After I decided to stop shooting rock, the first show I went to see was a U2 concert from the WAR tour at the Palladium in 1983. I went with a record company exec friend who was a big U2 fan. We were sitting upstairs on the side-really good seats--but as I was used to being at the edge of the stage, I felt like the show was a mile away. Without my cameras, I didn't know what to do with my hands. The show was great, I was in awe of the way Bono handled the crowd, but I really really missed the cameras and the ability to do something more than just watch and listen. I could see that it would have been a great show to photograph. Right then I knew I wouldn't be going to that many more live concerts, at least, not without my camera.
My photographic interests these days are more in the gallery world. So in 2005 when a photographer friend from my rock days invited me to go to an exhibit of photographs of U2 by Anton Corbijn at Stellan Holm Gallery in Chelsea, I knew I wanted to go to the opening and see the exhibition. And when he said the band might be there, I knew I'd bring my camera.
The gallery was full of photographers, there to shoot the band and the other guests, and didn't seem that interested in the photographs on exhibit. It was amazing how different it was from the old days. People brought ladders to shoot over the heads of the other photographers and you could barely find a place to stand. I was glad I wasn't doing this so much anymore. (I still shoot the occasional concert, but I don't mingle much with the paparazzi)
Corbijn's photographs in the exhibit were really good.
And I did finally get to photograph Bono.