John Belushi
       
     
Iron Maiden
       
     
Ronnie Spector
       
     
Chuck Berry
       
     
Steven Tyler
       
     
B.B. King
       
     
Billy Joel
       
     
Bob Marley
       
     
Bruce Springsteen
       
     
Carole King
       
     
Cyndi Lauper
       
     
Dave Brubeck
       
     
Eddie Van Halen
       
     
Elton John
       
     
Etta James
       
     
Fleetwood Mac
       
     
Foghat
       
     
Frampton Portrait
       
     
Frampton In Studio
       
     
Peter Frampton
       
     
Frank Zappa
       
     
Freddie Mercury
       
     
George Harrison
       
     
Grace Slick
       
     
Hooker and Santana
       
     
Iggy Pop
       
     
James Brown
       
     
Jerry Garcia
       
     
Keith Richards Playing Guitar
       
     
Keith Richards Portrait
       
     
Kiss
       
     
Linda Rondstadt
       
     
Lynyrd Skynyrd
       
     
Michael Jackson
       
     
Mick Jagger and Andy Warhol
       
     
Mick Jagger Singing In Color
       
     
Mick Jagger
       
     
Natalie Cole
       
     
Patty Smith
       
     
Paul McCartney
       
     
Prince
       
     
Queen
       
     
Ray Charles
       
     
R.E.M.
       
     
Robert Palmer
       
     
Rod Stewart
       
     
Rolling Stones
       
     
Sex Pistols
       
     
Sex Pistols
       
     
Stevie Nicks
       
     
The Dirty Royals
       
     
The Who
       
     
Tom Petty
       
     
Vladimir Horowitz
       
     
John Belushi
       
     
John Belushi
Iron Maiden
       
     
Iron Maiden
Ronnie Spector
       
     
Ronnie Spector

Ronnie Spector - Warner Brothers Records was looking for a publicity still on Ronnie where she would be on a fire escape outside and the only one they were able to get was on the fifth floor. They wanted her in light clothing to look like the fall season. The only problem was it was in the middle of winter and the outside temperature was fifteen degrees. Three things I had to take into consideration. The equipment and film was in cold weather shooting order, I was well insulated from the cold and last and most important the artist had to think the we were shooting in the tropics and the temperature was 85 degrees. If all of this fails shoot fast.

Chuck Berry
       
     
Chuck Berry

Chuck Berry - Call this "How to engineer a shot when there are 3,000-plus people in the audience in a club that supposed to hold 2,000 and the fire department is about to close it down on it's opening night." But when you look at the photo its just him, a moment caught in time, with no hint of the ensuing panic. I was shooting on stage waiting for "the shot" ... snap the camera, or rather the photographer, creates his own reality.

Steven Tyler
       
     
Steven Tyler

Steven Tyler - This is another shoot where the assignment was mission impossible: a small, boring location and a short period to shoot in. In this situation, you have to think creatively. Use what's at your fingertips. No time to whine. I was assigned to shoot Aerosmith for a national magazine during one of the band's cross-country tours. Holed up between shows in a hotel, I had only 20 minutes to get the photo. Turned out that the hotel room was so small it was impossible to set up a mobile studio. I glanced outside to the balcony and noticed there was an extreme light angle due to the overhead sun. I positioned Steve in accordance with the lighting and stuck a cigarette in his mouth for a few shots and Joe for the others.

B.B. King
       
     
B.B. King

B.B. King - The king of urban blues, B.B. King occasionally played the Bottom Line in New York's West Village. My photo editor gave me this assignment: "Make sure you get B.B. with Lucille."  Having never seen B.B., I wasn't sure who Lucille was.  When "she" still had not appeared halfway through the show, I asked a fan in the audience, "When does Lucille usually come on?" He laughed and said, "He's been holding her all night."  Lucille, of course, is B.B.'s signature electric guitar.

Billy Joel
       
     
Billy Joel

Billy Joel - You can say that this shot would now a days be impossible to photograph. While on tour we would take commercial air to get from one venue to another. At one airport while getting on the plane I popped my head into the cockpit and asked the pilot and co pilot if it would OK to get them out of their seats and place Billy Joel in their place. They were happy to do so.

Bob Marley
       
     
Bob Marley

Bob Marley - Rasta comes to New York. When Bob Marley performed at the Academy of Music in 1974, the verdict was still out whether reggae would play big in the Big Apple. By the end of the show, Marley had conquered Manhattan. By the way, there must been more ganja smoked that night in the Academy than any other in the history of that venerable venue.

Bruce Springsteen
       
     
Bruce Springsteen

Bruce Springsteen - Bruce was performing a show at Madison Square Garden in New York City.  I was on assignment for the publicity department of CBS Records and was allowed to shoot the whole show.  As Bruce was finishing one of his songs, I looked at the frame counter and there were 5 shots left -- barely a second's worth with my motor drive.   On the next song all the lights on stage were turned offexcept one over head and a few feet in back of him.  The light silhouetted his body creating an aura.  I looked through the camera, which had a 50-millimeter lens attached, and knewI was witnessing one of those once in a lifetime shots.  But I needed to go wider; the 50-millimeter lens was way too tight-- and I had only another 10, maybe 15 seconds to correct the situation before the composition was lost.  I switched to a 24- millimeter lens and rolled in a fresh roll of Tri-X film and captured Bruce at the microphone, his hands waving side to side.  It was the kind of spontaneous shot impossible to stage in a studio.  I had 36 frames of this and had the luxury of picking the best.   Shots like these require being in the right place at the right time, but also advance preparation and constant concentration.  Had I been checking out the audience, cleaning a lens, or, God forbid, out of film, the shot would have been lost.

