: The Democratic Language of Photography (Routledge 2019). His film Do Not Bend: The Photographic Life of Bill Jay was first screened in 2018 www.donotbendfilm.com. He is the presenter of the A Photographic Life and In Search of Bill Jay podcasts.
© Grant Scott 2023