Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Coffee Break

Okay, this is small but just in case you live in the Los Angeles area, I will be a guest on Coffee Break with Connie Martinson tomorrow (Wed 11/28) at 2pm. It runs live on LA36 and Santa Monica CityTV channel 16.

So, if you can...tune in and take a coffee break with me.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Love Me or Hate Me...

Monday night (November 26) at 7pm (I think for a whole hour) I'm going to be on .

If you click to that website I think it will actually tell you what time it's on live in your neighborhood. This could turn out to be very cool...because you can tune in no matter what planet you live on. That's right folks, it's internet radio.

And even cooler...you can call in and we can talk. The call-in number is (646) 478-5041. I think that's a New York number so I can only assume you get to pay for the call.

So love me or hate me I hope you'll call in. Ask me whatever you want and I'll tell you what you want to hear. Ha...no I won't. I speak the troof. Can you handle the troof?

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Where To Shop - Additions

How could I forget Canada? Duh me.

You can purchase my lovely book at Chapters bookstores.

It's also available in Vancouver at The Oh My Godard Gallery, 972 Granville St. where you can also view and purchase original prints from the book.

And online...


Amazon: $35.64 (Grab this deal...they screwed up the retail price. I'm sure that price will go up as soon as my Canadian distributor figures out the faux pas.)

Chapters: $43.85

In addition to forgetting Canada (duh again) we also found it in...

South Africa:

Loot.com: R435.00

Happy reading!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

The Show

The opening show for Everybody I Shot Is Dead took place at the Oh My Godard Gallery (972 Granville St.) in Vancouver on November 3rd and will continue until November 30th. If you live anywhere near Vancouver or have plans to be in the area in the next couple of weeks, I hope you'll stop in and check out the show, buy a book, a t-shirt and/or a print to hang on your wall.

Here's the opening in pictures, since a picture is worth a thousand words. I apologize in advance for the ridiculous number of photos that include me...feel free to just look at all the cool people who were kind enough to pose with me...

The gallery from the street a night or two later, long after closing.

People actually showed up to look at my pictures...or maybe they came for the wine.

Lin, Christa and Tony. Lin came on the invitation of Marc Reagan - he lives in NJ and couldn't make the show. Marc and Lin are huge Marc Bolan fans and have been involved in organizations and promote events that keep Marc Bolan's memory alive.
Rock on!

Meet Helene and Sam. They came after hearing portions of my interview on Rock 101, even though they were supposed to be somewhere else. Thankfully, they had a good time...especially having their picture taken by Ellie Gibbins under a photograph of her husband, Badfinger drummer Mike Gibbins.

I caught this picture of Ellie taking a picture of me.

Dave and Vanice were invited by my sister. They drove all the way up from Northern California to share in the festivities. How cool is that?

My hero - who also happens to be an amazing photographer - standing next to FZ.

Ellie came all the way from Florida on her motorcycle.
What can I say? She's hardcore and I'm honored to call her my friend.

My friends, Mark and Carla, who flew up to Vancouver from L.A. because they're awesome. BTW, I'm not as short as I look standing next to Mark...I'm a little over 5'8" so he must be 7'.

Tyler, me and Ellie.

Meet Kalaya Point and Andrew Eggleton. They came over from Victoria (that requires a ferry ride, thank you very much). If I'm not mistaken, they were also inspired from hearing portions of my interview on Rock 101.

Ellie dragged this unsuspecting couple off the street and held them hostage. They were on a weekend get-away from Portland and had no idea what they were getting themselves into. After Ellie finished talking their ears off, I had a go at them. They were really cool people. They left with the promise that they would order a book when they got home. We said our goodbyes. Twenty minutes later, they were back...buying a book for Heather's dad, Mike. (Hi Mike, I hope you like the book!) After they bought the book I told them they had to come to every future show. Can't wait to let them know we have an opening in February...in Siberia.

