Thursday, January 31, 2008

Happy Birthday, Terry Kath

*Note: Practically giving away a TK print .*

Yes, it was just last week that I posted a tribute to the 30th anniversary of Terry Kath's untimely demise. What makes it even sadder is that the tragedy happened before he could celebrate his 32nd birthday.

But this post is about his birthday. So let's celebrate. Knock back a margarita for him. He would have been 62 today.

Terry Kath on groupies:

His singing Makes Me Smile:

Tuesday, January 29, 2008


This is what I look like as a Simpson.

I think I look much cuter as a Simpson. Much cuter.

Beginning tomorrow morning I will stalking Matt Groening until he agrees to turn me into a real toon. Forever.

You too can be Simpsonized by clicking .

Wednesday, January 23, 2008


*Note: Practically giving away a TK print .*

Today was the 30th anniversary of Terry Kath, the brilliantly talented guitar God of Chicago.

If you don't believe me (about how talented he was) check this out, then try and argue with me.

Terry Kath
1/31/46 - 1/23/78

I barely knew him but I sure do miss him.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Can't Live With 'Em...

...can't live without 'em.

Computers. And I'm currently in the can't live with 'em mode.

I was working on my PowerBook this morning when the cursor suddenly froze in the upper left corner of the screen. I rebooted. Still frozen. I restarted from my Leopard disk, did a hard drive repair then rebooted. Still frozen. Took it to the computer store. They wanted to keep it to do a diagnostic. I decided to reinstall the OS. Booted up from the disk again but it wouldn't let me do an archive and install.

So I bought a new 500 gig drive and left the computer for them to backup my hard drive since I hadn't backed up in a few days. Picked up the hard drive and they kept the computer to do the diagnostic and try and fix it.

Now I'm working off an older PowerBook that has been having its own problems of late. Lots of crashing and problems powering up. It runs panther and I can't find a panther disk around here to save my life. It also has less ram. Since my computer runs leopard I can't open some of the stuff I need to work on. I can't even open my email.

I'm hoping to get the diagnostic results back tomorrow. If it's a hard drive problem or logic board (again) it will take even longer because they have to order parts. Luckily I'm covered by Apple Care. Even so, this is a giant pain in the ass. My computer is an extension of my right arm. We're attached at the hip. I am a slave to a box.

I think I'm screwed.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Groove Night

I am continually amazed and dismayed at how time flies.

January 19, 2008.


We are well on our way into the New Year. A blink or two and it will be February. And a few blinks after that we'll be closing in on 2009.

Last year at this time I was neck-deep in figuring out how I was going to get Everybody I Shot Is Dead done, having just decided to not got the NY big house publishing route (for a second time) and realizing that I needed to have it done and printed by Fall. Somehow I made that deadline but I still wish I could turn back the clock and have a little more time.

But this post is not about that. It's about how time flies. And I need to go back one more year to illustrate that point.

It was two years ago that I went to Groove Night and reunited with someone from my rock'n'roll past. And since I am going to Groove Night for a second time, I thought I'd replay the story from the beginning. This is how it all went down as I recalled it in a five-part series in 2006 (fuck, was it really that long ago?). Hope you enjoy this blast from the past. You might wanna grab a sandwich before you start - it's not as long as War and Peace, but it comes close.

Then and Now (Chris Parker & Me Part I)

I have always been nomadic. Maybe that's what attracted me to shooting live concerts. The musicians were nomads too. They'd come to town for a day or two and then be gone. Then a new group would show up. It was the perfect liaison. More intimate than sex. Through the lens of my camera. I could get close enough for my creative fix without the responsibility of sustaining an ongoing relationship. Just enough time to make a real connection, but not enough time to be disappointed. No trading phone numbers. No letters to write. Just a "see ya." I liked it that way.

Sometimes, the connections I made were fun and crazy. Like the time I invited Blue Oyster Cult to my house for a swim and they actually showed up. And sometimes the connections were more profound. Like the day I met Chris Parker at a sound check.
Sound Check

He was the drummer for Paul Butterfield Better Days. We had some kind of instant 'I get who you are' connection. Maybe it was because we were the youngest people there. We still had our innocence. We should have been in college, not in the demonic world of rock and roll.

