Martin Popoff and Rich Galbraith Interviews (2009)

Posted: November 12, 2012 in Books, Classic Rock - Interviews, Deep Purple Family

Martin Popoff is a hard working author in Canada hailed by many as one of the leaders in his field – Classic Rock. In 2009, I conducted an interview with Martin regarding his then fresh first book on Deep Purple, “Gettin´Tighter – Deep Purple ´68-´76” (2008, Tommy Bolin on the cover). Since then there has been another three (!) – “A Castle Full of Rascals – Deep Purple ´83-´09” (2009, Roger Glover and Ian Gillan cover), “The Deep Purple Royal Family – Chain of Events Through ´79” (2011, Ritchie Blackmore cover) and the most recent, “The Deep Purple Royal Family – Chain of Events ´80-´11” (2011, Ian Gillan cover). This interview was printed in my TOP SECRET 2009 publication and it also included a chat with photographer Rich Galbraith, who is the guy that has provided Martin with many of the images (including the “Gettin´Tighter” Bolin cover), so this is included here as it was in the magazine. I think you get some interesting thoughts and history through these chats (starting with Martin), so here we go. Enjoy!

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

– Not much to say, pretty boring, I’m 45 years old, full-time heavy metal journalist – I suppose that counts for something, given that there aren’t too many of us. Got a wife, an eight-year-old boy, and am a crazy record collector, lover of information, a scholar, really – ha ha.

When did you discover hard rock and how did your interest eventually morph into a career in writing?

– I’ve been a fan since about nine or 10 years old, starting with Nazareth, Kiss, Black Sabbath, ZZ Top, Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple. The usual way, you know, older brothers of friends or cousins who you look up to turn you on to records, all this scary, forbidden music by mean looking longhair teenagers. And I wasn’t really in the business for a long, long time. Basically, in 1993 I self-published a book of record reviews called “Riff Kills Man!”, and then that got me meeting Tim Henderson, and we started Brave Words & Bloody Knuckles in 1994, and then it was off to the races. 25 books later, I’ve got the busiest year of this whole damn mess planned for 2009. But yeah, I have an undergrad in English, and also have an MBA, so I guess I’m using the English degree more, given that I am a full time, hardcore, pretty fast and prolific writer.

In what magazines have you been published and where can we find you these days outside of your book production?

– Definitely the main one is Brave Words & Bloody Knuckles, where I am Editor In Chief, and write a whole lot of it as well. And then our website, which is very active, high traffic, I read a lot of reviews there and some feature stories, bravewords.com, and in the past have done a tiny bit for Classic Rock, Record Collector, Chart, Guitar World, and am still a regular contributor to Goldmine. A lot of magazines have fallen by the wayside over the years too, and I’ve written for a bunch of them as well, including Glass Eye. and Lollipop. I also write all the reviews for hardradio.com and regularly supply interviews there. Other than that, it’s liner notes and bios, and of course the books.

You seem to be one of the most consistent publishers of hard rock and heavy metal history, when did you decide to take this massive undertaking on and how many titles have you published up until the Deep Purple 1968-1976 book?

– As I said, I think it’s about 25 books. And it usually comes down to two or three a year, these days. It is a massive undertaking, but really, one of those reviews books went on to become another reviews book, and then pretty much doubled again to be split into the three decades, and that’s “The Collector’s Guide To Heavy Metal”, volumes 1 through three, so not all of them are completely new books. I just love the idea of books, their permanence. Not like a magazine where you have to repeat everything you did over again the next month or two months later. Books, sure, they can get out of date and need updating, but that happens slowly. My favored bio that I’ve ever done, the book on Blue Oyster Cult, well, that thing is something like five years old and those guys haven’t put out a new album, so it’s really not very out of date at all yet.

What can we expect in the next few years, will there be a second book on Deep Purple?

