More Megadeth. See more...
Some new Robin Trower. See more...
Dave Mustaine's tour manager, Tracy, contacted me to see if I'd like to go to see Dave at Brixton. So, why not, I like Dave and always have a good time hanging out with him. Took Gordon Gheller, we thought we'd have a Pizza Express before the show. Only problem being we couldn't find one, there had to be at least fifty Chicken 'N Ribs places, you know, Dallas Fried Chicken, Caribbean Fried Chicken and on Brixton High Street the biggest KFC I've ever seen. We settled on a fast food Chinese. It was dreadful. Next time it's Dallas Fried Chicken... shit, what else is there in the 'hood - kebab with chilli sauce I suppose?
Hung out with Dave before and after the show. I had a GREAT time. Good light show, friendly road crew. The funny bit was being frisked at the stage door by security in case I was packing a weapon - being in the 'hood. Megadeth were heavy and riffing in true metal style, it was excellent.
To my surprise the audience were teenagers who sang along to everything. Before they came on they sang to Pantera's Walk, Ozzy's Crazy Train, then Immigrant Song came on - the crowd didn't know a word of it. Strange,
Saw Mark Adelman after the show, who now manages Megadeth. I haven't seen him since 1983 when he was tour manager for Kiss. Gordon and I had a good night out, if only all my work was like this.
Yet more vintage Rush. See more...
I have been feeling guilty (or old) and am going to get myself in shape. I went to my gym and ran, looking at all the bald tattooed men banging weights. Been playing Snakes And Ladders by Rush while running, which I love, and even tried Uriah Heep - a bit of Sunrise-Sweet Lorraine-July Morning, all appalling. I wanted to like them but it is just rubbish, bombastic plastic. It was plastic in the day now it's itunes. I need to take a lot off my ipod which I never listen to and is crap.
Kevin Shirley sent me a nice compliment about a Joe Bonmassa photo, which makes a nice change to emails about his wife and Malibu...
Watching The Stax review (thank you Dave Clarke) tonight and a Japanese film, Shiobi (thank you Nick Mckay).
I am going to have a revamp of my web pages next week, starting with Metallica. I think they look a bit tired - like me.
Joe Bonamassa at the Shepherds Bush Empire. See more...
Some more Rush. See more...
A Who poster I've just found I like, you normally don't see this one with the venue date printed on it.
Some more Rush - even more tomorrow...
People have been emailing me asking if I have t-shirts with my pictures on. For those amongst you who haven't noticed the Sales link at the top of the page, or didn't think to click on it, this is what you'll find there...
Had Guy, a local carpenter, put in a book case on a wall in my house over the weekend. He did a very good job apart from the fact I hate it. I didn't think it through and it's too deep. I feel bad as he worked hard, but I can't live with it. I need to get out as it's driving me crazy.
A Rush fan has asked about the three song limitation shooting live that all the venues world wide try to impose
The three song rule came from Rush. It was to stop photographers using flash. As in "flash for the first three songs only", it got mutated down the line to first three songs only - blame Geddy Lee...
Came across some vintage Rush pictures. See more...
A friend of mine, Richard came to see me, just to torture me, I think. He has posters (and I love old posters) for Black Sabbath at Ewell Technical College 1970, Jethro Tull Liverpool '71 and lots of Led Zeppelin from the 1971 back to the clubs tour. He came with me to see Joe Bonamassa at Shepherds Bush Empire.
I was shooting Joe for his live album/cd. Joe's bassist, Carmine Rojas, is an old friend of mine who's played with Bowie and Rod Stewart, and he was at Woodstock. He started as a roadie for Sly Stone.
It was hard to shoot as the lighting was, ummmm, basic to say the least. Joe played Walk In My Shadow by Free and a lot of John Mayall stuff I don't know. He's a good guitarist and Carmine is a great bassist. Backstage was a regular Prog Rock evening - Steve Hackett was there, and Chris Squire taking up most of the dressing room (he's the size of a whale).
It will be a pleasure to...
Woke up at 6am, couldn't sleep. Spoke to Jimmy Page at 7am, who was back from doing press in the East - and starring in a Hollywood blockbuster, his second thespian role after Song Remains The Same, where he had glowing eyes and climbed up a mountain in search of enlightenment. Or something like that...
So in true Mick Wall fashion I went and ran and worked out. I'm even thinking of getting a "Lone Wolf" tattoo just like Mick or maybe "Maria" like Pete Makowski.
