Slash in Stoke on Trent
Here's Queensryche from High Voltage.
More of the Priest at the High Voltage Festival.
Some more Low Wattage Slash....
Thin Lizzy at the High Voltage Festival.
Some Metal from the Mighty Low Wattage Festival in the Far East of Mile End.....
Amy Winehouse... shot in London.
Slash at Stoke On Trent Victoria Hall - after a sunny day in London off to the Far North. Never been here before, or I think I've never been here before. I may have come with UFO or Rainbow. I wanted to go back to Low Wattage to see Michael Schenker but I'd been hired to shoot a cover for Slash's live album and DVD cover as the show was being filmed. Came up on Virgin Trains, another first. They had wireless which was impressive.
Stayed at the three star station hotel which was not impressive. It was packed as there was an Indian Wedding. I suspect the Four Seasons Stoke On Trent may not exist.
Good Slash show - Patience, Paradise City, Mr Brownstone, Night Train, Rocket Queen, Sweet Child Of Mine - what more could you want? I was very well looked after by Peter Merluzzi, a fine man and quite a human being for an American. Seriously, young Peter is one of the finest. Did pictures of Slash before he played and some good sweaty group shots.
I had a good time despite travelling to the far north...
High Voltage Festival in the Far East, or Low Wattage depending on your viewpoint. It was sunny in the land of the Metal Gods. General Noriega and I travelled to the the far east, like Marco Polo on his journey of discovery, and reached Mile End, and were met by an emissary to look after us, the sexy Phoebe Sinclair. Phoebe was there to help in our every need. The problem was that she kept disappearing to headbang in the fields of the east so she left us her servant, Paul Elliott.
Saw Queensryche which was strange, I felt it was 1988. Geoff Tate sang three songs without realising nothing was coming out of the PA, at which point his vocals came on. NM156 was fantastic, and also I Don't Believe In Love.
Thin Lizzy were excellent but the odd part was Michael Monroe who just looked "strange". He's got to be fifty and he's dressed like it's 1980, in full make up with foundation, playing Sax on Dancing In The Moonlight.
Spent most of my time with Slash whose birthday it is today. He was given a cake in the shape of a top hat. While standing by Slash's trailer some drunken moron, and I'm being kind here, kept asking do I think Motley Crue fans are retarded. Looking at him let's face it they're not brain surgeons. I tried to be okay but you know you can't talk to drink or an idiot who stands in front of you for ten minutes repeating himself over and over.
I met Rival Sons and told them I'd played Jimmy Page their lift of Out On The Tiles. They seemed really okay, I'd just missed their set - must see them at some point.
As the sky turned blood red it was time for the Mighty Judas Priest. Heading Out The Highway, Victim Of Changes... I was singing along with Paul Elliott in between taking photos. To be honest I thought Richie Downing was overdoing all the poses, banging his fist on his chest when he should have been riffing. Still, Glen Tipton's guitar playing is underrated and they did transport us to the land of the Metal Gods.
As I walked to Mile End to the sound of the Painkiller I saw a blue heritage plaque for the first V1 Nazi flying bomb dropped on London above an old bridge. The original and a far more dangerous sound of Metal...
The Great Loudon Wainwright III, shot in The Saint Martin's Lane Hotel
I meant to put this up before - here's a bit of Deep Purple in Montreux last weekend.
Sandie Shaw was putting the fun back into, ermmm, "FUN". Ringo Starr was a caricature of himself and exceedingly small. I suppose he does this sort of thing all the time, he seemed a bit soulless as if he was performing a routine. John Lydon was nice to me and and difficult to the whole room who were celebrating him. Roy Harper came up and chatted and Donovan, who Jimmy Page introduced, was super cool. Susie Quatro ended up having too much fun, like Sandie Shaw. Eddie Floyd told me he runs six miles a day from being in the army.
Spent this morning in the company of Loudon Wainwright III. Photographed him at The Saint Martin Lane Hotel, home of the dreadful and overrated club, Bungalow 8. My main aim was making Loudon not look so stiff - it was 9.30am. The hotel was like a dentist's office, clean and soulless. Anyway, I enjoyed myself - it's always nice to see him.
