Archive for Sabbath

Stand Up And Shout!

Posted in music, photography, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on January 3, 2010 by Kevin Estrada

Dio

Irvine Meadows Amphitheatre

Laguna Hills, CA

July 26, 1986

Besides battling wizards and dragons, Ronnie James Dio has gone head to head with such heavy-weights as Ozzy Osbourne, Gene Simmons, and even his former and now current band-mates Tony Iommi and Bill Ward. Ronnie is currently involved in the biggest and most fierce battle he has ever had, and we need to send him our prayers.

Just before Thanksgiving of 2009, Ronnie James Dio was diagnosed with the early stages of stomach cancer.  He jumped right into his cancer treatments, and despite canceling his European Tour, Dio and Heaven & Hell will perform in July at the High Voltage Festival in London.

I have had the honor to have met and worked with Ronnie a handful of times, and I can honestly say that Dio is one of, if not THE, nicest and most down to earth people in heavy music that I have ever, ever met.  For a man who has helped to bring Heavy Music to the masses as well as spearheading numerous charities and community fundraisers, he is genuinely grounded and modest.

The first time I met him, I thought I was going to crush his bones when we shook hands…and I am not much bigger than he is.  Besides, if it weren’t for Dio, who knows what two fingers we would be sticking in the air!

You can send cards, letters, well-wishes, etc. to Ronnie at:

Dio Fan Club

12400 Ventura Blvd.

Suite 624

Studio City, CA  91604

It Doesn’t Get Much Better Than This

Posted in music, photography, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on August 13, 2009 by Kevin Estrada

Estrada_MAIN_H&H_BLOG

Heaven & Hell
Greek Theatre
Los Angeles, CA
August 11, 2009

Have you ever had one of those nights when everything seems to go just right?  If you’re anything like me, you start waiting to get slammed with something negative to balance things out.  Here is my story…

First off, I get to shoot Heaven & Hell…that alone is cool enough.  Next, they set me up with free parking…not in the stacked area, but in the good lot.  Then, I’m hooked up with a great seat for the show.  Then, my best bud Rob decides to come to the show and we work it out to sit together for the show…just like old times.  Heaven & Hell are amazing…Tony Iommi proves he is still inspiring.  Then, we get hooked up with hospitality at the show… you know – free booze, coffee, desserts, finger foods, etc.  Hung with my bro Rudy Sarzo a bit…greatest guy!!

So, basically, it was an amazing night of Heaven & Hell…and it did not cost me a dime.  But it’s not over yet.  As Rob and I are walking out of the venue, I explain to him what a great night it was and I run the list of greatness by him.  Then I say, “The only thing missing was a free t-shirt.”  Rob says, “Well, you can’t have everything.”

We walk to his car, and three rough looking dudes are drinking beer and leaning on his car.  They look at us, stare us down as we approach.  I am very cautious as I am carrying 15 grand worth of photo gear.  The thugs say, “Hey, is this your car?”  Rob says, “Yeah.”  Then they say, “Hey man, we’re just hanging out man, you gotta’ problem with that?”  Rob says, “No, it’s cool.”  They continue to watch us.  Rob opens his trunk and I start putting my photo gear inside.  Then one dude says to me, “Hey, come here.”  I am cautious, I don’t move.  I say, “What do you want?”  He says again, “Come here.”  I say, “I’m right here, what?”  He pulls out a Heaven & Hell shirt that he bought from some bootlegger in the parking lot.  He says, “This will fit you, right?  It’s a large, I need extra large.  You want it.”  I roll my eyes, the last thing I need is to pull out cash in front of these boozers.  I tell him, “I’m a medium guy, large is too big for me.”  He tosses the shirt to me and tells me to check.  I hold it up against my torso, it’s too big for me.  I tell him, “This thing is like a dress on me, it will fit you.”  I toss it back to him.  He tosses it right back to me, “No man, I need extra large, I’m too fat.”  This guy is not taking no for an answer, I figure he must want more beer money.  So I say, “How much do you want for it?”  He says, “No man, take it, free, I don’t want it, it’s yours…take it.”  I look at Rob.  Rob looks at me.  “Really?” I say.  “Yeah dude” he replies.  We exchange a good bro hug and I tell him that I am happy to know that there are still some good people out there.  He liked that, and tells his buddies, “You hear that, I’m good people.”

Rob and I get in the car and snicker.  I look at the shirt and tell Rob that it is one of the most hideous shirts I have ever seen.  Then I tell Rob, “This thing is not going to fit me, I need a medium.”  I ask Rob if he wants it and he tells me he also needs extra large.  We start to drive off, then I spot a bootlegger selling shirts on the other side of the parking lot.  I tell Rob to drive over to him.  I roll down the window and call the guy over,  His hands are full of dozens of the same hideous shirt.  I tell him, “Hey, I told you I needed a medium and you gave me a large.”  He says, “Oh, sorry” and gives me a medium in exchange for the large.  I roll up the window and look at Rob.  Rob tells me, “I guess you can have everything.”

Like I said, a great night!

Photographed with my Nikon D300 and a 300mm 2.8 lens.

Estrada_H&H_Pass

What If…

Posted in music with tags , , , , , , on May 9, 2008 by Kevin Estrada

Black Sabbath with Rob Halford on vocals
Pacific Amphitheatre
November 14, 1992

Rock&Roll stars – especially Metal stars – have always felt like superheroes to me. Everything about them – their shrieking voices, stylized clothing and massive personalities – always seem so much larger than life. When I was a kid, I remember reading a Marvel comic book series called, “What if?” It explored alternate universes and asked questions like the infamous #1 issue, What if Spider Man joined The Fantastic Four? This photo of Rob Halford singing lead for Sabbath reminds me of that series.

To commemorate Ozzy’s “retirement”, a historical show was put together – Sabbath opening for Sabbath – Dio’s incarnation of Sabbath opening for Ozzy’s Sabbath. Just days before the show, out of respect for Ozzy, Ronnie James Dio decided to pull out. Rob Halford, a big time Sabbath fan, who happened to be in L.A. to present the original line-up of Sabbath with a Rock Walk Award in Hollywood, offered to step in. A few hours later, Sabbath was in rehearsals with Halford on vocals, and a major moment in metal history was underway.

As the amphitheater lights went dark, the intro to Priest’s Love Bites rang out and a jolt shot through the crowd. They had no idea what they were about to bear witness to, but they could sense that it was something big. The lights then fired up and Sabbath, fronted by Halford, busted into a blistering version of The Mob Rules. This was, without question, one of the most legendary gigs I ever shot.

Photographed with my Canon EOS-1 and a Canon 70-300mm lens using Kodak Ektachrome film.

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