Monday, July 27, 2009

UTFO, 1985 - previously unpublished

This was the very first time i ever shot a photo of a real hip-hop group. I had never even met them prior. I was inspired! Just before i took this photo they came out with their mega-classic smash, Roxanne, Roxanne (one of the all-time hip-hop classics) and got this big show in L.A. (if i remember correctly they were opening for Kurtis Blow). I along with everyone else in the world at the time thought the song was amazing. Check out the only video of it i could find, it's of them on the short lived Richard Belzer talk show:

The thing was I had just done that classic photo session with the Beastie Boys (who still could not really be considered a "hip-hop group" just yet, at least not to me) that everyone at RUSH management liked. So when i heard that UTFO were coming to town (I was still living in Los Angeles) i called RUSH to see if they could arrange for me to get a ticket to the show and possibly a few minutes for me to do a photo session w/UTFO. As it turned out Bill Adler (the O.G. Hip Hop/RUSH/Def Jam publicist) was able to help me out, even though UTFO were not a part of the RUSH roster.

The day of the show I spoke to the road manager, went to the venue and was waiting around for a while. Finally i get to meet the promoter or manager, i can't remember who, but they knew i was waiting for these guys so i could get some photos - although i felt like no one understood why in the world i would want to take pictures of them. - A while later the manager, or whoever it was says, "They are still at the hotel. Here take the keys to this car, and go pick them up and bring them down here" - "what?" - "Go pick them up, here's the keys" - I never met the guy, i had no ID or credentials, nothing other than perhaps i was the only white guy in the building, and he just gave me the keys... OK. So I went down to the hotel, and brought them back for sound check. Afterward we came back to the "Holiday Inn", where I took these photos on the terrace. Later in the evening, before they went on stage, I took a few more backstage, one of those classic shots is in my book FUCK YOU TOO.

Although not a well known recording by UTFO, this song and more particularly this video above was at the top of the game when it was released (Steve Salem R.I.P. would be happy if he knew I said that). Just check the oversized crusher trucks of the era and the laser disc's being used as records on the turntables, and you'll have to admit this one belongs in a time capsule without a doubt.

1 comment:

  1. Roxanne, Roxanne was definitely a banger back then. If I'm lying, I'm flying.