Archive for Crue

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.

Black, White and True

Posted in music with tags , , , , , , , , on May 8, 2008 by Kevin Estrada

Nikki Sixx of Motley Crue
Dress Rehearsals : Olympic Auditorium
January 9, 2005

When Motley reunited in 2004, I was hired to be a “fly on the wall”, with the goal of capturing something simpler and deeper. By this point, I had worked with them before and had developed a bond with Nikki. We both loved classic black and white rock photography and felt, at the time, that no one was taking the kind of shots Neil Preston used to take of Jimmy Page drinking a bottle of Jack or the Stones on their plane. (I used to stare at that shot of Jimmy Page for literally hours.) We wanted to capture everyday moments and make them feel timeless and classic.

I started in the studio with the band a few months prior when they recorded the new tracks for Red, White and Crue. Next we moved on to rehearsals – a tiny, dark room in North Hollywood. As soon as the set-list was together, we were off to full dress rehearsals – pyro and everything – at The Olympic Auditorium.

It was the final day at the Olympic and the band was choosing stage outfits, makeup, etc. Nikki was having a very private moment – putting on the finishing touches – and he saw me pass by. I hesitated. The photographer in me wants to get the shot, while the human side of me doesn’t want to invade his space.

He called out, “Hey bro, it’s cool, come on in.” This gave me permission to start snapping. There was a heaviness to the moment because I knew Nikki was letting his guard down, and allowing himself to be seen in a way that he’s not usually seen. This photo is important to me because I feel I captured the moment, and it does feel timeless. It is not staged, it’s raw and it is real.

Photographed with my Canon EOS 1 and a 24-70mm Canon Lens. Shot on Kodak Black and White film.


The moment I saw the photos Kevin Estrada had taken of Motley Crue in the recording studio, I knew he had something you don’t always see in a photographer. Kevin has the unique ability to capture an exact moment in time. Those photos still breathe, “I was right in there with the band” to everybody who sees them.

I plan on using Kevin over and over again and I am now seeing him expanding into video. The sky’s the limit for Kevin.

– Nikki Sixx