Ray Davies at The Canyon Club

Photographed 3/25/2010
Photographer: David Arnspiger

In the pantheon of rock stars, Ray Davies is one of my top three. I have admired his songwriting for most of my life, and when I worked security at Warner Brothers I met him in person and he autographed a set of lyrics to a song I wrote where I mentioned him and The Kinks. I got to see The Kinks live back in the early 80s while I lived in Phoenix, AZ.

Needless to say I was incredibly excited when I was hired by my friend Victoria Joyce of Sugarbuzz Magazine to shoot The 88 and Ray Davies at The Canyon Club in Agoura Hills, CA. This was published on Sugarbuzz, I think my third time being published there.

The Canyon Club is a great club when it is set up as a concert venue. Unfortunately, this evening it was set up for dinner theatre with tables clogging the normally open dance floor. The security team was also preventing me from getting up close to shoot. They actually ordered me to shoot from the back wall of the club. I cheated a little and shot from the walkway row a lot, but it was super crowded.

Luckily, I had just received my new 70-200mm lens the day before and I had brought it with me to try. It ended up saving the night for me. I would have had nothing if it wasn't with me.

I moved around the room as much as I could and shot from every angle I could get. About halfway through Ray's set I was asked to leave the club, which I did. Apparently they thought I had enough photos. I had to miss the electric set Ray did with The 88, but I heard it from outside.

I did not get the best images of my career from the show. Shooting with an unfamiliar lens in a dark club from the back of the room posed some challenges. I have recently done a 2014 update to these images and reprocessed them in PhotoShop. I really like the way they turned out. They look tons better than they once did. I hope you will enjoy them too.

Check out the gallery of The 88's opening set here: The 88

Enjoy the images below.