I’ve never really had a place to show emotional shots like this. This is the kind of image I’d always put off to the side, intending to do something with, someday… I’ve always loved this shot, but no one has seen it. Hope you like it.
The venue was Sunday Break 2, Sept 9, 1976, Austin Texas. at sunset. The Band had already played, and Chicago was about to fire up, to be followed by Fleetwood Mac, who closed the show. This is what the performer gets to see. It’s a revealing illustration of the Wall of Separation between the Performer and the Audience. Some performers know how to dissolve that Wall. Some act as if they need it. Anyway, it looks pretty tacky from onstage, just so you know….
In my personal Rock N Roll Pantheon, in one of the highest places of Honor, is The Band. They were such a pleasure to see, hear, and shoot. What I remember most about them is that they all moved as a unit, like different parts of the same Dancer, resonating wonderful intelligent Music. They were the Essence of Cool. Are there currently great bands like The Band out there that I’m just missing? I guess, for me, the best current all star type band I’m aware of is probably Ozomatli… or maybe Los Lobos….or….aw, they’re out there…I just don’t get out as much…
This was shot during Stevie’s last taping at ACL. The performance was a tour de force. It’s the most popular, most requested show we’ve ever taped on the stage in Studio 6A. With Stevie it was easy to get that inner looking face-scrunched-up emotive shot, because that’s how he usually looked when he played. It was a lot harder to get him smiling at the audience, because he rarely did it. Here, obviously, he’s doing it. He’s in front of the home folks. He’s clean and sober. He’s at the height of his powers, and his band, Double Trouble, is as tight as can be. He had everything to live for, and it was apparent in every way. He was making great music. Stevie, we miss you.
There’s something about living 55 years that gives a person a sense of perspective…. I’ll never forget the popular President (elected in a Landslide), flashing charm amid the trappings of State, lying his ass off. He was after nothing more, or less, than bringing all the power of State to bear against his enemies; but he got his hand caught in the proverbial Cookie Jar. Ah, Hubris…. Then, however, we had a fairly free, unfettered Press. We had a Moderate Middle that could be swayed by Truth. Now we have a bunch of Hack Yesmen/Brown-Nosers, serving as the Propaganda wing of the Republican Party, on every channel. There is no Middle that I can discern. Anyway, I sort of miss Tricky Dick. He was articulate. And smart.
Here’s BB in his devil-may-care pre heart attack days. He has mellowed with age and is Legendary now, but 23 years ago he was all of that, and powerful, too. What a presence! He’s a Force of Nature. He has become the Ambassador of the Blues. He deserves the title.
This is my Mom, Earlene Newton, on her 80th with her only granddaughter, Duckie, in her lap. Mom is a charter member of the Greatest Generation…She’s seen it all…The wife of a US Air Force fighter pilot, she raised 4 kids on airbases all over the world. She’s the eldest of 12 siblings herself. She has, besides Duckie, 7 grandsons and 4 great-granddaughters. She’s the Matriarch for many. The best thing about my Mom is her loving heart. The most remarkable characteristic is her sharp, unfiltered, outspoken intelligence. I hope I have the acuity and health she possesses on my 80th…..Happy Birthday, Mom. I love you. You inspire me.