Monday, July 31, 2006


So, I woke up after a few hours sleep and stumbled into the kitchen. I got out my laptop and began working on the Fuji Rock images.. There were plenty to work on as well.. Sean has a very high speed internet connection here.. So, after getting a load of the images out, we went, with cameras for a walk around the area. It was soooo nice in the area. We walked up the hill nearby and met a rwally friendly elderly lady. She was cutting plants on her land. I wanted to take a photo of her, so Sean who is fluent in Japanese, asked her. She very politly said no, as she didnt want to bee seen like she was looking.. Well, it was too late, I had already shot some pictures of her without here realising. I shot from the hip so to speak. I just couldnt resist..
Copyright 2006 Danny Clifford

We then headed back to the house where I just continued editing for hours and hours...

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Fuji Rock Day 3

So, after my 3 hours sleep we rushed back up to Fuji Rock. This was going to be a very, very busy day. We were in a bit of a rush as I wanted to catch the hot new band from the UK, Mumm-Ra. They were playing at the Red Marquee. This was the first stage that one comes to on the way into the site.. I was very impressed with them, they are well worth watching out for. They are going be big... I shot them live and did a quick shoot backstage with them as well. Nest off to the Green stage to catch KT Tunstall.. Shot her live show then went backstage and did a quick shoot with her. Whilst I was doing the shoot, the next band arrived backstage, it was Snow Patrol. I did some photos of Snow Patrol’s Gary Lightbody and then I realized that he had never met KT Tunstall, so, we all introduced each other and did a quick shot of the two of them together. I then shot the Snow Patrol show from the front of the stage, then did a few shots from the stage. I then had to rush off to another stage to meet up with the band Orson. They seem to be getting quite a lot of airplay in the UK at the moment. I had a nice brief chat with them backstage as I did a shoot. They had only come out to Japan for 24 hours. They were on tour with Robbie Williams in Germany and they were flying straight back to Germany to carry on with that tour. Next I was off to another stage to shoot The Raconteurs, Jack White and the gang… I was backstage and was in the vicinity of Jack White. He looked over at me, saw all of my cameras and literally, ran away.. I looked down at my cameras and thought maybe I was carrying a gun.. It was very, very odd.. Anyway, the Strokes all arrived backstage and there was a kind of get together of Raconteurs and Strokes.. Lots of hugging and back slapping. Very sweet !! So, I shot the Raconteurs then straight after that the Strokes. Both of these bands recently in the UK. I think, Hyde Park, London. I am not sure.. So, this doesn’t sound like an awful lot of bands, but again, loads of running around and all without a decent nights sleep since I left London.. So, once the Stokes were over, I met up with Sean, Rob and Mike who were traveling with us. We, were going to head straight up to Nagano. This was about 2-3 hours drive from Mount Naeba (Fuji Rock). We had hoped to be there by about 3am.. We did get there about 3:30am. The place we were heading for is Sean’s farm house that he and a few friends have. Although he lives near Tokyo, they have this place in Nagano as it’s up in the mountains in snow territory. They all go there in the winter for snow boarding.. Anyway, we got there and put our little futons on the floor and hit the deck.. Boy do I miss a western bed (mattress etc). I am not used to sleeping on Japanese beds..

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Fuji Rock Day 2

Very little sleep, I am so tired.. We got to the site and got straight on it. The first band for me was Jenny Lewis and she is kind of country and sounded great. I think one to watch, she is gonna be big, even though she is quite small. She had two identical twins sisters as backing vocals who were great in there own right.. I did a quick shoot afterwards with Jenny and the photographed the next band on my list, Junior Senior. I think they are from Denmark. They were pretty lively and got the crowd jumping around.. I shot the live show the again, just kike Jenny Lewis, did a quick shoot backstage after their set. Nice chaps they were too. Kular Shaker were next and I had forgotten how much I liked their music. I must say I had in the past heard some very odd things about there views on various racial things. I need to know if this was true or false.. I hope it is not true because, I would like to like them. There music is very retro and pretty psychedelic. Lighting was pretty good as well. Sean and I then belted over to another stage about 10 miles away, well, not quite that far, but when it's raining and your tired and your carrying loads of camera equipment, it's bloody well far enough. So, we got there and shot the Yeah Yeah Yeah's. They were very colourful indeed. We then quickly ran over to the Green stage another long hike and shot the Red Hot Chili Peppers. When Anthony Keidis came on stage he immediately admitted that he had made one of Japan's most famous fictitious cartoon characters, Hello Kitty, pregnant. Don’t know how he managed that, but he seemed pretty upset about that.. Flea was talking utter rubbish into the mike and then they just got on with it. They were wearing pretty much the same gear that they were wearing when I shot them, wherever it was recently in the UK. I think it was Scotland.. The only thing that seemed very different was when Anthony did a hand stand on the bass drum. I was tracking him through the lens at the time and caught it all. He only did it for a spilt second, but I did get it nicely. Anyway, I got quite enough shots of them and then off I went again. I had to get back over to the White stage, another hike through the rain and mud.. This time to shoot the Scissor Sisters.. They were on good form, very dramatic and colourful. They are always good to shoot. After shooting them I headed off to find Sean and then get back to Production, pick up my gear and get the hell out of the site and back to our little hotel about 30 mins away. When we got back to the hotel, I started to edit the photos. I started at about 2am and finished at about 7am... I was shattered.. Anyway, I went and got a few hours sleep and then up and back to Fuji Rock.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Fuji Rock Day 1

