Shooting the Kings of Leon in Berlin. Train to Victoria - thirty minutes, taxi to band hotel - twenty minutes, wait forty-five minutes, car to Stansted - ninety minutes, fly to Berlin - two hours, drive to venue - forty-five minutes, shoot Kings Of Leon playing, then back to hotel - thirty minutes. A tiring day just travelling. But despite all that I still enjoyed them - even shot them in a WWII bunker which lead to the stage. Doing a quick show in Berlin can make for a very LONG day…
Finished the night in the bar of the Ritz Carlton.
I've been having a clear out - found some old posters. The Pretty Things poster is from 1965, the Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin are from 1968. I might have put them up before - but I like them...
Hammersmith Apollo, or Odeon if you're my age, for ZZ TOP. Opening act was the Ben Miller Band, a revelation for a support - very cool and went down well. Ben gave me his cd after the show - they're back in November.
ZZ Top at the Hammersmith Apollo
The Ben Miller Band
I shot ZZ Top there in 1980 (Billy Gibbons reminded me he'd brought his parents over), 1982 and '83 on Deguello, El Loco and Eliminator tours. The All Access pass said "Artista", the Rasta security at the show said 'You can't come backstage, it doesn't say Artist…'
Billy Gibbons backstage at the Hammersmith Odeon....
Saw Billy and Dusty, and even Frank Beard. Good to shoot, they did Sloppy Drunk, BBQ during LA Grange, and Certified Blues from the first album. A good night at the office.
Billy Gibbons and Paul Stanley the HELLFEST France....
Kiss in Clisson, France.
Munky and Head... France
Zurich, France, London. Flew on the Kiss Jet to Clisson in France then drove for an hour across fields to the "HELLFEST" in the middle of nowhere in Northern France. It was COLD and DAMP… A French Woodstock, kind of, actually it was well put together - nice backstage, not bad French food including shark if you felt like it.
Paul Stanley and I went to see Billy Gibbons - I shot them together. Ran into Munky and Head from Korn and a highly intoxicated Down. Phil Anselmo came and hugged me four times, kissing me telling me he loved me, even if I'm seventy-five years old - I love Phil…
Shot some ZZ Top live and Korn and Down with Kiss. The stage was so high from the front I couldn't see a thing so spent the Kiss show walking around trying to not get blown up.
We headed for London after landing in Luton at 2am, only to get stopped by Immigration. I finally got home to bed at 5.30 this morning....
More Kiss from Milan
Some Kiss from last night in Milan. A hot and sweaty show - I love shows like this. The new Kiss lightshow is fun to shoot. The B&W of Gene are straight as he came off stage, I think he looks "EVIL". Gotta say Kiss are one of the best bands to tour with, they really look after you.
Got to the venue and was listening to the support band and realised it was Rival Sons. Good to see them, I did a few photos of them all wet as they came offstage.
Lynn Chang shot in Dubai last month. I think she has an understated elegance.
Off to Milan today for more Kiss. Here is a new book on the Blues by the great artist William Stout, plus Metallica on a magazine from Detroit with a photo of mine shot in Perth Australia earlier this year.
The Mighty Kiss "Destroying" Prague
Been home all day doing nothing, reading the paper, playing records - Lee Michaels, Lou Reed Walk On The Wild Side, Taste,Taste, Kings Of Leon Aha Shake Heartbreak, Mott, Mott and Mott All The Young Dudes. I was asked what I thought of the Kings Of Chaos as they play All The Young Dudes plus I'd read an interview with Joe Elliott saying none of them need the money. Come on Joe, give me a break. Normally you're honest. One"African Englishman" and some Whiteys playing covers for a white audience in South Africa. I wonder what they're doing it for? Hmmmm, let me guess - $$$$...
Flew home from shooting the excellent Kiss "destroying" Prague. People love them there the 02 was packed so much I couldn't get through the crowd. Flew over London at 9am and got the view you have of the city for 45 seconds - I could shoot this all day, I find it quite magical.
Got home for five minutes and then jumped on the train to meet Jimmy Page at Victoria. We went to the Westminster Record Fair. I had a good day, got The Cult and Wolfmother 7inch singles just for the artwork and a few LPs - Be Bop Deluxe, Red Red Wine Compilation on Trojan, and Louisiana Red. I should really have gone to Download to work. But you know I had a good day...
I am tired - got to bed at 4am after sorting out photos. I'm off to Prague today for The Gods Of Thunder. Looking forward to some Kiss.
Second night of the Kings Of Leon at the 02. A good show. I tried to shoot from the crowd but the floor was covered in sticky beer. I even went to the mixing desk but in front of me were six drunk men all throwing beer and trying to provoke the people around them - it was like going to a Who concert in the '70s...
The Kings Of Leon at the 02. I took a boat with them along a rainy Thames - even with the rain the view of London is spectacular. I must do it on a nice sunny day. Shot the band at soundcheck and then messing around in the empty 02 hall before the show. Peter Makowski and Jimmy Page came just before the show, they both thought the sound, production and lights were amazing. I enjoyed shooting it...
Back in London. It was strange being in Detroit, parts of it reminded me of the movie The Road, as if there was nothing left. Yet you drive thirty minutes to Birmingham and it's like Beverly Hills with just white Americans. Flew home via a rainy NY - here are some travel shots, flying across America and in Detroit.
I'm in WONDERFUL Detroit at the Orion Festival. This year it's on Belle Island, a strange place between Detroit and Canada. You can see both places from it.
I saw Baroness play at Saint Andrew's Hall. They were introduced by Metallica and were excellent. Give them some support after the've had such a bad last year… I was impressed by Pete Adams, the guitar player, after he told me he was shot in the eye twice and a hand grenade went off a couple of feet in front on him when he was in Fallujah in 2003 - his body armour saved him. Go and see them.
I walked back to my hotel at midnight last night with cars playing blazing hip hop, cruising downtown and throwing chicken wings out of their windows. It was surreal - The Motor City Madhouse...
I've been in Dubai shooting some travel and portraits. Paul Stanley called and invited me to see Kiss in Stockholm, so I thought I was connecting through London until I landed and all the flights were full. So off to Los Angeles today and Detroit later this week for some Orion.
Got into LA tonight and did a quick shoot with Josh Homme in Santa Monica. I feel oddly awake and it's nearly midnight. Here's a few out takes from the shoot taken on my new Olympus OMD EM-5.
Flying from London to Los Angeles...