Archive for September, 2008

Golden Years

Posted in music, photography, Uncategorized with tags , , , , on September 19, 2008 by Kevin Estrada

David Bowie
Sound & Vision Tour
Los Angeles Sports Arena
May 23, 1990

Legends don’t come easy. What defines a legend? Creativity, originality, influence, style, vision just to name a few. David Bowie has all of the qualities…and many more to be honest. Motley Crue, Aerosmith, The Clash, Quiet Riot, Metallica, Guns N Roses – they were all influenced by David Bowie.

The thing that I really respect about David Bowie is his ability to create and destroy. He would create an image, a character, a sound – all new and original to what was going on musically at the time. Then, just as quickly as he created it, he would destroy it, lay it to rest and move on. This was the way Bowie worked, completely abnormal yet perfect.

I was fortunate enough to photograph David Bowie on his 1990 Sound And Vision Tour. I was and still am a huge Bowie fan and I was very excited when I heard that the set list he put together was sort of his own best-of, spanning his entire career. Not only would he play his top singles, but we would also be treated to many songs that we thought would never be awakened.

As Bowie hit the stage the audience exploded as he soared in with Space Oddity. It was a level of intensity that I still feel is nearly unmatched in all my years of concert going. His look; his style; his voice – all picture perfect. Bowie is a true artist in every aspect – that is what excited me about shooting him. He has always carried such a strong visual vision, I couldn’t ask for more as a photographer.

I was nearly sick to my stomach as he kept vomiting out hit after hit. We all know that he has written some great songs, but you don’t really begin to appreciate it until he does it right in front of you – one after another…it was unreal.

Set List
Space Oddity
Changes
TVC15
Rebel Rebel
Golden Years
Be My Wife
Ashes To Ashes
John, I’m Only Dancing
Queen Bitch
Fashion
Life On Mars?
Blue Jean
Ziggy Stardust
Stay
Sound And Vision
Station To Station
Alabama Song
Pretty Pink Rose

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Then And Now Series : Rob Halford of Judas Priest

Posted in music, photography, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on September 15, 2008 by Kevin Estrada

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

These photos were shot over a quarter of a century apart. Besides losing his hair and growing a goatee, I am happy to say not much has changed. Okay, maybe the Halford of today stumbles around the stage a bit; okay, maybe his moves are a lot slower and safer then they used to be; okay, maybe he reads some of the lyrics off of a teleprompter strategically placed on stage; okay, maybe he can’t hit all those brutally high and long notes like he did in 1982 – but no one can argue that Rob Halford does not have the same passion, fury and angst that he did 26 years ago.

This is a man that has truly dedicated his life to Metal. Sure, Halford meandered here and there a bit, but he always came back around to what was in his soul – Metal. Rob Halford has arguably done more for this genre of music than anyone else in all of music. Halford is the guy who carved the heavy metal look by mixing leather, studs and denim; he is the guy who made Heavy Metal Vocals a true instrument and used them as a creative art-form; and he is the guy who made being a Metal Head respectable. Be proud Metal Heads, be proud.

What EGGxactly Happened That Night

Posted in music, photography, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on September 9, 2008 by Kevin Estrada

IRON MAIDEN
OZZFEST ’05
Devore, CA
August 20, 2005

This was the show that had the entire Metal Community talking. What really happened that night? We will probably never really know the whole story. But I was there, in the pit as it happened, and I caught a first-hand glimpse of the madness.

As headliners Iron Maiden hit the stage that night, the band was bombarded with “technical difficulties” throughout their entire set. Dickinson’s microphone would turn off and on at random; the guitars and bass would drop out of the mix repeatedly without warning. Over and over, the band was pushed and tested to the point of angered frustration. Maiden’s fans had to sing aloud to fill in the soundless gaps. But it was at two and a half minutes into the second song, The Trooper, when one of the biggest controversies in Rock History was born on this final night of The Ozzfest 2005 Tour.

First, let’s rewind a bit, to just before Maiden hit the stage that night, just before the lights went down. As I stood inside the photo pit / security barrier that separates the fans from the stage, I noticed three oddballs enter the pit from the opposite end. You have to understand that not just anyone can come strolling into this barricade – a person must have the proper credentials to enter. Just by looking at these three freaks, I knew they did not belong in here, but somehow they all had the proper credentials. They were dressed like something out the funny papers –bad, oversized tie-die shirts, sandals, shaved heads, backpacks, shopping bags, etc. All three were wearing numerous Ozzy buttons and stickers on their clothing. To top it off, on their shaved heads, they wore handmade, paper headbands that read “OZZY RULES.”

As the crowd grew hungry for the evening’s headliners, the chant began – Maiden, Maiden, Maiden. Suddenly, these freaks in the pit pulled out a wireless microphone and started yelling, “Ozzy, Ozzy, Ozzy” in an attempt to drown out and overpower the Maiden fans. I couldn’t believe what was going on. Who were these guys? Just then a few of the Security Guards, must have had the same thought and told them they had to leave. The three freaks all shoved their All Access passes in their faces…they were not going anywhere.

