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 not...it 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 clinic...at 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.