Some pictures of the Hoover Dam
Went into Mojo. Wag, the designer, showed me the cover with my Who photos from NY. It looked good, and so did the rough of the opening spread.
Bought a couple of DVDs, John Pilger's Documentaries That Changed The World, a four cd set to watch a bit of reality, and 36, a French police film for a bit of fake reality.
Had a bit of a fit today when I realised I didn't have all my film from NY. After blaming everybody I found the film in the bottom of my camera bag. It's my art photos of the Statue Of Liberty.
Simon, my agent, has asked me if I'd appear in a tv reality show on Saxon. Ummmm - we'll see...
Hamish has put some of my Who photos on the Pete Townshend website www.petetownshend.com
Saw Danielstein today. He was counting more cash, probably from selling my photos. Then he pleads poverty and wishes me a happy new year, while wringing his hands together. Strange, Dan's starting to look like my dad (he died in 1986). Dan then reminds me I'm one of the tribe - and I don't think he means The Last Of The Mohicans...
I saw Phil Alexander, we were going for a sandwich. Phil had seen a promo copy of Physical Graffiti for £200, so we went to have a look, and spent lunch time record shopping. Even I couldn't bring myself to pay £200 for a white label promo with nothing on it. I bought an LP called The Devil's Anvil, Hard Rock From The Middle East. It's from the '60s and produced by Felix Pappalardi with Steve Knight who ended up as the keyboard player in Mountain.
Phil had just got the Free dvd and couldn't wait to watch Naked And Finally Free. Pete Makowski and Jimmy Page had both enjoyed it - I'd played it for them on Friday. Pete wants a six pack just like Andy Fraser - Peter Makowski, naked and finally free. I wonder if Geoff Barton's seen it...
Stayed up into the early hours watching an enjoyably perverse film called Dumplings, part of a horror trilogy directed by Fruit Chan. It was quite disturbing...
Got up late today - 10.30. It's a beautiful day and I feel like I've missed it. My friend Gordon has found me a Prada compass (I'd lost my last one in my camera bag). It's the last one in London, you just got to have it - it's the designer in me.
Spent this morning going through my Who pictures. Not bad, I'm quite happy, at least with the black and white film. Pete looks rather malevolent in some of them...
I had a long talk with Scarlet Page, catching up. She's admonished me for swearing. 'You've got to stop using the four-letter word calling women names.' Okay, she's right - but she did agree it is a good description of PRs. 'But don't say I said that.'
I will now try to stop swearing. Bic Runga had told me it's my bad point. I'm going to think harder and use the English language - I know I'm going to miss it, swearing...
Had a rock'n'roll evening, literally. Went to the Boom Boom Club, the Fillmore East of Sutton, Surrey, to see The Pirates, who I last saw play in '77. Peter Makowski, Jimmy Page and Wilfred Wright dragged me down to relive their youth. It was rocking - got to say Mick Green's guitar sound was fantastic. He suprised me at how good he was, and he didn't look like he was trying.
Spoke to Mick Wall earlier who was fed up - and I know where he's coming from. And I've got Pete for the weekend. Will Nash rang me at midnight. He's just landed in Jordan. He invited me to join him and go to Petra on Monday. Tempting - I've always wanted to go. I told him I'd ring him tomorrow. I haven't got a clue how to get there, but that's never stopped me before...
Some new Journey from Shoreline last month. Vintage Journey going up next week. See Journey...
I spent the flight having weird dreams of the plane breaking apart and as I'm falling thinking what about my Who film...? As we approach London the sky is clear and it's a beautiful day, nicer than NY - and hot.
I'm off to the Armani Awards tonight at Earl's Court, part of London's fashion week. I should have borrowed some of Pete's clothes...
The first day of autumn and it's boiling - in the high '80s. Went to Kevin Westenberg's opening. Danielstein was showing off his new Gucci shirt (it cost £2,000) his mother had just bought him for the event. I must start hanging out with Kevin more, it was full of women - nice-looking women. Kevin has some nice photos, the strangest was one of Robert Plant wearing too much make-up and trying to pose with a guitar (Jimmy Page he will never be, even if Kevin tries to help him). I'm sure it'll sell loads...
Must get Kevin to get me a date with
some of his friends...
The celebs were out in force - Beyonce, Alicia Keys, Leo Dicaprio and, worst of all, Bono - all going on about Aids and Africa while wearing clothes that cost enough to feed a sub-continent for ten years. And how we can make a difference and thanking Mr. Armani over and over (wonder how much they were getting paid). What about their money? Bono can give his instead of hiding it in an offshore account in Holland. It was sickening listening to it. Bono is so pious with his newly dyed light brown hair. He was walking around the couches with minders, PRs, assisants, you name it - wanker.
