Friday, July 31, 2009

Number 26 - Part Deux

The last three strips have been scanned. No new surprises. The pictures of the speakers and the mic have to be from the equipment we put together for the sound company that was never fully realized. The failed dream of twins that drove their Alpha Romeos to their construction jobs in the morning while I ran their dream during the day.

The last three strips were mostly my friend playing the gig at the restaurant/bar for which the name still escapes me...and I'm too tired to search for it online.

The only surprise was three more pictures of the mystery guy. It really looks like we are at the same table but I can't remember him...at all. Not even a glimmer of recognition.

Anybody know who this guy is?

Anybody hooked up with a milk company so I can get his picture on the cartons?

Here's a better shot of my friend, Ron Baumber. We had a good time hanging out when he came to visit me. He wrote a song about me while he was there and I think it ended up on a record he did. I should see if I can find it and figure out a way to put it up here.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Number 26

I do not have a title for this post because I have no idea what it's about. I just know I have a negative - nevermind, I just got the title - that is not labeled, other than the number 26. I've just gone back and typed in the title. Continuing on...

I'm scanning the first four strips as I type this. The only thing I could see as I loaded them in was some large speakers. I'm going to assume for the moment that they are part of the Kelly-Deyong sound system for some concert I was invited to by Dave Zeffert in the very early days of my rock'n'roll photography biz. No idea if there's a musician in these negs or who that musician may be if there is one. This is discovery. And it's fun.

OK...I still can't tell. The preview scan is too small to make out anything other than the speakers. I'm scanning them now at a high enough resolution to be able to see something. Wow, 5 minutes to go...must have over-rezzed it.

Waiting....

Waiting....

Waiting....

4 mins...

Waiting...

Sheesh...

I could always take out my lupe and check the remaing three strips and see what's there. But that would spoil it. The edge-of-my-seat tension I am feeling at this moment is kind of cool. My own personal thriller movie playing out in real time.

Fuck...2 mins...

The file will be too huge to open...I may have to delete and start again.

Yay! Less than a minute. Tick, tick, tick...my scanner obviously can't tell time.

Done...page is saving. Then have to open it in Photoshop. Oh boy, 281 MB. That's big. Okay...almost open. Speakers, microphones - welcome to my crack pipe - what was I thinking?

Now I'm really confused. One strip is a friend of mine that I used to shoot in Toronto. What's he doing on Number 26? I'm going to scan a few of these individually so I can show you what I'm talking about and then move on to the last three strips. Hopefully, I'll come up with a logical answer to this mystery.

You know, every time I pull one of these neg sheets out I'm thinking this will be a quick post and I can get on with the rest of my day. Somehow that just never works out. I always end up down the rabbit hole.

From the first strip...meet the speakers:

What are the clues here? It's outdoors. There's some sort of stage. No idea where or when this was taken.

Meet the speaker from the second strip:

Hmmm...maybe it's not outside. I got a tinge of recognition...could this be the sound system that was put together at the sound company (company is a generous word - there were 3 of us) before I moved to Vancouver. The one I wrote about in the "My Story" section of Everybody I Shot Is Dead? Did we actually get it together and do a show?

From the third strip...a microphone:

How fucking arty is that shot? What does it have to do with the first two shots other than being in the equipment family? It doesn't even look like the same day...more like night. Moving on...

As I thought, this is the friend from Toronto...Ron Baumber...

But this is not Toronto. He came to visit me when I was on my brief stopover in Calgary before I moved to Vancouver and started shooting people like John Lee Hooker and Jerry Lee Lewis. I guess I hooked him up with a gig at this place. It's not the Keg, it's the fancier place out on McLeod Trail and I think it's still there because I drove by there on my road trip and was like, "Oh I remember ______, didn't I work there for five minutes?" And now two months later I can't remember that name of it. Sad. Anyway, my conjecture on the speakers is seeming more of a reality.

Speaking of not remembering, who is this guy? Also from strip four:

Did I know him? He's kinda cute. But what was I doing taking a picture of him (2 actually...so far) if I was there with Baumber? The plot thickens. On to the last three strips of Number 26.

Wait, I've been working on this post for an hour and a half. Far too long for this whimsy. I'll catch up with you on the last three strips tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Terry Kath

It seems like every time I pay a little attention to Michael Bloomfield, Terry Kath raises a little ruckus in my head. That happened today. It's like he screams at me..."Hey, what about me? I play guitar and I'm from Chicago too." Go ahead, you can think I'm crazy (you'd only be half wrong) but you're gonna have to believe me because that's just the way it is.

Lots of the hits that I get on this blog every day come from a Google search of Terry Kath. Of the last 20 referrals today, 6 were for Terry, which is a lot considering all the people and topics I have written on this blog over the past three+ years. (Hey, Terry...Michael only had 1 to your 6 in case you're keeping track.) If you just got here on a TK Google, you should know that I am a huge fan of Terry's always brilliant guitar playing and songwriting and singing. I truly believe he was the heart and soul of Chicago. Irreplaceable, in fact.

Recently I moved my workspace and that included moving some of my framed photographs and a couple of paintings from the Starart days. One of the framed photographs is one of my Limited Edition prints of Terry. It's been leaning up against the wall for a while, by itself, off to the side of where five or six other prints are leaning against another wall. I've been planning to put all of them up but I just haven't quite decided where they should hang. (So far I've only put up a really cool painting that Commander Cody did of Robert Mitchum and gave to me many years ago.)

