Got home from the far north to the beautiful south. The flights were all full, must be people trying to escape the barbarians. Had an afternoon of playing records then played Peter Makowski the new remastered Thin Lizzy Bad Reputation cd, it has the best ever version of Me And The Boys, from a soundcheck. Peter said 'What's this, Led Zeppelin?'
He redeemed himself by bringing me some records, a Taiwanese copy of Santana-Abraxas and Al Tijuana And His Jewish Brass which has on the back cover "Amigos, the only thing better than wholesale is FREE". Jimmy Page tried to steal this off Peter earlier today...
As London melted in 30c heat I flew up to Edinburgh to watch The Kings Of Leon play in front of 65,000 "Jockanese" in Murrayfield Stadium. It was Nathan Followill's birthday and the crowd were going mental from the moment they came on. Amazing audience, pity that I couldn't understand a word any of them said. Honestly, I'm part Jockanese so I can normally translate but this time I just gave up...
Here's my Jeff Beck Cover published in Poland, and sent to me by my friend Roman.
It started out as a miserable Saturday then it turned into glorious weather. I did one of those run around London days - camera stuff, glasses and thought 'I need records!' To cheer myself up...! And I did quite well - got two Kiss LPs, Live At The Parthenon Theatre, Hammond Indiana 1974 (whereever that is) and Tulsa Strutter Assembly Center, Tulsa 1975, both soundboard recordings. This Is Blues on the Pink Island Label (Guy Stevens Blues LP), Pink Floyd-Free Form Freakouts, J. Geils Band-The Morning After, Dr. Feelgood-Malpractice and best of all Mountain, a test pressing of Nantucket Sleighride with a different cover.
The evening was spent "IN A BLAZE OF GLORY"... Richie Sambora invited me to see Bon Jovi at Hyde Park and as I haven't seen them since 1996 due to the fact I'm banned by the management (The Singer) I thought why not? They came on at 7.15 and played for three hours, a bit like ELP. The production was simple and the screens were crystal clear, a clean good production for an outdoor show and they did a good long blues type version of I'll Be There For You. It was great. And, of course, I really did know the words to most of the songs... You must remember that at one point I was part of the "Jersey Syndicate" - In A Blaze Of Glory! It was a fun night!
Here's a link to a nice review of my Def Leppard book in Rock Pages...
More Hyde Park with Paul Weller...
and The Kings Of Leon...
The Kings of Leon lucked out with the weather getting the most beautiful sky over London. Shot all over the place.
Saw Paul Weller - always a pleasure. Shot his set, the crowd seemed to know his new album far more than his Jam songs.
The sky turned into perfect end of day light as the Kings Of Leon came on it looked like a perfect summers evening with 65,000 people.
Dropped my iphone and smashed the cover, went to 02 who I have four phones with and got no service - and I mean nothing except 'That will be £600 for a new phone'. Thought I'd try the dreaded Apple Store on Saturday - to my shock they swapped my phone on the spot and friendly service as well.
As I was in London I thought I'd do a bit of record shopping so I went to Reckless Records to be served by a really surly and rude Australian (he looked like Chris Robinson's long lost twin), absolutely charmless. He was so off that I'd asked him if they had any EELs LPs. I'll take going to the far east to Spitalfields any day over this. Perhaps he'd forgotten he's in the motherland instead of the colony down under...
Baron Wolman has a nice book out called Every Picture Tells A Story - The Rolling Stone Years which is very nice and features lots of photos of the groupies that he made love to in the 1950s, with an intro by the esteemed Paddy, David Brolan. It is very good. Go to www.therollingstoneyears.com to find out more...
Spent this evening "IN THE STILL OF THE NIGHT" as they say, in the company of Whitesnake at the Hammersmith Odeon. Went with my two security guards, Oliver Halfin and Jimmy Page, hung out with our host David Coverdale before the show who was most gracious. Oliver went for a singalong while Jimmy and I watched. It was packed and so hot, like a huge sauna, good atmosphere plus Bernie Marsden come on for the encores. David finished the show with a nice solo vocal of Soldier Of Fortune.
I ended the evening in the Hammersmith Odeon balcony bar in the company of Jimmy and Andy Copping singing Ain't No Love In The Heart Of The City.
A rainy Friday so decided to get the train to the Far East, Spitalfields, as they have the record fair. Funny, just when you think you have everything I always find something I "must have"... Picked up two copies of Physical Graffiti - one original British pressing, one from Taiwan, both mint.
