Archive for CA

The F.U. Series : Corey Taylor Of Slipknot

Posted in music, photography, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on October 1, 2008 by Kevin Estrada

Corey Taylor of Slipknot
Ozzfest ’99
July 24, 1999


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

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 ridicuous 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.

I shot this photo in Devore, CA at Glen Helen Pavilion. Devore is a small city, tucked away in the desert of San Bernardino, CA. It was hot, it was dusty and Slipknot was pissed off. They had one mission on this tour – to kill and destroy every audience – one city at a time.

This was the last stop on the 1999 Ozzfest Tour and Slipknot was full of rage. The band had been up early that day…in full costume and in the 100-degree plus heat before 11am. 11am!! No wonder they were so angry. This photo was taken just moments before Slipknot hit the side stage that day.

Photographed with my Canon EOS-1 Camera, and a Canon 28-70mm lens. Shot on Fujichrome film.

Idol Chatter

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

Billy Idol
KROQ Inland Invasion 4
Hyundai Pavillion
Devore, CA
September 18, 2004

I was hired by Billy Idol’s management company to work with Billy. Billy was getting a new start with his career and besides great live shots, they wanted me to spend some time with Billy that day and really capture who he is and what he does before and after a gig. I had never worked with Billy Idol before and I had never even met the man, so it felt a bit strange to just pop in and say, “Hi, I am Kevin Estrada, let’s spend the day together.”

I was set up with his right-hand person – a hard edged woman almost completely covered in tattoos and took no nonsense. I met with her when I arrived at the venue and introduced myself to her. She and Billy were expecting me. As we walked over to the bus to meet with Billy, I thought it was a good idea if I ran my photo “wish-list” by her to make sure we got it all covered. As I finished reading her my list, she stopped and told me that she was not sure if Billy was going to go for all of what I wanted. I told her that I expected that, but we should see what his thoughts were first.

We got to Billy’s bus and she told me to wait outside, she was going to run in and tell him that I was here and inform him that I wanted to go over my “wish-list.” She opened the door and hopped in. About 5 minutes later, she exits the bus and closes the door behind her. I thought it was odd that she closed the door and did not invite me in. She told me that Billy wanted me and his assistant to trim down my “wish-list” to the shots that I felt were most important. I broke it down for her and handed her a new list. “Great,” she said as she entered the bus once again.

Another 5 minutes or so goes by and again, she exits the bus and closes the door behind her. She says, “Billy is cool with Set-Up A and Set-Up B, but he wants to know if you can move Set-Up C to earlier”. This was becoming a mess. I explained, “Sure, I can do that, although if we move C to earlier, than B has to be done first because we need the sun.” “Got it, be right back.” She hops back onto the bus and I wait again as she talks with Billy.

A few minutes later, she comes out again. “Billy said that is cool, but he wants to know if you can move Set-Up A from the side area to the load-in area.” I answer her, “I am not sure if we can do that because The Killers will be loading out at that time. How about we move it to the grassy area?” She smiles and says, “Cool, let me run this by Billy…be right back.” Again, I wait for her outside the bus. I was really getting irritated by this point. This back and forth craziness went on and on for another 20 minutes or so. She emerged from the bus again, although this would be her last time.

Just as she is about to open her mouth, the bus door violently swings open and Billy Idol is hanging on it like a rabid ape. His mouth is snarled up in classic Billy Idol fashion as he looks at me. With his two fingers flipping back and forth at me (like a Brit flipping someone the “bird”), he yells in his thick British accent, “Hey, are you the photographa’?” I was frozen – I couldn’t move, I couldn’t speak…I had never seen something so amazing in my life. It was one of the rare moments that I get to experience in my job as a rock photographer. Billy Idol is the real deal! He is exactly who you would think he would be…irate, annoyed, pissed off. And it was all directed at me…I loved every second of it!

I said, “Yea, I’m your snapper.” (Note: “snapper” is a word that I discovered the British love to use in place of “photographer”). He snarled at me and yelled, “Then get in here!” As I entered his bus, he popped open two beers and handed me one. “Alright, fuck, let’s quit fucking around.” I was just as irritated and annoyed from all the back and forth nonsense as he was, and Billy was cool enough to recognize that. We sat together sipping our beers and worked out the shoot in about 5 minutes. What a great guy!