I have been walking by the Terry Kath photo several times a day for at least week, barely giving it any attention. I'm not so narcissistic that I spend hours looking at my own work. Truth be told, I barely ever look at myself in a mirror. Anyway, today that picture jumped out at me...that's 'jumped out' in the figurative sense. The kind of jumped out that made me look at it every single time I walked by. Just the day after I celebrated Michael Bloomfield's birthday on this blog.

Terry didn't say anything specific, just the general "Look at me" kind of thing. So I did. And the picture suddenly looked good to me. Really good.

Here is the picture, leaning against my wall:


I thought about how great it was gonna look hanging on my wall. But then a feeling washed over me that it shouldn't be hanging on my wall. It should be hanging on yours. Terry seemed really happy with that idea. (Maybe he's just mad at me for the time I spent thinking about Michael yesterday.) Now, I'd really like to give this print to another rabid Terry Kath fan for free...

...but if your read my post a couple of days ago you will understand that I need to stand behind my words and not give my creative work away for free. That would be a huge contradiction, wouldn't it? Shouting the evils of everyone wanting everything for free from my pulpit one day and two days later giving my work away for free. By the way,that post really struck a chord with a lot of people and was by far the most popular post I've had...well, next to the one about Jaimie's brain surgery a year ago. Thank you all for supporting my viewpoint.

All right, back to Terry's picture. I'm not allowed to give anything away for free. But I can't offer it at a ridiculously low price. If you are a die-hard Terry Kath fan and are interested in having the 16x20 signed Limited Edition #12/75 framed (21 1/4 x 25 1/4) print you need email me at kathprint@cheshercat.com. I will then write back and let you know the ridiculously low price (sorry I can't publicize it on a public forum) and you can decide if Terry is going to hang on your wall. There will only ever be this one print at the ridiculously low price and the first person that gets back to me with the order gets the picture. It's kinda like an ebay auction without the auction.

You can see a better representation of the photograph . If Terry is not adopted by Sunday, he is staying with me, on my wall, whether he likes it or not.

Email: kathprint@cheshercat.com

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Michael Bloomfield and Rick Wright

You are cordially invited to celebrate the 66th birthday of these two amazing and talented musicians.

July 28, 1943 was obviously a rare and magical day.

7/28/43-2/15/81

What can I say about Michael Bloomfield? One of my all-time favorite people. If you've read my book, , you know why.

Here's Michael playing with the late great Muddy Waters (another musician I photographed a couple of times but can't find the negatives) from the Chicago Blues Summit in 1974...



And what can I say about Rick Wright? He is such a huge part of music history. Even though he was quieter than most of his bandmates, his contribution to Pink Floyd was huge. As Dave Gilmour put it, "...his soulful voice and playing were vital, magical components of our most recognized Pink Floyd sound."

Rick Wright
7/28/43 – 9/15/08

This video from the late 80s not only shows off Rick's ability on keyboards but also his writing talent and his beautiful voice...



HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MICHAEL and RICK!
Wish You Were Here.






You can see lots more pictures and learn more about Michael Bloomfield and the 47 other musicians in my tribute book, . Rick Wright passed away after EISID was published but will continue to be honored on this blog and hopefully a part of a future new media version of my book.

Monday, July 27, 2009

For Free or Not For Free

Everybody wants everything for free. Why is that? And why do we - especially artists - tend to succumb? I see this trend a lot in the film industry. I get a lot of industry job listings through several online groups I belong to. One came through a while back from an industry person looking for an assistant. They wanted a part time person to do grunt work - filing, answering phones, taking care of phone calls. An assistant job that should pay at least $10/hr. But instead of offering money, they were looking for someone who wanted to work for free. Oh no, wait, they were offering perks. You got to be a part of their upcoming project (that will probably never get made) and you would be fed lunch. Whoopee. They didn't even bother to mask the job under the intern category. I'm sure someone snapped up this "job." So many people want to break into the industry, they're willing to work for free.

This trend is also something that has slowly been killing my graphics business. Too many designers (I use that word loosely) are willing to work for free. They don't really know what they're doing but some of my potential clients don't really care.They're interested in the bottom line more than they care about the quality of the work. I sometimes wonder if anyone can actually recognize quality anymore.

It's the same in the music industry. Maybe even worse. Bands are actually willing to pay to play. The clubs that used to define the music of our generation(s) - The Troubadour, The Whisky, The Roxy, to name a few L.A. - used to make the bands send in a demo tape and the club would pick and choose the bands that were worthy to adorn their stages. People would flock to these clubs to check out new acts that may well be the next big thing. Record companies would come out to see these bands. Deals were signed (yes, I know in many cases they sucked), groups were developed and records were made. We got such great music out of those days. The same music that many of the youngest listeners have on their iPods today. Now those clubs just charge the bands to play and make the bands sell the tickets so the club ends up being filled (filled may be a generous word) with friends and family and a groupie or two the band has pick up through MySpace. They then hand out their CDs - for free - and offer MP3 downloads - for free.

And you shouldn't be surprised that everybody expects me to take pictures for free. It's as if they are saying, "Come on, taking pictures is easy. Point and click. It's all digital. Just download the pictures and email them to me. What's the big deal?" I had a guy on MySpace who had downloaded one of my photographs and was using it as his avatar. No credit or © on it. I only found out because he friended me. When I told him he was infringing on my copyright he had the nerve to say, "What's the big deal? Don't you want people to see your work?" Back in Vancouver I had an Elton John picture taken from a record rep's office and put on t-shirts. I found out about it when I saw the shirts in a big national department store. I'm sure he made lots of money. I wasn't paid one cent. Not even a photo credit on the shirt.

Don't even get me started on the writing thing. We could be the biggest losers of the bunch. Here's a story...There was a guy on a screenwriting board I frequent saying he knew a guy who got a movie made by going directly to the producer, without an agent. The screenwriter was paid $1 for the script but was fine with it because it helped him get another one made later. These days, most production companies ask unproduced screenwriters for a free option and then have the nerve to ask for free rewrites. The writers gladly do them, just happy that someone likes their writing, happy that someone is willing to give them a chance. Hell, I write this blog for free every single day. And sometimes my posts take a couple of hours of what I obviously consider my valueless time.

What the fuck is wrong with us? When did we strip ourselves of our self-worth? Our value? How did we let the money people convince us that we were lucky to get produced or recorded or shown or published? I understand the concept that you sometimes have to give something away to reap greater rewards later, but this thing has really gotten out of hand. You know, if every creative person decided today that they wouldn't do anything for free, people would probably be happy to pay. They'd have no choice. Because there would be no free alternative. Not to mention it's really good for the economy to get paid for what you do well.

Let's figure out a way to turn this trend around. And...

Sunday, July 26, 2009

American Idol Contestant Struck Down

Twenty-five year old Alexis Cohen aka Glitter Girl was pronounced dead at a New Jersey hospital this morning at 6am. She had been struck by a car and was found by passers-by on the side of the street 300 yards from her own car. Her death has been ruled a homicide. Hopefully Simon was not in the vicinity.

This is her infamous audition for American Idol in 2007. Sadly, she was no Grace Slick. Watch it through to the end...



In the writing world this is what we call "irony." Sad but true. And maybe in some odd way, a cautionary tale. At least she got her fifteen minutes. I'll look forward to the biopic.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Birthday

I went to a party tonight.

Happy Birthday, Monica.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Oh My God

It's already time to write another blog post? Now? Why? It just seems like yesterday that I threw something up here. Who does a girl hafta blow around here to get a break?

I'm not feeling outrageously entertaining this evening. I'm actually thinking about falling asleep. Any minute now. So, if whatever this post becomes doesn't show up online in the next few minutes, it means I passed out on the keyboard and you'll have to check my forehead for any words of note. It's only 10:14pm as I write this but the Pumpkin dog is already dead to the world on the end of my bed. It's really not fair that she gets to be the dog and I have to be the person. I could do with a trade about now.

My status on Facebook today was " - wait, I have to check it to make sure I don't misquote myself...okay, here it is - "Deborah Chesher has her agenda for today...reading, writing and arithmetic...not necessarily in the order." It was not in that order.

I did start with the reading. I read a script this morning. I'm not going to name it, but will say it's a script that I picked up from a blog that reviews screenplays. This particular script has been sold - the first sale for this writer - and has a pretty big-time director attached. It was also on the blacklist at some point (for those of you who are not in 'the biz' that's the yearly list of scripts that have the most buzz in the agency and development circles) but I'm not sure when or what position it landed in. Anyway, I was not impressed. Not in the least. To begin with, there were glaring typos especially in the first ten pages and there was one point where a piece of dialogue had the wrong character's name above it...a character not even in the scene. I didn't give a crap about any of the characters and I thought the story itself was lacking. The only redeeming quality in my opinion was that the action sequences moved quickly and had some suspense to them. So, why did this script sell? I have absolutely no idea.

After my reading was done I thought it best to move on to some arithmetic. That was hard. First, I had to file my sales tax for the last quarter. That not only required the math for figuring out my gross sales, non-taxable sales, out-of-state sales, taxable sales and tax owing but I also had to reconcile all my PayPal sales for the last quarter so they'd show up in there too. And as if that wasn't enough arithmetic for one day, I also worked on putting together the estimate for a near 200-page film catalogue I am creating (hopefully) for one of my design clients.

Then I had dinner. Yes, other than a couple of walks of the dog, the arithmetic ate up the whole day.

What about the writing thing? Well, let me see. I wrote the status update on FB...pure genius, don't you think? I wrote 11 emails of varying lengths. I wrote 2 whole text messages. And then I wrote a couple of things on twitter -- this was the first one, "
20+ followers dropped me in the past 24h. Either Twitter cleaned out the sexpots or I had 20+ true True Blood fans." And the second one was, "Derek Haas launched a cool site http://popcornfiction.com bringing us short fiction from some of our favorite screenwriters. Enjoy." More stellar words spewed from my mind into your homes. And now I have written this fantastic blog post.

I believe I have accomplished my day.

Except a picture. I'm supposed to post a picture. Let me see if I uploaded anything I've taken in the last day or two. God help me if I have to take a shot now and expend the energy to upload it and do all the other shit required to get it into this window...that would be like a whole 'nother day's work. Crap. Nothin'. Be right back.

Okay, I got two...just shot and brought to you almost live...

My ceiling fan as it appears when on acid.

And...
A plant I've been saving. That little stem and leaf on the left stalk has just popped up this week. How cute is that? It's like having a new baby. I was going to take a picture of it every day and then make a little time-lapse movie so I could see its growth but...I had to do all that reading, writing and arithmetic.

Okay, now my day is seriously down, I mean done. Please don't send doctors. Really, I'm fine. See ya' tomorrow. Maybe.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

John "Marmaduke" Dawson

Marmaduke passed away yesterday of stomach cancer in Mexico - he moved there in the late nineties and became an English teacher. He was the guitarist for the New Riders of the Purple Sage.

