Tom Petty, Van Nuys, CA, 2010 Archival Pigment Print

Tom Petty, Van Nuys, CA, 2010 Archival Pigment Print


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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