As the lights went down and The Ides Of March rang out, I grabbed my spot up against the stage, camera in hand, ready to work. Suddenly, one of the freaks was up against me, shoving me from my right side in an attempt to move me out of the pit. There was no way I was leaving. I held my ground and shoved back. It became a war, both of us pushing and screaming in each other’s faces, telling the other to move or else. “Or else what?” I hollered back at him. “I’m not going anywhere asshole, deal with it,” He finally backed off.

As Maiden hit the stage with incredible energy, ripping into Murders In The Rue Morgue, the three freaks pulled out their wireless microphone and once again started chanting “Ozzy, Ozzy, Ozzy” as Maiden played. Luckily for Maiden, their microphone was not nearly as loud as Maiden’s stage volume and the “Ozzy” chants could only be heard locally, through the front monitors that stood in front of me and all of the fans in the front row.

Dickinson screamed, “The Trooopppeer.” Just then, the three freaks grabbed their backpacks and shopping bags and pressed themselves close to the stage. Again they started to shove and push me. Once again, I fought back and continued to pop my camera off. To put it mildly, it was getting crazy and chaotic in that pit and it was difficult for me to do my job…it was very difficult to maintain control. As if on cue, just as the stage lights dropped a bit during the guitar solos, the three freaks all reached into their bags and began flinging food at the band – eggs, milk, frozen peas, etc. I couldn’t make this stuff up…it was unbelievable.

Bruce Dickinson and Steve Harris really got hit hard, especially when they would approach the edge of the stage. At one point, the onslaught of convenience store goodies was so massive that egg yolk and milk dripped down onto me from Dickinson and Harris as they stood above me, doing their best to continue on with the show.

Why did this happen? Who knows? It could have been anything. I do know that just before they hit the stage, Maiden was told that they need to shorten their set from 60 minutes to 55 minutes…Dickinson would not budge and insisted that Iron Maiden was still going to play their entire one hour set, regardless. Also, at the end of the show, Sharon Osbourne came out on stage and explained to the crowd that Bruce Dickinson had been causing problems and showing little respect, if any, to Ozzy and crew for the entire tour. Obviously, there was some tension building on this tour and it imploded that evening.

There has been a lot of controversy over this show, a lot of talk and a whole bunch of different versions of what really happened. People have gone as far as saying that this event never even happened and that nothing was ever thrown at Iron Maiden when they were on stage.

Well rock fans, here is the proof – please see “Exhibit A.”

“Exhibit A” clearly shows Steve Harris sporting a few eggs as he plays his heart out. I don’t think anyone can argue with this photo…I did not doctor it or do any computer trickery to this image…this is what I shot and this photos speaks a million words.

“You may have noticed a few wise-asses decided that they would go down to the supermarket and buy a few fucking eggs and start throwing them at us down at the front…I guess that thought it would be funny. Well, my friends, this is an English fucking flag and these colors do not fucking run from you ass-wipes. Because we know that there’s a whole bunch of Iron Maiden fans out there that came to see this fucking band tonight. So all I would suggest that if you see someone throwing shit at this band, which incidentally, Nico is cleaning off his drum-kit at the moment so we can continue the concert. So if you see someone throwing shit at this band and they raise their arm, make sure that when it goes down it’s in two fucking pieces for me, will you?”

BRUCE DICKINSON : on-stage after being assaulted by food

If You Can’t Shoot ‘Em…Draw ‘Em!

Posted in music, photography, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on September 4, 2008 by Kevin Estrada

Edward Van Halen & Randy Rhoads
July 7 & July 10, 1984
Drawn By Kevin Estrada

Not too long ago, my Mother and my Step Father were cleaning out their garage and came across a few of my things that had been buried away for years. It was like Christmas morning for me when my Mother handed me a box filled with memories from my childhood. Among the items were these two drawings that I drew when I was a teen back in 1984.

I was so into the rock and roll visuals to the point that if I wasn’t sneaking my camera into shows taking the photos, I was at home drawing the photos. I would throw myself on my bed, crank my music up and draw for hours on end. I studied rock photography like my life depended on it…my nose was always stuck in the latest issue of Cream Magazine or Circus Magazine. I knew all the names by the time I was 11 or 12 years old – Neil Zlozower, Fin Costello, Neal Preston, Mark Weiss, the list goes on and on. Those were my heroes…and they still are.

Obviously, Eddie and Randy had a huge impact on me growing up. These guitar slingers were bigger than life and I would dream of someday working with them one on one. Unfortunately, working one on one with Randy Rhoads would never happen for me…I drew this about 2 years after his death. These pictures were drawn just a few days apart…I must have been really itchy to get to another show.

These drawing mean a lot to me. When I look at them, I remember the passion and the excitement that drove me to live my dream of becoming a rock photographer…I never gave up. Yea, I know people say dreams are lame, but dreams really can come true…I am living proof. Today, I still have that same passion and excitement that I did back in the early 1980’s when I would dream about photographing my favorite band in the dressing room as they readied to hit the stage. I am blessed that my dream came true.