As you might have figured out from some of my stories, I’ve worked with a few well-known people over the years doing commercials and photo shoots, etc. And I met some others through my musical and political adventures. Of course, it was generally verboten to pose for pics unless the celebrity offered, and here are a few for your amusement…
I’ll start with my two favorites whose last name is coincidentally “Paul” in both cases. This is Les Paul who pretty much invented multi-track recording and designed the famous guitar which bears his name. I met him in the 1990s in NYC where he played a regular gig at the Iridium.
I met political freedom guru Ron Paul while working on his presidential campaign in 2008. I was a huge fan since he first ran as a Libertarian in 1988. Ron is a super mellow dude, but of course I (being the occasional dumbass that I am!) managed to commit a major faux pas when we talked for a few minutes. I was trying to kid around with Ron a bit and I brought up a really old interview he did on the Morton Downey, Jr. show back in the 80s. Morton Downey, Jr. was a total hack TV talk show host back in the day, and he managed to piss Ron off and made him lose his shit on the air. I foolishly brought this up to Ron thinking he would find it humorous, but he got pissed at me instead! In hindsight, I shouldn’t have treated Ron like he was one of my buddies that I was razzing for fun and like the more dignified Dr. Paul that he really was. My bad, Ron!
Blues god Otis Rush and I in 1984. Most of you haven’t heard of him, but he was a huge influence on a lot of well-known rock guitar players of the 60s and 70s. He was playing a local show in a small club with my good friend Bob Corritore’s band. And I’ve got my eyes closed again!
An early fashion shoot from 1997 with Kate Moss. She was super chill but I think she had some chemical help back in those days. (Not that I think there’s anything wrong with that–Hahaha!!!)
Sandy and I with Jane Seymour back in the day. We did several shoots for a clothing brand she had in the ’90s. I got to sit next to her at our crew dinner once for over an hour and she was super fun to talk to. She and her husband were friends with Johnny Cash so we mostly talked about music, and that’s certainly one of my favorite topics as you know!
Speaking of music, here’s one of me with local legend Alice Cooper. My cousin Chris turned me on to his “Love it to Death,” “Killer,” and “Billion Dollar Babies” records when I was about 12. Those were his best albums and best band by far, and I started playing guitar around the same time.
I met Ted Nugent at an NRA convention when he was the guest speaker and I was in a political activist band called “The Cartridge Family.” Talk about the irony of us playing and Ted speaking! Of course, I saw Ted at least a half dozen times since the 1970s. No matter what you think of his politics, Ted had one of the greatest guitar tones out there!
Jimmy Carl Black and I at a Grandmothers show at the Rhythm Room in around 2005. Many of you don’t know him I’m sure, but he was the original drummer in my idol Frank Zappa’s “Mothers of Invention” back in the 1960s.
Grandmothers sax player Bunk Gardner at the same show. He was also in the original Mothers of Invention.
The Grandmothers show. That’s Don Preston, the original Mothers keyboard player, on the left.
Got to hang with Chris Elliot on a shoot all night in my motorhome back in the old days. He was super chill and we sat around playing cards most of the night with his manager and agent. The producer didn’t like it that I was playing cards with them, but they needed a fourth person, and I knew a lot of card games, so…
Most of you won’t know my doppelganger Kim Simmonds from the old-school English blues rock band Savoy Brown. He played at the Rhythm Room a few times in the past 15 years, and my friend Bob the owner always invited me down because Kim got a charge out of the fact that we looked like brothers or cousins. I think there’s a resemblance, but I’ll let you be the judges of that…
Sandy & I were wandering the streets of New York one day and saw the fantastic Aretha Franklin. I just happened to have my camera around my neck, so I politely caught Aretha’s eye and held up my camera with a questioning look to ask permission to take her pic. She nodded that it was cool, and there you have it. She’s one of my favorite vocalists, and most of the stuff I like of hers is not the five big hits everyone knows. She really has some amazing soulful stuff that most people haven’t heard. I actually have the vinyl versions from the 1970s.
I think Lance was the “bad guy” from the army that was chasing Mr T. and the gang on “The A-Team.” We shot him in some commercial back in 1996.