After the show, we ended up in his hotel room. (Finally, a juicy, kiss and tell story? I mean, what else could it be but sex, drugs and rock'n'roll?) I'm not sure which one of us instigated the rendezvous, but I think we both knew that we weren't done hanging out. So, there we were. Two innocent kids in a hotel room. Both painfully shy. (Yes, there's a reason I liked to have a camera between me and my 'prey') But it was okay, because our shyness was overshadowed by a sense that we were kindred spirits. We stayed up all night long. (I hope my mother is not reading this) We did this:
"Me" photographed by Chris Parker

"Chris Parker" photographed by Me
And we did..., I'm too tired to finish this story tonight. Sorry.

Chris Parker & Me - Part II

So, where was I? Oh yeah, I was in Chris Parker's hotel room. For the whole night. Just the two of us. And what a night it was...yes, I remember it well...

To be continued...

Chris Parker & Me - Part III

Okay, so maybe my night in Chris Parker's hotel room didn't go exactly the way I depicted it in my last post. But that doesn't really matter in the grand scheme of my story. Actually, that's not true. It does matter, because no matter what we did or didn't do in that room, in my head we had a connection. And I don't mean the rock'n'roll drummer meets the girl backstage and takes her to his hotel room for the night kind of connection. It was the real thing. It had to be. Anyway, the following morning, we said our 'see ya's' and that was that. I never saw him again. One night only. A sweet memory. But I always remembered Chris Parker - which says a lot. Did he remember me? Probably not. I'm sure he met tons of people/girls on the road.

What does all this have to do with anything? Well, it has to do with the power of the internet. And my book. Yes, I am finally getting back to the purpose of the blog...the making of my book. After I got back from the book expo in New York and had the agent that was wrong for the project interested (read that previous post HERE) I began to take the book seriously. For me, that means I'm definitely doing it, no turning back, no matter what. That's when I started pulling out the slide cases and negatives; separating them into the live box and the dead box. I sorted the ones I knew were dead and the ones I knew were alive but I was left with a bunch I wasn't sure about and had to look up. Alex Harvey - DEAD. Al Stewart - ALIVE. Stanley Turrentine - DEAD. Jesse Colin Young - ALIVE. Etc. Then, I wrote my sample piece on John Bonham and Led Zeppelin. That really took me back. I was officially living in my past. Remembering all the people I photographed and wondering, 'where are they now?' The musicians I was friends with in Toronto who I used as guinea pigs when I was starting out? The local musicians I shot in Vancouver and got to know a little more?

And, yes, Chris Parker.

So, on August 14, 2005 I opened up Google and typed "Christopher Parker." Did you know there's a young actor in England named Christopher Parker? I got a lot of hits for him. So, I changed my search to "Chris Parker + drums" and there it was - his personal website. But I couldn't click the link. Too many thoughts were racing through my mind. I mean, I had a connection to this guy. At least in my head I did. And I had a sweet memory of him. We had a nice time together. He was really cute. Remember, I'm a visual person. What if I click on his site and there are pictures of him? Do I really want to see what he looks like now? Maybe he's fat and old and ugly. And once I see that, there's no going back. Think about it. Your last image of a person is your lasting impression. That's why I love my dead rock stars. They are frozen in time. Just as they were when I shot them. Maybe I should leave Chris Parker where I keep Mike Bloomfield. So, to click or not to click? That is the question.

I could end this here...but I won't. I closed my eyes and clicked. Then I squinted, afraid of what I might see. Too late. A row of photos across the top. Wow. He looks good. It's safe to open my eyes and check out what he's been up to. The music, the photos and the art. And then...the contact page. I couldn't believe it. Chris Parker had a personal email address listed on his site. Uh oh. The click or not click decision was bad enough. Now I was faced with, to write or not to write? Here come the racing thoughts again. How do I write Paul Butterfield's drummer? The guy I spent one night with a million years ago? What if it's not really his personal email? What if someone else opens it and I look like an idiot? Or worse, he opens it and I look like an idiot? Do I really want to put myself in that position? You know the...hi, remember me? No, who are you? EMBARRASSED.

