If I had photographed a band, and saw them somewhere after that, whether days or months later, I usually went and spoke to them. Like with Elton John at the Rocket Records party. I wasn't shy and I felt that photography gave me a perfectly valid reason to start a conversation. Made for a good shoot the next time, too.
|Michael Anthony, David Lee Roth and Eddie Van Halen|
One of the few exceptions was Van Halen. I had photographed them the night before at the Palladium. They were actually the opening act (hey, everyone has to start somewhere) and you could tell they were going to be HUGE! REALLY, REALLY HUGE. The energy. The drive. The music. (ok, their kind of music wasn't my thing, but hey, when you see a performance like that… I have to say I was impressed) The next two acts, Montrose and Journey, were incredibly tame in comparison.
|David Lee Roth of Van Halen at The Palladium in NYC, 1978|
So the next day I'm in Fiorucci on 59th Street in NYC. It was a really cool boutique from Italy. I'm trying on jeans, walking around the store looking at stuff, when I look up and realize some of the guys from Van Halen are just a few feet away. Can't quite remember who was there besides David Lee Roth, (hey, it was a long time ago) but he was not alone. And just guys, no girls hanging around them either. But I stand there. I know I can go up to them, maybe start a relationship that could keep me photographing them (remember, I was sure they were going to be BIG), and I just stand there. It was way before they became known for their attitudes about women, but somehow, I think I must have picked it up. I'm guessing that deep down, I felt they'd just consider me a groupie, and, well, you know how I felt about that.
But hey, at least I got photos from the show published in three different issues of Circus magazine.