Joe had aspired, from a young age to play for Arsenal but at his trial , George Alison, the Arsenal Manager, advised him to stick to education as ‘there was no money in football’! He joined the RAF where, after a short flying career he transferred to the world of intelligence where a camera became part of his kit. In 1968 he started a new career as a freelance photographer, initially for the Daily Express, but soon supplying images to most of the national newspapers and magazines.
On his fiftieth birthday he was given his first rock and roll assignment: photographing Status Quo at Hammersmith Odeon. It seemed he had found his niche, exclaiming to himself 'why had I not got into this rock and roll before?' He applied his newsman instincts to tracking down the greatest rock and roll stars of the day and succeeded in photographing all the big names of rock and pop music in the 80s and 90s. His books include The Roxy Book and a collaboration with presenters Jools Holland and Paula Yates on The Tube where he was a regular photographer.