– Yes, definitely there will be a second half of the career, Deep Purple book. And in fact, the Steve Morse years are some of my favourite years of that whole catalog, which is why I wanted to write a book on them. I think they are probably the top shining example of an old dinosaur band that is making their best music right now. So it will be a pleasure to write the second half of that career. Also, almost ready to go is a coffee-table art book on the work of Michel Langevin from Voivod. I’ve also got two Goldmine price guides to crank out, as well as the fifth in my “Ye Olde Metal” series, which will examine the year 1978. I would suspect that 1979 should be able to come out in 2009 as well – these are numbered and limited to 1000 copies, signed by me. I’ve got a talented designer for the covers in Rory Fiorito and a legend in the biz, Rich Galbraith is supplying pictures, cool guy. And there is also an album cover book that is coming along, which is really interesting, including stuff from polls, quotes from album cover artists. It’s going to be really cool. So yeah, pretty busy. Oh yes, after the end of this year, it’s time for “The Collector’s Guide To Heavy Metal, volume 4”, which will cover the ‘00s, with a writer for our magazine, David Perri, given that I’m getting too old to keep up with everything. I am subtly making the transition into being a metal historian, rather than somebody who’s got his finger on the button of everything.

Your book on Black Sabbath came out in 2006, how was the response to that? Have you gotten any kind of feedback from any members or ex-members of the band?

– Yes, the guys seemed to like it. At least they are still talking to me. Geezer Butler has often joked that it’s cost him a lot of money because he has seen all those rarities and had to go out and buy them on eBay. But yes, no worries, I think they generally understand that it was written from a position of love, and that I am a massive fan of those guys, as a band, and as people.

Your style is interesting, the way you take a look at a band track by track right through history, with lots of quotes from the guys that were there creating the music. When did you start to conduct your interviews in that way, was it something that you always did?

– Absolutely, I’ve always thought that that was the most important thing, so from the beginning, I’ve always asked a lot of questions about specific songs. And then, as it turned out, I read a lot of rock bios, and I am quite amazed at how often pages and pages and pages can go by about stuff, and you get to the most important thing, that piece of art that you bought as a kid and had all these questions about for years, maybe even decades, and then it’s dispensed with in a couple of pages! To me, those artworks are the most important thing any of these guys have ever done, although I’m sure they would say the politically correct thing and say that their children, or their families, or their marriages are the most important thing they did. But I’m talking creatively here. I don’t understand all this stuff about playing live, and jamming, and collecting bootlegs. To me, the songs, the studio works, the writing… and by the way, I hold the lyricist of any band in the highest esteem, and then maybe the music writer, and then on down. No instrument, or vocals, or anything like that means as much to me as lyrics first, and then the writing of the music. But yes, that’s why I have always had this song by song approach. Plus, I think I’m too stupid to do these sorts of books with any more complex structure. I just love that idea of getting to a chapter, I’m dealing with that album, and everything to do with it, what went on in the studio, maybe a little bit about the touring of that album, but mainly I want to know about lyrics and music and all of that, production, people who worked on it, when and what went on in the studio, silly sounds that anybody made slapping two old hookers from down the street together or whatever (Ok, I made that one up). And yes, there are always a lot of quotes, because I really want to contribute something new. Sure, I’ll quote from old magazines and other sources, Internet interviews, but I really won’t write a book on a band until I’ve interviewed the guys probably at least 20 times. I want to make sure there’s a lot of my own footage in these damn things.

The new Deep Purple book came out in late 2008, how long did it take you to produce it and how has the initial reaction been so far?

– It didn’t take very long. Reaction has been great. It’s been a good seller as well, which is quite pleasing. But yes, there are books on Deep Purple already, which somewhat dampens my enthusiasm. I really get more of a kick out of writing a book on a band when there’s nothing on them, or very little. But there are some good books on Deep Purple. But yes, I have interviewed those guys tons and tons of times, maybe even more than any other band actually. How long it took to write? That question can never be answered. My day is so complicated, I just take little snatches of time here and there, sometime it’s a full day to work on the book, sometimes it’s a couple hours, sometimes it’s in 20 little weird chunks throughout a day. I’ve no idea how long these things take. I’m sure if I really analyzed it, I would be horrified at what my hourly wage is!

