Author Archives: Kelly Kettering

More Access: Inside All
with Ken Regan

This week we’ve given you an “all access” pass to Ken Regan with exclusive photos not seen in his new book of the same name. With today’s conclusion we turn to Ken’s career at present.

Much like Ken’s foray into music photography resulted from a friendship with rock promotor Bill Graham, many of the films he began to photograph on set were those of director Jonathan Demme. They first met when PEOPLE magazine asked Regan to shoot on the set of Demme’s 1987 movie, Swimming to Cambodia.

Madonna (February, 1985) at Mondrian Hotel, Los Angeles

“I spent like a week or two with him on that set and we became really good friends,” Regan said. “He had just broken up with his girlfriend I had just broken up with mine, so we started to go out partying together, and a few months later we had lunch. He said, ‘I’m about to do another film called Married to the Mob and I want you to do the photography for this film.'”

The notice was a last minute one for Regan, as he had already committed to a few pictures over the next few years and regretfully told Demme he wouldn’t be able to work on the project.

“So he takes out this 8×10 envelope and spreads out on the table a dozen pictures of Michelle Pfeiffer and tells me she’s in the film, and I started to laugh,” Regan said. “After partying together in the past, Jon knew we had very similar taste in women and I couldn’t turn it down. From there I did photography for every film he’s done except one. It was a job for other photographers but for me it was love, and I would approach it as a photojournalist; I knew what the magazines wanted.”

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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.

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More Access: Inside
All Access by Ken Regan

 Yesterday we told you about Ken Regan‘s humble beginnings in photography, but today in part two of our five part series we delve a little deeper. Ken received a few lucky breaks early on when he was able to review live events like Woodstock, but getting into the Fillmore East in Manhattan proved a little more difficult.

“Bill Graham ran the theatre and you weren’t allwed to take photos there unless he said so,” Regan explained. “Not having those connections at the time I would bring in a camera under my jacket and every time he caught me, so often in fact it became a joke.”

The Doors (1970) Westbury Music Fair, NY 

But one day, The New York Sunday Times asked Regan to photograph a Thanksgiving day concert at the Fillmore, complete with Thanksgiving dinner afterwards personally hosted by Graham. Graham once again caught him with a camera and nearly threw him out until he saw his credentials and personally called Regan’s editor, confirming he was allowed access to the show.

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More Access: Inside
All Access by Ken Regan

When it comes to musicians, it’s relatively easy to imagine their start—typically taking place in a garage or a basement and captured on a poorly recorded cassette tape or GarageBand file. Yet it often remains unmentioned and underappreciated that the people documenting these moments of development—the record producers, the music journalists, and the photographers—had to get their foot in the door and establish a career as well.

For Ken Regan, his start as a photographer began when many of the very first rock ‘n roll musicians were making a name for themselves—and he was there to capture it all on film. An exhaustive array of these photos is now available in his coffee table book, All Access: The Rock and Roll Photography of Ken Regan which arrived on store shelves this past October.

Today, TVD begins a five-part series with Ken and his work. You’ll also have an opportunity to win a copy of his book and to view a number of Ken’s photos that weren’t included in All Access.

The Beatles (1964) Capitol Recording Party in Los Angeles

“I was always an athlete as a kid, playing on the football team, the basketball team, the track team, and I always used to read the sports magazines,” Regan told us. “Whenever I saw interesting photographs of athletes I would tear them out and hang them on my wall, soon covering them up entirely. It was then that my mother took the hint and bought me a camera for my 12th birthday.”

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TVD’s Record Store Day Newswire: The Doors’ L.A. Woman Singles Box

Black Friday, or the day after Thanksgiving, is known as the biggest shopping day of the year. Independent record retailers are now in on the action with some great deals and some excellent new, exclusive releases. 

On “Back to Black Friday,” organized by Record Store Day, one item every classic rock collector will want to add to his or her collection will be released: The Doors’ 40th Anniversary of L.A. Woman vinyl singles box set, courtesy of the fine folks at Rhino Records.

