Didi Zill wrote stage-photography.com on 6 February 2011
Dear rock photographers!
“There’s no light without shadows” is for our kind a self fulfilling proverb. Without beautiful light, there’ll be no pictures. Something you young photographers must have already figured out. It’s an aspect that stroke me during the selection of the pictures for my Deep Purple book. My first live sessions with the band in the beginning of the seventies were a mess. Deep Purple only wanted to play in dark light, preferring purple or red. Something that turned out to be toxic for every sort of photography. Adding to this was the dilemma of film speeds that could only reach about ASA 400 when pushed, producing scarcely even a remotely sharp pictures during the live gigs. Gigs that obviously involved a lot of physical activity. Besides that lenses used to lack light sensitivity, making good exposures a rare commodity.
During the later years this changed. For some sessions, like the tour books I did, bringing in light became a possibility. Thanks to the band, that allowed me to spend days and nights with them on tour in Japan, the USA and Europe years ago. All of this climaxed of course at the legendary Montreux session, where I could watch in person how the band composed one of the most famous rock songs in history: SMOKE ON THE WATER. It was recorded in the corridors of the old, empty Palace Hotel with the Rolling Stones Mobile – a driveable studio. I had the allowance to be there and to photograph. A certain kind of luck a rock photographer allowed to have only once in his life.
I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you. Yours,