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Revealed: The Culture Bunker as never seen before

Halfway funding milestone reached in race to publish rare music time capsule

Published on September 9th 2014.

Revealed: The Culture Bunker as never seen before

UPDATE: The £10,000 Crowd Funding target has been reached today: September 12.

PICTURES published here of the Teardrop Explodes are among dozens of never-before-seen images taken by Francesco Mellina.

Documenting a short but golden period in the Liverpool music annals from 1977 to around 1981, they are part of a collection that could soon be glimpsed by the public for the first time. But the race is on to raise just £4,500 by this weekend if a book of them is to go ahead.

Lured by a love of Liverpool FC and The Beatles, Italian Mellina came to the city in the 1970s to study at Liverpool Art College. He became a familiar face around the city, often spotted behind the camera in clubs like Erics, Brady’s, The State, Pickwicks and Cagney's and The Berlin. His was a regular byline in the national music and fashion press of the moment, and if his pictures weren't turning heads, the company he kept certainly did: for a time Mellina was the manager of Pete Burns' uber-flamboyant Dead or Alive.

Now the photographer, whose work was shown at the National Conservation Centre in 2009, is bidding for a wider audience. He wants to publish this rare time capsule as a book, Revealed. It is hoped it will be funded by a £10,000 Kickstarter campaign and the halfway mark has already been and gone.

Hereabouts, the crowd-funding model does have legs. It has already financed albums by big name bands like Echo and the Bunnymen, raised £23,000 for the production of Cosmic Trigger, helped Mello Mello keep going and a lot more. 

 Picture: Francesco MellinaJulian Cope: Picture: Francesco Mellina

With less that three days to go to pledge (the Kickstarter closes this Friday, September 12) fans of Mellina are redoubling their efforts to get people to put their money in books. If the target isn’t reached, no money is taken, but with more than £5,000 nailed down already it has to be worth a punt.

“We are looking for enough backers to help finance the printing, delivery and storage of the book, and hold a photographic exhibition for a special book launch along with the printed material needed for a marketing campaign. This is a no-risk speculation ... if we don't make our target, it won't cost you a penny, but if we do, you will have backed a winner,” say organisers behind the appeal.

There is a huge list of perks for donations from just £2 to £3,000.

 Teardrop 2The Teardrop Explodes' Julian Cope, Michael Finkler and Gary Dwyer in Marks & Spencer's, Liverpool, 1980. Picture: Francesco Mellina

Confidential’s favourite IF we had £140 to spare IF and had not just spent it all on a tax disc is an A1 montage of images of young folk, with hair, from the day. See below.

But if you miss out on those (there are 98 left) there's plenty more to choose from including signed 10x8s (by Mellina) of David Byrne, Joe Strummer and Mick Jones. A full list is on the website link at the end.  

Or if they sell out there's always the consolation of one or two of Andy McCluskey. For, as Julian Cope would tell you, you have to learn to accept your reward (you’re fired, ed).

Pledge your pennies to Francesco Mellina's REVEALED Kickstarter appeal, here, now, now, now!


Further reading: Meet the People: Francesco Mellina

10582838_10152375925135852_8857388951443614928_O£140 gets you an A1 version of this. Who can you name?

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AnonymousSeptember 9th 2014.

*Cafe Berlin

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