Youri Lenquette is one of music's least known persons considering the fact that nearly everyone involved in the music business, as an executive or as a fan, have seen some of Lenquette's work, being it photographs, articles, TV reports or music videos.
Most famous or semi-famous band from France that have been photographed by Youri Lenquette. He has also worked as a photographer outside of France's border. R.E.M, Nirvana, Crowded House, Midnight Oil, Hanson, The Fleshtones and The Cramps are only a handful of the world-famous bands Lenquette have photographed.
A whole generation of people who care about music should have noticed the name Youri Lenquette on a record cover or on a promo picture. But apparently no one has. Youri Lenquette has managed to avoid being written about. Instead, he lets his pictures, his articles, his TV reports and his music videos speak for themselves.
No one but himself and his closest friends know who this guy is. It is impossible to find out even how old the guy is without knowing him or knowing someone close to him. But one thing about him is known - he enjoys travelling in his spare time.
Before he started taking pictures in 1986, he had already established himself a reputation as a journalist for the French music magazine "Best." Besides taking photographs, he has also worked as a director for music videos, he has done tv reports for the music television program "Rapido," and some years ago he directed a rockumentary about the Senegalese artist Youssou N'Dour.
But Youri also enjoys working with other stuff than music. As mentioned, he enjoys travelling. He is planning to release a book with pictures of people he has photographed while travelling in Africa, Asia and South-America.
What Youri Lenquette is most known for, is his pictures of Nirvana. Youri met Nirvana some time in the end of 1991 or the beginning of 1992. By the Australian tour in February 1992, he had become a good friend of Kurt's. Eventually, Youri would become one of Kurt's very few close friends.
Exactly why Youri came along to Australia with Nirvana is unknown. Only a few pictures shot by Lenquette has surfaced from this period. There is a possibility Kurt brought him along as a friend and not as a photographer. It is widely known that Kurt was fighting his inner demons already by this time, he sure could need some support from a good friend.
Youri Lenquette would travel to Seattle a couple of times over the next two years, to hang out with the band and do photo sessions with them. Oddly enough, nearly no photographs have surfaced from any of these photo-sessions either. It is quite possible Lenquette took these pictures for his own personal collection. The last photo session Nirvana ever did was with Youri Lenquette some time during March 1994.
Kurt had attempted to kill himself in Rome in the beginning of the month. For the photo-session in Youri's studio in Paris, France, he decided to keep a gun in his hand most of the time. Youri Lenquette took the last pictures ever of Nirvana as a group, and of Kurt Cobain alive. Kurt had killed himself less than a month later.
Lenquette has had his photographs featured in magazines such as "Rock&Folk," "Best," "Rock Sound," "TÚlÚrama," "Spin," "Time Out" and "The Observer Magazine." For the March 2000 issue of "Guitar World," the editors decided to put a picture from the last photo-session on the cover.
It is worth noting that the band members of Nirvana were big fans of the program "Rapido," where Lenquette appeared frequently. In "Live! Tonight! Sold Out!!" there is a small clip from one of the programs. Guess who is featured as the host...
Youri Lenquette is not the most interesting person in the world, but Nirvana fans should know his importance in the history of one of the greatest rock bands ever.
Back to main page