Carole King
       
     
Carole King

Carole King - I found this is my files which was shot in April of 1972. "It's too late baby, it's too late..." Carole King. At this time her LP was the biggest seller of all time until "Frampton Comes Alive" came out. Frampton who? She was doing her show at the Beacon theatre in New York City where I captured this image.

Cyndi Lauper
       
     
Cyndi Lauper

 

Cyndi Lauper - I find that most pleasing shots are done with the microphone not in the front of the face as we call this mic eating. Exception to a rule. This is where if you shot it with a flash it would not be great but a mic eating shot. Shooting this with available light takes it into a different realm. The mic eating enhances the shot. This will only happen in 1% of the shots. Everything came together in this shot, the lighting, the angles and the artist.

Dave Brubeck
       
     
Dave Brubeck

Dave Brubeck - 1975 Schaffer Music Festival, Central Park, New York City - My assignment was to shoot Dave for a lead story in one of Jazz's biggest magazines. I was told to bring a very long lens, since the stage was 20 feet high and since they were not letting anyone on stage. Little did the publisher know that I was friends with the promoter and everyone in security for that venue. I was so tight with the people putting on the show that when I told them about the magazine assignment they introduced me directly to Dave Brubeck who gave me his OK to shoot where ever I pleased. The next day I handed in a print of this image and watched the expression on the publishers face when he pulled the print from the envelope.

Eddie Van Halen
       
     
Eddie Van Halen

Eddie Van Halen - I already knew Eddie before moving to L.A. from the three Van Halen tours I had covered.  When I moved Los Angeles, he invited me to his home for a private photo session.  He said he had a few guitars that we might use as background for one of the shots.  When he showed me into his "guitar room," it was like walking into an entire music store.

Elton John
       
     
Elton John

Elton John - Elton has endured as an artist because of his innate talent and because he has an uncanny knack for changing with the times. In the early 70's, he was the poet-singer-songwriter. In the excessive early 80's, he was Mr.Glam. Today, he's come full circle and has the respect of his fans. I have had the fortune to photograph his concerts throughout the years. This photo was taken in Los Angeles when he already had left his Glitter Years behind and was becoming more serious about his music again. He and his audience had grown up. When Elton sings his up-tempo songs, it's nearly impossible to get a decent expression shot, because he tends to distort his face. During his ballads, the true nature of the artist comes out. The song he was singing at the time was "Candle in the Wind.

Etta James
       
     
Etta James

Etta James - I was hired to photograph Etta James for a CD/DVD project, which Etta was to sing a song, made famous by Ella Fitzgerald. The producers wanted to shoot her in video but Etta was not comfortable with that and rather be captured in stills. I was hired to shoot as many images as I could because it was going to be used as visual with a music and talking track. I was asked first before I was hired if I can shoot digital, this was a stipulation to being hired. I was told that it would have to be shot with available light and was I comfortable with that? So with all this I was very comfortable with doing this shoot in fact I was stoked since I have been a fan of Etta James and Ella Fitzgerald. The shoot was at my old hang out area the old A&M Records complex and recording studios which has been taken over by the green frog, Jim Hansen's company. I arrived at the recording studio and went into the control room and bumped into an old friend who was producing the CD, Phil Ramone. It was like old home week shooting at a long time ago hang out with friends from many years back on other projects. Phil was happy to see me and remarked that now we will get great shots. I was told that I would be put into the singing booth with Etta and would be able to shoot during her rehearsing the song. Etta walked in I introduce myself, I was a bit nervous since I had not had the chance to sit with her and talk over what I was to shoot, she gave me a huge smile, which broke the ice, and I began to capture her singing and talking to the producer. I had minimal lighting so at 2.8 I had a shutter speed of 1/30 sec. I held the camera tight and leaned against the back wall. Being able to check what I was shooting gave me a great ease while I was shooting where as when I shot film it would take three hours to see what I got after the lab got to the film. Digital rocks.

