Been in Dublin the last two days with the Kings of Leon at Slane Castle. Flew from London and sat next to Neil Diamond on my flight over. It was delayed. I arrived and had to go straight to Slane to shoot the sound check. Met Lord Henry of Slane, did some photos of his lordship and the band.
Got back to Dublin early evening and the band had a pre-show party. Tapas and wine, with Thin Lizzy and later in the evening Neil Diamond. Ended up getting some photos of them all together. Neil had no absolutely no airs and graces. A great night out. That lot know how to have a good time.
Show day and I drove out ahead of the band. It was quite eye-opening seeing the crowd walking in, the majority seemed to be wasted. I watched them at the side of the roads drinking away and chain-smoking, which seems to be the national pastime. People were walking in front of buses and falling into the road. It was like Dawn of the Dead, or Dawn of the Young.
Hung out with Brian Downey, Scott Gorham and Vivian Campbell - who was playing his last show as a member of Thin Lizzy, heading back to his other job. Got to say, Thin Lizzy were great. The crowd loved them and Richard Fortus played a couple of songs. Richard seemed to fit in well. Did shots with both line-ups, Vivian and Richard, before they played. The Kings of Leon loved them. I hadn't realised that Molly Chambers is actually a line taken from Whiskey in the Jar.
Thought it would be fun to go up in a helicopter and take an aerial shot of the crowd, as there was over 80,000 people there. I flew up with one of the band's managers, Ken Levitan. As we were circling over the crowd, taking pictures through the window, the door flew open. Neither of us were strapped in. To say it wasn't fun is a bit of an understatement. Anyway, we did strap back in and I shot away with the door open. Weird flying in helicopters, I've been in quite a lot. It always takes me a while to get used to them. We both thought it was quite amusing once we got down.
Followed the Kings to the stage, shooting them as they went. I spent the first part of the show shooting them looking out from the stage, with the huge crowd. They had a great light show. I climbed up behind Nathan Followill at the end of Black Thumbnail and got a shot that sums up the evening. Also, just before the end of the show, Caleb thanked Thin Lizzy and said they were one of the greatest bands in the world and one of the reasons the Kings of Leon are together - I thought that was really cool of him.
Of course they had another celebratory finish to the evening. I've got to say, this band are a lot of fun. Actually, it didn't feel like fun this morning when I had to get up at 5am to get the first flight back to London, after going to bed at three...
I had a night out with Steve Strange and Brian Wheat last night. We dined at Nobu, the two of them wanted meat and potatoes. I had toro-uni-ikura with quails egg and three portions of toro tartar with caviar. They both looked on in disgust as they asked for steak burnt... good night out, we were very well looked after by Petra and Lara.
Woke up to a sunny Friday so took Brian to Spitifields Market, so I could go record shopping. Got some bargains...
Hustler - High Street (Which has the sexy Jayne Andrews on the cover, before she became a heavy metal manager). Pretty Things-Silk Torpedo I got it for £5 after some wanker told me it went for £75 - Underground '70 on purple vinyl with a Jerry Goodman photo. You Can All Join In - Island compilation on the Pink Label mint unplayed for £5 - Shel Silverstein-Freakin'at The Freakers Ball-Home-The Alchemist (Peter Makowski claims this is a masterpiece - I highly doubt it) - Iggy And The Stooges - I Wanna Be Your Dog boot LP with the classic Born In A Trailer and a Yes LP from '72 called the White Album which is amazing... I even got my friend Gustavo to carry my records while I looked.
The Queens Of The Stone Age at the Roundhouse - it was also Josh Homme's birthday. Shot Josh with a birthday cake and a huge knife before he played. Someone also made him a gingerbread man with red hair. Good to shoot live. The light show was kind of the same as Metallica, with more moody backlighting. See more...
There was birthday drinks in the circle bar where I spoke to Josh with my posse except he got mobbed and after awhile gave up and left.
Took the Northern line train home with my son who insisted on getting a huge bucket of KFC plus Popcorn chicken and fries,we sat on the last train to Morden eating it just like I did in my youth... it smelt the same - it could have been worse. I could have had a kebab. That would be really ghetto.
A day of meetings and hanging with Mr. Wheat from Sacramento fresh from the Sac hood. We both watched a Serbian Film - now I don't mind extreme cinema but this was made to shock dressed up as art and art it was not. Brian was very disturbed and threw up all over my red chair then made Michelle Berry clean it up, I like Brian he knows how to treat a teenager.
Went off to London to meet Ulf and Bonna from the Fatherland and Brian Clausmanstein from Orange Country plus Michelle Berry's fantasy for dinner at the Soho House. I had the biggest fish and chips I'd ever seen which Oliver finished off after he ate a steak three orders of chips two sides of macaroni and then asked if anyone was having desert ?
Saturday morning and I'm blasting out a cd of a new band called Rival Sons. Dave Everley from Classic Rock suggested it to me. Old school type rock, I suppose. Then again, where have all the real rock bands gone? All Over the Road, the first song, I like. Young Love is very Led Zeppelin. They stole the intro from Moby Dick live from the '77 tour. Still, rather this than the Led Zeppelin Experience at least it's new.
