Sunday, January 22, 2012


Above, inventive, influential and now venerable British folk-rockers Fairport Convention, known for spawning guitar great Richard Thompson and the late, seminal singer Sandy Denny, underwent numerous personnel changes throughout their still continuing career. (Inception of same: a tragic band van crash claiming the lives of their original drummer and Thompson's American girlfriend, a rock and roll stylist [see LINK] in 1969.)

The rarity of my photo draws from where at UCLA the band performed in May of 1973. The early 1970s found the outdoorsy '60s festival spirit still rampant, so the group played on the sprawling Janss steps landing out in the quad/park area of UCLA's older red brick buildings (recognizable in the background to all as many movies have been filmed there.)

Unlike most Brits, the drummer complained of the blazing sunlight so I gave him my own umbrella to shield his kit area, as I had one on hand for the same concerns and his need was greater. The lineup was as follows:

Dave Swarbrick: vocals, violin, mandolin
Trevor Lucas: vocals, acoustic guitar
Jerry Donahue: guitars
Dave Pegg: bass
Dave Mattacks: drums

Above, Steve Earle during his self-professed "Axl Rose" phase at a venue familiar to both, the Hollywood Palace, May 1989. The skull and crossbones motif behind him is not borrowed from any co-billed hair metal bands but adorned the backdrop, cover and zeitgeist of his Copperhead Road release of the same era.

The politically outspoken, compassionate Earle has ridden a rollercoaster of career ups and downs: 7 marriages, heroin, incarceration, and eventual redemption through the multifarious styles of his music and anti-war, anti-death penalty activism.

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