Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Steve Currie

27 years and one day have passed since T-Rex bass player Steve Currie was killed in a single vehicle crash near his home in Spain at the age of 33.

This is the one and only photo I took of him...but one of my favorites.

Here he is with Marc Bolan and Mickey Finn (also passed) at a UK show in 1972.

Friday, April 25, 2008

The Fest for Beatle Fans

Dateline March 28 - 30, 2008 (wow...I'm almost a month behind)

In all the 30+ years the Fest for Beatle Fans (aka Beatlefest) has been going on, I had never been. I probably could have participated with Starart since Klaus Voormann was one of the artists and there is a lot of Beatle related art in the book. But I didn't. And it turns out that Mark - the guy that runs/owns the Fest - attended the gallery opening of Starart on Klaus' invitation. What the hey?

We were up fairly early - ten-thirty is early if you didn't get to bed until 3am, right? - on day one of the Fest and on the road in our SUV to pick up the Everybody I Shot Is Dead display prints and books at Fed-X somewhere in New Jersey. That was easy-peasy with the help of my iphone GPS mapping feature. We arrived at the hotel in Seacaucus around 1pm giving us four hours to set up before the doors opened. Seems like a long enough time to set up one 4x6 table...maybe even long enough to catch some lunch and a beer in the hotel bar?


It turned out there was no wall behind our table as I had been promised, meaning I could not display any of my prints. So we had to hi-tail it over to the local Home Depot (thanks to iphone we found one in a jiffy) and pick up a couple of plywood panels to prop up behind the back table. of course we didn't cut them down enough so they had to be taken back for a trim. Then we had to get some white sheets to wrap them in and some bungee cords to hold them in place.

As the five o'clock hour rolled around and the throngs of Beatle fans stampeded through the doors, we were still setting up. It really pissed me off that our neighbor to the right showed up at 4:45 and was set up and ready to sell promptly at 4:59. Meet my neighbor:

Not in a million years did I think I'd ever live next door to a Munster. Even if it was only for three days. My close proximity to Butch made Rob (see the guy three posts down with the cucumber in his mouth) extremely jealous. Seems that cucumbers aren't his only fetish!

The three days pretty much blurred into one long stretch. Long hours, a lot of talking, meeting lots of very nice people, eating crappy food, selling some books and prints and tee shirts, eating more crappy food, meeting more nice people, talking and talking and talking.

This was our table. That's Tyler helping out a customer. I couldn't have managed without him.

We shared this delectable delight...two times...yikes.

Snack time.

My lunch on day two. It was very good. Thank you, Tyler.

Too many Beatles. They were everywhere. Why?

That's me onstage speaking about my many Beatle-related experiences.
The photo is not blurry...I am.
Never looked better.

Overall I had a really good time and as I said, met many wonderful people. It's nice to get out of my lonely lair every once in a while. I thinking about going to the next Fest for Beatle Fans. It's in Vegas at the end of June. I can drive there. And I can play blackjack. That might be fun. Oh yeah, Rob's going to be there. I can spend three days taking the piss out of him. That might be even more fun.

See y'all on the Strip.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Pete Ham Forever 27

Badfinger's Pete Ham passed away 33 years ago today, just four days before he would have turned 28. His is one of the more rock'n'roll tragic stories. But I don't want to dwell on that. I prefer to celebrate Pete Ham. His life. His music. His legacy.

Say a prayer for him and his family today. Then turn on and turn up some Badfinger tunes over the next five days.

Pete Ham
April 27, 1947 - April 23, 1975

To get the party started, here are just two of the many brilliant songs from Badfinger. Without You and No Matter What.

Monday, April 21, 2008

I Failed Miserably

So much for my feeble attempt to post every day on my trip. Suppose I could just backdate these posts...but I won't because I believe in accountability. I'll just ask you to pretend this is the night of March 27, 2008.

