In Mexico City for some Heavy Metal, with Filthy, General Norieiga, Ange and his Iranian boyfriend from Down Under. We ate out at an Argentinian steakhouse, nice and cheap. I'm off to do record shopping or hunting while I'm here and to see the pyramids which I always do. Strange weather - baking hot until 5pm then pouring rain and lightning all evening. At night as you walk from my hotel it's full of pimps hustling you offering 'Colombian girls very cheap'...
The Master at work... Boston ( I think) thanks to Bob and Jeff
Aerosmith at the Meadowlands in New Jersey - they played (at John Bionelli's suggestion) Rats In The Cellar, which was drawn out, not rehearsed, and the band jammed to find an ending. Run DMC also came on for a Walk This Way with the crowd going wild. I lined them up for a shot at the end of the show. The 'Smiths at their best.
Went to Old And Rare Records in the West Village - found a sealed Faces Ooh La La and a sealed Live Adventures by Mike Bloomfield and Al Kooper for next to nothing, and I even got Talking Heads 77 just for the sake of it. My real find was a Japanese copy of The Best Of Gene Vincent on Capitol on red vinyl, it made my trip to New York...
Arrived in NYC, staying in Soho which is odd as I'm normally always in midtown. Filthy Kazuyo got an amazing room with a view and refused to swap. We walked along Greene Street and found a Japanese and good deli - not bad at all.
Saw Aerosmith do a great second show at the Boston Garden, as the band finished Joe Perry played the riff to Mama Kin and the band followed. Aerosmith at their best, it was that good.
Saturday morning and I'm playing the Mahavishnu Orchestra Live In Central Park, drinking coffee, marking up Aerosmith photos, and I'm off to Philadelphia for some more 'Smiths this evening...
Kazuyo had no ID on her - neither of us thought you needed ID to go on a train. She got thrown off, so a bit of a late start to Philly. The views were breathtaking across New Jersey including wonderful Camden, with a conductor called Leroy shouting and checking tickets. Philly station was impressive, a huge old building. I took a picture of the WWII memorial, it reminded me of an old gangster movie.
Spent the early evening going over photos with Steven and Joe. Photographed Cheap Trick and some funny shots of Joe Perry walking to the stage in mock slow motion. This is the 5th show I've seen and honestly they just get better - Lick And a Promise, a slowed down but long Rattle Snake Shake and another spontaneous encore of Chip Away The Stone...
Some Soundgarden from Hyde Park last week
In Boston, funny being here, I'm not a big fan. I find it boring, like a bad version of Surrey. All the English love it here. Flew with Kazuyo singing Shortest Straw and other Heavy Metal favourites... had Halls Of Justice ringing through my mind over and over.
The Thing That Should Not Be... you try flying next to that.
Landed and was off to the Boston Garden for the Aerosmiths. Steven had removed the barricade so to say shooting the show was a pain in the arse was an understatement. Plus you try arguing with a drunk, middle-aged crowd. It is not fun. One guy in the front row in a bandanna was nice, 'You rock', he told me plus he was a Metallica fan and they are always nicer to me than Aerosmith fans. Ended up shooting on stage which was good. Tried to shoot it differently.
Off to look for vinyl today...
The very sad news today is the loss of Jon Lord from cancer. I didn't know Jon that well, I'd met him a few times and he was always a gentleman. One of the first LPs I ever got was In Rock. I was thirteen when it came out in 1970, it's still a fantastic record. If you're young go and discover Deep Purple in the '70s - Fireball, Machine Head, Made In Japan, Who Do We Think We Are, Burn, Stormbringer, Come Taste The Band, Made In Europe, all great.. Jon Lord also liked Peter Makowski which he should get a sainthood for. How Deep Purple are not in the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame says it all about Rolling Stone.
Off to Boston today to shoot the 'Smiths, landing and going straight to the show tonight...