It was interesting that you gave the cover to Tommy Bolin, thus going against the unwritten law that seems to say that Ritchie Blackmore should always have those when it comes to books on Deep Purple. How was the reaction?

– People are loving that idea! It’s the main thing anybody says about it. I just thought what the hell, do something a little bit different. Plus I love that album, “Come Taste The Band”. But yeah, almost everybody has said, right on!

Do you have a favorite line up from the 1968-1976 period, or a favorite record or show?

– I’d say the favourite record would have to be “Fireball”, although you can’t knock the total importance of “In Rock”, or the classic quality of “Machine Head”. And I would say MK2 is my favourite lineup from those years, but yeah, I’m sure this is going to cause some controversy, but I’ve said time and time again, that probably in my top six Deep Purple records, three of them would be from the Steve Morse era.

I always thought they were brave to take in Bolin and I think they produced some good music even at the very end. Do you think they could have re-established themselves in the US had they had more time with MK4 or was it doomed from day one once Ritchie was gone?

– It seemed pretty doomed, what with all the drug-taking and all that. I’m often somewhat surprised by this whole thing where bands seem to be able to fret and fret over getting someone in the band, try out a bunch of guys (although take any number they say and divide by 20) and they overlook something like a drug problem. The other example, and I’m sure back in those innocent days, it wasn’t exactly a full-on drug problem, but you’d think guys with the personalities of Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley would kind of look at an Ace Frehley and a Peter Criss and say, politely, these guys don’t seem to have the same kind of work ethic that we do. But yes, with Deep Purple, it was just one line of change too many. Solid album and all that, but it was just getting to be a mess.

Eight years doesn´t seem like a very long time now but Purple squeezed four line ups in to as many years and created fantastic music and a lot of drama to boot. My guess is that a story like theirs is just a little more fun to write than your average band that never changed around much, true?

– Oh definitely, there are lots of stories with Deep Purple, although rather than lurid drama, it’s more like a constant flow of medium or low intensity drama. That is what makes it fun. The UFO book was great that way as well, and like I say, my favorite of all of them is the Blue Oyster Cult, because the stories behind the songs are just so damn interesting. But yes, of course Ritchie Blackmore is such a fascinating character, and Roger Glover and Ian Gillan are just two of my favorite guys in all of rock. So yes, there’s lots going on. And of course, there’s Joe Lynn Turner! That guy is amazing. I just love him. I could talk to him all day.

You have met most of the guys many times, do you have any idea how many interviews you have made with the men from Deep Purple?

– I’m just guessing, but maybe 30, 35? And I haven’t met most of the guys many times. Some just a few times, or once, or not at all – I suppose, but most would be Ian Gillan. A lot of people don’t realize that in this business, the lion’s share of all these interviews are done on the phone. I mean, you can meet these guys, but meeting them and not doing interview, there’s not really much to say. What you say is usually pretty boring and something they’ve heard a million times before, so it’s just a quick hello and a couple of pleasantries. Small talk. I hate small talk. The best interviews are always on the phone anyway, because there are no distractions. You are both paying attention.

When you know a lot of people you also hear a lot of stories. I know that I have heard things that I have never put in print. Did you held something back when you wrote the Purple book? Where should a writer draw the line?

-Off the top of my head I can’t think of anything I held back in the Deep Purple book. I would definitely hold things back if I thought they were very negative or hurtful, because I love those guys, and I wouldn’t want to do anything to hurt their families or even their reputations in a big way. There is some needling, and they are big boys and they can take a little bit of criticism, I hope! But no, in some other books I definitely held some things back out of respect, definitely both with Blue Oyster Cult and Judas Priest.

I know you love the current Deep Purple. It seems like they will go on forever. I can hear fans discuss this topic now. Like, how long should they push it. The blues and jazz legends never did quit and now it seems that bands like Purple are about to ensure that rockers never go away from public view as well. What is your opinion on this?