This is the Godard Gallery gang. The girls on the end (Paige and Kelly) own the joint. Jeff (next to Kelly) hung the show. The guys on either side of me were very cool - they are correctional officers and were manning the door. That's King in front...the one with the glowing eyes. He's a real dog...obviously with a few super-powers I didn't know about.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Where To Shop

It has come to my attention that Everybody I Shot Is Dead is now available in some foreign countries. I have no idea where they are getting the books. I can only assume it is through one of our wholesalers or distributors.

Anyway, I thought you might like to know your shopping options for purchasing the book, including who's selling it, where and for how much. This is information we gathered off the internet. Please realize that this information is ever-changing (especially the prices), for example, last week amazon.com was selling the book for $37.80 and now it's $43.80.

And, of course, not on the list is our website...where we guarantee same/next day shipping (because we definitely have the book in stock), with free US shipping and discounts on worldwide shipping. Plus all books purchased from are signed...by me (hopefully that doesn't devalue the purchase).

While we are providing this list as a public service, we also ask that you please support and shop at your local bookstores. If your local bookstore is not currently carrying Everybody I Shot Is Dead, please ask them to order it through Ingram Books (they have it in stock) or Baker & Taylor (they order from us as they receive orders).

Okay, without further ado, here are the online options for Everybody I Shot Is Dead:

United Kingdom:

Amazon: £25.62

Blackwell: £29.40

Langton Info Services: $88.79


Saxo: EUR 52,99


Books.com.tw: 1890 yuan


Book Plus: 66,50 euroa


Minu Raamat: 795 EEK


Buy.com: $35.64

Tower.com: $35.91

A1 Books: $36.74

Pardoxal Press: $38.18

Half.com: $40.26

eCampus.com: $42.12

Alibris: $42.54

Jepago.com: $43.07

Barnes & Noble: $43.20 (member price)

Amazon.com: $43.80

TextbooksRus: $43.25

Best Prices.com: $46.40

School Fund Store:$50.40

Biblio.com: $51.00

Through The Magic Door: $60.00

Powell's Books: $60.00

Monday, November 12, 2007

Me and Mark Isler

I'm taking a moment to interrupt my road trip/show opening posts with my visit on the Mark Isler Show on KABC Talk Radio, Saturday October 20, 2007. Seems like a year ago.

My apologies for so many files. I probably could have edited it down but a) I don't particularly like listening to myself, and b) it was my first in-studio radio interview and I had a blast. Which is really a reason to burden you with my good time, but I will.

Originally I had an 11:30 pm slot for a half hour interview but I arrived early and they invited me into the studio early and ended up putting me on the air early and then we were having such a good time they invited me to stay for the whole show. Sheesh, I thought I was having a deja vu but alas, I already posted about my Mark Isler visit , complete with pictures. Hey, if you look at the pictures while you listen to the interview segments it'll be like you were there...

Mark Isler Show Part1

Mark Isler Show Part2

Mark Isler Show Part3

Mark Isler Show Part4

Mark Isler Show Part5

Mark Isler Show Part6

Mark Isler Show Part7

Mark Isler Show Part8

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Taking The Show On The Road Three

Friday, November 2nd, the day before the opening... I don't remember exactly how the day started. With the arrival of relatives and friends - some people I hadn't seen in years - my perception of what happened when was getting a bit hazy...like the weather.

And I still had things to do...such as getting the music together for the opening. But that could wait. I wanted to take some time out to show Ellie the city where I shot Badfinger, right after I dropped one more print off for framing. And that's when it happened. We were driving away from the framers when I suddenly thought I heard part of the title of my book...on the radio. I grabbed at the volume knob...yes...the DJ was talking about the book. Then a segment of my interview came streaming through the air.

