Dan Lanois' 1953 Gibson Les Paul Goldtop

Dan Lanois' 1957 Gibson Les Paul Goldtop

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.

Dan Lanois at The Warfield theater in San Francisco California

Dan Lanois at The Warfield theater in San Francisco California

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.