Fleetwood Mac
       
     
Fleetwood Mac

Mick and Stevie - I have been shooting Fleetwood Mac Concerts since the early Seventies, before they became a super group. This is a band where each member has his or her own extremely individual personality. Since I was the New York photographer for Warner Records, every time Fleetwood Mac would come to the east coast, I would be the shooter. I had photos printed in their tour programs and in magazines. I got even closer to the group in 1981 when I covered Mick Fleetwood 's trip to Ghana West Africa. I was hired by RCA Records and Rolling Stone Magazine to photograph Mick's first solo album recording. For me this also turned into a album jacket shoot, Fleetwood the Visitor. After that, Mick and I became good friends, and we became better friends once I moved to Los Angeles. Mick would call me whenever he has something for me to shoot. He told me once that he used me because I did not use strobe flash during the show, which really annoyed the group on stage. This shot is from a charity show called the 10K Rock and Run held at UCLA in 1983. Musicians would run for charity and after the event Fleetwood Mac played a free concert. I was on stage when I got this shot of Stevie Nicks and Mick Fleetwood; the song was Stevie's signature "Rhiannon." She was at center stage singing and proceeded to walk over to Mick and for only a moment leaned against him. I saw the shot coming, positioned myself to Mick's left side and waited for Stevie to walk to him. You could even hear me talking to myself behind my camera asking them to please move together for me for this shot and to lean on one another. She did, and I clicked. I knew right away that I had the shot. One of the publicists came over to me to ask me why I was talking to my camera.

Foghat
       
     
Foghat

Foghat - Show an image that is just pure music and their fans. A photo does not have to show the faces of the artists to get a total feeling of the music coming out form an image. A photograph has a different type of transmission of music that the viewer hears. There is the lighting, there is the audience and the expressions on their faces and there is the angle of the capturing of an image of the artist. This image just might make it to the cover of my photography book. Enjoy. By the way it's a shot of Foghat.

Tri-X

800 ASA pushed

1/125 sec

f/4

35mm lens

Available light

Frampton Portrait
       
     
Frampton Portrait

Peter Frampton - This shot put my career on the map. It became the publicity shot for one of the largest selling live album of all time which I also did the photos for, and after its release, the demand for my work quickly escalated. In the beginning of my career in rock & roll photography, I shot mainly shows in New York for both magazines and record companies. Frampton frequently played in the New York City area, and I got a magazine assignment to shoot him at A & M Records headquarters in Manhattan. We all were in an corner office, and the lighting from the window was soft. After the interview, I sat Peter near the window which gave a side lighting to his face. At the time, I knew it was an interesting shot -- the natural lighting was very special. But I really didn't give it another thought. A few weeks, later the magazine published the photo. A & M picked up on the photo and used it for their publicity shot. At Frampton's next show, he made a point of coming over to me to compliment me on the shot. We became friends. A year or so later, he asked me to submit what I shot of him for possible use on his album which later became a reality "Frampton Comes Alive," which of course ignited his career as well.

Tri-X

400 ASA

1/60 sec

f/5.6

85mm lens

Available light

Frampton In Studio
       
     
Frampton In Studio

Peter Frampton In Recording Studio - Here is a historic rock and roll photo I shot in 1974. Frampton was mixing his live LP at Electric Lady Studios. Left to right on the bottom shot: Penny Peter, Bob Mayo and producer Chris Chimsley.

 

Tri-X

400 ASA

1/60 sec

f/5.6

35mm lens

Available light

Peter Frampton
       
     
Peter Frampton

The Album Cover "Frampton Comes Alive" - One day Peter Frampton, whom I had photographed many times by the early 70's, called and asked if he could take my photo portfolio of him to A&M headquarters in Los Angeles. The senior art director was looking for a photograph for Peter's next record, a live concert album. Of course I agreed but thought nothing more of it. Although I was already in demand as a photo-journalist, I had pretty much given up on ever having an album cover credit; art directors, it seemed, preferred studio shots. A few weeks later, I got a message on my answering service that Peter Frampton called and that it was "very important" that I return his call in L. A. By this time, Peter's career was beginning to take off, and the answering service operator was impressed that he had called -- "Do you really know Frampton?" The message came in at 9:30 a.m., which made it only 6:30 a.m. in Los Angeles. I reached Peter immediately, and he said, "Richard are you standing or sitting?" " Why?" I asked. "Well you should sit. You not only got the cover of my LP but you also got three out of four of the shots inside the double album. " I was in shock. Finally after three years, I got my first album cover, and it was from a musician who's music I actually liked and who was also a friend. He knew that it was my first album cover. and he congratulated me. A few months later at a party for Peter in New York, he showed me a mock-up of the cover -- a gatefold with a performing shot of Peter that extended over both outer sleeves. This was the first time I had seen the photo A&M picked. The art department had put an extra diffusion filter over the photo to give the hypnotic effect to the viewer, a dreamy effect. The two background stage lights to the side of Peter's head had been re-positioned to make it more symmetrical, and also some coloring added in selected areas on the print. At the time, the only thing that really bothered me was that the focus wasn't sharp; I was trained to believe that every photo had to be technically perfect -- no exceptions. What would my professors at New York School of Visual Arts and the Brooks Institute say when they saw it? Through the years, colleagues would good-naturedly kid me about the focus. At first, I would say that I had purposely used a diffusion filter. Well about 10 years later on a radio interview, I came clean -- I told everybody it was out of focus. The album went on to become the biggest selling live double LP in history, which just goes to show you: teachers, and critics, aren't always right.