"Hey, my song's on the radio." Well, okay, it wasn't my song but I can only guess the feeling was the same as a band hearing a song on the radio for the first time. The segment was followed by a song and then another bit from the interview, a mention of the show and then another song. Very cool. Thank you, Robin Larose! (the DJ that interviewed me and did a great job assembling my blabber so I didn't suck on the radio)

Then the mini tour started. I found out that Ellie had an aversion to heights when she walked into her 10th floor room and had a problem walking out on the balcony. As we drove across downtown toward Stanley Park, she told me all heights were a problem...including bridges. Imagine how she felt as I took this picture (and others) while I was maneuvering the rental car across the Lions Gate Bridge. Yup, I can be evil, even to my friends.

We did a quick tour of the North Shore, up the side of the mountain so Ellie could get some pictures of the amazing view. I drove her by my friend Gary Switlo's house which is a historic landmark (he's one of the people I dedicated the book to, so you can learn more about him there). We ran into Tyler - he had hit the North Shore to show his girlfriend where he went to school in the third grade and his very own secret forest where he used to play. they let us know they heard a promo about the show on the radio while they were looking at cameras in a local pawnshop. Nice.

We took the Second Narrows Bridge back to Vancouver proper, which gave us the opportunity to stop at the PNE grounds...where many of the concerts I shot took place. On my way up to Vancouver I had already decided that I wanted to stop and take photos of the places I shot back in the day. I was really happy that the stop happened with Ellie. We parked in the lot next to the Coliseum, where I shot everybody from John Denver to Led Zeppelin. We got out of the car to take pictures...
That big grey roll-up door is the very same spot where I exited the building after the Led Zeppelin concert...in a limo...sitting next to a half-naked...Robert Plant! (you can read more about it in the book).

After taking this picture we decided to walk around the building. I was looking for the Gardens where I shot Badfinger, 'cause I wanted Ellie to see where her husband played... wishing he was still around and could have come to Vancouver with Ellie to honor Pete Ham and Tom Evans, instead of Ellie coming alone.

By the time we made it halfway around the building we were both complaining about the bitter cold. Okay, maybe it wasn't all that "bitter" but it felt bitter to us, probably because we were under-dressed. Our trek was rewarded with this next building...
...the Agrodome...where I shot Frank Zappa.

I knew the Gardens was around there someplace but I couldn't remember exactly where it was in relationship to the Coliseum and the Agrodome so we mutually decided to round the Coliseum and head back to the warmth of the car. In looking at an online map of the park, turns out we were only a few hundred yards from the Gardens and drove right by it. Figures.

We headed back toward our downtown hotel with a quick touristy detour through Gastown...
and that's when Ellie espied this pub...

...where we couldn't resist stopping in for a half-pint...
...and then decided to have lunch, since I hadn't even had breakfast. We shared a scrump-de-le-icious order of fish & chips that came with a very yummy curry sauce dip for the chips. Look how at home and happy Ellie is in the pub. Guess that's what happens after many years of marriage to a Welshman. After we had the fish & chips a server walked by us with a pot pie order that looked so good we were tempted to stay for dinner.

But alas, there were more relatives arriving and we had to make our way back to the hotel. The late arrivals also managed to get the deluxe rooms on the 27th floor. One of their rooms was on the front of the hotel with an incredible view. So incredible, in fact, that I fetched Ellie from the tenth floor to check it out. Here are the pictures I took...

Off the balcony, looking left.

Panning right.

Looking straight ahead...the ships in the bay.

Closer on the ships.

Looking right.
Impressive, no?

So, I made Ellie check out the view from inside the room and I took these same pictures with her camera from the balcony. Truth be told, I actually was not all that comfortable on the balcony. I had my own struggle with vertigo.

And finally, from inside the room...meet my very favorite relative, Zach...

Behind Zach is my sister, Pam and brother-in-law, Pat who all arrived from Vancouver Island. The guy on the floor who you can't see is Zach's dad, Steve. He's currently a gimp, after knee surgery to retrieve his knee cap that was shoved halfway up his thigh in a soccer game.

