Saturday, February 28, 2009

Happy Birthday John Fahey

I've mentioned this before. It really bugs me when people die right before they reach their next birthday. There are several musicians in my book that have died a week or two before their birthday. Shit, Alex Harvey died the day before his. When I die...I mean if I die...I want it to be at least one week after my birthday and no less than six months before my next birthday.

Anyway, John Fahey is another one. The anniversary of his death was just last Sunday and the anniversary of his birth is today. The 70th anniversary of his birth.


In last Sunday's post I think I intimated that my Fahey story was one of my best. Did I mention that it also includes the dog? The Santa in this picture is Mark Wilson, the Warner record rep who was so instrumental in helping me with my rock'n'roll photography career.

Here's some more John Fahey for your Saturday listening pleasure...

You can see lots more pictures and learn more about John Fahey, Mark Wilson and the 47 other musicians in my tribute book, .

Friday, February 27, 2009

Salem Witchcraft

I left that CSNY/CANNED HT slide box on my desk after I shot it for yesterday's post. Today I decided to take another look inside since I hadn't been in there in a couple of years...back when I was looking for my Canned Heat pictures. At that time I probably zipped through the box at breakneck speed because I was trying to put a book together...quick-like. This time I went a little slower and found that, indeed, half the box contains's one I scanned to show you. It's the audience at the Vancouver Coliseum...lots and lots of fans...a new found photo that I really like...

The first picture I pulled out had nothing to do with CSNY or Canned Heat...

It's Jerry Jeff Walker - he's the one with the picture of himself in front of his face flipping me the bird - and a bunch of other people that may or may not have been in his band. They'd done a show at a Calgary bar called The Sports Page. I must have taken this on one of my trips home. I was hanging out with the owner of the bar and I think he actually paid me to take the pictures. His name was/is Mike Barnett and, after he was done with me and his bar, he went on to become hockey-stud Wayne Gretzky's agent, among others. I just googled him and it looks like he's now working with the New York Rangers. Maybe I should have stuck around.

And last but not least, I found a small stack of slides of the opening act from the Canned Heat bus across Eastern Canada in the dead of winter tour. I couldn't believe. And just as I was busting my brain trying to remember the name of the band, I pulled out this slide...

OK...I'm staring at it...something 'm' 'Witch', then I found another slide that gave me the 'Salem' part. With a google here and a google there, I came up with Salem Witchcraft. It was all coming back to me. I found their myspace page which linked me to Arlen Rocks. Arlen. I remember Arlen! Shit. He was the guitar player! The guy in the picture above. Totally remember him. I wonder if he'll remember me. I'm going to email him and find out.

Here's a couple more shots of him...

Arlen could jump.

Arlen liked to jump.

And they even had their own streaker. Not quite big enough to be The Bear. Too bad.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Canned Heat

Today is Bob Hite's 66th birthday. Affectionately known as The Bear, he remains to me the bane of my existence. Or the thorn in my side.

Why? Because I spent three weeks on the road with Canned Heat (plus a folk singer and a Detroit glam rock band - it was me and 19 guys) on a bus touring the far reaches of Eastern Canada in the dead of winter...

And I don't have one picture to show for it...other than this...

Bob Hite

The 'CANNED HT" on the side stands for Canned Heat. I'm sure you can figure out the CSNY. I also recall a yellow slide box that just said CANNED HEAT. And there had to be a lot more...since I was the tour photographer.

Where are the pictures? I have no idea. Since I was paid by the promoter/folk singer's manager I suppose I might have been required to give him everything I shot. Or they could have gone missing in one of my many moves over the years (I'm missing a lot of other pics, including the great Muddy Waters).

And it kills me.

It haunts me.

Every single day.

Where are they? Like where's the Turkish harem ring my dad gave back when I was in junior high school...where is it? My prized possession. Gone.

Does somebody out there have my stuff?

Can you please return it?

Now? I'm bummed. I want my pictures back. Maybe this will cheer me up...

Happy Birthday to The Bear!!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Ever-Expanding World Wide Web

The mind boggles.