Soundgarden at Hyde Park Calling - sun, rain, sun, rain, humid - THE RAIN. I went with Jimmy Page plus our security team of Kazuyo Horie and General Noriega Watanabe.
Matt Cameron seemed genuinely shocked to see Jimmy. Took a group shot of JP and Soundgarden together. He watched the show while I went and shot it. Half way through the out front head of Showsec (the Hyde Park security team) wanted to know 'WHAT I WAS DOING SHOOTING THE SHOW!!!!!!! YOU'RE NOT CLEARED BY ME!!!!!' he screamed above the sound. I showed him my All Access Soundgarden pass and my All Access Hard Rock Calling Pass. He was screaming and threatening me, but hreatening me with WHAT? Soundgarden's security stopped him. This is the reason I tell people not to bother wanting to take photos. It used to be fun a long time ago. I'd love one of Showsec to have a go, I'd sue them. They think they have some God-given right to treat you like a moron and intimidate you.
Some black and white shot on my Leica snapshot
Anyway, I enjoyed the show, finished on stage - best show I've shot this year. The rain gave the lights a strange ghost like quality. Plus I must say I was very well looked after by Live Nation's Andy Copping, a truly fine human being.
New ZZ Top cover, shot in Miami Florida
A day in the studio with Rival Sons who are about the only new Rockband out of America. I was jet lagged so took a while to get going, but The Master prevailed as always and it looked not bad at all in the end. We were planning on shooting outside but rain put a stop to that.
Drove after to the 'hood as in Bermondsey, home of Millwall and Music Bank Studios, to shoot Soundgarden. Again my plan for SG in the 'hood was rained off. So shot a bit in the rehearsal room then the band playing. I asked them to do Mailman, which they did for me - twice…
Got some photos of Chris Cornell in black and white on film on the roof with the London Shard just about visible through the rain and gloom. I even stopped for a late night KFC in Streatham on the way home - a perfect end to the day...
Back home in London. Odd weather - humid, rain, sun, cold, a lot like Melbourne.
Had a flight with a two year old next to me screaming all night. I put ear plugs in and all that kept going through my mind was Metallica songs, mainly Fade To Black, have no idea why. Kazuyo, who had gone to the toilet, came back and said 'I've got Battery going through my head as I was sitting on the toilet. All I could think of was Battery, Battery, Battery!' The things you think about at 37,000 feet…
Had a quiet evening at home playing LPs - Grand Funk, Get Funked, Live In Honolulu 1970, Jimmy Reed Live on the Soul Stage, Soundgarden Ultramega OK just for Beyond The Wheel.Van Halen's new LP is worth having just for the art work, embossed and on red vinyl.
Ugh, I am jetlagged...
Flying home tonight. I've been in Sacramento for a couple of nights, after a week of San Francisco - I needed to get some sun. SF is cold at night, overrated, give me Los Angeles any day.
Went to The Beat in Sacramento and picked up the first three Heart LPs unplayed for $3.98 each. And Loudon Wainwright III Album II white label promo also unplayed. I got the new Van Halen record on vinyl, it was $37.00 - who says record companies aren't making money?
Saw the new Oliver Stone film, Savages, about the drug business and the Mexican cartels. Highly stupid and not any good...
And I heard it in the wind
And I saw it in the sky
And I thought it was the end
And I thought it was the 4th of July
What else would you do in North Beach - there were so many records it was overwhelming.
Been in Los Angeles, now in San Francisco for a week of Heavy Metal - and a bit of record shopping...
Spent the evening in not so sunny Oakland. Got a bit lost and saw lots of In And Out Burgers and drive through KFCs, and all the houses had bars on the windows. It was, erm, "scenic".
I told Kazuyo to visit Alcatraz prison, 'That's not here, it's in New York!' It must be if she says so... She was also highly amazed at how many Chinese they were in SF, 'Everywhere, like cockroaches.' Apart from all this she likes it here - I'm far more of a Los Angeles person.