Unfortunately, I never had the opportunity to photograph the New Riders, or even see them :( but this is a great photo of John "Marmaduke" Dawson taken by rock photographer ...

Wish I'd taken it.

Dawson was well connected with the Grateful Dead, particularly Jerry Garcia. They played together in coffee houses when the Dead were off the road. And here's another connection to EISID...the New Riders performing Hello Mary Lou which was written by Gene Pitney and made famous by Rick Nelson...

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

I Take Pictures

These are from yesterday, taken around 5:30 pm with my iPhone. The series of pictures shall be known as Walking the Dog.

Palm
One of the reasons I live in SoCal.

Pumpkin
Best. Dog. Ever.

Me and My Shadow
A filled poop bag hangs from my hand,
An iPhone extends off my face,
A large breast protrudes from my chest.
Ah, the power of my shadow.


Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Keith Godchaux

Yes, it was exactly two days ago that we celebrated Keith Godchaux's birthday. And here we are honoring him on the anniversary of his passing. Keith died in a car accident when he was barely 32.


7/19/48-7/21/80

Love this song...Sugaree, elongated, in two parts...

Shake it, shake it Sugaree, just don't tell them that you know me...








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

Monday, July 20, 2009

Triple Digits

Fuck. It's so hot in THE VALLEY.

Yesterday I had a commitment at 10am. I was sitting in as the moderator for a writer's group, which meant I was in charge of the keys...opening the studio, turning off the alarm, telling everyone how the group works (for the benefit of new people), getting the sign-in sheets filled out, moderating the comments on the pages being read, etc.

Even though the studio is only a 5-7minute drive from my place, I decided to leave around 9:40am so I would be there before everyone started showing up. I get in the car, put the key in the ignition, turn it...and nothing.

OMG FML

The one time I have to be somewhere and be responsible and people are counting on me and I have no numbers of anyone who's going to be there that I can call...my car dies. No time to get AAA out. No one I know that could give me a ride.

OMG FML

I had no choice but to walk. By this time it was 9:45. And it was already smokin' hot...not the good smokin' hot...the sweaty smikin' hot... And I didn't just have to walk. I had to speed walk. As I said, there was no way for me to notify anyone that my car died and I was going to be late. I took this photo a little past the halfway mark...

I was already in full sweat...even the telephone poles were bending in the heat. Ended up being a good five minutes late. I was still dripping wet through the second set of pages that were read...close to an hour after I got there. But I kept my word. The show went on. A good time was had by all. I was just disappointed that I wasn't there on time.

Bonus photo:

I have come close to walking into this guy on at least four separate occasions over the past week. Every time I see him he's bigger. I'm expecting him to grow large enough to eat the building. He's a result of the double digit days of triple digit temperatures...a heat mutant.

Edited for a P.S.:

I received a few emails saying that my website is not giving the discounted price on my book. If you are trying to get the $15 price on the book DO NOT go the the Store link on my website. There is a special link/page for the sale price that you can get to from the Chesher Cat logo with the Christmas hat on my homepage...or...this is the special link you can go to directly

Due to the confusion, I'm going leave the link open for one more day. Feel free to forward the link to anyone you think may be interested. Thanks!!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Keith Godchaux

Happy 61st Birthday, Keith!

Keith played keyboards with the Grateful Dead from 1972 to 1979.


7/19/48-7/21/80

Here's US Blues at Winterland in 1974 where you can see a bit of Keith and a lot of the always rabid Dead Heads...





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

Tomorrow is the last day you can purchase . Don't miss out!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Gordon Waller

Gordon Waller passed away yesterday at 64 from a heart attack. He was the Gordan half of the famed 60s duo Peter and Gordon. They had a string of hits in the mid to late sixties, possibly because of their access to unrecorded The Beatles songs through Peter Asher's sister, actress Jane Asher, who was in a relationship at the time with Paul McCartney.

I never saw or shot Peter and Gordon but I did get to know Peter Asher when I was working on my first book, . And I loved their songs when I heard them on the radio when I was a kid. Peter actually got a mention in Everybody I Shot Is Dead in the section on Peter Wood. I kinda went into this story about all the Peters I had met and how hard it was to keep them all straight. Yup, you had to be there...or at least read it first-hand.

Since I don't have a photograph I took to honor the sad passing of Gordon, I defer to a couple of performances I found on youtube. Gordon is the one without the glasses and the lead vocalist. As Peter Asher aptly expressed in a statement after Gordon died, "Gordon remains one of my very favourite singers of all time and I am still so proud of the work that we did together. I am just a harmony guy and Gordon was the heart and soul of our duo."



Friday, July 17, 2009

In Los Angeles...

...this is what we call a river...

...anyone up for some rafting this weekend?

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Photographs

Today you get photographs...since I claim to be a photographer..photographs that I took yesterday and today. These were all taken with my iPhone...the old one.

Pumpkin
This was taken yesterday morning - early - while I was chatting with a friend on Facebook. I said something about how great it was to have a dog and he said, 'sadly' he couldn't have one. So, in a nano-second, without any though at all I snapped this shot of Pumpkin and emailed it to him so he could have a dog. I didn't realize at the time that's it's actually a really good picture (in my opinion...feel free to disagree). It looks like it was set up and lit and posed, but it wasn't. I really like the odd angle that makes her look freakish and that her paws aren't in the photo...gives it a kind of Diane Arbus feel. Check it out in B/W...



Mango Sundae
Sadly, I did not eat this.

The Ugly Truth
This was the premiere. It seemed a little un-premiere-ish. Maybe because it was still daylight. I was not at the premiere...I was across the street on my way in to see (500) Days of Summer. Very cute and clever movie that puts a new spin on romantic comedy.

The Ugly Truth Turns Ugly
I don't know what really happened...just thought it was ironic that a fire truck and paramedics showed up for the premiere of a romantic comedy call The Ugly Truth.


Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Christmas In July Is Ending...

...in 5 days. July 20 is the last day then it's back to the exorbitant (but well worth it) prices you may prefer to pay. Which would be better for me than the ridiculously low prices I'm giving my stuff away for during this sale...

15 bucks 'til the 20th.

10 bucks 'til the 20th.

10 bucks 'til the 20th.

...and the Limited and Open Edition prints are half off 'til the 20th.

Shop at

That is all. Good night.


Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Bastille Day

Okay...this story is unbelievable and crazy...but true. It was my best Bastille Day ever. Maybe one of my best times all around that just happened to fall on the day before, the day of and into the day after Bastille Day.

It was July 1977. I was in London wrapping up the final bits on Cat Stevens' section of my book, .

I also needed to get final approval from Ron Wood on his section, but he was in Paris. So, I went out to Heathrow to catch a flight to Paris where I would hopefully pin Ronnie down for 5 minutes. It was always difficult to meet up with him. Times and days of meet-ups consistently changed. When I was initially working with him, I'd call his house at the allotted time and invariably the housekeeper/gatekeeper would say he was out or sleeping. Then a day or two later, after several more phone, he would call me at 2am and ask if I could come over. It was frustrating at times but an amazing experience overall. And, oh, the stories I could tell.

Anyway, I arrive at Heathrow and run into Tom Waits. Completely random. I knew him from our mutual hangout...The Troubadour. We had a nice visit in the waiting-for-planes area then I was off to Paris. As expected, the first night was a bust. The second day Ronnie summoned me (okay...he asked me nicely) to come to the recording studio. That's right, Pathé Marconi Studios just outside of Paris. That's where they were recording...yes, people...THEY...The Rolling Stones.

I caught a taxi and arrived on time. I thought maybe Ronnie would come out to meet me and look over his section of the book in the lobby and send me on my way. I was wrong. Instead, I was ushered into the inner sanctum. The recording studio. Inside where the guys were jamming.

The studio where Ronnie introduced me to everyone. "This is Bill." "Hi Bill." "This is Charlie." "Nice to meet you Charlie." "This is Keef." "Hey, Keith." And somewhere in there was a "She's the one that's putting my art into this book. She's come to show me." I think it was Keith that said, "Let's have a look." At some point I was presented to the other Stone. ery formally. "I'd like you to meet Michael" was how the introduction went. Yup, the man otherwise known as Mr. Jagger. I stayed perfectly cool. "Hello."

Everybody looked at the layout I had created for Ronnie's section. And they were all happy to be represented in a few of Ronnie's drawings. I guess I passed the test because I was then invited to hang out for the session. I happily parked my ass on an large anvil case - not in the booth, not in the waiting area, not in the parking lot - right there inside the studio, just feet away from The Rolling Stones. I soaked up every second of every minute of every hour that I was there. As it turned out, they didn't actually record any tracks for their upcoming album (Some Girls and Emotional Rescue...two of my favorite Stones albums). They spent the whole night jamming the blues. I can tell you right here, right now, it doesn't get any better than that.

Except when you're called upon to help in the decoy mission to get Mick Jagger out of the studio. The paparazzi were out in force because of his impending break-up/divorce from Bianca. When we exited the darkness of the studio, we were bathed in the full daylight of Bastille Day. Ronnie invited me back to his flat, so I hopped in the car with him and Keith Richards and Ronnie's wife and whoever was driving and thought to myself 'if I'm going to die in a car crash it might as well be now.' Upon arriving at Ronnie's flat, I made a joke at Mr. Richard's expense, which could have backfired and been the end of me, but thankfully Keith had a great sense of humor.

I believe we had some food or other nourishment and then I took some photos of Ronnie sketching. This is the first time one of these photos has been seen or even printed. I didn't use them in Starart and I'm not so sure I even showed them to Ronnie.

Ronnie Wood sketching from the window sill overlooking Avenue Victor Hugo.

Later that day I went back to my hotel to change and then it was off to a Bastille Day party at some place on the Champs E'lyse. Yes, with "them." I remember we were walking down the Champs E'lyse to get to the place but it was at the part of the celebration where every person in France (or so it seemed) was walking up the the Champs E'lyse. It was a wall of people. Partying and celebrating as if they were storming the Bastille.

By the time I had to head back to London, I had been up for a magnificent three days and two nights. Now, that's how it was done in '77.

FĂȘte Nationale!!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Death

Sometimes it a good thing when somebody dies. Really. I mean it. Even if they haven't hit old age, which I guess these days would be considered 75 or 80+.

There's a death list that I check almost every day so that I don't miss anyone that I should be honoring. The musicians that I've shot that wouldn't necessarily make the six o'clock news. This particular list covers all kinds of people that are notable for one thing or another, such as music, athletics, politics, etc. They just give the scant basics - the date, their name, age, a brief mention of what they're known for and the cause of death.