Ektachrome Daylight

400 ASA

1/125 sec

f/4

50mm lens

Available light

Frank Zappa
       
     
Frank Zappa

Frank Zappa - Every year Zappa played the Copa in New York City on Halloween. Every year the record company would hire me to shoot the happenings at this function. He would arrive to the venue in a horse drawn carriage wearing a tux and cape. A few hours later when the party was almost over, I was sitting at a table relaxing when for some reason I turned my head and sitting right next to me with out me knowing was Frank Zappa. I was a bit startled. I raised my camera and he immediately struck a pose picking up the only thing on the table, a fork. Did the shot, smiled and he got up to leave. That was an ending shot for that night

Freddie Mercury
       
     
Freddie Mercury

Queen -It is very sad when someone you have photographed many times dies.  A bond develops between subject and photographer that is built on trust.  A subject, especially a celebrity whose livelihood depends to some degree on his or her appearance, must be comfortable enough to be spontaneous in front of a photographer.  Any person captured at the wrongmoment can look awful.  That's why paparazzi are the bane of photographers who shoot on assignment.  Paparazzi are all about catching celebrity subjects at their most awkward poses or in the most scandalous situations.  And that adversarial relationship begins to overlap onto all photographers. 

Freddie Mercury was a performer who absolutely trusted his audience and his photographers.  He was an absolute divaabout his appearance but not to the point where it affected his performance.  He was one of the greatest showman that ever stepped on stage, and I must have shot the group Queen six times.  Each time,  no matter how similar the music set, the show was always different.  Freddie was a colorful performer but I wanted to capture the person himself so I used B & W --  my way of saying that the person was greater than his show.  With color you tend to lose sight of the subject and see the environment;  with B &W you focus on the tree rather than the forest.

George Harrison
       
     
George Harrison

George Harrison (and Kermit) - I was hired by Warner Bros. Records to photograph Harrison for a week on the East Coast as part of the promotional push for his ""33 1/3" album. George is a very kind and gentle person and loved to be photographed. While on the set of "Saturday Night Live," Jim Henson was also there as a guest. I got a few shots of them together and then asked Jim if Kermit were available. By the way, Kermit's the one on top.

Tri-X

400 ASA

1/60 sec

f/8

35mm lens

Flash on camera

Grace Slick
       
     
Grace Slick

Grace Slick - Jefferson Airplane were playing Central Park, after the show the record company threw a party at the Essex House Hotel. The party was atop the hotel in an outdoor restaurant which overlooked where the show was just held. A few of us went over to the party to shoot some pictures of the first arriving people. Grace walked in and was doing some posing for a few of the AP photographers, when I noticed that there was something wrong or in her eye. As she got closer I noticed that she had a star in her eye. A contact lens in the shape of a star. I said to her "nice eye job." At that point, she mugged the camera and in that instant, I snapped this photo. I asked her why not both eyes? She said that she did have to see! The photo was shot with a wide angle lens which give it a distortion that was perfect for the overall effect.

Tri-X

400 ASA

1/60 sec

f/8

35mm lens

Flash on camera

Hooker and Santana
       
     
Hooker and Santana

John Lee Hooker and Carlos Santana - My assignment was to do a studio session with Carlos and John Lee for John Lees new album, "Healer," which featured Carlos on several tracks. To loosen everybody up, I suggested they do a couple of songs. Hour's later, they were still jammin' -- a private concert by two of music's living legends. I put them in the corner of my studio to give the impression of jamming in a basement.

 

Plus-X

125 ASA

1/60 sec

f/8

50mm lens

Studio strobe

Iggy Pop
       
     
Iggy Pop

Iggy Pop - I was the only photographer shooting Iggy Pop for three shows at New York's Beacon Theater, and there were no restrictions. The assignment for People Magazine only called for B & W film, which is my first love. This was going to be a fun photo shoot. I remember the first night was raining , and I was soaking wet by the time I got to the venue, but that was not going to stop me from getting good solid photos. The Beacon is an old time movie theater, maybe a 1200 seats with no pit to shoot from -- you either shoot on your butt, on your knees, or if you're very lucky from an empty chair in the front row. I came into the theater through the back stage entrance, walked to the front of the stage and placed my camera bag on the floor. A few moments later the lights went down, and Iggy hit the stage with a bang. The audience responded, and the adrenaline was flowing. When he got to the front of the stage, he dropped to his knees and then sprawled on the floor He began rolling around, contorting his body. At this point there was no doubt that he was aware of me. He was doing all this in a slow regimented movement, taking his time, seducing the camera Everything came together -- lighting , music and movement. The People magazine photo editor called me a few days later to compliment me on the shoot, the photos being among the best from a live rock performance he had seen.

Plus-X

800 ASA pushed

1/125 sec

f/5.6

35mm lens

Available Light

James Brown
       
     
James Brown

James Brown - Living in New York City, you have to be keen on where you walk and shoot. A photographer loaded down with equipment is an easy mark. I got a call from James Browns record label to photograph him in Harlem for a benefit street concert. Cool, except the publicist said I better take the subway since the blocked-off streets prevented a taxi from getting anywhere close to the stage. I put everything I needed in a brown paper bag and took the subway up to the shoot; no one suspected that I was a photographer. The concert was incredible; the huge audience loved him. I got great preference shots for the label and I wanted to do something different. I went back stage when a song was over and yelled out "James!" He turned around, saw me and smiled.

Plus-X

125 ASA

1/125 sec

f/11

24mm lens

Available light

 

Jerry Garcia
       
     
Jerry Garcia

Jerry Garcia - My best-selling photograph of all time, used in more magazines that any other. Shot in Central Park on assignment for Good Times magazine. Mid afternoon, very sunny out, and no strobe for fill flash. Even worse, I had high speed b&w film, but I did have Kodachrome for my color shots. I had one prop for the shoot which was stored in a paper bag. I was in a panic about the sun (too much!), which gave him heavy face shadows with dark eye rings. Jerry brought his tour manager with him who, I think, might have done some photography because throughout the shoot all I could hear him say is that none of the photos will come out because of the shadows on the face. He didn't realize I was shooting Jerry with either the sun at his back or behind a tree. We walked to a children's playground area and sat Jerry on a set of swings and pulled out of my paper bag a Raggedy Ann doll, placed it o Jerry's lap and started to shoot. The tour manager turned to me, smiled and said "good idea". I was looking for a good background and found a giant elm. Jerry was wearing his glasses and I was getting heavy reflections, so I had him push the glasses to the edge of his nose and peer over the rims while holding the frames.

 

 

 

Tri-X

400 ASA

1/250 sec

f/4

85mm lens

Available light

 

Keith Richards Playing Guitar
       
     
Keith Richards Playing Guitar

Keith Richards - I was one of two photographers allowed to shoot the Barbarians Tour. The rules were strict: If you go backstage your cameras could not. This was no camera trick: Keith actually looked quite healthy during this time. It helped that the show was excellently lit.

Tri-X

800 ASA pushed

1/125 sec

f/5.6

35mm lens

Available light

Keith Richards Portrait
       
     
Keith Richards Portrait

Keith Richards - This shot of Keith was not created in my studio. In fact I did not know I had this shot for over twenty years. I was going through my files of all the b&w that I did of the Rolling Stones and came upon one shot that looked like a small blur. I held up the b&w negative to the light and immediately place it in the scanner. To my creative delight found a shot that I have overlooked while looking at these negatives many years before. It was during a "Love Ya Live" party when I was photographing Keith. When the flash I was using did not go off. The capture was available light, which is why I must have over looked it.

Kiss
       
     
Kiss

Kiss - 1978 Mid West USA. I was on tour with Kiss for about three weeks. We got a call from their publicity department needing a group shot ASAP. like the next day. So before the shot I found the only decent place to setup to do a group shot but there was one big problem, it was in the bathroom. So that night in my room I set up a darkroom and while the print was in the fixer I used a bleach to remove all what was in the background to make it look like it was shot on seamless. It worked. This was before Photoshop.

Tri-X

800 ASA pushed

1/125 sec

f/5.6

35mm lens

Available light

 

Linda Rondstadt
       
     
Linda Rondstadt

Linda Rondstadt - I was asked once which were my favorite photos I have shot. Always one comes to mind. You can say that I had to sneak into the venue to shoot this image of Linda Rondstadt. They were not letting anyone shoot her shows in NYC but I had a plan. I went to the backstage door of the venue where my good friend was security at the door and who knew if I was there with my cameras then I must be on assignment from the record label. But since there were no photographers to be there were also no photo passes. My security friend said to me if I know that there was no shooting at the show tonight, I shrugged my head and said to him that I just came from a photo shoot which is why I had the camera bag. Now I always wear my photo pass a little above the right knee so it was low. Since I was able to get into the venue with out a problem I need a pass to attach to my leg. Out of my camera bag came the photo pass from the week before and since the pass was low on my leg security would flash their lights on my leg see the pass and leave me alone. I waited until her second song was over and walked down the aisle to the third row, sat in the aisle to keep low as not to be in the way of the audience and started shooting. Linda gazed over to me and continued the show, and I continued to shoot.

Ektachrome

400 ASA

1/125 sec

f/5.6

180mm lens

Available light

 

Lynyrd Skynyrd
       
     
Lynyrd Skynyrd

Lynyrd Skynyrd - Photographers should not have a nip or two during a photo shoot even if it is a party for the group Lynyrd Skynyrd in New York City at Nathan's Hot Dog palace. It was getting late and everything that had to be photographed or needed to be photographed was finished. I was looking to leave the party when out of the corner of my eye there were two members of the Skynyrd band finishing off a bottle of Jack. At the same time which must have been fate a organ grinder and his monkey who were hired for the party passed right in front of me. I ran over to the organ grinder and asked him if I could use his monkey in a set up photo I wanted to do with two members of the Skynyrd group. He nodded fine, and I grabbed the chimps hand and brought him over to the table where the band was sitting. The band loved it and gave out some loud laughs, but there was something missing in the shot. Yes I'm the one who gave the chimp the bottle as a prop. I took a few steeps back and started to shoot.

Plus-X

125 ASA

1/60 sec

f/5.6

35mm lens

Strobe on camera

Michael Jackson
       
     
Michael Jackson

Michael Jackson - I had shot The Jackson 5 for Rock & Soul magazine for years. Michael in the early Seventies was a quiet, unassuming young man. When on assignment for Rock & Soul magazine no matter what the location quality was first, shot all interview assignments with portable studio strobes.

