Bill Graham and Ronnie Van Zant are going onto the stage at Oakland Coliseum just after Lynyrd Skynyrd had flown back from Austin, Texas where they played a Fourth of July gig with Willie Nelson. They were opening up for Peter Frampton, who at that point in time, was probably the #1 recording artist in the world. Fittingly, Lynyrd Skynyrd was probably the best American rock 'n' roll band at that time and they played a blazing set that day. Bill loved Lynyrd Skynyrd, and they loved him. He always made sure that everything the band wanted was there for them, and he'd come in and talk and joke with them before they went on. I remember Bill laughing with Ronnie and Artimus and Steve Gaines. Peter Rudge, their road manager, trying to squeeze Bill in a bear hug as Mary Beth Medley laughed. Bill really related to Ronnie and everyone in the band. There was always a great rapport, and you can see this as Bill and Ronnie clasp hands while taking the stage. -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.
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.