I was always a big Ray Charles fan. He, Elvis and James Brown were probably my biggest early influences. At this show, I had unlimited access to the stage and once the show started I decided to push a little more. I started shooting from the stage which was poorly lit. I kept moving closer and closer to Ray, getting better and better shots and I thought to myself, "Hell, Ray's blind, he's not going to see me, I can actually go and put my camera right up on the piano keys" which I ended up doing for two frames, at which point Ray stopped the show, grabbed the microphone and addressed the crowd, saying "I know you all paid to see me play, and I'm really sorry there's somebody here taking pictures who's taking away from the show…and I'm going to ask him to step away now." I remember thinking "Is there a trap door I can please fall through?" In spite of all that, I ended up getting some great pictures that night. -Michael Zagaris
This silver gelatin fine art print is from an extremely limited edition of 25 prints. Each is signed and numbered by photographer Michael Zagaris. Prices will increase as the edition sells out.
Purchase museum-quality fine art prints of rock, blues, jazz, and country music stars by the best photographers in the world.
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.