Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Marc Bolan...Happy Birthday

It's Marc's 62nd today. Party hard and rock on.

September 30, 1947 - September 16, 1977

I like this video...



Happy Birthday, Marc.






Most of the photographs on this blog are available to own. Please inquire via email to info@cheshercat.com. You can also see lots more pictures and learn more about Marc Bolan and the 47 other musicians in my tribute book, .

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Still Fighting

I could have done without today on so many levels.

I've been successfully fighting off the ticklings of a flu/cold for the past two weeks, wondering if I should just give into the damn thing, take it like the man I'm not and get it over with. Today I felt a teensy sore throat. I haven't give up...yet. Instead I called in the big guns...

Jewish Penicillin

Hopefully with that and the EmergenC and echinacea and 4000mg of vitamin C and a slathering of Mentholatum the sucker leave me the f alone.


Monday, September 28, 2009

Time to Pray

Look what showed up in my place today...

I know it looks like a plastic toy, but it's not. It's real. A living and breathing praying mantis.

Pumpkin found it...

And they became fast friends...

Speaking of praying mantises...I mean preying mantises...

If you're outside of Los Angeles but are thinking of buying here...

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Inspiration

Where does it come from? And why can't we have it all the time?

Wouldn't it be great if inspiration came in an IV that we could hook up as wanted? I'd be on it 24/7. I love inspiration. It is my drug of choice. And conversely, I hate the lack of it. Lack of inspiration is the most frustrating thing to me. It can shut down my creative juices in a nanosecond. Nothing worse than the creative juices not flowing...except the lack of inspiration. Since inspiration fuels the creative juices.

My inspiration levels are a little depleted at the moment...hence, this post. If anyone out there has more than they need, please send it my way.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

What Was I Thinking?

Dateline Wednesday:

Got this paper in class. It's actually a legal-size page so the list goes on and covers the whole back too. Have to complete filling out the whole thing (both sides) by a week this Wednesday. I started it this past Wednesday and have worked on it every day since. We have to make the notes on this original paper and in the non-space provided. Feels like I'm writing the Lord's Prayer on a pinhead. Torture. What was I thinking?


Dateline Friday:

I found this very valid check card on the sidewalk while I was walking Pumpkin. I picked it up and without a second thought dialed the phone number on the back to report it. (Yeah, I'm one of those losers that believe in good deeds and karma.) It took about ten minutes to get through the automated robot voices to a real person and was then told she had to transfer me to another department because she could only do credit cards. After the transfer and another 10 minutes of robot voices, I got disconnected. I actually took the time to call again and spend even more time to get it done.

The rest of my day didn't get any better. Fuck karma. I should have gone out and let B of A buy my groceries for the week. What was I thinking?

Friday, September 25, 2009

John Bonham

Twenty-nine years ago today we lost one of the greatest drummers to ever grace rock'n'roll. I can't help but wonder what Led Zeppelin could/would have given us if John Bonham hadn't died before his time. They had already given us great, great, amazing music, but I still believe the best was yet to come.

5/31/48-9/25/80


Ladies and gentlemen, a John Bonham feast for your ears...

Moby Dick - Pt 1:



Moby Dick - Pt 2:







Most of the photographs on this blog are available to own. Please inquire via email to info@cheshercat.com. You can also see lots more pictures and learn more about John Bonham and the 47 other musicians in my tribute book, .

Thursday, September 24, 2009

The Seventies

Got home late and in an effort to wing a post I looked through my concert photography folder that's on my external hard drive which just happened to be plugged in to my computer. Most of the stuff I have posted from in the past. Except Van Morrison. All that was in the file was the neg strips scanned into contact sheets. Ugh. No time (or energy) to scan anything new tonight. And as I looked through the pictures I realized they pretty much suck ( it was one of my very early shows - I was obviously still honing ;-) my craft )...except the backstage stuff where I got Van to perform for my camera. If you have Everybody I Shot Is Dead you can see one of those pictures in my dedication to WB record rep Mark Wilson.

