Sunday, September 25, 2011

Do You Believe in Magic? (John Sebastian)

Last night I was watching Legends of Folk: The Village Scene, a PBS special. The concerts they showed were a little before my time, but I was always into the music. Dylan. Peter Paul and Mary. Joan Baez. And then, all of a sudden, there was John Sebastian and The Lovin' Spoonful. I had been a big Beatles fan when I was young, but it really was the Spoonful who owned my soul. I'm not sure when it was that I got to see them perform at the New York Coliseum (which is now the Time Warner Center on Columbus Circle) but it was way before I picked up a camera at a concert. The highlight that day wasn't the show (which I LOVED) but when we left the Coliseum we saw the band get into a white van. And we chased that van down the street. It was such a rock and roll moment. 

So it was really no surprise when I started looking for the first rock photos I ever took and found they were of John Sebastian.

John Sebastian at the Schaefer Music Festival
Central Park, 1973
At the time, I only had a little point and shoot film camera, an Olympus Trip 35 (still living in my closet). The 40mm fixed lens didn't get me anywhere near close enough, even though I was standing at the foot of the stage. But I have to admit, I loved it. Not long after, I bought an SLR and started taking photography classes. And a year later, the second show I shot in black and white (contact sheet file number 10005)  featured John Sebastian. The photos were better, but I don't seem to have printed any of them. 

So a few more classes, and another year's summer concert series, and I get to photograph Sebastian again. This time, I'm able to get backstage (though it was before Aztec Two Step and I'm pretty sure I didn't have a photo pass-- but hey, it was John Sebastian-- and if I could chase him down 59th Street in a van with the Spoonful, I could sneak backstage) and I got this shot of him rehearsing in his trailer.

And at this show, I got a little closer (ok, longer lens.)

Sunday, September 11, 2011

My City of Ruins

Hard to believe it has been 10 years. I remember watching the benefit, and watching Bruce Springsteen sing this song. 

Rise up.

Monday, September 5, 2011

My Generation

I've been spending some time running around southwest England lately. Not doing any kind of rock and roll tour, mind you, but interested in rock history if I can find any around me. Which I can't, it seems. English rock history resides mostly in London, Liverpool and Manchester, places I haven't been to on this trip. I asked some locals, but no one seemed to know of anything that occurred in this area. I checked the internet, and found that the band XTC, Gilbert O'Sullivan, and Justin Hayward of the Moody Blues all came from Swindon. So I figured that last week's photo of a Beatles photo was as close to rock and roll that I would get (and yes, it's a stretch, I know.)

And then I found out that just a few miles away from where I'm staying is Ashdown House. A lovely estate and part of the British National Trust. Only a small portion of the house is open for visitors, and only for short periods of time. That's because Ashdown House has a tenant. It was closed when I got there, but I wandered a bit around the grounds. Didn't see Pete Townshend either. Yeah, he's the tenant. Purchased the lease from the National Trust in 2010. My guess is that he's probably not living there yet, as the house is undergoing major renovations. Still, nice house, don't you think?

All photos and text © sheri lynn behr unless otherwise noted.
All rights reserved.