Home and it's raining, of course. Now I miss LA. Back to the real world…
Here's the cover of the LA Times from earlier this month with a picture I'd shot, plus a couple of very nice birthday presents - a very rare Fleetwood Mac Oh Well promo that was withdrawn with a wrong photo on the cover which General Norieiga gave me, and Karen Shiota, who always gets me amazing presents, found me the original first pressing of the book Mott The Hoople...
... plus a US hard cover of the Sonny Barger book which has a great cover picture.
Just when you think you can't find anything you really want on vinyl - I found mint test pressings of Soundgarden's FOPP, Screaming Life EP, Flower EP, Ultramega Ok. Also a Sub Pop Australian Fuck Me I'm Rich, Van Halen promo on Loony Tunes on red vinyl, Roxy Music Country sealed with a different cover and Led Zeppelin The TMOQ Years Ten LP on coloured vinyl. It made my very sunny Los Angeles day. That and hanging out with my 'Gro, Brian Wheat.
And here are some more of The Kills which I like, shot at the second show at the Mayan Theatre in Los Angeles
It's a Bank Holiday in the UK which I've managed to miss, so instead of the Foo Fighters at the Reading Festival it was a Heavy Metal Weekend in sunny Vancouver. The Metallica show is so HUGE you have to see it. Ended last night in a restaurant in Yale Town with the band and crew. The show great to shoot, it clicked for me as a photographer.
I'd spent Saturday with a friend from Essex, Dave Clark, record shopping. He found me Ian Dury Do It Yourself with the promo 7inch single for $3.00. Foghat Live, Cheap Trick In Colour, Tad, CCR Live At The RAH '70 - all for $6.00.
Off to Los Angeles this morning at 5am with The General, leaving Kazuyo with her new love, Brian Bumbery, PR to the stars. Home to the real world later this week...
Had the not so wonderful experience of losing my passport in LA - the first time in forty years. I was saved by General Norieiga who flew in from London with my spare one. I LOVE The General. We travelled on to Vancouver. Now Canadian immigration is normally the worst bar none, but to my shock I got through in two minutes. So did Filthy and The General - customs were picking on the flight crew from Hong Kong. It made it a pleasure arriving.
In Vancouver for some Metallica. The last time I was here with them was in 1989, the Justice For All Tour, two shows I think. The Cult opened for them and were truly awful. They had a t-shirt made with We Don't Fit And We Don't Care - I still have it at home somewhere. Firewoman was Ian Astbury's girlfriend - she claimed to be an Indian but she was a pain in the arse from Toronto. She used to iron his hair flat with an ironing board in his room. She would also insist on doing the band's make up and Matt Sorum always had a bright orange face from too much foundation. Ian was hugely jealous of Metallica and thought it was beneath him to open for them. The record Electric was good and The Cult with their stupid attitude finished themselves off overnight.
I also remember Aerosmith coming to the show as they were recording Pump up here in the Canadian 'hood. I went to the studio and shot Steven and Joe.
It's Friday and time for some record shopping...
Flew for twenty minutes to Portland past Mount Rainer and Mount Saint Helens - with the top blown off.
The funny thing about Kiss is they all know music history, you throw a song out they know who wrote it, who sang it, who played on it plus Gene and Paul like all the early bands I liked and saw a lot of them that I didn't. We discussed Mountain with Gene singing me the songs - unfortunately…
After arriving we again drove to the middle of nowhere, over the Columbia River back into Washington State (but at least it's sunny and warm) to another shed in the, ermmm, middle of nowhere. I go into Motleyland to see Tommy Lee whose dressing room resembles a techno disco. See Nikki again as well and, just before Kiss go on, Vince who is super nice and invites me to go out in Vegas.
Shot The Gods Of Thunder for the first half from the platform Paul flies to, and then all the encores right in front. They swapped Deuce for Strutter as the first encore. Straight after the show it was back to Portland and on to Los Angeles where the night was spent talking about who did what on '60s TV. Kiss are so cool to be with, something some bands I've known for years are not. They make you feel welcome.
Some pictures taken on the flight from Seattle to Portland
Spoke to Paul Stanley who invited me to a couple of Kiss shows over the weekend. So I flew from a very sunny Los Angeles on the Kiss jet to Seattle where upon arriving we drove for an hour on empty farm roads to the middle of nowhere. All we saw were cows and sheep - Paul said "That's our audience tonight". Arrived at a huge shed, it is grey and freeeeeeeeeeeeeeezing, just like last weekend. North West America seems under leaden grey skies.
