Radio News

Stefan Gates’ Cover Story for BBC Radio 4

It’s a famously unsettling image. Taken at the Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland: Stefan Gates and his sister Samantha appear naked climbing up the eerie landscape against a bright orange apocalyptic sky.

It’s a photo that’s dogged Stefan all his life. Ever since he was a child. A picture which has disturbed him, even scared him. He’s ambivalent about it — should he be proud of it or is there something to be ashamed of? He’s purposely never found out the story behind it. He has never even listened to the record.

Now he sets out to revisit that chapter in his life and to confront his own mixed emotions about it, discovering the story behind the image, and its ideas and ethics. He uncovers his sister’s memories of the difficulties in getting it made, confronts his mother about why she let him pose naked as a child and meets Aubrey Powell, the cover art’s photographer, from the famous graphic design team Hipgnosis. Finally, he makes an emotional journey back to the Giants Causeway itself to listen to the album for the very first time.

Producer, Russell Finch: “Stefan was great fun to work with even if he did make me eat deep fried locusts at one of our first meetings. Most memorable for me was our trip to the Giants Causeway in Northern Ireland; while Stefan had a deeply personal epiphany, I fretted about wind noise on the mic.”

Rock and roll.

Posted by Paul Bennun at

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