How long has this thing been going on?

When I moved up to Vancouver in '94 for a respite from the Northridge earthquake, among other annoyances, the world wide web was in its infancy. A few stagnant web pages forging a trail. I even did a little graphics work for some of the pioneers...a masthead here and there, a few buttons. When I decided to come back to L.A. in '95 I searched for a moving company on the web. There were less than five.

There were a few networking opportunities - I used to hang out in an AOL chatroom aimed at film industry folks - and there was email...but nothing like myspace, facebook, plaxo and linkedin blah, blah, blah.

Not a day goes by that I don't get a request from someone somewhere wanting me to sign up to the next best networking network. Do we really need all of them? In this time of unemployment is networking the new full time job? That's what it feels like to me.

I recently joined facebook - you can find me under my real name and become my friend - which I am just realizing its benefits. It's a way for me to reach out to people that are into the musicians in my book, helping me attain my goal of keeping their memory[ies] alive. And it will also be a great way to publicize an event that I'm planning in the coming months. However, I still don't know all the ins and outs of facebook and am finding the learning curve annoying, even though I'm pretty sure a two year old could do it.

And this brings me to the latest networking thingy I've been told I MUST join and utilize...

As you can see in the picture I'm 'following' no one, I have no 'followers' and I've made 0 'updates'...whatever all that means. Oh, I means I've done nothing. And do you know why I've done nothing? Because I've come down with Twitter Paralysis. It's the latest malady that I'm sure the prescription drug companies have already designed a pill for. I liken it the Restless Leg Syndrome. Anyway, I'm on the jumping off point of the learning curve and I don't have a clue. Go ahead and laugh. I hear the echoing..."ha, ha, ha... a two year old could do it."

I've heard I can have this very blog go out through Twitter and people will flock to read my sometimes witty words. But I don't know how to hook it up.

I want to get a ton of followers so I can invite everybody to the way-cool event I'm planning. But I don't know how to get followers. Heck, I don't even know how to follow.

Where's Jesus when I need him. He's gotta be the authority on followers, right? How do I get followers without looking like the complete idiot I am in the process? How long do you think it will take me to get a million? Should I go for a million? Hmmm, I think 5 million sounds better.

I'm sure there's a lot of other interesting ways I can make use of Twitter - wait, I have to learn how to tweat, don't I? But that's a bird thing, not a Chesher Cat thing. My Oh My. And I've seen people doing that @so-and-so thing, which I get but I don't get at the same time. Is the room spinning or is that what's left of my brain?

As I was muddling my way through this whole Twitter thing, a friend posted a link that showed up in my facebook newsfeed. I clicked it and was presented with this ever so timely cartoon...

My sentiments exactly.

The mind continues to boggle.


Tuesday, February 24, 2009

George Harrison

It's George Harrison's 66th birthday today...time to party.


This is cute...

This if fab...just like George will always be...

Happy Birthday, George!!

You can see more pictures (including photos I took of his fabulous house, Friar Park, and learn more about George Harrison and the 47 other musicians in my tribute book, .

Monday, February 23, 2009

Oscar® Hangover

Yes. I had a glass of wine.

I was doing really well on my picks through the first part of the show. I think I began to tank about halfway through. At least that's when I stopped keeping track. So, let me take stock now.

Best Picture - Correct
Best Director - Correct
Original Screenplay - Correct
Adapted Screenplay - Correct
Best Actor - Oops, WRONG.
Best Actress - Correct
Best Supporting Actor - Correct (Loved the acceptance speech)
Best Supporting Actress - Correct
Foreign Language Film - WRONG (That was an upset)
Animated Feature - Correct
Documentary Feature - Correct
Short Film Animated - WRONG (Another upset)
Short Film Live Action - Correct
Documentary Short - WRONG (How could they ignore MLK?)
Original Score - Correct
Original Song - WRONG (OK so the Academy could tell the songs bad)
Art Direction - Correct
Cinematography - Correct
Costume Design - Correct
Make-up - Correct
Sound Mixing - WRONG (Fine...give another one to the Slumdog)
Sound Editing - Correct (That makes two for The Batman, but they shoulda got the mixing too)
Visual Effects - Correct
Film Editing - Correct

I got 18 correct and 6 wrong. 75% right. What's that in school ? B+? Meh. Shoulda done better. I am impressed that I went 7 for 8 in the technical categories.

