In the presence of genius!!

First off, to continue last weeks post. Didn’t hear anything from Keith’s camp. So I forgot about the letter that I had sent. About a month later, on Thanksgiving Eve, I got a call from Keith’s manager saying “Want to come on the road with us? Be in Memphis in 48 hours. Of course, I went, starting the first trip I have ever traveled with a band. (Might as well start at the top). Three weeks and a few cross country trips later, I finished up in New Jersey on December 19th for the last day of the tour, and Keith’s birthday. I learned as I went, having to find photo labs in many strange cities, get film processed and editing in my hotel rooms. I must have done a good enough job, because ten months later, I was on a private jet touring the country with the Rolling Stones on the Steel Wheels Tour

On another note, last night (5/15/10) I spent an amazing four hours photographing and listening to one of the greatest songwriters of my lifetime. I got a last minute call asking me to shoot stills for a documentary following John Prine as he came home to play in the auditorium of Proviso East High School, his alma mater. This was a benefit for a Maywood, Il. dance studio that had burned down a few months ago. Because it was a hometown show, the stories in between songs flowed.

It was interesting to see some contrast here. Last month, I had to photograph Muse. Three guys on a stage that took 50 people to build and about 20 trucks to move around the country. Even with all of that crap, I was bored to tears by the second song! John, on the other hand, put on a mesmerizing show with three guys on stage. Other than instruments, the only prop on the stage was a table with 2 bottles of water and some picks for him. But, oh man, were his songs great!! Whether they were written last year or 40 years ago, each song (and each story) was like a small novel, entrancing the audience (average age about 50). No one left before the end, when he brought his three brothers and his three sons up to sing one last song with him. Talk about minimalism!!

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