– My opinion is that the only guy that has to quit in any of these bands is the singer, because he’s just got that human voice sitting there ready to pack it in. Ian is still singing fine. I don’t know where all these negative reports come from. You hear people grousing about him drinking all night the night before and then turning in a lousy show and all this stuff, but every time I see him, he’s great. But that doesn’t mean he can go on forever. The singer is definitely always going to be the weak link. You’re right, everybody else can go on and on. People talk about how physical drumming is. It’s not! I’m a drummer, it’s all in the wrists, or can be all in the wrists, and I’m sure with a guy like Ian Paice, his touch is so magical, he’s the kind of guy who could go on for ever. The guitarists, Roger, no problem. But yeah, of course, they’re going to have back pain, they’re going to be tired, they’re going to want to retire. They all drop off for all sorts of reasons. They drop dead for all sorts of reasons! The fact of the matter is, Ian Gillan is singing three times better than David Coverdale is right now. That’s not a knock on David. I love that guy, I love his writing, and he is just one of the greatest guys to talk to, but it sounds pretty clear to me that he’s losing his voice. And there’s no shame in that at all. I mean hell, he’s such a great singer, all he has to do is lower all those registers, and he could probably keep singing for a long time. It’s just hitting those damn high notes. And who the hell cares anyways? Let them mellow with age like a fine wine. The funny one we all joke about is Kiss. I really do hope they do something super interesting, something like Gene Simmons could only think up, and just slowly replace members for the next 500 years! The other one like that that is an interesting case is Lynyrd Skynyrd. I consider the current touring lineup, and recording lineup, and those records great, and everything very legitimate. But look at what they did. They replaced Ronnie with a relative of Ronnie, a guy that looks like Ronnie, and a guy that sings like Ronnie, but is 20 or whatever years younger! They basically bought some time from worrying about that inevitable weak link.

Would you like to add something to this interview?

– Nothing much, many of my books are now only available through me, and I’ve got a supply of every book of my own that is in print, and I sell them through my website martinpopoff.com. Most people pay with PayPal nowadays, which is a great system. But yeah, I sign them all, ship them off within a day or two. With the way the book distribution system is so broken, maybe even more broken than the CD distribution system in some ways, well, maybe not that bad, but selling copies of my own books that I buy from the publishers has turned out to be one of my main sources of income these days, so come drop by! Ha ha.

Here we take a look at what photographer Rich Galbraith had to say at the time of the release of “Gettin´Tighter”. The article sported a couple of his shots from a Deep Purple concert back in 1976, the first spread looked like this…

Here follows the interview with Rich…

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

– Born in Kansas USA, moved around a bit since father was in the air force. Lived in Maine, Rome New York, where they later had Woodstock II. Moved to Enid Oklahoma in the late 60’s and have been here since. Loved rock and roll and later metal as it was so called, but now listen to other types of music as well. I also played a little guitar but was never very good, even took lesson from the late Michael Hedges when he still lived here. I had a great Love for music and at an early age tried to photograph the bands just to have a recorded memory of the bands or event. So I took a number of pictures during the 70’s and 80’s of concerts but it has been quite a few years since I’ve shot a show. About 2 or 3 years ago I bought a film scanner and just kind of fell into some book and magazine projects after looking up Bob Daisley. I’ve recently made it to a few concerts just to watch, although I tried to get a pass for an Alice Cooper concert a few years ago without luck… so I figured I had my day at it, taking pictures that is. I have a friend In Oklahoma city that has a large lighting company with sound, so I still get to hear about a lot of the shows – just makes you miss it more perhaps. So now I lead a fairly quiet boring life.

How old were you when you got in to hard rock and do you recall your first records?