Bob Dylan is upset at Mojo, because they wrote something about China. Mojo said that the show didn't sell out and was full of ex-pats. I don't believe for a moment it was full of young Chinese. Where are they going to get the money to see him, when you could see Wong Fay. Bob gave the tickets that didn't sell out to orphanages. I can just see those malnourished, starving peasant children clambering to get in to see him. This is on Boring Bob's website, using words like "gazillion". Do you really think the "great poet of the sixties" would use a word like gazillion? Perhaps he's got Jakob Dylan to write this, and they must be lyrics from Jakob's new album. Come on... Boring Bob hasn't made a good record since about 1964. Okay, let's be fair, Knockin' on Heaven's Door isn't bad, but I've heard it more than Smoke on the Water or Stairway to Heaven. Bob is mad. Well, he probably is mad. At his age, he's probably senile. Why would you want to pay to hear him mumble through his songs and ignore the audience?.
Boring Bob - what next? The Bob Dylan Experience with Jakob? Everybody is making a big deal that he responded at all - really, what does it fucking matter?
Last week I went to look at the travel poster collection at Christies with Herr Page. Nice stuff. I'm trying to find a poster for Angkor Wat, a French poster for travel there. There's one hanging in the Grand Hotel in Siem Reap. If anyone has one, please do let me know. They had some nice Zeppelin posters there. As in, Graf Zeppelin from the 30s, not tour posters. We went to have a look at the Cult of Beauty at the V&A, but got there too late. I bought a rug and had to carry it. I think they thought I'd stolen it out of the museum.
Speaking of Zeppelin, here's the new book of the 1980 tour by Dave Lewis. Wonderful stuff. If you're a fan, its nicely put together and nicely designed - but with a cringe-inducing title, Feather in the Wind. Well worth getting and available from the Tight But Loose website.
Been playing the Kyle Nicolai CDs, which he sent me. Here's some photos I shot of him in LA. See more...
Plus some Joe Bonamassa also shot in Los Angeles at Joe's apartment.
And a bit more UFO. I'm going through my negs band by band. I have some missing UFO (the colour file I need to do) which I'll find... I'll do the Mighty Judas Priest next with KK. See more
Some more UFO - Pete Way lying on the stage is Hammersmith 1980 and the rest are from the US Tour 1980.
Rory Gallagher Irish Tour 1974 on Blu-ray which will be my Monday night viewing....been playing The Streetwalkers Red Card on red vinyl from 1977 with Nicko McBrain on drums-good record it has a groove about it,funny the things you forget about. All the Streetwalkers records were good.
Spent today in Spitalfields Market looking at records. I expected it to be like a toilet there. It was surprisingly civilised, for the Far East. I picked up Deke Leonard - Iceberg with its metallic foil cover; Public Image Ltd - Live in Tokyo; Streetwalkers - Vicious But Fair with the Bob Carlos Clarke cover of the Asian model Anna in latex. Had a rather nice Friday. Here's a link to a diary I've also been doing for Genesis Publications:
Been digging out UFO photos - a bit of a pain in the arse, as a lot of them I don't have contact sheets for (pre-digital, if you know what I mean). The shots of Phil Mogg turning to me grinning are the Glasgow Apollo. I remember how high the stage was. The grimy backstage looking ones are the No Place to Run tour of the UK. The one with the sign outside is Midland Texas, really the middle of nowhere. The colour portraits are the late 90s, I think... Shot in London. Funny how Pete Way's dress sense got progressively worse. Spending the weekend looking for more. Enjoying it, if I'm honest. When touring really was touring. See more UFO...
Been playing Fanny Hill by Fanny, with a David Bailey cover. Came out in '72, looked them up online - didn't realise how old they were. I used to fancy the drummer Alice de Buhr and Pete Makowski fancied the keyboardist Nicky Barclay and the eater guitarist June Millington. Blind Alley and Charity Ball are good songs. I saw them open for Jethro Tull in the day. Michelle Berry asked why didn't I go out with one of them. As I was about 14 and they were ten years older, I don't think they would have been interested...
Been playing the first Molly Hatchet LP - I got this from Bill McCue - white label promo only. Great first LP from the South with the Frank Frazetta cover of the Death Dealer .The whole LP is good, so is the second album, Flirtin' With Disaster with a Frazetta cover again. Then they sort of became not very good. Still have a soft spot for them.
Also Love It to Death, Killer and School's Out - Alice Cooper. School's Out is a really underrated album. Come to think of it, so is Muscle of Love. It has a great lyric, "Holy muscle of love, must be a gift from above" At least that's what I think Alice sings.
