Friday, February 26, 2010


photo (C) 2010 Heather Harris.
I photographed the Ruby Friedman Orchestra last night. (2.25.10) What an emotive singer! After only 19 gigs together, the band's next is at one of L.A.'s premiere venues, the Roxy. Future stars! I figured this was the last stop before the fabled big time to get some close-up pics.
This shot was photographed without flash, I just tweaked the light and color balance when I got home. (I prefer stage light to flash or fill-flash whenever possible, despite higher ISO, and then fill flash if I have to.) It also was photographed way after the requested "three song limit" for photographers, as the artist didn't do this expression or stance until much later in the show.

Monday, February 22, 2010


photo (C) Heather Harris. All Rights Reserved. L-R: Brad Laner, Mari Grubbs and Eddie Ruscha.

Here's my elegant studio shot of Brad Laner, creative musician to this day, A Long Time Ago with his group Debt of Nature, later signed to Rick Rubin's Def American (then American) label as Medicine. One of the other member's father was my art teacher at UCLA as famous artist in residence, Ed Ruscha. That class was fun! He showed movies (it was an oil painting class) and brought his Hollywood celeb friends to stroll around making random comments like "I think you need more green."

The look we were going for was analytical clinicians. Brad was so precise in conveying what he wanted that all I had to do was build the set, get Mari a little more comfortable with being photographed, and we got the best pic, this one, on the first shot. Rare, that.

Monday, February 15, 2010


photo (C) 1967
Heather Harris.
All Rights Reserved.

This is the first photo I took of a live rock show, Buffalo Springfield at the Shrine Auditorium,
1967 depicting guitarists Richie Furay in a custom tailored shirt probably made from a bedspread from India courtesy of Home Silk Shop, (always the hippest locale in L.A. in the mid-60's to spot the rockstars, who flocked there with their custom tailors since cool stage clothes were always bespoke,) and Steven Stills who need no introduction. I also had a nice one of Neil Young of same in his jacket with 4' fringe.

Tech notes:
As a beleaguered teen with martinet parents, I had to concoct duplicity to get out of the house in the first place, get a ride to the Shrine Auditorium with friends, carefully count my pennies to have afforded a roll of film that had 12 possible frames and 6 flashbulbs with which to carefully plan my shots. This was taken with an Instamatic, a fairly primitive snapshot camera of the era. It was black and white because that was cheaper film for the teenaged me to purchase.

Later I would borrow better cameras for events until I bought the cantankerous Edixa with the damn pre-set lenses and no instructions from the estate of a cameraman. This led to a hasty purchase of 35mm Nikon soon thereafter.

1967, I trust the outcome of Malcolm Gladwell's "Outliers" theory of 10,000 hours of previous experience + talent = success will be evident in my current live stage shots.

Friday, February 12, 2010

PROTO-Cindy Sherman

photo (C) 1974 Heather Harris. All Rights Reserved. My first sighthound, Lucretia Borzoi as a puppy and me doing the proto-Cindy Sherman thing, probably just home from a late night of photographing Glam rock. I've forgotten whether or not this was my first Nikon or the Edixa with the damn pre-set lenses.

Johnny Marr for the masses

As a non-musician, I'm intrigued with all the DIY Youtubes of those imitating their rock heroes. Usually, they sound exactly as you'd suspect (to be kind.) However, this one is brilliant, witty, and my favorite one of all:

Monday, February 8, 2010

THE WHO live at the Super Bowl, DICK DALE live 1973 and 1994, FASHION PHOTOGRAPHY and THE MEANING OF LIFE

The interweb's gone viral with excoriations of The Who's appearance at the Super Bowl 2.7.10, hoisting them on their own petard of "'hope I die before I get old." When my niece's friends tweeted that the band reminded them of their grandparents dancing inappropriately at a party, I countered with "...only if your grandparents wrote all the music for that party."

Elsewhere, someone no doubt my age suggested "Give them their victory lap already" in response to a fairly personal blog about same (considering he has been friends with Pete)

Above, here's my classic (unPhotoShopped) (we didn't have those contraptions then) shot of all four original members of The Who in 1970, end of their Tommy tour, in all their extravagant, powerful, savage glory. I didn't feel compelled to go find my more recent shot of Townshend playing live, because he comes off exactly the same in intensity, windmill arms akimbo mid-power chord. Except he's not leaping, has far less head hair and two of his buds are no longer with us. So what are we to do about the most venal enemy of rock and roll, the passage of time?

A: we should be glad when there's something to see and hear. My two aligned shots above are Dick Dale (King of the Surf Guitar) and the Del-tones at the first Surf Revival at the Hollywood Palladium, 1973, an interesting intersection of surf and original era Glam styles at the time. Observant readers will note the presence of Mr. Dale atop the band's piano, with the second photo recording his daring leap from same. My third photo was shot twenty-one years later at the Santa Monica Pier in 1994. Response to a press/photo pass invite to see the sexagenarian play outside at the beach at night? "Misirlou" from "Pulp Fiction" aloud? You betcha! despite little likelihood that that he'd leap tall pianos in a single bound again. I wanted the sound, even if time had abridged the fury. Oh, and by the way, my lost-in-my-files photo of Pete Townshend looks remarkably like the latter day one of Dale, except right-handed.

It seems the loudest protesters are intolerant of change, with the terrified vain and the unscarred young at the forefront. We shouldn't have one demographic banning another, even if it's topsy turvy to whichever generation feels slighted. The Stooges reunion with James Williamson in Brazil last November sounded rock hard, balls-out terrific, even if the band is no longer twenty and prone to physically assaulting itself for the audience's entertainment and delight. They play way better than any of today's twenty-year-olds! (or thirty-year-olds, forty-orfifty-year-olds.)

I myself have no qualms about the process except for the severe physical pain from multiple damage (one copes.) It's the natural order. But it's practically against the law to reveal one's true age in Hollywood so I don't, since I want to continue working. As artists indeed change, improve and stay fresh over their lifespan, one should bestow upon the artist himself or herself the same tolerance of latitude. But that's only in Cloud Cuckoo Land.

Here on Earth, consider my two fashion photos below as a pop quiz in The Meaning of Life, and assessment thereof. What do they have in common, besides the fact that I shot both of them in exchange for free clothing from their respective fashion designers, the first photo actually depicting one, Laure Mire? A: they are both very, very attractive females, albeit at very different stages of life, both having honed their personal styles to look their best as models and beyond in life. When all of us accept that answer, then rockstars won't seem to be embarrassing themselves like dancing grandparents.

all photographs (C) 2010 Heather Harris. All Rights Reserved.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...