Back home to a sunny England, I kind of wish I'd stayed for the weekend - here's Steve Gorman who wrote a nice piece on the Genesis website...
Got the new issue of Rolling Stone with Steven Tyler on the cover-really bad photos and I know what I'm talking about and the feature says nothing I read it on the plane home. Ok it does say Steven and Joe Perry have taken drugs surprise, yawn.
Must shoot travel this weekend in-between sorting out Alice Cooper, The Big 4, Joe Bonamassa, Queens of the Stone Age, Golden Gods Awards and various stuff I shot in the last couple of weeks.
I did a quick shoot yesterday morning in LA with Kyle Nicolaides, an exciting new guitarist. You should check him out. He's twenty years old, I predict he could be huge.
Alice Cooper - Live in Hollywood. See more...
More of Vintage Trouble is now up. See more...
Indio Polo Fields for the Big 4, a little bit of Heavy Metal in the desert. I had a good day photographically, got lots done - solo of all of 'Tallica and even a group shot of all the Heavy Metal "Homos" together posing for the The Master.
Metallica did a great version of Orion and I don't even like the song. Got nice photos of the show, I was trying to make an effort to shoot it differently. At the end of the show someone threw up an American flag with the Big 4 painted on it - got the band to line up holding it.
I've had a good week at work in Los Angeles - even liked my job...
The Master, and Friends...
Oliver Halfin - and his Heavy Friends...
Hung out with Brad Tolinski for the day. We went to see Alice Cooper being filmed live in 4D - whatever that is... It consisted of the original band playing for two hours live. Fantastic - No More Me Nice Guy, Elected, Under My Wheels, Is It My Body, Schools Out, Eighteen. It was like being fifteen all over again.
I did a big studio session with them when they finished - Alice and band, even got Alice and the snake. Had a great day, made me love my job.
Los Angeles - saw Brad Whitford, who I haven't seen for a while, and David Coverdale with his wife, Cindy.
Spent the evening at the Golden God Awards in Downtown LA. It was a "Metalfest". Max Cavalera, Dino from Fear Factory, Scott Ian plus Charlie, Rob Zombie, John 5 who told me he was on The Justice For All Tour (I don't remember him at all - and I was on most of it), Nikki, Tommy and Vince from Motley, Duff McKagan, Steve Jones, Scott Travis from the Mighty Priest (although I'm not sure how mighty without KK), Jerry Cantrell, The Legendary Robb Flynn, Lars and Rob from 'Tallica, The Foo Fighters (Dave was intent on getting drunk), and the original Alice Cooper band - watching them play made my night...
Shot them with all of the Foos in Alice's dressing room, and Rob Zombie and Alice - my era, had a great time. Chatted to Neal Smith about his rat jacket from the 70s. He told me the rats had decomposed which was funny - fantastic to meet him. He was always underrated as a drummer.
Vintage Trouble from Los Angeles. See more...
Some magazines with my Metallica and Big 4 photos. Off to Los Angeles tomorrow for more Heavy Metal. Let's face it, it isn't exactly alternative rock - stadium rock I suppose... See more magazines...
Some Classic Metallica from the Black Album got quite excited by these considering doing another book... See more...
Some more pictures from my recent sessions with Kirk Hammett
Some odd photos I like - twilight flying over Salt Lake City and plants from Los Angeles
My garden Friday evening - I just liked the look and feel of the afternoon light
Queens of the Stone Age at the Wiltern Theatre. See more...
Started the day shooting a new Los Angeles band, Vintage Trouble, which was good - took me a while to warm up.
Spent the afternoon with Jason Bonham's (sorry, I mean "Bonzo Junior") only friend, Joe Bonamassa. Joe has quite a collection of vintage guitars and he's promised to give me one when I come back next week. Took some nice photos of Joe and his toys. Funnily there is an ad in LA Weekly for The Led Zeppelin Experience, now playing even smaller venues. Last year it was thirty years since John Bonham's death. What is it now, The Led Zeppelin Experience thirty-one years since his death? Pathetic...
Saw a remarkably sober super-agent Steve Strange. We spent the evening in the company of Josh Homme at the Wiltern Theater. That place is always a pain in the arse to shoot live, lots of stupid rules - can't go in the pit, can't go over here, you need to write to the fire marshall to shoot from the front - really stupid bureaucracy. So I shot the show on the stage which the band controlled, ended up with some good photos.
Been in San Francisco shooting a bit of 'Tallica. Spent the day with Kirk and his monsters. Had a good day when everything worked.
Sexy Cyndy Poon drove me to Amoeba where I met sexy Linda Chauncy who went record shopping with me. I got Steve Miller - The Joker, mint, and Molly Hatchet for $2.99. We had Puerto Rican food which was fantastic and even went book shopping, although Height Ashbury was full of some very fucked up people, shit-faced, falling down like Sydney or Clapham Common on a Saturday night.