I'm in the middle of reading Cormac McCarthy's The Road, a bleak book about a wasteland. Thinking of bleak, I visited Idols, my agency with headquarters in the trendy up and coming wasteland known as Bermondsey. It was a beautiful sunny day so I took the train - Sutton to Tulse Hill to South Bermondsey. The first thing I see upon arriving is that architectural wonder, Millwall Football Club, home to many friendly games of soccer, with their charming neanderthal fan club.
Simon, my agent, met me and we walked around to sample the delights of Bermondsey Village. You have a sushi bar, fish and chip shops and even an olde world pie and mash shop. Simon was trying to convince me to go to a friendly game with his new favourite team, Millwall. 'We can go firm handed,' he smiles. Next to the stadium was a place with Surgery in big letters - must be in case of casualties as a result of the joyous atmosphere when the games are on.
The area I liked the most in Bermondsey was the Jubilee line which got me back into London. 'Don't worry, you'll come to love it,' shouted Simon as I left him tucking into a lunchtime snack of pie and eels, with green licquor...
Now here's a neanderthal band - Queens of the Stone Age. See more...
Here's an email from Paul in Bangalore.
You just get ripped off. Artists, merchandisers, bootleggers - what's the difference...?
I've had an email asking me what Robin Trower was like to work with. It was a shoot with Paul Gilbert. Paul is seven feet tall, Robin is my height (slightly less than seven feet). I was granted an hour by Robin's manager, Derek Sutton, who used to manage Styx in the glory years - if Styx had glory years...
Both turned up on time, Derek instantly saying 'We have to leave in an hour, we have an important show.' Robin was playing The House Of Blues, a club in LA. Derek then started making sarcastic comments like (while looking at his client pretending to be shocked) 'YOU STILL USE FILM!' I was nice at first, just ignoring him.
Robin looked okay for his age, he was a bit stiff and old-fashioned in a 60's way, smiles, thumbs up, cheers mate, then looks - well, lost. After fifteen minutes I get Derek standing over me 'We've got to go, I have an important show.' I'm thinking fuck you, although I don't say it. 'Sorry Derek, you said we have an hour and if my mathematics are correct we still have forty-five minutes.' One thing I'd forgotten about Derek is that he was always a bully, very much like Rod Smallwood, and the people around Bon Jovi. 'I'll get it done quickly if you let me get on with it.' I finish in forty minutes. Robin and Derek leave, not remotely interested in what I'd done. They would have been happier if I'd done it on a disposable camera. And Paul Gilbert was easy, nice and couldn't do enough...
Queens Of The Stone Age at the Hammersmith Odeon, Apollo, Carling etc - to someone of my age it will always be the Odeon. It was packed, I got better photos this time as I'd figured out the light show. Saw Josh Homme, who was ill - he'd been sick since arriving in the UK. My son liked it - now I'm really starting to feel old...
One of my Mars Volta pictures from the latest Rolling Stone.
The Mars Volta. See more...
Here is a good example of people lying and passing the blame. In 2004 Maria Conroy from Bravado International licensed the rights to use a Pete Townshend photo for a poster, mug and T-shirt. Bravado didn't want to pay much as it was for the Isle Of Wight Who show and the tour was coming to an end and it wouldn't sell much etc... So they took my image, gave it to Andy Peters, who then used it on a poster with a Union Jack flag added to my image of PT.
Last month while looking at thewho.com I saw the same photo used on the new live cd you get when paying $50 to join. I knew nothing about this, of course. I called Barry Drinkwater who runs Bravado. Naturally he said 'Nothing to do with me. Call Andy Peters, he put the artwork together, but don't upset him he does a lot for us, and is a tortured artist.' Simon, my agent contacted Andy Peters who spoke once then avoided him and didn't take his phone calls. I spoke to Maria Conroy, who claimed that it's Andy's copyright as Andy says his "ARTWORK" isn't from my photo and he owns the rights. Andy also claims the picture of Pete jumping was from several photos all joined together. I then asked Maria if the photo isn't mine why did they pay me for the useage? Does that mean Andy owns The Who's logo...? I told Maria to stop treating me like a moron, I know the copyright law and I own the fucking copyright.
Spot the difference...!
In the end I paid the $50 and a couple of days ago got the cd in the post. It looks great apart from the credits - Slipcase Image By Andy Peters. Andy isn't an artist, just someone who steals and then denies it and runs away. I will deal with Andy, and Andy, it won't be pleasant...
