2022 – R.I.P. Ronnie Spector
……………………………. ……(Ignore April 30, 2017 publish date – this was published on January 20, 2022)
This is not how I wanted to start off 2022, because like every other guy, I’ve been in love with her since the ‘60s. I even met up with her in a stairwell at William Paterson College in 1977:
She must have liked my hair. And now she’s gone (and so is most of that hair).
I almost met up with her in Asbury Park on a very hot 4th of July in 1974. The Ronettes were part of an oldies show that I had a backstage pass for, but wasn’t shooting. I couldn’t take the indoor heat, so I went out behind the venue, overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, where the night breeze was much cooler.
All of a sudden, a long-haired beauty came out – probably for the same reason I did. It was Ronnie and she was about 30-40 feet away. We were the only two people out there. She couldn’t see me, but I sure saw her.
Oh my God! This was such a beautiful setting, like something out of a boy-meets-girl movie. What would I say to her? How would I make this happen? A million thoughts went through my mind, but no words that didn’t sound like “Homina-homina-homina”.
Meanwhile, Ronnie strolled back inside and that was the end of that. Oh well – at least she put her arm around me 3 years later in a lot-less-romantic college stairwell.
I shot her again later that year onstage with Bruce Springsteen. The next time was in 1981 at a club called Privates in Manhattan. In 1982, she played the Capitol Theatre in Passaic, where she was popping out of her leather vest and making out with almost every guy in the front row. Those pix are on my site.
The last time I photographed her was in 1986, when I shot her twice. Once was with Eddie Money at Madison Square Garden:
The other time was a unique situation. A new TV show called Deja View was being put together that featured a house band of rock stars. The show created new videos of older songs. You can read all about it here:
The producer was Joel Gallen, who went on to fame and fortune as the producer of nearly every big MTV production you’ve ever seen – especially awards shows.
But Joel’s first venture was syndicating the Uncle Floyd Show. Since I was the show’s official photographer, Joel hired me to be the Deja View photographer, so I had this gig all to myself as well.
What all this is leading up to is that I got to take what I consider to be my definitive ‘60s photo (in 1986) that included house band members – and show host – John Sebastian (The Lovin’ Spoonful), Felix Cavaliere (The Young Rascals), Ronnie Spector (The Ronettes) and Roger McGuinn (The Byrds):
They all look great – especially Ronnie.
So rest in peace, Ronnie, and thank you for everything you gave to music………….and me.
And if you get a chance to talk to the Big Guy up there, ask him if I can have some of that hair back.