Neil Young, Phoenix Festival 1996.

Wednesday, 9 March 2011 Whatever else I do in my life, good or bad, I'll go to my grave secure in the knowledge that at least Neil Young likes me.

The year was 1991 and I'd been hired by the British music magazine NME to photograph Sonic Youth.  At the time they were on tour with Neil Young.  That afternoon, together with the journalist Gavin Martin, I'd driven with Sonic Youth on their tour bus from San Francisco to the Arco Arena in Sacramento, where they were both playing in the evening.  The four members of the band, Gavin and me were wandering around in the bowels of the stadium looking, if I remember correctly, for catering.  I was carrying a big tripod and a very heavy bag of cameras and lenses and was lagging back by about 30 metres.  Neil Young walked up behind me and said to me "Hey, I really love youse guys" and without waiting for any sort of response, hurried off again.

I wasn't too sure exactly what he meant.  Like most big rock stars, he's probably no great fan of photographers and journalists per se (he certainly doesn't do many interviews).  You may think, possibly correctly, that he simply assumed I was a member of Sonic Youth's road crew and the comment was made in their general direction.  Who knows?  Maybe it's best I don't analyse the comment too closely.  Besides, I'm happy to take whatever compliments I can get.  Especially from someone I've been a fan of since my teens.

* The above photograph is correctly captioned.  I couldn't find a photo from the Sacramento show.  If I do, I'll switch them.