Then I found this shot taken just before the show started.

I immediately knew it was my post. I love it. The angle, the mixing board, the girl looking in the camera with her thumb up, the guy to her right, the crowd on the upper tier...

...everything about this photo IS the mid-seventies.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Mighty Joe Young

Party time! It's Mighty Joe Young's 82nd birthday today.

9/23/27-3/24/99

As I've said before, it's really hard to find anything attributed to Mighty Joe Young because of the gorilla/movie with the same name. Just found this video which says Mighty Joe Young on it but I'm not 100% sure...seems younger in this video than when I shot him, but I'm going with it:



Let me know if I'm wrong. Or right.





You can see more pictures and learn about Mighty Joe Young and the 47 other musicians in my tribute book, .

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Blood, Sweat & Tears

After yesterday's post and since I've been shedding a few of all three, I thought it was appropriate to open up the BST files.

But if I'm going to be completely honest, I figured it would be the easiest and fastest post, being that I only have four negative strips on the band. Well, that didn't really work out the way I planned. What I didn't realize was that two of those strips are backstage shots of the band. Not only backstage...outside the building at night night shots with no flash. What was I thinking.

And having a shot of the whole band, I thought I should try and figure out exactly which configuration of BST I had captured. And then I wandered around the internet tying to match names to pictures until a couple of hours passed. So much for the quick post theory.

I think I shot this configuration of the band:

David Clayton-Thomas - vocals
Bobby Colomby - drums
Dave Bargeron - trombone/tuba/trumpet
Georg Wadenius - guitar
Ron McClure - bass
Larry Willis - keyboards
Jerry Fisher - vocals
Tony Klatka - trumpet
Bill Tillman - sax/flute/clarinet
Joe Giorgianni - trumpet/flugelhorn

I know the middle three in the band photo are Bobby Colomby, David Clayton-Thomas and Jerry Fisher. I also know their are 10 names and only 9 guys in the picture (didn't they know there should only be four or five guys in a band?) so one wasn't there.

The photo is soooo bad I don't think their own mothers would recognize them.

But I do know this is a pretty good picture of the smokin' hot Bobby Colomby...

And then of course it took another 20 minutes to figure out why I couldn't upload the post, nor save it. I kept getting an error message. I finally cut and pasted each bit into a new window and saved as I went along. Turned out you can't have an "&" in the post's labels...the last thing that I did. Sheesh.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Mind the Overlap

I don't know if this happens to any of you but when I'm juggling a multitude of creative and non-creative endeavors I occasionally have trouble keeping things straight. Not to the point that I drop one of the balls but where it feels like there's an overlap of thoughts, to the point where my mind becomes a complex Venn diagram.

It's no longer this one...

Or even this one...

It's more like this one...

I have to take an extra beat as to what thought belongs on what task. I'm there right now. And when I'm in that space it's important that I keep lists. Hence, the first thing on my list for tomorrow morning is to make a list.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Joe Walsh

Not dead. Thankfully.

Wait...maybe I should check the online death list and confirm.

Phew. We're good.

I shot Joe Walsh during his So What tour. Titling his album So What fell right into my attitude space. So much so that I was happy to get a So What sticker and display it on the dashboard of my column shift '66 Chevy II. This shot even made it into Everybody I Shot Is Dead, so I guess in a one degree of separation way, Joe Walsh is in my book...

I didn't know it at the time, but Joe Walsh lost his three year old daughter in a car accident on her way to nursery almost exactly a year before these pictures were taken. I can't even imagine how he got through that.

This is my favorite of the roll...

Of course, there had to be a couple of frames on the end of the Joe Walsh roll portraying I guy who's name and place in my life I don't remember. If only I had a photographic memory. I look at so many of my one-off pictures where I have a familiarity of the subject but just can't remember the details.