The set will include a collection of four 7″ singles with the tracks “The Changeling,” “Riders on the Storm,” and “Love Her Madly,” backed with newly-discovered and never-before-heard alternate takes of each song. The fourth single will contain never before-released studio banter, and box artwork will also include the original Messianic image of the naked woman nailed to the telephone pole used for the album’s inner sleeve.

“We decided to hold a year-long celebration, “The Year Of The Doors,” kicking off with The 40th Anniversary version of the L.A. Woman album, coming in January 2012, ” Jeff Jampol, manager of The Doors tells us. “In honor of our 40-year relationship with independent record stores all over the world, it’s been crucial to us that we include them in our plans, seek their input, and celebrate the efforts of record-lovers working in indie stores everywhere, who put forth so much effort turning people on to great music.”

“We wanted to do something really special for them; so, we’ve created a one-of-a-kind limited, serial-numbered Box Set to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of L.A. Woman, The Year Of The Doors, and Record Store Day Black Friday.”

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TVD Live: Battles at
the 9:30 Club, 10/30

With the recent rise in popularity of indie bands adding an electronic or dubstep influence to their songs, it can be hard to weed through the generic artists and find the interesting ones. But with one listen to Battles, you can tell they are the real deal.

With no vocalist in the band, the music they perform and create is truly at the forefront; sonically, and physically in their presence, each instrument and sound kit was jutted right up against the edge of the stage of the 9:30 Club on Sunday night.

As guitarists Ian Williams and Dave Konopka turned knobs, adjusted dials and tapped on pedals while managing to still rock out on their respective axes, I looked on in amazement and kept wondering, “How do they possibly record albums? How do you even play the same song twice?”

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Sharam: The TVD Interview and Ticket Giveaway

Continuing our Home Sweet Home DC spotlight this week, we have Sharam Tayebi, AKA DJ Sharam, a DC DJ with a very busy schedule. In addition to running his DC-based recording studio/record label Yoshitoshi Recordings and has performed as one half of DJ duo Deep Dish, he also performs solo DJ sets all around the world and has worked with with big names like Kid Cudi and Chris Martin of Coldplay.

TVD got in touch with the Grammy award-winning artist via email this week as he was performing in Brazil. We discussed his DJ career, his love of DC, and the recent influence of muscle cars on his latest releases.

How long have you been DJing? What are some of the more memorable moments from early in your DJing career?

I’ve been DJing as long as I can remember. I used to cut cassette tapes together with a double deck player and a Walkman as a kid in Iran, then we moved to the US and I discovered the whole vinyl and mixer thing, and I’ve been DJing ever since. At first we were throwing school parties just so that I could get a chance to DJ and play my records for a live audience. I was then able to secure random gigs here and there, which made me very happy.

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TVD Live: Boris at the Black Cat, 10/29

Tokyo-based Boris’ English is not very expansive. When I saw them on their first American tour in 2006, they could barely muster a “Thank you!” after a song, and after five years and endless tours around the world, the only additonal phrase they seem to have learned in time for their show at the Black Cat on Saturday night was “We love you guys!”

But no matter. We don’t listen to Boris to hear them talk but to create and perform music, and that is something that they do very, very well.

Primarily a band with drone/sludge metal influences, their sound keeps you on your toes with an interesting inclusion of psychedelic, ambient, and noise elements that satisfies metal fans but can also be pleasing to the ear of anyone who enjoys multi-layered music with a disposition for the heavy.

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TVD Live: Medeski, Martin and Wood with Antibalas at the 9:30 Club, 10/27

Going to a concert can often seem like an event to dress up for, or be seen at, but sometimes the right show can just be that simple excuse you need to nod your head, shake your hips, and hear musicians play instruments live, loud and fast.

Jam bands are the perfect answer to this kind of equation, as there are often many instruments and beats to get you groovin’. Antibalas is one such band, boasting twelve members and all of the horns, drums, bass, guitar and funkiness you can handle. After they properly fired up the crowd, Medeski, Martin and Wood took the stage at the 9:30 Club.