To make a long story even longer, we never got to shoot any of the photos from my “wish-list.” His meet-and-greet went longer than expected and he ended up doing an impromptu interview with KROQ-fm. All that madness for nothing. But honestly, it was all worth it…Billy Idol is the real deal, not some phony character that he pretends to be. Billy idol really is who he is. These are the moments when I really and truly love my job even more than I think possible. Besides, I think this shot captured who Billy Idol really is!

Photographed with my old Canon EOS 1D and a Canon 70mm-200mm f2.8 lens.

A Funny Thing Happened To Me On The Way To The Show

Posted in music, photography with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 7, 2008 by Kevin Estrada

Nuclear Assault
Celebrity Theatre : Anaheim, CA
December 1989

Have you ever had one of those days when you wish you had just stayed in bed? Well, this was one of those days. At the time, I was hosting an extreme Metal Show on my college radio station and I was offered a couple of tickets to see a band that I was really into and supporting heavily on my show – Nuclear Assault.

Nuclear Assault had just had a great run with the Survive album. Now, with their newest release, Handle With Care, it was time for these East Coasters to be considered a serious threat to the Bay Area’s Thrash and Speed giants. My buddy Len and I really appreciated Nuclear Assault’s approach to their music. They were very socially aware, but they had a sense of humor. Nuclear assault also appealed to us because they fused speed metal and hardcore – long before it was popular to do such a thing.

Just before we left for the show, I got a phone call from their label rep. She knew that I was also going to be shooting the show for Creem Magazine’s Thrash Metal Special. She told me that if I arrived an hour early, I could snap some shots of the band in the dressing room before their set. I was blown away!! This was a chance for me to get something special, something timeless. Then I thought about it…I had no studio lighting, I didn’t even own a flash…that’s how broke I was. I needed to borrow something, pronto!

I would lose a little bit of time, but my roommate knew someone with a flash I could borrow. It took a bit longer than I hoped, but I got the flash. Unfortunately, the flash did not come with batteries. I was going to have to make another pit stop to pick some up on the way to the show. Now I was starting to stress out, I still had to pick up Len. If I was not at the venue early enough I would blow my photo opportunity in the dressing room.

I was about 30 minutes behind schedule when I finally picked up Len. As we were racing to the show, I spotted a Target off the freeway and pulled in. Len knew I needed batteries, but he also knew that I didn’t have a penny in my pocket. Len was smart and decided to play it safe and wait for me outside…I couldn’t blame him. Times were tough for me back then, so the batteries were going to have to somehow find their way into my pocket. It was Christmas time and the store was packed. I figured this would be a breeze, but I had to make it snappy.

I quickly found a 4 pack of Duracell AA Batteries and walked to another aisle that was a bit more crowded. As I mixed in with the other shoppers, I dropped the pack of batteries in my pocket. That was easy, almost too easy. I headed for the exit door, I could see Len pacing outside, looking at his watch. The moment I stepped outside the exit doors, an undercover security guard grabbed me. Before I knew what hit me, I was handcuffed and paraded through the store. I was quickly huddled into a small supply room where I was threatened and reprimanded by three or four security guards. To make things worse, I was wearing an Andrew Dice Clay t-shirt – that did not go over well with a couple of the security guards. They definitely were not fans of The Dice Man.

All I kept thinking was, “How long is this going to take? I gotta’ get outta’ here. Can’t I just say I am sorry and leave?” I must have been their only catch of the day…they really wanted to teach me a lesson. After about 30 minutes of this nonsense, I was released and told that I could never shop in that store again. When I got outside, Len was pissed. Then I think I pissed him off even more when I asked to borrow four dollars so I could get the batteries I still needed. Of course I also had to ask him to go into the store and buy them for me since I couldn’t shop there anymore.

Now we were really late. I was sure that we had no chance of making it on time, but I kept assuring Len that we would make it. We raced to the venue, grabbed our tickets and my photo pass and jumped inside. Dark Angel had just gone on stage. I couldn’t help myself…I had to snap some shots of Dark Angel. Now I was really pressing my luck, I was obsessed. I snapped a couple of songs and then jetted straight to Nuclear Assault’s dressing room.