Oh, I found out Andy was paid £200 to do the artwork. No wonder Maria Conroy defends him (and Barry likes him) - Bravado are using slave labour...
Had this nice Sunday email from Kevin THE CAVEMAN Shirley. It arrived at 7am Los Angeles time as THE CAVEMAN was leaving to spend the day praying at his local Mormon Temple in the 'Bu (as in Malibu). His wife is a great influence on his satanic ways - his son Talon has been christened Hallelujah Shirley...
I take it he means Joe Bonamassa not John Bionelli. THE CAVEMAN always talks in riddles - praise the lord!
More covers featuring the future Mrs Halfin
My cover of Rob from the new issue of Sweden Rock.
The Priest are back....very soon.
The Mars Volta, more soon.
More magazines, including Zeppelin, Maiden and The Mars Volta
Some more travel - flying out of LA and then some shots from over London.
Michael Schenker with Graham Bonnet. See more...
A photo from Peter Makowski, his first of many from his world travels. I think it is a great piece of art - a loving portrait of Peter's future wife.
"Hope you like the picture. Maybe I should do a travel book as well."
Steve Harris cover from Powerslave Tour, Canada I think, but I'm not sure.
Guitar World did a large feature from the 02 some of which is here with some copy.
The Mars Volta from Revolver.
Home and it's sunny and cold.
Shot the clouds flying out of Los Angeles, the sun was just coming out as I left.
Also shot a bit of London on my Leica Sureshot as we came in to land.
And The Mars Volta live from Irvine.
Well, Ago was rocking, packed. True love was in the air and Lips was having none of it. 'She'll kill me...' Sasha brought along actor Donal Logue who has been in loads of films. I even remember him from Blade as a long-haired biker vampire. I said 'Didn't you die?' 'Yes, but I kept coming back to life,' - touche.
Bruce Willis was there - I have to say he looked amazing for his age - hope for me yet. We had a good time apart from Lips who was trembling with fear at the thought of Toronto and the wife. Got a nice photo of my hosts on the way out - Lips teeth look sensational.
A beautiful day in Los Angeles - pouring with rain. Off home tonight.
Got up today to an email from Joe Bonamassa.
So I thought I'd share my blues favourites with all of you...
Had lunch yesterday with a friend of mine, Jason Sutter, drummer for Chris Cornell. Jason collects art, serious art, and photography. Jason appreciates the art of the photo, not like the emails I get with "can I buy a Jimmy Page print and can he sign it with a message?" I got an email asking for a Steve Clark print signed by Steve, no problem, I'll sell you loads - I'm sure he won't mind...
The Mars Volta were playing a Yahoo concert for the internet at 20th Century Fox Studios. I went along with Jason to watch. The people filming it didn't have a clue, bad lighting - the audience were lit the whole time. The atmosphere was non-existent. It was like the Led Zeppelin concert, everything lit up so it can be captured on film - film people have no clue. 'Okay everybody, let's have a round of applause!' Someone actually said this as they walked on. It was awful.
Cedric had a party at his house on Venice Beach afterwards. It was a low key affair with the host playing records on his decks. I went along with Jason and Adrian Terrazas-Gonzalez (band sax-player) driven by our chauffeur-slave Karen. I left them all in search of food at midnight, nothing in this town is open late.
Saturday morning and I'm off to buy Karen some chains as a present - and a whip in case she gets out of line... Today I'm shooting Robin Trower who I last saw play at the Hammersmith Odeon in 1979. I wonder how bad/good/ancient he looks?
I went to the gym and on the treadmill next to me was a hairy midget, running. I realised it was the heart throb actor Jason Schwartzman. He was so small he made me look tall - next to him Scott Ian would look athletic. While I'm talking actors, megalomanic film director Sasha Gervasi called and I'm off for lunch with him and his new leading man Steven "Lips" Kudlow of the legendary Anvil.
Well, Lips was sulking as only a true Jewish man can. I asked him what's wrong - Lips normally cries with joy at seeing me. I try pulling his ear... nothing, he just looks at the floor. 'My wife is jealous of me being a film star, it's all about me. She can't take it, she wants to star in a film.' I tell him to go home and kick her out and show her who's boss. She should be glad to sleep with the Brad Pitt of Canadian metal. When I offer to phone her and put her straight he looks mortified. 'Please don't she's not even Jewish - you understand? She'll take all my money.' 'Lips, you need a real woman, like Lucy Liu.' Lips perks up a bit then tells me he's going to tell her 'My way or the highway!' We arrange to meet at Ago tonight to look for new wives and true love...