A day that ended very memorably with a radio interview on the Joey Reynolds show at WOR. I hadn't had a chance to listen to his show in the days prior to my stint (which I usually do, btw) so I had no idea what to expect. But I was definitely surprised when we pulled up in front of their building...
I mean, how classy is this?

I shoulda dressed up. Look at this hallway leading to the elevators.

And the history. Wow. Hey, check me out - it's a self portrait. I've always wanted to be part of an old school baseball.

Yup, this is a classy, classy place and I'm going to have a wonderful intellectually stimulating interview. Without a doubt.

After signing in at security I take the elevator up to the - shit, I don't remember the floor...5th? 6th? 7th?

Then I exit the elevator...and see this...

What the hell?
Wait, I've seen this guy before...um...Times Square. That's it. The Naked Cowboy.
But why is he here? At my interview?

Wanting to have his picture taken with me?

He made me do this. I swear. Really. That's the God's truth.

Well, the Naked Cowboy was also there for an interview. And so was another girl who I had not previously heard of...Ivy Supersonic. She's some sort of institution in the New York scene. I think she's famous for designing those big feather hats that Pamela Anderson used to wear. I will eventually put the interview up on my website and you can count the number of times Ivy was bleeped.

We all ended up in the studio together for group sex... er, I mean a group interview.

L to R: filmmaker Nick Gaglia, Ivy Supersonic, Naked Cowboy, actor George Gallagher and Me.

Align CenterNick and George were there shooting Joey Reynolds for a movie they're making.

You may think I'm performing a nasty sexual act on Mr. N. Cowboy. Actually I was checking out his money hole. And that's all I'm going to say about it. You can figure out the rest for yourself.
And here I am - looking a little peaked - with Joey Reynolds at 12:34am.

After the initial gang interview - which was taped for a 4am broadcast - they asked me to stay on for the first hour which was live at 1am. I did. And then I stayed even longer. 'Til 2:00am. Because they had a bunch of really good food. I was hungry by that point. So hungry I forgot to take pictures of the food.

By the time I got to sleep at 3am I was beat. What was I thinking? I knew I had to get up early the next day to pick up my shipment of books and pictures, then set up our table at the Fest for Beatle Fans.


Okay...that's one travelblog down, leaving me only 15 or so to go.

In the meantime, I'll add a "What's going on today?" so I won't have to continue catching up for the months to come.

I am currently in the middle of my mad dash to complete the key art design on 8 movies that I'm doing for Cannes. I managed to complete seven comps today on three of the movies. Not bad. Since getting back to LA I've been getting up at 6am every day, which is actually really helpful in getting more accomplished during the day. Although, it means I'm bagged by 9pm...and that's about now.

Plenty of interesting news coming up on the book front. Just can't share it quite yet.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Traveling and Blogging

As it turns out they don't exactly go together like tea and crumpets or tweedle dee and tweedle dum. There's a really good reason why I haven't posted about my trip...there's just no time!

(I swear somebody spiked Father Time's English breakfast tea with speed - seems like every time I blink an hour passes. I kid you not.)

Take today for instance. I got up at 8am. Spent the first couple of hours editing photos from a movie I'm expected to provide artwork for on my return to Los Angeles next weekend. Then I got ready to catch the train for a lunch appointment with Rob (you'll meet him shortly). Caroline (my amazing screenwriting friend who has been kind enough to let me crash at her adorable English manor) speedwalked me to the train so I could catch the 11am to London Victoria.

I love train rides...

Doesn't this train look like a super happy animated character who has
play dates with his best friend Thomas or the Little Engine That Could?

Meet the nameless guy sitting across from me. When he wasn't hacking as if he'd smoked four packs a day for 50+ years, he was babbling to himself or reciting Macbeth...not sure which.

That train looks like it's in italics...or going really fast.

Let me see...reflections of a train?

I'm very upset that they erect buildings like this.

Crossing the Thames.

Victoria Station (ceiling)

Catching the tube.

The tube inside.

Leaving the tube.