Oh, why not? You only live once. So, I share with you my opening paragraph of what I wrote to Chris Parker:
Hi Chris,
Back in the mid-seventies I was a rock'n'roll photographer in Vancouver, when you were touring with Paul Butterfield. Don't know if you'll remember but we spent the night together in your hotel room (don't worry - clothes remained on) talking (photography and other deeper topics) and taking pictures of each other. Of the hundreds of bands I shot and musicians I met you were one of the most interesting and memorable.

What was I thinking? That paragraph has embarrassment written all over it. A really, really pathetic opening. Then, of course, I had to go on and tell him about working with all the artists (Joni Mitchell and Ron Wood, etc.) in my book, Starart, so he would think I was important and not just some dumb groupie. Yes, it seems I felt I had to resort to name dropping. Feel free to laugh at me. I deserve it.

After reading the email over about five times (rewriting is my passion and this email could have used a few more drafts) my quivering, full of fear index finger hit the 'send' button. That was it. No getting the email back. All I could do is wait. And wonder. Would he write back? And if he did, would he remember me?

Chris Parker & Me - Part IV

The great thing about email is it's instantaneous. And the bad thing about email is it's instantaneous. I used to have AOL back when everybody had it. It was even worse because when you sent email to another AOL member you could look it up and see if and when they read it. And if they read it and didn't write back, well...I'm sure some of you know what that feels like. Fortunately, I don't have AOL and neither does Chris Parker. And, unfortunately, I don't have AOL and neither does Chris Parker.

So, there I was, checking my email every five minutes. Doink. That's the sound my email program makes when I check it and there's nothing new. Doink. I sent that embarrassing piece of writing out into cyberspace, to a guy I'd spent one night with and since then thousands and thousands and thousands of nights have passed. Doink. Why did I write that email? Doink. I must be crazy. Doink. Doink. Doink. I wish we both had AOL so I could get it back. Doink. Doink. Doink. I sent the email on August 14th, 2005 at 12:31 AM and it's now August 15th, 2005 at 12:31 AM. That's 24 hours. Stupid girl. Doink. Doink. Doink. August 16th, 2005 at 12:31 AM. That's 48 hours. I'm beyond embarrassed. Doink. Doink. Doink. The worst thing about email is that's it's instantaneous. Doink. Doink. Doink.

August 16th, 2005. 10:53 AM. Pingpingpingping!! Oh my God. It's an email from Chris Parker. I can't open it. No way. I already know what it says. I'm psychic that way. Really. It's say, "Thanks for writing. I met 800 girls on the road. Well, actually 1000 but only 800 made it up to the room - you should take pride in the fact that you made the cut. I'm sure you don't expect me to remember every one of you. If you send me your address I'd be happy to send you an autographed picture." I should just delete the damn thing.

Okay, I didn't delete it. I opened it. He left my embarrassing ramblings on the top so I had to scroll and scroll and scroll until I got to:

"Hi Deborah, Wow! How nice to hear from you. You sound great and productive and as always, very creative. Every time I've been to Vancouver since then, I always think of you fondly, and our long night together.
I must look for the books, Starart and Everybody I shot..-glad I'm not
in that one!!"

Somebody, pick me up off the floor. There was more, but that was the best part. He remembered me! Uh oh, what if he was just saying that?

So, we emailed back and forth a few times over the next three months. All very casual. Then on December 5th I got this:

"I am coming to the NAMM show January 20, 21, 22. That's Anaheim though. I'll be with the Yamaha artists doing Groove Night."

So what do I do? I send this:

"Hey Chris,
Anaheim is not far at all. Any chance you could get me in
to see you play and/or make time for a dinner?

Best, D "

Yes, I invited myself. At least I didn't write back the same day he sent it. I waited 4 days. But, again, I put myself way out on a limb. He didn't invite me. I did. And then I waited again. Doink. Doink. Doink. I waited until January 5th, 2006 for his response:

"It would be great to see you out there. I'll email you my hotel/itinerary as soon as I get it. And I'm sure I could have a guest-I only play one song but it's a cool event if you like drummers(?)"

Do I like drummers? Duh.

I wrote back:

"Sounds great. How fun and strange it will be to see you after all these years. Let me know what's best for you. My cell number is 818-xxx-xxxx in case you need it."