– I’m not sure of the age but always seemed to have loved rock music, I think my first 45 was “Surfin USA” by the Beach Boys, So that would have been around 1963 when we still lived in Rome New York. The first LP I bought was “Crimson and Clover” by Tommy James and the Shondell’s which came out around 1968. During the 60’s I remember having the AM radio on and listening late at night, I remember some of the early Deep Purple being played, like “Kentucky Woman”. The air base we lived on in Oklahoma had a library with a few LP’s you could check out, I remember the Electric Prunes and sure there was some Jefferson Starship and the Stones. I’m not sure what records I bought next but it got to a point where I felt there had to be more, when you buy an album for the one song you hear and then the rest is just ok. I guess it was when I heard “Paranoid” on the radio that I was truly blown away. I bought that album and finally felt like someone had nailed it, I loved it all the way through so went back and bought the first LP as well, it felt like coming home perhaps. I was a big Black Sabbath, Deep Purple and Alice Cooper fan in those early 70’s although I bought many other LP’s and singles.

What inspired you to get in to rock photography and what was your first jobs in this field?

– My father had sent a 35MM fixed lens camera while he was overseas, it had a 50mm lens on it. I remember you had to match up some needle type things in the viewfinder but had no idea what they meant. I think I was 13 when I went to my first concert, Bloodrock and Grandfunk, the airbase here to an old bus to Oklahoma City about 100 miles away, So that was my first attempt at taking concert pic’s, they didn’t turn out very well since I was not very close and the settings were way off for shooting a concert. My next concert was Alice Cooper when he was doing the gallows, still too far away to get much. I think it was around 74 before I really had any worthy photographs. My first backstage was Uriah Heep in 1974. This is when I met a lady that worked with Warner Brothers, I was between 11th and 12th grade at the time but was cool to be getting calls from Warner Brothers when your still in high school. Not real paying jobs or anything like that, just more of a fan taking pictures.

Was it easier or was it more difficult to get access to the bands in the 70´s compared to later on?

– A lot easier in the 70’s , well depending if you were male or female perhaps. My early stuff is shot from the crowd, well much of it really was. I met up with a concert promoter in 1975 at a BOC concert in Okla City, the venue never had allowed cameras and I wanted to try and shoot. So through a bit of fate perhaps we got passes, we also got to help load in, I remember we had platform shoes so we had to drive around and try and find some cheap sneakers. But I still almost missed my chance, I never really got the promoters info and thought he was with the band. So the next day we were on the way home and he said he had a concert in Tulsa but had not planned on going, so we turned back and headed to Tulsa and got in. The promoter had me take pictures of the outdoor staging for trade magazine ads. So that was perhaps my real start, I at least got in all of that promoters shows, but still a lot of the times had to shoot from the crowd, just depended on the band and venue sometimes. It was more of a tradeoff, get in free and turn the promoter on to pictures.

Tell us about your memories from the day that you photographed Deep Purple with Tommy Bolin. How did you get permission to photograph them that night?

– This was still back when they allowed cameras to most shows, so we got to the venue early and stood in line. It was general admission on the floor, so once the doors opened and they got your ticket torn you had to run like hell to get to the front. I remember being shoved around in a wave of people and think it was the hardest show to get pictures of. I was several feet back so had to shoot through people as well. So I’m lucky I had anything turn out from that show. The sad part is I went to process the black and white that I did myself, had the times memorized… I looked at the film and it was very faint… out of all times the company had changed the processing times. I tried to redo but it was too late, so I lost around 72 possible pictures from that show.

Was there a feeling that the band was going downhill or was there still excitement for Deep Purple at that point in their life around where you lived and do you think that they could have restored their old glory in the US had they had more time?

– It has been a long time since that show and I seem to remember it as being a good show, I was a big Deep Purple fan anyways and just glad to finally get to see them perform. (I was unable to get a ride to a Deep Purple concert a few years before when Elf opened). But I think it went over really well. I think some always find it hard to accept the fact that their favorite line up of a band are no longer together, kind of like getting divorced, it´s just part of life perhaps. So the new guys always have a hard time proving themselves, it’s not their fault that the former members called it a day. I guess it is harder when the front guys are the ones being replaced though and also a bit hard to go out and do songs like “Smoke On The Water” and “Highway Star” to name a few.

There has always been much talk about how loud MK4 was on the 1976 UK tour, can you confirm that Purple was more or less leaving crowds with ringing ears in your neck of the wood as well?

