Leon Russell, Mad Dog and Englishmen, Santa Monica Civic, 1970 – Michael DeChellis
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R. Michael DeChellis
I have been a huge music fan my entire life. When I graduated from high school in 1967 I visited all the clubs and arenas in the LA area listening to music. In 1968 I saw Jimi Hendrix at the Shrine and said to myself that I needed to get a camera and record all these great artists. I bought a 35mm Pentax camera and the first show I went to was Janis Joplin with Big Brother and the Holding Company at San Fernando Valley College (later to be renamed Cal State Northridge). As I walked into the basketball arena, I saw the band hanging out in a classroom – no security guards back then – so I walked in and started talking to them. I was very nervous because I’d never taken a photograph before. As they were leaving to go onstage, I asked Janis if I could taker her photograph and she said, “Sure, kid.” That was my first photo.
Over the next 2 years, I brought my camera to every concert I went to – there was no security so I would walk right up to the stage, sometimes even on the stage, and take all the pictures I wanted. I did this as a fan and when I became gainfully employed in the film business, I stuck all the negatives in a shoebox and put them in my closet.
When I figured out how to make digital prints in the ’90s I pulled out that box and started printing. If you’d like to see more of my work go to dechellisphotography.com
|Dimensions||16 × 20 in|
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