The show itself? It was just OK.

I liked the stage with the sparkly frame around it. I like sparkly things.

About ten minutes in I thought I was watching the Tony Awards.

The five actor/actress presenters talking to each nominee was a teacher commenting on your oral report. I prefer a film clip.

The film montages showing bits from all the '08 movies were pedestrian, except James Franco in the comedies one was cute as could be.

Kunio Kato had the best acceptance speech.

Do all the women going to the Oscars call each other to see what they're wearing? There was way to much cream and brown...not exactly glitzy colors. When I go, I'll probably wear black and slinky...with diamonds. Sparkle, sparkle.

The best part of the night? Hanging out at the Benson's.

Fun folks:

That's hostess Shawna second from the left dazzling us in her stunning blue gown.

The scrump-deli-icious food...

That's hostess Julie tearing up the red carpet in her sexy black number.

And lastly, the quintessential Joker wins gold...

That's it from Hollywood. Now go out and make your own Oscar® winning film. That's what I'm going to do.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Papa John Creach and John Fahey

It was 15 years ago today that we lost fiddler Papa John Creach and 8 years ago today that guitarist John Fahey passed away. Both very talented musicians.

May 8, 1917 - February 22, 1994

I really loved shooting Papa John Creach.

I posted this video before but it's so sweet I'm putting it up again. It's a little reunion of Papa John and his Hot Tuna bandmate, the great Jorma Kaukonen.

February 28, 1939 - February 22, 2001

John Fahey was an amazing guitarist. My encounter with him is one of my stranger rock'n'roll stories. In this case, my usual position as photographer took a back seat to me being John's road manager for an out-of-town gig. It's a great story but you're going to have to read it in my book because it's far too entangled to post here.

This one's called Lion, and that he was...

You can see lots more pictures and learn more about Papa John, John Fahey and the 46 other musicians in my tribute book, .

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Oscar® Madness

Let's have a little fun here. I usually do really well picking the Oscar® winners...except when I post them for the world to see. So, the fun here is making myself look like an idiot. This is where I pick what I think will win, not necessarily what I think should win.
I liked SM but I also think Frost/Nixon is a great movie. CCBB was good. The Reader didn't do it for me. And I have to confess I haven't seen Milk...yet.
Boyle won the DGA award. Again, F/N was Howard's best movie to date.
This one is tough...I haven't seen Happy-Go-Lucky or Milk. Frozen River is a very good indie film. In Bruges was a kick-ass politically incorrect in all the right places laugh-out-loud comedy and should win. But, I think it's going to Milk.
SM has already won all the writing kudos. Again, Frost/Nixon would be the only competition here. Doubt didn't work for me.
I think Mickey will win because he has the momentum and everybody loves a comeback. I thought he was great in the movie but I don't think it was much of a stretch since he was basically playing himself. I do look forward to what he'll say this time about his dogs, especially the one that just died. I bet he dedicates the Oscar® to it. I didn't see Sean Penn, who is Rourke's main competition...but I do think Frank Langella had the best performance of the group.
Not a fan of The Reader but Kate did a good job. I did not like Rachel Getting Married nor the supposed stretch performance from AH. Didn't think Angelina's performance in Changling was worth an Oscar® nod, but Melissa Leo's performance in Frozen River definitely was.
Duh. Even if his performance wasn't the best, which it was...nobody can beat the dead guy.
I didn't see VCB so this is a complete guess. All the other actresses were certainly worthy but I think PC will win.
No idea. Haven't seen any of these yet.
Wall-E was the only one I saw. It didn't slay me like most people. But it will win.
Haven't seen these yet but I'm thinking Man on Wire is a safe bet.
Seen none. No idea.
I heard it was about the Holocaust.
The score ran loud in the screening I saw, but it was interesting and different.
I think Springsteen should win for the The Wrestler, but...oops...the Academy forgot to nominate him. I'm giving it to Peter Gabriel only because I don't think the voters will figure out which song is which in SM.
I should be better at these categories. Another guess. It's gotta win something.
It wasn't groundbreaking but why not? Didn't see The Duchess but it is a "costume movie" so I guess it should win.
Didn't see Hellboy 2, thought Two-Face looked ridiculous so it goes to Brad's make-up, but not for making him look old. I'm giving it to them for how he looked on the sailboat when he de-aged to his twenties. I need that make-up person.
I dunno.
Seen them all but it's still a guess.
The visuals of Brad appearing small were pretty much flawless.
Hmmm...let the trophy flow continue.

