The Many Faces Of Metallica: 2003 Rob Trujillo

Posted in music, photography, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on February 7, 2009 by Kevin Estrada


Summer Sanitarium
Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum
Los Angeles, Ca
August 9, 2003

Metallica had just released the St. Anger CD about 8 weeks before this tour came through Los Angeles.  There were a number of notable changes this time around: the band was growing their hair out a bit; black t-shirts and jeans were brought back into the mix; and for the first time, a conscious decision was made by the band to give up alcohol.  But the band had one more trick up their sleeves, a secret weapon – new bass player Rob Trujillo.

As I popped off photos that night, I remember feeling the energy that Trujillo was giving off.  He was so powerful that the rest of the band had no choice but to try to keep up with Trujillo as he set the tone and pushed the band song after song.  It was the first time I felt true, pissed off energy from Metallica in years.  St. Anger may not have been the right choice, but Rob Trujillo definitely was.

One strange note worthy of mentioning: as I was in the photo pit that night, dodging crowd surfers that fall from the crowd into my tiny world, you will never guess who fell in.  Quentin Tarantino – sporting a $120 Metallica hockey jersey.  As security guards escorted him out, Quentin high fived me after experiencing his very first taste of crowd surfing.  He was on a natural high with a smile a mile wide.

Photographed with my Canon EOS-1 and a f5.6 Canon 80-300mm  lens.  Shot on Fujichrome film.

The Many Faces Of Metallica : 1996 Kirk Hammet

Posted in music, photography, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on February 4, 2009 by Kevin Estrada


Lollapalooza ’96
Irvine Meadows Amphitheatre
Laguna Hills, CA
August 4, 1996

To put things lightly – a lot had changed.  Metallica were now a corporate giant and were pulling in big enough numbers to headline the once-alternative Lollapalooza Tour. Load had just been released not too long before this gig and it was the first time they rolled through town in support of the new CD.  I had seen a handful of photos showcasing Metallica’s new image.  To be honest, I thought it was some sort of joke or publicity stunt, or at least something that wouldn’t last.

As Metallica took the stage that summer evening, I stood there – stunned.  I couldn’t believe what I was seeing through my lens.  Short hair, designer clothing, nicely trimmed facial hair, facial piercings and (it still keeps me up at night) eyeliner.  It was at this point that I realized that Metallica was no longer influencing bands…they were now being influenced.

One of my favorite moments in Metallica history was when Hettfield barked at the 1984 Donnington crowd, “If you came here to see spandex, eye makeup, and the words ‘Oh baby’ in every fuckin’ song, this ain’t the fuckin’ band.”  Now, it looked like I might be seeing that band.

Photographed with my Canon EOS-1 and a Canon f5.6 80-300mm lens.  Shot on Fujichrome film.

By Overwhelming Demand…Photos Available For Sale

Posted in Uncategorized on January 28, 2009 by Kevin Estrada


I have received dozens of emails and requests from my loyal readers asking how they can purchase some of the photos I have shared so far on my blog as well as many other photographs from my huge archives.  I have decided to make a limited amount of these prints available for sale.  8X10 and 11X14 enlargements, framed or unframed – personally signed and numbered.  Purchase details will be coming in the next few weeks, but if there is a print that you are interested in now, please email me ( or contact me through the comments section on my blog.

The Many Faces Of Metallica : 1989 James Hetfield

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


Irvine Meadows Amphitheatre
Laguna Hills, CA
September 22, 1989


(This photo and many others now available for sale.  Email:

Not too much had changed visually with the band from 1988 to 1989.  Sure there was a little more facial hair but the band was still outfitted in jeans and t-shirts.  The big difference, however, was that by the time Metallica rolled through town on the second leg of The Damaged Justice Tour, they were the biggest band in the world.

Metallica was now accepted by the main stream and were becoming a household name.  Music videos and televised awards performances became the norm.  Our little band was all grown up.  The Justice LP was an epic creation, as was the stage show.

This gig holds a very special moment in my heart.  It was the first time I shared the photo pit with fellow rock photographer Ross Halfin.  I had admired his work throughout my teen years and to be snapping next to him was something that I never thought would happen.  Unfortunately, Ross was a complete prick to me that night.  I later came to realize that Ross is a complete prick to everyone.

…And Photos For All

Photographed in the photo pit with my old Canon F1 and a cheap, no name 80-200mm f5.6 lens.  Shot on Kodak transparency film.