Most of the time I am saddened, especially when it's someone young. For example, on July 6th there was Mathieu Montcourt, 24, French tennis player, cardiac arrest, then on the on the 8th Judi Ann Mason, 55, American screenwriter, television producer and playwright, aortic dissection, and on the 9th, Jessie Hollins, 39, American baseball player, drowned.

But on July 11th I had the opportunity to rejoice over the death of a 68 year old man I did not know. The only thing that would have made me happier was if he had never been born. This was the single line that had me doing a happy dance:

Robert 'Dolly' Dunn, 68, Australian child molester, multiple organ failure.

This asshole had a job as a school teacher with a Catholic religious order known as the Marist Brothers. His wikipedia page says...

He began a 20-year jail sentence in 2001 for 24 sexual offences occurring between 1985 and 1995. In 1996, a Royal Commission chaired by Justice James Woods was shown home videos and photographs from Dunn's collection, which included many images of child sex abuse, usually featuring Dunn himself as the perpetrator. Dunn fled the country, but was later found in Honduras after being tracked down by Australia's 60 Minutes program. Then-US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright authorized his extradition back to Australia.

Dunn had a long history of abusing boys between the ages of seven and 15, often videotaping them. Usually, he would offer them money and marijuana in exchange for anal sex. From jail, he repeatedly made written and verbal statements to the effect that he saw nothing wrong with sex between a man and a boy. He previously spent time in Indonesia and the Netherlands. He was a friend and accomplice of Australian diplomat William Stuart Brown, another notorious paedophile [sic].


In 2004, Dunn underwent coronary bypass surgery after suffering from angina. Believed to be at high risk of retaliation from other prisoners, he was isolated from the main prison population.

Here are a couple of photos of this creep so you can see what scum looks like...


In case you think I'm being too hard on this piece of shit, in January of 2005 he became and and was hospitalized when prison officers discovered pornographic drawings in his cell. If there is a Hell, it was created for this evil incarnate.

I am most thankful that he died before November 9, 2015 when he would have been eligible for parole. I also like the fact that he died of multiple organ failure...it somehow seems fitting. I can only hope that it was a slow and painful death.


Sunday, July 12, 2009

The Streak

I've just reached my hand in the negative box and out popped Ray Stevens. Anybody remember Ray? He is a multi-talented songwriter, singer, producer, performer, comedian and I'm sure the list goes on.

I shot him in Vancouver and by the looks of the backstage area, it could have been at the Coliseum.



That would be record rep, Monica Netupsky proposing after the show.

Gotta love the Santa suits Ray dressed his reindeer in.

The reason he would have played the 17,500 seat Coliseum was because of his enormous hit The Streak...




How awesome is that video?

It took him almost 30 years to put another song on the charts with a little thing called Osama Yo Mama in 2002. This video has created some heated comments on youtube...



On a more serious side, Ray Stevens is also responsible for the song Everything Is Beautiful which sold 3,000,000 records. I bet even if you were born after the 70s and don't have a clue who Ray Stevens is, you could probably sing the first line of that song with the right melody.

Go ahead, sing it...

Everything is beautiful
In its own way...

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Poker

In the interest of full disclosure, it is currently 2:54am on July 12th. But since I have not been to sleep yet it is still Saturday night as far as I'm concerned. So, this posted is marked as if I posted it at 11:59pm on July 11th. Sue me.

It's another one of those rare situations where I - the person who never goes out - went out. I knew I'd be back late but figured a post after getting home near 3am might be more interesting than one from the middle of the day when I had nothing of interest to say. Not that the 3am post will be of interest either. This blog is free so I am not obligated to be interesting. Feel free to switch to a blog dedicated to growing prune trees. (God, I hope prunes are grown on trees...no, wait, they're dried up plums or something...I'm much smarter before midnight.

Alright, on to the post. Where was I tonight? Thanks for asking. I went to a Casino Nite fundraiser aimed at raising $$ for a play that a bunch of artist types are putting on sometime in August, somewhere in L.A. I didn't know any of the people but thought it might be a good time and I could have some fun gambling without losing the farm. I donated a book and a couple of lithographs as my could deed for the day and did a $20 buy-in to play Texas Hold'em...after an hour or so of instructional warm-up games where I pretended I never played before. Which I really hadn't, other than some of the free online games a couple of years back.

The house where the party was held looked to be in a state of constant remodelling, but in a very cool way. Lots of spackle on the walls and unfinished window fitting and such. Great place to shoot pictures. I took this one shortly after arriving. The home owner's dog was really into humping and she was all over Tyler's arm. I was completely unprepared to take a picture, had no idea what the settings were on the camera and right when I wanted to shoot the darned dog stopped. So, this is what I got...

I love the natural light coming in from the left...definitely a great place to shoot.

Then the poker ensued and that was it for the photos. After the warm-ups I took a short break and then bought in at one of the tables. My first hand was a dud but then I won a few and amassed a pile of chips that kept me going for the rest of the night even though I didn't win another hand. I think my winning hands were a full house, a straight and a flush. I was so competitive I completely forgot about taking pictures until the remaining 9 players were at one table. I was won of the 9, thank you very much.

I took this right before we started the final table play...



Kinda reminds me of Rounders. I believe when all was said and done, I came in 6th overall. Not bad since I was one of a few that only did one buy-in.

So the night was a good time...fun was had and friends were made. And that's all I have to say about it.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Associate

Yes, that's what I am. An associate. Not at a company like Rich Guy & Associates. Nope. I just got approved to be an Amazon associate. The idea came to me yesterday morning when I was watching a particular music film that has a particular artist in it (well, actually more than one) from my book and I was going to find a youtube version of this particular clip and post it to share with all of you.