Plus-X

125 ASA

1/60 sec

f/8

85mm lens

Studio strobe

 

Mick Jagger and Andy Warhol
       
     
Mick Jagger and Andy Warhol

Mick and Andy - "Love Ya Live" - The Rolling Stones record label hired me to cover for them a party premier for the Rolling Stones new LP "Love Ya Live" which was to take place in a New Your City club named Trax. I was told by the publicist to shoot anything that moved so to speak. Since I knew the club very well because of spending all of my evenings there socializing with my industry friends every night. I knew the layout of the club and what I needed to do a photo shoot there.


Two cameras, one with color and one with b&w, both with on camera strobes. The perfect film for this close quarters shoot was Plus-X for the b&w and Ektachrome 100 daylight slide film for the color. I knew what to expect and I was right, the place was packed with friends, press and record company executives. The Stones through the night would be moving around the club posing for pix with anyone who wanted to be photographed with them. While I was looking for the shot, I found one and snapped. It was Mick and Andy sitting at a table talking and since Andy Warhol did the artwork for the LP cover this was a relative shot to take.


I used a 35 mm lens because I wanted to get the surrounding ambience of what was going on at that time. Keeping it wide kept the shot candid and intimate where if I shot it with a telephoto lens it would take you away from the personal feeling of the two talking with craziness happening around them. The film was handed to the record company, they picked what they wanted to use for the press and handed me back the originals, which then landed in my files for over 25 years.


When I purchased my Nikon 5000 film scanner one of the first groups to scan were the Rolling Stones. I came upon this image, which I scanned and it went into my files. I got a call for shots of Andy Warhol from a magazine that was doing a tribute to him and I remembered this shot, which I sent to them for usage. It was used and published. I started to receive calls from people who saw the shot in the publication and wanted to purchase a print. I had to think about selling this shot since it was a rotzi shot, and that was not my forte. I placed that shot in my portfolio and immediately the galleries picked that shot to hang to show and sell. I was amazed when I started to receive orders for that shot. When you shoot shoulder to shoulder with a photographer as famous as Warhol every day you forget that he is also famous and to do more of him.

Plus-X rated normal on camera

Nikon F2 camera

1/60 sec

f/5.6

35mm lens

Strobe on camera

Mick Jagger Singing In Color
       
     
Mick Jagger Singing In Color

Mick Jagger - Situation: How do you capture an original shot from a show where there are 30 other photographers who are standing shoulder to shoulder in front of a stage which is 8-feet high, and you are given only three songs to shoot. Let's make that a little more challenging: Half of the photographers are shooting with flash, which means the lighting is going to suck.

Solution: If had I stood with the herd of photographers right below the stage, I would have gotten washed out shots of the inside of Jagger's nostrils (not a pretty sight). (The flashes of the other photographers would have interfered with my available light exposures.) Instead, I stood approximately 10 feet from the stage on the right side of the aisle. This gave me the ability to shoot straight on without shooting up the nose. There was one other veteran photographer who had the same idea. Half way through the show we gave each other knowing nods.

Ektachrome

400 ASA pushed

1/125 sec

f/4

180mm lens

Available light

 

Mick Jagger
       
     
Mick Jagger

Mick Jagger - Who said holding a bottle of beer and a cigarette in a photograph can not be graceful. Shot during a party for the Stones new LP, "Love Ya Live" shot in a club called Trax in NYC. While all the other shooters were screaming Mick look here, look here, I just waited and watched. To me this is a graceful and artistic capture of a moment.

Plus-X

125 ASA

1/60 sec

f/5.6

180mm lens

Strobe on camera

Natalie Cole
       
     
Natalie Cole

Natalie Cole - This image was created in 1975 New York City at a small club where Natalie Cole was to go on stage and sing for the first time in the big apple. I was hired by the record label to document her first show. I was able to get back stage where she was sitting in the corner waiting to go on, she looked a bit nervous, so I swung my cameras to my back to kind of hide them and approached her to see if there was anything that I could get her. I told her I was there from the record label and not to worry that during the show I do not shoot flash which might bother her. We talked and she sounded a bit more relaxed. I asked her if I could take a few pix and she gave me a big yes and a big smile. She grew up to be a great singer in her own right.

Plus-X

125 ASA

1/60 sec

f/5.6

35mm lens

Available light

 

Patty Smith
       
     
Patty Smith

Patty Smith - Of all the musical acts which I have photographed in the past 26 years, which is in excess of 4,000, the one whose file is the biggest in my archives is Patty Smith. Not because of the assignments that were given out but because I was into her music the most. It was pure New York downtown music. When Patty played in town I would always go even if I was not on an actual assignment. There was the time when I was hired by the label to shoot Patty in performance at an outdoor venue in Central Park. I was on stage shooting her when at the end of one song she motioned for me to toss her the plastic tarp that was lying near my feet off the edge of the stage. I gave her a bewildered look and pointed to the tarp. She gave me a quick nod. In a moment, I realized why she needed it. Patty is one of the most intense performers I've ever photographed and when she's on stage, nothing can distract her. And I do mean nothing. I tossed her the tarp, and she promptly relieved herself after finishing a song. She then tossed the rolled up tarp to the side of the stage and returned to begin her next number. (And, no, I didn't take any pictures during her impromptu act. I went in front of stage to capture this shot. I know the second I shot it that I had a great shot. Over the years, At all venues when I was shooting Patty she would always give me a hi sign when we met, nothing up close but afar. We had an un-spoken knowledge that she was doing her thing and I was doing mine without having to say the introductory hello's.

