I was on a flight home from New York Friday night when I received an email asking if I was available to do a last minute shoot on Saturday for The Grid. Talk about last minute. I'm glad for the email, because this was easily one of my favorite shoots to date.
I was told I would be photographing Dan Lanois' guitar. I love guitars and have a couple of my own (down from more than four, and if you knew how bad I was you'd say I shouldn't have any). I wasn't told what kind of guitar it was, although that was inconsequential. When I arrived at The Warfield however, I found out I would be photographing Dan's 1953 Gibson Les Paul Goldtop. This happens to be my favorite guitar; I have 1957 Goldtop (a 2009 Gibson Custom Shop reissue of course).
If you don't know, Dan a legendary music producer and musician. Just head over to his wikipedia page to check out his accomplishments. Dan was in town to do a show with Emmylou Harris at The Warfield. It was a small performance where they played Emmylou's album Wrecking Ball in its entirety on the occasion the the albums 20th anniversary.
Dan is Canadian and it shows. I know stereotypes aren't a good thing, but when your stereotype is that you're really nice, who's going to complain about that? Dan was more gracious and accommodating than anyone I've ever photographed; to me and everyone around us. He went around and introduced himself to everyone on the stage thanking them for the work they're doing.
I had already taken the shots of the guitar alone before Dan got there so now I wanted to get some shots of him playing. The magazine didn't really ask for them so this was more for me so I could hear the 1953 Goldtop.
Playing with Emmylou Harris:
The show was amazing. This job does have it's perks.