Archive for Hollywood

Vote With A Bullet – The ‘Off The Clock’ Series

Posted in music, photography, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on May 19, 2009 by Kevin Estrada

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Pepper Keenan (C.O.C.) & Layne Staley (Alice In Chains)
Cathouse : Hollywood, CA
March 1991

Corrosion Of Conformity had just released the Blind CD and the band had boldly taken a huge leap in both their sound and in their new lineup.  Although the band was now moving from their hardcore/punk roots to more of a true metal sound, they became more politically involved than they had ever been before.  The band spearheaded the new CD with the controversial single, Vote With A Bullet.

The band wanted more, they wanted to really spread the word and increase voter turnout.  Sounds like  a good excuse to have a party!  I was lucky enough to get invited to tag along with the band and some of their good pals in the rock world as they joined forces with the Rock The Vote Organization at The World Famous Cathouse in Hollywood.  It was a great night!  There were so many rock giants there that I will have to post a few photos in the upcoming weeks to really show all who was there.

I thought I would start with this photo first as it holds a great memory for me.  Earlier that evening, Layne from Alice In Chains had challenged me to a “friendly” game of pool.  Luck was on my side and I beat him pretty badly.  The rest of the night he was giving me a hard time, asking for a rematch, but I didn’t have the time as I needed to snap photos.  He must have thrown the finger at me 20 times that night and threw me some of the funniest “dirty” looks possible.  Here he is sticking his tongue out at me trying to stir me up…and to top it off, Pepper is giving me the finger in support of Layne….good times!  R.I.P Layne.

Photographed with my Canon EOS-1, a cheap, no name 24mm-70mm lens, and a Sunpak 100 flash. Shot on Kodak Ektachrome film.

Back For More – The R.I.P. Series

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

Robbin Crosby
Ratt

Date of Death: June 6, 2002
Cause Of Death: Heroine Overdose

Like many of the local bands that I would see as a teen, Ratt had emerged victorious – growing from a local, unsigned band to one of the biggest arena rock bands in history. I saw Ratt climb to stardom, step-by-step…it was a great time for Metal and Hard Rock.

Robbin Crosby teamed up with Ratt in 1982 and was a major force in Ratt’s songwriting and hit songs. Round And Round, Back For More, Lay It Down – all Crosby’s handiwork. There was always a rumor floating around that we used to hear back in those days; that Crosby’s band-mate Warren DeMartini seemed to get more attention and more praise than Crosby, regardless of the fact that Robbin Crosby wrote so many of the bands hit songs. This rumor is what eventually led Crosby down the dark and lonely road of drug addiction.

Crosby truly lived the rock and roll lifestyle that everyone has read about and soon became a habitual heroine user. Despite the drug use, Crosby always remained a sweet and soft-spoken person, dedicated and appreciative of his fans. Eventually his heroine use became much more severe and was seriously affecting his playing on stage, eventually forcing Crosby to exit Ratt. In early 2001, Robbin Crosby publicly announced that he had full-blown AIDS. A year later he was found dead of a heroin overdose, not AIDS as many believe.

Unfortunately, my last memory of Robbin Crosby is not a happy one. I was walking out of a now defunct comic book shop named The Fantastic Store on Highland in Hollywood. As I walked to my car, I saw Robbin – in the alley adjacent to the parking lot, scoring heroin from some filthy dealer. Robbin had lost everything to heroin – his family, his career, his home, his belongings. He looked horrible, the man who was fondly referred to as “King” was dirty and had put on massive amounts of weight. Shortly after this, “King” was gone. It was very saddening for me to see one of my teen heroes like this. It is an image that I don’t think I will ever be able to forget.

Photographed with my old Canon AE1 Program and a cheap, no name 70mm-210mm f 5.6 lens. Shot on Kodak Ektachrome film.

“You Better Start Shooting, Kid!” – Glenn Danzig

Posted in music, photography, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on July 29, 2008 by Kevin Estrada

Danzig
Dressing Room
The Palace : Hollywood, CA
July 7, 1989

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

As a way to make up for my near death experience at The Celebrity Theatre show in Anaheim (read my post “Twist Of Kevin”), Glenn and their publicist extended an invitation for me to do a quick shoot with the band at their next L.A. area show for Creem Magazine’s upcoming Metal Special. I had only met Glenn briefly before this night – in the lobby of The Wiltern Theatre at the Andrew Dice Clay show a few months prior.

I hooked up with Danzig’s tour manager at their tour bus just after the band arrived at the venue. As I walked into the club and headed towards the dressing rooms, I noticed that there were a couple of guys trailing us…their hands were full with weight lifting material – weight bench, weights, curling bars, etc. The tour manager and I stopped just outside the Danzig dressing room so he could fill me in on what to expect and to make sure that we made this shoot as quick as possible. As he was giving me the run-down, I saw the two guys turning the dressing room into a gym. I knew this was going to be good.