Okay, so all that took an hour. Including the short walk to Rob's hotel to meet him for our 12 o'clock lunch. He took me to a fantabulous Lebanese restaurant where he ordered a scrumptious mezzes meal.

I mean...come on!

Told you you'd meet Rob.

He has a record and DVD company and is interested in bringing me on board for a project. Dare I?

After lunch we went round (by car) to Tony Palmer's house (who I originally met in LA and is a great music documentary maker). Rob is releasing the DVD of Tony's amazing BBC series All You Need Is Love: The History of Popular Music that originally aired in 1977. They've hired Tyler (my son) to edit a promo for youtube which I will definitely pimp on here when it's up.

After Tony's we were off to some meeting Rob had in some other part of London (the other side of the Kew, which is an amazing botanical gardens). He dropped me at a coffee place...

...where I had this deliciously large cappucino (decaf) and did a little more work on those dastardly movie posters. Then he showed up with the two guys he was meeting with - Tony and Jim - who he was in the midst of signing to release their new records. Turns out they were Jim Diamond (Alexis Korner) and Tony Hymas (Jeff Beck) from the short-lived 80s band Ph.D.

On our way to Jim's place for a wrap-up chat we stopped at the office of some major A-list rock star and now I can't remember who it was...he wasn't there anyway.

Then it was back in the car to drop off a bunch of CDs or DVDs of Rick Wakeman for Rick Wakeman at the production company where he does his current stuff. I asked Rob where it was and he said, "Some film studio."

Um, yeah...just 'some' film studio:

I barely caught the photo of the sign on the security booth because they just breezed us in (very un-Hollywood) and within seconds we were in a less than impressive office speaking with Ben. Ben had possibly the best English accent I've heard yet. He was so upbeat I could have sworn he'd just walked off a Monty Python movie and was posing as the guy at the production company.

As it turns out they do a bunch of stuff with Greg Lake (of Emerson, Lake and Palmer fame for those of you who were born yesterday) so I happened to mention that I shot them way back when. He seemed delighted by that and took my information. Then as Rob was collecting some swag for his troubles (why didn't I get any swag?) I realized they also do Yes...and guess what? I shot them too. So, maybe I'll do a little business with this company in the future. But only if Ben calls me so I can listen to him talk.

After Shepperton - I think it was after - we made a quick stop at the Hatch Farm. There were riding stables there and also a magnificent house owned by a guy named Terry who does DVD authoring for Rob's company.

After that, we were off to Bill's.

On the way to Bill's - which is in the country - we passed this... hard to see from my iphone photo but it's the two walls left standing from an old stone manor (I think). And, yes, that's my finger in the picture. I am a professional photographer. I am a professional photographer. I am...

Then we got to this one-lane bridge. I took this photo for the sign that you can't read. It says "Weak Bridge"... why'd they have to tell me that?

It's like pulling teeth to get information out of Rob but I managed to find out who the mysterious Bill was'is...but only in bits and pieces. He's a drummer... He played with Yes... He played with King Crimson... He played with Genesis... yeah, so what?

And we were meeting at the White Horse Pub in the quaint little village of Shere, which I later found out from Bill was the location for the British part of the Cameron Diaz/Jude Law/Kate Winslet/Jack Black movie "Holiday."

Stunningly quaint...

...and stunningly quainter.

My first pub meal of the trip...Shepherd's Pie...yum, yum.

Rob and Bill (Bruford).

Bill was extremely nice and very interesting to talk to...he left the rock'n'roll side of music many years ago for his true passion as a jazz drummer. You can learn more about him on his website at billbruford.com (sorry, I'm too tired to do the quick-click link).

Since I didn't take a photo of the outside of the pub when it was light out I had to do it on the way out when it was dark...on my first attempt I was forced to leap out of the way of an oncoming car and got this:

This is my second attempt. It's about a 3 second hand-held exposure
so don't give me any grief about blur. It has way more atmosphere
and natural coloring than any dreaded flash shot.