I'm guessing the Oscars® will be as self-congratulatory as every other year. And they will run overtime. They're trying to boost the ratings by not telling us who the presenters will be. They have an actor emceeing instead of a comedian. Where is Bob hope when we need him?

I'll weigh in with a full report on you don't have to spend your Sunday glued to the tube.

Oh, wait a second. I need a picture.

Got it.

The perfect photo for this post...a shot I took Mickey Rourke after a screening of The Wrestler...

That will be all. Class dismissed.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Purple Haze

I recounted a snippet of my Deep Purple days in the "My Story" section of about my birthday trip to L.A. the year before I moved here. I was staying at the Continental Hyatt House on Sunset - aka the Continental Riot House - and was trying to meet people by hanging out in the bar, even though I wasn't old enough to drink. And lo and behold I met a bunch of roadies from Deep Purple.

Let me tell you, there's nobody better to meet your first time in L.A. than a bunch of roadies from England. They definitely put the 'Riot' in the 'House'. So much so that the whole thing is a little hazy. But I remember they seemed to be there for a while, at least long enough to take me sailing and long enough that I went to a Deep Purple concert which I thought was at the LA Forum but, now that I cleared some of the haze through my online research, it was actually at the Long Beach Arena. And from that research, I figured out that I met them near the beginning of my trip and then they took off up the West Coast (including Vancouver, my home town at the time) and then came back to LA near the end of my trip and played Long Beach.

The reason I did the research today is because I just found out that ELO bassist Kelly Groucutt passed away yesterday afternoon of a heart attack. And when I was going through my photos for doing the book I came across my Deep Purple pictures which included a lone photo of ELO. And I wasn't sure when I'd seen ELO - I remember seeing and meeting some of them at some rock'n'nroll bowling event after I moved to LA but who knows when I shot them. I finally found the Deep Purple tour info online and the November 20 date included a photo of a backstage pass...which included ELO as the opening act. And, duh, I have this photo of my car, which even appears in my book...with the very same backstage pass...

It's the second one from the right, next to the Eagles one.

And to further verify the title of this post, I took a grand total of 5 pictures at the show (at least that's how many I found) 4 of Deep Purple and 1 of ELO. And even through I had a backstage pass I didn't bother to take anything from in front of the stage. The five photos are taken from at least three different locations. I have a vague memory of hanging out around the sound board that was likely on a riser in the middle of the floor. But who knows? Obviously, I was enjoying my "vacation."
(Side note - I have a load of pictures from the sailing trip with the Deep Purple roadies so if anybody knows any of them, please tell them to get in touch. Hmm, maybe I'll do a set of mug shots as a future post and see if I can get them IDed)
this is my (sadly meager) tribute to Kelly...he would be the one in the white shirt behind Jeff Lynne also in a white shirt, toward the right side of the frame...

Kelly Groucutt
9/8/45 - 2/19/09

You can see him a little better in this...

