"This was the first of two Led Zeppelin shows, the last in the U.S. with Led Zeppelin as we knew them. Three days after I took this picture, in New Orleans, we found out of the tragic death of Robert's son, so the band flew back to England. After this, the band played a few gigs in Europe, before suffering yet another tragedy; the death of drummer John Bonham. Jimmy was incredible at this time, even though he was pretty fucked up. He had to be carried a couple of times from his hotel room, to the limo, to backstage, but once he'd gotten on stage, even if the start was a bit diabolical, he played this incredible riff. I thought then, and I think now that Led Zeppelin is one of the greatest bands of that or any era." -Michael Zagaris
Michael Zagaris, known as 'the Z-man', offers the performer's eye view in his photography. Zagaris became the Stones, the Who, Led Zeppelin; not vicariously but actually. He donned the make-up and ran down the tunnel onto the stage. As an insider in those days, he took photographs of what was, not what one expected to see, and as an insider today he does the same thing for 21st century bands and artists. As team photographer for the San Francisco 49ers, a title he achieved in '73, and for the Oakland A's, Zagaris is sports' inside-out shooter. Ankles taped and knee pad-clad, he's the guy so familiar to the players that they see him as their own.