Some magazines with Vintage Metallica, Steven Tyler and Journey.
To Geneva for the Montreux Jazz Festival. Amazing how I get booked on a 8am flight which means getting up at 5am - you get there and feel tired all day. Never been here before though I've been to Zurich many times. Beautiful day, you land and drive for an hour to Montreux which is surrounded by mountains.
It was baking so I walked along the lake and found a statue of Freddie Mercury which was packed with sad people climbing up and posing for photos singing into his mike stand. The view was breathtaking and all people want to see is this? Pathetic...
Met up with Deep Purple who I'm shooting tonight. Photographed a grumpy Ian Gillian, who in fairness looked tired. He told me a funny story of why he hates youtube. Then photographed Ian Paice and Roger Glover. Chatted with Roger, it's been years since I spoke to him. Ian even gave me a couple of pairs of drum sticks.
The show was in the Stravinsky Hall. Strange watching them play Smoke On The Water on Lake Geneva... Glover and Paice are the tightest rhythm section and Claude Nobs ("Funky Claude" in the song) was on the side of the stage dressed as an ice cream salesman. The crowd was young, which was surprising, with loads of girls grooving and singing along.
It kind of took me back to seeing them at the Rainbow in 1972 with Nazareth, or The Brixton Sundown in 1973 - they finished with Black Night.
An interview with Phil Collen at home where he talks about The Master and General Noriega - if you go to around the 16.30 mark... http://video.pbssocal.org/video/2047710376/
Sent to me by Carl Alvarez.
My Metallica book with a rejected cover that they ignored and went with anyway. Got sent it in the post, I was sort of pissed off then thought it doesn't look that bad, and it is France, so it does look "Metal".
Thinking about and looking at it, I now prefer the Metal Metallica book cover...
Picked up a couple of LPs, Blind Willie McTell - The Early Years 1927-1933 on YaZoo records, and Little Feat - Dixie Chicken "If it runs amuck, call THE DUCK". And the first Sadistic Mika Band LP with the Hawaiian Shirt cover. Even finally got the Who Box Live At Leeds and Hull - Japanese copy.
A little bit of Jimmy Page showing the Black Crowes the way to Hell by playing some of the Devil's Music at the Devil's Bush Empire. See more...
"Loutallica". I kid you not!!! Spent this afternoon shooting Metallica and Lou Reed. Lou, who I was expecting to be a nightmare, was completely professional. He just got on with it - got loads done. He even signed LPs etc for filthy Kazuzo and General Noriega.
After an afternoon with "Loutallica" I joined Peter Makowski, Kazuyo Horie, General Noriega and Jimmy Page for a belated birthday dinner for Peter who turned fifty-nine the day before. We fine dined at Pizza Express on Shepherds Bush Green then walked over to see the Black Crowes at the Empire - Jimmy got up for an impromptu Shake Your Money Maker.
We hung out with the Crowes for a bit then drove to the South listening to Soundgarden's Mailman and 4th Of July. I also played Jimmy Rival Sons' Pressure And Time - the riff is a direct lift of Out On The Tiles/Moby Dick from the Led Zeppelin '77 Tour. Hmm, funny what people steal.
The Black Crowes at the Shepherds Bush Empire. I got there early and took General Norieiga for a Southern feast to the KFC on the green. We dined amid dirty unwiped tables with the locals just leaving their finished bits of food all over the floor etc. It really was like dining in Nashville...
The first Crowes set was, I thought, boring, too much noodling from Luther who succeeded in doing a bad impersonation of that awful dead hippy Jerry Garcia. They then came back and kicked in with Exit, Thorn In My Pride and a really good cover of Oh Sweet Nuthin with Rich Robinson soloing in true rock fashion. The second set was how I like the Black Crowes - rocking. See more...
