Recently, I saw two old friends of mine in the news. I went out on Friday and bought the new autobiography “Life” by Keith Richards. Fabulous read!! Almost 600 pages of Keith’s recollections of his life. It is a great and funny read, and also good exercise as it weighs about 500 pounds!!! Keith has been all over the press for the last couple of weeks, being his usual debonair and charming self. My favorite description of him was from the New York Times this week called him a “Consummate gentleman.” This is something that anyone who knows him wouldn’t be surprised about. From the first time I met him (even though I was shaking so hard in fear heading to my first photo shoot with him that I could hardly walk!), he proved to be one of the nicest people I have ever had a chance to hang out with. He puts everyone around him at ease. One late night I was sitting in a chair off camera in Hunter S. Thompson’s living room in Colorado while Hunter was interviewing Keith. It was a most surreal night. Everyone was waiting for Hunter to get his act together. He got up and left the room. The room was silent. All of a sudden, Keith picked up a guitar, turned to me and said “You are from Chicago- does this sound like some of those old blues guys from the south side?” All of a sudden all eyes in the room turned to me. Keith and I proceeded to have a 20 minute conversation about Chicago blues, and the whole crew had a free Keith Richards concert! That was the best part of the night (which ended as the sun came up over the mountains and Hunter shot a double barreled shotgun out the sliding glass door into a tree, deafening everyone in the room.
Keith is always the first one to any van we are traveling in, opening the door and helping everyone into the van before him. In his house, he was always asking me what I wanted to eat and drink. I have never been nervous around him, and always knew that I was in for a good conversation whenever he and I were in the same room! Get the book- it is great!!!
In the late 1970’s and early 1980’s, I spent a lot of time working with Journey, both in Chicago and on the road. I watched them grow to become the biggest band in the world in the early 1980’s. Everyone in the band treated me great, and I always had a great time photographing them. They put on a great show, and their songs became anthems for a generation of fans. Then they disappeared. Rumors circulated that Steve Perry didn’t get along with the rest of the band, different forms of the band continued to tour with several different lead singers. Then the Chicago White Sox won the World Series in 2005, using Don’t Stop Believin’ as their theme song, and Steve Perry popped up on stage at the victory parade singing with the team. Then the Sopranos ended it’s final show with a Journey song as the screen went black. Cut to last week, with the san Francisco Giants in the World Series. There is a clip all over uTube this week videos appeared of the crowd singing along to Don’t Stop Believin’ as the Giants won the first two games. As the camera pans the crowd, it stops on a familiar looking guy in the crowd waving an orange flag, screaming out the words to the song that he made a massive hit 30 years ago. Steve Perry rises again. Maybe a Journey reunion in the works? One can only hope.