Motivation is a photography blog that discusses the creative aspects of photography. The posts will include thoughts about images and their interpretation, photographers and their work, technique, workflow, my ongoing projects, and perhaps even the occasional off topic rant.

Musical Interlude

Every saw often I like posting a musical interlude to my photographic musings, and I realized that I have not done so in quite a while. I also realize it isn’t usual to have these types of posts in a photography blog, but they just seem like fun to throw one in now and again.

This particular musical interlude is even educational. I am not musically talented myself, even though I love music. So listening to this video was really a bit eye opening in terms of understanding why one of my favorite bands appeals to me!

Musical Interlude: The Pretenders

It’s been a good while since I offered a musical interlude on the blog. So today is the day. I bring you….The Pretenders. This, a more recent concert, with Chrissie Hynde of course and Martin Chambers, the original drummer. They may be getting a bit older (I believe Hynde is 66 here) but they remain and sound absolutely fantastic.

Musical Interlude

Do you realize that the last time I posted a musical interlude was all the way back in January? That's far too long without a bit of music to process photos by :) 

Some might say that my musical tastes are a bit eclectic and some might say that they are simply stuck in the past. Either way, take this trip back with me to 1982 and listen to John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers do "Room To Move". For those not familiar with the group, here are some famous people who were once Bluesbreakers with John: Eric Clapton, Mick Fleetwood, Jack Bruce, and John McVie (among others).


Green Onions

Arghhhh....I had a whole blog post written reviewing a book that I had read and then I accidentally hit the wrong button and poof...gone! One of the few things that I don't love about Squarespace is that it doesn't auto-save intermittently and CTL-Z does....well, nothing. I can't bring myself to try to recreate the whole post again so it seems a great time for one of my occasional musical interludes. And somehow "Green Onions" just seems like the right title of a song to play in this circumstance. It's one of those tunes that is hard to get out of your head once it's in there!

To add a little interest, I thought I would show the 'then' and the 'now', though the now isn't really now since it was filmed in 2003 and bassist Donald 'Duck' Dunn died in 2012 (after having replaced Lewie Steinberg in 1965). The drummer, Al Jackson Jr, was murdered in 1975 and the band played with several different drummers after that. Booker T and The MGs was a band that formed in 1962 and was one of the earliest racially integrated rock groups.

Then (best I can tell the bassist in this video is Dunn and not Steinberg, but I'm not totally certain):

And 'now":

Musical Interlude: The Joy Of Creation

It's been a while since I've posted one of my musical interludes!

Lately, I have been taking some inspiration from the music of Jimi Hendrix. It's hard, when you are feeling 'uncreative', to get the energy to go shoot or create in Photoshop. But if you listen to Hendrix (and of course you've got to turn it up), it's difficult for his explosive energy to not have an effect on you....well it is for me anyway. It' gets you wanting to do what it is that you do to express yourself, and for me that's photography.

And even better, he seems to have a pure joy in creating. I am sharing the video below not because it's his best music (Wild Thing was originally written by The Troggs, although Hendrix made it even more famous), or because the sound on the recording is particularly good (it's from 1967 and the sound quality totally sucks), but because I see something in Jimi's face. The joy of creating is what I see. The joy of experimenting with what sounds he can draw out of his guitar. Do you see it as well?

Here is a link to a description of an NPR episode that also has a wonderful short video about the album 'Are You Experienced?' being one of the most influential albums of our times and its induction into the Library of Congress National Recording Registry. You an watch that here. It is definitely one worth watching.

And you don't want to miss the story that Paul McCartney tells about Hendrix playing Sgt. Pepper either:

Be inspired to create!

As usual, if you subscribe to the blog by email these videos will not come over with the email. To view them you will need to visit the blog at

Still Awesome After All These Years

A Musical Interlude To The Usual Programming

Traffic just happens to be one of my favorite bands and Dear Mr. Fantasy just happens to be one of my favorite Traffic songs and one of my all time favorite songs in general.

Talk about still having it!!!  I watched this and couldn't believe that this version by Steve Winwood from the Crossroads Guitar Festival in 2007 is as fantastic as it is.....a full 40 years after its release in 1967!  Dare I even whisper the heresy that this might even sound better than the original?

Enjoy Steve Winwood, here in 2007, at age 59.

And just for completeness......Winwood doing the same in 1972 at age 24, five years after the song was released.

Michael Shrieve At Woodstock

OK, a momentary brief respite from photography for a great video and a rock lesson for any of you 'young folks' out there. From time to time I do like to share occasional non-photographic finds. I hope I haven't posted this here before, but if I did it must have been years ago. Sometimes I forget what I have and haven't posted!

In 1969 Michael Shrieve was the drummer for Santana. He also happened to be, at age 20, the youngest musician playing at Woodstock. So what do you do when you are the youngest at the play your heart out with an amazing drum solo that goes down in 'rock history', that's what.

This is really an enjoyable video (though I don't particularly love the split screen) and one of the few that show's Shrieve's full solo (the others I have seen edit it down to just a few seconds), I assume because the song is a relatively long one. His solo starts at 3:05 on the video, but wait, c'mon, don't skip there; you have time to watch the whole thing!

Interestingly, in an interview later in life (Santana himself was only 22 at Woodstock), Carlos Santana explained his contorted facial expressions during his guitar playing for his set (which is evident in the above video). Apparently, the band was actually scheduled to go on stage in 12 hours when he took LSD, but, oops, a switch in the schedule and your're on now. He said that he thought the neck of his guitar was an electric snake that was battling him and that this was something he would never do again.

Here is his explanation (note in the music that follows the interview that the drum solo is essentially edited out).

Since then Shrieve has collaborated with many musicians as well as playing with his band Spellbinder, but relatively recently he reunited with Santana for their newest album, where he again played drums for the band. Here he is today:

Then and now.....

shrieve 2.jpg

Neither image is mine....I am not certain who the photographers are.

Addenda: One of the readers of this blog, Ed Wolpov, just commented on this post. In his comment he gave a link to photos he made at Fillmore East in the 1970s. They are absolutely fantastic and I wanted to put the link here so anyone that stops by this post can have a look: