Saturday, November 6, 2010

Lady Gaga Concert Photos

Gaga Guts and Blood

Lady Gaga Keeping in Touch

Lady Gaga at Work
Well, I realize it has been quite a while since my last post! But I do want to share with you all an amazing episode from last summer. In June, a very kind, polite and humblesque man walked into our gallery ("Simon Gallery") and purchased over $4,000 worth of my images off the wall. Since this is not an everyday event, I started inquiring who he was and what brough him to the Vineyard. He said he was in the entertainment business and lived in LA, but had just bought a new home here, and wanted to decorate the walls with my art! He liked my combination of legendary people (mostly in the music biz), and Island landscapes.

So after further discussion, I found out that he was a manager of various musicians. I nonchalantly asked who he managed. I figured I probably wouldn't know of them, because I don't really follow music avidly any more, certainly not as I did in the 60's and 70's. He said "Well, you may have heard of Lady Gaga......" I thought he was kidding, but he wasn't! Now, everyone has heard of her, huh? Well, I sort of did....

He then invited myself and my wife Ronni up to her impending concert at the TD center in Boston to take some Lady Gaga concert photos! Wow! I hadn't photographed a concert of that magnitude in years! I was quite honored.

I was given unprecidented VIP access, and could wander around shooting right next to the stage, and throughout the whole extraveganza. Nowadays, most press photographers are ushered out of concerts after the first two songs!

Lady Gaga did not fail to impress. Her show has incredible production values, and runs like a well choreographed Broadway musical. What impressed me the most was her sequence of songs when all the pomp and circumstance was stripped down to the core, and it was just she, a piano and a mic. Her voice is pristine, and out of the box songwriting, playing and stage presence is riviting. Some of my best Lady Gaga concert photos from that night are those from that bare boned piano sequence.

In that most of her rabid audience is less than half my age, I sensed I'd feel completely out of place. But somehow, I felt at home, probably because I had been to more than my share of Marley, Dead, Stones, Led Zeppelin, Brooce and Carly concerts through the prime times of my life.

Above all else, it was very creatively fulfilling to simply get the opportunity to photograph, up close and personally, one of the greatest cultural icons of the current era, and be able to update my stable of iconic images.

After the extravanganza, Ronni and I were invited backstage to meet the diva herself. It reminded me of "The Wizard of Oz," where you see the "man behind the curtain." Stephanie turned out to be just a plainly sweet and very pleasant "ordinary girl" from the upper East Side of Manhattan.

Now I'm pleased to be able to show you these Lady Gaga concert photos, and add them to my ever growing body of work. Please go to and then click into "photo inventory" to see more selections, and maybe even buy one for your very own! Oh....I promise I will be more functional about adding updates to my photo journal on a more consistent basis. Stay tuned!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Pre - Christmas Blizzard hits the Vineyard

A rare, pre - Christmas snowstorm blanketed the Island last Sunday. We were not as hard hit as some places, such as New Bedford (24").  I measured 15" on my outside porch. Late Sunday afternoon, once the heavy snow abated, and my good friend Howard Wall plowed us out (we live down a long and winding half mile road), I scoured our whited - out landcscape for photo ops, with the Vineyard Calendar 2011(!) in mind. Since Edgartown was all lit up with seasonal decorations, I checked that out first. I headed home around 8:00, with the notion to get up early the next day to "do" Oak Bluffs. Al in all, I got some nice captures, maybe some that are worthy of calendar consideration. If you have a favorite one or two, please feel free to let me know which one(s) by emailing me at: Happy Holy Daze!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Remembering Walter

                 Obama delivers eulogy at Lincoln Center in Sept.

    Walter Cronkite died this past summer, and with that, so did a major piece of my history. I had known him for many years, both as a subject of whom I had photographed for various article through the years, but also as a personal friend. Back in my hippie days, he and his wife showed up at one of our "pot luck" cookouts up in Gay Head. To my left were my hippie friends passing weed, and to my right was Walter carrying on some weighty conversation with the likes of John Updike. He always seemed to fit right in! He even hung out with Mickey Hart of the Grateful Dead (who played at his memorial).
     Years later he fell passionately in love with my sister Joanna, shortly after his wife had passed. Joanna actually had sold them their apartment in NYC, in her role as real estate broker, in the early 90's. Joanna and he were inseperable for the last four years of his life, and we became part of  his extended family. Long into the summer nights on the Vineyard we'd chat about world events and be regaled by his great war stories. Not only were his remarks wise and learned, but his casual one - liners were real knee slappers - totally unexpected witty exclamations when least expected.

