Travelling this month...
Started on Air New Zealand to Los Angeles, I was looking forward to sunset over Greenland I ended up with dense cloud grey nothing. The last two hours were good over Utah then Las Vegas landing in Los Angeles at dusk. This trip I discovered Los Feliz and Silverlake-I mean I know both areas but have never spent any time in them.
Julie's Ice Cream in Los Feliz is amazing seriously go there just to try it.
Looked in The Last Bookstore in Downtown and was taken to dinner at Bestia the super trendy new LA place, it was like an old whare house good vibe averge food they redo everything, puttanesca was to spicy and how hard is it to ruin a pizza which they did a good job of . I wanted to walk there from the last Bookstore and was told not to as we have to go along skid row,I got an uber and even from the uber the street looked as if you were in a science fiction film people crawling falling down screaming at the car it was definetly eye opening you don't see any thing like this in all the hip what’s happening in LA magazines. It looked worse than a night down the Elephant And Castle or New Cross.
On a wet rainy day I photographed Devendra Banhart at his home. Devendra was charming and could not have been easier. It was pouring down, funnily the last time I'd shot at a musican's house in the same area was with E from the Eels and the weather was just as bad then, a grey monsoon... no 'California Sunshine' just 'Calcutta Rain' lots of it.
As it was pouring I used the excuse to go to Rockaway Records only ten minutes from Devendra's one of the best record shops in LA. Rockaway have just bought a huge poster collection it was cool just to go in and look at it, plus if your hungry there is a good Vietnamese across the road.
The following morning I flew to Sacramento to meet up with Brian Wheat and Tesla. Spent lunch time at Brian's friend Marty's record store, Marty has good stuff if your in Sacramento go and look it's called Medium Rare.
We all met up in the evening to fly to Las Vegas on Southwest Airlines who I have not flown on since 1983 with Def Leppard and Iron Maiden before they made real money. Jeff Keith Tesla's retarded singer was trying to get people to eat his mac and cheese in the line for the gate. Most people were trying to ignore him so Jeff started singing to them... I'm surprised he hasn't been sectioned.
Now I was dreading this flight, jammed full flight no service nothing. The two lady crew on board were amazing funny helpful trying to make everyone enjoy the flight and what service they could offer. It made it a hugely fun flight.
A day in Vegas, Brian and I went record shopping in the morning by noon it had the weather from LA black sky's and rain it was so bad the roads were getting flash flooding at one point it was three feet deep. I saw a man carrying a sign looking like Jesus or or member of the Jeff Keith Clan. I stopped him to take a photo.
Tesla were playing at the Cannery not a bad venue except the crowd were shit faced falling down drunk all smelled of booze and cigarettes and most of them had their teeth missing.During a guitar solo one drunk was trying to stop Frank Hannen playing shouting at Frank to give him a pick, he nearly unplugged the guitar then fell over got up and started playing air guitar to ‘Coming At Ya Live'. I gave up at that point and watched the show from the stage.
Brian took me out to RAKU to eat after, a Japanese full Japanese Chefs eating late at night it was so good I'd fly to Vega's just to eat there. Kobe beef on volcanic rock - Ikura Don-Uni Don the restaurant was perfect.
The next morning was a big Tesla shoot I expected sun we got rain and black sky's we drove out to red rock which gave the shoot a different feel. There were signs in the desert warning you not to go near or feed the wild donkeys, of course Jeff Keith could not help himself and it was nice to see him getting bitten by a donkey. Interesting doing something different with the band and the bleakness added to it. We finished just as the rain came... me back to LA - Tesla home to Sacramento, except because of the weather all the flights were delayed for hours.
Monday in LA the sun was back so I went to Long Beach to do a quick shoot with Rival Sons, it went from overcast to being cooked and I got cooked bright red... I left them heading to Australia - I'll be seeing them again next week in the Colony.
As the sun was back I drove along sunset and came upon a huge blue Scientology building, it was eerie-weird every blind of every window was drawn with no one around. It was like finding The Who's Tommy's Holiday Camp, it just needed a sign saying WELCOME like the song. It was as if you were in North Korea not Los Angeles.
I flew home to London for a day, had lunch with Jimmy Page and am now on a flight to Melbourne. Slept for a bit on the way to Abu Dhabi photographed the sun setting on the wing. Woke up over India as the dawn was breaking - huge clouds that I love over the Indian Ocean off Jakarta.
Into Australia over Learmonth...