– I sometimes wore Sonic II earplugs, mainly if in front of the PA cabinets, but not sure if that show was any louder than others, but there were many times I had a ringing for a few days. I was more towards the center in front so didn’t take a direct hit from the PA.

Later on you photographed Rainbow and other related groups, can you share a few memories from those days good and bad?

– Rainbow 1978, I was star struck – finally got to see one of my longtime favorite guitar players. I remember the show in Tulsa Oklahoma, I was in the pit and just below Ritchie when he was smashing the prop guitar, the head stock came down and hit me in the head. A bit of blood but I kept shooting. I did get the neck section of the guitar. After the show I was able to meet up with the band and get my LP signed. The next day was in Oklahoma City, I was just 21 so got to hang in the bar with the guys. I remember the bar guy giving me a hard time and having to leave to get my ID from the car. At some point Ronnie got onto the guy, I remember there was a chip in Ronnie’s glass and he was giving the bartender or manager hell. So it was kind of cool to have Ronnie taking up for me. A week or so later I did another show in Shreveport, it was a lot smaller place, I remember we followed the limo down from Tulsa Okla. At some point I gave REO’s road manager (Andy Green) a ride to the motel. I remember somewhere on the tour that Ritchie got a bit pissed at him for turning on the lights early. I remember on that tour and depending on the part of the USA, Rainbow would open some and then headline some. Ronnie, Ritchie and Bob Daisley all bought pictures from me, I think I sold them for around $3 each just to break even. I gave them permission to use them for whatever they wanted. Later I saw one of the B&w pictures on Rainbows “Down To Earth” LP sleeve and 3 of Ronnie on his “Holy Diver” LP sleeve, a montage of many shots, just no credits. Ronnie took down my info and mentioned maybe shooting some on the next tour, but as luck would have it he left Rainbow after that tour. I had Bobs address so wrote a time or two and met up again later on an Ozzy tour. But that Rainbow tour was a highlight, I talked with Cozy also, great person and was very sorry to hear when he passed away years later.

Looking back, who were the best bands from your point of view as a photographer and why?

– Really hard to pin it down, but guess I can say Ronnie always took care of me over the years. On the “Heaven And Hell” 1980 Sabbath tour he went and got us laminates and seems I was the only one in the pit for those Oklahoma shows and later some of Ronnie’s solo tours. Sabbath never did get back to Oklahoma and it has been sometime since I’ve talked with Ronnie. It just got harder to cover shows in the 80’s. But there were a lot of great shows, just always felt at home with Ronnie and got to know Bill Ward a little, met up again in the 80’s when I went to visit a friend in LA. In 97 Bill came from LA to Enid Oklahoma with his solo band to play a benefit for a friend that had been shot, quite amazing that someone would do that for a person they had never met. He and band also came no charge!!!

How did you get involved in the Martin Popoff book about Deep Purple and what has the response been to your pictures so far?

– I had been in contact with a guy that was a very big Sabbath fan, at one point I had e-mailed him and think 6 months later I had a reply, but he mentioned Martin Popoff. I e-mailed back and had to ask who he was, so ended up checking out his website at martinpopoff.com and I decided to drop Martin a note. I think I said “cool books and too bad we had not meet sooner”, since he had books out on Rainbow, Sabbath, UFO, BOC and others. So we e-mailed for awhile and Martin mentioned a Judas Priest book he was working on and somewhere in there came up with the “Ye Olde Metal” series which I now have the cover shots on and pictures inside 3 of the 4 now out. Maybe about a year ago Martin mentioned a Deep Purple book and asked if I had anything, I said just from 76 since no one would give me a ride to the earlier tours. So never really heard anymore, then several months back the project came up again along with Greg’s book the same week, so I had to start scanning in the slides that I did have. Martins book was going to be text only except for the album covers and some old ad’s I found. I found another person that had some earlier DP shots so Martin went ahead and added those to the book along with some of my 76 shots, more of a last moment thing. Also a few of my Rainbow shots were added for the back of the book.