A very sunny end of April. Been sort of doing... nothing. Spent today at the National Gallery and National Portrait Gallery. Didn't think either were any good. I didn't realise Van Gogh's Sunflowers were there. What a load of old rubbish. Flat colour and looks like it was painted by a ten year old. No wonder he was ignored. At the Portrait Gallery was the self-portrait of an artist (whose name I forget) made of his own blood. Not bad. The only other good thing was a portrait of your old mate, Al Crowley! In a Satanic red robe, of course! What a waste of an afternoon. I should have sat in the garden. I mean, who wants to look at a painting of Harold Wilson with a pipe? Next door, at the Portrait Gallery, were lots of boring paintings of royalty and minor royalty. There was a big white statue of Queen Vic and Prince Al. It was kind of impressive, noticed they had taken a load of weight off her. My friend Gustavo from Venezuela had no idea who Vic and Al were - and he watched the royal wedding! If you want to see a bit of real art, go see the Cult of Beauty, an exhibition on the Aesthetic movement at the Vic & Al Museum.
In truth, I have loads to do photo wise. Jet lagged and playing records. I got some at the Olympia Record Fair, where I went with the guitarist from the REAL Led Zeppelin Experience, before I went to LA. I only just started playing the records as I've got home. Mint Live at Leeds and Odds'n Sods. Looked when I got home and realised I already had five copies of each. Look, that's what you do when you collect. Or try and justify it. In LA, I even bought another mint Live at Leeds, just because it had promo stamped on it. It was worth it! I should have maybe bought Tommy to tie into "Roger Daltrey Plays Tommy"... Reminds me of someone else in the LED ZEPPELIN EXPERIENCE. At least Roger was actually in the Who - and here's some recent vinyl I got.
Silverhead Live at the Rainbow with OBI
Man All's Well That Ends Well
Fleetwood Mac Boston Tea Party 4-LP on vinyl
Pink Floyd Meddle (I never realised the cover was an ear photographed under water)
Mott the Hoople Rock 'n' Roll Queen, just for the Philip Castle cover
Super Duper Blues on Blue Horizon, cover has Mike Vernon dressed as Batman
Fanny Hill by Fanny, I always liked the cover by David Bailey
The Rolling Stones Last Show with Mick Taylor, Berlin '73
Stomu Yamash'ta Floating Music
PFM Chocolate Kings, I always loved the cover
Canned Heat Portrait, German Best Of. It has the best ever version of Bring It On Home live
Aerosmith Draw the Line, sealed - then realised I had four other copies... Pathetic, isn't it, collecting?
David Coverdale did send me the new Whitesnake album Forever More on vinyl.Thank you, DC.
At the Golden Gods, in the goody bag, was Lemmy: The Movie. Must watch it all. So far watched the interview with Fast Eddie Clarke, where he explains how smoking dope and doing cocaine won't help you play. But speed will, with a bit of booze, you cruise along. He is so right. I used to do this all the time, in the bad old 70s...! He is very, very funny. Worth getting the DVD just for his interview. A bit sad Phil Taylor wasn't interviewed. Still, Eddie explains the second line-up of Motorhead perfectly.
A couple of interesting books. Mika Ninagawa photos. Nice use of colour, though I found the pictures too staged.
You Should Have Heard Just What I Seen, James Hamilton. It has the best photo of Pete Townshend, shot at the Anderson Theatre '68.
Bob Lefsetz wrote this and he's quite right. Bob, who I used to know well in the 80s, hit the nail dead on the head about Richie Sambora. Here's what he said, in a blaze of glory.
If Sambora doesn't matter, why not go out as a solo, as Jon Bon Jovi with unknown players and keep all the money?
I know, I know, the show must go on, but really?
It's one thing if someone's paying $3 a ticket. You're all in it together. But at these prices, people expect the real thing. This is like buying a Mercedes Benz and finding out it's a Chevy under the hood. You're pissed!
This is different from Journey going out with a new lead singer. That's a celebration of the songs, people still believe in Bon Jovi, they want to reconnect with their youth, and without Richie "Wanted Dead Or Alive" is just not the same. Captain Phil died on "The Deadliest Catch", we accept it and the show goes on, but rehab is not like death, it's actually supposed to prevent death.
If one of your kids was in the hospital would you still go on the road Jon?
And don't tell me about all the support people you'd be letting down. Most of them have been sucking at the tit quite profitably for years, and if you're such a fan of the little guys, do one solo benefit show for them in New Jersey and charge up the yin-yang, your fans will pay for that.
I like your pay what you want restaurant (http://bit.ly/jxaUXq). But going on the road without Richie is like Tyler going on the road without Joe Perry, D.O.A.
Have you got no sense of history, no sense of loyalty?
And I realize they call it "Bon Jovi", and that's your name, and you've got a leg up. But Don Henley can't sell the tickets the Eagles do and do we really want to see an Eagles show without Frey?
Once upon a time bands were beholden to their fans.
Now they're beholden to their bank accounts.
Performers are just as greedy and vapid as bankers. That's why the business is dying, not because of P2P theft and the Internet.
I wasn't planning to go anyway, but I was offended upon reading the news and my inbox is filling up with naysayers.
And, I LOVE "Wanted Dead Or Alive". All those TV shows with Richie and you doing the number acoustically? Those are etched in my brain. That's why I give you a pass, that's why I still listen.
You cannot do it without your family.
And you may not pay him what you make, but Richie is a blood brother.
Cancel the dates, wait for him.
Some of the Big 4 which I like....