Then it dawned on me. How great would it be if I could have a one-click system where anyone interested in picking up this particular music film could easily purchase it straight through my blog? Or the albums or mp3s from the music vids I post? Or cool movies and books I like? Or the lingerie I wear? (yeah, that last one was a complete joke since what I wear doesn't even qualify as underwear, much less lingerie). I'd seen the little Amazon logo on other people's blogs and websites before. I especially like the one that John August has on his where he's turned into a very simple and clean . I think that's what I want.

I went over to Amazon yesterday and filled out the paperwork that involved absolutely no paper...just a lot of work. And today, or maybe last night, I got an email from them saying I was approved. "Why isn't my little store of things I want to share here?" you ask. Well, unlike the brilliant John August, I am completely technically challenged. Which is why my blog is the sad boring cookie-cutter looking thing that it is. I'm figuring I could get by on the idea that content trumps beauty. But then again, John August has content that is over the moon if you are a screenwriter so that excuse is not gonna fly.

I think I have the information I need to set it up, although I'm not even sure it will work on a Blogger blog. But I am going to give it a shot as soon as I have some time to focus on it. Technology requires clear focus on my part. And two bottles of ginko whatever-it's-called. I would have gotten on it this morning but today was a crazy busy day in all the ways that are good and great so I just didn't have a minute to put toward my impending career as an associate.

If any of you awesome geek brains out there know anything about setting this thing up on Blogger, let me know in the comments or drop me a line. Because I really really have no idea.

Oops, now I need a photo of the day...actually, I'm way burned out and too lazy to hunt for an exciting photo so how about a drawing? This is something I posted on June 16, 2006 on a fun post called

I picked this one because a) it popped into my head as soon as I wrote "I need a photo" maybe because I posted something on them a couple of days ago, b) I'm guessing nobody who shows up here goes that far back into the archives (although you should because I think there's some good stuff back there) and c) because Steve B. mentioned them in the comments section of yesterday's post. I used to draw all the time. I really need to get back into drawing and painting. I'm going to put that on my list of to dos now that I'm simplifying my life so I'll have time to do things for me.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Rock and Roll Doctor...

...each and every one of us needs one on call.

First, here's my picture of the day...

...for no other reason than I took it today and I like it.

Right now I'm listening to the Deluxe Edition double CD of Waiting For Columbus by Little Feat. I got a text an hour ago asking me what song I thought this certain current young band should cover. Something with lots of vocal parts. The band also does original stuff but they sometimes like to cover old school stuff (God bless 'em), and I can tell you they do a kick ass version of The Weight.

This is an old performance from the The Band, worth checking out...



I went through my usual suspects and off the top of my head came up with CSNY, earlier Chicago, the Beach Boys, pre-disco Bee Gees and the Byrds. Then I went to my iTunes and suggested some individual songs. First one was Mr. Manager by Badfinger when they were The Iveys which I think is pretty obscure...and I happen to know that this band loves Badfinger.

But then I thought of Little Feat. What a freakin' great live band and they have lots of songs to mine from off Waiting for Columbus (there's 27 tracks) with great vocal parts. I suggested this one (the best version on youtube won't let me embed...but you can check it out )....



And, of course, Willin' is always a good choice.

Agree? Disagree? Any other suggestions I can pass along?

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Tom Waits

Saw this for the first time today and had to share...Tom Waits goes to Fernwood...



Hilarious! I Love Tom Waits!!

I only shot Tom a couple of times...first when he opened for Frank Zappa at the Agridome in Vancouver. I posted those really bad pictures back on May 17, 2006in a post aptly called Self Deprecation.

My redemption came a year and a half later when I shot Tom again at the Troubadour.
I really miss those days when I got to hang out with him at the Troubadour bar. But at least I have some cool pictures of him from there. And, in case you missed it, I currently have my iconic (so I've been told) Waits photograph available in my Christmas in July sale (which will be ending shortly). This is the first and probably last time I will offer these prices on this photograph.

This is the 11x17 lithograph, showing how it looks framed:

Regular price is $30

(frame is additional)

This is the 11x14 Open Edition which I sign and is
a silver gelatin print from the original negative,
printed on a heavy weight archival photographic paper:

Regular price is $200


This is the 16x20 Limited Edition of 75 numbered and signed,
silver gelatin print from the original negative,
printed on a heavy weight archival photographic paper:

Regular price is $400

(I only hve a couple left at this price)

If you want to grab one of these puppies, they are only available . I don't usually hardcore pimp my stuff on the blog, but I don't want any of the hardcore TW fans miss out on this one-time deal.

And besides, I don't have enough original ideas to fill the next 10 days that are staring me down without one birthday to celebrate or deathday to honor. So you get what you get. Ten days of nothing. Damn. Okay, I'm taking all idea submissions to fill the next ten days. I will even consider guest posts...write something and include a photo and or video link and I may just post it. Send whatever - ideas, guest posts, fan mail, hate mail - to info@cheshercat.com.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Ringo Starr

Today is his birthday. He is --- wow --- Ringo is 69 today. I was thinking 65, maybe 66. Good on him for hittin' the number 69.

I actually have had lots of encounters with Mr. Starkey. Mostly all good.

The first was when I made a scouting trip to L.A. to see if this little Canadian girl had any chance of hell making it in the big city (I'm still trying to determine that, btw). And lo and behold, my first day in town, somebody who knew somebody who knew somebody else got me an invite to an album release press conference at Capitol Records. Now, ain't that the way to roll into to Hollywood. Especially since it was for a Beatle. Ringo. And just days after I had shot another Beatle in concert in Vancouver. George.