Fun and strange? That was mild compared to what I was really thinking. I should have gone for something closer to 'Freaky and petrifying.'

On January 19th he sent me his itinery. This included an invite for dinner on Friday night and a ticket and backstage pass for the show on Saturday night. Wow, a BACKSTAGE PASS. I remember those. I freaked and became instantly petrified. DO I REALLY WANT TO DO THIS?
The last time I saw Chris Parker, I looked like this:
And now I look more like this:
Somebody get me a plastic surgeon and a gym membership. Quick!

Chris Parker & Me - Part V

The re-meet is on! And I've only got a couple of days to prepare.
First, I hit the gym:Then, off to the plastic surgeon:
He invited me to have an early dinner before his rehearsal. I'm very excited and very nervous. I don't know what to expect. He's staying and playing in Cerritos. That's in the O. C. I live in the Valley. About 30 miles away by freeway. It's Friday, around 4pm. I hop in the car and take the 101 East to the 5 South. And then I sit and I sit and I sit. L.A. rush hour. It takes me two and a half hours to get there. I wouldn't do that for just anyone. Wow, I must like drummer(s).

So, we have a quick dinner in the hotel restaurant. Talk about this and that. Since he paints, I give him a copy of my book, Starart:And he gives me my ticket and backstage pass for the show the following night:
And then he sends me on my way. But not before he asks me to bring my camera to the show. [WHAT?? I don't shoot concerts anymore. I shoot pictures of knives and body doubles and screaming girls and other stuff to use in the presale movie posters I design. I don't remember the last time I shot a concert.] Okay, sure, I'll bring my camera.
I arrive a little early on Saturday night. The concert hall is right behind the hotel so I decide to park in the free hotel lot and walk through the lobby. As I'm about to pass the elevators, the door opens and out walks Chris. Good timing. Maybe it's me with a camera that creates our connection. Anyway, there's something very enticing about a musician who's on his way to play. We walk together and head backstage. Chris is sweet. He introduces me to all the players. Too many drummers to remember. Then he shows me one of his sketch books that he takes on the road. Pages and pages of beautiful water colors. How come he gets all the talent? I admire one in painting in particular. And right then and there he tears it out and gives it to me:
Okay, you had me at hello.

Then, I'm off to shoot the show. Ooops, the battery that controls the light meter in my camera is out of juice. Okay, don't panic. What did I use to shoot at? Push the film to 400? Or was it 800? Shoot wide open at a 60th? That sounds familiar. Oh my God...what if the pictures suck? All these other photographers here. All shooting digital. They can see their pictures on the camera screen. Dirty cheaters. I didn't bring my big-ass digital. No way. I'm shooting old school. Fuck. What if my pictures don't turn out? And I only brought one roll of film. No room to bracket. Oh well, I'm just here to have fun.

The music was AMAZING. You can read about who was there, HERE.
There were five drum kits set up on the stage. At the end, the drummers jammed five at a time, replacing each other in a drummer relay without missing a beat. I wonder if anybody recorded it. If so, I'd like a CD. Here are some of my pics (not bad for guessing):
Chris Parker

Ralph MacDonald - songwriter/percussionist extraordinaire
and plays in Chris' band Toph-E and the Pussycats.

Will Lee - Bass player on Letterman
and Chris' band Toph-E and the Pussycats.

Doug Aldrich - White Snake

The show ends. After we hang out backstage for awhile, I follow Chris around during the meet and greet in the lobby. Then a bunch of the players talk about meeting at the hotel bar for a drink. By the time we get there, it's closed. They all decide to head across the street to TGIFs or some other high class Orange County eatery/bar. But before we can go, Chris needs to put his bag in his room. He asks if I want to go up with him. Sure. Uh oh.

As we enter his room, we make some silly joke about the two of us and hotel rooms. You know, here we are again, after all these years, in a hotel room together. He puts his bag away and for some reason we just assume the position. I sit on the end of the bed and he sits in the chair. We start talking. And talking. And talking. All night long. Just like the last time. Alone in his hotel room. A little older. None the wiser. We completely forget about going to the bar. Uh oh. If I remember correctly, it went something like this:
And then it happened. I couldn't believe it. What I'd been waiting for all these years.