By the time I walked into the dressing room, I only had about 5 or 10 minutes left to shoot the photos. I introduced myself to each of the four guys in the band and told them that we should start with some quick solo shots. As I started getting my camera together, Glenn and John Christ both started lifting a bunch of weights and got their arms really pumped. Then, if that was not enough, they both did a load of push-ups. Eerie just kind of hung back and watched it all. Chuck Biscuits just sat on the sofa and drank beer. Glenn got a bit bothered that Chuck was looking so lazy and just boozing it up, but that’s Biscuits for you.

I saw that John was done working out, so I asked if I could start with his solo shots. Out of nowhere, John dunked his head in a tub of water and had his hair dripping all over himself as he walked in front of my camera. Then Eerie walked up and just kinda stood there…very evil-like…it was perfect. Biscuits was next. He had this fantastic bad-ass/punk attitude about the whole thing…like he could care less. He walked up with a beer in hand and just looked like he wanted to go home…I loved it. Glenn shot him a look. Biscuits then asked Glenn if he could keep the beer in the photos. Glenn just shrugged his shoulders and kept doing push-ups.

By the time Glenn walked in front of me to do his solo shots, he was completely pumped and ripped. His arms were still throbbing. As he stood in front of me, he started putting on his infamous Karate gloves that he used to wear all the time. I lowered my camera and waited for him to finish tieing his gloves and start posing for me. Glenn must have taken it the wrong way or something when I lowered my camera because, without looking at me, I heard him say, “You better start shooting kid! Time is running out.” I realized that Glenn was not joking about 5 minutes to do this shoot. So I started snapping. Suddenly, Glenn Danzig came to life. His facial expressions became very serious; his body tightened up…he was focused. What a pro!

As soon as I was done shooting Glenn’s solo shots, I grabbed the other guys and threw them next to Glenn for some quick group shots. Glenn was very impressed how fast I shot and how serious I took the shoot. This photo was the last frame that I shot in this session. Just then, their tour manager popped in and told us that it was time to get on stage. The band was taking this show very seriously as it was being broadcast live on KNAC, the local metal station at the time. I followed the band up to the stage and jumped in the photo pit and snapped away.

My relationship with Glenn grew from that day and I have worked closely with Glenn many times since over the years. It is an honor to know that he continues to think highly of my photos and appreciates the way I work. Glenn Danzig is the real deal.

Photographed with my trusty Canon AE1 Program, a cheap, no name 28mm-70mm lens and a Sunpak 100 flash. Shot on Kodak Ektachrome film.

Put A Cap On It

Posted in music, photography with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on July 11, 2008 by Kevin Estrada

Limp Bizkit
Hollywood, Ca
November 15, 1997

What’s wrong with this photo? Is the color off? No, I wanted it to look that way. Is there too much contrast in the photo? No, I wanted it to look that way too. Wait…Fred Durst is not wearing a baseball cap…did he forget his hat? No, I wanted him to look that way. But it wasn’t easy.

Limp Bizkit had recently released their debut CD, Three Dollar Bill, Yall$ and the sales were off to a slow start. At the time, the band was a touring machine, and were currently main support on Primus’ The Brown Tour. Touring is what was eventually going to break Limp Bizkit and make them one of the biggest rock bands in the world.

I hooked up with the Limp guys at the Palladium in Hollywood. Time and space were tight that day, so I had to set up just a few feet away from the stage and shoot the session as Primus rolled through their soundcheck. Before we started shooting, I chatted with the band a bit so we could loosen up, get to know each other a bit. The guys were very confident, borderline cocky as they told me that they were a unique band and there was no other band like them. They went on to tell me that they wanted this photo shoot to be different than all the rest of the shoots they had been doing…for me to get creative and do something really different.

Realistically there was not much I could really do – I had a colored backdrop set up on the floor of the venue…how creative can you get? I pitched the idea of creating a different color scheme for the band, one that was over saturated and extremely contrasty – more edge and less pop. They loved the idea. But I needed something more.

I walked over to Fred and told him that he should lose the baseball cap he was wearing. He freaked out on me and told me there was no way he was doing a photo shoot without his hat. No way. I pulled Fred aside and told him that he needed to trust me. Fred was ready to walk. Then I said, “I thought you guys weren’t like all those other bands, I thought you really wanted something different…something that matched your music.” He looked me in the eye, raised an eyebrow and removed his cap.

The result was a very rare Limp Bizkit photo session, one that I truly believe is unique and not at all like the rest of the shoots the band had done prior to my shoot or even afterwards.

Photographed with my Canon EOS1, a Canon 28mm-80mm 5.6f lens, and a small Novatron strobe kit. Shot on Kodak film.