Wait, I can't leave you with the visual of Steve's kneecap in his thigh, so here's the night time view from my balcony on the low-rent 10th floor...

Coming next...pictures from the opening...maybe.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Taking The Show On The Road Two

Whatever friendship Ellie and I had forged in our week-long pen pal relationship was cemented during our six and a half hour lunch at Lucy's. I liked her even more in person...as I said, we ate, we drank, we laughed, we cried. It doesn't get any better than that.

We continued to check in with each other, Although some of our correspondence waned slightly - mostly my fault - as I was super-crazed with wet proof corrections and all other pre-publishing nightmares and fires that needed to be extinguished with regards to the book. But when I called her from the airport in Phoenix, while on my way to the Austin Film Festival, and told her I really wanted her to come to the book/gallery opening in Vancouver...all the way from Florida. More on that later.

For now, I need to get back to where I left off on the Vancouver trip... Wednesday (one week ago today) started off with some calls, continued work on retrieving my email files and prepping for the impending show. Then I had a phone interview for a print article with Sarah Rowlands (which reminds me, I need to follow up on that), followed by another phone interview with Robin Larose for Rock 101, Vancouver's classic rock station (more about that later). After the interviews I headed over to the framers to check on the arrival of the lost prints. They finally arrived around 4:30pm, a full 24 hours after I arrived with the hand-carried prints and four full days after they were supposed to arrive via FedEx.

Meet the folks that somehow managed to frame close to 90 prints in less than four days:

Wilfried used to be the owner of the shop before he sold it to Gerry, but he came in to help out the last minute crisis for my show.

This is Gerry, sizing matte windows for the late arrivals.

Kent couldn't resist trying out his Marc Bolan pose.

Kent mounts the front window posters for the gallery.

After I was done there, I headed over to the gallery to drop off some of the finished pieces, then it was back to the hotel to meet up with one of my favorite pro-writer friends for a drink and chat. Unfortunately, he had dinner plans, but fortunately it gave me one last night of quiet before the onslaught of out-of-town arrivals...beginning at 10:30am Thursday morning when I picked up my mother, sister, brother-in-law and niece at the airport.

We had agreed on a curbside pick-up and somwhow I arrived a little earlier than the plane. Have you ever tried to hang out curbside at your local airport, or say, LAX? You know, where you sit in the "the white zone is for the loading and unloading of passengers only"? And if you stop for more than five seconds some gorilla security guard bangs on the car and yells, "Get the fuck out of here1"

I stopped in the "white zone" at the Vancouver International airport, and it took at least five minutes before the security guy moseyed over to my car window. I rolled the window down and the conversation went something like this:

"Hi, I'm just waiting for some passengers. they should be here any minute now."

"Where are they coming from?"

"Calgary. On West Jet."

"Okay. Well, I can give you a few more minutes but then I'm going to have to ask you to drive around the loop...if you wouldn't mind."

"Hey, no, that's okay. I don't mind driving around now." He then went on to explain exactly how to get around the loop. Why are Canadians so damn polite? asks the Canadian who has lived in L.A. far too long.

I finally load the gang in the car, drive back too the hotel and get everyone settled into their rooms. Wait. How did my relatives get rooms on the 27th floor with the great views when I was relegated to the 10th floor? When I checked in they told me I couldn't go higher because of the group rate we had... liar.

Anyway, we ended up somewhere for lunch before I had to meet my son and his girlfriend, who were arriving by car via Seattle (she didn't have a passport either), at the framers because they had the last two prints and a suitcase full of t-shirts that I needed to get to the gallery.

Okay, this story seems to be getting long and boring...my humble apologies. Dinner plans with the family members got ditched so I ate with my son and the g.f. then made my final run of the day to the airport to pick up...yup, you guessed it...my special guest, Ellie Gibbins! It was around 10:50pm and I was such a space case by then I didn't even see her arrive through the customs doors. She found me staring blankly at a display of tourist brochures.

