Off to Tokyo with with Jimmy Page. We flew on the new BA First Class. Now it has its pros - new style sleeper seats, electric shades - but it can't beat Virgin for the air hostesses. The ones on BA are old enough to be my grandmother. And I thought I'd enjoy some First Class Japanese "tucker" except on BA they had nothing, all loin of lamb (very tough), the food for First Class was dire.
Still, we arrived into a very sunny and surprisingly warm Tokyo. Spent a slightly jet-lagged afternoon record shopping. I got Jimi Hendrix Smash Hits original pressing with the obi, Silverhead first album, Aerosmith Get Your Wings, Strider's Misunderstood, all White Label promos. I nearly got Physical Graffiti White Label promo and LZ II first pressings with obis,but Jimmy wanted them... At Back Trip Records I found a whole load of Mahavishnu Orchestra soundboards and even Ten Years After Seattle 1969. I did see a Japanese Mott with an obi but it was $265 and I already have four UK copies.
We spent the early evening in a tiny club watching Mr Jimmy, the best Led Zeppelin band I have ever seen.,They played the whole of the MSG Song Remains The Same Show, I even got some photos of them with their hero who loved it…
A night with Led Zeppelin at the Hammersmith Odeon, introduced by Sir Harvey Goldsmith. A much better sound than in NY, it really was like being in a gig.
I spent lunch time on the roof of the Riverton Hotel shooting Led Zeppelin. The weather was all over the place, hot, cold, rain and finally bright sunshine. Shot LZ with a mixture of available light and lighting with the help of Jimmy Hubbard who I think was a bit in awe (although he didn't show it) as he's more used to Mastodon and Lamb Of God…
Funny how you'd expect them to be difficult and you couldn't be more wrong - they were a pleasure to shoot. I shot a lot of BW film, as it was Zeppelin - I felt it was good to use real film, like analog…
Flew home in the evening. Liam Neeson, star of Taken, was guzzling red wine and singing Irish anthems in the British Airways First Class lounge. I wanted to go over and tell him what a work of art Taken is - where Liam goes to Paris, wipes out half the Algerian pimping and drug dealing population, while the French police don't notice a thing. And this week Taken II is out, this he wipes out most of Istanbul...
Gang member from Los Angeles, photographed in East LA. He'd just come out of prison after eight years - I asked him if I could take some photos.
Led Zeppelin day in NYC today. It started with the press conference and then the film at the Ziegfeld Theatre. As the band walked the red carpet I saw Kirk Hammett who was doing interviews for TV. I went over and he introduced me as his boyfriend. One asked our favourite LZ song, I say Beyond The Realms Of Death, Kirk says Satisfaction. I got a photo of Kirk with John Paul Jones, and Chad Smith arrived from the "Legendary" Chickenfoot. I asked Chad if Joe Satriani has learnt any riffs yet, instead of twiddle twiddle twiddle… We waited to shoot Kirk with Jimmy and Chad jumped to ruin the photo. As Jimmy went through the Ziegfeld lobby a woman grabbed, him holding on and hugging him, not letting go. I grabbed his other arm 'Come on Jimmy we have to go!' pulling him away.'Who was that looney?' He looked at me laughing, 'Stevie Nicks!!!!!'
Inside the theatre we saw Paul Stanley and his son Evan, it's a mad house with people coming over. As the film started Robert Plant leant over to Jimmy, 'It's not loud enough!' Still, kind of strange sitting next to Jimmy Page watching a Led Zeppelin concert.
There was a party at The Monkey Bar which was not bad, but there was an extreme lack of good looking women. I spent the evening with Kirk - we were accosted by Adam Bomb who we haven't seen since he played with Metallica at the Palladium in 1984. Louise Mensch, former MP and wife of Peter, took some nice photos of Kirk and me. Adam Bomb gave me his new CD as I left and asked if I can get it in Classic Rock...
Photo shoot with Jimmy today on the roof of the Armani store. I'd have liked to take him out but there were too many people being painful that just would not go away, screaming at him - truly pathetic…
We went to see Joe Walsh at the club Les Paul always played. He opened up with Rocky Mountain Way then Life's Been Good. He was incredible - Life In The Fast Lane, a solo Meadows on a Gretsch which someone had yelled out for from the crowd, Funk 49, a blues number, Turn To Stone… This was two great shows in two nights. I'd never seen Joe before live as I hate the Eagles - he was soooooo good. He even thanked me for my last photo session with him.