I'm not kidding. I can't believe I'm actually telling you this. But I can't help myself.

It wasn't just regular sex. It was passionate sex. It was loud sex. It was extreme sex. It was ultimate sex...


...And it was coming from the room next door.

What do they say? Close, but no cigar? Yes, but they also say, third time's the charm. I'll probably be on oxygen by then.

*the small amount of vanity I have is forcing me to reveal that the photos of the elderly woman in the above cartoon are not me (gotta love those eyebrows). The photos of Chris are Chris - hope he doesn't mind that I stole them off his website. The gym shot and the plastic surgeon shot are borrowed stock photos as well.

So, here I go again. I haven't seen Chris since last June. This should be fun. I'm going to take my cameras but not sure if I'll take any pictures. If I do, I will share them here. And the story, although I doubt I can top the one from two years ago.

Wish me luck.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Harry Nilsson

Harry Nilsson passed away 14 years ago today.


6/15/41 - 1/15/94

An incredible talent.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Foreign Press

This article showed up today:

SONNTAG, 13.01.2008

Deborah Chesher hat für den neuen Bildband "Everybody I Shot Is Dead" ihre Sammlung von alten Negativen durchgewühlt. Auf 208 Seiten zeigt die kanadische Fotografin Raritäten von 48 toten Rockgrößen, darunter Ron Aspery (Back Door), Peter Bardens (Camel), Marc Bolan (T-Rex), John Bonham (Led Zeppelin), Tim Buckley, Papa John Creach (Jefferson Starship), John Denver, Tom Evans (Badfinger), Jerry Garcia (Grateful Dead), Lowell George (Little Feat), Maurice Gibb (Bee Gees), Mike Gibbins (Badfinger), George Harrison, John Lee Hooker, Waylon Jennings, Terry Kath (Chicago), Rick Nelson, Carl und Dennis Wilson (The Beach Boys), Peter Wood (Al Stewart, Pink Floyd) und Frank Zappa. "Es geht wirklich nicht um tote Leute, sondern darum, wie fantastisch diese Musiker waren", sagte Chesher, "das Thema ist Wiederauferstehung. Ich erwecke sie wieder zum Leben mit Bildern, die noch nie zuvor zu sehen waren und die zu einem Zeitpunkt gemacht wurden, zu dem sie alle extrem lebendig und produktiv waren."

Being that my knowledge of German vocabulary is limited to bratwurst, Oktoberfest and eins, zwei, drei, I had Google translate the page to English for me. This is what Mr. Google came up with:

Deborah Chesher has for the new illustrated book "Everybody I Shot Is Dead" their collection of old negatives ransacked. At 208 pages shows the Canadian photographer rarities of 48 dead rock sizes, including Ron Aspery (Back Door), Peter Bardens (Camel), Marc Bolan (T-Rex), John Bonham (Led Zeppelin), Tim Buckley, Papa John Creach (Jefferson Starship), John Denver, Tom Evans (Badfinger), Jerry Garcia (Grateful Dead), Lowell George (Little Feat), Maurice Gibb (Bee Gees), Mike Gibbins (Badfinger), George Harrison, John Lee Hooker, Waylon Jennings, Terry Kath (Chicago), Rick Nelson, Carl and Dennis Wilson (The Beach Boys), Peter Wood (Al Stewart, Pink Floyd) and Frank Zappa. "It is really not about dead people, but about how these musicians were fantastic," said Chesher, "is the theme of resurrection. Awaken them, I come back to life with images that have never before been seen and done at a time, to which they all extremely lively and productive."

Finally someone in the media has quoted me with complete accuracy.

Is that not the BEST QUOTE EVER?

Thank you, Stuttgarter Zeitung!

I shall spend the rest of the day with a huge grin on my face, basking in my ability to articulate.

I hope you all enjoy your Sunday as much as I am enjoying mine.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Maurice Gibb

In honor of Maurice Gibb's passing 5 years ago today, here are a few photos I took of him with some performance and interview clips mixed in.

Maurice Gibb
12/22/49 - 1/12/03

This one brings a tear to my eye. Maurice was married to Lulu from 1969-73.

This one makes me smile. It's from a 1970 TV show the Bee Gees (minus Robin) made for their album Cucumber Castle.

