I spent Thanksgiving 1978 in NYC photographing the band Foreigner. First, the show in Madison Square Garden. Then backstage for your basic platinum record picture. But it was Thanksgiving, and afterward there was a party up at the Promenade Cafe at the Rockefeller Center Ice Rink. After the backstage photos, the band went back to their hotel to change and I ran up the the party. I scarfed down a bit of Thanksgiving turkey (standing up I must say) waiting for the band to arrive. My job was to follow them, and photograph them with friends and family. When they got there, the band members went off in 7 different directions. And I would go from one to the other taking pictures. An interesting way to spend Thanksgiving.
But wait, where are the photos? These are tearsheets. Now it's not like I don't have photographs of Foreigner, I have plenty. I just don't have any for Thanksgiving 1978. And why is that you may ask? Good question. Well, sometimes a record company publicist would want to buy all the photos from a shoot for the label to own. It would pay much more than the shooting fee I'd usually get and I wouldn't have to shop the photos around myself. Sounds pretty good right? But DO NOT DO THIS! I'm sorry I did. I was young and stupid. Even though I have a ton of other backstage gold/platinum record photos with bands, I wish right now that I had them all. I can't even say I sold any other Foreigner photos, and I did photograph them again. But once you've given up your rights they are gone. My photos from that night ended up in the trades, and in the Atlantic Records weekly news bulletin, but all I have is a couple of tearsheets. I didn't even get a photo credit.
So now it's Thanksgiving 2010. I'm having dinner with my family. I'm getting ready to write this story, and I tell them about the Thanksgiving I spent running after the band Foreigner and their families. "Wait a minute," my niece says. "Foreigner? My friend's father is in that band." She tells me her friend's name and I name the father. And wouldn't it have been great if I could have passed on a picture of her friend's father and grandfather?