Wednesday, December 31, 2008

To You and You and You and You...

Wishing you (and me)...

...a stupendously serendipitous 2009!!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

A Time for Reflection?

Everybody does it around this time of year, right? Even if they don't admit it. I've been doing it full time since Christmas and off and on for all of 2008. Here's what I've figured out so far...

This year has been a real mixed bag for me. Lots of highs and lots of lows. Dunno why. I rode the high of 2007 for a good six months into '08 but then it mostly crashed and burned. I could really feel the onset of that little thing they were optimistically calling "the economic downturn" before it soon became known as "the recession" and I'm hoping won't become "the depression."

My lowest low came in August with Jaimie's brain surgery fiasco. The surgery itself wasn't a fiasco but everything that's come after it has been and continues to be. Of course, it's much worse for her because she is living it day after day but it definitely eats me up in ways I never expected. To the point that I feel like I had brain surgery too. But instead of installing a shunt in my head, they just decided it was best to remove my brain completely. You know, it's hard for me to be creatively prolific without my brain there to make a modicum of sense out of the sewage that pours out of my heart and soul. It's as if I am suffering from some sort of paralysis...the ideas are all there, swirling like a tornado through Kansas, but then pffft...I realize that I've just lost another hour, day, or week, time traveling in a fog.

Alright, stop right there. What a freakin' downer. More than enough reflection. Best to look forward. Figure out what I'm gonna do about it. How am I going to get back on the track and be the engineer of my life instead of the passenger? How am I going to rise up while the world economy continues to flush itself down the shitter? Is it even possible when most of us are living paycheck-to-paycheck? Uh oh...I don't even get a paycheck. Even so, somehow I've always managed to pull the proverbially rabbit out of the hat and I don't see why that should change now.

I'm not real big on New Year's resolutions. I think they set you up for failure. But I am going to make one. Just one. Seemingly simple. New Year's resolution.

I'm going to post something on this blog every single day in 2009.

Why would I make that my one resolution? Because I figure if I post every day, everything else will stay the course. And let's about with each blog entry I commit to posting a photograph. I think. Maybe. Or. Hmmm. Damn those swirling ideas with no brain to sort them out.

Anyway, if you don't see a new post you'll know I'm dead.

This should be fun.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Paul Butterfield's Birthday

He would have been 66 today, December 17th.

Check this out...the real deal at Monterey 1967:

Wish I coulda' been there.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Steal My Book

I've officially lost my mind!

For a whole lotta reasons I'm putting a last minute blockbuster blowout book sale on my website for the remainder of the month. Brand spanking new books for $25.

It's so low I can't even figure out what the discount is off the retail price. I just know it's even below the distributor price. Definitely below the amazon price. And they're signed. Heck, I'll even personalize them to the person(s) of your choice (now, I've really lost it).

Anyway, for those who are curious, those whole lotta reasons (watch me try and justify this apparent insanity) include but are not limited to:

1. I'm nice
2. I want every person to have a copy of my book
3. One of my distributors is sending back a few hundred books and I have no room for them.
4. It's the holidays and I feel like giving
5. I love you

So, now's the time to get the gift(s) you need for the music lover in your life (which should include everybody). And if you don't have a copy or two for yourself, it's time for you to join EISID owners such as Slash, Motley Crue bassist Nikki Sixx, and, Rick Vito and Mick Fleetwood caught enjoying their copies right here...

Actually, Mick Fleetwood gets a mention in the book. Do you know who's section he appears in and why?

Coming next...
How I found myself interviewing Mick Fleetwood and Rick Vito, and the show that followed.

Click the STEAL MY BOOK link to the right of this post to get your copy(s) now.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Mill Valley Public Library

I visited the Mill Valley Public Library today. When I was here in October I met a guy at Starbucks who told me about a photo exhibit the library had of a female rock'n'roll photographer who lived in the area. But alas, the only photos they had up were of Mill Valley itself taken from 1908 on. Very cool stuff but the closest one to rock'n'roll was a shot of some retail workers posing in front of their store with Huey Lewis in the late 80s.

While I was there I did something I've never done before. I went on their catalogue computer and looked for my book. Just for fun. Definitely not expecting it to be listed.

But there it was: Chesher, D - Everybody I Shot Is Dead - Cat# 761.88 Status: Check Shelf. How cool is that?

As I walked toward the shelf - a left at the last computer, a couple of aisles down, and take a right - I was thinking it would be fun to put a personal note in the book. I finally found the 761.88 shelf...but my book wasn't there. :-(

I considered asking the librarian about my book...why it wasn't on the shelf, if it was checked out, or maybe stolen?...but then I figured she'd think I was an egomaniac. I mean, what kind of person goes into a library in hopes of seeing their book on the shelf?