After that I was driven back through the dark woods of the country, back to the city and home to Chez Caroline.

So, I hope you've learned why it's so hard to blog whilst traveling. The days are jam-packed. The time flies by. And this single post took over two hours, and now I got an email from Rob telling me it was fun hanging out today and would I like to come round the hotel tomorrow at 11 for another tour of duty. That means less the seven hours sleep.


Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Peter Wood

Peter Wood would have been 58 today. If you've read Everybody I Shot Is Dead you already know I have a certain affection for this particular Peter, even though he could be a bit of an imp. This is one of my top ten favorite photographs in the book and Peter Wood is one of the unsung heroes that I want everyone to remember.
He was an amazing keyboard player and writer - he co-wrote Year of the Cat with Al Stewart - but he was also an excellent photographer. He took the photo of me that I used on the cover of my book. It couldn't be more perfect and I thank him for that.

He also took another one of me that I decided to put in the book. And I get a lot of comments on how cute it is - so thanks for that one too. The top one is the Al Stewart Band (the six guys in back) with band manager Luke (front right), record rep Monica Netupsky (front center) and Janus record dude Alan. The middle one is Peter and his cracker and the bottom is the candid he shot of me.
It's hard to find footage of Peter. I wanted Year of the Cat since he also wrote it but all the versions on youtube are done after he parted ways with Al Stewart. But...he also played keyboards (and accordian) on Lou Reed's 1984 album New Sensations so I managed to dig up this footage while he was touring with Lou. And of course it doesn't get any better than Lou Reed. You can really see Peter playing up close from the 7 minute mark on.

Happy Birthday, Peter! I miss you. Think of you often. And wish I could see you the way you were in 1975 just one more time.

Saturday, April 05, 2008


I am so behind on my posts...

Internet access has been sporadic. And my time in New York has been filled with meeting and hanging out with some very cool people.

Anyway, I have a bunch of pictures and stories to share but I'm being picked up at the ungodly hour of 4:30am for JFK - shit, that's three and a half hours from now - so I have no time to write plus I have a splitting headache. I'll try and prep my catch-up posts while I'm on the plane to London and post them when I have internet access over there.

This trip is passing way too fast.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Out of Control

Yes I am.

First, my apologies to Malcolm Roberts for missing his birthday yesterday. He would have been 64.
Happy Belated Birthday, Mr. Roberts!

Seriously, things are a little out of control. I'm feeling discombobulated. That's a word, right? The Beatle Fest...oops, scratch that...the Fest for Beatle Fans was three full days of mayhem. Mostly, in a good way. But I haven't had a minute to spare since I blogged last Thursday. So, I'm going to try and catch up in a chronological fashion.

One problem is I can't access the internet where I'm staying. There is internet but it just doesn't work on my computer. So, other than quick stuff I can do from my ultra cool thank-god-I-bought-it new iphone, I have to hoof it three blocks to the local Starfucks. I'm calling it that because they insist on keeping the temperature at 40 below zero. My fingers are beginning to ice over an get stuck on the keyboard. It's near t-shirt weather in New York today but I am huddled over this tiny round table wearing a long sleeve sweater covered with a hoody wrapped in a coat...and still needing to blow what's left of my hot air on my hands every third word.

I guess I last left you on Thursday morning. Thursday...what happened on Thursday? As I recall, it went by really fast. Time to check my food pictures. Wait, I remember. I worked on some stuff at Starbucks in the morning and at 1pm Tyler and I went down to budget to pick up an SUV. I forgot to take a photo of the SUV. Then we went to Staples to pick up a printer to use at the Fest. After that I think Tyler went to class and I hung out at the apartment - working - until he got back and we picked up a quick dinner...

...(please don't judge me by the horrible food I'm eating on the road) before we had to head way downtown for my radio interview.

More on that in my next post, but here's the teaser...this is what greeted me when I walked in the door:

This should be fun.