What I figured out...this was taken in my Vancouver apartment on Spruce St. It took me a few seconds...I have no recognition of the bed covering but I did recognize the concrete block shelf set-up in the background. And on a second look I recognized my pile of mounted pictures. I still have those. I think I should recreate that part of the picture sometime. On third look, I see he's holding a roll of my film.

My hazy memory is telling me that he was working for Joe Walsh and maybe with the Eagles at some point but I could be completely wrong. I really hope I didn't do one of those, "Come over and see my etchings" things (yikes). Anyone know who he is?

If you see this, my apologies for not remembering your name. I'll blame it on the bout of spinal meningitis I had a few months after we met.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Today You Get Pictures

My brain has shut down. I need sleep. So, today you get pictures. Not great ones. Just iPhone pix I took yesterday and today.

I continue my love of palm trees...

I went out last night. Very unusual for me. It was a meet-up with some film writer types.

This is Steve flipping the bird. I took a normal picture and he insisted I take this one. He said the bird is his signature. I felt compelled to post to his wishes. The woman is Joan and the guy next to her is Danny...

That's Chuck and Emily. Chuck invited me to the gathering and was kind enough to drive me there too. Thanks, Chuck.

My dog kisses more babies than any politician I've seen. Obama better watch out in '12...

Baby-lickin' good...

Gotta get some sleep....zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.......

Friday, September 18, 2009

Peter Wood and Jimmy Witherspon

Today we honor the passing of two great musicians.

It's the 15th anniversaryof the passing of keyboardist Peter Wood...

4/9/50-9/18/94

You can really see Peter playing up close from the 7 minute mark on...



And the 12th anniversary of Jimmy Witherspoon's passing...

8/8/20-9/18/97

Here's some old school Spoon to get your Friday night on the right track...






You can see lots more pictures and learn more about Peter Wood, Jimmy Witherspoon and the 46 other musicians in my tribute book, .

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Chuck Berry

This is for Stephen Wardill...thanks for the comment and request for Chuck Berry.

Like many of the show I shot, I only did one black and white roll on Chuck Berry. That's 36 frames. Not like today's digital world where before you know it you've shot off 500 frames at a show. The click-click-click mentality of I'm sure if I keep shooting I'll get something good.

I am guilty of that on occasion even though I learned by anticipating and waiting for my shots. The problem with click and pray is you end up mired in the editing process. It takes a long time to edit 500 shots. A lot longer than 36.

Out of my 36 Chuck Berry frames I think I have about 10 good pictures and maybe 3 or 4 of those that are really good. The only one I think I ever printed or showed before was this one...

At that time I thought it was the best. But now I'm thinking this is the great one...

What do you think?

I would love to shoot Chuck Berry again...anyone out there got a hook-up?

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Marc Bolan

Today we honor the Marc Bolan on the anniversary of his death in a tragic car accident.

September 30, 1947 - September 16, 1977








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

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Rick Wright

One year ago today we lost Pink Floyd keyboardist Rick Wright.

Rick Wright
7/28/43 – 9/15/08

I'm putting up the same video as I did for his birthday because my internet is dogging today and it's taking 20 minutes to upload videos on youtube. Again, his video from the late 80s not only shows off Rick's ability on keyboards but also his writing talent and his beautiful voice...




Wish You Were Here.






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, September 14, 2009

I Had A Plan

Today was the day I was going to reach into the box and pull out some mysterious neg sheet and post some amazing picture(s) of a yet-to-be-determined rock star.

I fucked up.

The day completely ran away from me. To be honest, I almost forgot to blog at all. I don't have any scans done and it's too late now, since I just got in and I have an early breakfast with Cucumber Rob tomorrow - he's arriving tonight from across the pond - and I woke up at 6:15 this morning for no reason I can think of so scanning now is totally out of the question.

But I did reach into the box and pulled out, not one, but two neg sheets. I haven't looked at the negs. Just took this picture...