The Many Faces Of Metallica : 1988 James Hetfield

Posted in music, photography, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on January 6, 2009 by Kevin Estrada


Monsters Of Rock Festival
Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum
July 24, 1988

Van Halen, The Scorpions, Dokken…in 1988 these were some of the biggest names in Rock.  But it was a little band named Metallica that stole the show…night after night.  Armed only with denim jeans, worn out t-shirts and wrist bands, Metallica proved to be the next big thing.

At the time, Metallica and its fans had a connection that none of the other bands on the bill had.  At the show I attended in Los Angeles, before and after Metallica hit the stage, you could hear the chants – Metallica, Metallica.  And during their set it was pure mayhem as all of us tore out our seats and tossed them in the air toward the stage.  This interaction with the fans fueled Metallica…and the Monster was created.

This photo shows what Metallica was made of – no frills, no glitz, no b.s.   This is the band that took Metal to the next level.

Photographed with my smuggled in Canon AE1 Program and a no name 80-200mm lens with a 2X teleconverter

Then And Now Series : Madonna

Posted in music, photography, Uncategorized with tags , , , , on November 25, 2008 by Kevin Estrada


I shot these two photos nearly a of a quarter of a century apart. I remember when Madonna was the hottest female in pop when I was a teen in ‘85…and I am not just talking about her music. Her dazzling face and body graced the cover of just about every magazine on every news-stand in the world. Now, 23 years later, she is even more dazzling.

I was lucky enough to sneak a handful of timeless photos during her infamous Virgin Tour in 1985. And just earlier this month, I had the privilege to be officially approved to shoot Madonna’s Sticky And Sweet Tour when it rolled through Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles.

Some things just get better with time…these photos are the living proof.

Amazing Jumps : The Police

Posted in music, photography, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on November 13, 2008 by Kevin Estrada


The Police
Staples Center
Los Angeles, CA
June 20, 2007

In the last few years we have been privileged to see a lot of classic rock bands reunite – Van Halen, Jane’s Addiction, Motley Crue, Led Zeppelin, etc. I was pretty stoked to hear that The Police were finally really going to do it. There had been a lot of bad blood and a lot of solo tours standing between the three members, not to mention a lot of questions. Can they still do it, are they too old, will they rock like they used to? Well, this photo is the living proof – The Police pretty much picked up where they left off. The band played with as much youthful fury as they could – still changing drum kits, still using synthesizers with their feet and still jumping high in the sky with musical inspiration beneath their feet.

I shot this photo just as the band hit the final notes of Message In A Bottle…Sting has got some air.

Photographed up against the stage with my Canon 5D and a Canon 24mm-70mm 2.8 lens


If You Can’t Shoot ‘Em…Draw ‘Em! – new discovery

Posted in Uncategorized on October 29, 2008 by Kevin Estrada

Diamond David Lee Roth
Summer 1984
Drawn By Kevin Estrada

Not too long ago, my Mother and my Step-Father 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 teen years. Just when I thought I had the good, we have come across another fantastic find…this time buried away in storage.

I had forgotten all about this one. This is obviously my rendition of the famous shot of DLR on the back of Van Halen’s debut LP. What a photograph, what a pose, what a band, what a front-man. This photograph always captivated me…to the point of taking a handful of hours during summer vacation to draw this photo. My best drawings seemed to emerge while I was punished…stuck in my bedroom with nothing but time on my hands. I would throw myself on my bed, crank my music up and draw for hours on end. Some paper, a pencil and a little motivation and wah-lah.

This drawing and my others mean a lot to me (please read Part 1 of “If You Can’t Shoot ‘Em…Draw ‘Em”). 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.

Nailbomb Begins

Posted in music, photography, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on October 21, 2008 by Kevin Estrada

Nail Bomb
Scottsdale, AZ

As my friendship with Max Cavalera continued, it brought me close with another musician whom I had admired greatly, Alex Newport. Fudge Tunnel was one of those bands that completely blew me away when I first heard them – much like Sepultura did. Alex’s guitar playing greatly influenced the way I played guitar and the way I wrote songs. When Max told me that he and Alex were collaborating on a project, I knew that it was going to be one of the most original and incredibly inspired Cds that would come out in my lifetime.

