Welcome to Awesome Stuff – a new blog series where I highlight photographers, music, books, movies and so on that inspire me. First up is the amazing book “Exhilarated and Exhausted” by Neal Preston. I knew a lot of his legendary photos but only a little about Neal. I learned about the book through this fantastic video, seriously, watch all of this:

I love everything he says in that video. Every word. He is a bit of a grumpy old man, but he earned the right to be and I aspire to be one someday! Evil rumours has it that I am already there. Anyway, he is so on the ball with everything he says about the vibe, the feel, shooting the show, not looking at “the little tv on the back of the camera” and not fucking shooting music like it was sports!

The book of course features so many of Neal’s amazing pictures, truly amazing work, a lifetime of insanely good stuff and in beautiful prints too. But the best bit about the book? It features a truckload of writing, he is very opinionated, very funny and tells so many fabulous stories from the golden age of rock n roll that also happened to be the golden age of music photography. Those days will never come back, that level of complete access, being embedded on a tour like that, intimacy with the band and that level of payment as well not to forget. All gone. For the musicians too. Don’t get me wrong, I have an amazing time shooting gigs nowadays but still – I can only dream of being part of that golden age. Through Neal’s words and pictures we get to experience it.

I highly recommend Neal Preston: Exhilarated and Exhausted, it has fast become one of my favourite photography books.

Let me end with a quote of his from the book:

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