We ran into my niece in the lobby when we got back to the hotel. She had just put my sister to bed and was on her way back to the bar next door (don't tell anyone she's only 17) where the rest of the gang was knocking back drinks. I checked Ellie in and then we made our way to Shenanigans. All these words just to get to the pictures:

Mark (husband of my friend Carla - they came all the way from L.A. just for my show and somehow hooked up with my family while I was picking up Ellie), brother-in-law Larry, niece Kristy.
My mother and Tyler (he's mine).

My mother, Ellie and Carla Cowan.

Half a beer and I was done at the bar. I knew I still had a bunch of stuff to get done before the show and only a day and a half left to do it. The saga continues...

Tuesday, November 06, 2007


I want to sell lots and lots of copies of Everybody I Shot Is Dead. Probably not for the reason you might think. It's not about the money. Okay, yes, I would like to cover the six figures my little publishing company has invested to date. But it's never really been about the money. My main motivation in toiling for months on end was to do my part in keeping the memory of the 48 wonderful musicians and 5 amazing dedicatees alive. And to do that, I need lots and lots of people to read the book, and then tell a bunch more people about it...and on and on and on.

But the reason it's not about financial gain for me is because of the very unexpected rewards that I have already received. Rewards that don't pad my monetary bank account. Instead, they overflow my internal bank account. You know, the bank account that beats in the middle of your chest. The bank account I hadn't really thought about in relationship to the book until last June. That was when I got the first ker-ching. The first gigantic deposit to the Bank of My Heart. Completely unexpected. A layer to the project I had never even thought about. It went something like this...

While in New York for Book Expo, I went for dinner with the wife (widow) of one of the musicians in the book. I can't tell you the particulars of who it was or which musician because I haven't asked permission to write about her here. No matter... their identities are not important to this story. Her husband passed away a number of years after I photographed him - years that had taken their on him and quite possibly, their relationship. Anyway, we had a nice conversation about him, her and me during a glass of wine and dinner. And then she looked through the mock-up of the book. I offered to open the book to her husband's section but she chose to start at page one and look at the whole book. Even though I watched her face as she looked at every picture, I really couldn't gauge her feelings toward me or the book when she looked at 'his' photos.

It wasn't until much later...she turned to me and said, "This book is a gift. You just reminded me of the man I fell in love with." Wow. I felt like the contents of Fort Knox had been deposited in me. I knew right then I had received a reward of untold value. I knew it didn't matter if I sold one book or a million books... nothing could possibly fulfill me more than those two sentences. That was when I realized one of the more important meanings of the book. Family. The people I am honoring in the book are not only music icons...they are sons and fathers, daughters and mothers...members of a family. Your family and my family.

As if that wasn't enough reward...fast forward to the latter part of July - the first time I met Ellie Gibbins in person. I had sent her an email through Mike Gibbins' myspace on July 17th to let her know Mike was being honored in my book. In case you live in a cave, Mike Gibbins was the drummer in Badfinger. She wrote back, then I wrote back and before we knew it we were email pen pals. Then, suddenly, she was coming to L.A. on vacation with a friend and we were arranging to meet for lunch at my favorite restaurant, Lucy's El Adobe. I had just received the wet proofs and couldn't wait for her to see the pictures of Mike, especially the full page shot that remains one of my favorite photos in the book. At the same time, I wasn't sure about how she might react because her husband had only recently passed away.

No worries, though. It was a GREAT lunch. So great in fact, that it started at 1pm and we didn't leave the restaurant until 7:30pm. We ate. We drank. We laughed. We cried. And most importantly, we celebrated Mike Gibbins. Ellie's friend, Paula, took these pictures:


Ellie's first look at the Badfinger section.

Anybody wondering why I'm bringing all of this up now? Long after any of it took place?

If you weren't, you are now. And just to be really mean, I'm going to make you wait 'til tomorrow to answer the why.

Taking The Show On The Road

There is never enough time to prepare. Never.