Special evening with Walter at our home in 2007

    I was invited to his incredible Memorial Service in NYC at Lincoln Center last September, and was moved to tears upon several occasions. Walter gave me many memorable gifts through the years, but his parting shot put me over the top. I finally got a chance to photograph our President, after having failed so miserably weeks before while he vacationed here. The photo I wound up with, having smuggled my camera in to the carefully secured event, shows the unique perspective I have about Walter. Here our current President is fairly miniscule in the shot, and Walter, all knowingly, beams pleasantly on a much larger scale. And that's just the way it was meant to be!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Gearing up for Thanksgiving

Lianna poses for Peter

    Just two days ago, I had the pleasure of photographing one of the more stunning young ladies on the Vineyard! Her name is Lianna, She graced our gallery to pose wearing some of Ronni's jewelry, then we asked her to wear some of her various garments (knitted hats, shawls and crocheted jewelry). Then I handed her a copy of the soon to be relevant Vineyard Calendar 2010 and the picture just glowed warmth, holiday spirit and joy. Thus, Lianna has just become our new poster girl for our fall advertising campaign and soon to be sent eblast. She did this all for a half dozen calendars! Now, that's what I call Vineyard bartering in the finest tradition.
     Meanwhile, yesterday I went under Dr. Rocco Monto's knife (once again) for a third knee operation (mostly to correct what hadn't gone right from a partial replacement proceedure in Boston almost two years ago). So I'm somewhat bedridden for the next few days....the only new photos I could take would be from my bedroom window. That reminds me of a poignant book published many years ago by a NY photographer named Ruth Orkin who photographed Central Park from her apartment window during the last year of her life as she died of cancer. It was an amazing book, published in the mid 80's. Hopefully, I'll be up and around next week. We'll see....meanwhile, happy (almost) Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Goodbye to baseball '09

    Well - now that the baseball season is officially over, I can finally exhale. I am a total Mets junkie, and have been since 1962. I even wrote a book about the in 1986 - "25 Years of Baseball Magic." I've thought of doing a sequel - a 50th year anniversary celebration, in 2011...but now I'm not so sure. Well, at least the Yankees won, so my nearest rival (the Phillies) can't repeat. All that being said, I am reminded of how promising the beginning of the baseball season was for me. Citi Field opened to great pomp and circumstance, and I was a guest at the formal debut of the Jackie Robinson rotunda. I reunited with Jackie's widow Rachel, and her kids Sharon and David. And that night, the Mets actually managed to win! I even wrote an essay about the occasion for the Vineyard Gazette!

The Mets starting team, all wearing Jackie's uniform number.

                                         Chaos on the infield.

     Alas, it was not meant to be a memorable season.....but these pictures remain so. There's always next year!

Fall Colors

    While the Vineyard isn't exactly "known" for it's color wave (in contast to Vermont, for example), we do get a nice glow starting around Columbus Day through the end of October. Each year I grab my camera to capture some high lights. I just can't help it! This year, the colors seemed more festive than usual. While I was driving around, I decided it might be fun to take pictures through the windshield at a very slow shutter speed (half a second) to get some sense of motion and swirl. Now, holding a camera in one hand, and steering the wheel with the other isn't always the greatest idea, but I tried it for short spurts. I like some of what resulted.

                                             Autumnal swirl.

     On a different but equally beautiful day, I coaxed a new good friend (Kate) to go swimming at Seth's Pond, despite the fact the water temp couldn't have been more than 50. She was a good sport. The way the leaves were reflecting in the still water was what caught my eye...but I needed another element. Thanks Kate!

Off - season cool down at Seth's Pond

      As I post this morning, all the leaves are (almost) gone, and the sky is grey. California Dreaming, on such an autumn day!