all scanned out

Willie Dixon, Free Trade Hall, Manchester. Jazz Unlimited show.

Happy to say the job of scanning Brian Smith’s negatives for the Boom Boom Blues photo book is at last complete.  Brian has had most of his images scanned in the past but generally by high-street operators who didn’t really appreciate what they were doing.  During work on the book, Brian collected together ALL his surviving negatives. We decided rather than just scan those earmarked for the book, we would do the LOT, and then they would be saved for posterity.  The job was done in-house using a high-end Nikon negative scanner.  Amazingly Nikon stopped making this expensive bit of kit a few years ago (apparently all the professionals who needed one had bought it, and sales stalled after that. We were lucky to get ours off a studio who had finished doing their own archives), and had stopped supporting the software for it even before that.  For this reason the machine has to be hooked up to a vintage Macintosh which can still run this old software and is now being kept largely just for this task.  Normally you pop in a strip of negatives, and leave it to work away.  But Brian’s negatives were all done individually because of the poor light levels he had to work with back in the early Sixties which left some real underexposure problems on some.  In a couple of cases really difficult negatives have been scanned twice at differing settings so we can combine elements.  All this has taken a lot longer than anticipated and delayed the launch, but we can now crack on and finish the layout.  And return the precious originals to Brian of course!

You can read more about the book, and sign up for newsletters, on the site. The really atmospheric photo above was taken by Brian of Willie Dixon during a show at the Free Trade Hall in Manchester.  The bit of kit on the left is the hulking great ABC TV camera.  Copyright Brian Smith / Easy On The Eye Books

Bonnet update

Graham Bonnet official biographyName a dozen or more quality rock guitarists…. Ritchie Blackmore, Michael Schenker, Yngwie Malmsteen, Chris Impelliteri, Steve Vai, Taz Taylor, Ray Fenwick, Micky Moody, Jan Akkerman, Mario Parga, Slash, Bob Kulick, Danny Johnson, Viv Campbell, Dario Mollo, Axel Rudi Pell, Uli Jon Roth, Gary Moore.
Now name us one singer who has worked with them all….  Graham Bonnet.

For the first time the biography of one of rock’s most travelled vocalists is being published. Written by long time Bonnet fan (and one time publisher of Graham’s own fanzine) Steve Wright, and with the full co-operation of Graham himself, the book cover the singer’s long journey from bracing Skegness to the sunnier climes of Los Angeles, and all points in between. Including one or two of the more notorious moments of his career; but as Graham says, what’s the point in trying to gloss over events which are a matter of record. The occasional bit of over exposure aside, the book documents his career in fascinating detail, with input from many of the musicians, producers and people who have worked alongside him.

You can read more and see page spreads on the site, and sign on for updates, pre-publication information and offers there as well.

Project updates 1

Yes : Dialogues ST33 BooksOur large format titles are now in production, and fans of the progressive rock band Yes can now sign up for a newsletter.  This gives people progress reports via the newsletter, as well as pre-order information and any special offers.  You can read more and sign up on the ST33Books site or sign up right away using the button below (you can unsubscribe at any time).

Deep Purple having it large

Deep Purple live 1974Our large format imprint ST33 Books has just announced a series of four books from the archives of photographer Barry Plummer. Each will cover a single artist and or music theme, and the first is devoted to one of the seventies biggest bands Deep Purple.  You can read more about this and the photographer on ST33.

 

We all came down to Montreux

Deep Purple Smoke On The WaterThe second of our Deep Purple titles has been scheduled, and takes a detailed look at one of the most influential and best – selling rock albums of all time, Machine Head. DEEP PURPLE – FIRE IN THE SKY follows a similar format to our previous book on the group, and includes the story of SMOKE ON THE WATER, often voted the most famous rock riff of all time. You can read more about the book and see the cover on the site, and more details will follow. Publication is scheduled for early 2015. Our previous book on the band’s formation in 1969 has been remarkably well reviewed across the world, and you can read some of those reviews on the site.  This follow-up aims to reach the same high standard.

The list gets longer…

Work on the Boom Boom book of rare Blues photographs is nearing completion and the final stage is to sit down with Brian and get his personal recollections of taking the pictures, the shows, the clubs and of course meeting all these amazing musicians (and whether they took him at cards or not!). Most of the photo selection has now been made so we can come up with a more complete list of artists who Brian photographed in the early sixties and appear in the book (though new images are still turning up, so this may get even longer.) If you want to get the latest on this title do please join our mailing list, which is linked from the book’s news page on this site.
In the meantime here is another of Brian’s treasured signed personal photos (which he had to get a friend to take!) meeting Bo Diddley backstage.

Bo-Diddley-and-Brian-Smith, American Blues photographs

BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM FEATURING : Johnny Guitar Watson, Big Joe Turner, Chuck Berry, Sunny Terry, Brownie McGhee, Screaming Jay Hawkins, Little Richard, Bo Diddley, Jimmy Reed, Hubert Sumlin, Howlin Wolf, Buddy Guy, John Lee Hooker, Carl Perkins, Fred Below, Gary US Bonds, Eddie Boyd, The Chants, Charlie and Inez Foxx, Clifton James, Rev. Gary Davis, Sugar Pie Desanto, Willie Dixon, Sleepy John Estes, Hammie Nixon, Lightning Hopkins, J B Lenoir, Jerry Lee Lewis, Larry Williams, Little Walter, Lonesome Jimmy Lee, Memphis Slim, Millie Small, Otis Span, Jimmy Reed, Doctor Ross, Joe Richardson, The Shirelles, Sunny Boy Williamson, Sunnyland Slim, Roosevelt Sykes, Eddie Playboy Taylor, Big Mamma Thornton, T-Bone Walker, Walter Horton, Muddy Waters. The Rolling Stones, Tony McPhee and The Groundhogs, Alex Harvey, Johnny Cash, Duane Eddy also feature and there is a special bonus section of images shot at Granada TV during musician’s rehearsals for the Scene At 6.30 news shows.