Spent the weekend clearing out my garage. Found a complete set of International Times, lots of copies of Sounds and Melody Maker. Been playing records - Boz Scaggs first LP, Stray Dog, Little Feat, Pink Floyd BBC 1970, enjoying my stereo.
John Bird sent me this about my Uncle Dennis. I didn't even know his real name was Solomon and my grandfather was called Israel. Funny, when I was little they all tried to be very English...
I read your diary on a regular basis and, being a music fan, find it very amusing, very nice life that you have there! I like the slant that you put on things. I read the item from the Chronicle, which put me into thinking re the interns at Colditz, I found the item below regarding your uncle Dennis. Nice piece of history, you have probably read it before but just in case -
Rifleman Solomon Dennis Halfin (KRRC - Rangers) aka Halpin, arrived in Colditz by accident. Born son of Israel and Edith in West Ham, London on 1/1/18, he was captured in Crete by the Germans on 29/5/41 but escaped and spent 3 months in the mountains with the Partisans  . On the night of an attempted escape by submarine, he was re-captured with some other Commonwealth troop evaders when the Germans got wind of this escape plan, and ended up at Lamsdorf camp in Germany, where he became friends with a French Canadian POW Sgt Roger Cordeau, a dental technician by trade, captured at Dieppe. Dennis escaped from a working party at Lamsdorf but was re-captured at the Polish border. About to be sent to another camp, and not wanting to be separated from his friends, he exchanged identities with Cordeau. But his plan backfired when the Germans noticed he (Halfin aka Cordeau) was a dental technician, and he was sent to Colditz to assist with the POW officers dental care in June 1943! The first man he met on entering the castle was an old friend, 6850731 Riflmn. Samuel Cohen aka Cowen, of the same Rangers batallion as his, also at Colditz as a batman to POW officers! By Sepember the Germans, having seen Cohen and Halfin talking and meeting, discovered evntually that he was not really Cordeau and he ended back at Lamsdorf!
The Master speaks to the Chosen - I think Jimmy Page will convert when he sees this...
Billy F Gibbons, shot in Los Angeles
The new Tesla CD out now, and two copies of the Mighty Priest
And here are some Classic Rock bits from the new issue
A beautiful Friday, almost like LA. Woke up and have been playing Hawkwind's DOREMI FASOL LATIDO - sounds good even without being on the pills!
The Jewish Chronicle has an interview with me out today - make sure you read it if you are a true believer.
Been playing records. I got a load in Amoeba in LA, most mint and un-played for $2.99. Linda Ronstadt - Get Closer , I always fancied her on this cover but it's a terrible record, sooooo dated. Also by her Simple Dreams. I haven't played it yet but it does have a sexy cover. Steve Miller Band with the Victor Moscoso cover, PFM Cook Live,boring Prog from Italy, Montrose-Warner Bros Presents which like PFM has bad 70s art. Now I know why they never sold in the first place.
LA after taking off and a picture of my house and garden coming into land at Heathrow.
A photo shoot at Planet Simmons - as in Gene Simmons at his Beverly Hills mansion. I got a tour of the Kiss room which is bigger than my whole house. Gene spoke to me about Gene, then a little, no, a lot more about Gene. He even offered to sell me a Kiss Coffin for $6,000... You'd have thought Gene invented water. He did play me the original Van Halen demos which were slower than the record and sounded amazing.
The God Of Thunder - in his lair...
Saw Alex Turner from the Arctic Monkeys who's in LA to hang out by the pool before he heads home. Had a good laugh chatting to him.
Brian and Monique Wheat bought me The Peter Beard Book and Early Travel Photography for my birthday - excellent...
Saw Billy Gibbons which is always a pleasure. He signed a photo of mine of ZZ Top in Phoenix taken on New Years Eve 1981 or 1982. I thought it was '82, Billy was convinced it was '81 on the El Loco Tour.
Driving around LA took this picture of palm trees at night that I like
And here's a bit of footage of me working, kind of, shot by Satomi Williams http://gallery.me.com/satomiw1#100214
My birthday today, doing a shoot with Glenn Hughes. The last time I think I worked on my birthday was shooting Iron Maiden in Corpus Christi in the 80s when they supported the Scorpions, or Led Zeppelin at Knebworth in 1979.
A couple of photos shot with my Leica. The machetes are from my Cheam armoury... And the view is of Lake Mead at 37,000 feet
In Los Angeles where the sun is shining. Heard some very bad news that a friend of mine and a really good photographer, David Atlas, died today on his way to work in New York. David was just in LA shooting Rage Against The Machine at the LA Coliseum. He sent me a photo and I'd like to share it as a tribute to him - he will be greatly missed.
