We have added a Flipbook preview of Boom Boom, The Blues Photographs of Brian Smith. This can be flicked through at :
It gives an idea of how the final book looks, although there may be text changes before this goes to press.
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
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.
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.
An early heads up on a work in progress, this visually fascinating collection of rare blues photographs taken in Manchester and area in the early sixties, capturing many visiting American Blues giants on stage and in more candid moments. Boom Boom Boom Boom is due later in 2014, and you can read more on the site.