Sunday, March 24, 2013


When an event occurs in Hollywood, and there are no photos, did it really happen?  That seems to be the burning question today.

I was standing on the side of the stage at Oakland Stadium in April of 1976 at what was called “Day on the Green” when it dawned on me that I should make the most of the extraordinary access I had the privilege of enjoying.  I had purchased my first SLR camera four years earlier for a trip to Kenya, learning how to actually use it while positioning it in front of moving targets like elephants, giraffes and lions.  Now I was watching moving human targets, Fleetwood Mac, up close and personal, and I realized that my vantage point was one I could and should document on film.  That a-ha moment was the beginning of my love affair with rock photography, and from then on, I was rarely seen without a camera around my neck.

There is something poetic about capturing a moment in a performer’s performance, a moment of unbridled passion, unassuming vulnerability or unfettered madness (or genius).  I believe that you view the world differently when you shoot photos because you observe things much more acutely, without so much background noise.  You follow the action and wait for it—that right frame, the right expression, the right light.   And sometimes you make magic.

From a rarified vantage point, I photographed the famous and the not so famous, like a fly on a wall who blended into the background.  I waited until my subjects forgot there was a camera in the room and captured my favorite images of artists, many of whom I also knew as friends. 

My years of access netted me boxes and boxes of slides and negatives (remember proof sheets?) and now a computer full of files and files of digital images.  And suddenly I’m discovering that my personal treasure trove may have value to others who bore witness to my obsession, so I’m revisiting my archive with a new sense of purpose, determination and responsibility.  Watch this space for updates on my progress.