An interview from the Mike Douglas Show in 1974. You gotta love how unprepared journalists can be.

This one makes me laugh. Maurice's "My Thing" also from Cucumber Castle in 1970.

This one is sweet. All Maurice with a solo record Railroad, released in 1970.

Maurice takes center stage in 2001 with Man in the Middle.

How can anyone not love Maurice Gibb?

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Thanks, Deborah!

No, no, no. I'm not thanking me. I'm not that full of myself...but I'm working on it.

(just kidding)

I'm thanking another Deborah.

Deborah A. Brown. Thanks so much for taking the time to post a review of my book on Amazon. That was really sweet of you. I didn't even have to ask you. As a matter of fact, I don't even know you. Of course, now you're my new best friend. You bought my book and I assume you even read it, then you went on Amazon and wrote about it.


And don't think I don't know what you meant by the REALLY in "Some REALLY interesting pictures!"...wink, wink, nod, nod.

Anybody out there want to check out Deborah's review? Read it . And while you're over there, why not write a review of your own? I could use a few more. But only if you've read or at least seen the book.

Then you'll get a thank you post here. Your name in lights. An extra google hit.

Thanks again, other Deborah!

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Mr. Blackwell

Yes, folks, it's that time of year again. Mr. Blackwell's list has been released. And being that I am really well-connected and in the know on everything that is anything, I am able to present to you this original correspondence (well, original with 1º of separation) from the icon himself:


First I would like to thank my dear friend Florence Henderson, who has graciously agreed to fill in for me and read my list to the media on the set of her new program, The Florence Henderson Show, this year as I am a little under the weather.

Welcome to my annual merry-go-round of fashion follies-the Worst-Dressed Women List. This past year stands out as one of the most disastrous fashion years in recent memory-as well as being a particularly eye-popping moment in Tinsel-Town where several worst-dressed repeat offenders suffered collective meltdowns. There more melodrama surrounding the Spears clan, Lindsay, Paris and a host of other style-challenged starlets than a double feature of “Baby Jane” and “Valley of the Dolls.” Either it was a comedy of errors or a typhoon of terrors…you decide.

From JK Rowling outing Dumbledore to Marion Cotillard touting Edith Piaf, there were some memorable entertainment moments in these past 12 months. Streisand-in regal Diva Mode-took Europe by storm. Madonna managed to look great for an unprecedented length of time. Elizabeth Taylor re-surfaced looking resplendent and ravishing. And that other Queen Elizabeth-as in Winsdor-even managed to update her Stonehenge of Style image. Yes, miracles can-and did-happen. Unfortunately, these magical moments were few and far between. We were left with a plethora of jaw-dropping fashion faux pas that took style to new lows…from gigantic white sunglasses perched on every trendy face this side of Siberia to Roman reject gladiator shoes that appeared like a fashion fungus on every streetcomer from Palm Beach to Palm Springs. Hopeless!!

Disappointments also abounded…from the usually beautiful Nicole Kidman who often buried herself in too much boring black to the elegant Gwyneth Paltrow in a decidedly unglamorous mood through much of 2007. Red carpet looks were, for the most part, unmemorable and old-hat. One longed for a Bjork or Cher to show up to liven up the ho-hum design proceedings with their usual fatal fashion flair.

Speaking of fatal fashion, look no further than this year's Worst-Dressed round-up, consisting of Ten Titans of Taste-Free Terrors. From pop Princesses to movie stars to “It” girls on their way “Out,” this catastrophic crop of couture clowns are truly tragic in the design department. Let it be said, however, that my criticisms are based purely on their fashion flaws-I'm sure they're all wonderful people beneath the deluge of dreck they drape themselves in.

Here's hoping for a beautiful 2008...and remember: dressing well really IS the best revenge!

Love Mr. Blackwell


10.) Alison Arngrim: Little Nellie of the prairie, looks like a 1940's fashion editor for the Farmers Almanac.

9.) Lindsay Lohan: Lindsay the fashion frenzy strikes again! Lohan takes fashion to a new low -

8.) Jessica Simpson: Forget the Cowboys. In prom queen screams, can it get any worse? She's a global fashion curse!