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Last Saturday Night

I still feel like crap...but here's a photo from the coolness that was last Saturday night. Any guesses on who the three people are in this picture?

Or where it was taken? And why? Being the evil person I am, I blocked out the logo on the bass drum. Sorry. But being the nice person that I am, all will be revealed soon.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Remembering Tom Evans

25 years ago today, Tommy Evans tragically passed away at the age of 36. He was the bass player for Badfinger and co-wrote many of their hit songs with Pete Ham. The story of their rise and fall in the music industry is a truly sad and cautionary tale.

June 5, 1947 - November 19, 1983

He was a sweet and talented man...a huge loss to the music world.

This is a very cool video that features Tommy Evans on vocals:

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

I'm Back...Almost

I would really attempt to write a full blown post...if I wasn't sweating like a penguin waddling along the Equator, and hacking like a 70 year old alcoholic with a three pack a day habit.

Check back in a day or two and I promise I'll have my story of my cooler than cool Saturday, complete with pictures.

Time to sleep off the remainder of this piece of shit illness that I think I picked up at the virus-infested American Film Market a week ago Sunday.


Sunday, October 12, 2008

John Denver

Eleven years ago today, an experimental airplane piloted by John Denver plunged into the ocean off the coast of California. A huge loss.

John Denver
12/31/43 - 10/12/97

Fly high, John.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Ronnie Barron's Birthday

The late great Ronnie Barron would have been 65 today.

I took this photo of him when he was playing with Paul Butterfield's Better Days. He also played with John Mayall when I was working with John on my book.

Unfortunately, Ronnie is one of the musical talents that has slipped through the cracks since he passed away, even though he had a substantial influence on music. I only found one video of him on youtube which was put up in June. The quality is crap but it's still worth a play.

Happy Birthday, Ronnie!

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

The Iceman

It's Albert Collins' 76th birthday today.

Nobody's cooler than the Iceman.

You can all chill to this...

Happy Birthday to the cool of cool.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Marc Bolan Again

This is what I think sucks. Two weeks ago was the 31st anniversary of Marc Bolan's death. And today is the 61st anniversary of his birth. I've said I before and I'll say it again...I really don't like it when people die right before their birthday. It just doesn't seem fair. Especially for Marc. Two weeks before the big 3-0.

Now that I got that out of the way, please sing a Happy Birthday to Marc. Out loud. So he can hear you. Loud, like he's singing in this photo...

It's his birthday...let him eat peach.

Happy Birthday, Marc.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Remembering John Bonham

It was 28 years ago today that John Bonham passed away.

Listen up...nobody does it better.

Moby Dick - Pt 1:

Moby Dick - Pt 2:

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Rick Wright

Rick Wright
July 28, 1943 – September 15, 2008

You should know by now that I hate it when someone I've photographed passes away. The mid-seventies was such an amazing and magic time for music. I wish I could have stopped time so all of us could relive those times in eternity. Rick Wright and the work of Pink Floyd was a huge part of the magic of the time.

These are two of my photos of Rick Wright, previously unseen, first time out of the box.

The following is an amazing video I found on youtube. I'm guessing you haven't seen it since it's only had 2800 views. Rick Wright is featured in the studio playing piano on his song, Us and Them. Well worth a look. According to Wikipedia, this was a staged session shot in January 1973, while they were mixing Dark Side of the Moon, and is on the 1974 re-release of film, Pink Floyd: Live at Pompeii.

Sunday, September 21, 2008


...I owe a memorial post to Rick Wright of Pink Floyd who passed away on September 15th. I shot Pink Floyd sometime in 1975. Barely. I have 18 bad (as in the 'bad' bad, not the 'good' bad) black & white frames and 14 semi-not great color slides. I don't remember much about shooting the show and don't remember if I even met them. I'd like to say I was on LSD or something...but I wasn't.

I remember seeing them, and meeting them, years later - around 1992 - in Los Angeles...the show with the giant floating animals, but then again, Rick wasn't with them then. And I didn't take pictures at that show.

Hopefully, I will have a chance to scan a photo of Rick tomorrow...after I meet my new accountants so I can get my 2007 taxes done.

Also, I am wishing Travis Barker and Adam Goldstein speedy recoveries. I never photographed Blink 182. But I did allow Jaimie to go to their concert at the Hollywood Palladium - her first - with some friends when she was fifteen. When I picked them up, Jaimie proudly lifted her shirt. Written in a fat black Sharpie on her abdomen was:


With a big arrow pointing downward to you-know-where.

Of course, she was thrilled. And I thank him for making her first concert a memorable one.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Marc Bolan and My Daughter

Thirty-one years ago today we lost Marc Bolan in a tragic car accident...
Less than three years after I took this photo of him...
And just as he was getting his shit together and making his comeback...

September 30, 1947 - September 16, 1977

And what could this possibly have to do with my daughter?

Today is her birthday.

Happy Birthday, Jaimie!!

Monday, September 15, 2008

It Is Brain Surgery - Part 3

D-day...or should I say S-day?

Not much sleep at the Travelodge the night before the surgery. I never sleep well when I know I have to get up at 5:30am. Jaimie had a girlfriend sleeping over at her place and it was decided that I would be the one to drive her to the hospital, where she had to arrive at 6:30am for a pre-op MRI, and Jaimie's friend would pick up Tyler and bring him to the hospital around nine.

When I woke up, Tyler was already up...actually he never went down. I guess he couldn't sleep and decided to spend the night researching his sister's surgery online. By morning he knew everything - definitely more than me, probably more than Jaimie (Miss Research herself) and maybe even as much as the surgeon. He decided he wanted to ride with us, so we checked out of the motel and raced up the hill to Jaimie's.

Of course, we were late. And, of course, it was all my fault. She insisted that I drive (her brother drives too slow) and haul ass across the Golden Gate bridge, into the city, up the gigantic hills, to the hospital. During the drive, Tyler asked her a technical question about the surgery - something about the kind of procedure she was having, whether it was the invasive or the other kind. She didn't know the answer but was happy he had taken such an interest and had done so much research.

I said practically nothing on the way there. I didn't mind that she was royally pissed at me. I knew it was just her way of dealing with her fear of what was to come. The least I could do was let her have at me. It was even okay when she didn't want me in the room where they prepped her for the surgery after she had her MRI. She only wanted Tyler. I stayed out in the waiting area until she gave in and sent Tyler out to get me. On our way back to her room, Tyler just had to point out this:

How crazy is that? What kind of hospital were we in? Did I really want my daughter operated on here? And what kind of mother names her kid Frank Stein?

I got in her room just in time to help her with the white stockings they make surgery patients wear. I took a picture of her putting them on but I can't post it here 'cause it's just way too sexy. It wasn't long after that the surgeon showed up. I hadn't met him before so it was really nice that he took the time (separate of Jaimie) to explain to me and Tyler what was going on and exactly what he was going to do.

The downside to the conversation was its dose of reality...this was a very serious thing that he was going to do and at that point I had thoughts of grabbing my little girl and running for the hills. It didn't matter that this guy was supposed to be the best at his job. The idea of him drilling through my daughter's skull and brandishing foreign objects into her brain did not sit well with me. What if he missed? What if he sneezed while he was guiding the shunt through the center of her brain? Unlike most of us, Jaimie actually uses her brain. Then there was the thought that the stuff he was putting in there was actually going to stay in there...for the rest of her life. Ugh.

I had hoped that the conversation with the doctor might offer some sliver of information that I could use to argue for a less invasive form of treatment. Like a vacation on Maui with rest and relaxation. Or even some untested medication. How about a dude with shrunken skulls on a stick? Anything besides the image I had of a Black & Decker drill busting through my kid's cranium. But then he said something that hit me like a Mack truck on a rainy day... "Generally we like to see the brain fluid pressure at 0. The highest acceptable pressure is 20. Jaimie's brain fluid pressure is at 25." I had to accept it. There was no turning back. The train had left the station.

Surprisingly, they let Tyler and me follow Jaimie into the operating area, after dressing up for Halloween, of course.

My son the doctor.

The real doctor checks her out.

The kids are alright.

I'm all looked like this to me.

All too soon, they booted us out of the inner sanctum and took back our scrubs. We were sent downstairs to the information desk in the hospital lobby, where we registered with a volunteer and were given a notification device that made me think we were waiting for a table at The Cheesecake Factory. We found some open seats in a back corner of the room that had a television running the Olympics. Not much of a distraction knowing that Jaimie was going through her own marathon. Tyler eventually got one of the love seat sofas and promptly passed out. I waited. And waited. And waited.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

It Is Brain Surgery - Part 2

The Elephant In The Room

Jaimie's surgeon required her to see a physician prior to her surgery, just to make sure she was healthy enough to go under his knife...and his drill. The appointment was set with some local general med doctor for the before I arrived but for some reason the doctor didn't show. Not the added pressure needed two days before brain surgery.