I used you as inspiration when I took this one. Not nearly as exciting as your metallica ones but it was my first post show drum riser shot... -david
While London was burning I couldn't sleep - not that I was worried about some "hoodie" coming through my door, I didn't collect my Asian machetes for nothing, I'd behead the fuckers... I can never sleep when I know I have to get up early. A beautiful day until you saw the news with half of Croydon burnt down plus Ealing etc. I'd round them up and torch them.
London to Los Angeles today. Flew United 935 to Los Angeles. Read an old copy of The Word which had a great feature on Rory Gallagher and Glen Hughes. Rory I knew fairly well from around 1971 onwards. I'd worked in a guitar shop and even sold him his Moserite Twin Neck Guitar (for £160). He was, and I mean this, the NICEST most humble musican I have ever known. I read the Word article and got upset. Maybe it was the Percodan and wine which did it BUT Rory Gallagher was so great he should be cannonised. Really people love Lady Gaga - I love Rory Gallagher...
The Glenn Hughes feature is good because Glenn is so honest. He did it all, threw it away and has no regrets as a sober man and really you have to salute him. Plus he is so positive.
The flight staff on my plane are also super nice (I mean that), nothing is too much trouble. Fuck, like the old days of Pan Am when Mick Wall and I would, ermmmm, get in a lot of trouble doing stuff like kissing air hostesses and inviting them home.
I complained that Business Class is full with economy upgrades so they moved me to First seat 1A. Excellent, just like the old days, they know how to treat The Master. Three bottles of French red later I'm having a good time - I just need Mick Wall!
Strange, one of those trips when I am really looking forward to Los Angeles...
New Orleans a few years ago with Joe Perry - shot by John Bionelli at 5am
Ran around London - buying socks as mine seem to have disappeared (I suspect my son). Met up with Dr Drew Thompson who runs Deep Purple, the old stuff anyway. Drew's done both of the really good Deep Purple DVDs plus with the back catalogue his heart's in the right place.
He had to drag me out of a record shop, I was getting too obsessed. But I did find three mint LPs for £20, Be Bop Deluxe - Live In The Air Age which I'd dismissed before (it came with the seven inch EP and it sounds perfect on vinyl), also Tommy - Bolin Private Eyes sounds good, not muddy like the cd, Post Toastee and Shake The Devil you can hear what he does on guitar which never translated to Deep Purple. And The Warner Bros Music Show, a sampler which came out in January 1975 for the European Tour of various Warners Artists. I saw Montrose and The Doobie Brothers at the Rainbow on this tour.
And a thank you to Bill McCue who sent me a sealed copy of Violation by Starz which I opened and found was on yellow vinyl. I've been getting into records, playing them much more than cds lately...
I watched a fantastic Argentinian film, The Secrets In Their Eyes. It's about a brutal murder that is also a love story. Made a nice change from American films, it was compelling. Also watched Werner Herzog's Nosferatu which was silly and dated.
I finally played The Who Live At Hull all the way through. The mix is bad - the Leeds show is way better. Hull sounds like mud, Pete Townshend's guitar is lost. The Leeds show is far superior and listening to this you appreciate what a great job PT did of mixing and editing the original record. It is just not very good and I'm a Who fan...
Some Slipknot I'd forgotten about from Lisbon 2009. See more...
A day where The Master has to educate the uneducated. Brad Tolinski Editor and friend was telling me he'd never heard Budgie or Sabotage by Sabbath...? I made the "heathen" listen to Never Turn Your Back On A Friend at 8.30 am. 'It sounds like the first Rush album only way better and the bassist is a better-looking Geddy Lee', if you can imagine a good looking Geddy Lee.
Spent this evening in the company of the very beautiful Kazuyo Horie, (the woman of John Bionelli's dreams) plus David Brolan, Oliver Halfin and a couple of Poles, Brad and Makowski. We fine dined on Korean BBQ then Brad and I finished the evening watching footage of Joe Walsh circa 1972 and The Mahavishnu Orchestra from 1971.
Finally my book is out - it was delayed because of the binding. I'm pleased with all three editions and normally there's always something I don't like.
Saw the Yardbirds last Friday at the Vintage Show at the Southbank. I half expected them to be amateurish and embarrassing. Honestly they were rocking great. If you closed your eyes it was Aerosmith. I'd love to see them in a better venue.
An article about me in Photo Professional magazine