7.) Avril Lavigne: Gothic make-up courtesy the mad spatula-Fashions provided by…The house of Dracula!

6.) Eva Green: Stuck in neon nightmares not fit for the sane. Fashion this loud could give Bond a migraine! A profusion of confusion from toes to nose!

5.) Kelly Clarkson: Her heavenly voice soars above the rest…but those belly-baring bombs are hellish at best! She may be the queen of “Pro-Active” - but that wardrobe looks downright radioactive!

4.) Fergie: Another style-free “Fergie” in fashion's hall of shame? Yes, when it comes to couture chaos, guess it's all in a name!

3.) Mary Kate Olsen: YIKES! In layers of cut-rate kitsch, Mary Kate's look is hard to explain…she resembles a tattered toothpick-trapped in a hurricane!

2.) Amy Winehouse: Exploding beehives above…tacky polka-dots below…she's part 50's car-hop horror.

1.) Victoria Beckham: Forget the fashion spice - wearing a skirt would suffice! In one skinny-mini monstrosity after another, pouty posh can really wreck-em.

*** Britney NOTE - For those of you who were expecting to see Britney's name adorn the 2007 list, I felt that it was in appropriate at this time to make comment, when her personal life is in such upheaval. I hope 2008 is a better year for her.

Fabulous Fashion Independents for 2007:

Reese Witherspoon, Jemima Khan, Beyonce, Angelina Jolie, Helen Mirren, Nicole Kidman, Katie Holmes, Kate Middleton, Katherine Heigl and Cate Blanchett.

So there you have it. Do you think Alison Arngrim made the list because Mr. Blackwell saw on my blog?

Did you know that being on his list - especially the worst dressed list - is of the utmost importance to many women in Hollywood? No kidding. Notice how much space he gives the worst dressed girls, while the best dressed get bunched together in one measly sentence? It's true. Hollywood women actually campaign to make it on the worst dressed list. Why, you ask? Because the worst dressed list garners tons and tons of publicity. Tons. And, as we all know, publicity is what makes the world go 'round.

So, being the huge publicity whore I am, I worked tirelessly on a last minute bid to make it onto his worst dressed list. You think I'm kidding? It's true. I did. And I have the picture to prove it:

Me & Mr. Blackwell

As you can see, I have gone above and beyond the call of duty here with my worst dressed look...
from the sweater that makes me look like a beached whale to my what-the-hell-kind-of-bangs-are-those-and-what-did-you-do-with-the-rest-of-your-hair hair-do. But this picture is also quite deceiving. You see, I'm actually digging my fingernails (aka talons) into his hand - hence the pained look on his face - and whispering through my own clenched teeth, "You better fucking-well put me on your worst dressed list, Mr. Blackwell...or else!"

But I didn't make the list.

Left to ponder "why?" "why not me?"

As I dry my tears, I come to a realization.

Next year I'm going to have to dig a little harder.

Missing Pix?

I just noticed the three pictures I had in the Eagles post mysteriously disappeared. Or were they always gone? I'm pretty sure I saw them there after I made the post. But just now they were gone.

Please let me know if you saw them there before. Or if I am going completely nuts.

And tell me if they're there now. Or if I am seeing things.

Now that Britney's left Thalians maybe they have a room for me.

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.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Raining Down on Me

All I've heard for the past three days...

The Storm is coming. The Storm is coming.

Time to batten down the hatches and run for the nearest Storm Shelter.

In the Los Angeles news it's called Storm Watch or Storm Track. I call it, "Oh my God. We're going to have weather."

I think it was supposed to hit last night. We got nothing. But The Storm continued to top the 11am news on KABC.

Yikes, this looks like it could be serious.

Wait, here's the dude with the doppler. And not just any doppler. It's the MEGA doppler!

Hah! Look at that. Barely a sprinkle. His commentary to this map was, "Just kind of light and scattered in nature as this first wave starts to move through California."

Nothing in my mind that constitutes a label like Storm Track. So, I go out and drive over the hill to pick up a bunch of clips from my publicist. It was sprinkling just enough to require intermittent wiper use and headlights (yes, there's some California law that says if it's raining hard enough to put on your wipers you gotta turn on your headlights).