Most sickening point of the night was listening to celebs grovelling to Mr Armani, thinking of the free clothes. Reminded me of Uriah Heep from David Copperfield - "Ever so 'umble".
After the event it turned into a club. The music was fucking awful or I'm too old. Half the people were my age, all coked out of their heads. I haven't seen this since NY in the '80s. Then again, I don't go clubbing. I enjoyed table-watching. The table next to me was a Hello Magazine C-list celeb-fest. Lisa B, Tamara Beckwith etc. Chain-smoking and guzzling champagne. I wonder how they'll feel tomorrow on the tube going to work? Hang on, what do they actually do, have any of them ever worked? Oh yes, I forgot, this isn't a party celebrating Armani, this is all about saving Africa...
Had a nice studio to shoot in called Gary's Loft, right under the Empire State Building. The inside is painted white like a colonial house. It reminded me of Lundum's, the Danish restaurant in London.
Pete seemed to like it. Roger arrived
with a torn ligament in his shoulder - he was not in the
best of moods. The session started slowly. I was panicking,
clock-watching. In the end they both seemed to enjoy it.
I got Pete re-doing the Maximum R&B poster with my #1
Les Paul (he told me he was always slicing his hand open
on the toggle switch when he was spinning his arm and showed
the scars from his thumb to the bottom of his hand) and
his original Fender twelve string that he used to record
Tommy on. I finished shooting them on the roof at sunset.
I had a great shoot - ended up getting nearly four hours.
Then had to race to the airport to catch the last flight
back to London.
Get up at 6am with the intention of getting out to the Statue Of Liberty to shoot some travel. Due to being tired and to the traffic I miss a ferry and get out to the island at 11am. Beautiful day, but by this time the light is not what I want, sunny and hazy. Still I try - shoot art - I think.
Meet up with Brad Tolinski for lunch, who tells me of a magazine he's thinking of starting and I'd LOVE to shoot for. As we finish the sky is overcast and dark - strange weather.
I'm off to MSG tonight for more Who.
David Bowie is at the show tonight, looking small - maybe he's shrunk. I was surprised at how old he looks. Then again, all his photos are re-touched, I know this for a fact. The Return Of the Old White Duke. He had a female bodyguard to make sure you didn't go near him.
I showed Roger a drawing I have of him by David Oxtoby from 1975, in pencil and crayon. He remembered it and signed it for me.
I have a studio session tomorrow with Pete and Roger. Pete comes over and asks how long it will take. 'Four hours.' 'What?' says Pete, looking aghast. We haggle, he wants to cancel it or do it another day. I get him to agree to two hours late afternoon tomorrow - we'll see.
My new best mate Paul Bettany came to see his favourite band, for the second time. He told me he thought they were better than last night. We both thought they should play Substitute. I asked Roger - they didn't... They played The Man In The Purple Dress about the Pope. I wonder if Pete's a lapsed catholic? Shot the last song, Tea and Theatre, from the stage behind Pete and Roger.
I got a funny picture of Roger going on stage and the last photo I got was Roger walking off stage. I quite like the idea of it - in and out of MSG...
Get to Madison Square Garden early, the band are going to soundcheck. This gets cancelled, so I sit around doing nothing. Roger arrives, I sit with him in his dressing room while he plays around with his guitar. I get a good shot of him laughing after he manages to get rid of his mother-in-law...
Phil Collins is backstage, so is Chris Stamp, wearing the same shirt he had on two years ago - it must be his going-out shirt. Do pictures of Pete with them before the show. As I take a photo of Pete with Chris Stamp Pete laughs and says 'Me and Chris - we've done some terrible things here!'
After the show the hallway is mobbed, with people like Mick Rock walking around in SUNGLASSES wearing a shirt with the collar turned up, talking in an overdone London accent, full of himself - prat. If I'm ever like that at his age PLEASE shoot me.
I speak to Paul Bettany who's with his wife, Jennifer Connolly. Paul is pissed and tells me Pete is his hero and The Who his all time favourite band. 'Oh yeah, how many times have you seen them?' I ask. 'This is the first.' 'Obviously your favourite band,' I say. 'Oh don't be a cunt, we were getting on so well,' he slurs. I'm not being a cunt, just truthful. I ask him if he wants to meet Pete, and get Pete to come over and say hello. Me and Paul, we're best friends now - I'm going to become an actor.