We went out to dinner and Kirk Hammett came along and gave Jimmy and I copies of his book Too Much Horror Business. I'd also got a copy of Pete Townshend's Who Am I signed by Pete earlier today. Having a very okay time so far in NYC...
NYC - tonight is the first ever NY show of Johnny Hallyday, the French Elvis, at the Beacon theatre. Jimmy Page played on some of his early records, so we're both curious. The Beacon was full of French, in fact while we were sitting a woman turned round, looked at us with disgust (as only the French can) and says 'What are you two doing here? You're English.'
Johnny came on to a video and searchlights with the sound of guns, very like Metallica playing ONE. He then burst into Crossroads and Johhny B Goode, all sung in French. The light show was one of the best I have ever seen, it was perfect. Johnny had charisma, he commanded the stage, speaking and singing ONLY in French (and he's fluent in English). He looked as if he'd been dressed by the Scorpions (expensive leather) and moved just like Elvis. He played Something Else and Cut Across Shorty by Eddie Cochran, Fortunate Son by CCR, Hey Joe and Superstitious, as an encore finishing alone with a French ballad. The crowd were going crazy all night. It was one of the best nights out ever…
I talked Jimmy into going to say hello. He asked Johnny if he remembered him, 'Of course,' smiled Elvis… A great night.
Flew to NYC with James Patrick Page as he's doing press for Celebration Day. I'm kind of hanging out and sort of being his tour manager. Flew BA which I hate, but actually it was okay as it was empty, a bit like having your own 747. Landed to a beautiful day, nice and warm. Got straight off the plane and went record shopping in the Village. I thought there was nothing much I could find until I found Lee Michaels Live, The Boys From Brazil Soundtrack, Joan Armatrading Live At The Bijou Cafe, Philadelphia 1977 white label promo and a new copy of Riot's Fire Down Under with my back cover photo shot in the Drake Hotel in NY - many moons ago.
Quite liking NY - the last few times I've been I've sort of rediscovered it.
My Led Zeppelin photo in the NY Times
It has been a couple of months since I enjoyed or thought about London but here are some photos I took this morning, and yes I know I've photographed Battersea Power Station before but it is such a sunny beautiful day - the power station seems to have "Majesty". Shot from the train. And my garden Yogi just 'cos I like him...
And a quote from T-Bone Walker I found on the Best Of Steve Miller
"Have Your Fun While You Can
You Know Fate's A Terrible Thing
You Don't Know What Might Happen
That's Why I Sing"
Well, I don't sing, but it's still good…
Watched Gates Of Flesh with Peter Makowski. It's set in Tokyo in 1948 where all the girls are whores - I fell in love with one called Sen. I even tried looking her up on Google as I'm off to Japan but nothing, although she must be about ninety now - my own Pictures Of Lily. Pete liked all of them…
I played a Lee Michaels LP I got called Barrel, he sounds just like Steve Marriott in the Small Faces era. Really nice, it came out in 1970 and he had a huge drummer called Frosty. I asked Jimmy Page about Lee Michaels as he opened for Led Zeppelin, Jimmy told me John Bonham rated Frosty as a drummer. It was a great find and I got it unplayed for $2.99
Some Rival Sons from the Electric Ballroom in Camden. Crappy in house light show, all back lit...
...plus The Foo Fighters and Band Of Horses from the De Luna Festival, Pensacola, Florida.
Spent the weekend feeling jet-lagged and sick. My body was in another country - even lots of coffee didn't help.
Went to the Olympia Record Fair with Jimmy Page who gave up when no one would leave him alone. I did okay, found someone selling 70s LPs at three for £10. Got SAHB Tomorrow's Dream, Ian Hunter Overnight Angels test pressing, signed by Ian (I know it was this 'cos I phoned Joe Elliott in California and played it down the phone). Status Quo Best Of on Pye, Sheer Greed Girl, Rose Tattoo Rock'N'Roll Outlaws, BOC On Your Feet Or On Your Knees.
On Sunday I went to the Roundhouse with Jimmy to see Muse. The gig was a girls night out, lots to look at as well as the band. Full of drunk girls - we had one falling on us in the balcony. Muse did play a bit of Heartbreaker, and had a good light show. They seemed to play a blend of everything the staff at Mojo would hate. I've been told they were like Rush - in fact they were NOTHING like Rush...
Here are some pictures of the Rival Sons, as they're playing the London Forum tonight
Muse at the Roundhouse, London.
Brad Whitford and Joe Perry, Los Angeles
Above Los Angeles