But, as usual, she had a plan b and quickly made an appointment at her school's 8:00am. And it was my job to drive her there. By the time I got to her place (remember, I'm on my Aero bed at the local Travelodge) and got her in the car, we were running a tad or two late. By the time we arrived she had me pull over and let her out before I parked the car. She moved so quick I didn't notice which door she entered. When I was done parking and went into the main entrance of the clinic she wasn't in the waiting room. Assuming she'd already been taken in, I sat on one of the hard wooden park benches, dropped my head back.

I'm not all that patient but for some reason I just sat there and didn't bother checking with the reception desk on Jaimie's progress. An hour had passed when I received a text message from her, "What are you doing?"

"Sitting in the waiting room. Where are you?"

"They wouldn't see me. Going at 10:30. I'm on campus."

Nice. I sat there for an hour for nothing. That was okay. She let me know the alternative would have been a verbal killing. Guess she needed the time to chill out. Turns out I only escaped death by verbs because I went to the wrong clinic. My lucky day.

For any screenwriters out there, this is a classic example of subtext (both behavioral and verbal). Even though it seems she was pissed at me, that wasn't it at all. It was the elephant in the room. You know, the little-mentioned fact that she was facing brain surgery the following morning.

I met her on campus after a quick snack at the Bear's Lair and by then it was time to head back to the clinic for her check-up. With that out of the way, her next distraction was to meet up with a friend on campus. On the way to lunch we decided to take a ride to the top of the Campanile, which for me (of course) created a photo op.

The Campanile built in 1914. Is it safe to go up there?

On a clear day you can see forever...

...and ever...

...unless you look down.

Yup, it's a long way down.

How clever does one have to be to come up with this set up?

Bells and Corinthian pillars?

Very big bells.

After lunch we headed back to Jaimie's place. And I can't for the life of me remember what we did after that. Not one bit of it. It's a blur. Maybe we bought a bag of peanuts and fed the elephant in the room.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

It Is Brain Surgery - Part 1

Time to get back to writing...and I may as well start here.

Sixteen days ago I was in my own brain spin trying to figure out why the hell my daughter had to have brain surgery. The idea of it was beyond surreal and farther out than out-of-body. Tyler (my other kid) was already up at my daughter's to help her focus on the couple of weeks she had left of summer school at Berkeley when we found out the surgery would be sooner than initially planned. Without Tyler around, I spent the days leading up to my trip in a complete fog. Running in circles. Trying to figure out what the hell I needed to do. Knowing I would be in Nor Cal for a few weeks. Not knowing what I should take. My daughter was the one that was having brain surgery. I was the one that was brain dead.

Somehow I managed to get myself and my bags together - which included an Aero bed that I purchased for a decent discount from a nearby going-out-of-business store so I wouldn't have to spend three weeks on the shitty single-bed fold-up futon I had given my daughter. I said my good-byes to Drama...
...and boarded the Super Shuttle to LAX at 1pm on Monday the 11th. (no, I could not find anyone to drive me to the airport).

It was my first time flying Virgin America - the only airline that seems to be on top of things these days in the realm of boarding early, taking off on time and arriving early. They have brand-spanking new aeroplanes with fancy purple lighting and hi-tech heavy plastic shelled seat backs complete with the latest in-flight entertainment system.

The only bad thing about the flight was that I left my sunglasses on the plane. Stupid, stupid, stupid.

Tyler picked me up at SFO - I was happy to see him. It was past 5:30 and I hadn't eaten all day so in the interest of having one last respite from the still-not-real reality of the impending brain surgery, I talked him into taking me to eat at Buckhorns. The last time he and I were in SF at the same time - must have been last year when I was dropping Everybody I Shot Is Dead at the printer's brokers - he picked up these amazing tri-tip sandwiches from a mall and I was, and remain, ga-ga for them. Although this time we were eating in so I ordered the tri-tip plate...

And trust me, it tastes even better than it looks. The eating court at this mall is like nothing I've seen before. All kinds of upscale gourmet-type places I haven't seen in L.A. or anywhere else for that matter. Like this place for all you Gelato lovers out there...

Not my thing but I had to take the photo because I was fascinated with how they groomed their mountains of ice cream, or whatever that stuff is.

We barely finished eating when Jaimie was calling wondering what was taking us so long. I don't think she was so much interested in seeing me as she was in getting Tyler back there to participate in the hair-cutting ceremony. It was actually on doctor's orders that she buzz-cut her hair two days before showing up at the hospital. They say it's important to cut it close but not to nick the skin in fear of apres-surgery infections. Personally I think they asked her to do it to save their shaver person the time it takes to do the whole head.