Ron Wood - I've Got My Own Album To Do, Alice Cooper - Greatest Hits, both for £3.00. T-Bone Walker - T-Bone Jumps Again, Lightnin' Sam Hopkins on the Arhoolie label, Led Zeppelin- The Missing BBC Sessions and Rolling Stones - The Real Alternate Sticky Fingers, a 3 LP set...
Been playing Lenny Kravitz, Let Love Rule Deluxe with an extra live show which is good and a CD I heard on BBC Classic radio, Embers, Helen Jane Long which kind of calms you when your feeling a bit "Loonie".
Record Collector with the Rolling Stones on the cover July issue has a very large feature on "Me'. I don't mind it at all as it sounds like me and promotes my travel book Sojourner.
Found a magazine/book I've had for ages called Slake Los Angeles. It has one of the best stories written on Van Halen by John Albert. It was refreshing to read...
Some photos from magazines. Metallica shot in Kansas, WASP in the Country Club in LA, Dave Grohl in Los Angeles.
Plus some Phil Lynott photos I don't think I've printed before.
Spent just over 28 hours in NY, one of the times when I'd like to have stayed longer. I've been trying the last couple of visits to shoot the view from whatever room I'm in, at dawn or dusk.The odd thing about a view is you see the Chrysler Building but it is just too tall or obscured by other buildings. I was staying at the Palace Hotel which I first stayed at years ago with Ozzy Osbourne and it's the place where Ozzy came in drunk at midnight pulled down to trousers in the lobby and said 'Get yer camera' and stuck his finger up his arse. Ozzy to this day blames me for making him do this. It was the hotel where we shared a lift with the actor Paul Newman who looked at Ozzy in bemused horror...
I'd shot Ronnie Wood here last year in the Penthouse Suite. A fantastic hotel - the service is what a hotel should be about.
Before I left I had dinner with David Atlas and David Brolan at the Gotham Grill, another place you must visit while in NYC. Flew out of Newark this morning, thought I'd shoot the skyline of Manhattan, I was excited - all I got was a skyline of cloud.
A couple of books I found at the airport, The TAO of TRAVEL, Enlightenments from Lives on the Road - Paul Theroux, it comes in soft bound leather like an old moleskin diary. And To End All Wars 1914-1918 - Adam Hochschild. I was inspired to get this after seeing an old friend, Robert Witter, who has a collection of WWI German bayonets and is off next weekend to dive on a German submarine off the coast of NY. I told Robert I'd go with him if it was Guadalcanal. The freezing Atlantic holds no appeal.
Flew home on Continental. Funny how half of the crew are nice, and the other half treat you as if you are a five-year old past their bedtime if you ask for the slightest thing. I asked the crew member who was treating me like this if there was something wrong? She still talked down to me, stuck up cow. The last time here I flew Virgin which even at Newark had a great lounge serving bacon, egg, sausage, mushrooms, tomatos, fresh fruit, smoothies - it was excellent. The huge Continental President's Club was serving a bagel with a green or red apple with people nearly fighting over them...
The coast of Ireland was covered in cloud which sort of sums up the place nicely. Shot a bit of London as I landed at 9pm but had missed the good light. Immigration had two people checking passports for about six international flights, a nice way to end the day by queuing up for an hour after a long haul flight.
Baking hot yesterday - monsoon rain today...
Off for an early Sunday morning shoot with Alice Cooper. It took Alice all of ten minutes to get ready and he posed for an hour and a half and looked, well, like the great Alice Cooper. He was wonderful, "EASY", I wish everyone was like him.
Had a good time talking with his manager Shep Gordon. Shep told me the London Rainbow show was the first time he realised Alice could really make it. I would happily do a shoot every Sunday if they were as good as this.
Rushed from the shoot for a late afternoon flight to New York via Washington - couldn't get on a direct flight, supposed to get in at 11.30 tonight.
Saturday started well, with a pile of LPs in the post from my friend Bill McCue in NY. Soundgarden - Badmotorfinger still sealed (if you collect records you'll know what I mean), US copy of Black Oak Arkansas' Raunch 'N' Roll, Whitford/St Holmes, James Gang In Concert and best of all Molly Hatchet - Flirtin' with Disaster, White Label Promo with the press release, all in super mint condition.
