Hugh Brodie’s Birthday Party

To all the Ships at Sea,

© Joe DiMaggio

I’m the luckiest guy in the world.  I have great friends all over the world from all walks of life! One of my older friends is Hugh Brodie who is a great musician, singer, writer, and plays one helluva Sax.  The hell with rock and roll.  The women all love him!

Brodie was dealt a bad hand.  His last visit to the hospital the Dr. gave him less than 6 months.  That was 18 months ago. The last time we visited Brodie he didn’t look good. Much to my surprise, for his Birthday celebration he not only looked great but sounded great. It may not have been Carnegie Hall but it was fabulous to have been there.

Brother Brodie we will always love you!  Here’s a short clip from the day https://vimeo.com/204043097

 

 

 

© JoAnne Kalish

Hugh Brodie © Joe DiMaggio

Jazzman Hugh Brodie

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© Joe DiMaggio

To all the ships at sea,

There are many people out there that have been to our photographic retreat and jazz workshops, and you all know the words and music of world class jazzman Hugh Brodie. Brodie’s cousin was Ella Fitzgerald – I guess the apple does not fall far from the tree. Now I’m going to tell you a secret, and you’ve gotta promise me you’re not going to tell a lot of people, but I’ve been to three of Brodie’s eightieth birthday parties. My guess is that Brodie is 90-something. God and nature haven’t been really good to Brodie. He recently had a couple of falls,  had some serious back problems, and had heart surgery. Thank God he didn’t get acne! With all that, he’s still one hell of a beautiful human being. To celebrate his recent birthday, some of the greatest jazzmen on the East coast came together to play for Brodie. What they actually did, in my humble opinion, was make him one of the happiest people on the planet. He laughed, he cried, he smiled.  He was truly ecstatic. For one moment, I was thoroughly convinced he was going to jump up onto the band stand and start belting out some really great music. It was close but it didn’t happen; there’s no doubt that he was singing and playing inside that beautiful heart and soul. Time for me to put down the No. 2 pencil and let the photos speak for themselves. Harvey, thanks  an awful lot

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© Joe DiMaggio

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© Joe DiMaggio

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© Joe DiMaggio

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© Joe DiMaggio

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© Joe DiMaggio

JoAnne and Richie

© JoAnne Kalish

© JoAnne Kalish

To all the ships at sea, I remember the first time that JoAnne photographed Richie Havens at a great club called My Father’s Place. What was so outrageously cool about clubs like that is that you could be literally five feet from a superstar. So for the cost of a beer, a glass of wine, or a cup of coffee, life was great; at least before the no photograph rules. I remember I was so jealous; I was in California and she was with Richie. Richie invited JoAnne and her friend into the dressing room, signed some autographs, and was just plain Richie, which means he was just a great guy with a  great attitude; never a prima donna. Super voice and super guitar.

Dylan and Havens

© Joe DiMaggio

© Joe DiMaggio

To all the ships at sea, there are certain consistencies or better we call them truths in life. For me, one of these truths is to always to seek the advice of the elder of the village. I presume that this has been the way of the world from time immemorial, and here you see Dylan Michael communicating with our dear friend Richie Havens, discussing whether to use a pick or not. I think the conversation progressed to lyrics and Woodstock; I was personally not privileged to the conversation. I made the photo and moved on. There is one thing that never ceases to amaze me; how important photography is in all of our lives. I totally forgot about this photo, but while doing some research on Pete Seeger, I stumbled across Dylan with Richie. Canon F1, Fujichrome, about 1/90, bounce flash, 50mm lens. Pick an aperture; I don’t remember.  Sing in peace, Richie. You’re probably sitting on a solid gold stool. Great times of our lives, suspended in photography.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fA51wyl-9IE]

