What a long, strange trip it has been, up to now….. from the “close and play” records I had as a child; to hearing the Beatles on the AM Radio everywhere I happened to be dragged along to; then, to seeing same on the Ed Sullivan Show in February of 1964, and being riveted by the experience; it was only natural that I would be giving my attention to many more artists wafting about on the airwaves over the next few years….

To make a long story short: After an unsettling move away from those first and lasting influences on my early years, I would find myself looking for a way to stay connected to the music that gave me so much happiness.  Learning how to read it, or playing music, was not an option in those days.  Instead, I would pick up my father’s Brownie camera, and have a go at seeing what I could do with it.  That was just before high school, and it would end up steering me in the direction of wanting to learn more about working with photography — but music would never take a second seat.

In fact, many years later, I would finally put my interests into action, and actually pick up a guitar to try to learn to play.  As I mentioned earlier, I had no real formal training in music, and instead, learned to play “by ear”.

Years would go by, before I would finally be encouraged to join a band, and that first experiment would lead to a very brief, but enjoyable time with Louisville’s Poor Girls.

The Beat [club]; Louisville, Kentucky-November, 1982 flyer featuring Poor Girls; Bad Brains

The Beat [club]; Louisville, Kentucky-November, 1982 flyer
featuring Poor Girls; Bad Brains

Poor Girls Poster Halloween less sharp

A few years after a big move “west”, I would eventually find myself shooting a lot more shows, and, again, creating music in another band – only this time, the collaboration would go on for years, and not just a few months, as it had transpired with the Poor Girls.  There is much more documentation of that band – The Big Huge – which can be found at this YouTube link:


But, I have digressed from the original purpose of this blog, which is all about the concert photographs, and how they came about…..

In fact, what I learned from my supplemental studies at high school, would lead to my purchasing my own camera set-up, a few years later, on April 25, 1977, with the set purpose of taking pictures of the concert taking place in town that night [view some of those images over here: http://forums.ledzeppelin.com/index.php?/topic/17645-louisville-ky-freedom-hall-kentucky-fair-expo-center-april-25-1977/]….which is the ultimate reason you are looking at these images today.

Lots of “trials and errors” later, what you view here, is what that experience begat.

Constructive criticism is always welcome, and I sincerely hope you get something in return for your time spent looking at the images found here, and at the other links that I provide [see below].


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 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.

Michael Conen - self portrait circa '84

More extensive galleries of my concert photos can be found at:


While a better selection, can also be found here:


Also, you may contact me at the following email address, should you choose not to post on my blog:


In closing, let me take a moment to inform you that photographs of the following artists, that I took over the years, will appear on this blog, in the coming weeks and months:

  • The Rolling Stones √ [1981 Tour Posted…next up, the ’78 Tour]
  • Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds  √ [Posted]
  • The Cocteau Twins[Posted]


  • The Police[Posted]
  • The Kinks
    Dave Davies in the shadows 'mystical' [The Kinks - Louisville Gardens 1980]

    Dave Davies & The Kinks – Louisville KY 1980

    Ray Davies & Ovation guitar [The Kinks - Louisville Gardens, Ky 1980]

    Ray Davies & The Kinks – Louisville KY 1980

  • The Three Johns √ [Posted]

  • The Pretenders [Posted]

    [1980 show Posted…next up, the 1981 Tour]

    Chrissie Hynde gets excited & James Honeyman-Scott sings [The Pr

    The 1981 Tour – Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

  • Richard and Linda Thompson √ [Posted]Michael Conen -  Richard and Linda Thompson horizontal 1 [Richar

  • David Thomas / Tripod Jimmie  [former & present members of Pere Ubu] [Posted] Michael Conen - [PROOF] Tony Maimone & David Thomas horizontal f
  • Tuxedomoon
  • Einstürzende Neubauten
  • The Swans[Posted]Michael Conen -  Michael Gira and Al Kizys horizontal [The Swans

  • Patti Smith Group [Cincinnati, Ohio & Louisville, Kentucky in 1978]  [Posted]

  • Tom Verlaine
  • peter gabriel

    2000 dpi

    peter gabriel at the Greek Theatre, Berkeley CA

  • Everything But the Girl
  • Jane Siberry
  • The Waterboys
  • The Jesus and Marychain
  • Peter Murphy [Bauhaus] [Posted] Michael Conen - [PROOF] Peter Murphy sideways lean [Peter Murphy
  • The Fall
  • The Golden Palominos
  • French, Frith, Kaiser, Thompson Band
  • Weather Report
  • Pink Floyd

    David Gilmour; Snowy White; Pink Floyd; Freedom Hall Louisville, Kentucky

    David Gilmour; Snowy White; Pink Floyd; Freedom Hall
    Louisville, Kentucky

  • ZZ Top

    2000 dpi

    ZZ Top at Freedom Hall, Louisville KY

  • John Lee Hooker
  • Heart
  • Led Zeppelin  [have a look here: http://forums.ledzeppelin.com/index.php?/topic/17645-louisville-ky-freedom-hall-kentucky-fair-expo-center-april-25-1977/]
  • Doc & Merle Watson
  • Rosanne Cash/Albert Lee
  • Rodney Crowell

….. to name just a few ……. stayed tuned!


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