The cutting party started out by the pool with a few of Jaimie's friends, including a French couple doing an apartment swap who she'd only met two weeks before. One thing about Jaimie...she's good at picking up new friends. We each took turns grabbing a tuft of hair and snipping it about an inch from her scalp. Being the evil mother that I am, I was looking forward to seeing her look less than beautiful with a bad haircut...probably because I am still suffering with the worst-haircut-ever so much so that I've finally given up trying to do anything with it. But, as my luck would have it, she looked freakin' beautiful every step of the way. No matter how bad the haircut got she didn't look one lick less pretty. Fuck. That's. Just. Not. Fair.

After the poolside trim we retired to her apartment where Tyler took the clippers to her head (he was the only person she would let near her with the buzz-buzzy shears)...check this out...

This is a completely unretouched photo I took on my iPhone. I love this picture. It now resides in my all-time Top Ten.

After the joyous festivities Tyler and I gave the girl her space and retired to the near-by Travelodge where we had a room with one bed, which I gave to my son in favor of christening the Aero bed myself.

To be continued in It Is Brain Surgery - Part 2....

Monday, August 18, 2008

Happy Birthday, Dad

I am not quite ready to chronicle the craziness of the past week as I haven't had the time to bring it into any sort of communicable reality. But I will in the coming days.

However, today is my Dad's birthday. I wrote about him last year and it turned out to be one of my favorite posts. Somehow it carries even more meaning for me now so I'm giving it an encore...

Meet my dad. Cecil Chesher. He looks rather presidential, don't you think? And he was a president at least two times that I know of... when I was a baby he was president of the Calgary Stampeders (that's a professional football team in Canada for those of you scratching your heads), and he was president of his own company.

He was born in the very small town of Petrolia, Ontario and was an only child. His parents, George and Arlie, were of modest means. I never met my grandfather but Arlie was a fixture in our house throughout my childhood. She would arrive from Eastern Canada in early October for Christmas and would sometimes stay until Easter. I didn't mind. She made the best homemade bread and cinnamon buns in the Universe. She also taught us to play canasta and told really good stories.

My dad graduated from the University of Toronto with a degree in geological engineering when he was only eighteen. Yes, he was some sort of genius. He also had a knack of knowing where to drill for oil. While working for Shell he found the Jumping Pound Creek wells, which was a pretty big thing at the time (many, many years before I landed on the planet) and has even written up in a book or two. Whoa... I just came across this poster online at the that mentions my dad's accomplishments with regards to that find.

Wow, he would have only been in his early twenties when he accomplished that little feat and many years away from even meeting my mother. You can click on the poster if you want read the science-speak that my brain cells can't decipher.

He later started his own oil company and was also on the board of directors of an oil company based in Southern California. Thanks to that, I got my first taste of California as a kid. But you'll read a little more about that in my book so I won't spoil it for you here. My dad was also one of the founders of The Petroleum Club in Calgary. It was an upscale private club aimed at members of the oil community. I remember going there for dinner as a kid - getting all dressed up and feeling like we were dining with the Queen. They always had a jazz band playing and my dad would let me stand on his feet as he glided the two of us around the dance floor.

All the fun and fancy times ended around the time my parents split up when I was twelve. It was a bit messy as these things often are, but I was still able to see my dad on a regular basis and he was always there for me when I needed him. He was the one who taught me that if I wanted something done right I would have to do it myself. It was a great lesson that made me the independent person I am, but on the other hand it became so etched in my being that I am now just learning that it's okay to ask for help.

When I moved to Los Angeles in August of 1975, my dad was still living in Calgary but he also had a house in Palm Desert. I was struggling beyond belief when I first arrived in L.A. Shooting bands wasn't the problem. I just couldn't have a 'real' job here to support my photography while I was getting established because I didn't have a green card. But being instilled with way too much pride, I didn't have it in me to call my dad and ask for his help. He probably wouldn't have helped anyway... he wasn't the type of dad to give hand-outs.

Finally, in late September I somehow got booked to shoot an Australian band, Ayer's Rock, while they were recording at the Record Plant. The shoot would pay me enough money to cover a few bills and cover my gas to Palm Desert so I could visit my dad and pretend I was doing fine. I made arrangements with him to drive over the following weekend. It was perfect timing. His wife was going back to Calgary so we planned to spend the weekend alone, just catching up and reconnecting.

It was early Friday afternoon and I was sitting in the reception area of the Concerts West offices on Sunset Boulevard. I was waiting to see the main guy who I'd been trying to get an appointment with for two months. I had shot lots of shows they had promoted in the Pacific Northwest and I wanted to show them my pictures in hopes of them letting me shoot their shows in L.A. I planned to drive to the desert right after the appointment. I figured if I could bring my dad good news from the meeting and the Ayer's Rock job, he would give me advice on making my photography business work in L.A. Maybe I could even get him to invest. (An investment proposal would at least be a couple of rungs up from asking for a hand-out.)