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TVD TV: GWAR at the
9:30 Club, 10/20

Ah, GWAR. You would think after twenty-seven years, the over-the-top alien costumes, the blood spurting and the faux-celebrity intestine pulling would get old: but it doesn’t. It just gets more awesome and extreme with each passing tour.

Before their show at the 9:30 Club last week, I caught up with lead singer Oderus Urungus. While he relaxed on the commode, we discussed the origins of GWAR, the season finale of Breaking Bad, his fourteen appearances on FOX News, and how badly the Redskins are messing up their football season this year.

Shortly after our chat, GWAR took the stage, and the real fun began.

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TVD Ticket and Vinyl Giveaway: Battles at
the 9:30 Club, 10/30

Battles is one of those bands that when you are listening to them, you know it.

Every track on their 2007 debut full-length Mirrored is distinguishable, with “Atlas” as a particularly solid stand-out. The UK has specifically over-exposed the band’s music by placing it in Audi and Honda commercials, the TV show Skins, and the song “The Line” is even featured on the soundtrack for Twilight.

But if you are like me and prefer to hear your music not within the confines of an economical foreign car or in close proximity to teenage vampires, but instead in a concert venue, you are in luck! We are now giving away a pair of tickets to Battles’ performance at the 9:30 Club this Sunday(10/30), plus the newest LP Gloss Drop on vinyl!

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TVD Live: Dum Dum Girls at the Black Cat, 10/22

Despite what their name might hint at, the Dum Dum Girls have an older, more sophisticated fan base than what the usual girl-rock raucous might bring out to the Black Cat on a Saturday night.

Definitely a “date night” kind of show, maudlin couples in their thirties and forties crowded around the stage arm in arm, waiting as the stage crew tuned instruments and set out highball glasses of Jameson for each of the ladies. Once on-stage, armed with a stage name of Dee Dee, Kristen Gundred leads the foursome in both the playing of new wave/indie rock and in dressing in tight black outfits with boots and red lipstick.

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TVD Ticket Giveaway: Medeski, Martin and Wood at 9:30 Club, 10/27

Rock N Roll comes in many forms, and the 9:30 Club often does a good job of bringing in acts from the folk, punk, hard rock, pop and indie sub-genres to their venue. However, jazz-influenced acts rarely appear on the club stage, and it is a delightful surprise to see Medeski, Martin and Wood embarking on a tour and stopping in the Capital for a show.

An avant-garde combination of funk, jazz, and hip-hop with a groove, Medeski, Martin and Wood’s live performance will be something to see, as they perform with a wide variety of instruments in the studio and on-stage, including the mellotron, organ, clavinet, and many others.

To win tickets to this Thursday’s (10/27) performance, give us the name of one of your favorite jazz acts, excluding MMW of course!

Mine would be The Dave Brubeck Quartet.

The winner will be chosen at noon on Wednesday, October 26th. Enter now!

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TVD Live: Givers at the Black Cat, 9/18

Finally. An indie band that knows how to play (and by play I mean pound, hit, smack and strum the crap out of) their instruments. Comprised of five twenty-somethings from Lafayette, Louisiana, Givers creates a glorious cacophony of music with a delightful amount of instrumental variety that distinguishes them as “Avant Pop.”

At the heart of their sound (and that of their opening acts, Lord Huron and imagineIAM) is a surf rock sound. In fact, Lord Huron’s songs even included a layered sound bite of pouring water, as if their music was being played outside, near a waterfall. However, Givers adds an extra  synthy after-taste to this sound, much like that of recent surf rock revivalists Beach House.

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TVD Live: Deer Tick at the 9:30 Club, 10/16

When John McCauley, lead singer and guitarist of the indie rock band Deer Tick, first walked onto the stage of the 9:30 Club on Sunday night carrying his own personal six-pack of Flying Dog IPA, it was pretty clear we were all in for a real good time.

The band opened their set with a bang and  “The Bump,” the first track on their new album Divine Providence, to be released on October 25th. Donning loose-fitting suits complete with bow ties and well-worn Chuck Taylors, the band looked a bit like hobos as they swayed to and fro, with a beer in one hand and an instrument in the other.

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