It seems like we are losing musicians every other week these days. Some are old and others just may have lived too hard, but each loss closes a chapter in the continuum of music. As a photographer I have photographed many musicians over the years and I have missed the opportunity to ever photograph many more. My heroes of this craft Jim Marshall, Michael P. Smith and Herman Leonard are all gone now but their images live on. It is these photographs that I study and try to learn from, but I know that I will never photograph the legends that have shaped the music I attempt to document every time I go out to a show with my camera. A few months ago I began to collect images of musicians that I have photographed who are no longer with us and I wanted to share this collection. George Duke passed away on Monday and I saw him for the first and last time this past May in New Orleans.
I never photographed him alive but with Aaron Neville singing over his open casket I had to include his photo
BJ was a local San Francisco legend and a good friend of mine.
This is still one of my favorite photographs. I was young and inexperienced when I a shot this image but with the help of a full lighting set up from a video production I got my shot. I was able to give a print to Gatemouth a few years later when he came through San Francisco.
I remember squeezing up to the front of the crowd to get this shot. I had no access so I had to work hard for this mediocre shot.
James Durant died way too young
She could barely walk, but she could still sing
This turned out to be Ronnie’s last recording session
When I first moved to San Francisco in 1995 Zero was big and this image along with a few others of the band helped me get started.