On Stage With…The Red Hot Chili Peppers

Red Hot Chili Peppers
Rock For Choice Benefit
Hollywood Palladium
April 4, 1992

(Click photo to enlarge)

***

Part four of a five-part series I’m doing this week, featuring shots that I took while being on the stage with bands. Each day I will add a new band and a new photo.

***

This was a very special benefit held to raise money for the Magic Johnson Aids foundation.  Beside the night’s headliners, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, the bill also featured The Beastie Boys, Primus and the debut of Perry Farrell’s Porno For Pyros. I was really amped up for this show, it is not everyday you get a chance to see A-Level bands like this in a smaller venue such as The Palladium.

As the Chili Peppers kicked off, I shot the first few songs from inside the barricade, and then went to get a drink. The bar was charging crazy money for sodas and water. At this point I was both a starving artist and working my way through college. So, I decided to try to make my photo pass work for me and find something backstage. I flashed my pass to the security guard and gave him a look like I knew where I was going. I then found a water dispenser at one of the back corners of the stage, near one of the guitar amps.

As I was drinking, the stage manager saw me and barked, “Hey, what do you think you’re doing? Get outta’ there.” There goes my free water, I thought, pitifully. But then he points to a spot on stage and tells me to shoot from there, where it is safer. Wow! I wasn’t about to argue with the guy. It’s a rare and great opportunity to get on stage with bands – and it’s getting more rare every day as venues put photographers further and further from the stage.

This shot was a bit difficult to get because of the spotlight that is being shined directly at me – you can see it at the top left of the photo. I had to meter and expose for Anthony’s skin tone and adjust for the spot/backlight. Remember, I was shooting film cameras back then, digital cameras only existed in sci-fi movies. The luxury of taking a shot and looking at it immediately on the back display to see if it was exposed properly was not an option – you either got it or you didn’t. Luckily, I got it.

Photographed on stage with borrowed equipment – a Canon Elan, a 70-200mm lens and an old Canon Flash. Photographed on Fujichrome film.

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2 Responses to “On Stage With…The Red Hot Chili Peppers”

  1. It’s fun to read this post. I’d been looking for info on the web from this show, as it is one of my great adolescent memories. I was 15 years old and I entered a mosh pit for the first time during the Rollins Band set. I remember this bald guy kept pushing me back to the pit as I tried to get out. After three or four times, I finally got out and gave a “tough guy” stare to the bald guy, only to realize it was Scott Ian of Anthrax. Primus, Fishbone, the Beasties. Amazing.

  2. Hello there! I could have sworn I’ve been to this blog before but
    after reading through some of the post I realized it’s new to me.
    Nonetheless, I’m definitely glad I found it and I’ll be bookmarking and checking back frequently!

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