I reached the end of Vine Street where I was going to turn left onto Wilshire but there was a tow truck blocking traffic. It was making maneuvers to remove a car that had flipped on its side. Whoever was driving that car should have opted for the Storm Shelter. I had to flip a bitch (aka make a u-turn) and head back up Vine to detour around the mess, but by the time I left my publicist's (maybe 20 minutes) the flipped car on Wilshire was completely cleared as if nothing had happened.

I decided to take a different route back - I wanted to check out the status of a building I'm hoping to get for an L.A. show and party - which just happened to take me past Cedars-Sinai hospital. Although still not anywhere near Storm Track status, I have to admit it was raining a little harder. That must have been why there were around ten News Vans lined up on the street bordering the hospital... reporters on the sidewalk under their umbrellas... at the ready... obviously to report on the many accident victims that were sure to be pouring in any minute. After all, L.A. drivers suck in the rain.

Oh, no, wait a minute. That's not why they were there. Of course not. They were there to report on the competing top news story. That other Storm. Or should I say Train Wreck. Britney Spears.

I say, "Who the fuck cares?" Although I have to admit, I really can't wait to read Lynne Spears' forthcoming parenting book. I'm sure it's riveting and just chock-full of brilliant advice for all future child-rearers.

It's night time now and the water is falling out of the sky in near-Godly proportions. The Storm may have finally arrived. Or maybe my dead rockstars are crying for Britney. Or spitting.

Anyway, my original intent of this post was to share a song with you. Whenever it rains in near-Godly proportions I always like to listen to one particular song by one of my all-time favorite musicians. One of the musicians I never got the opportunity to shoot.


Although I did breathe the same air as him backstage at the Universal Amphitheater after a Judy Collins show that I did shoot. And I was a casual-hang-out-at-the-same-parties-friend of his brother, Severin.

Without further ado, have a listen to my favorite rain song by the very talented musician, Jackson Browne...

I still wanna shoot him.

I really do.

Listen 2

at 5:20pm EST today.

Please forgive the frog that came along for the ride.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008


I answered a phone call today ('cause Julie's still on vacation) and it was a guy from a radio station in Hamilton - that's in Canada. He told me someone had showed him an article about me (yay AP...that thing is everywhere) and wanted to interview me. Tomorrow. The conversation went on for about 52 seconds, then just as I was asking for his email address to send him some information he said, "Hang on a second."

I could hear him talking in the background (he didn't actually put me on hold) and then he came right back as promised (okay, maybe it was 5 seconds later) and said, "Sorry about that, I'm on the air."

"Yeah, I could tell."

Yup, he was the actual deejay of the actual show that I would be interviewed on.

I didn't let on that I was impressed with him on so many levels. The first being that he picked up the phone himself and called. And the second being, in order to do that he had to find my website (maybe it was listed at the end of the article, but maybe not), and then he had to bounce around on there until he found the phone number. Of course, there is an email address on there - which most people go for first - but he didn't bother with that. Nope. He picked up the phone, dialed the number and - the third level of impressiveness - politely asked for me by name (not to mention, he pronounced my last name perfectly). Then, after telling me who he was, he politely asked if he could interview me on his on his show tomorrow. With all that politeness and gumption (when was the last time you used that word?), how could I say no? Or even play hard to get?

I wish there were more people like him on this planet.

So, here's the dealio:

We're taping the interview tomorrow morning (my morning) and he is running it on his show tomorrow afternoon (which is actually my afternoon too).

Tomorrow, as in Thursday, January 3, 2008 (in case you are reading this tomorrow which is now today).

It's the Scott Thompson show from 4pm-7pm EST on CHML-Hamilton 900AM on your dial (if you happen to live in the Hamilton area).

Since most of you probably don't live in the Hamilton area, you can hear it on a live streaming audio from anywhere on the planet on . Once you're on their site just click the "LISTEN LIVE" link that's right under the station's logo on the upper left side of the page.

I have no idea what questions Scott is going to ask me. It's always more fun that way.

Oh, there was one other thing that impressed me.

His voice.

I liked listening to his voice.

Now, please heed the title of this post.

And I'll see if I can narrow down the time frame so you don't have to listen to the full 3 hours. Although I'm telling you, he's not hard on the ears.