Got to the site quite early considering the lack of sleep we had all had. Sean and I raced down to the back stage area to meet up with Chris Musto and Orlando Bloom & co. We had to shoot Orlando as he started to speak about a new charity he was now involved in. This is called Global Cool.. It's all about reducing carbon in the atmosphere. Very interesting and worthwhile.. One of the finacial backers of the charity who is from Holland, told me that ifnoting is done about our climate, Holland will be totally underwater. Now, we cant have that can we. I love Holland, I think we all do. In fact the only person I have ever heard say anything bad about Holland was Austin Powers dad, Michael Cain. Mind yo he was only joking.. So, we did the shoot with Orlando and travelled around from one stage to the other in a bus. He made a few more speaches with Dan Morell, the Global Cool founder. Next shoot for me was The Cribs, I havent shot them before, but they were really good. Music was great and like so many of the bands I am without here, great to work with. When we finished, Sean and I headed off as fast as we could to the Green Stage to photograph Dirty Pretty Things. I shot the show and then we did a shoot backstage and on the bus. They are very nice chaps and very cooperative. As soon as we finished we shot over to the food area. You can get almost alltypes of food from anywhere here. Also, thisis without doubt, the best selection and quality of food of any festival that I have ever been to. So, had a quick bite and then headed back to the Green Stage to shoot Jet. Another band I really like. I must point out, that I dont just shoot bands that I like, but is really nice when I do. After Jet ran like little soldiers in the jungle over to the Red Marquee, which holds about 5000 plus, to shoot The Zutons.. I have photographed then quite a lot recently and again, really like them. There latest single 'Valerie' is great. So, after the Zutons we were off to meet up with Franz Ferdinand. We had arranged for a 10 second shoot just before they went on stage, which was nice.
Franz Ferdinand
Copyright 2006 Danny Clifford

Then on they went. We did have a breif chat and I mentioned that we were goingover to the White stage, which is bloody miles away, to shoot Madness next. As Franz were all running up the stairs on to the stage, they said we are going as well as soon as we get off stage, see you there.. I then shot quite a bit of the Franz set. Got some really nice different shots of them. Then Sean and I legged it over to the White stage. Madness were already way into their set. They are one of the very best live bands I have seen. Every song was a bit hit at some time.. After shooting most of the show, we wen backstage. I heard Suggs announce, this song is for Franz Ferdinand, they had just all became friends an hour or so before. As we got to the back of the stage area as bus pulled up, out jumped Franz and all of their managenent. They ran like they were in a race straight up onto the side of the stage. I was on my way up as well. We all watched the last two songs of Madness together. Absolutly brilliant. After the gig I was chatting to Alex Kapranos from Franz, he seemed interested to know bits about my shoots with some of the bands over the years. It was really funny talking to him, I hope he meant this nicely, but he sad to me, as we walked towards the bus to take us all back to production, anyway, Alex said, 'your like of Forest Gump, you seem to have been there at the great times in rock and roll and shot it'. Well, I must admit, I havent seen that film, so, I hope he was being nice.. So, back to the production area and in we went and did a group shot of Franz Ferdinand and Madness. We had a chat with them all for a while and then as the two bands left together to go off for a drink at one of the all night stages, Sean and I buggered off to find the others who were stayong out of town with us. We finally got back to our hotel at about 3AM. I then edited up the shots from the day and finally hit the floor (sleeping on traditional Japanese bed) at about 7AM.. Deep joy..

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Travel up to Fuji Rock

The day started when I met up with Sean Brophy at my hotel. We then met up with a few others and headed up to the hotel where we were staying. This was about 30 kilometers from Mount Naeba, where Fuji Rock is being held. We left Shibuya at about midday ish and arrived at around 7pm. We checked in and then threw our bags in the room and went straight up to the Festival. There were a few bands playing on one stage.
Copyright 2006 Danny Clifford

The Cooper Temple Clause above and below, the Shonen Knives.
Copyright 2006 Danny Clifford

Now standing in the front row was a chap wearing the right shirt, the shirt of my beloved Arsenal Football Club. That is a rarety out here in Japan.
Copyright 2006 Danny Clifford

Also, Lucifire, a kind of S & M strip show..
Copyright 2006 Danny Clifford

Great to photograph.
Copyright 2006 Danny Cifford

We finally left the site at 2am and drove back to our hotel. I edited up photos and finally got to bed at 5:30..

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Hot and Humid Tokyo

All was fine on the flight. I arrived at Narita airport, then headed off to pick up my rental telephone, which took me ages. It was waiting for me at the post office at the airport, but which one. I was tired, jet lagged and weary, but had to walk around the airport, up and down the different floors to different post offices. Then eventually found it. Then got my ticket for the freindly Limousine bus that took me striaght to Tokyo and my hotel in Shibuya. I checked in then headed straight out to meet up with the one and only Sean Brophy. We went to the Hobgoblin in Akasaka to discuss our travel plansd and logistics for our journey tomorrow up the Mount Naeba, for the Fuju Rock Festival.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Off to Tokyo

It makes a really pleasant change to be catching a flight that isnt early in the morning. I am flying to Tokyo today and the flight leaves London at about 7:25 pm It has given me almost a whole day back at base to get prepared. Mind you it's always the same, I remeber so many things to do, just before I leave.. Anyway, got to Heathrow late afternoon, checked in and then headed off to the gate. I was flyin ANA, All Nippon Airways for those of you who are not familiar. So, here I go, off to Japan.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Mail on Sunday

Saw a nice big photo of Lily Allen in the Mail on Sunday in the UK. This was almost a full page and a nice shot that I did with Lily a few days ago. There was no credit next to the photo which was a pain, but at least it was there.

Christina Aguilera and new assistant

I had a very special assistant with me today, one Sam Clifford. He is my youngest and was on a day of was is known as work experience. It was also his 13th birthday. So, the first place we had to go was a book publishing company in London who are in discussions with me about doing a book. I think Sam found this boring. The next stop was the offices of The Daily Mirror. This he found a lot more interesting. He met the team on the Showbiz section and the picture desk. Everyone was very nice to him, Well, after that we took him for lunch. By the way, we being my wife Lyn who just happened to join in the fun on his birthday. He couldnt have stood a day out with just his dad. He liked his lunch in the hustle and bustle of Canary Wharf. From there we drove over to Soho Square, where we met up with my oldest and his sister, Sarah. This was late in the afternoon now. We had acold rink on this very hot day and sat on th egrass for a while. Then up we got and shot off to Camden as I needed to get things together as I was going to shoot Christina Aguilara at a club called KOKO. Sam got himself in a postion where Christina was going to walk right near him. So, after me getting some quick shots of her, she stopped and signed her autograph for him, which thrilled him. He said afterwards that his legs were shaking, ah!! So, then after this off we went and had a quick coffee and sandwich and headed off home. That was then the end of a great day with my little boy and my wonderful wife.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Lily Allen

Well, she is now Number 1 in the UK and so she should be.. I really like her music.. She i s new a very refreshing.. Also, her dad is a very funny and tallented chap. So, I met Lily today at a hotel in West London. I arrived early. Lily arrived with a couple of people, make up artist and all. We had abrief chat, then she was off to her room to get changed and made up. I was waiting patiently in the bar for her to surface, all dressed up and ready for her gig tonight at Bush Hall, in Shepherds Bush, when my mate Kevin Collins walked in. He was sporting a rather nice blue hat. Anyway, after a drink and chat, in walked the jounalists who I was working with who were to interview Lily. We waited again for Lily, but time was running out. She did have a gig to get to very soon. It wasnt long after this that Lily arrived in the bar area.
copyright 2006 Danny Clifford

She had a chat with the girls for a nice story which will no doubt be published in a couple of days. I would guess Wednesday.. So, after the interveiw, we did a very quick shoot. Lily was very good to shoot. She is very photogenic. We all then jumped into two cars (one was mine) and aimed at the venue, Bush Hall. Once we parked up we belted inside and then the humnidty inside, hit me. It was so hot..
Copyright 2006 Danny Clifford

Anyway, I go in through the crowd down to the front. Then as quickly as I got mey cameras out of my bags, Lily was on stage. Boy, was it hot and humid. I shot a few songs and then, made my way out of there.. She is fantastic live. She also has a great band with her. If yo uget a chance to see her then do it.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Borders for a look through some magazines

Just ran into Borders to get a few bits and saw Spin Magazine. Opened it up and saw a few pictures of mine in there.. One was of Peter Doherty. This photo I took at the rehearsal studios a month or so ago. I delivered a letter to Peter from Spin Magazine. They were very suppoortive of him and kind of nudging him into looking at his drug fuelled lifestyle. Anyway, when I delivered the letter to him he seemed quite touched by their concern. Anyway, he wrote a note to Spin Magazine in his lyrics book. I then photographed him with it. This photo and message is in the August edition of Spin. I also have a nice shot of Depeche Mode in this edition as well.

I then saw Notion Magazine on the shelf. This was a cover shoot and few shots of Peter and Babyshambles inside..
Copyright 2006 Danny Clifford

I must say I havent really had a good look at Notion Magazine before, but, I have to say it is very well produced and a great read as well.. I was very impressed..

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Justin Timberlake in London

Justin Timberlake was performing at a relativly small venue The Palais, in Hammersmith, West London.
Copyright 2006 Danny Clifford

There were only a handful of photographers there which was fine as there was a very small photo pit. We all shot the first two songs.
Copyright 2006 Danny Clifford

The first one had no light at all. All of us photographers just stood there and could do much at all. Everyone was just shrugging their shoulders..
Copyright 2006 Danny Clifford

Then halfway through the second song, he sat odwn at a Rhodes organ and on came some lights.. At last !!! So, we all seemed to get some nice shots.. We then had to leave the pit and wait outside until the second from last song when were were allowed back in to shoot Justin with a special guest.
Copyright 2006 Danny Clifford

This was record producer Timberland. Not to be confused with the boots on my feet. I do love a pair of Timberlands. Those who know me understand that. That is all I seem to wear even when I am wearing shorts, or swimming trunks (not a pretty sight). So after the gig I made my way back to my car and made my way home listnening to Planet Rock. This is a digital radio station in the UK . Its the nearest i can get to listning to the radio in the US, which is great.. they play great tracks off albums that I havent heard for ages.. Not the usual corporate playlist rubbish..

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Shane McGowan & Glen Matlock

Today I went down to the Boogaloo in Archway Rd, Highgate, London and met up with two of my mates, Shane McGowan and Glen Matlock. Glen was doing an acoustic set at The Boogaloo tonight. There was also a Sex Pistols exhibition there as well. For those that dont know, Glen was the bass guitarist in the Sex Pistol. He also wrote most of there bug songs.. God Save the Queen etc etc .. So, I put the two Legends together for a quick photo.
Copyright 2006 Danny Clifford

Well, it was one of those opportunities !!

Sunday, July 02, 2006

The Who at Hyde Park

Well here we go, the mighty WHO.. Back in London with a big 60-70,ooo crowd. Again its a really nice hot day...My brother and his partner Nick have arrived at Heathrow airport early this morning. They were in Istanbul for a few days.. They made their way to Hyde Park to see The Who as well.. My brother used to come to the office when I had an office with The Who in the late 70's. He used to hang out with me and Keith Moon and others, but never got to see them play. I am excited for him.. To see The Who live really is something special.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Roger Waters at Hyde Park London

This is the first of two days of a new festival Hyde Park Calling. This has been arranged by 'Hard Rock'. It was a lovely hot day in central London. England were playing Portugal in the world cup and I managed to get near a TV in the Hard Rock hospitality tent. I missed shooting Texas, but unfortunatly, I really needed to see as much of that game as possible... Well, true to form, we lost on penalties... Now there is a suprise, England lose on penalties !!!!

I was really looking forward to seeing Roger Waters. Funnily enough, the last time I photographed him was on the same stage here at Hyde Park. That was almost a year ago to the day at Live 8. This was when the four members, Roger Waters, Dave Gilmour, Nick Mason & Richard Wright got back together for the first time in 20 plus years for a one off gig for Live 8. I dont know what Live 8 actually achieved. I really dont, but I did get some great photos that day, so, I am alright jack... No, I dont mean that. But I cannot see any good that has come from it really.