There were tons of photographers at the press conference. I'd never been to one of these and didn't have a clue what I was doing. I'm not a pushy paparazzi type of shooter. But I guess my concert experience - where you really have to anticipate your subject's next move or you miss the shot - paid off. I managed to get at least one shot I love.

7/7/40 - Still Rockin'

If you'd like to own this photograph, click on Ringo Starr or click .

After the press conference I shot the filming of the promotional video on Vine Street. This is one of my photos...


And here is a little piece of the video...



I did not meet Ringo on this occasion. That would come a couple of years later. When I was putting together my first book, . Klaus Voormann is in the book and he sent me up to Ringo's house to discuss getting some of the KV art he owned to shoot for the book. I had a lovely visit with him and he was extremely supportive of the project. As a matter of fact, it was Ringo who suggested I get Ron Wood in the book.

My next Ringo encounter was in England, where I was working with Cat Stevens on his section of Starart. I had the good fortune to be introduced to Maureen Starkey - not through Ringo - and she more or less took me in (I can't even begin to tell you what an amazing person she was and what she did for me). During a stay at her country home, Ringo turned up to recuperate from an intestinal surgery before returning to the states. It was Easter and family time. And I was homored to be included.

Once the book was done, I threw an opening bash at a gallery in Los Angeles...on my birthday...and look who showed up...

Me (with my Lucy's margarita) and Him

That was a mighty cool night. Best birthday ever.

So, Ringo, since I can't be at, or should I say wasn't invited to your 69th, the best I can do for your birthday is bring this guy in to sing to you...



Or how about you sing it to yourself...



And last but not least...I'll have a margarita for you at Lucy's tonight...since you can't.

Happy Birthday, Richie!

Monday, July 06, 2009

Oh, F*ck

I have to post something...quick.

I completely lost track of time. Woke up late today - 10:42am to be exact - and never got a handle on the day. Totally forgot everything I had on the agenda. Maybe it's time I wrote everything down. In triplicate. Taped to every wall. So I don't forget.

Okay, anybody got a good idea on what I can throw up here for my Monday/almost Tuesday post? Anyone going to the Michael Jackson memorial at the Staples Center tomorrow? You know, the one that I'm paying for? I heard John Mayer is going. To participate but not to perform. I haven't been watching TV in the past few weeks but I've been hearing that it's been wall-to-wall MJ with a lot of gushing and kind and loving praise from the media. What's up with that? Is this the same media that did everything they could to derail him in the past ten or twenty years and are quite possibly responsible for several of the nails in his coffin?

What else? Well, since I'm not watching TV I have no idea what's going on outside of my own realm. It's actually kind of nice. It's giving me a peaceful easy feeling. And with that, let me see if I have a decent Eagles photo handy.

Decent...not great. I think this was my first Eagles show. I screwed up the roll in the developing. It's very grainy. And some of the frames were somewhat solarized. But the grain looks pretty cool on some of it. I'm going to have to play around with them - maybe colorize them - and see if I can rock them out of the park. But at six minutes in front of my posting deadline, this is what you get.

And the song...live from '73...before I shot or met them...Frey looks pretty good here and it's nice to see Meisner and Leadon...

Sunday, July 05, 2009

J.D. Souther

Earlier today, one of my Facebook friends posted a youtube video of James Taylor and J.D. Souther singing Her Town Too.

It got me to thinking about J.D. and what an amazing singer/songwriter he is and that I should pass that on to all of you, just in case you've never heard of him. I first heard about him through listening to the Eagles and seeing his name in the writing credits of many of their songs, including Heartache Tonight, Best of My Love, Victim of Love and New Kid In Town.

Then I found out he had recorded a self-titled solo album John David Souther in 1972, which I bought and promptly wore out. If you have even one romantic cell in your whole body, I highly recommend you get this album...it is that good. The Fast One, Run Like A Thief, Kite Woman...okay, that's not going to work. I was going to name a few of my favorite songs off the album but I was going to end up listing pretty much all of them.

In 2007, when I heard the debut of the Eagles "brand new" single How Long off their Long Road Out of Eden album, I was totally taken aback. WTF...that's not a new song...I know that song. Sure enough it was How Long...the song I'd heard so many times...track 8 from J.D.'s debut album.

After I moved to L.A., I caught a show J.D. played at the small room in the back of McCabe's guitar store. Of course, my Pentax came with me...I was about to miss the opportunity to fire off a role of John David Souther. Here's one from the the roll...

After a two album stint with his supergroup Souther Hillman Furay Band, two more solo albums, the duet with James Taylor and a final solo album released in 1984, J.D. pretty much disappeared from the recording scene...at least recording himself.

So, after watching the video today I began to wonder whatever became of J.D. Souther. I was surprised to see he released a new album last October and has been playing live shows. And the once shy behind-the-spotlight singer/songwriter also has a website, a MySpace and a Facebook page where he seems to post on a regular basis. Wow. Just wow. That was all completely unexpected. You can go to listen to bits of the tracks off the new album. He sounds as good as ever.

This is a very cool performance by J.D. Souther of Doolin' Dalton, a song from the Eagles Desperado album co-written by J.D., Glenn Frey, Don Henley and Jackson Browne...



And the James Taylor/J.D. Souther duet of Her Town Too, co-written by Taylor, Souther and Waddy Wachtel...