Sunday, June 24, 2007

Glastonbury Day Three

I got up, had breakfast in the restaurant at my hotel. Then got back to my room and continued sending photos out. I had to rush back to Glastonbury, as I had to meet my mate Paul who is dealing Dame Shirley Bassey's press. It was arranged with Dame Shirley that I was to shoot from on stage. So, I was the only photographer allowed on the stage. I did get some nice shots.. I must say, she was fantastic. What a voice, what a performer..I know I seem to say this a lot, but, she is a Real Legend.. After her performance, we went back to her dressing room area. I then said my goodbyes to all of her people and I rushed back to the press room, where I sent out my photos. This all took some time and before I knew where I was, it was time for The Who. They were headlining on the Pyramid stage. I was led through the rain and mud and again, I was the only photographer allowed to shoot from the stage. Sadly, this wasn't the best place to shoot from on this occasion, I think it would have been better if I was up higher on the side of the stage. There were areas there where a few privileged people could watch the show from. I wasn't allowed up there. The Who were bloody fantastic as usual. Truly sensational. I shot as much as I could and then legged it out and into the bloody horrible rain. I then had about an hour's walk through deep and slippery mud, to my car. It was quite a surreal time. Finally I reached my car and quickly managed to get my car out of the field without getting stuck in the mud. I then got on my way back in the direction of London.. I was in for yet another late night, getting back at about 2am and then spent another few hours editing photos and syndicating them..

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Glastonbury Day Two

Well, here we go again. I left the comfort of my hotel in Bristol and drove out to a little village on the outskirts of Bristol. I was on my way to buy some wellington boots. Believe it or not, there were none available in Bristol. So, after picking my new size 12's I headed off to Glastonbury. It was as muddy as yesterday, in fact it was a bit worse. I had to park my car about two miles away from where I had to get to. I don't mind the walk, but, walking with laptops, cameras in mud up to you elbows is rather tricky. I photographed Paulo Nutini, me old mates, Babyshambles, Paul Weller,The Kooks, Lily Allen, Iggy Pop & The Stooges. I also shot loads of people backstage to many to mention. I was by now covered in mud from head to toe. Its funny how all of those who were not working loved it in the mud.. It appears to me that those of us that are working here are somewhat stressed and 'dont feel the love' like those normal music goers.. Or maybe its just me. Yes, probably, me. I aint good in mud, rain and muck.. The good thing is I have a nice hotel room waiting for me. If I can get my car out of the mud that is.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Glastonbury Day One

Mud,mud, mud... and more mud.. Its a bit of a joke trying to work in these conditions, but, I say that every time. So far, it isn't as bad as Fuji Rock festival in Japan, when a Typhoon comes through.. Or just constant downpours soaking me and my cameras through... That ain't fun. Anyway, shot a few people backstage. Had a nice time with Peter Doherty and Kate Moss. We were in one of the many bars areas. Mind you Kate didn't want to hang around for too long so they headed back to there motor home.. I also shot the headliners, The Arctic Monkeys, who are bloody fantastic. That reminds me, I must buy their new CD. When I finally got back to my hotel in Bristol, I walked into the hotel foyer covered in mud. I bumped into Gary Powell, drummer with Dirty Pretty Things (ex Libertines) and all round good guy. He thought it was funny that I was so muddy. I checked in and headed off to my room. I got into the shower fully clothed and stood there for about 10 mins.. I had so much mud on my Timberland boots, that I stood there and washed them off and then slowly managed to get clean.. Oh what a nice feeling that was.. I had a lovely big double bed, wi-fi mini bar, 24hour room service and all usual comforts of this type of hotel. As I lay there in my bed, I could help thinking about all of my photographer mates who had decided to camp at Glastonbury... I don't envy them at all.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Lisa Maffia Studio shoot

Today is a busy studio shoot with Lisa Maffia. She is now signed to Universal Records and I think has a big, bright future.. We were shooting at Spring Studios in North London. There was Lisa, her assistant, Debbie. There was Kym doing her makeup, Chi Chi doing her hair, Richard Styling, Paul (PR) Albert, Lisa's manager, Phil from Universal Records, my assistant Pete and me.. So, all in all a busty studio.. Spring is a great studio to work in, I must say, I do like it there.. We had quite a busy day and got some nice shots of Lisa. After the long day of shooting, I think my favourite shots is pretty much the last scene we shot. Always the way eh!

