I’ve heard many comments over the years that I live a “charmed” and “exciting” life and I do but my life isn’t all glitz, glamor and getting to see and shoot whatever shows I want. For example, one of the biggest live event spectacles ever to land at Sam Boyd Stadium happened this past weekend with U2 holding court under some monstrous Transformer-looking rig covered with state-of-the-art sound, lighting and video and I wasn’t there. Part of me was glad because I heard that it took more than two hours just to get out of the stadium’s parking lot, but another part of me was a little disappointed that my connections had not been able to get me in so I could have taken pictures of (and been a witness to) what is probably the most elaborate tour to date….maybe ever. I was so confident that I’d be going to see and shoot U2 that I didn’t have any backup plan and I didn’t follow up on perhaps seeing another show on Friday, like Tim McGraw at the M Resort for example. Lucky for this Diva I saw and shot plenty prior to Friday for today’s column.
A couple of weeks ago I got an email invitation to a VIP event being held this past Thursday at the John Varvatos clothing store inside the Hard Rock Hotel that was to be a mini-set by the original “shock rocker” Alice Cooper as a precursor to his 3-night run in the Orleans Showroom. I spent time last year shooting Alice Cooper at an exclusive golf tournament at the beautiful Siena Golf Club on the westside of town that was a benefit for his charity, Solid Rock Foundation, as well as at the 2008 Parnelli Awards (dubbed the Oscars of the live event industry by NPR) so I figured it would be a nice little event where I could maybe say hello and get some nice performance shots in an intimate setting. UM…right. Something like 1,400 people showed up to go into an emptied clothing store that has a small stage area that holds about 350 or so people and is modeled after the Bowery in New York City.
Shooting the Red Carpet prior to the event isn’t really my thing and since the space was so limited for the photographers I hung out in the back and chatted with fellow photographer Scott while we waited for Alice and the band to walk by but after some minor celebrities/talent that I’ve never heard of (pre-pubescent boy band Kropp Circle for example) and host John Varvatos we were told that Alice would not be walking the red carpet and we were released to go into the store to shoot the performance. Unfortunately by that time the place was packed and it took me about 15 minutes just to find a small space at the side of the stage by Front of House just in time to catch his 30-minute set. Alice Cooper and his band rocked the house with crowd favorites like “School’s Out” and “No More Mr Nice Guy” and it was fabulous but unfortunately my pictures are not very good. Sorry I missed the shot…maybe next time.
I also went to Borders at Town Square on Saturday afternoon to meet R.G.Ryan, co-author of Danny Gans’ autobiography, “The Voices In My Head”, whom I met and have talked to on Twitter. We had a lovely conversation along with Russ and Rho Gerner about Gans’ personal and professional life and philanthropic work. I made mention that I had never had the chance to see Gans perform to which Russ, an artist who created custom cars for Gans’ collection, replied “I have something in the car for you.” He brought in and handed me a DVD of Danny Gans show. So with an autographed copy of the book and the DVD in hand I went home and watched what looked like a 45-minute DVD entitled “This Is Danny Gans” that looks like it was probably something available at the Encore’s gift shop. His death was unexpected, yes, but I really didn’t fully comprehend the “loss” until I saw his performance. I’m sorry that I missed seeing him as I was blown away…what an amazing talent. Thank you Russ for sharing this with me so graciously. I owe you one.
So, by the time you read my columns on Monday I am already planning my entertainment schedule for the week and this week my calendar is filling up fast. I have some pretty exciting things coming up so stay tuned and hopefully I won’t miss a thing. If you’re at the Great Pumpkin Run on Friday, October 30,7pm, at Cashman Center running to benefit Easter Seals of Southern Nevada and you see me I hope you say hello. I’ll be dressed as paparazzi. How very Photo-Diva like…