So, there I sat, eavesdropping on everything the Concerts West receptionist said to the multitude of callers that rang in while I waited to see the big cheese...when suddenly my pager went off. I had a pager because I didn't have a home phone. Actually, I didn't even have a home. I was crashing wherever I could. And of course this was before cell phones were in every hand of the general public. As quickly as I hit the beeper button, my pager would go off again. And again. And again. What the hell... my pager would go days without beeping and suddenly I was the most popular girl on the block.

The receptionist looked at me and asked if I needed to use the phone. I didn't really want to call in for my message before the meeting - I wanted to stay focused - but she looked insistent so I picked up the phone and dialed. I had somewhere around ten messages. For some reason my pager hadn't been beeping all day. Until right before what I thought was the most important meeting of my life. I began listening to the messages. They were all from members of my family. My mother. My brothers. My sisters. Some of them had called more than once. None of them left me a message other than to call them back. There was only one member of my family that hadn't called. My dad.

The girl behind the desk couldn't help but notice the glazed look on my face when I hung up and asked if I could make one more call. I phoned my brother in Calgary and got the news I expected. My dad was dead. About the time I hung up the phone and tried to regain my composure, the big cheese emerged from his office. Both he and the receptionist saw there was something terribly wrong, so I had no choice but to tell them my dad had died. They offered to reschedule the meeting. I said no, I was fine to go ahead with it. In my head I was thinking about how long it had taken me to get the meeting. And my dad had also taught me pragmatism. He would have wanted me to go through with the meeting. What I didn't realize was that it was more uncomfortable for them than it was for me. I should have rescheduled.

Anyway, I ended up going to the desert that weekend but not before I picked up my brother at LAX. My other brother was already there. The three of us spent the weekend talking about our dad. And we had a few ghostly experiences - stories that I'll save for another time.

I guess you're wondering why the hell I'm writing all this personal stuff about my dad. First of all, it was his birthday on Saturday. But mostly, I thought you should get to know him. Because if it weren't for my dad, Everybody I Shot Is Dead would not be coming out this Fall. You see, my dad left a rather unorthodox will. It's a bit complicated and there's no reason to go into detail other than to say that I received my remaining share a couple of years ago. I put it away as the seed money to build my nest egg on, swearing I would never touch it.

I actually had no intention of publishing this book myself, but I reconsidered after I read through my journals and relived the torture of all the meetings I had with the big NY houses before I decided to publish Starart. Then, as I walked by my dad's picture that hangs on the wall between my living and dining rooms, a thought washed over my mind. I should check and see how much this book is going to cost to print, knowing full well that there was no way I could afford to do it...especially the way I wanted it.

Still, I figured there was no harm in checking. Remember what my dad always told me: if you want something done right... So, I went to a bookstore and scoured all the books that lived up to my quality standards. I found a printer and submitted the specs for an estimate. Turns out my dad's money was the exact amount I needed to print the book. What are the chances of that? I took that as a sign. That, and the fact that taking pictures of rock stars was the one thing he knew I was doing. Oh yeah, and he paid for my camera. And now I can't help thinking that's exactly how it was supposed to be. It just seems fitting that my dead father is financing my dead rock star book. Making it possible for me to honor these fine musicians. I just hope he knows I am also honoring him.

Thanks, dad. And Happy (Belated) Birthday.

Hey, I'm not belated this year. Happy Birthday, Dad.

Monday, August 11, 2008

If You're Going To San Francisco...

Well, I am. But I forgot to get the flower for my hair. My clippy will have to suffice.

I haven't had much sleep so I'm a bit wonky at the moment but wanted to write a few words about what's going on. The most important words I have to write are


to everyone who has stopped by and now have Jaimie in their thoughts and prayers, especially during Wednesday morning PST. She doesn't want me to write a lot of details about what's going on with her but I can say that she's doing her best to stay distracted and I think we're all looking forward to getting the actual surgery over with so we can report the good news that it went perfect.

I am completely taken aback by the outpouring of love and support from friends and strangers alike. Several people have been spreading the word and through the "big brother" aspect of the internet I want you to know that I know who you are :-). At least some of you. So thanks Shawna, Bill, Dave, Cooper, Scott. And a special thanks to all who've sent her an email. She will be reading all of them tomorrow.

And thanks to all the wonderful people who have reached out and were able to purchase books, prints and t-shirts. You have all breathed air into our life raft.

Tonight is the head shaving party. I do have my camera. I don't know if I'll get permission to post anything. Gotta flight is boarding.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Brain Surgery

Two little words. Separately they're pretty harmless. Together they suck big time.