Ektachrome Daylight

200 ASA

1/125 sec

f/5.6

180mm lens

Available light

Paul McCartney
       
     
Paul McCartney

Paul McCartney - These were the shots that graced 30 magazine covers worldwide including Time magazine -- and it almost didn't happen. McCartney's "Wings" tour had just landed in Texas and two of the tour publicist, who were friends of mine, asked me to join the opening concerts, obviously the very last minute. They said that I would not have to get any of my shots approved and would be the first to get photos of the tour out to the press. This shoot turned out to be the key to a small goldmine for me. The tour had two official photographers but all their photos had to be approved by a huge bureaucracy of people that surrounded McCartney, a process that took about two weeks. After the last show, I immediately flew back to New York, sent the film to the labs and called every magazine with an office in New York (which was every magazine). Time Magazine dropped their planned art rendition cover and used my photo to on the cover. This was one of the many stage shots I did.

Tri-X

800 ASA pushed

1/125 sec

f/5.6

180mm lens

Available light

 

Prince
       
     
Prince

Prince - Purple Rain tour, Detroit. Prince opened his Purple Rain tour in the Motor City for a five day booking. At that time I was photo editor of a national rock & roll magazine, and we were doing a cover story on Prince. His record company and management gave me permission to shoot the opening of the tour, four nights in Detroit.


The first night before the first show, all the photographers were asked to come early to the venue to receive the do's and don'ts and their assigned positions for the show. As Prince was the hottest act in the country at the time, there were photographers from all over the world covering this event. We were placed on a box half way between the stage and the back of the coliseum, which was about 300 or more feet. We all had long lens on tripods, but I were still too far from the stage to get a decent shot. Prince's handlers said that if we were caught leaving the photo box, we would be ejected from the show. The longest lens that I had were a 300mm and a 600mm.


By the second night I was getting nothing and getting very edgy that I was not getting the cover shot that I needed. I had to do something about it. I knew that after the third song, the audience would get out of their chairs and stand on their seats. This would be the perfect time to make my move. I grabbed a pocket full of color and b&w film, took the cameras off the tripod and slung a camera with a 180mm lens on one shoulder and another camera with a 85mm lens on the other, and stuffed a 50mm in my pocket. A spot meter hung around my neck. In other words, I was pretty conspicuous. When the fourth song hit, right on cue the audience went wild and stood on their chairs. At that moment, all the security detail turned around to look at the stage and I jumped over the barrier and took off in to the center of the hall and down the isle. I bumped into a security guard and told him I was on my back from the rest room to my seat, he let me alone. Got to the third row and noticed that there was an empty seat in the middle. I guess that who ever was sitting in this seat was one of the people who had rushed to the stage. I could not believe it -- the perfect position! I looked through my cameras and smiled.

Tri-X

800 ASA pushed

1/125 sec

f/4

180mm lens

Available light

Queen
       
     
Queen

Ektachrome

100 ASA

1/60 sec

f/2.8

35mm lens

Portable studio strobes

Ray Charles
       
     
Ray Charles

Ray Charles - My friends in Richmond VA were doing a show and asked me to fly down to see them and maybe to possibly do some performance photos of them on stage. They were good friends so I flew down and got to the show to find out they were not the headliner but the opening band to Ray Charles. So since I was able to shoot my friends I was also able to shoot the opening. I got back home and placed the photos in my file which they remained for twenty years when I got a call from my agent to said that Ray was on his death bed and they wanted to know if I had any images and if so to scan all of them up. To think I almost did not go to shoot my friends in Richmond.

R.E.M.
       
     
R.E.M.

R.E.M. - When I shot this image it meant nothing. It was just another assignment to shoot another new band that was going to play in Los Angeles for the first time. I was instructed to get group shots of the band for a feature story. Knowing that the best time to get a group shot of a band is before the show. They are relaxed looking and not sweaty and exhausted from finishing up a show. I talked to their manager and asked if I can shoot a few group shots before they go on stage in their dressing room. Many years later you marvel on how you got the shot for a now super group that has done very well for themselves.

Plus-X

125 ASA

1/60 sec

f/2.8

35mm lens

Strobe on camera

Robert Palmer
       
     
Robert Palmer

Robert Palmer - When I'm assigned to photograph an artist in the context of an interview, I like to shoot after the interview. Yes, it means spending more time at the shoot but I liked to listen to what is being said so that the photo would be able to fit into the story. During his interview, Robert said he loves to come to New York City and stay at a hotel that overlooks skyscrapers. So, I unscrewed the frame from two windows and did the shot.

