"Everybody I Shot Is Dead" Author Interviewed on Allbutforgottenoldies.net

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On Dec. 26, 2007, Amy Gold of allbutforgottenoldies.net interviewed Deborah Chesher, the author of "Everybody I Shot Is Dead." Chesher's book pays tribute to 48 music icons of the 1960s and 1970s she photographed from 1974-1979 who have since passed away.

On Dec. 26, 2007, Amy Gold of http://www.allbutforgottenoldies.net interviewed author and photographer Deborah Chesher by telephone about her recent book, "Everybody I Shot Is Dead".

"Everybody I Shot Is Dead" is a coffee table book with photos, stories, and biographies of 48 musicians Chesher photographed from 1974-1979 who have since passed away. "Everybody I Shot Is Dead" has over 400 previously unpublished photographs that include such rarities as Michael Bloomfield eating fire on stage. Besides Bloomfield, musicians honored in "Everybody I Shot Is Dead" also include George Harrison, Billy Preston, Tammy Wynette, Waylon Jennings, Hank Snow, Jimmy Witherspoon, John Lee Hooker, John Denver, Albert Collins, Mighty Joe Young, Papa John Creach, Peter Wood, Stanley Turrentine, Donny Hathaway, Frank Zappa, Gene Pitney, Rick Nelson, and Harry Nilsson, plus members of the Beach Boys, the Bee Gees, the Grateful Dead, Badfinger, T-Rex, Chicago, Little Feat, Camel, Back Door, the Paul Butterfield Band, the Downchild Blues Band, the Doobie Brothers, Nazareth, and Led Zeppelin.

In this interview, Chesher reminisces about her days as a rock and roll photographer back when "the music business was about the music" and she shares some of her fascinating stories about some of the musicians she got to know through her work. Her inspiration for "Everybody I Shot Is Dead" is succinctly described in the book title itself, and through her book, she hopes to inspire new generations to listen to these musicians and to keep their memories alive.

"The inspiration for it was actually the title. I was walking through my house one day and out of the blue it popped into my head: everybody I shot is dead. And I don't think it was at a point where someone had actually passed away that I knew I had photographed. It just...I don't know, it just popped into my head that way. And then I thought, well, that would be an interesting way to showcase some of my photographs, to do something that would honor the 20 or so people that I had shot who had passed away. And so I opened up all the old boxes of pictures that have not seen the light of day since they were shot and started going through my files and getting on the internet Googling people," said Chesher. "It turned out I had in the mid 40s and I was really shocked and saddened by that. But at the same time I felt very driven to do what I could do to honor these guys and girls and also to keep their memories alive and hopefully inspire people to listen to their music."

In "Everybody I Shot Is Dead," Chesher takes her readers backstage through both her personal stories and photos and provides rare behind-the-scene glimpses of her subjects as real people beyond their on-stage personas. Chesher describes the experience of writing "Everybody I Shot Is Dead" as an "emotional journey for me, filled with sadness and joy and anger and all kinds of different things," such as one might get going through an old photo album. "I know most rock and roll books are mostly photography. And yes, my book is mostly photography, but I wanted to give something more because I felt extremely privileged to have been able to have 'been there and done that.' And I wanted to share that experience with people, because I wasn't just a hired gun with a camera, I was also a huge fan," said Chesher.

Chesher reflects on what it was like getting to meet so many music icons as a rock and roll photographer. "I know a lot of people dream of what it's like to hang out with rock stars, although, at the time it was just what I was doing and it wasn't like - I wasn't pinching myself every time I went to a show, going 'oh my God, I get to be here' - but in hindsight I definitely pinch myself now," said Chesher.

To read the entire interview, go to: http://www.allbutforgottenoldies.net/interviews/deborah-chesher.

About allbutforgottenoldies.net
http://www.allbutforgottenoldies.net is an oldies music website with tips and resources for naming long-lost tunes and locating hard-to-find recordings by song title. Allbutforgottenoldies.net was featured on USAToday.com and Komando.com in 2004. For a complete list of interviews on allbutforgottenoldies.net, go to http://www.allbutforgottenoldies.net/interviews.

Amy Gold


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