Max called me and told me that he wanted to fly me into Phoenix so I could shoot some publicity and album photos of him and Alex. Max wasn’t really sure what he wanted in the photos, he just knew that he wanted something different, not your standard “stand in front of the camera and look pissed off” photos.

I got to Phoenix a few hours early and hooked up with my buddy Bobby to scout locations. Bobby was attending school out there, so he knew where to find what I was looking for. We stumbled across The Sun Club, a popular night club that had just recently burned down. I thought it was perfect. At the time, they were still calling the project Elephantitis Of The Scrotum. Prior to the shoot, Max had played me some of the new songs and told me about and described its hostile soul. I felt that I could really pull something cool off in this burned down club. I called Max and told him where to find me.

As Max and Alex walked into the destroyed venue, I could tell they were not really sure about this. They were worried that I was going to make them stand in the middle of a demolished room and look like a couple of bad-asses. I tore two pieces of fabric from a black backdrop I had brought with me and told them that I wanted to create a Vietnam-POW vibe. As I asked them to trust me, I blindfolded each of them and moved and placed them where I wanted them…never showing them any of the Polaroid tests until the end.

When they saw the samples I shot, they were blown away. It was exactly what Max and Alex needed to complete the package. And the rest is history.

Photographed with my Canon EOS1, and a Canon 28mm-80mm 5.6f lens. Shot on Fujichrome film.

The F.U. Series : Mick Mars Of Motley Crue

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on October 8, 2008 by Kevin Estrada

Mick Mars of Motley Crue
Secret Location – Rehearsals
January 6, 2005

When I am asked what I do for a living, I explain that I am a Rock Photographer. Most people seem to find my job fascinating. They immediately picture the parties, the concerts, the tours, etc. Most people don’t seem to realize that there is a B-Side to this record – the long hours, the waiting, the bad attitudes, the ridiculous requests, the tardiness, and don’t forget all the physical damage I have taken over the years. Respect in the rock world is hard to come by. Respect and love are often shown in a number of different ways. Very often, that respect and love is shown to me in the form of a middle finger.

Motley was doing a week of full rehearsals for the Red, White And Crue Tour inside of a large auditorium in L.A. and they brought me in to capture every moment on film. You gotta’ remember that Motley Crue was one of my most influential bands growing up, so to be witness to a full Motley show, 8 hours a day, every day for a week was mind blowing!

One day before things got rolling, I was hanging with Mick. We were talking about everything…or I should say, he was, I was doing a lot of listening. Out of nowhere, he got this gleam in his eye and grabbed me. He walked me to the parking lot outside and showed me some really cool custom-made choppers that had been made for the band. Mick explained to me that, because of his rare bone condition, he was the only member of the band that did not get one. He went on and on, telling me how much he loved the bikes. I pulled out my camera and told Mick that it would be really cool to get a couple of shots of him on one of the bikes.

Mick was a giddy as a little kid, amazing. He did his best to hop on one of the bikes, but it was not working. So, with a little teamwork between Mick and I, we got him propped up comfortably against his favorite bike. I popped of a handful of shots; he was really into it…so excited. When we finished he said, “I can’t wait to see those photos. Make sure you let me see them as soon as you have them, okay? Don’t forget.” I assured him that I would get them to him asap.
About twenty or thirty minutes later, I was in the bathroom taking a leak. Mick’s assistant comes barreling into the bathroom. “I’ve been looking all over for you! Mick needs you right now! Come on!” I zipped up, grabbed my camera and sprinted down the corridor with Mick’s assistant. We found Mick, standing in the hallway outside the dressing room, waiting for me. His assistant said, “Here he is Mick, I found him.” Panting and out of breath, I asked Mick, “What’s up Mick? Is everything okay?” Mick answered me, “You got ‘em?” Huh? I wondered. “You got ‘em?” he said again. “Got what? I said. Mick answered, “the photos.” “Which photos” I said. “The photos of me on the chopper” he said. Confused, I replied, “Yea Mick, I have them, but I have to take the film to the lab and get it developed. I’ll have the prints in a day or two.” He smiled at me and said, “Okay, don’t forget.”

It was the strangest and coolest thing. Mick was just so excited to see the photos, he couldn’t wait…like a kid counting down Christmas. I love Mick, he is such a warm person…and whenever he says something, it is because it is important to him.

Photographed with my Canon EOS-1 Camera, and a Canon 15mm fisheye lens. Shot on Kodak Black And White Film.