I could always use an extra day or two or three. And preparing for the Vancouver Show was no exception. The prints for the show took longer than initially expected. I ended up sending the first shipment (39 of the 90 images making up the show) to the gallery on a Friday for a Saturday delivery, one week before the opening. When we checked on Monday to confirm the delivery...um, no delivery. They were held up in customs because the broker hadn't set up the clearance. We were on the phone to the broker and FedEx and the gallery and the framers, who were freaking out (rightly so).

In the meantime, I was going crazy getting the rest of the prints together and packing for my Tuesday morning departure. The sizes on a redo on a Frank Zappa print and a Paul Butterfield print were flopped and would have to be done again and brought by another attendee. Likewise with the bulk of the t-shirts, which wouldn't be ready until Wednesday. I was signing prints until one in the morning prior to my 10am flight, oh, and tying up other loose ends until around 3am.

By some miracle, I managed to get my butt on the plane and made my way north...although, not to my destination of Vancouver. No. I had to fly to Seattle, rent a car, and drive to Vancouver. That's what you have to do when your passport application that you submitted on August 4th gets lost somewhere between Los Angeles and Quebec. Fortunately, the weather was nice and the drive gave me the opportunity to chill out and do a little quiet time thinking. Although now (one week later to the day) I have no idea what I was thinking. I also took a couple of pictures...while I was driving...not something I recommend or support...don't try this at home...

I was trying to get a good shot of Mt. Ranier. I could see it fine but the little digital couldn't quite pick up the contrast between the snow and the sky. But this mountain was no less spectacular, and look, only 112 miles to go.
Those boxes are containers making up a very long, moving train. The containers looked just like my book container, bringing back the fond memories of our shipping nightmare the previous week,
How crazy am I? Taking a picture through the window while driving in the very narrow two-lane Massey tunnel that runs under the Delta river. I couldn't help myself. I liked the color and the lights.

Within twenty minutes of the tunnel I was at the framers dropping off the 48 prints I hand-carried. This was last Tuesday at around 4:30pm. The shipment that was supposed delivered on Saturday still wasn't there...even though it cleared customs the previous day. I was pissed but there was nothing I could do. We had arranged for it to be held for a Tuesday morning pick-up at the FedEx office near the gallery. They didn't hold it. They sent it off on the truck. According to the driver, he attempted delivery at 12:06 on Tuesday. There were four people working at the gallery at that time but they didn't receive the package. By the time I was dropping off the hand-carried prints at the framers, no one (including FedEx) could locate the Saturday delivery package. It was nowhere to be found.

I left the framers and headed to the gallery to drop off a suitcase full of t-shirts, then headed to my hotel. What was left of Tuesday is a complete blur. I think I ate dinner in my room and did a bunch of work on my computer. Oh yeah, I was in the process of trying to retrieve emails from my corrupted Entourage database. That was fun. Not.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Baby Delivery Pictures

I'm trying to upload photos of the delivery. They say a picture's worth a thousand words. I guess blogger doesn't subscribe to that saying 'cause it's not letting me upload anything.

Check back. I'll try again this morning.

Okay...we have photo lift-off...

This is the truck that brought the books from Long Beach where the very same container that's on the back of the truck sat in the bowel of a docked boat for four long days.

This is the forklift I had to rent in order to take the books from the container. That's Jabriel, my former assistant, living out his childhood fantasies.

The pallets being removed. That's Phil on the left. He pitched in at the last minute to give us a hand. Thanks, Phil.

We basically took over the whole street. We got a few dirty looks but no formal complaints.

My turn on the forklift.

Because the books arrived so late, we had to immediately prepare the shipments going to the wholesalers and the Vancouver show. Most of the orders had to ship out via overnight air.

More pallets unloaded.

FedEx Ground Freight arrives to pick up pallets going to Vancouver and Nevada.

Day 2 Julie takes over the reins from Jabriel and we begin our next phase.