Pat Benatar

Back in November of 1979, I went to a club to see David Johannson, former singer of the New York Dolls. I have always been a Dolls fan, and wanted to see what he would do solo. Opening the show was a little girl in spandex, who, although she had a great voice and some great songs, basically got booed off the stage by all the Dolls fans in the audience. So, between bands I headed to the rest room, which is situated next to the opening act’s dressing room. The dressing room door was open, and Pat was sitting by herself, crying while her band was breaking down their equipment. I knocked on the side of the door and asked if I could come in. We talked for a while, and I told her not to worry about the booing, as that happened a lot in Chicago. (I had just seen Van Halen get booed off the stage while opening for Journey- TWO NIGHTS IN A ROW! She smiled, dried her tears, and agreed to do a quick photo shoot in the hallway, and we became friends, (sort of). I photographed her several times in the next two years (several times with David Johannson opening for her) as she quickly became a superstar.

So, now we turn to November 1982, and she was playing the big hockey arena in town. I called her publicist to request a photo pass, and was told that Pat does not allow photographers at her shows any more. In those days, I very rarely took no for an answer, so I went to the show anyway, and snuck my equipment in. I found a pretty good spot and shot the whole show. The next day I sent photos to all the major rock magazines, and made a killing off of them, as there were no good photos around.

I have always thought that that was the start of the “no photos” era of the business. I tried to fight it for a while- I knew a lot of the security guys at the local venues, and they always let me sneak in, but I soon realized that the photos weren’t as good, it was too much of a hassle, and if they didn’t want me there, I would just as soon stay home. Oh well, the beginning of the end.

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