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

London Bound

I had breakfast again today with my mum n dad. They then ran me to LAX to meet up with Tim, Simon, Neil & co. We all met at United check in. We were then taken by United to their Red Carpet Lounge, where we waited until we were called for our flight. We then, headed up to the gate. When we were at the gate were were told that there is an problem and the flight is going to be delayed by an hour. So, we were then taken up to the First Class Lounge. As we left the gate, I was walking with Helen Mirren. We had a nice chat in the elevator, she had seen the Leno show the night before and I was explaining a little about the Zimmers to her, she was very interested in how they were doing, which was nice. So, after we had eaten and drunk the first class lounge our of all of the goodies, we were taken back down to the gate and we then boarded our flight. I must have dozed off a little bit on the flight, which was nice. Anyway, we arrived at London Heathrow almost two hours late at 2:45 pm Thursday afternoon . Simon filmed it all again. We said our goodbyes and went our separate ways, for now anyway..

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Jay Leno Show with George Clooney

I got up and had breakfast with my mum n dad at a new Deli in Westlake called Brents. It is like a good old fashioned NY Deli, great food and loads of room in there as well. Anyway, after that I belted it off down to Universal City to the hotel. There I met up with Neil Reed & co. After while everyone assembled in the lobby. We then were escorted out to our Limo outside. This was a squeeze. There were to many of us really. But we did manage it in the end. We were swiftly taken to NBC studios to get ready for the Zimmers appearance on the Jay Leno (Tonight Show) probably the biggest show in the USA. Once we got there we were met by all of Jay Leno's people and we were escorted to our dressing room. It was nice to see the names on the door of all three Zimmers. Shame the other 37 wernt there, but, you have to start somewhere.. It wasn't long before we were escorting them all through to make up, then hair etc. It was very exiciting for them. The dressing room next door to us was George Clooney's. He arrived and agreed to come in and say hello to the Zimmers and also, was cool about me shooting them all together. He was genuinely a lovely guy, really. Although he was kind of rushed, he was very interested in the Zimmers and all of what they were doing.. I though afterwards, I should have asked him if he fancied dueting with the Zimmers on their next release.. After all, his auntie had a great voice, I do recall having an album in our house of hers called 'Clap Hands Her comes Rosie'. That was Rosemary Clooney of course. Anyway, I didn't ask him. Maybe I will mention it when I go over to his place for dinner soon. Soon after George went into makeup, Jay Leno came flying in and brought 3 presents for the Zimmers. He gave them all a portable DVD Player.. That was really nice of him. They were all very touched. So, a short while later, the show began and on went George Clooney, the following him was our three little hero's. When they went on stage, Tim, Neil, Liz (Mail on Sunday journalist) and Simon BBC Cameraman and all round great geezer, stood and watched with our hearts in our mouths. Bu, we needn't have worried, they were fantastic. They went down a storm. After the show, a few people came back to meet them, which was also fun for them. We then gathered our Zimmers and headed out to our limo and back to the hotel. All in all a fantastic event. Once back we decided to go out and have dinner and do a quick shot of the Zimmers in front of the Hollywood sign. So, off we went with Jimmy our driver in front and me following in my car. We headed out to Los Feliz and did the shot in front of the Hollywood sign, then went round the corner to an Italian restaurant for dinner.. We then made a quick exit as Winifred almost crashed out at the table. We rushed her back to the hotel, where Keri got her straight to bed. Keri looked after her so well on this trip, she was very caring, dedicated and very aware of everything concerning Winifred. In fact Keri was caring when it came to all of the Zimmers as well. Not once did she say anything about wanting to bugger off out to go shopping or come down stairs after Winifred had gone to bed. She wasn't out to hob knob with the George Clooney's of the world or anything. She was just brilliant and dedicated. In my view, if there was such a thing, she should be up for carer of the year award. I have been in kind of similar situations where people are supposed to be looking after people and all they really want to do is 'get a holiday in' if you know what I mean. I hate those kind of people. Anyway, I spent the next few hours editing up my photos for a paper and then a few of us sat around a large screen TV in the hotel lounge and watched the Jay Leno show.. Great fun.. Then after that I said goodnight and I buggered off to Thousand Oaks..

Monday, June 04, 2007

The Kids Are Alright !!

Today, they all seemed a bit tired and groggy. Keri, who is Winifred's carer, was concerned that we should slow down a touch with Winifred. Keri had noticed that Winifred (99) was at times becoming vacant. She pulled me aside and we discussed any plans that we had previously made re filming and shooting today. She was dead right, Winifred needed to slow down today and rest. So, all we did was move all three of them onto a couch and we shot them with a British flag, that I borrowed from my dad. We also borrowed a US flag as well. As the Zimmers have recorded the Who's "My Generation" it was kind of appropriate that we did a quick photo of them with the flags over them, similar to the famous Who album, "The Kids are Alright" That was a cover shot of the Who with the British Flag, the Union Jack draped over them. Anyway, that is the shot we did. We didn't want to exhaust them. After all Alf is also 90.. We have to look after them. We hung around the hotel plotting and planning the next days events and eventually I drove home for the night.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Sex n Drugs n Rock n Roll

Well, no sex, but lots of drugs n rock n roll. I am used to touring with the boozy drugged up, egotistical mashed up idiots. But this is very different, except for the drugs n rock n roll. Touring with the Zimmers is an absoulte pleasure. They are truly wonderful people. Today we left the hotel and we drove them out over Laurel Canyon, then took Sunset Boulevard all the way to Pacific Coast Highway (route 1). Then we headed up to Malibu, Paradise cove to be precise and did a photo shoot. They ahd a great time, signing autographs along the way. All in all a fantastic day. After we had finished at Paradise cove, Neil Reed (Record company Mogul) drove Winifred and Kerrie her helper back to the hotel via Malibu Canyon. That is quite a breathtaking route. Winifred seemed to love every second of it. When we got her back to the hotel, for her, it was time for bed. It was an exhausting day at the beach.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

On tour with The Zimmers - Los Angeles

I think they are officially the oldest rock band in the world, The Zimmers, that is. I met up with Winifred, Alf, Norma, Tim Samuels, Simon Brown, and Neil Reed at 7:30 am at Terminal 3, Hearthwow airport. There were also, two ladies, one a flight nurse and the other a helper for Winifred, who is 99 coming on the flight with us. We were then met by United Airlines, Carlos, who looked after us so well. So, here is a big thank you to Carlos from all of us. We were all checked in then taken to the Red Carpet lounge. Where we did some shots and filmed a bit. In fact most of this is being filmed by the BBC. We were eventually notified that the flight was ready to board. Winifred, Alf and Norma were taken up to the gate by motorized car, which was nice for them. I need the walk... So, off we went, we boarded the plane and this too was filmed. The passengers were all wondering what was going on as we walked on board. It didn't take too long before the crew announced who we all were and then added that they may be interested to know that we were all heading out to the US to go on the Jay Leno show. This is happening on Tuesday. During the flight, I was chatting to Winifred, who was reminding me of the last time sh flew. It was over 80 years ago in a bi-plane, a Sopwith. She was in one of the two seats and it didn't have a roof she said. She also told me that the pilot, a friend of hers, who was in the RAF, crashed about two weeks later into the North Sea on his way to Norway. She said it was so sad, he also had his little do with him on the plane, he took it everywhere.. Anyway, Winifred, was loving the Boeing 777, slightly different from a convertible Sopwith. We arrived in Los Angeles and again the United staff were fantastic. We were taken straight down to the immigration hall and then through the airport and outside. This again was all filmed. Then a nice big Limo arrived to take everyone to the hotel. My mum n dad were there to collect me. I wasn't going to the hotel. I wanted to go back home, have a shower, then jump in the car and then meet them at their hotel. So, we said our goodbyes and off I went with mum and dad. On our way back out to Thousand Oaks, we stopped so I could by some clothes for a shoot with The Zimmers tomorrow. I got back to the house, had a shower, jumped in my car and headed down to Universal City to meet up with everyone. I then got a call from Tim, who said they were all a bit hungry, So, I suggested that we all went to Jerry Deli, right near them on Ventura Boulevard. So, that is what we did. The food arrived and it was great to see their faces as the normal US portions of food arrived. They seemed to be loving it. Afterwards we dropped the Zimmers back at the hotel, we then rushed out and got them some bits for there rooms and I then headed off home, for some bloody sleep at last.