Motivation?

© Joe DiMaggio

Musician Doug Stegmeyer © Joe DiMaggio

What motivates you?  What motivates me?  In the case of this particular blog, what motivates me is a simple phone call from an old friend.  It was a phone call and the timing on it was perfect. Al Stegmeyer called and wanted to know why he had not seen a new blog from me since July or August. There is a very good reason for it.  I explained to him why I had not been blogging.  To all my ships at sea, I will tell you why in about 60 days.  Al was kind enough to invite me to a dinner celebrating his brother being inducted into the Long Island Music Hall of Fame. That great musician was Doug Stegmeyer.  His mother Peggy Stegmeyer, a world class piano player and music teacher will be celebrating her 90th birthday.  For anyone who does not know know who Doug was, he was the bass guitarist for Billy Joel. Nothing would make me happier than to spending an evening with Peggy, Al, and family, in celebration of a good friend and one hell of a musician, but I will unfortunately not be able to attend.  So to all the Stegmeyers out there I wish you health, happiness, and a beautiful rainbow.  I will be there in spirit.

An Additional Note – A NASA scientists once explained to me that every note in music travels into space and remains there for infinity.  So Doug your music is still heard all over the universe

small rainbow

© Joe DiMaggio

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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