On The Road With Ross Halfin (Pt. 2)
06 May 2011
Ross Halfin, editor to many Genesis books and author of SOJOURNER,
continues to give an
exclusive glimpse at his life as a music photographer, traveling the world and encountering musical
talents, new and old. Venturing once again to Los Angeles, Ross began his trip in San Francisco on
April 11, for a shoot with Metallica's Kirk Hammett at his home. Ross notes, 'He has an amazing
collection of original film posters and vintage guitars.'
Upon swiftly returning to Los Angeles, Ross attended the Golden Gods Awards, rallying together
everyone from Steve Jones of the Sex Pistols to Tommy Lee. 'To my delight, the original Alice
Cooper band played,' Ross reports. 'I did a studio session with them the following day (April 15),
including Alice with a boa constrictor. I watched them play a private set for two hours. It made me
feel I was 14 again. I was really surprised at how nice the whole band were as people. I
ended up talking to Neal Smith, the drummer, about his first visit to London. He bought a Rolls
Royce and saw The Who at the Rainbow, where the Alice Cooper Band made their London debut
the next day. I have the original poster. It was also good to see Alice, as he's always professional
The following weekend saw Ross journey to the desert, heading to Indio, California's famed polo
fields, site of the Coachella Music Festival. Just a week after such a festival, a radically different
crowd headed to the fields. The occasion was the Big Four, a thunderous showcase of Metallica,
Slayer, Megadeth and Anthrax. 'Funny how people look at this as the second coming of Christ. I
viewed it as just another job,' Ross remarks of the gathering. 'The hardest part was doing a group
shot of all the bands together, with all the hangers-on who would not fuck off. I enjoyed it, as I
saw a lot of people there I hadn't seen in a long time. I spent the show trying to shoot the bands in
a different way and capture the atmosphere of the event.'
Also while in LA, Ross shot two new artists. 'I shot Vintage Trouble, who definitely have a style about them, and seem to have a buzz about them in England,' Ross declares. 'I also shot twenty year old Kyle Nicolaides. Kyle had one of the most exciting demos I've heard in years. Though he did make the faux pas of telling me Pete Townshend was the worst guitarist he'd ever heard (and Live at Leeds one of the worst albums) - coming from someone who worships Marc Bolan!'
Ross's new photographic book SOJOURNER
is out now and available to order.