On the way out I get a photo of Pete with Tom Stoppard. I should have got my new best friend Paul to get me in one of his plays. Halfin the Thespian, it has a nice ring to it...
The Who in Madison Square Garden, New York - offstage. See more...
Flew to New York. Nice weather, very sunny and hot. I am shooting Santana and Henry from The Los Lonely Boys. I thought it was in the city, found out it's at the PNC Center in New Jersey - fifty miles from Manhattan. The last time I was there was in the mid '90s with Soundgarden and Neil Young and it was strange then. The people in the venue salute the American flag every night.
It is in the middle of middle-class
white suburbia. I'm tired and want to get it over with.
After driving for what seems an
Finish at 6pm. I get the kind offer of being able to shoot three songs of Santana which I decline and head back to NYC.
The Who in Boston. And The Rolling Stones rehearsing. Everyone (including Pete and Roger) are at the show early. The band's equipment arrived late from across the border in Canada, so no soundcheck. I ask Pete to do some photos in the empty corridor. He agrees to do it when he's ready for the show. My idea is him alone which doesn't quite happen as the hall is full of people milling about and the band hanging around waiting to go on. Get some funny photos of Roger sneaking up behind Pete. I get a lot of pictures - they're just not the pictures I want. Not ART - if you can call shooting bands art. The Who are an art rock band, so it might be art. In fact, I rather like it. Ross Halfin "ARTIST". How awful, I'm sounding like George Bodnar, photographer to Royalty.
The Stones don't turn up to see the show, though later Pete tells a story to the crowd of Mick Jagger ringing him. I keep shooting art right until The Who run onstage.
The show looks good, huge screens which separate and join together like a jigsaw. The lighting has more contrast, hard to shoot, but looks good with the screens. They play a lot of new songs and finish with just Roger and Pete playing acoustically. Great show, Pete looked happy. I enjoyed it, got some nice photos...
Got an email from Clay Patrick McBride, here are some quotes from it -
From what you said, it seems that your not real familiar with my work. I am all about keeping it real.. and this my man this is as real as it gets.... I grew up with your images and have always respected your work. However much respect is lost due to your trash talking. oh I hear your in town Sunday? please call me if you want to burry the hatchet.. give a ring.
I replied - Your pictures are (a bit) contrived. Thinking about it, they are very contrived, and I stand by what I said.
I have nothing personally against Clay but I'm entitled to my opinion. Now I don't know if Clay is from New Jersey - does that mean I have to watch out on the streets of New York? Am I in a hip-hop war?
I think Clay's thrown his toys out of the pram - if he wants a row he's come to the right person...
Off to Boston today for The Who. Strange going there without seeing Rock'n'Roll John Bionelli, who's in NY shopping. Sorry, I mean touring. Perhaps we'll catch up there - seeing his heroes in Motley Crue.
It's my son's nineteenth birthday, so happy birthday Oliver. I won't embarrass him by putting up photos.
Q- magazine has a photo supplement in the new issue with 20 Years Of Classic Music Photography. Paul Rees has written a nice introduction which includes me, although I can't quite work out if he's joking...
Got a nice email from Lonn Friend which included the following bit "Course, I can't get a ticket to Guns N' Roses in Vegas on Sunday. Merck and Del said sorry we're full up, mate. Loyalty. Takes one's breath away, don't it?"
I replied - Thank you for the kind words. A musician cares about two things, themselves and money. Del and Merck can both get you in - whats that thing called? A pass.
Musicians are not your friends... Fortunately in Lonn's case he has Bon Jovi
The Scorpions from the new Issue of Classic Rock
Spoke to the richest man in Britain, Barry Drinkwater. I'm getting Bazza to pay for part of my New York trip as I'm shooting photos to add to The Who tour book and he's making millions for the Sanctuary Group from the tour. Barry didn't even blink when I told him of the astronomical cost of my hotel. His words were "They're all rip off cunts." Barry is staying in the presidential suite at The Manderin Oriental, where a broom closet starts at $1,250 a night. Bazza was in a great mood, gleefully telling me about one of my (and his) very ex-friends in NY who is getting divorced and fleeced by his ex-wife. As the saying goes "Why get married, just buy a house for someone you hate", except this time I hope his wife gets it...
I went out to dinner with $50 Don Bernsteine - my friends Wilf Wright and Jimmy Page came along. Don suggested to Jimmy doing a Led Zeppelin museum and charging to get in. Tact is probably not Don's forte - Jimmy was politely horrified.
