Musicians who are soundtracks to our life

Some of you might know that early in my career I worked as a photographer for WMMR in Philadelphia. One of the coolest things about that gig was the fact that I got to meet and photograph some of the musicians who provided the soundtrack to my life.

In fall of 1987, Pierre, Buzz and Reginald the Butler interviewed Trevor Rabin, Tony Kaye and Jon Anderson of the progressive rock supergroup, Yes at the Four Seasons in Philadelphia. If I recall correctly, Rabin and Kaye sat down first to be interviewed. Anderson strolled in after the other two had left. Now, looking back, I wonder if there was more to that, considering that a few short months later Anderson took a leave from the band and started to work on a solo project with Rick Wakeman, Steve Howe, and Bill Bruford. No matter, it was still a treat to hang around making pictures during those interviews.

Pierre Robert (left) interviews Jon Anderson (center) of Yes.
From left, Buzz Barkley, Trevor Rabin, Tony Kaye and Pierre Robert pose for a photo after the interview.
Pierre Robert (left) interviews Jon Anderson (right) of Yes as WMMR engineer Walt Yost monitors the broadcast.

Image and Caption Sheet From One of My First Philadelphia Inquirer Photo Assignments

Going through my archives recently, I found some old negatives from one of my first Philadelphia Inquirer assignments. It was August 11, 1987, and I was assigned to make your typical grip and grin photo of Jennifer Hai-Ying Tsou as she accepted a sponsorship from the Jenkintown Rotary Club which enabled her to spend a year in China studying music. I recall making images of her address to the rotary, but not really digging the images. Since she was studying music in China, I felt the need to actually show that in a photograph. Luckily, after the luncheon, she agreed to allow me to make some images of her at the piano of her parents home in Jenkintown. These days Jen Su is an accomplished TV and Radio Presenter as well as Corporate Master of Ceremonies and and Actress/Singer. In the days of film, we had to type a caption for every frame we made, because many times we had a lab person, most likely the late, great, Gervase Rozanski, processing our film and then printing the images. The caption sheet was zeroxed to the back of the print and then the correct caption was circled with marker. If was a much, much different process back in 1987. According to the assignment sheet I made exposed 5 rolls of film for the assignment and got to work with one of my favorite writers from back in the day, John Ellis. I also got to meet a very nice young woman who has gone on to accomplish great things. One of the reasons I got into photojournalism was because of the cool people and things I get to meet and do. Beats being stuck in a studio working on an illustration night after night and being isolated from everyone.

In what other career would Bono of U2 promise to have a pint with you when you visit Ireland?

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