These frames were from the second concert I photographed in the San Francisco Bay Area, and it was the first time I attended a show at The Stone [I would perform on this stage, as a member of The Big Huge, several years later…. but that’s a story for another time!]. Having missed my chance(s) to see Squeeze, years earlier, when I still lived back East, I was quite eager to catch this opportunity to see the core songwriting team of Chris Difford & Glenn Tilbrook, touring to promote their latest album, of the same name https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Difford_%26_Tilbrook_(album).
I had already been listening to the music of Squeeze, and collecting a number of their singles, for those great non-lp B-sides, and as anyone who collected vinyl during the 70’s and 80’s will attest to, there were a number of promtional devices employed to promote the work of the group in the U.S. and England: colored wax being used on more than a few occasions, as well as a “minature” 5 inch 45 RPM single of “If I Didn’t Love You“, which I owned, at one time. That release, and many more related images of vinyl – and much more – can be seen at the Packet of Three website: https://www.packetofthree.com/squeeze-singles-discography/?product-page=8 . I remember being quite excited about finding “Annie Get Your Gun“, on a U.K. picture sleeve 7 inch, not realising for some time, that this was to be their last release as a group, for some years. Fortunately, I would finally get the opportunity to see the reformed Squeeze perform, in San Francisco, but still working out which date & year that was…. And it was everything I had hoped for – even though I was in the balcony! In my humble opinion, since they have such a great catalogue of songs to perform, it would be very, very hard to be disappointed at hearing most anything they chose to play, even if you were a casual fan. As reviews of the time where quick to point out, the “Difford & Tilbrook” album, and tour, were quite different, in terms of sound, and some might say, energy, or mood.
Not quite sure how I wound up taking these photos: whether they were an early free-lance assignment for BAM Magazine https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BAM_(magazine), or I just brought my camera along to the show, and took my chances?! Also a mystery, is how I got there and back to my home in the East Bay, at the time, as I did not have “wheels”, then… In any case, since the duo and their backing musicians were not touring as Squeeze, there was no problem getting up close to the stage area to shoot from, but the challenge would be with the stage lighting – bright enough in certain areas for decent shots, but it would get much darker, just a few feet behind the frontline musicians, so, once again, no clear photos of the drummer, or of one or another of the extra musicians onstage that night. I could identify about half of the support musicians, but could not make out who-was-who, in a few instances [any help identifying the musicians would be greatly appreciated, so I can attribute them in my posts, thank you]. The last mystery is which of the two nights they performed at The Stone, did I attend – Tuesday, August 14th, or Wednesday, August 15th? My sporadic journals, and “lost” ticket stubs continue to plague me, as I try to pin down accurate details, at times like these!
Okay, first mysteries to unwravel, are whether the first two images shared below, are of members of the group backing Difford & Tilbrook, or are they from the opening acts, 14 Karat Soul, or Ray Hanna?
As mentioned earlier, sometimes the lighting was difficult to work with, and this would mean that my shots of Chris Difford did not turn out as well as I would have liked, especially since he was wearing quite a special jacket:
This would also affect a few of my frames of Glenn Tilbrook, to some extent:
The image below feaatures the bassist Keith Wilkinson, who would eventually work in the reformed Squeeze, along with several other artists, over the years. Chris Difford can also be spotted, but the additional musician (percussionist?) next to him, and behind Mr. Wilkinson could not be photographed at any point during the set, unfortunately.
One of the better image captures from this evening, was this one of the keyboardist, known then, as Don Snow. He now goes by the name John Savannah. He had also been with Squeeze, after Jools Holland exited.
The following are links you may wish to check out for further info on the individuals linked to the work of Messrs. Difford & Tilbrook, and other entities mentioned in the above:
Squeeze official website:
Chris Difford official site:
Packet of Three website, with all sorts of Squeeze-related posts:
Glenn Tilbrook official site:
Keith Wilkinson link:
Don Snow (aka John Savannah) link:
Let the memories and fun begin, here:
NOTE: A FEW WORDS ABOUT THE WATERMARKS ON MY WORK
While many of you who arrive here, to look at these photographs may get turned off to my use of watermarks [thinking they ruin the image], let the curmudgeon in me explain why I choose to do this.
No one paid for my camera equipment but me. No one paid for the film I used to take these photographs. On occasion, when I free-lanced for a free monthly newsletter, and they published a photo of mine, the payment for each photograph barely paid for the fuel to get my vehicle to the show [when I *did* have a vehicle], and the film I used on that night.
Not too many of my photos were published, at the time, because the artists I chose to capture images of, were not hugely popular then. Hence, the old dictum, “Supply and Demand”; I had the supply, but the demand [pre-Internet], was not there. You can argue the relative merits of the quality of my work, and that is precisely what a blog offers: a venue for discussion.
Back to the watermarks: no one is subsidizing my time to scan and then clean up the images I am presenting here. Start to finish, each negative will take approximately an hour-and-a-half to reach “proof” quality – which is what you will see here. This is my labor of love, and until there is some measurable return on my efforts, what you see is what you get.