You have also been involved in the Tommy Bolin book by Greg Prato, how did that come about?

– That came about the same week as Martins book, I guess it was kind of through the grapevine thing. A Damien knew about my pictures and we had met on MySpace, but I also have known Johnnie Bolin since 81, we met when I took him a picture of Tommy and Glenn when Johnnie was drumming for DVC and met up again in the late 80’s while he was in Black Oak when they played a small club I was running lights at. I passed this guy in the hall and thought I knew him, wasn’t until Jim Dandy said who he was and they played “Shake The Devil”. A very cool weekend, we kind of lost touch over the years. After getting on MySpace I tried to e-mail a few places and sites without luck, was not until another MySpace friend said she had Johnnie’s current contact. I tend to go off topic here, but Black Oak played here again early last year so met up with Johnnie and Tamy that run the tommybolin.biz site. So I think Damien mentioned my pictures to Greg, I had scanned just a few the past year and posted a few on MySpace but also told Greg I knew Tamy and Johnnie. So I had a notice from both Tamy and then Greg. So with both Martins books and Greg’s book needing a few more shots I decided to scan in what I had left. I also took pictures on Tommy’s solo tour that same year, Nov 10, 1976, those slides came up missing at the Kodak lab, either bad luck or someone decided to help themselves).

What do you think about these books, are you happy about how it all turned out?

– I just finished Greg’s book and really loved it, amazed at all the things Tommy did in his short life span. A lot of things I could relate to, but still very sad that Tommy had to leave this earth so early. I’ve not gotten to far into Martins Deep Purple book yet but I think the books turned out fairly well, I guess being the picture guy you want the photographs to look great and I know with print on demand books sometimes the pictures may not come out quite as nice as a major publishers product. But I understand with the way the economy is it is a bit harder to get the larger publishers behind you so self publishing is the only option sometimes. Rory Fiorito from Orphan X Graphics did the cover work for Martin’s Deep Purple book along with the “Ye Olde Metal” series that my pictures appear on, so I have been very happy with the way the covers have turned out. But I was very honored to be a part of the book projects and since I’ve known Johnnie Bolin for many years it was even more special to help honor the life of Tommy Bolin. Even though Martins book is a Deep Purple book it was an honor to have one of my pictures used for the cover. I remember Tommy being very popular around here, a friend’s band even changed their name to Teaser…

Do you have more projects coming up at the moment?

– Right now just some shots that are being used for Martins next “Ye Olde Metal” series, this one is Ye Olde Metal 78. Those have been in for awhile but seems one of the bands will be Starz that has an album featured. A few weeks ago an Oklahoma City newspaper contacted me for some old pictures on a Cains Ballroom in Tulsa Okla. Which kind of expanded to some other venues and bands from the 70’s and 80’s that I had. So as soon as that book comes out that will make 10 book projects I’ve been in and or on in just the past few years, others were a few books by Garry Sharpe Young. A Black Sabbath book and a Thrash Metal book. Also made a few other magazines and an Angel CD reissue. I guess not bad for never really having been a pro or really making money at it – also living in a small town in Oklahoma and away from the concert action. So has been nice to dig some of the old slides and negatives out, some I’m really seeing for the first time, at least on the negatives. I’ve not shot a show in years and at times miss it, and guess it would be a lot harder getting passes for shows unless you worked for a magazine or paper. I don’t really have a concert quality camera anymore and a MySpace friend loaned me a mid-size digital to mess with but still not concert worthy. So with that said, not sure what is next…

Michael Eriksson (Copyright)

(No part of these interviews may be quoted without permission)

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  1. […] Read these interviews on this blog here. […]

  2. […] (2001), HUGHES TURNER PROJECT (2001), NIGHTWISH (2002), DEEP PURPLE (2002), MARTINA EDOFF (2009), MARTIN POPOFF & RICH GALBRAITH (2009), JOHNNIE BOLIN (2012), MICHAEL MOJO NILSSON […]

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