Those of you who know me personally, know that I'm a pretty private person, especially when it comes to my family and friends. And for those of you I've never met, even though I write a blog and dish all kinds of personal stories, I never/rarely write about private issues and what I write on here about people who are still alive and kicking is done with their permission. Sometimes I take the piss out of people on my blog - which is really tricky because what's written tongue-in-cheek often gets misinterpreted and taken at face value. But I trust that my readers (and I thank all who read my writings) are cutting edge enough to get my sense of humor.

Anybody figure out that I'm skirting an issue here? Yup, I am. Dragging it out because it's really hard to write about. Way outside the realm of things I wish to share. Jesus fuck. It's so surreal at this point that I think it's actually a lie. Some kind of cosmic joke. Or something I dreamed - I mean nightmared - that I'm writing as if it's real. Thinking I'll get a call from someone asking me what the fuck I'm going on about. Maybe Mick Jagger will call and say, "It's just your imagination, running away with you." Please, I'll take any one of those scenarios over the one I know to be true.

Okay, Chesher, get on with it.

I have a daughter. Her name is Jaimie. She is an undergraduate student at UC Berkeley. Not only is she beautiful and funny, she is also a straight A student (except a B+ that some ho-bag temp teacher gave her because...well, it doesn't really matter but she deserved an A). Jaimie wasn't happy that her 4.0 got blown out to a 3.95 or whatever it is now. She is hoping to go to Columbia (the university in NY, not the country) for grad school. She reads smart person books and enjoys them. You know the ones. Those books you get assigned in school and choose to read the Cliff notes because you can't get past the verbage. I think they call them The Classics. She's way, way, way smarter than me. She uses her brain. That's why I call her my acadamia nut.

And that's why this is such a hard pill to swallow. Why it makes this the hardest sentence I've ever had to write. Because if I write it, I can't deny it's truth.

My daughter is going to have brain surgery next Wednesday morning.

Just the thought of it makes me feel like I have to puke. Writing it down and reading the words makes the blood in my body surge through my veins at double-speed, while simultaneously draining my body of all life. And then it just makes me cry.

I'll talk more about what's going on with her brain in subsequent posts but for now I'll just say she has - feel free to click on the link to read more about it.

Right now I need to ask for your help. Since starting Everybody I Shot Is Dead over two years ago, I have invested every penny I've had into the project and borrowed beyond my means to bring it to fruition, leaving myself no cushion in case of emergencies (yes, I'm that stupid). While I'm hoping to break even by the end of the year, at the moment I'm just managing to get by and keep the wolves at bay in these trying economic times. So now I need to raise a bunch of benjamins to pay the over-and-above expenses our insurance won't cover, my travel expenses to NoCal, the three-plus weeks of lost income while I'm up there taking care of my girl during her recovery, etc, etc.

Please understand I'm not looking for any handouts here. That's not how I roll. I'm here to offer you some great deals on my wares. The only favor I'm asking is that if you have any plans to purchase something from me in the future, that you do it now instead of later. If you're going to be looking for a birthday gift for someone who has everything, please consider a print or book or t-shirt. And instead of waiting 'til the last minute to do your Holiday shopping, how about getting it done early, right here, right now. Any little bit will help.

If even you can't buy anything, you can still help us out in other ways. Here's some suggestions:

1. Send your positive thoughts to Jaimie via email - - even if she doesn't know you she'll appreciate hearing from you. She's a crazy-brave girl but she's not without fear. A few kind words will help her get through this ordeal.

2. Say a prayer for her and keep her in your thoughts, especially on Wednesday morning (PST).

3. Email your friends with a link to this post.

And, if you are a blogger, please post a link and encourage your readers to stop by.

Here's a listing of the cool stuff you can get at below wholesale prices:

Original Photographic Prints

I took these photos of the prints today...they do not represent the quality of the prints. To see a more accurate representation of the print quality .

George Harrison
16x20 Signed Limited Edition #16/75 Framed (approx 20x25)
$500 including free US shipping
(item ref: harrison123leF)

Harry Nilsson
16x20 Signed Limited Edition #13/75 Framed (approx 20x25)
$400 plus shipping ($25 US)
(item ref: nilsson206leF)

Jerry Garcia/Grateful Dead
16x20 Signed Limited Edition #13/75 Framed (approx 20x25)
$400 plus shipping ($25 US)
(item ref: garcia69leF)

John Bonham/Led Zeppelin
16x20 Signed Limited Edition #12/75 Framed (approx 20x25)
$400 plus shipping ($25 US)
(item ref: bonham171leF)
This is the actual photo seen on the NBC Mo Rocca interview.

