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Francesco Mellina

photo of a man on a train

Francesco Mellina in the early 1980s

Francesco Mellina was born in Polistena, Calabria, southern Italy, in 1952. He taught himself English by listening to early Beatles and Rolling Stones records before setting off, aged 16, on a tour of Europe that would see him eventually settle in Liverpool in his early 20s.

Mellina trained in photography at Liverpool Art School, now part of Liverpool John Moores University, in the late 1970s. He went on to manage the Liverpool band Nightmares in Wax - later re-named Dead or Alive. He also set up Black Eye Records.

His photographs record the fashions of the various sub-cultures in clubland during the pivotal post-punk era. During this time he developed a career as a nationally recognised rock photographer, and was a regular contributor to magazines such as The Face, Smash Hits, ID, Melody Maker and NME.

The Sound and Vision exhibition was the first time that Mellina had displayed his work on such a large scale. He said:

"Although Italian, I consider myself an honorary Scouser. I love the city and it has been my home and creative inspiration for many years.

I couldn't play an instrument and I couldn't sing but my photography was my contribution to the cultural and artistic scene so to be able to display my work in the city is a huge thrill."