Archival Pigment Print
Signed and Numbered by the artist
Edition of 50
11x14", 16x20"or 20x24"
This picture, quite simply, represents one of the best days in my career. I happen to be a huge Tom Petty fan, and a lover of vintage guitars. So when I got the call from Rolling Stone to go to Tom’s secret warehouse space in a non-descript industrial park in the San Fernando Valley, I was giddy with excitement.
It was one of those jobs that came up quick, and I had little time to think about it. I think I got the call on a Tuesday and the shoot was the next day. In some ways, those jobs are better. I had less time to worry about making the ultimate iconic picture of my rock and roll hero, and decided that a simple approach would be best. So, I showed up with an assistant and after getting my jaw off the floor (there are literally thousands of guitars in this place), I started figuring out how to use the existing light. Then Tom walked in. He picked up a guitar and started noodling on it while we spoke. I said, “why don’t you plug that in and play for me?” Of course, I was being semi-facetious, but hoping he would think it was a good idea. Well, sometimes you get what you ask for, and that is exactly what Tom did. He plugged in his famous Rickenbacker, and began to play riffs through a Fender Bassman. We circled each other like boxers, with Tom feigning and jabbing a bit with the guitar, all the while giving me a gleaming, playful grin. It was the oddest shoot, I am sure, to an outsider, but it felt completely natural and musical to me. I just kept shooting, and Tom kept playing.
After a while, Tom took a break and sprawled out on the couch. I immediately recognized that this could be the best picture of the day, and I got up on a little stool and started shooting again. I kept backing up, wanting to see more of the guitars and amps that surrounded him. In my mind, I was making a picture of the reigning king of rock and roll, sitting on his throne, surrounded by his royal subjects. Ha!
Well, this picture is one of my all time favorites, and I have given it as a gift to a few of my musician friends. It is everything a kid dreams of when they dream of being in a band—a clubhouse filled with guitars, drums, amps, rugs, and a cozy couch. Long live Tom Petty!
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