How rad is it that I shot Joe Walsh one day and then Chuck Berry?

Since I can't decide which one to scan, I'm going to leave it up to you to tell me. Preferably someone who's never commented before...that would be 99% of my readers/visitors.

I will scan the chosen one tomorrow - if you're the only one who responds it's your decision...if more people respond it's majority rules - and post the winner on Wednesday...oops, I mean Thursday because we have death anniversaries to honor tomorrow and Wednesday. If no one comments, September 17th will be celebrated as Black Thursday from herein out.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Photoshop Class 2

Yesterday was my second Photoshop class. It feels kind of weird taking a Photoshop class when I've been using it (and making a living off it) pretty much since Photoshop 1 came out.

But it's good that I'm taking a class - even going over some of the basics before we get into the Photoshop for Film and Video part of the class - because I initially learned the program as I went along...guerrilla-style. Only picking up the things I thought I needed to know.

Last week we worked on a composite piece requiring three elements. I did two of them because I had extra time and I posted both last week:


Little did I know at that time that we were going to continue with the exercise and that it would become our first project we have to hand in next class. The assignment was to continue by adding another 27 layers to create a 30-layer composite piece. I started by combining the two I did the first week and moving on from there. I did some of it in our lab time yesterday and then spent all of last night (until 11) finishing it off. Here is the result...
Click on it to see the details. It's not often that I actually play in Photoshop...usually I'm working on a movie poster or retouching photos. I'm wondering if they should have let me out of my box. I apologize to Mick Fleetwood in advance for the snakes. Oh, and that's me popping out of his ear.

Feel free to give my "art" a grade.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Stanley Turrentine

Today is 9th anniversary of Stanley Turrentine's passing. Amazing, amazing jazzman.

4/5/34 -9/12/00

Enjoy Mr. T Creepin'...

Friday, September 11, 2009

Random

It's Friday evening. I've been crunching numbers all day. Literally. But I think I'm done for the moment. Until I get more information. Or things change.

I haven't had time to go into the box and pull out any of my old pictures. I have a lot of work piled up. A couple of key art jobs that I need to finish up over the next week. Tons of reading to do for school. And then there's that thing I haven't done in a while...homework.

Tonight I have some thoughts to share. Random stuff. Things that are cool...well, one thing that was cool today...the sonic boom created by the space shuttle landing. I had no idea the space shuttle was even in space. So, when I heard the double boom it really freaked me. I thought someone was coming up through the floor. It was a better rush than an earthquake.

Another cool thing that I witnessed the other night... I was taking the Pumpkin for her last walk of the night. Peacefully walking on the sidewalk across the street. When, suddenly, two cars that were side by side in two lanes flew by me going at least 80 mph. That freaked me in a not good way. I always hate it when I witness idiot drivers and can't do anything about it. Those are the times I wish I was a cop. Or wish I could have caught the plate numbers so I could call the cops. Or wish a cop was nearby. There's never a cop around when you need one, right?

As soon as all those little thoughts ran through my brain, another car whizzed by. Shit. What's with all the idiot drivers in the neighborhood? Shit again. That was a cop car. With no lights. No siren. Ah ha...he's planning to catch those assholes at the red light a couple of blocks up. Yup, as soon as he got up behind them, on went the flashing lights and the assholes had nowhere to go. I believe I actually laughed out loud. Justice, for once.

And as if that wasn't enough excitement, I'm taking the Pumpkin for her first walk of the very next day and see a cop car and two fire trucks wail up the street to a fresh accident.

My question... why is there always a fat housefrau in a tattered moo-moo dress on the sidewalk at every accident?...just standing there...gawking. Is she the real Mr. Death trying to grab another soul? I swear I always see her.

Another thing I came across yesterday...