Went to London to go for a wander until half the tubes were cancelled, and the sales are on, plus it was baking hot - gave up, could not deal with it at all...
Been running around London all day, where it's either monsoon rain or Hawaiian sunshine. Then again, it could be worse. I could be in the mud at the Isle of Wight or in heavy metal heaven at Download. Though I would have loved to see Thin Lizzy.
Went record shopping to get out of the rain and got some bargains. Black Ace on Arhoolie label from 1961, RK Turner and his steel guitar, with great lyrics. "I am the Black Ace, I'm the boss card in your hand. I am the Black Ace, I'm the boss card in your hand. But I'll play for you Mama, if you please let me be your man." He also does 'Fore Day Creep. Shieeet, I thought it was by Humble Pie!
Also, From the Bayou - Authentic Cajun Music of Louisiana. Produced by Colonel Sanders... Really ! You never know, it might have come with a free bucket of chicken. All friendly!
And Wild Horses - The First Album, with Jimmy Bain and Brian Robertson. I remember shooting them for Sounds around Westbourne Grove and Jimmy Bain giving me cocaine for the first time. Not as impressive as Pete Makowski - at least Ronnie Wood gave him some while watching Led Zeppelin at Earls Court. Pete got so out of it that he got all of the song titles wrong in his Sounds review the following week. After snorting some, I remember thinking, 'This doesn't do much.' Then again, I was heavily into speed at the time. The stupid things you do when you're young. Back to my Wild Horses album, I remember Criminal Tendencies, and of course, it has a song on it called Dealer. It would, wouldn't it...?
I played the Wild Horses album and realised it wasn't quite what I remembered. You could tell Trevor Rabin produced it. It sounded sort of soft for a rock band. I don't remember it as that at all. Stuck on Whatever Turns You On, West-Bruce and Laing - a sort of failed supergroup. The LP definitely has some wallop. In fact, I really like it. That's the seventies coming out in me.
BBC 4 had a documentary on Santana, playing his overdone album, Supernatural. Its fucking crap. Cringe inducing.... But I stuck it out and the first hour of the documentary was phenomenal. All about how Santana got together and the first three albums. They interviewed Michael Shrieve, Gregg Rolie (who admitted he just couldn't play all the jazz that Santana wanted to move to), and Jose Areas, whose accent is so strong, they used subtitles.
The best quote came from Herbie Herbert, Santana tour manager and Journey manager, who described the John McLaughlin/Santana era best when Carlos said 'John has great chops.' Herbie replied 'Carlos, chops belong in a butcher's. There's no songs.' He also described Caravanserai as rubbish. The documentary was really enlightening. The end of it was ruined by leaping into the Supernatural album. Worth watching though.Funny, I thought I'd watch it for five minutes and ended up watching the whole 90 minutes.
Here's a picture of the photographer Masayoshi Sukita, known as Sukita. He's signing my copy of his book of photographs of T Rex in the Genesis Books office. Sukita took the best pictures of the T Rex era Bolan. Nick Roylance took this photo and sent it to me.
Watched Phoenix Rising, the story of Mark IV Deep Purple,. It has the Tokyo Budokan 1975 show where the band carry Tommy Bolin who is plainly useless and just poses. The other four are on fire - Bolin's just feeble.There's a documentary with Glen Hughes and Jon Lord which is very honest - you see footage of Blackmore and really Tommy Bolin next to him stood no chance.The DVD is a good look at a great 70's band. Glen Hughes and Jon Lord stand out in this for speaking their minds, most bands just lie. A fantastic documentary, it dawned on me after watching it how outstanding a drummer Ian Paice is.
Read the new issue of Uncut which has an excellent feature on the Small Faces and Steve Marriott, probably the best I've read. It made me dig out my Humble Pie cds and records. Tried Go For The Throat which to be honest is awful, no songs, half-arsed playing, even the artwork is crap. Then Winterland '74, a good show - but the Pie were a bit too boogie woogie by then. It doesn't touch Rockin' The Fillmore which is one of the great live albums of all time. I saw them play Hyde Park on this tour, opening for Grand Funk. I loved both of them. I even remember the date - July 3 '71, plus I have the German tour poster from the week before...
I also found Marriott, East Coast West Coast from '75 which is aimless playing, trying to hard to be Mr Soulman. Also a bootleg, Ramble Humble, Tokyo 1973, which captures the sprit of the Eat It Tour. If you want to discover them stick to Humble Pie, Rock On, Rockin' The Fillmore, Smokin and Eat It.
