Sunday, May 1, 2011

Reelin' - Phoebe Snow

I'm sorry I never got to see Phoebe Snow perform live. I know I did her signing photos for Atlantic Records in September 1980, but even then I didn't get to see her onstage. Phoebe cared for her disabled daughter at home from her birth in 1975 until she passed away in 2007, but would still manage to perform. It's amazing that she was able to do it.

Garland Jeffreys and Phoebe Snow, 1977
Phoebe would show up around town, and that's where our paths would cross. Then I'd be able to get pictures. She was always happy to smile and pose. You'd never know how difficult her life really was. She showed up backstage after a Garland Jeffreys concert, and the photo was used by Circus Magazine to illustrate a story about Garland, as she sang on "Reelin'" from his second album One-Eyed Jack. One of those backstage shots was also used in Circus for a story called "Phoebe Snow Never Let Go." Interesting how the article talked about Phoebe being cynical, but never mentioned anything about her daughter.

Billy Joel and Phoebe Snow at Studio 54, 1978

She also came to a party at Studio 54 and I shot her with Billy Joel, another musician I've only photographed offstage.

It was hard to hear about her stroke in 2010. It was harder still to hear that we lost her. Rest in peace Phoebe.

And then it turns out we lost Poly Styrene of X-Ray Spex this week too. Rest in peace Marianne Elliot-Said. Two strong women performers gone. 


  1. She was the best! If you've never heard her perform you missed a treat. I saw her perform in the early eighties in Cincinnati,OH. She had us mesmerized with her distinctive voice that only Phoebe Snow possessed. I have all of her music and still play her songs to this day. I was 18 when she hit the radio circuit... I am 56 now and will never let go of her memory or her music. Phoebe RIP with Valerie now... Your My Girl!!!!!!!

  2. Lovely remembrance. Thanks for posting it.
    I do regret not seeing her.


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