It probably wasn’t until halfway through the Mojo tour that Wayne Williams, Benmont Tench’s long-time tech, tapped me on the shoulder as I was snapping photos on stage right one night and motioned for me to grab the set of headphones off the top of his road case.
Listening to Wayne’s mix of Benmont isolated away from the rest of the band became a nightly ritual for me after that. His playing is always so tasteful and serves the song, whether he’s infusing subtle organ swells under Tom’s vocals or pounding out a counter-melody on the grand piano for Mike Campbell to solo over.
The magic’s all there in those hands. Don’t believe me? See for yourself.
Bid on Benmont’s Hands here.
Bid on Benmont here.
Click here to check out all 15 framed prints being auctioned to benefit the Tazzy Animal Rescue Fund!
Unlike Rider, I know exactly where TP’s View was taken.
The Heartbreakers were playing Jiffy Lube Live, a 25,000-capacity amphitheater located 35 miles outside Washington DC in Bristow, VA. I’d been to the venue at least once before, when it was the old Nissan Pavilion in the ’90s.
It was the middle of August in the South, and those outdoor sheds – with their metal roofs and cinder block walls – are like ovens once the crowds fill the seats and the band’s going onstage. The heat and humidity can play havoc on camera gear, especially lenses.
During that 2010 tour, Tom typically called for lighting director Jim Lenahan to raise the house lights once a night so he could see the audience. The crowd always went nuts when this happened, and the band loved getting a look at the packed house.
On this night, just as they wound down “Free Fallin’,” I climbed up on my step-stool in the pit in front of the stage and reached for my camera with the wide-angle lens in anticipation of Tom calling for the lights, but when I peered through the viewfinder, all I could see was a giant white cloud.
Flipping the camera around, I saw that my lens had fogged up while I’d been shooting with my other camera. Grabbing a shammy out of my back pocket, I wiped the lens dry and snapped this and one other frame before the house lights were killed.
Concert photography is like that. It’s a constant dance with the performer, lights, crowd and conditions. No two moments are ever alike. Maybe that’s why I love it so much.
Bid on TP’s View here.
I’m not exactly sure where Rider was shot, because I photographed this scene backstage a few times throughout the 2010 tour.
Coca-Cola in the classic 8 oz glass bottles is sacred in Heartbreaker World. They’re a must on the band’s rider, hence the name of the piece. Any leftovers after the show are quickly snatched up by the crew. I didn’t really appreciate it until about halfway through that tour, but it’s true what they say – there’s something to those glass bottles that just makes it taste better.
I can’t remember if he told me this or I read it in an article somewhere, but I believe the first record Tom bought with his own money was Playboy, the 1962 album by The Marvelettes, Motown’s first girl group. He got the money to buy the record by collecting and cashing in empty Coke bottles. I love that story, because I remember saving up my allowance as a kid in excited anticipation of going to the record store on Saturday to buy that album I’d been waiting to get. That experience is lost in today’s world of instant downloads and album streams, a casualty of the digital age. I get a little bit of that same sense of enjoyment when I find an album on vinyl I’ve been looking for for a long time, but it’s not exactly the same. The mystery’s not there.
In looking at this image just now, I can’t tell you why this particular frame was the one. Just felt right, I guess.
Bid on Rider here.
Very, very excited to give y’all a sneak peek at the cover of the upcoming new issue of BLURT, which should be hitting newsstands or the periodicals section of your local public library in early November.
As part of my promise to write more in 2012, I contributed a tribute to the late great Donald “Duck” Dunn, legendary bass player for Booker T. & the MGs and a member of the Stax Records house band. Spoke with a whole bunch of Duck’s friends and colleagues and got an unexpected surprise when Jeff Dunn, Duck’s son, got in touch and agreed to provide some pictures that his father had taken over the years. Seems Duck was a bit of a shutterbug himself.
We’ll be running some of the interviews I did for the piece in their entirety online in the coming weeks, so stay tuned.
They’re all up!
All 12 framed prints we’re donating to benefit our four-legged friends at Tazzy Animal Rescue Fund are up now on auction at eBay.
Check ’em out here.
Check back over the next few days for the back stories on some of the images in the auction!
October 23, 2012
A little more than two months ago, the Liner Note Junkie family lost one of our own.
For nearly 14 years, Sister Jolene was our constant companion. She was a Southern belle, born in North Carolina at the foot of the Appalachians, but she flew her freak flag high for half her life in San Francisco. Her love for life and family was unparalleled, and we count ourselves lucky to have had her with us for so long.
In honor of Jolene and in celebration of the launch of this new site, Liner Note Junkie is auctioning off a slew of framed prints on eBay to benefit the Tazzy Animal Rescue Fund, a 501(c)3 non-profit that operates a full-service animal rescue in Burbank, CA.
These images were shot on Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers’ 2010 North American Summer Tour in support of Mojo, the band’s Grammy-nominated album.
The first two prints were posted today: TP and TP’s View.
These auctions have no reserve and all proceeds benefit Tazzy Animal Rescue Fund, so if you’re interested in getting one of these one-of-a-kind photographs and helping a worthy cause along the way, bid high and bid often!
Keep your eyes peeled as there is more to come.
Thanks for visiting.