Two classic pictures of Phil Lynott from my archive. I've never printed these before. Taken in Portugal in '82.
Here's some Journey rocking Wembley last weekend.... See more...
My son has shamed me - I spent Sunday with Oliver going through Donington/Download photos over the years. He looked at the Mighty KK Downing. 'Who's this...?' 'WHO'S THIS?????? It's KK from the Mighty Priest!' Then Glenn Tipton, same thing. Then Michael Schenker, same thing. I even offered a cryptic clue of 'What was one of the first bands I went to America and took lots of drugs with?' He knew UFO but still hadn't a clue about "Micky Schenker", shit he probably thinks Edward Van Halen or the guitarist in Whitesnake are better. I know Michael is suppose to be a bit, erm... out there. But you can't touch him on the UFO albums.
We came to Riot and the late Guy Speranza - no idea at all ( I think he might have thought it was Cedric from the Mars Volta). Then again I asked Dave Grohl a couple years ago if he liked Riot's Rock City - Dave had no idea either.
Some people need educating on real music - it's sometimes a sad world!
Fantastic English weather. Really, like LA. In fact, nicer than LA!
Spent last night in the company of Her Ladyship Emily Readett-Bayley, who dined with myself and my peasant son Oliver. Emily is a resident of a little place called Bali and spends her time on a private jet between Denpasar and London. It was very nice seeing someone of blue blood, unlike commoners like myself.
Saturday night off to Wembley for a bit of Foreigner and Journey. Went to park as the football crowd was coming out - it cost £30! What a ripoff.
Foreigner had a load of technical problems, but it didn't seem to stop the bass player from overdoing it. It was actually quite embarrassing to watch. Playing the bass upside down and bad, bad eighties posing. I later found out it was Jeff Pilson from Dokken, which kind of makes sense... I remember Jeff as a very nice guy and haven't seen him since 1986.
The weirdest thing about this show was that the security seemed to have no understanding what passes are for. I had a Journey AAA pass. I'm standing by the stage and the band walk out. Deen Castronovo says hello, then Jonathan Cain, then Neal Schon. As they're talking to me, their security run over and say, 'You can't be here!' I point out that they came up to me. After three songs, I'm kicked out by Journey's two huge security people. I show them my pass, which is the same as theirs. 'Noooooooooo, you do not have clearance!' is all I get. What is this, Obama's state visit? I finally found Ken, one of their production people I know, who is a really good guy. He walks me back in and says, 'He's doing the whole show...' I mean what's the point of having a pass that doesn't work, when only the people who work for the band have them? Mick Jones had gone in the audience and the security were hassling him, saying his pass didn't work. I mean, give me a fucking break.
Apart from all this aggravation, Journey were fantastic. I mean, excellent. Brilliant. Rocking. You name it. Thinking about them, I've never seen them play badly. Good light show as well. There was another photographer shooting, who introduced himself to me as Marty Moffatt. He told me he does a lot of work with Luke Morley's band The Union. 'Oh, who are you shooting for?' 'Journey,' he informed me. Then told me, 'I've been shooting them since the beginning.' I looked at him a bit puzzled, as I don't recognise him at all. 'The beginning?' 'Yes, since 2006,' says Marty. 'Erm... I've been shooting them since 1977.' Some people have a strange idea of when things began.
Rounded off the evening driving home, singing Faithfully with my son. We ended a fine evening with some fine dining at the Worcester Park KFC.
Ronnie James Dio - I found this while going through some old slides. I have no idea where I took it. The General Noriega is coming soon and he'll know. I like this as RJD isn't dressed as an elf and looks "Classic"....
Sent to me by David Coverdale, this shows why Ian Hunter is a real human being.
Spent the last couple of days in New York where it was a mild 96F - not that I'm complaining. I'm quite enjoying NY again although getting in and out of it is a pain in the arse. Shoot a couple of walls from my hotel which I liked the colours of, and the skyline from my cab at dawn.
Back home and the weather's nice here, a sunny England. Funny, Gene Simmons always moans about the English weather (amongst many other things). What does he know, he's from Eastern Europe and can barely speak English.
Here's some Thin Lizzy from last weekend and the Great Kings of Leon at Slane Castle.
The great Kings of Leon at Slane Castle