Jerry Garcia
11x14 Signed Open Edition Framed (approx 17x20)
$175 plus shipping ($15 US)
(item ref: garcia70oeF)
(only one available at this price)

Papa John Creach
11x14 Signed Open Edition Framed (approx 17x20)
$175 plus shipping ($15 US)
(item ref: creach138oeF)
(only one available at this price)

Papa John Creach
11x14 Signed Open Edition Framed (approx 17x20)
$175 plus shipping ($15 US)
(item ref: creach143oeF)
(only one available at this price)

Dennis Wilson/Beach Boys
11x14 Signed Open Edition Framed (approx 17x20)
$175 plus shipping ($15 US)
(item ref: wilsonD57oeF)
(only one available at this price)
This is the actual photo seen on the NBC Mo Rocca interview.

Frank Zappa
11x14 Signed Open Edition Framed (approx 17x20)
$175 plus shipping ($15 US)
(item ref: zappa49oeF)
(only one available at this price)
This is the actual photo seen on the NBC Mo Rocca interview.

George Harrison
11x14 Signed Open Edition Framed (approx 17x20)
$175 plus shipping ($15 US)
(item ref: harrison123oeF)
(only one available at this price)
This is the actual photo seen on the NBC Mo Rocca interview.

11x14 Signed Open Edition Framed (approx 16x18)
$175 plus shipping ($15 US)
(item ref: badfinger44oeF)
(only one available at this price)

11x14 Signed Open Edition Framed (approx 16x18)
$175 plus shipping ($15 US)
(item ref: badfinger41AoeF)
(only one available at this price)

Tom Evans/Badfinger
11x14 Signed Open Edition Framed (approx 16x18)
$175 plus shipping ($15 US)
(item ref: evans40BoeF)
(only one available at this price)

Mike Gibbins/Badfinger
11x14 Signed Open Edition Framed (approx 16x18)
$175 plus shipping ($15 US)
(item ref: bibbins47oeF)
(only one available at this price)

Pete Ham/Badfinger
11x14 Signed Open Edition Framed (approx 16x18)
$175 plus shipping ($15 US)
(item ref: ham43oeF)
(only one available at this price)

Maureen Starkey and kids at Friar Park
11x14 Signed Open Edition Framed (approx 16x18)
$175 plus shipping ($15 US)
(item ref: starkey4oeF)
(only one available at this price)

Ringo Starr
16x20 Signed Limited Edition #14/75 Unframed
$275 plus shipping ($7 US)
(item ref: starr#14le)

Frank Zappa
16x20 Signed Limited Edition #16/75 Unframed
$275 plus shipping ($7 US)
(item ref: zappa49#16le)

George Harrison
16x20 Signed Limited Edition #17/75 Unframed
$300 including free US shipping
(item ref: harrison121#17le)

George Harrison
16x20 Signed Limited Edition #18/75 Unframed
$300 including free US shipping
(item ref: harrison121#18le)

George Harrison
16x20 Signed Limited Edition #17/75 Unframed
$300 including free US shipping
(item ref: harrison123#17le)

Ringo Starr
11x14 Signed Open Edition Unframed
$75 plus shipping ($6 US)
(item ref: ringo-oe)
(only one available at this price)

Terry Kath/Chicago
11x14 Signed Open Edition Unframed
$75 plus shipping ($6 US)
(item ref: kath99oe)
(only one available at this price)

11x14 Signed Open Edition Unframed
$75 plus shipping ($6 US)
(item ref: badfinger44oe)
(only one available at this price)

Paul Butterfield
11x14 Signed Open Edition Unframed
$75 plus shipping ($6 US)
(item ref: butterfield29oe)
(two available at this price)

Frank Zappa
11x14 Signed Open Edition Unframed
$75 plus shipping ($6 US)
(item ref: zappa49oe)
(two available at this price)

Maurice Gibb/Bee Gees
11x14 Signed Open Edition Unframed
$75 plus shipping ($6 US)
(item ref: gibb107oe)
(one available at this price)

These prints are not currently available on my website. If you are interested in ordering one or more of the above prints, please email with questions and fro purchasing instructions. International orders are welcome on the unframed prints - shipping will be quoted on request. The above prints are available on a first-come first-served basis.

If you miss out on your favorite 11x14 open edition print above or you don't see the musician you want to hang on your wall, you won't be left out. All 11x14 prints of any Everybody I Shot Is Dead photograph will be available for $95 plus shipping through the end of August. Email to order now. I will try and have ordering of these directly through my website soon.

Other items you can order directly on my website:

Thank you very much for your support and positive thoughts.