Rod Stewart
       
     
Rod Stewart

Rod Stewart - On an cover assignment for Rock Magazine. This was to be one of many photo assignments with Rod going back for more than twenty years. Rod was in the recording studio when I shot this photo. He was reviewing some art work when I walked in. I had not seen Rod for years and I noticed that he did not recognize me. I did not want to push it because maybe he forgot all the tour shoots or maybe he was angry with a photo that he saw that he did not like. So I continued with the shoot. I used portable battery driven studio strobes. I set up the studio lighting and got things ready for the shoot. Still no acknowledgment. Fine, I thought to myself, it's just business. Shot for about an hour until he had to go back into the recording studio. As he left he turned to me and smiled, and said "What? You don't say hello? Forget old friends, do you?" and we both laughed.

Rolling Stones
       
     
Rolling Stones

Rolling Stones - Keith Richard got busted on a drug charge in Canada, and his sentence was to have the Stones put on a show in Canada for sight-impaired people. I called the Stone's office to see if I would be able to shoot this concert for the various magazines for which I freelanced, Time, Newsweek, etc. They were only allowing two photographers to shoot the concert, and I was one of them. I could shoot the whole show, the stage was only 3-feet high. Here was the icing on the cake: I asked a security guard if where I was kneeling was OK to shoot from, he laughed and said that not only was in OK but I could also stand up if I wanted to, the first 15 or so rows were reserved for sight-impaired concert-goers -- so I could stand up while shooting the whole show. I brought 80 rolls of film, color and B&W, which at the time I thought that I might use maybe 20. When the show started, I realized just what a dream shoot this turned out to be: The Stones were 6 feet away from me and the lighting was perfect. I used all the film. The shots appeared in more than 60 magazine's worldwide.

Tri-X

800 ASA pushed

1/60 sec

f/5.6

50mm lens

Available light

Sex Pistols
       
     
Sex Pistols

Sex Pistols - Three weeks on tour with the Pistols during their first tour to America. The American press were hailing the band as the new British Invasion and calling the Pistols the anti-Beatles. But that was nothing compared to the British press who followed the band over. The British tabloid press knows no limits: they will do whatever it takes to get the story. I had an all-access pass - the only stipulation was that I could not let the British press know where the band was. So on the way to rehearsals I would have to sneak out of the hotel, jump into a taxi, and then tell the taxi driver to lose anyone following us. Shades of Raymond Chandler. The last day of the tour, I was leaving the hotel and in a far corner of the lobby Sid was on the floor in the corner sleeping it off.

Sex Pistols
       
     
Sex Pistols

Sex Pistols - A relaxing afternoon with The Pistols while on tour across America. Sound check before the show in Texas.

Tri-X

800 ASA pushed

1/60 sec

f/4

35mm lens

Available light

 

Stevie Nicks
       
     
Stevie Nicks

Stevie Nicks - Stevie is a perfect subject for shooting available light mood shots of. During the groups song where there is another member of the bands solo she is off to the side in a pensive sedative mood. This is the right time to do stills of her. When she is not in motion she is in a stationary mode.

Ektachrome

320 Tungsten

1/60 sec

f/4

85mm lens

Available light

 

The Dirty Royals
       
     
The Dirty Royals

The Dirty Royals - I was hired to shoot this new group coming into Los Angeles for the UK. The manager need the images quick and asked me if I shot digital. This was a main factor in getting the job. Just to see haw fast they needed it I asked him what if I shot film and scanned it. The manager asked me how long it would take I said three hours for processing and then two or so hours to pick the best and scan the images. He said how long would it take if I shot digital I said I could get him the images two hours after I shot the images. No contest, digital won out.

The Who
       
     
The Who

The Who - Usually I would throw out any slides where the group was not at camera angle. I kept this one because even though you did not see their faces you know who they were. I got a call from the BBC looking for a Who shot where you do not see their faces but you know who they are.

Ektachrome Daylight

400 ASA

1/125 sec

f/4

50mm lens

Available light

Tom Petty
       
     
Tom Petty

Tom Petty - Talk about ageless! This is Tom Petty, circa 1973 but he still looks the same. This was the very first studio session I ever did and I was very nervous. But Tom was incredibly patient and made me very relaxed, within in 10 minutes, I was shooting like a veteran if you don't know what you're doing, pretend like you do.

Ektachrome Daylight

400 ASA

1/125 sec

f/4

50mm lens

Available light

Vladimir Horowitz
       
     
Vladimir Horowitz

Vladimir Horowitz - I received a call from his record label asking me if I wouldn't mind doing them a favor and doing a photo shoot of a non-rocker. I was told that this job was refused by their main photographer to suggested they contact me. OK I thought to myself I have been talking to the record company publicist for over twelve minutes so far and I still have not heard whom I will be photographing. The publicist went on to tell me that I probably will not know whom I will be shooting and that this person is a very elderly man who is a classical pianist. Being into classical music most of my life I knew right away that it was going to be. I was then told whom and when I said yes immediately the publicist asked me in surprise "you know who he is?" The shoot was in a place in the backstage area of Carnegie Hall. I shot both color and b&w and towards the end I popped in a roll of super fast b&w film and even pushed it higher to be able to shoot available light. At the end of the shoot I thanked him for being a great subject and mentioned that I have shot some of the top rockers in the business but this was the first time I was star struck.

Tri-X

800 ASA pushed

1/125 sec

f/5.6

50mm lens

Available light