In November 2011, the Australian band Zoot reunited for a special concert aboard the Rick Springfield and Friends cruise. I was on the cruise with my daughter – totally for pleasure and not even remotely work related. I like to think of myself as a “pretty ok photographer” with skills at getting some decent shots at concerts. Yeah, Rick Springfield is my favorite subject mostly because I’ve been a huge fan since forever and well, he flirts with my camera. I just can’t help myself. We were in a small-ish theater on the cruise ship and the band was playing for the first time in 40 years. I knew the type of music they played – frankly it is before my time but I can appreciate talented musicians and Rick is a killer guitar player and this was his old band from Down Under. I snagged seat in the front row of the balcony and knowing this was history in the making started to snap away. Fast forward about 8 months and I get an email from a friend of one of the guys in the band in Australia. He’s asking to buy one of my photos that I had taken of the guys. It was this one:

 The image of Zoot that I sent to Rick Springfield in November 2011.

The lead singer of Zoot (Darryl Cotton, the blond one with the tamborine) was just diagnosed with Stage 4 Liver Cancer. He wasn’t going to make it. This friend of his wanted desperately to raise his spirits and asked to buy the photo so he could display it at his bedside in the hospital. I declined the offer to buy but instead sent him the file with my blessing to print it anyway he liked. I wished him well and told him that I hope Darryl could find peace. When I captured this photo of Zoot, I knew right away that it was special. I rushed back to my cabin on the cruise to look at my pictures, found this one and then hurried down to the photo printer that they had on the ship and tried to get copies made for the guys in the band. The machine as broken – SO disappointing. When I got home from the cruise, I posted this picture on my Facebook page. I sent it off to Rick after a friend encouraged me to get him a copy. I sent him this one with the title that I had added. I thought it was cool lookin’ and word got back to me that he did too.

Fast forward to June 2013… Darryl passed away in July 2012 and it was his dying wish to see this concert put on DVD and shared with the world. This photo of mine did end up at the foot of his bed in the hospital and it was this picture that he approved for use on the cover of the CD/DVD of the reunion concert. That same friend of his contacted me again and asked if they could use this image along with some of the other pictures I had taken that day in a booklet that would accompany the CD/DVD. “Yes, of course,” I said, “It would be my honor for you to use them.”

Imagine my surprise when I saw the final artwork and not only had my picture made the front cover but it looked like this:

I was listed as the Zoot Reunion photographer. What a thrill! The photos are all online on the Zoot Live – The Reunion website.

Leave Comment