Juke Kartel at the Viper Room, Hollywood

I thought I *got* Toby Rand. He’s cute, he’s fun, he’s wholesome, he’s young, he’s talented. Yeah Toby! And I did love him on the Rock Star: Supernova.

But last night? Whoa! I saw Toby with his band – Juke Kartel – and they were phenomenal. You can’t help but be turned on when you watch them onstage – all of them. They just burn up the stage. It was amazing.

Toby is a monster. He just slayed the women around me. He has so much talent he never got to show on the TV show. His voice – well I always loved it – but it’s better than I knew.

Tommy, the bass player really knows how to play – and how to hold a bass guitar. I loved it when TLee talked about low-slung guitars on Rock Star because it’s a huge deal with me! It’s gotta be low, or it’s just not sexy. And can Tommy play? It was active and vital playing – hard to explain, but he makes the band in some ways. He’s great! And he’s fun. And he’s fun in the way he interacts with Toby and Todd.

Todd is so cute – I love the hair. And I loved the way his guitar sounded. Talk about fullness…

Dale played a guitar solo – so he’s okay in my book! I was mere inches from his fingers. He could do no wrong after that.

I couldn’t see Eddie, the drummer much during the set, but I got to talk to him after the show, and he’s very very cute. He was completely baffled by my friends – but he was very patient with them. How can you not love that? He also told us about how he gets his hair to look that way – it’s a combination of wax and hairspray.

Oh, and one of the best parts? When Dale and Tommy sang backup on a slower song. It was beautiful.

The photo to the right was taken by a friend – it’s me and Tommy after the show, in the downstairs bar. It was a fun night!

For more reviews on Juke Kartel, go to:
Or go to the ROCKBAND.COM Juke Kartel Lounge!

Hummers, keys, and Dave Navarro

I was in the middle of a conversation today, and we happened to be standing on the street next to this big black Hummer. Suddenly I see Dave Navarro heading toward us with Cell Phone up to his ear and head down, ignoring everyone around him. I was about three feet away from him, but he didn’t look up – and I completely understand why. I wouldn’t make eye contact with strangers in LA if I was him either!

But then he couldn’t get his key to work, so he told the person on the phone to hold on and without looking up, he said to us, “Is this my car?” As he fumbled with his keys I said his name and he ignored me, so I said it again and he still ignored me, but at that point I figured I might as well go for it, so I said “I own ROCKBAND.COM and you mentioned it on the air a while back. Thank you for that.”

And at that point he sort of half turned and said “I did? When did I do that?” and I said “You did! And thank you very much.” and he looked up at me finally and gave me a little smile with a tiny little bit of a sparkle, and said “You’re welcome.” It sounds totally innocuous, and it was, but it was still fun to see the recognition in his eyes!

Yeah, I love Mark Burnett…

I admit it, I love Rock Star and I’ve gotten really attached to the singers on the show. I felt this way last year too – I’m a big softie when it comes to artists fulfilling their dreams!

And I know it’s a reality show, and someone has to go home each week, but it’s tough to see it live – especially when the singer going home is as completely gracious in their goodbye as Storm. It was something to see! And I’ve detailed it more fully in the Episode Thread on ROCKBAND.COM.

After the taping this morning, I was walking down a hallway lined with people, and I was STILL all teary, and I saw Mark Burnett coming from the opposite direction, and I tried to look away because it’s not exactly cool to have your emotions so out there on display, but as we passed, he paused with a concerned look on his face, stopping me in my tracks, and then he gave me the sweetest smile. It was real and genuine and just very very sweet. And it hit me how much I love this man for giving me this show. So yeah, I love Mark Burnett!

Backstage at Rock Star: Supernova

On Sunday, August 13, 2006 I shot a photo essay backstage at Rock Star: Supernova and it’s huge, but I think it’s definitely worth viewing. You may even learn something! I spent about two hours backstage before the show started, and it was a lot of fun!

Here are a few of the images, the rest can be seen at

To see the rest of my photo essay, go to: http://rockband.com/news/rock-star-backstage/

If you have any questions about what you see in the images, ask them here and I’ll do my best to answer.

My INXS Vacation

I actually went to five stops on the INXS tour last week – totally over the top, but so much fun! I went with a bunch of friends and we stayed at the Bel Age Hotel in LA and saw two concerts at The Greek – which is the best venue for sound. I was in the pit the first night , and further back the second night – I think it was the third row behind the pit, so still fairly close but the sound was so much better – and I thought the sound was great the first night! Seriously, The Greek is the place to go for a concert – it’s beautiful and the sound is awesome! Rachel Hunter was across the aisle from me, Dave Goffin and Paul Mirkovich were right behind us. We heard Deanna Johnston was there too, but I never ran into her.

So LA was great, but that was only the first two of five concerts in one week! The next stop was Hemet and frankly I wasn’t expecting as much from that show, but front row tickets were cheap. I love Hemet, but how is Hemet supposed to compete with LA? Well I was wrong. Where the shows in LA were slick and professional and totally moving, the show in Hemet was hot, hot, hot. My theory is that after two shows in the entertainment capital of the world, the guys were ready to have some fun. It was the sexiest show I’ve ever seen – by far!

Next up was Pala – which is just a few miles from my home. I had a press pass for Pala – the other concerts I was just there to have fun, but at Pala I was there to work! The area for press is directly in front of the front row, and at this venue it was only about three feet deep and there were six photographers, so we were definitely tripping over each other! The best positions on the right and left were both staked out by the guys shooting video for the big screens, so I started down center – I don’t mind shooting straight up the band member’s noses! Later I moved right and then left, but I think my favorite shots were from the very center – especially when JD and then later Kirk got really really close – the shot looking up at JD with the cigarette is one of my favorites, and I was right under him. Great show too!

The last show for my friends and I was San Diego – right on the Bay. Beautiful venue! Insane crowd though… Several friends flew in for this concert from out of state, but one had to cancel at the last minute, so I got to use her front row center ticket instead of my own third row ticket – which was very cool! My friends were all staying at Hotel Solamar, a fabulous four-star hotel in the Gaslamp District, so after the concert we went back there since they have a fabulous rooftop bar – and who showed up later? INXS. The band was there with friends and we were having a great time already, so we didn’t interact much, but Kirk did come over to say hi. It was a fun evening, and a great way to cap off a great week!

INXS at Pala Casino

I finally got to shoot INXS – and it was great! JD, Kirk, and Jon all played directly to my camera – which I was not expecting at all. With all the shows these guys play, and all the photographers following them, I assumed they’d be completely blasé about it – but they’re not!

JD FortuneJD Fortune

Tim FarrissKirk Pengilly

JD FortuneKirk Pengilly

JD FortuneJD Fortune

To see this Photo Essay of INXS at Pala on 6/20/2006 at ROCKBAND.COM, go to: