What a pleasure to shoot. She strikes pose after pose, serially, as naturally as can be. If you got a chance to see Tina in her prime, you know what I mean. I can’t recall ever seeing such a steamroller on stage. She just rolled over anything that detracted from just looking at HER…
This April, 2004, off a road in Hill Country, I saw this faded memorial of unity and patriotism. The Live Oak tree looked like an anguished, mourning spirit. The flag looked like it was covering a wound, like a bandage.
If you’ve never been to Texas Hill Country in the Spring, you don’t know the depth and breadth of Tejas. The rock is PreCambrian granite, older than a billion years. The lichens are like natural accent paint. The flowers are living haiku. The cactus watch the eons pass like sentries. Much like the people who inhabit it, the land is….different. Stark. Exotic. Loud yet somehow subtle. You know, Texas…..
Here’s Johnny, 18 years after his performance on ACL. Johnny Cash is and was my favorite Country male entertainer. His depth and gravity were without peer. His voice wan’t pretty, but it was raw and real. It was his soul that was so readily readable, like a rhino in your bathtub. He was a huge Force of Nature, unstoppable like the tide, uncontrollable like a hurricane. When I think of “the man in black” I think of a mountain of integrity. This is my best shot of him. I hope you can see some of the pride and stature…. Look! It’s Mt Rushmore, strumming a guitar….
Robert Plant, the voice of Led Zepplen, (Stairway to Heaven, etc), possesses one of the Voices Of The Century. What I was most impressed about him, however, was his sharp intelligence. You don’t normally think of Rock and Roll gods as smart, but this guy is… I’ve shot lots of “really big stars”, but this guy impressed me as much as anyone…. I like portraying him as humble and receptive, as opposed to the wailing emotive shot usually associated with him….
The classic Al, rose in hand, dressed in white, crystal-shattering voice soaring. Nobody hits the high notes like the Reverend Al.
Here’s the Reverend Al Green showing his lingual proficiency. Seems kinda nasty coming from a Reverend, but there it is..
Here’s one of the greatest musical forces of our lifetime, Ray Charles, in full channel. He was at the height of his game, 21 years ago, and all his powers were on display. This is one of those shots where I saw him do the revealing thing, rear back like this and belt it out, but just momentarily, and I missed it…… So I waited him out until he did it again. Click. The automatic signal of a great shot, to me, is when the hair stands up on the back of my neck and a wave of chills instantly sweeps over me. All of that happened when I made this shot. I can still remember that moment like it was today.
Elvis Costello is one of the best there is. He’s unique, powerful, iconoclastic, and original. Shot this year, the day after ACLFest, Elvis teased us with the news that he had almost moved to Austin with the band in 1978. THAT would have certainly changed the course of Austin’s provincial scene….
Okay, imagine this: It’s 1986. You’re climbing very steep pyramids in the jungle in the Yucatan; not tourist pyramids, but really steep ones in the middle of the jungle. You and a small group of friends get to the top of the tallest pyramid on the whole Yucatan peninsula, and the remnants of a hurricane assault and purify everyone. My great friend, Jane Rusk Kasey, stood in the driving wind and rain on top of the pyramid, overlooking the jungle and received the Rain god’s benediction and showed me how to become One with it All; Here in the Now…. Jane has been dead almost 10 years now… Every time I look at this shot, which is every day, I’m goaded to accomplish as much as Jane did, in the immortal instant captured by this shot….. I hope you can feel her, as I do, right down to her pink tennis shoes. She was among the best of humans.