I write this completely on a high after 2 shows with Velvet Revolver. The first show as a fan in the crowd, the second as a photographer.
As the lights dimmed, the crowd went wild as Slash came out right in front of where I was standing and everyone around me screams ‘Oh my god it’s Slash!!’
That guy is an icon. I listened to Guns ‘n’ Roses nonstop when their ‘Appetite for Destruction’ album came out. It influenced my life so much and I can still listen to it today without it even dating. Anyway, where was I….
I watched the lighting and stage moves as I didn’t want to miss a thing the next night with my camera. There are not many gigs I get excited to the stomach about shooting, but this was definitely one of them.
The next night off I went with my camera, collected my pass and wandered into the photo pit and stood in front of Slash’s pedal board setting my camera to the lighting at the venue. I stood there thinking things couldn’t get more perfect, and then it occurred to me. I was never going to get the “Classic Slash” picture, y’know; low slung guitar, leather pants, top hat, hair over the face, and the cigarette poking out. Since the UK smoking ban had been enforced I would be minus one thing.
With that thought the lights dimmed and the crowd cheered, out they came. Slash stood in front of me rocking into the first song, I looked at the photographer next to me and we both laughed and gestured “YESSSS!” You’ll never guess, but Slash came out with a cigarette! Breaking UK laws and probably a hefty fine, he smoked for the first song and I couldn’t stop grinning. I got my shot, the one I always wanted.
In fact, I got lots of great shots – mainly of Slash, but do you blame me?
(A week later Scott left the band and I was relieved to have photographed this show as it would be a long while before Slash returned to the UK)