To Young…Sing in Peace

To All The Ships At Sea

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This is extremely difficult for me to write. We have been photographing Richie Haven’s on and off over the years for a long time. We stopped counting the number of concerts a long time ago. Richie on stage was one of the greatest performers of our time.  Back stage he was a just a regular guy.  The last time he called me he asked permission to use three of my photos in a new book.  I will have a follow up blog and a tribute to Richie in a few months.   Sing in Peace Brother…

I spoke with a NASA scientist a few years back and we were discussing radio telescopes and he explained to me that a note played or sung will go on for infinity so I know Richie’s music will continue on…

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One of the Greatest Bass Guitar Players of All Time

Hi to all the Ships at Sea,

Sometimes we do not appreciate a particular photograph on a particular day. I would like to think that every photograph taken by everybody (not just me) is extremely important in that particular moment in history. Unfortunately, sometimes that moment becomes blurred or it’s forgotten…for whatever reason.  My day started out as an “off” day, until a close friend and neighbor knocked on my door and said he needed to set up a shoot. His name was Doug Stegmeyer. Doug’s mom lived four houses down and still does. A great pianist and a great piano teacher. That’s probably where Doug got the beginning of his chops. His brother Al, also a good friend of mine, was a music engineer. Doug wanted some head shots done and I said OK, how about about  in a week or two? He said, he needed them done today.

So I reset the lights in the studio, broke out some Kodachrome and told him to get a couple changes of clothes and come back in two hours, which he did. In my opinion Doug was a multi-layered person. On stage he was an absolute dynamo. He could play with the best of them, and he did. He was Billy Joel’s bass guitar player for a long time with world-renowned drummer, Liberty Devitto, they grew up together. It’s amazing how music and photography go together. Way before MTV, Hullabaloo, Soul Train and the Dick Clark Show, music and images were always married together. Think of Al Jolson in The Jazz Singer. At the end of the shoot, I broke open a bottle of white wine and he handed me a list of people he wanted the photographs to go to. Which, to be honest, seemed a little odd at the time. But in reality, none of that’s important. Off stage, he was an extremely warm, gentle, loving person. Put him in the studio and his eyes lit up. One day he gave me a lecture on microphones. Yes, it was a little above my head.

To get to Doug’s studio we passed what seemed like an infinite number of gold records. To be honest, there may have been a lot more sides of Doug than I ever knew. He spent a lot of time on the road. And the road for both photographers and musicians can be kind, exciting and sometimes very cruel. Doug’s brother Al called me the other day and asked me if I had any photos of his brother. I said, yes but they’re buried in the archives of over a million still images between JoAnne and myself. He asked me if I’d take a look and I said…OK…but it’s going to take a month. What never ceases to amaze me is JoAnne’s grasp of not only her photography but her editing and skills in organization. She managed to find them in less than 2 hours. I’d like to share a few with you. Just three different sides of a very complicated, brilliant and amazing individual; who unfortunately moved on to another level of consciousness too early.

Tech Info: NikonF, 105mm lens, Kodachrome 64, 1/90th of a second at 5.6, mixed light (daylight and dynalight), Black and White converted in NIKs software

I’ll follow this up in a couple of months when I get through the artwork.

WALK IN PEACE

All the best,

Joe D

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Approximately 10 years ago, a bright, creative young lady was kind enough to drive Jazz great, musician Hugh Brodie to our studio for a Photo Shoot. She then assisted me on a very intense shoot of Mr. Brodie. The young lady was Marisa Scheinfeld & she had a voracious appetite for photography.  Over the years, she’s come back to me many times for advice, asking my opinion on what direction to go in, where photography is going in the future, what equipment to procure and so on. Like all other interns and assistants both JoAnne and I have an open door policy because we truly enjoy seeing them succeed. It now appears Marisa is well on her way to not only a productive career but a rewarding one as well. Please see the following link.  There is an old Italian word we use for this – Mazel tov Marisa!

http://www.signonsandiego.com/weblogs/will-parson/2011/may/19/marisa-scheinfeld-leftover-borscht/