As I entered their dressing room I looked at the clock, I was a little over an hour late. I really screwed up. I decided that I had to make things right and apologize to the band and to their label rep…it was the only thing I could do. Just then, the band’s label rep saw me. Before I could say a word, she said, “Kevin, I was worried you didn’t get my message. Thank you so, so much for waiting, I am so sorry. I really owe you for this one. The guys just finished up and they are all yours.” I wasn’t sure what had just happened…it was like a truck just ran me over and I was reborn. As I chatted with the band and snapped some shots, I put the pieces together and figured out that the band had arrived late and then had a last minute video interview that pushed my time back an hour.

I might be a lousy shoplifter, but sometimes I sure have good luck!

Photographed with the remains of my Canon AE1-Program, a cheap, no name 28mm-70mm lens and a borrowed flash. Shot on Kodak Negative film.

Pasadena Openers…Leather Angel – 1983

Posted in music, photography with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 23, 2008 by Kevin Estrada

Leather Angel
November 25, 1983
Perkin’s Palace : Pasadena, CA

Part one of a five-part series that I am doing this week on local L.A. bands in the ‘80s that were opening acts on some big gigs at my favorite venue as a kid – Perkin’s Palace in Pasadena California.

First, a little background on the venue. The Raymond Theatre was a beautiful 2000 capacity theatre built in the 1920’s. Vaudeville shows, movie screenings and live plays were the original uses of the theatre. In 1979, the venue broke into the live concert market and the theatre became known as a live venue named Perkin’s Palace. An incredible list of artists have performed on the Perkin’s Palace stage : The Cure, Motley Crue, Phil Collins, Black Flag, Bad Religion, Depeche Mode, The Ramones, and many, many more.

Growing up as a teen, I went to a lot of amazing shows at Perkin’s Palace. Luckily for me it was only about 20 minutes from my home and I could usually talk my Mother or my pal Erik into driving to some of the early shows. The ticket prices were low and you always got a handful of L.A.’s best bands – handpicked by Gina Zamparelli, who had to be the greatest promoter in L.A. in the 80’s. When Gina’s name was on the flyer or on the ticket, my pals and I knew that every band, whether we had heard of them or not, were worth getting to the show early for.

Steeler was super-buzzing at the time. They had an incredible LP out on Shrapnel Records and the band was filled with talent. The openers for that night – Leather Angel, Rough Cutt and SIN were three of the coolest up and comers in town. SIN was the brainchild of bassist Rik Fox, who had just left Steeler to form his own band – there was some competitive energy that night. Rough Cutt had just been picked up by Wendy Dio (Ronnie’s wife) for management. Leather Angel was an all female heavy metal band, they really stood out in terms of Local Metal Bands in Los Angeles.

I first saw them as Obsession when they opened for Motley Crue at Perkin’s Palace the previous year. Motley had taken a liking to them and that helped to build their street cred in L.A. Soon after, legalities arose with another band using the same name and the girls were forced to rename the band to Leather Angel. The band was fantastic both live and on record. They kept up and played with the best of L.A.’s Metal acts – Ratt, Motley Crue, Steeler, Black & Blue, etc. Their EP, We Came To Kill, was a solid release with some local radio airplay. The record proved that this band was just not a bunch of good looking chicks, these girls could rock and they were serious about it.

[On a personal note – their manager, Keith Dyson, once tried to extort photos that I had taken of the band and threatened to take my mother’s home. I was barely 15 years years old when Keith Dyson threatened me, and I didn’t really know any better, I was intimidated and terrified. What kind of manager threatens a little kid with a camera? Keith, if are reading this…call me, call me collect…I am not a little kid anymore.]

Leather Angel later went through a handful of lineup changes and changed their name to Jaded Lady. Jaded Lady’s claim to fame was their appearance in Penelope Spheeris’ 1988 film, The Decline Of Western Civilization Part II: The Metal Years.

Photographed with my trusty, smuggled in Canon AE-1 and a cheap, no name 70mm-210mm lens. Shot on Kodak negative film.

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