More Access: Inside All Access with Ken Regan

If you read part one and part two of our series on well-renonwed celebrity photographer Ken Regan this week, you learned about his early beginnings taking photos of high school sports and the birth of his friendship with rock promoter Bill Graham, which opened a lot of doors for Ken as he was given free reign to photograph anyone that performed at the Fillmore East in Manhattan. But, Ken was not just a silent fly on the wall. He soon became close to the musicians that would repeatedly play the Fillmore and other venues around New York City.

“Once they got to know me they knew they could trust me,” Regan said. “They knew I would never sell a photo to the scandal magazines or anything like that. As time went by they began to trust me more and more.”

This trust led to things like taking private photographs of Keith Richards’ wedding to Patti Hansen in 1983, and the first photos of their daughter Theodora in 1985.

The Rolling Stones, (1982) Wembley Stadium

“From the very beginning of my career I said I would never take pictures of three things: weddings, births, and bar mitzvahs… and Keith got me to do two out of three,” Regan laughs.

Other members of the Stones also got up close and personal with Ken.

“Mick was very interested in sports and was interested in photography,” Regan said.  “He actually assisted me on three different occasions.” One such time involved calling the president of ABC Sports, Roone Arledge, to see if he could get Jagger a press credential; the answer was a definite yes. But the most memorable occasion was photographing Muhammad Ali.

“Jagger did a solo tour in 1989 in Japan and he was going  to play The Big Egg [The Tokyo Dome] in Tokyo and Mike Tyson was going to be there the night before and so Mick came to the Tyson fight with me,” Regan said.

But Ali and Jagger were not the only stars there that night. “Ali then came to Jagger’s show the next night,” Regan explained. ” I said  to him, you have got a big fan in Bob Dylan, would you come back stage and meet him? And I bring Ali backstage and I walked into the dressing room with Muhammed Ali, I thought Bob was going to turn white! He is such a big boxing fan.”

When Regan mentioned photographing the sports stars and celebrities of the eighties, I asked him what his thoughts were on these elder celebrities having a second dose of fame through reality telvision; after all, Bruce Jenner, the ’80s Olympian, is now only often known through his role as Dad on Keeping Up With The Kardashians.

“I don’t watch any reality TV, none at all,” Regan told me. But after a pause, he reconsidered his statement. “Okay, well I watched one show. Last year I got a call from the Discovery Channel and Mike Tyson had asked them to specifically call me to come out and shoot him on a new reality show. So I go out to Jersey, and it was Mike Tyson racing pidgeons! I thought, this show is never going to be picked up. But it was! So I had to watch the show; I mean, I was there when it was filmed!”

These intimate photographs can only be seen in All Access. We conclude tomorrow with what Regan is doing with his career in the present day. Our contest to win a copy of his new book, All Access is here.

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