Started reading Sammy Hagar's book Red which is an easy read and entertaining. I'd like to do a book like it except I wouldn't be able to work If I was truthful...
Sunday in LA doing, well, nothing. Well, nearly nothing - been sorting out Metallica photos.
The clouds on the way up were what I dream of shooting - it didn't bother me that the plane was being thrown everywhere.
London to Los Angeles with Oliver Halfin who after getting moved to the front of the plane decides he wants to enjoy the culinary delights of ribs washed down with two bottles of Champagne, port and white wine then a bit of coffee in case he bends the arrow out of line. The airline hostess serving us is a snotty cow from the hood. She offers me ribs, I say I'd like the salmon, she nearly gets all ghetto on me until I call the purser and say 'My good lady, is this really necessary? I'm not demanding a bucket of chicken, just some fish'. She realises what a gentleman I am, 'I'll deal with it sir', and she does. Oliver thinks we should have gone all ghetto on the ho - so to speak. As she's now ignoring us.
We have a father and son discussion on music - Oliver playing the new Whitesnake cd and asking me for tickets for Bon Jovi, just as a mouthful of pasta is thrown up from me all over his plate 'Bon Jovi????? Son, are you on glue?????' I sing him Blood On Blood and a bit of Whoa Whoa Whoa Ohhh Ohhh Ohh Ohhh which is the intro to Breakout. 'Oliver, you told JBJ to go away and you didn't like him.' He actually said this to John at the Sunset Marquis Hotel when he was four.
'I really like him, it's Essex girl rock with loads of unmarried mothers. Daddy,' he says, 'John kicks ass and sings trailer park anthems.' Time to take a percodan and get some sleep son, and when I wake up over Las Vegas you may have discovered Ratt or Poison or something meaningful. The worst part was telling me Yngwie Malmsteen rocks. He needs a bit of Live At Leeds to hear a real guitarist, that'll cure him.
Over the top of Canada he has progressed to System Of a Down, a dire Black Sabbath-like noise played too fast.
I wake up an hour before LA and yes, he's now on Van Halen.
Well, Los Angeles is sunny and warm. I get to the pool and see Jeff Beck and Sir Harvey Goldsmith, say hello and point out to Oliver that's a real guitar player.
Finished the evening at Ago. Ran into Steven Tyler who was getting mobbed, arranged to see him next week.
My interview with photoradar.com. Read it...
Have spent the weekend finding photos and slides, from the good old days of something called film. Sorting out my files band by band. I thought I'd start with The Who just because I'd find that more interesting than say looking at the Smashing Pumpkins. I noticed how good Kodachrome looks compared to other types of film. It has a richness of colour that digital cannot compare to - sad that it's gone.
Finished The Who and started Metallica, which only I or maybe General Norieiga can ID. The daunting bit is how much I have to look through.
Got an advanced copy of Def Leppard's book, DEF LEPPARD THE DEFINITIVE VISUAL HISTORY. It has a fantastic forward by Joe Elliott and photographs by me. It has Joe's memorabilia and it really does have everything. Even something by Paul Elliott...
I wrote an intro which was edited a bit so as not to upset the drummer, but I'm still pleased with it and Leppard look like a real rock band. Funny how bands - and Leppard are guilty of this as well - tend to want to be digitally enhanced, with fake colour. The idiot they use now, who thinks he's as cool as the band, really hasn't got a clue. Really - go and get this book. It's out next month, see a rock band in their prime.
Spent the very early hours of this morning queuing up at the American embassy for a new visa. It wasn't that painful, just tiring, like going through an airport. The lady interviewing me knew exactly who I was (she was from Austin and grew up in the 80s), she was impressed I knew "The Crue" as in Motley Crue. 'Ya'll must have had a blast back then,' she said. Erm, yes I suppose that's one way of putting it. She approved my visa instantly.
Some classic Metallica and an ad with my photos for Monitor Audio Speakers which are very good -I've been blasting them while playing my vinyl and cds. Vinyl does sound better and there is something intrinsically charming about turning over an LP and dropping the needle.
Been playing Hookfoot on LP plus the first bootleg I ever bought, Live Experience 67-68. I got it at the Virgin Megastore in 1971 with Deep Purple's Fireball and Who's Next. Also on CD, Al Kooper and Mike Bloomfield at the Fillmore East '68, with a new guitarist called Johnny Winter, jamming with them on Its My Own Fault. You forget how good some people are.
Some Classic Metallica
Even finally got around to watching Hendrix at Woodstock on Blu-ray. The Woodstock Improvisation and Villanova Junction are Hendrix at his best. I personally think he was overrated and only ever made two great albums. Band of Gypsys, the original vinyl, not the double cd, it's boring. And Electric Ladyland. The rest of it is tedious.