And I strongly urge you to read the two part bio Kelly wrote about himself on his . After reading it I wish I had gotten to know him. He has a wonderful writing voice and posted some cool pictures and memorabilia, but sadly the final four words on the second page will not come to pass.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Jose Feliciano


I am currently on hold with my health insurance provider. Going on 30 minutes since I initiated the call and the woman who was helping with my problem - I just got a new plan and they've overcharged on the amount I was quoted - couldn't get the system to fix it so she's gone off to find a supervisor.

I'm left here waiting...and waiting...and waiting. Figured I may as well get on with today's post which is another real time pull some negs out of the box.

I pulled out Jose Feliciano. My last pull included Ronnie Milsap who is also blind. And I'm pulling blindly. How weird is that? Guess my next pull will be Stevie Wonder.

Enough of my off-color unfunny humor. Time to scan.


Two small surprises have turned up in the Feliciano negs. The first surprise was a good one...there are 6 backstage shots that, in looking at them in sequence, are the best backstage shots ever. Not necessarily in a good way. There isn't one of them that is posed with Jose and the record company rep looking in the camera. But what I have a really classic. I would show them all to you but then what would I have left?

This is my favorite. It is number 4 of 6 in the sequence...

Jose Feliciano and RCA record man, John Ford

There is only one in the sequence where they are remotely engaged with each other. There are no less than 3 where John Ford is fiddly with his fingernails. The six together make me smile. Maybe someday I will release it as a strip print. It will certainly show up in a future gallery showing of some sort.

The second surprise was not such a good one. My live shots, for the most part, suck balls. I will post the worst and the best momentarily. I just need some time to decide which is which and clean up the dust spots.

Back soon.


In order not to leave you thinking what a shitty photographer I really am, here's the cream of the crap...

And now the one that can remain imprinted on your brain...

At least between the backstage stuff, this photo and maybe two others, the night wasn't a total loss. BTW, I only shot a total of 30 frames on Mr. Feliciano.

For those of you who don't know Jose Feliciano and just for tons of fun, check this out...Jose and Johnny together...

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Happy Birthday Keith Knudsen

Doobie Brothers drummer extraordinaire Keith Knudsen turns 61 today.


This footage has Keith speaking some poignant thoughts...

You can see more pictures and learn more about Keith Knudsen and the 47 other musicians in my tribute book, .

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Happy Birthday Gene Pitney

Today is Gene's 69th birthday. Celebrate!


Lucky me. I got to spend a day in the studio with Gene Pitney. FYI, the dude can sing.

You can see lots more pictures and learn more about Gene Pitney and the 47 other musicians in my tribute book, .

Monday, February 16, 2009

Just When I Had Nothing To Post

Other than these three things: Sinus headache. Stomach ache. Rain. Which I wouldn't post for obvious reasons such as 'who cares?' But then this other thing happened that still has me scratching my head.

I had a couple of desks I needed to get rid of before tomorrow, because I have a bunch more people coming over for another pitch meeting.

The desks looked something like this...

One of the desks had been an eye sore standing upright on my front porch for a few weeks, waiting for me to sell it or whatever. On Saturday I finally threw an ad up on the FREE section of Craigslist and immediately got responses. The first guy that was going to come by lost his ride. Then someone else didn't show. We ended up putting them on the street next to the curb on Sunday. But everybody flaked. Nobody came to take them away.

Then the rain came. The desks got majorly rained on half the night and all morning but, finally, a guy emailed me today and said he would pick them up at lunch. I checked around 2pm and sure enough he'd been by. Except he only took one of the desks. Ack. I have to admit the one he left behind had been sitting outside through the last three rain storms. It was pretty funky and bordering on warped. I began thinking to myself...what the F am I going to do with it? How the hell am I going to dispose of it? Am I going to have to dismantle the whole thing? Yuck. Why can't someone stop by and pick the damn thing up?

It was right about then that the dogs began to bark due to a commotion outside. Wow, I think someone is loading up that desk. I quickly look out the window and, sure enough, someone had taken care of the desk. Just not in the way I expected...the desk was pulverized.... a woman in a Nissan. How did this happen? She seemed pretty disoriented. She asked me what that thing was and why it was in the street. I told her it was a desk and was at the curb, not in the street. She said she didn't see it. I asked if she was trying to park. She said no. So, how the hell did you run into a desk that was parked at the curb? She said her window was fogged. You didn't think to defog your window before you put your car on the street? Obviously not.