Here are some great interviews with me, talking about my career and new travel book, Sojourner, in Mojo, Record Collector, and Spain's Popular 1
Foo Fighters at the Roundhouse. Saw Dave and chatted with him before he went on, and also Lemmy who gave me his email - I can't imagine Lemmy with email! James and Lars were there, and Brian May and Roger Taylor with their new singer Seasick Steve.
It was like a sauna in there. Then again all good rock shows should feel like a sauna...
Took the Northen line home - reminded me of being a teenager going to the Roundhouse to see Hawkwind, Man, the Streetwalkers or UFO.
A little bit of Heavy Metal for today... And a bit of Knebworth
Knebworth for a Friday in the land of the Metal Gods. It took four hours to get there, which takes the fun out of the Metal.
It was kind of a hang backstage for Metallica. I photographed James and Lars with Brian Tatler. Saw Joel McIver who was touting his Glen Hughes Book - which is not bad except Joel seems to think it's on standard with a Genesis Fine Art Book, which is laughable... if you're going to spend money on fine art books look at Genesis or even Taschen.
I had a good show as in I got some good photos - got a funny one of Dave Mustaine as he came on for the Am I Evil jam, which was more of a tribute to Brian Tatler, and Lars told the crowd 'Here's the man who wrote it!'
Got home in an hour and fifteen minutes - much better.
Somerset House for an evening with the EELS, Peter Makowski, Jimmy Page and my servant Gustavo. We went and said hello to E before the show and he showed Jimmy his guitar pick then told him 'Pete Townshend asked to see what pick I used and said that's the same as Jimmy Page.' Jimmy looked, 'Yes, he's right.' E told us about his fairly terrible tour of Shanghai where the crowd turned up but no equipment...
Shot the show, which was kind of hard as it had a high stage. Had a great burger and chips in the restaurant - food lovers, I highly recommend it. See more of the Eels...
Travelling today for some Heavy Metal in Milan with the Big 4, and a guitarist photo extravaganza. Got to Milan and a venue attached to a giant train station - sort of Dubai-ish, super modern. Strange looking out from the stage.
I did a huge photo shoot of the little five or six (as I got Tom Araya), did James, Kirk, Dave Mustaine, Kerry King, Scott Ian for a guitarist special shoot. Everyone was amazed that I got James and Dave together as if it's some surprise. They did lots of Heavy Metal posing and Tom Araya said 'I haven't done these kind of photos in ten years.' It was easy and a pleasure. Then again they were being shot by The Master...
I even did a quick proper Metallica session before they went on - screaming faces, lights, backdrop, the whole bit - kind of like the old days.
The Black Crowes were in Milan as well and I remembered being in Huston with Metallica when they played before. And Dave Mustaine sent me a very nice email telling me he's always ready to shoot with me - a good day at the office.
Here's a link to a Q@A I did for Anthidote.com - all travel stuff.
The view from the beautiful south, travelling north. Now I know I've put this up before but with the sky today I couldn't resist it...
General Noriega has arrived from Japan to serve his Master...
Spent yesterday doing some trading, got a few European tour posters. Deep Purple - Festhalle Frankfurt 1972, American Negro Blues Festival '70, Grand Funk with support Mott The Hoople from 1971 (I think could be '72 - does anyone know?), Faces - Stadhalle Offenbach '72, Black Sabbath - Stadhalle Offenbach as well, and I've never seen them before. Kind of makes the collector in me "Glow", plus a Pretty Things from The Galaxy Club Basingstoke with the Troggs, no idea of the year - '65-'66?
Even had a bit of record frenzy. Juicy Lucy on Vertigo with the naked woman covered in fruit it was £125 (which I had to have). I traded an original mint Blind Faith and the first Captain Beefheart for it. Funny, I always thought as a teenager that Who Do You Love by Juicy Lucy was written by them. Also got Neu - Black Forest Gateau and for £2.50 Percy Soundtrack - The Kinks.
And the General brought presents for his Master, The Who - Kids Are Alright with Obi and a Stones "best of", plus two Lynyrd Skynyrd LPs with Obis.
My best find this week was a mint Live at Leeds with the black stamp on the cover - I now have Black, Red and Blue. Yes, being a collector is truly sad collecting...