Friday, July 29, 2011

1970's Paparazzo

Joan Jett, circa 1978

"I'm your biggest fan, I'll follow you until you love me, Papa-paparazzi. Baby you'll be famous, chase you down until you love me, Papa-paparazzi" so sings Lady Gaga. My sister Banana Meet-Cute alerted me to this fantastic website of Brad Elterman's. Brad borrowed a camera at 16 and was published in 1974 when his photo of Bob Dylan featured in British mag Sounds."It wasn't about making money. I was motivated by the passion."
Kris Kidd, 1977

"I was just a young kid, 18, 19, 20-years-old. I realized very soon that a picture of somebody holding a guitar, Dylan or whoever, it didn't really matter, to me that wasn't an interesting photograph. They were a dime a dozen. Dylan was the most interesting player for me. He had all the ingredients for a photo subject. I did this [job] because I had a passion for these icons and for the fact that Dylan was my hero. There was no reason to hire a stylist back then. The fashion came naturally-it was all part of the scene. All of the action was on the street. I would use the street as my studio. [It was] all very under produced."
Debbie Harry, LA 1977

"Debbie Harry was such an exciting person to photograph. The camera adored her and she loved having her photo taken, which is a rare match in my industry."
"Debbie Harry of Blondie looking f*cking hot
for my tender teenage camera in 1977"

The 70's rock scene seemed so glamorous and Bacchanalian. I love dreamy 70's pics. They all seem to have a golden haze. I'm also inspired by 70's rock & roll fashion - the movies Almost Famous, Boogie Nights, The Runaways, Midnight Cowboy and 54. The stories accompanying these photos are fascinating insights into a different world, where one could just rock up to their idol and snap a photo - well, most of the time, anyway! Fascinating reading.

Rod Stewart, 1976

"If you were in-crowd or involved in the music industry around 1976 you knew that Rod Stewart played soccer every Saturday at the Coldwater Canyon park in Beverly Hills. He was nuts about his game. I showed up every weekend with a long lens and I shot away. Rod never seemed to care. I would dash off to the color lab; then the next day on to the post office to mail my color slides to the teen publications in London. They purchased them all and demanded more. Photos of Rod kicking a ball can get a bit mundane after while; but if you wanted to make the real dough, you needed to get Rod with a girl. This photo is just what the London Daily Mirror wanted. Not only did they love the chick in the photo, but the icing on the cake was Rod with his pint of beer in hand! That is what made this photo! During these magical days at the Coldwater Canyon park, not once did anyone say No Photos nor did another photographer ever appear. Today, it would be total bedlam to photograph a star of Rod’s magnitude in a public park. The last time I drove by the park the soccer field was gone and the Department Of Water & Power had taken over the property. I will always have these wonderful memories of Rod, the soccer field, and that chick with the endless legs!"
Steven Tyler and Joe Perry, 1978

"In 1978 I was invited to the Sgt Pepper party at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. Back then all of the press including the photographers got the free meal feedbag. There was a small group of us photographers and journalists who were regulars at these feasts. After gorging ourselves on shrimp, fillet and champagne, I proceeded to take some photos of Steve Tyler and Joe Perry of Aerosmith. I would attend about five or six of these extravaganzas every week. "
John Travolta and Olivia Newton John, 1978

"When I was a kid back in 1978 I got invited to take photos at the Grease party on Paramount Studios back lot. Everyone was there including John Travolta and Olivia Newton John, of course. I had no idea about the magnitude of this film and how it would be revered decades later."

Joan Jett and Sandy West, Santa Monica Pier 1977
Joan Jett at the Tropicana Hotel, 1978

"I remember thinking to myself while I was taking this photograph that this would be a memorable moment. Everything just clicked. The setting and the emerging icon were the perfect mix. The setting was the Tropicana Motel, which was a must-stay for all of the up and coming bands back in those days. It was a real dump, but everyone loved it. Oh yeah, that is John Wayne on the black and white TV."

Joan Jett, 1978Cherie Currie at home,1978

"I did several photo sessions with Cherie Currie at her home in the San Fernando Valley. This shot was taken in the family kitchen where Cherie is showing off her tattoo to me."
The Ramones, 1978

"The Ramones were staying at the Sunset Marquis, just down the street from the intersection of Sunset Blvd and Alta Loma. The band was wonderful to photograph and they really knew how to work the camera. They would all line up and strike their pose like they had already done it a thousand times before. It was so cute to watch. I am sure they were taught how to do the dog for the camera by their brilliant manager, Danny Fields, also a talented photographer. Both the Sunset Marquis and The Whiskey are still around. You can go for a visit and stand in the exact spot where Joey, Johnny, Dee Dee and Tommy once stood. I should conduct tours of these landmarks."
Kim Fowley on the way to Orange Country, 1977

"The '70s were the greatest education of my life and it affected me culturally. I was surrounded by interesting, creative and eccentric people.I knew that these were special times and that I was part of something incredibly special. My friends were preparing to go to medical school and I was hanging out with The Ramones. It was one nonstop party and I constantly reflect on these days today."International Business Times.
Bebe Buell and Stiv Bators at Fiorucci's 1978

"This photo was taken at an incredible party at Fiorucci's store in Beverly Hills. I think KISS, tons of stars and beautiful girls were present. Fiorucci's was known for its outrageous fashions and fun parties, as well as the punks who worked there."
Behind the Beverly Hills Hotel 1977

"Behind the Beverly Hills Hotel is a huge mansion owned by David Lane. I knew many of the guests, although an older crowd for me because I was just out of my teens. It was a warm sunny afternoon. I was standing next to the bar trying to get a Seven-Up. Suddenly, this lovely girl started to strip down right in front of me. I only had a wide-angle 28 mm camera lens, not really wide enough for the moment, so I backed up as far as I could, almost knocking over the bar. You have to do the best you can in these situations."

Leif Garrett and Nicolette Sheridan 1982

"No producer or art director could have ever created a sexier couple than a teenage Nicolette Sheridan and heartthrob Leif Garrett. This was Nicolette's first photo session for the mass media. I had worked with Leif for years and he was my pal. One warm summer day he called me and commanded that I drop everything and get right over to his house and make sure to “BRING YOUR CAMERA.” He said he had a new hot girlfriend. Well, it turned out to be a teenage Nicolette Adams, the step-daughter of actor Telly Savalas. (Remember Kojak?) Well, when I showed up I could not believe this chick. She was to-die-for and by the look of things, Leif had probably had her in bed all day long! She wanted to get dressed for the impromptu photo session, but I would not hear of it. “No way.” So this is the result. I wanted that kind of just-f*cked look. Worked out great, I think."

For more, see Brad's Tumblr and website.

1 comment:

  1. I really love these photos! And the stories behind them and how different it was for celeb photographers back then is so fascinating.


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