The woman's car had some damage down the passenger side that included a tinge of red. But I was more concerned for her. I asked her if she was okay, thinking she must have blacked out or had a mini stroke. I was trying to convince her to see a doctor, just in case.

Then the people in the background of the photo walked over. Turns out they knew her. She's their realtor and they own a rental house down the street. They'd just had a meeting with her and they were all going to go to dinner. I told them that they needed to make sure she goes to a doctor to have herself checked out. And then they fessed up that they saw her side swipe a red car parked about a quarter of a block back.

Well, that's not good. She didn't even realize she hit a parked car and then she missed the next two parked cars but swerved completely out of her way and killed my desk. Killed it dead. She definitely needs to have her head examined. I mean she seemed pretty dazed and out of it wandering around and trying to grok what she'd done.

The man told me that was her normal demeanor...but they did promise one of them would drive her home. They also promised they would urge her to see a doctor. The above picture was taken when they were all leaving. She's getting into the driver's seat of her car. They didn't drive her home. And I don't expect they are going to even suggest she see a doctor.

Residents of Los Angeles, heed my warning. If you see a crazy bleach blonde in her sixties driving a silver Nissan with a red stripe on the passenger side that has nothing to do with racing...avoid her at all costs. Especially if her window is fogged.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Michael Bloomfield

Michael Bloomfield was my friend. We took this picture together by stacking some phone books together and setting the self timer, after I had spent several hours trying to teach him photography. He was pretty clumsy with the camera but he was a genius on the guitar.


You can see lots more pictures and learn more about Michael Bloomfield and the 47 other musicians in my tribute book, .

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Birthday, Tim Buckley

He was born on Valentine's Day, and even though he liked to give me a hard time, I still think he's a sweetheart.

This is a photo that I found in amongst my negs after Everybody I Shot Is Dead was printed and out, so it's not on the book. And it was shot on February 18, 1974, so I figured it would be a good birthday shot.


Finally there's more Tim Buckley footage up on youtube...this is from a performance of Song to the Siren on The Monkees of all places...

You can see more pictures and learn more about Tim Buckley and the 47 other musicians in my tribute book, .

Friday, February 13, 2009


It was 7 years ago today that Waylon took off for the great rodeo in the sky. This cowboy was one of my favorites. A good bad boy. And we clicked.


Here's a really good solo version of one of my favorite Waylon songs...

You can see lots more pictures and learn more about Waylon Jennings and the 47 other musicians in my tribute book, .

Thursday, February 12, 2009


Life is like baseball. You always have to keep your eye on the ball.

I took the following photographs at one of the Dodgers' playoff games against the Phillies (thanks to my friend, Warren).

These pictures are proof that I know how to keep my eye on the ball. There's no compositing or retouching going on here.

And all three of the Manny Ramirez photos are shot in the same at bat, thank you very much.

Gotta give a shout-out to UCLA Bruin/Phillie, Chase Utley.

I really need to take my ability to keep my eye on the ball while shooting batters and apply it to my daily life.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

When You Go

After we spent a couple of hours checking out my new digs* at in La Quinta...

The front of my house.

I'm definitely going to have to learn to play piano now that I have a baby grand.

My beautiful bedroom.

My favorite room - a kitchen/family/hangout room to die for.

A bit of my backyard. brother and I headed over to visit our stepmother who has been bedridden for several years. I had stopped in to see her last year when I was here for the Palm Springs Book Festival and just before her kids moved her out of her house (where she needed full time care) into the home of the lady who was giving her the FT care. The last time I saw her I did all the talking and she did all the mumbling. The only word I managed to decipher during my one hour visit was 'holiday'.

The bro' was certain he could 'wake' her up by playing her a song on his guitar. I doubted him. Big time. I'd seen her last year. He hadn't seen her for two and a half years.

