Decide to go home (don't ask me why) but get
quite enthusiastic at the prospect of being home. Flight
is empty, everyone must be going East. Arrive 6:40am to a
very cold and damp England. Back to the real world.
Take a boat to Wat Arun. I've been here 10 years
ago with Metallica it was empty, this time it's mobbed
with Russian and Chinese tour groups, pushing and shoving.
It's no fun, give up quickly. Try the golden Buddha
in China town. The same thing. Too many people...
Late afternoon, notice a temple glittering
in the sun. It's being renovated, I'm the only Ferang (foreigner),
it's empty. It has two huge rows of golden Buddha's. This
makes the trip to Bangkok worth while (I must come back when
Have a lie in until 7am. Fly to Bangkok. Thai
air use a 747 to fly 55 minutes and it's full. Do nothing,
don't even realise it's Saturday until I go to the night
market which is crowded with teenagers watching Thai pop
acts on a stage, it's just like Pop Idol.
Leave at dawn, shoot sunrise over the
hills looking into Burma. Drive back to Chaing Mai.
Amazingly find my camera lens at a temple I'd left
it at the day before. Nice hot day in Chaing Mai. Walk
around the town at night. Every bar is showing English
football live from the U.K. Really boring, I've
come all the way to escape this.
Check my messages in the early hours, Rick
Allen has left me one. I call him, he asks me to take down
the naked photo of him from my web site (he doesn't mind
but his new wife does)...
Up at 5am. Christmas day.
Drive 3 hours over the mountains
to the valley of Pai. Fantastic views,mist and temples.
Shoot a butcher at dawn with severed pigs heads.
Some monks collecting food. Stop to shoot various temples
on the way. As I arrive in the valley
of Pai, see the bridge on the river Pai built by allied prisoners
of war in 1942.
Stop to shoot two elephants eating bamboo.
Have a Christmas lunch of catfish in Chili. At sunset climb
up to Pai canyon, it's
very spectacular and dangerous, 500 foot drops either side as
you walk. Finish the day at a volcanic hot spring. Spend
Christmas night in the town of Pai. Lots of back-packers,
more tourists than Thai's, sitting around camp fires playing
guitars and singing, I have an urge to shoot the lot of them.
I must be getting old...
Because we are so high up, the sky and the
stars glow in the sky.
I've been to Thailand a lot but I've never
seen this, the whole town is a gigantic brothel. It's full
of English lager louts and sad old men with very young Thai girls. It's
only saving grace is a brand new Hard Rock Hotel which has
a very nice pool area, a bit like the Beverly Hills
Hotel. See to my surprise Hugh Grant by the pool. The lobby
has an original Keith Moon outfit from 1975, I'm impressed.
Up at 5am, can't wait to get out of
here. Fly to Chaing Mai, 500 miles to the north. The hotel
is worse than a Thai prison (damp coming out of the walls,
wall paper hanging off, the bathroom has one small
towel plus sewage pipes dripping from the ceiling).
Walk around the town at the night
market, try large frogs fried in ginger, not the best meal
I've ever eaten. Lots of young girls in Santa
hats trying to get you in bars. At midnight I
walk along the old town, watching drunk fat tattooed English
men with very young girls singing along to Gary Glitter's
Rock'n Roll Parts 1 and 2. How ironic..... Welcome to
Sleep most of the way, wake up
over Da Nang, arrive at 10:50 in the evening. Drive 2 hours
On a whim decide to go to Thailand
for Christmas. Fly via Tokyo, lose a day and arrive on
The Aerosmith jet is going straight to Boston
after the show in Fresno so get a lift with Kiss.
Get a shot of John Bionelli with Peter Criss... He's so happy, he tries to
kiss me if you'll excuse the pun. Russ Irwin begs me to do a group shot of
him and Aerosmith as they go to the stage. I'm a bit like Santa today, ho ho
Fly back to L.A with Kiss. Gene gives me a ride back to the hotel, via his
very modest home (I'm joking here, it's enormous).
Go over to my friend Neil Zlozower's
studio in Hollywood. Zakk Wylde arrives with a case of
Beck's beer, it's 11am...
He proceeds to start drinking it, by midday
he's well out of it..... But he's O.K. Telling some very
funny stories (he's just come back from England and been
to see Ozzy
in the hospital). I leave a very intoxicated Zakk to meet
Joe Perry for a bit of Christmas shopping.
Shoot Joe Perry in Paul Stanley's platform
boots. Joe joins Kiss onstage for Strutter.
The crowd are drunk and PAINFUL, don't
enjoy shooting the show at all. The floor is like a skating
rink of booze. There is a huge party at rock'n roll legend
Russ Irwin's palatial mansion in the Hollywood hills,
I'm too tired to go...
Keith Flint has left a very nice message inviting me for a drink and wishing
me a Merry Christmas...
Go for a walk along Sunset, run into Keith Flint
of Prodigy coming out of the very overpriced store H.Lorenzo.
He's recording here and wants to meet up for a drink.
Studio session with the band tentatively
for the album package of "Honking for Hobo",
well I think that's what it's called. I'm not going to
tell you what I've shot as it'll ruin the surprise but
it was a long day... End up in the lobby of my hotel
with Steven eating desserts until 1:30am , very rock'n
Fly London to Los Angeles to shoot Aerosmith.
Had a boring weekend doing nothing.
Now I'm in neg hell, I found loads but I've got to match
them up... Must give a thank
you to Terry Hack at Bayeux lab for sorting out all the prints.
I will get them up in the next two weeks.
Sunny in London but it's freezzzzzzzzzzzzzzing!!!!!!!!!
Decide to have a serious look for
my old negs. Find Judas Priest, Hammersmith 1978 and Rainbow,
Leeds 1980/81, can't remember
which year in the file for Rush. Also found Michael Schenker
Group in with Ozzy, don't ask how it happened.
Decide to print
a load of Randy Rhoads, I'll put them up soon.
At 11pm last night I get a call moving
my Aerosmith trip back two weeks to Los Angeles..........so
I 've decided to sort out photos for the web site. U.S. PR
Maria Gonzales LIED to a magazine about my availability to
shoot Slipknot, decide to put her straight...........she
the calls the editor to make light of it...........you wonder
don't like PR'S
Check-in to Lufthansa at Cairo airport. The
staff are--and I'm not joking--retarded. Fly at
2:40am to Frankfurt, land at 6:10am. 7:30am to
London, land at 8:15am in the pouring rain. The
joys of being home. Off to Miami tomorrow for Aerosmith.