Off to Los Angeles to escape the forced drudgery that is Christmas. Flying on Virgin which I've never flown on to LA before. Good check-in, you drive up a ramp and they are waiting with baggage tags and your boarding card with an express security check. The Virgin Lounge was good as well. I had a full English with black pudding - you have to be English to fully understand but it's up there with any meal in a five-star restaurant. I had it with my friend, tour manager Ivan Kushlick, every day in Melbourne and I never eat it at home. One of life's guilty pleasures.
I was asked yesterday what I believe in. I fully believe in God as I hurtle down the runway at 200mph taking off and in severe turbulence... I am sceptical about religion. I am an agnostic - while suspecting there is no God (or someone sitting on a white cloud with a long beard with a couple of harp players with huge wings) I leave room for the unlikely possibility that I could be wrong. Looking at the amount of inexplicable things in the Universe it could be true...
I think that the Bible is a set of fairy tales written in primitive times to scare uneducated people. I also reject God or Gods that demand constant subservient adulation from their followers. It's like a despot and there are plenty of them around.
Brought my little Leica with me to force me to shoot and think a bit more about what I'm photographing. Shot Iceland, Canada and into Wyoming and on over Las Vegas in beautiful winter light.
More UFO from the UK/US Tour of 1981 - Hammersmith Odeon, Alpine Valley, San Francisco The Day On The Green, Middlesbourgh Town Hall, Leeds and Phil Mogg in Cornwall Locked and Loaded. These photos ended up on the cover of Sounds.
Here's some Christmas Photos Ian Dury from his Christmas show at the Lewisham Odeon 1978 and my hero Jason Bonham with Joe Elliott from the Pyromania party after Def Leppard played Hammersmith Odeon in 1983...
Snowing this morning and I had to go North (as in Coventry) where people speak in strange dialects. This was the view coming back South this afternoon. I thought the pictures showed the cold in a good way plus I love this building.
Plus UFO - Girl from 1980
Peter Makowski out of his mind on two bottles of brandy on Concorde. He and I were flying to LA to see UFO, July 31st 1981. It was the same day as the royal wedding. I think that's the right date anyway... This was before security at airports, when it was fun travelling. We were drinking at 8am, as you do when you're stupid and missed the flight. The person at the BA checking desk rather took a fancy to young Pete. I gave him Pete's phone number (his mother's house). He upgraded us on Concorde. I'm not sure if Pete ever fulfilled the date. I have a vague memory of walking into the lounge and someone saying 'Would you like a drink sir?' 'Two triple brandies' said Pete. 'Certainly sir' came the reply. We flew to Washington carrying on like this. The English abroad - disgusting. Well, one English person and a Pole...
A Japanese businessman sitting opposite me asked if I flew on Concorde often. I said 'Oh yeah, once a month!' The picture of Pete on the ground is San Francisco, August 2nd - making friends. I can't work out if my youth was fun or if we were just stupid... Probably a bit of both.
Been playing a Rush CD I got today - Live at the Agora Ballroom Cleveland 1974. They were rocking and were a lot of fun to hang out with as well. I even have pictures of Pete and I out of our minds with them in Salt Lake City on the Signals tour, must dig them out as well.
Nikki Sixx of the Crue 1983 when they were really dangerous - trust me they really were. The Crue and Def Leppard are at Wembley Arena tonight. Phil Collen did call and invite me, but it's freeeeeezing and I'd have to get three trains so I politely declined.
And at SFO airport with Pete Way - before he left his wife for a life of homosexuality.
UFO from 1980. Phil Mogg with broken hand is from Texas. The group shot I have no idea and the shot of the whole stage is from the 1080 UK Tour.
Pete Way with Paul Chapman in Texas - I always liked these photos...
GIRL who opened for UFO on the 1980 UK Tour. These are from the Southampton Gaumont. I have a soft spot for them - Sheer Greed is a good record. See more...
Whitesnake Christmas show at the Forum. Saw a super healthy David before the show - he accused me of dying my hair... DYE MY HAIR!!!!!! I will never dye my hair. When it goes grey it can stay grey.
Whitesnake had a surprisingly young crowd and let's face it that's a good thing. The oldies section was upstairs drinking pints and holding them unsteadily aloft swaying in time to The Still Of The Night. The Snake played Whole Lotta Love and How Many More Times, a fun night. Here's a couple from the balcony taken on my Leica.
And some UFO from 1978-80...
Spent this Sunday sorting out my negs - found lots of stuff including old UFO and a lot of black and white of 70s bands I shot for the magazine/newspaper Sounds which I'll start adding in the new year.
Thought I'd try listening to Can. I like Monster Movie so I tried Tago Mago and couldn't get it at all. It was annoying - maybe that's what they were trying to do? Dug out my vinyl copy of Be Bop Deluxe - Live In The Air Age, I got a copy on white and black vinyl in Sacramento for $10... The one LP I want and can't find is Humble Pie's Smokin' with the embossed logo. I was playing that on cd and the new Chris Cornell live acoustic. It has a version of Thank You which is nice. The Cornell record I recommend as a good Sunday morning record.
New cover of Player in Japan with Lou Reed and Metallica.
As Motley Crue are touring the UK next week and I've been going through my file here's some of the Crue from Japan on the Theatre Of Pain tour. The blurry Nikki shot is from the Dr Feelgood tour and the shot of Nikki and Mick with the blow up doll is America, Shout At The Devil.
I remember being in Japan at the time just as Live Aid was going on in the rest of the world so I missed it completely.
More new Kings Of Leon from Melbourne, Australia. I've been sorting through what I've shot - will add more later.