Of course when he goes to pull his guitar out if its case, he realizes he forgot to bring the key. After the stepmother's caregiver came up with whatever pointy objects she had in the house (she didn't have a bobby pin which means she wouldn't have had a hope in hell on Let's Make A Deal) her husband finally comes up with a weird tiny curved pointy plier gizmo and the concert is back on.

I sit on the empty bed next to the stepmother's bed, facing the bro' who sits in a chair. I had no intention whatsoever of taking a picture -- definitely not the way I want to remember the stepmother -- but when my brother started playing a song he wrote called When You Go and I looked at him and saw this picture, I couldn't resist ...

Here's the chorus of the song...

When you go

May you walk in starlight
The full moon cast a shadow of your soul
Know that we're always there beside you
You'll never be alone out on your road
When you go**

A bit of a tearjerker under the circumstances...go to listen to the song.

Oh shit, I forgot to mention what happened when he played for her. During the two songs he sang, she actually smiled and laughed. Afterward, she spoke to the extent that I could make out a couple of full sentences. Happily, we made her happy. Which was well worth it even if it was only for a few minutes.

And the lesson learned? Tell the people you love that you love them in case the day comes when you can't. Or they can't hear it.

*Sadly, this part of the post is a complete fabrication. But a walk through the show homes was certainly an inspiration to move myself up a few notches on the food chain.

**© John Chesher

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Short and Sweet

I'm back in the desert for a couple of days.

Picked up my brother at LAX this afternoon. He lives in Australia. Haven't seen him in two and a half years.

We headed directly here to see my sister.

And another sister came in from Phoenix.

That makes four-sixths of children in the same place at the same time.

Don't think we've come that close since New Year's 2000 in Hawaii. As I recall we went six for six there. I don't think that will ever happen again. Ever.

But this is nice.

Picture of the day...

I figure this picture represents family...nothing to do with mine. I shot this of a father and son through the window from inside of Starbucks.

Monday, February 09, 2009

The Juggler

And the Weekly Round-Up. Yeah, I know it's Monday but there was a tribute a day for almost the whole week. So here we are (I am) again figuring out where the week went. I know that I've spent nearly all of today writing one little letter. Geez. As a matter of fact, I did the first draft of it yesterday. And the whole letter is only 276 words. How lame does that make me?

What else? Well, I was pretty busy. Working at least 12 hour days. And I'm pretty sure I have something to show for it somewhere. I spent all day and all night (well, 'til 1am) rewriting a screenplay that I need to send out to a producer. I thought it would be a quick check for typos rewrite but as I was reading the first five pages I had no idea how I went from one scene to the next. The transitions completely sucked. And it really freaked me out. I guess the last time I was working on it, I knew it so well that I filled in the blanks as I read. But this time I'd forgotten the story so my a-b-c read like a-c. And a couple of the main character intros were lazy and gave no character whatsoever. It got a lot better after the first fifteen and in some parts I found myself wondering what was going to happen next...even surprised. More evidence to my early onset of some sort of mental disorder, I'm sure.

Much of the week was spent opening new doors. Figuring out how to keep the House of Chesher standing. I'm close to finalizing a contract for a very cool new version of Everybody I Shot Is Dead, although it's a little too early to reveal now...but something to look forward to. We had another meeting on the TV pitch thing with the guy we pitched to a couple of weeks ago. We figured some angles out on that and now have another meeting coming up next week with some more people. I digitized 5 mini DV tapes we shot on the show and now I think I want to learn Final Cut Pro and Studio Pro.

I finally got all the credits together and sent off for the Mick Fleetwood DVD I, that only took two and a half months. Is time going by faster or am I just incompetent? I think it's part of my creative process. I work completely by feel...which means I procrastinate a lot...but when a deadline nears everything always seems to come to fruition. Speaking of letting things go, I finally invoiced a couple of people for things that should have billed almost a year ago. And I still have more of that to do. I also have a ton of accounting to catch up on and I also need to reconcile my accounts with my book distributors. That should be fun. Not.

