After I shot this photo of Dave Mason 15 minutes into his concert at the Forum in Los Angeles on December 19, 1975, I decided to stop shooting concerts. I had been invited by Columbia Records to shoot Mason for a live album cover. It was my first big concert in LA after moving there from Vancouver.
Since I was already there, I decided to shoot the opening act as well...Little Feat. I was the only photographer taking pictures of Little Feat and had the best time ever. I was more than ready to take on Dave Mason, but when I got in front of the stage after it was reset I realized there were several other photographers also shooting. I was totally fine with that...nothing like a little competition. I started with a roll a black and white, with a plan to shoot a roll of color when the band was further into their set as that's when the musicians start to really cook. So, there I was crouched in front of the stage waiting for my shots, taking one here or there, when another photographer told me to get out of his way. Actually, he pushed me out of his way and started firing with his motor drive - he might as well have been using a flash, too.
When I glanced around at the rest of the shooters, I saw they were doing the same thing - they were like a pack of hungry hyenas, eating each other without a thought of waiting to get the best shot possible. At that point I realized shooting big LA concerts was not what I wanted to do, and I had already come up with my idea to do a book of artwork done by musicians. I wanted to show that people who pursue one artistic avenue can also be talented in another. It was four years later that I finished that book that I called Starart. The other plus to walking away from the stage that night was being the only photographer backstage and ending up in Little Feat's dressing room to shoot their signing of The Big Deal with Warner Bros chief Mo Ostin.
And if you were wondering how that Dave Mason album cover that I didn't shoot turned out, here it is...