Archive for dressing room

“You Better Start Shooting, Kid!” – Glenn Danzig

Posted in music, photography, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on July 29, 2008 by Kevin Estrada

Danzig
Dressing Room
The Palace : Hollywood, CA
July 7, 1989

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(This photo and many others now available for sale.  Email: IamKevin@fairwarning.com)

As a way to make up for my near death experience at The Celebrity Theatre show in Anaheim (read my post “Twist Of Kevin”), Glenn and their publicist extended an invitation for me to do a quick shoot with the band at their next L.A. area show for Creem Magazine’s upcoming Metal Special. I had only met Glenn briefly before this night – in the lobby of The Wiltern Theatre at the Andrew Dice Clay show a few months prior.

I hooked up with Danzig’s tour manager at their tour bus just after the band arrived at the venue. As I walked into the club and headed towards the dressing rooms, I noticed that there were a couple of guys trailing us…their hands were full with weight lifting material – weight bench, weights, curling bars, etc. The tour manager and I stopped just outside the Danzig dressing room so he could fill me in on what to expect and to make sure that we made this shoot as quick as possible. As he was giving me the run-down, I saw the two guys turning the dressing room into a gym. I knew this was going to be good.

By the time I walked into the dressing room, I only had about 5 or 10 minutes left to shoot the photos. I introduced myself to each of the four guys in the band and told them that we should start with some quick solo shots. As I started getting my camera together, Glenn and John Christ both started lifting a bunch of weights and got their arms really pumped. Then, if that was not enough, they both did a load of push-ups. Eerie just kind of hung back and watched it all. Chuck Biscuits just sat on the sofa and drank beer. Glenn got a bit bothered that Chuck was looking so lazy and just boozing it up, but that’s Biscuits for you.

I saw that John was done working out, so I asked if I could start with his solo shots. Out of nowhere, John dunked his head in a tub of water and had his hair dripping all over himself as he walked in front of my camera. Then Eerie walked up and just kinda stood there…very evil-like…it was perfect. Biscuits was next. He had this fantastic bad-ass/punk attitude about the whole thing…like he could care less. He walked up with a beer in hand and just looked like he wanted to go home…I loved it. Glenn shot him a look. Biscuits then asked Glenn if he could keep the beer in the photos. Glenn just shrugged his shoulders and kept doing push-ups.

By the time Glenn walked in front of me to do his solo shots, he was completely pumped and ripped. His arms were still throbbing. As he stood in front of me, he started putting on his infamous Karate gloves that he used to wear all the time. I lowered my camera and waited for him to finish tieing his gloves and start posing for me. Glenn must have taken it the wrong way or something when I lowered my camera because, without looking at me, I heard him say, “You better start shooting kid! Time is running out.” I realized that Glenn was not joking about 5 minutes to do this shoot. So I started snapping. Suddenly, Glenn Danzig came to life. His facial expressions became very serious; his body tightened up…he was focused. What a pro!

As soon as I was done shooting Glenn’s solo shots, I grabbed the other guys and threw them next to Glenn for some quick group shots. Glenn was very impressed how fast I shot and how serious I took the shoot. This photo was the last frame that I shot in this session. Just then, their tour manager popped in and told us that it was time to get on stage. The band was taking this show very seriously as it was being broadcast live on KNAC, the local metal station at the time. I followed the band up to the stage and jumped in the photo pit and snapped away.

My relationship with Glenn grew from that day and I have worked closely with Glenn many times since over the years. It is an honor to know that he continues to think highly of my photos and appreciates the way I work. Glenn Danzig is the real deal.

Photographed with my trusty Canon AE1 Program, a cheap, no name 28mm-70mm lens and a Sunpak 100 flash. Shot on Kodak Ektachrome film.

SLAYER’S STILL REIGNING DVD…the dressing room

Posted in music, photography with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on July 2, 2008 by Kevin Estrada

SLAYER
Augusta Civic Center
Augusta, ME
July 11, 200

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(These photos and many others now available for sale.  Email: IamKevin@fairwarning.com)

***
Part three of a five-part series I am doing this week as I look back at the making of Slayer’s Still Reigning DVD. From load in to load out, I was there with the band.
***

Hatebreed and God Forbid had gotten the crowd warmed up, now it was Slipknot’s turn. Doors had opened a bit late due to the last minute set-up of the blood-rain system, but at least it was complete and ready to go. Whether it was going to really work the way everyone was hoping for was another question.

I photographed a couple of songs during Slipknot’s opening set. If anyone could hold their own as an opener for Slayer, it’s definitely Slipknot. When I finished shooting, I headed back to Slayer’s dressing room to hang with them until they went on. Just before I left the arena floor, I took a good look at the crowd, the venue was oversold, and there was hardly room to stand. Everyone was feeling the excitement of what was soon coming.

The mood in Slayer’s dressing room was surprisingly calm and quiet, but there was still a sense of tension and unspoken worry. I sat alone with Kerry King for quite some time as he strategically whipped up a super-solid set list…saving entire Reign In Blood album as the encore. Kerry put a lot of thought and a lot of heart into this set list. He wanted to make sure that the first half of Slayer’s show was as strong as possible. Slayer has such a huge archive of songs, it was very difficult for Kerry to pick and choose what made it into the set that night.

Then, as soon as Kerry King laced up his Armband Of Nails, much like medication as it kicks in and starts to take effect, the band kicked into overdrive and became the Slayer that we all know. Right in front of me, Jeff and Kerry started jamming together, at full speed. It was amazing, it was like they were onstage and I was the audience. No amps, nothing, just them, their guitars and myself. I didn’t want that moment to end, it was incredible. Dave was violently banging away with his drumsticks on a locker door. Tom seemed to meditate as he sat alone, his mind seemed to be racing in a thousand directions…he was ready.

Through the arena walls we could hear the crow chanting – Slayer, Slayer, Slayer! It was almost time. Jeff was the most eager to get on stage. He was bouncing all over the room, he could hardly contain himself. Then, being the joker that I can be sometimes, I decided to pull a fast one on Jeff. Slayer’s road manager at the time had a very nasally and scratchy tone to his voice – and I could imitate his voice almost flawlessly. I pulled Kerry and Tom aside and told said, “watch this.” I slammed the dressing door open and in my imitated-road manager voice I yelled, “Okay, let’s go, it’s show time…come on, let’s go!” Jeff came running out full speed with his guitar and we were all waiting for him in front of the dressing room door laughing our heads off. Jeff immediately knew he was the butt of a joke and started cracking up. We all laughed it up and cherished the moment. It was a nice way to get rid of the day’s tension, if only for a brief moment. Just then, their real tour manager walked in the dressing room and yelled, “Okay, guys let’s go.”

Stop by tomorrow and every day this week as we get closer and closer to Slayer hitting the stage in my weeklong retrospect of Slayer’s Still Reigning DVD.

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