While Kiss do meet and greets etc, I go for a wander into the backstage area that houses Motley Crue. Bumped into Nikki Sixx who was very friendly and asked me to come to sit in his dressing room for a while and catch up with him. Always nice chatting to Sixx.
Mike McCready is backstage now, I know he loves Kiss because he went in my friend's shop, Vicious Sloth, in Melbourne and bought every thing Kiss they had. I took a photo of Mike and Paul Stanley and a few of Gene being annoying, talking to me as usual in a bad cockney accent.
Now the Kiss show is different, no huge logo, it's all projected on a massive screen. So when say Tommy Thayer does his solo his image is split into multiple images on the screen, very different to shoot than the normal Kiss show. It takes a bit of getting used to. Also no long raps, this is Kiss on speed dial, everything is coming at you super fast. I get great stuff of Paul Stanley smashing his guitar. We all run straight off the stage to, ermmmm, Tacoma, after driving another hour with Kiss half covered in make up.
As it's Saturday night I sat in the bar with my mate Danny Francis. We were accosted by a drunk from Chicago who sells dried dog food, (honestly, I am not making this up). He keeps insisting we do shots with him then tells me I'm rude for very politely saying no. I'm thinking, "I'll give you rude you drunk cunt", but don't actually do it. The saving grace of the evening was there were two asian weddings, the hotel was full of intoxicated ladies staggering around the lobby… Rock'n'roll All Night as they say in the land of The Gods Of Thunder.
I head to bed, tonight Tacoma, tomorrow Portland...
I finished an interview with NEU Photography Magazine with a shoot with Joe Bonamassa. Joe also talked about me - which should be interesting...
Here are some photos of Japanese actress Tomoko Karina for a series of portraits I'm working on
The Kills at the Mayan Theatre, Los Angeles. To say the light show was a challenge to shoot is putting it mildly...
And some pictures of the Kills from Outside Lands, San Francisco
My birthday, which I haven't worked on since the first show of the Black Album Tour back in '91 I think…
Off to San Francisco for the Outside Lands Festival. Flew on United which for some reason is delayed every time I fly out of LAX. Going to Mexico - four hours, today three hours, a pain in the old arse.
Arrived to a warm sunny San Francisco - by the time we drove to Golden Gate Park it was overcast and cold. And I mean COLD - fog and a drizzling rain. As I got into the backstage a band called Explosions In The Sky were playing. I thought they were new (I found out they have five cds out), they were instrumental and were intense. Beautiful to listen to…
The Kills were next. I was fascinated as the last time opening for my Heavy Metal Heroes in Paris they were not at all well received. Jamie Hince and Alison Mosshart are so sexual onstage it's hard not to think they are not a couple. They sort of groove into each other, the crowd loved them. I had a good time shooting them, it's like two primates engaging.
Shooting Metallica was slightly odd as the mist and fog were swirling in the air giving the light show a strange surreal glow. It was as if an alien ship with lights had landed. Ran into Sammy Hagar backstage, Kazuyo got Sammy to sign my birthday card as he pointed out to her he's known me since 1976.
I came back to LA to find a cake from the Sunset Marquis Hotel and a monogrammed robe with HRH Ross- quite right too. With thanks to Elaine, Carlie and Nancy xxx
I even went out and bought the Explosions In The Sky and The Lumineers cds to try something new.
And here are some travel pictures - SFO airport, it so reminds me of America, and two shots from above SF
And here is the General, clearly completely overcome by being able to be with The Master on his birthday...
Normally August is quiet, this time I've spent July between Boston, Philly, NYC, Mexico, LA and Mexico again. I've been photographing Metallica, Greenday and Aerosmith. Metallica's show in Mexico is enormous and has to be seen.
Aerosmith at the Hollywood Bowl was good to shoot. Stan Lee (who's in his nineties) introduced Aerosmith onstage. I shot Stan with Johnny Depp and Steven and Joe. Jim Carey was in Steven's dressing room, and also Vincent Gallo who I shot with Joe. Johnny Depp got up and played 'Train Kept A Rollin' - even did a solo. Steven Tyler had a party after at Pink Taco on Sunset Strip. We all went straight from the show so I was there in sweaty t-shirt and shorts, with everyone else dressed up… I hung out with John Bionelli and Filthy Kazuyo, saw Doug Aldridge from Whitesnake - I left just as it was in full swing.
Off back to Mexico for the final Metallica show, where I'm going to try to go to the Sun and Moon pyramids, then the Outlands Festival in San Francisco...
Lars and The Master, Teotihuacan
Cheap Trick, The Hollywood Bowl