Sometimes I love it when I fly. The airport, the vibe, the idea you're going somewhere. I like airports once you've got through security, it's a transient place, you see people you are never going to see again. In my case it's usually exotic looking Chinese, Balanese, Filipino, and Japanese women, who I romanticise that I meet and run off with to live in nirvana (wherever that may be).
I was not looking forward to flying this particular trip, on United Airlines. The air hostesses tend to look like your mother or grandmother - on Emirates they are beautiful and generally friendly. There was nothing wrong with my flight, it was half empty. One thing which drives me crazy is how an hour into an eleven hour flight the crew want all the windows shut so you sit in darkness most of the way. I started to feel weirded out, unhappy for no reason. I sat and read E from the Eel's book which made me even more glum. Perhaps I need to pick up something along the lines of The Loves Of Gong Li... Thinking of love Brian Wheat of Tesla phoned me to tell me how much Jeff Keith (Tesla singer) loves me. I like Jeff but how can you love a man who would sleep with a goat or a cow rather than women. I have a sneaking feeling Jeff's fans are the size of large livestock - it brings him closer to them. Wrote this flying over the Harney Basin, near Harney Lake according to the route map. Wherever Harney is...
Thinking of travelling, I'm seeing Tom Jerman this week. Tom has done a design on a small travel book for me called Travel 1 which will be out soon. I intend to do books 1-10, then a large book on Outtake Books with William Nash. So I need to get my arse in gear for a bit more travel or to shoot and think more. I wouldn't mind doing a book of cloud photos but I don't think it would sell.
An hour before landing and the windows are still dark. A bumpy last hour in to LA. Los Angeles is sunny and brisk, but the sun does make things look better - ask Kevin Shirley, we can all live in Malibu (or "the 'Bu" as he says), praying to his new God his wife brought with her. 'I'm off to mix Iron Maiden - Praise The Lord.'
Drive down to Irvine. The Mars Volta are playing the local university, UCI. A huge gym. with a light show which lights them across the floor of the stage, meaning it is challenging. Still I did okay, though I was fading a bit in the middle (with the time zone) - they played for two hours and thirty minutes. Cedric onstage reminds me of Robert Plant around 70-71 when he would do the vibrating freak out while holding the mike. The crowd were surfing and trying to stage dive which doesn't exactly fit in with the music, - at one point Cedric told them to cool it. A great, innovative band.
Had a sandwich at Primo, my favourite cafe on Sunset, with my new part-time assistant, Karen Sihota. Next to me reading a script was Jake Gyllenhall, surviving star of Fudgepack Mountain. I was going to ask about the sequel but figured it might be hard without Heath.
My hotel has Matthew McConaughey, Texan star of the new historical drama Fools Gold, also starring Kate Hudson. The hotel is full of Texans ordering chicken and ribs, a bit like the English ordering fish and chips.
I went to my usual eating hole, Ago, with the VERY camp Chris Vranian and his beautiful wife, Claire. As we were leaving we ran into Gary Tunnicliffe, make-up artist for the world of horror. Gary makes decapitated heads for films like Dracula Vol. 15. He has a broken hand from punching walls in temper. He's done it several times, inbetween listening to Michael Schenker - he has a Flying V tattooed on his arm. And is forty-nine years old. People like Gary make me feel old. His favourite song is Armed and Ready by MSG (Michael Schenker Group). Fuck me, I feel like jumping out of a skyscraper window as Gary sings the chorus. "Armed And Ready tonight... alright". To finish the night he recites all the UFO lyrics as if they are poetry. Gary is from the North of England - need I say more...
I forgot to tell Gary that the UFO CDs are coming out remastered with amazing sound, according to my friend Nori. Nori says the outtakes are strictly for fans. Funny how people want to redo LPs or CDs. I mean, improve the sound but sometimes the originals are better left alone like The Who Live At Leeds (Townshend's original edit is still better than the uncut version) and Jimi Hendrix' Band Of Gypsies, a great record - the uncut cd is fucking awful. Artist's put things out as they are for a reason, then fans and experts interfere...
A couple of days ago found some negs of Micheal Schenker and Graham Bonnet shot (I think) at Chrysalis Records office in London. I have no recollection of the date or even shooting these pictures. I'll put them up next week - Gary can make love dreaming of Michael while playing The Attack Of The Mad Axeman.