Please explain to me why someone uses a specialized biodegradable poop bag (just like the ones I use) to pick up their dog's poop...then ties said poop bag...and then tosses it on the sidewalk? Why not do what 90% of dog owners do and not bother to pick up the poop at all? Hello? The point is to bag the poop and drop it in a trash receptacle. Sheesh.

I have no more thoughts. Not a one. Except, have a good rest of your Friday.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

T & S

I am very tall and skinny when I go to school.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Marching Orders

Last night I spent four hours with the director of my movie, going over casting ideas for the cameos. Then she gave me an order...to finish the revised budget for our movie by yesterday. Of course, that's not possible, not because yesterday was pretty much over but because I just got the new rate book hot off the press today.

I will now be buried in figures for who knows how long. Please think good thoughts...cross your fingers...sacrifice a goat...anything to help me get this done. See you on the other side.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Ain't It Cool?

This is the breaking story on . And, yes, it is cool news on one hand but on another hand it ain't all that cool.

UPDATED with Sly Voicemail! AICN Exclusive: RAMBO V: THE SAVAGE HUNT - a touch of science fiction...

Hey folks, Harry here again. Woke up to a voice mail from Stallone that he wished for me to share with all of y'all. This is the actual and complete voice mail from Sly as he explains that this isn't UNIVERSAL SOLDIER, but something different. I thought about transcribing it, but honestly... Sly's voice explaining his thoughts about RAMBO 5... well, it should be heard. For me, I'm excited as hell about this because it doesn't at all sound like any of the prior Rambo scenarios. I love the idea of Rambo tracking, hunting and using his cunning - rather than just blowing people to itty bitty pieces... though I hope there's a bit of that here too. Can never get enough of dissembling an enemy with a high powered automatic weapon. Right?

Anyway, here's what it is like to get Voice Mail from

Hey folks, Harry here... I'm fascinated by the conversation I had spontaneously just had with Sylvester Stallone. Apparently there are a lot of rumors out there about the next RAMBO, some of which have been floated by the Trades - but the reality is quite a bit different. It does involve Rambo back in the United States. But from what Sly told me, it is structured quite a bit different.

You see, it is set in the Pacific Northwest. Back in the general area where we first were introduced to John. It seems that somewhere in that Area there is a U.S. Military installation that is doing experiments on elite soldiers as part of some sort of program where they're attempting to tap into that SAVAGERY that we have deeply embedded into us. The plan is create brilliantly instinctual killer soldiers that have no qualms about taking life. Sly brought up the ancient Immortals, which were cartoonishly glimpsed in 300. In reality, they were children trained from the time they were infants to kill.

Well as happens with Government Experiments to create the perfect killer - it goes exceptionally well... and then exceptionally badly. And Rambo is brought in with a Black Ops squad ("Like in PREDATOR") to hunt, capture or kill this worse than Rambo killer.

As you should know, it is early on the project. They've whipped up a quicky one-sheet that will be somewhere around the Toronto Film Festival beginning tomorrow.


What has me excited about this story is the idea that Rambo is now the man chasing instead of being chased. The idea of John Rambo tracking a killer in the woods of the Pacific Northwest is just very cool sounding. So, what do you guys & gals think?

Why isn't this cool news? Well, it's looking like this "whipped up quicky one-sheet" is already getting a lot of viral exposure and will be getting even more at the Toronto Film Festival. That would be really great news for the person who created the one-sheet if that person could actually say they created the one sheet. It would be something they could market to shine a light on their business. So, let me just say that this wonderful piece of art was created by none other Tyler Chesher...with a bit [or some] [or a lot] of help from someone he knows.

Monday, September 07, 2009

Ride the Bus

If you are an artist - whether you are a painter, photographer, musician or writer (especially a writer) - you can't sit at home or in your studio every day creating your art. And you can't just go out in your car to a grocery store or to a party or to a friend's house.

You really need to ride the bus.

Of course, I 'm using 'ride the bus' metaphorically as well as literally. Your bus may be the subway or a flea market or Union Station or a local park...places where you find a cross-section of humanity...because that's where you'll find your inspiration. And your art.

These were all shot on my iPhone...

Sunday in the Park

Red Wine

Ride the Bus

Sunday, September 06, 2009

You've Come A Long Way, Baby

I've been using Photoshop forever...before there was such a thing as layers. When there was no going back in its history and you a to save a new file for every step or lose it.

Until yesterday, I was still using a few versions back from the current CS4. I actually had a newer version on my computer but stuck with the older one (CS) like an old and comfy t-shirt. Silly me.

Yesterday was the first day of my Photoshop for Film & Video class using CS4. I'm taking class for several reasons...I'm less skilled in the program than I could be and I want to expand my opportunities and knowledge for film. And for those of you who read this blog because of an interest in photography and movies, I'm going to include some of the stuff I learn on a weekly basis.

Class #1 was pretty basic. There are several people in the class that have never used Photoshop so the professor - who has an abundance of passion and an equal amount of patience - went through demonstrations of the tools and filters. Grouped students were grabbing pictures off the internet to create composites practicing with the various tools she was demonstrating.

Even though it was basic, I did learn some stuff. A big one was the pen tool. Being self taught on Photoshop I never got the hang of the pen tool and avoided it like the swine flu. It gave me a little hiccup in class, but I persisted and expect to master it in the coming weeks. I also picked a couple of shortcuts. One is Command J. You can lasso something on one layer and hit Command (Apple) J it creates the lassoed bit on a new layer. I also didn't know you could resize brushes up with ']' and smaller with '['. That's going to save me a ton of time over the coming months of AFM work.

I didn't do my Photoshop exercises with internet pictures. I was using my laptop (not enough computers in the lab for everyone) and couldn't connect to the internet so I used my own pictures. And since I already knew the steps of layers and compositing photographs and couldn't decide what pics I wanted to use, I worked on two projects instead of one.

We were instructed to choose a landscape for a background picture (the sky is from my May road trip), then to add another photo (I added Mick Fleetwood, figuring that would be the end of the exercise). But then she said pick out another picture to add. My design sense said, oh no. If I'd known it was a three-piece I probably wouldn't have used Mick...I had no idea what I had that would work in this piece. The instructor used a beach shot and added a seagull in the sky, then added a dolphin in the water. Well, I found a black and white baby picture of my daughter that I had sent her a few weeks ago and thought it would be fun to have her facing off with Mick...

This was the other one I was working on. Instead of adding a third picture I used it for the filter and gradient portion of the exercise. The background is the valley in Twin Falls, ID and that's my daughter after her brain surgery. I cut her out and blended her neck with the hill. I used the 'plastic' filter on her and then did a red to green gradient over the whole picture. Click on it to see it bigger...I think it's kinda cool...

And just for fun, I couldn't resist getting silly with the 'liquify' filter. This took less than 30 seconds...

BTW, the title of this post refers to Photoshop, not me. Although, I suppose it could...

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Friday, September 04, 2009

Valentine's Day

Yeah, I know it's not. I'm not that stupid. But it was on Ventura Boulevard today.

It was this . Go ahead, click on it and check out all those names. I'll wait.

Do you know how I knew it was a really big movie? First thing that gave it away was all the crew people standing around doing nothing. Secondly, the people that were working were unstacking a ton of cases of water and sodas and packaged snacks. Thirdly, the trucks were shiny and there was tons of gear. Really nice gear. Like this giant soft box attached to a cherry picker that could have been a crane...

I would have been salivating if I wasn't parched from already walking a couple of miles and the water left in my bottle almost reaching the boiling point.

I talked to one crew guy for a minute or two and asked him what they were shooting. He told me and then rattled off a few names. I asked him what he was doing. He said transportation. That's probably why he was standing in the shade shooting the breeze with one of his buddies. Great work if you can get it.