Saturday, January 05, 2008


I decided to spend this weekend cleaning up my disorganized mess so I can hit the ground running this Monday. Monday being the day that kicks off the first real work week of 2008.

The cleaning includes (wishing I could change that to included) getting all the 2007 stuff out of the files, trying to wade through a bunch of paperwork that belongs God-knows-where, catching up on about 8 months worth of accounting and cleaning up the seemingly always disheveled desk where I spend way too much time.

So, the day has gone like this...

The first pile on my desk was the stack of clips I picked up from my publicist yesterday. They all need to be filed but before that could happen there's a couple of them that I don't have up on the website. No problem. I'll scan those while working on some of the other tasks. And I also need to scan a couple of Badfinger shots not in the book that I promised to do last week - that is, before I got a nasty cold that sent me to bed for a few days.

Wait a second. On top of the scanner is the neg sheet from when I scanned my Dan Fogelberg pictures to honor him on this blog - oh my, how long ago was that? Uh oh, December 17. They've been sitting there for almost three weeks. That's not good.

I shot Dan when he opened for the Eagles at the Gardens in Vancouver. And in an effort to do some further cataloging of my photography, I had decided to scan the Eagles shots that same day. Except I didn't get past the first four strips (which is how many fit in my scanner at a time) of what I thought were the seven strips on the sheet. I pulled the strips from the scanner that I'd already done and figured I might as well finish the remaining three strips to complete the job...since they say it takes almost twice as long to finish an unfinished task that you have to restart.

And that's when I got a big surprise.

But wait just one second. I think I need to backtrack a little so you can get the full impact of my surprise.

If you've been following along with the making of Everybody I Shot Is Dead you know I diligently looked through all of my negs for anything that belonged in the book. Held them all up to the light checking and double-checking that I didn't miss out on honoring anyone who had passed on. I remember looking at this Eagles sheet, knowing that Dan Fogelberg was there, knowing that he was putting up a good fight against prostate cancer, praying for him and hoping I wouldn't have to add him to the book. I also knew when I looked at that Eagles sheet that each and every one of them - Glenn Frey, Don Henley, Randy Meisner, Don Felder and Bernie Leadon - was alive and well.

I knew that because the Eagles have always been one of my favorite bands. I consider Desperado a genius album. And the first time I shot them was when they toured for On The Border, an album that I played at least ten times straight the minute one of my roommates - a sales rep for Warner Bros. - brought it home prior to it hitting the stores. I liked the band enough that a year later I begged one of the Concerts West guys to get me a pass for a show they played at the Kingdome in Seattle, which required me to borrow a car from a friend and drive two and a half hours each way to shoot them for a second time...just for fun.

After I moved to Los Angeles, I always seemed to run into them around town, usually hanging out at the Dan Tanas bar a few doors down from the Troubadour. The last time I saw them actually play I didn't shoot them. It was the Hotel California tour (another genius album) and oddly enough, the show I saw wasn't in California (where I lived). At the time I was in the midst of working on my first book, London. I went to the show with my friend Fabio Nicoli - if you have Everybody I Shot Is Dead you can see pictures and read about Fabio in the dedications section at the front of the book - and since he was very well connected we not only had great tickets and backstage passes, we also had this... embossed foil-stamped scallop-edged invitation to the hottest party in London. It was a great party but that's a whole other story for another time.

My point of bringing all this extraneous information - remember this story is about a surprise - is so you'll see that my love for the Eagles at the time I was shooting may have only been second to my love for Led Zeppelin... meaning I should remember every second of each and every encounter I had with the band. And for the most part I think that's true, except for one forgotten moment in time that will now and forever be known as My Surprise.

Wait. I might be building this up too much. Please don't get too excited...I do not have pictures of the Eagles naked.

When I pulled out the last three strips from the Eagles neg sheet - a sheet I had definitely looked at last Spring when I was going through everything and anything that could possibly be in the book - I found an extra strip that had been coupled with the last strip on the bottom of the sheet. It was a little strip with only three frames on it. Three forgotten frames.

As soon as I held it up to the light I could see what it was and couldn't believe my eyes. If only this strip slipped out when I was going through my pictures for the book, one of the shots would have definitely been in there. And what's really weird about it is that I actually made a last pass through all my negatives specifically looking for these particular-type shots. If it had been any other Warner Bros band I would have combed through each and every frame. Like I did with Van Morrison (who's alive but in the book), George Carlin (also alive and in the book), Maria Muldaur, Brownsville Station and Black Oak Arkansas (all alive and in the book).

So why didn't I comb through the Eagles negs? Because I knew if I had taken these particular shots, I would have remembered. I knew they would be etched on my brain. Like my missing shots of John Lee Hooker playing solitaire backstage at the Jubilee auditorium.

But I didn't remember. Not until that little three-frame strip surprised the hell out of me today. Of course, as soon as I saw the photos, I totally remembered. Here's the first of the three frames...

Mark Wilson and Glenn Frey

For those of you who haven't seen Everybody I Shot Is Dead (yet?), Mark Wilson is one of the five people I dedicated the book to... and without Mark I wouldn't have had the opportunity to shoot many of the musicians in the book. After I took this first shot of Mark and Glenn, I got Glenn to take of his sunglasses and caught a shot of him with a big smile on his face, and then another of him taking a drink of whatever was in that cup. But I like this one...because of the sunglasses.

I'm still shaking my head that I missed putting one of these shots in the book to honor Mark - he would have liked it. But I'm also shaking my head for a whole other reason. Something that would have made an inscription I wrote oddly poetic. The inscription went something like, "I'm happy I didn't have to honor you in this book."

It was a copy my chiropractor bought as a Christmas gift for one of his other clients.

Glenn Frey.

1 comment:

yes said...

all we see is red x's!