And finally, last week Pumpkin decided she likes to eat negatives. As in photographic negatives. As the picture of the day, here is the neg sheet that Pumpkin ate...

I had to take the separated piece out of her mouth. I was in the room at the time. I heard an odd noise and looked to see what she was doing. It couldn't have taken her more than 30 seconds to do the damage.

Here's the close-up of the frame she tore apart...

Fortunately, she didn't chew up the neg to my most favorite picture ever (I have no idea what the neg would be), because if that happened...well, use your imagination. I'm just happy to know that my pictures are tasty. That's gotta mean something. And I learned that I can't leave that box of all my vintage photos sitting out on my office floor.

Decided to scan some of my favorite juggler shots. I remember shooting these like it was yesterday. The guy's name is Stephen (okay, it was written on the neg page) and I met him somewhere and asked if I could take some pictures of him. See how well I remember yesterday?

I do remember wanting to get all four of his balls in a row. Yes, he had four balls. This is the closest I got. In only three tries. Trust me, I made it look easy.

This is another favorite that Pumpkin got the best of. Can you imagine my position when I took it? The white schmutz on the bottom is the glassine stuck to the negative courtesy of dog spit. The big black mark? That was made by Pumpkin's tooth. Hopefully I can clean the neg and retouch the rest.

This a a version of the above...just not as good.

And cute is this? I would love to find this girl (and Stephen for that matter) so if anyone knows who either of them are please get in touch. The photos were taken in Vancouver and the girl would now be in her *gulp* 30s.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Keith Knudsen

It was only four years ago today that we lost long time Doobie Brothers drummer Keith Knudsen. This photo has got to be in my all time Top Ten live concert shots. I was lucky that he came out from behind his kit to sing lead on one song in their show...a Sonny Boy Williamson cover of Don't Start Me To Talkin'.


This is an odd little video that for some strange reason has only had a couple of hundred views, so I'm guessing that you haven't seen it before. It's Listen To The Music from what looks to be a Japanese TV show. Keith is the drummer on the right...

You can see more pictures and learn more about Keith Knudsen and the 47 other musicians in my tribute book, .

Saturday, February 07, 2009


Malcolm Roberts passed away six years ago today. He was from the UK. I shot him on a soundstage in Los Angeles where they were shooting what I believe was a pilot for a variety show that would star Malcolm. I don't think it ever happened. While you may not be familiar with him, Malcolm Roberts enjoyed rock star status in Brazil, even though he was mostly a cabaret-type singer.


With the state of the world these days, I think this song fits the bill...

For more on Malcolm you can visit his .

You can also learn more about Malcolm Roberts and 47 other musicians in my tribute book, .

Friday, February 06, 2009

Carl Wilson

Eleven years ago today Beach Boy Carl Wilson lost his battle with cancer. What an amazing talent he was and what an incredible legacy of music he left. The music he did with his brothers and the original Beach Boys resonates to this day...not only with those of us who were lucky enough to see them and hear their records back in the day, but also with the generations that followed. And I expect Carl's contribution to music will continue to inspire generations to come. The Beach Boys are timeless.

This is a video I hadn't seen's an interview with Dick Clark followed by a solo (as in not with the Beach Boys) of a song called Heaven...which I thought was appropriate for this day since he has the voice of an angel and I expect he is singing in heaven...

You can learn more about Carl Wilson and the 47 other musicians in my tribute book, .

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Alex Harvey

Alex Harvey's not deja vu. Yesterday was the gloomy post honoring the day the sensational one passed on, and doubly gloomy because he died the day before today...his birthday.

But let's forget about the gloomy bit and start the party 'cause that's the way Alex would want it. And in celebration of what would have been Alex's 74th birthday (wow, he didn't seem anywhere near my mother's age when I shot him at the Whisky), I'm posting a photo that hasn't been seen that didn't make it into the book.


Happy Birthday, Alex! And Vambo still Rools!!

You can learn more about Alex Harvey and the 47 other musicians in my tribute book, .