Friday, January 31, 2014

Carolinas Rock & Roll Facebook Page

Hello All-

My friend Vance Pollock, who hosts the Riffin show on, has started a Facebook page for Rock & Roll history in the Carolinas. If you dig this music, or were involved in the music of the Carolinas, please stop in and say hello at-!/groups/ncrockhistory/

My thanks to Vance for the shout-out to the There Was A Time blog. Lots more on that book coming soon. Stay tuned,
February 1, 2014

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Photographing Pete Seeger

I photographed Pete Seeger at Merlefest in late April of 2006. For photographers like me that have tired of big stages and media restrictions, the circumstances were remarkably back to basics. Seeger played a show on the children's stage just after noon on Sunday, the last day of the festival. No rules, just get as close as you can, and shoot away. I found a space near the side of the stage that was slightly behind a tree, but meant that no one was behind me. Seeger set up in front of the stage, preferring to be closer to the kids he wanted to entertain. 

Yes, there were a number of kids at the show, but the kids were outnumbered by their parents, and other adults. However, when Pete began to play, we were all like kids. Excited to see our hero performing up close. Seeger, who had just turned 87, was remarkably animated. He gestured with his hands, and at one point walked and played through the crowd. He mixed some of his better-known songs with African folklore tales. In the end, it all seemed to go by so quickly, and Seeger was off to another event. 

For me, the shoot yielded two published photos. Mojo Magazine published one of my photos of Pete's animated performance. Seeger had played Merlefest the same week that Bruce Springsteen had released his Seeger Sessions CD, and Mojo was eager to show what Seeger had done that week. During Seeger's show at Merlefest, I snuck a few photos of Sara Lee Guthrie (granddaughter of singer and onetime Seeger collaborator Woody Guthrie) sitting in the crowd with her own daughter. Sara would later use this photo in a CD that she released on the legendary Folkways recording label. When I found out later, I was thrilled. My photo in a Smithsonian Folkways CD, released by a Guthrie, that also featured an appearance by Pete Seeger himself. The man that started so many things, for all of us.

Thanks, Pete. For everything.
-Daniel Coston
January 28, 2014
photo copyright 2006 Daniel Coston

RIP Pete Seeger

Taken at Merlefest, 2006. More on this show soon.
January 28, 2014
photo copyright 2006 Daniel Coston

Monday, January 27, 2014

Phosphorescent photos, Charlotte, NC, January 24, 2014

Neighborhood Theatre
Charlotte, NC
January 24, 2014
all photos copyright 2014 Daniel Coston

Saturday, January 25, 2014

A Man Called Destruction

Hello All-

I'm happy to announce the release of the book, A Man Called Destruction, on March 28th. Written by Holly George-Warren, this book promises to be the definitive book on the life and career of Alex Chilton. The book features one of my photos, and parts of interviews I did in 2009 with Andy Hummell, Jody Stephens, and Terry Manning. I am proud to say that Big Star is on my resume, as well as doing photos for the Big Star Third project. I'm really looking forward to the release on this book.

Look for the book's official Facebook page, as well as other promotional material. Thanks, and see you all on the road soon,
January 25, 2014

The Grifs

Hello All-

One of the joys of working on the NC 1960s Rock & Roll band is discovering bands like the Grifs. The band came from the town that I have lived in for 30 years (Charlotte, NC), yet I knew little about them. Their 1965 single "Catch A Ride" stakes a claim as possessing one of the heaviest Fuzztone sounds of that year, months ahead of what was happening in New York, San Francisco or London. 

For years, people have heard this song, as well as follow-up "Keep Dreaming", on a variety of compilations. However, no one knew what the band looked like. Singer and main songwriter Barry Stacks had lost all of his photos and memorabilia in a flood in the 1980s, and he had lost touch with the other bandmembers. For a number of months, I have intended to solve these mysteries. 

Last weekend, I finally put the pieces together. Within an hour of each other, I located bandmembers Robert Crawford and Roy Skinner. With much sadness, I also discovered that guitarist Mike Wingate had passed away in 2010, after years of playing in various bands around Charlotte. After getting in touch with Mike's widow, I look forward to having more of the band's history, and visual record documented soon. 

In talking to Robert Crawford, it turned out that a Grifs promo pic has been posted on his Facebook page for some time. Not even he was aware of how popular the Grifs had become, all these years later. When he sent me this photo this week, I felt like a kid at Christmas. THIS was the Grifs. Here they are. Enjoy.

More on this, and the Grifs soon. Until then, keep dreaming. Rest In Peace, Mike Wingate.
January 25, 2014

PS., l-r, Mike Wingate, Robert Crawford, Roy Skinner, Barry Stacks

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Monday, January 20, 2014

New NC 60s book review, March 22nd booksigning in Shelby

Hello All-

I'm happy to report that the NC 1960s book got a very nice review in the new issue of Ugly Things Magazine. Ugly Things is a fantastic magazine that has supported the Garage Rock, Psychedelia and other genres since 1983. Check it out online, and pick up a copy.

I'm also happy to report that I'll be doing a booksigning for both my NC 60s book, and the North Carolina Musicians photo/interview book at Fireside Books in Shelby, NC on March 22nd at 2pm. I'll talk, I'll sign books (hopefully) and maybe we'll play some records while we're there. I hope to see you there. Thanks,
January 20, 2014

Monday, January 13, 2014

BB King photos, Charlotte, NC, January 12, 2014

BB King
(with special appearance by basketball great Patrick Ewing)
Knight Theater
Charlotte, NC
January 12, 2014
all photos copyright 2014 Daniel Coston

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

A Passing Thought

The passing of our friend Chris Peigler has reminded us again how quickly we can lose someone that is dear to us. Loss is never easy, but is made harder when it comes so suddenly. In a moment, our plans and perception with someone are seemingly dashed. What we thought was one reality is quickly ended, leaving us heartbroken, and empty.

But what if reality is not a straight line, but instead a series of circles repeating upon themselves, slowly advancing towards another circle? This is the possibility of our life experiences, and our memories. While an event today can change our relationship with someone, it does not affect the experiences we have already had with that person. Those stay firmly with us, in our minds and our hearts. We can still smile, and know that the good times that we had with that person will stay with us. Grow with us, and hopefully continue to make us a better person. Which is all we can ask for, in the long run. Yes, we may always miss that person, but in continuing to hold on to our own experiences, that person has never completely left us. 

Life is a complicated journey. It is often unpredictable, and overwhelming. But the possibilities of the future, mixed with our experiences of our past, have so much to offer. Our friends and loved ones may pass to another place, but their impact will stay with us. We will hold on to the good times, and occasional lessons. We will smile at the mention of their name, and the memory of our times together. And in so doing, we may just strengthen our own lives, and create something stronger out of the time that we all spend together. Now, and in our time to come.

To our friends, our loved ones, and ourselves. And to life, in all of its lines and circles. 
January 8, 2014

RIP Chris Peigler

Chris Peigler was already a part of the Charlotte music scene when I started going to shows in the mid 1990s. He liked music, and he liked seeing people involved in the music. He was a writer, a great musician, and someone I didn't talk to often enough. From here on, shows in Charlotte will seem a little more emptier, because Chris isn't there. Safe travels, Chris.
January 8, 2013

Friday, January 3, 2014

Wish List For Charlotte Concerts In 2014 From Local Mag's Site

Neutral Milk Hotel — Never played here the first time around. We're due.
Sonics — Legendary garage rockers can provide the shake-up this state needs.
Brian Wilson — Because the Southern girls, with the way they talk, would knock him out if he ever played here.
Neil Young — Neil, you haven't played Charlotte in 16 years, but your wife played the Double Door Inn this past spring? Explain, please.
Alabama Shakes — Stop telling us that we need to "hold on."
January 3, 2014