Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Tom Waits A photo session with Mitchell Rose - Review

I got a hardcover copy of the new Tom Waits picture book A photo session with Mitchell Rose today and I must say I'm impressed. With only 17 pictures, it might seem expensive, but they are all great shots.
'I didn't know at the time that my first Rolling Stone Magazine assignment photographing Tom Waits would be one of the most memorable photo sessions of my career. Arriving at the Tropicana Hotel in West Hollywood in 1977 where Tom Waits lived in a little bungalow in the back...a very crowded and congested space. I didn't know much about Tom at the time but not before too long I knew that this was not going to be easy to pull off.'
Despite the tattoos, drinks, cigarettes and strippers, every single one of the pictures seems to capture some sort of innocence and spontaneity that is lacking in some shots in the Corbijn book, for example. A great collection and a nice addition to any fan's collection, if you ask me.

UPDATE (Sept. 1): author Mitchell Rose will be making some slight changes to the book for the first edition (rearranging the pictures and adding a photo of the Tropicana Motor Hotel) and adjusting the price of the book: ($275, $110, & $50). Later editions might include a shot from the original shooting used for a standup poster.


The press release:
Now available in three formats exclusively at MitchellRosePhotos.com
Images of Waits shot at historic Tropicana Motor Hotel in West Hollywood CA

Never-before-seen images of seminal music artist, Tom Waits, has just been released by Hollywood-based photographer, Mitchell Rose. The book is available in three sizes, two collectible hardcover editions in 13" x 19" and 11" x 14" formats and a soft cover 8.5" x 11" book.

Rose quickly became one of a cadre of go-to photographers in the burgeoning days of West Coast rock. These images from Rose's first assignment for Rolling Stone Magazine in 1977, were shot in and around the historic Tropicana Motor Hotel in West Hollywood, CA.

Waits was a post-beat, pre-rock musical experimentalist and artist who never achieved mainstream success but became increasingly important in the development of many genres of music to come. He lived a hedonistic rock and roll lifestyle that he often referred to in his later work, garnering critical praise and becoming more influential as he developed. His diverse artistry found him working with artists as diverse as Bonnie Raitt and jazz-drummer Shelly Manne, working on film soundtracks, producing other artists and acting for Frances Ford Coppola and Terry Gilliam. The images in Rose's book capture the artist in one of his most formative periods.

A generation of rock music personalities called the Tropicana home. From Jim Morrison in the late '60s, and Waits and fellow Denverite Chuck E. Weiss in the '70s, many musicians and an ever-changing assortment of rock promoters, groupies and wannabes had lived, worked and hung out at the Tropicana, and at Duke's famed Coffee Shop next door.

Photographer Mitchell Rose began shooting in New York City, experimenting with the mechanics of the art and its various tools, cameras and film. He moved to Hollywood in the early '70s and opened his Sunset Blvd. studio in 1975. A classic entertainment chronicler, Rose has done it all, concentrating on live and reportorial photography in addition to his studio work. His subjects have included Paul Newman, Muhammad Ali, Waits and David Bowie for clients ranging from Disney Studios, and Rolling Stone Magazine to album covers for major record companies. He is currently building his second home in Loreto, B.C.S. with plans to publish the best of his Baja images in a series of books.

TOM WAITS - A PHOTO SESSION WITH MITCHELL ROSE is available exclusively at www.MitchellRosePhotos.com. The large coffee table edition is $350 $275, the smaller $150 $110, and the soft cover edition $50. Prices include tax and shipping to all U.S. destinations. Additional charges for international shipping and handling will accrue.


Raindog Harry said...

With 17 photos the photobook, in my opinion, does not only seem expensive, but is expensive. The early photographs of Waits do look fabulous. I might buy it. But, as a comparisoon with the book made by Corbijn in cooperation with Waits is being made, I do think Waits/Corbijn do offer a lot more value for our money. Asking so much money for 17 photographs does look like moneymaking to me. Trying to lift on the success of the Waits | Corbijn book perhaps? (Just my opinion, curious to know how the other fans feel about this.

Unknown said...

Of course obsessed fans will want to buy anything at all with the inestimable Waits, but he's a singer/songwriter. He's a great singer songwriter. He's a terrible photographer, he's an adequate though amateur model as far as photography goes and who knows exactly what he is modeling? I hear he's a great mechanic as well. I'll pass on 17 or even 1,000 page photobooks thank you, but I will probably buy his next CD....

The Eyeball Kid said...

Just to clarify: this book contains pictures of Tom Waits (as a 'model') by photographer Mitchell Rose.

The pictures are, in my opinion, excellent and that has more to do with the photographer than with the model. So the fact that Waits himself might be a terrible photographer doesn't matter. As for being an amateur model, I don't think that matters with a good photographer.

hiway101 said...

I'd say that Waits is an excellent model. I don't think he's ever had a bad photo of him taken.

Zoe W said...

I appreciate your take on this book. I have held off on ordering it mainly due to the price and the lack of reviews. The photos capture a time and moments and that is what is important here. I will consider now more than I had before purchasing it.