Don's invited me to the Hard Rock in NY on Monday night. Motley Crue are playing and Steven Tyler is rumoured to be singing with them on some of the hits. Don wondered if I'd like to invite Pete or Roger from The Who. Matt Sorum and the other guitarist from Velvet Revolver will be there (Dave Kushner). I can't wait to tell Pete and Roger straight from Madison Square Garden to hang out with Vince, Nikki, Tom and Steven (kickin' ass in Times Square)...
Had a shit day today, finding flights that work and hotels etc - or a hotel I want to stay in in New York. Ran around and got nothing done.
Went to the Blink Gallery where Danielstein was counting a ton of cash, it had to be at least three feet high, and all fifty pound notes... 'It's the money I got at my wedding.' Dan got married at the Dorchester a couple of weeks ago and has been on honeymoon in Naples or somewhere. 'I would come to lunch but I need to count this and hide it under my mattress...'
Kevin Westenberg was there tucking into a Nobu lunch box. Kevin has a show opening next week. I haven't seen him in about ten years. He told me he enjoys my diary - I thought he was taking the piss. 'No, at least you're honest.' I complimented him on his recent Thom Yorke session. We then got talking about the access to artists through the people around them, comparing them to mini despots or the sort of rulers who take over following a coup. Full of power - full of nothing really.
Anyway, Kevin's show is from next Friday at the Blink, so go and see it and tell Danielstein I sent you.
My friend Barry "Bazza" Drinkwater is flying to New York today. When he realised it was 9/11 he started to worry. Barry is one of the richest people in England with a personal fortune of £300,000,000 from the Sanctuary Group of Companies. I told him to use the company jet. He wanted the air miles... Personally I think today is the safest day to fly.
Danielle called again, cancelling Aerosmith.
I went mad, I was so angry I can't remember what I said.
The last time I was this angry was at my bank manager. I
did call Danielle back when I'd calmed down, and apologised.
Anyway, I'm still doing The Who in New York next week.
Some more Travel
and Mars Volta See more Mars Volta...
Mick Wall called me, he went to the
Free DVD party. He said it was so shit he stayed for five
minutes - they even charged for drinks. He's got the DVD
and the BBC sessions cd which he's going to send me. He's
a kind man - rather like Jon Bon Jovi...
Here's The Mars Volta from last week in LA or sunny Inglewood. See more...
My travelling has caught up with me. I've felt knackered all day. Or tired, as you'd say in America. Beautiful day, I was going to shoot some travel until it occured to me I don't have any cameras. I will have tomorrow, so hopefully I'll feel inspired.
I'm sorting out my Mars Volta, which will go up tomorrow.
Alistair Geddes has emailed me to suggest I do what the American photographer did to the children. Give them sweets then take them away so the children cry. I should try it with bands. He has a point, they are like spoiled children (or PRs) - wonder if they like wine gums or sports mixtures?
There is a launch for the Free DVD tonight in London. I was going but I just can't get in the mood today.
I went to bed thinking I was being overly cruel to Lonn, then read some more of his book. David Bryan and him as Hebrew brothers... yuk. Geoff Barton has reviewed his book for Classic Rock - I rest my case.
Having met Lonn Friend, this writer can confirm that he's the worst kind of celebrity rock journo. The kind of guy who would rather schmooze than scribble. The photo section in the middle confirms your worst fears: Friend is pictured cavorting with a whole host of his ‘"pals", including Axl Rose and Lars Ulrich. It's pass the sick bag.
His ridiculous ego runs rampant on every page, as he imagines himself to be at the epicentre of American rock'n'roll in the 80s and 90s. As the editor of RIP magazine, Friend wielded considerable influence. At least that's what he tells us. But his simpering encounters with his rock star heroes are unintentionally hilarious. An excruciating read.
Here's some Def Leppard and Journey from the Shoreline show. The picture of Stoll Vaughn and his rock star friends is from San Diego.
Got Lonn Friend's Life On Planet Rock, which has a vomit-inducing intro from Lars Ulrich. I don't dislike Lonn but the book is the worst case of name dropping I've ever read (and I only glanced through it). Lonn quotes Keats and Pete Townshend while writing about Skid Row and Shittallica and what a bunch of real friends they all are - excuse me while I pause to be sick. He tells you in nearly every chapter how RIP magazine was important. Trust me, RIP was not important. The chapter about Kirk Cobain rings true, Lonn would blackmail artists through the PRs to come to his office and pay homage. I remember Lonn telling me he's been in this business and (proudly) never spent a cent of his own money. If you like SYCOPHANTIC this book's for you.
Then again look who his friends are - I'll stick to Star Trippin', it's more honest...
Going to try to watch Damo ("Tea Servant"), a Korean film - it is 14 hours long. I bought it on a whim in Tower DVD.
Also got Grand Funk Greatest Hits, just for the extra DVD footage. The stuff from Shea Stadium '71 is good. The film from '97 in Detroit is cringingly awful. Mark Farner looks like a midget who's been on too many steriods with an atrocious mullet haircut. Talk about being in denial of your age - and this was nearly ten years ago...
Fly home last night. Had a row with one of the stewardesses, the stuck-up cow in First Class. 'You have two pillows, you are ONLY allowed one,' as she looked me up and down with distaste. She was English and had a put-on upper class accent. It did occur to me to say 'Listen you stupid cunt ...' but I thought better of it (and I didn't fancy getting kicked off the flight). Fuck her, it was annoying her more to be where I was sitting. Shot some of the skyline flying out of Los Angeles with my Leica Sureshot, the only camera I have.
Flew across London. Took some photos of the city, it was so clear I wished I'd had a normal 35mm. Spoke to Fixation, where I buy my cameras and Paula came to my rescue, replacing all my gear. Spent the rest of the day replacing credit cards etc.
I will eventually put up some more photos as this is what the site is supposed to be about... See more travel photos...
The James Gang are playing next Tuesday in LA and I'd love to stay for it, but it's time to go home.
I had some wonderful emails from some charming people with things like "You deserved it, ass-hole." Karma is what you give out, you know - and it comes back...
Went back to the LA Forum last night and reshot The Mars Volta. They were extremely gracious and we did everything I lost yesterday, which was a lot. Enjoyed them live - the Chilli Peppers audience of little girls were a bit baffled. The Volta's lighting suits digital as you can cheat a bit and the colours look three-dimensional. It was Omah's 30th birthday and the band had got him a cake. He was hugely embarrassed. I got some funny photos of him laughing and cringing as the band sang Happy Birthday - they had to drag him into the room.
I ended up in the early hours of this morning at Inglewood police station making a report. Inglewood is in the hood (as in Brixton). I was the only caucasian in there. It was a bit strange, like being in a film, with one woman who'd been beaten up by her boyfriend shouting 'That motherfucker, he's going down!' The police officer, who was okay, had never heard of Nikon cameras. I was told I could collect my report from Inglewood in four days, which is helpful as I'm going home tomorrow.
Crazy George Bodnar emailed to remind me he's had his cameras stolen four times. He offered to speak to Prince Charles if I needed any help...
I also saw the new deluxe Hysteria artwork today, done by Tom Jerman. Looks good, with loads of my photos from that era. I then got an email from my agent Simon from the record company offering fuck all money, and pleading "This is ONLY a budget release, and there is no budget". They forget to say it's sold 25 million copies and is one of their biggest albums - EVER. I told Simon to tell them to remove every photo...
I have been in Las Vegas shooting travel stuff. Shot the
neon hotels at night and went back to the Grand Canyon (I
even landed in it in a helicopter, stopped on some rocks
300 feet from the bottom). Stayed at the Wynn Hotel, which
has thought provoking rubbish like "THE SISTINE CHAPEL
TOOK MICHELANGELO FIVE YEARS TO PAINT, THE WYNN TOOK LONGER"
etc. But the food's so awful I even got a sandwich from
Subway across the street. And they were charging $495 plus
tax for the smallest room and you had to pay to use the
gym or anything else in the hotel.
The only good thing about The Wynn was John Bionelli who hooked me up with Joe Esposito who is a casino host at The Wynn and he got me a late checkout.
Everywhere I went was full of English people from the North, droning on in loud voices about how great it was here. I suppose if you live north of London they have a point. I had dinner at the Italian restaurant used in the movie Casino, which was average, and at Circo in the Ballagio which was great.
Went back to Los Angeles and last night shot The Mars Volta at the LA Forum. It was good, got lots done, reportage, a session, live and I even shot a bit of the Red Hot Chilli Peppers show. I was very pleased - except that my camera bag with all my Nikon bodies, wallet with credit cards etc, and all of my shot film was stolen outside the Forum. I have never lost a camera in my life so it's tiring dealing with it all - my UK phone was in the bag too so don't try calling.
Neil Zlozower, a friend and photographer, has been helping me out, offering to rent me some gear and loan some dollars. I can't decide whether to go home today or go back and re-shoot tonight. At the end of the day, it's only material stuff, there are a lot worse things in life...
A selection of pictures from my recent trip East. See more...