Under The Bridge, Fulham
18 July 2012
Click an image to enlarge.
Dr. John allowed me to photograph him here after a brief discussion
about what I do and why I do it. Thank you!
Dr. John, or Mac Rebennack as known to friends and family, is universally
celebrated as the living embodiment of the rich musical heritage
exclusive to New Orleans. His very colourful musical career began
in the 1950s when he wrote and played guitar on some of the greatest
records to come out of the Crescent City, including recordings by
Professor Longhair, Art Neville, Joe Tex and Frankie Ford.
A notorious gun incident forced the artist to give up the guitar
and concentrate on organ and piano. Further trouble at home sent
Dr. John west in the 1960s, where he continued to be in demand as
a session musician, playing on records by Sonny and Cher, Van Morrison,
Aretha Franklin and The Rolling Stones' infamous Exile On Main St.
to name a few.
During that time he also launched his solo career, developing the
charismatic persona of Dr. John The Nite Tripper. Adorned with voodoo
charms and regalia, a legend was born with his breakthrough 1968
album Gris-gris, which established his unique blend of voodoo mysticism,
funk, rhythm & blues, psychedelic rock and Creole roots.
Several of his many career highlights include the masterful album
“Sun, Moon and Herbs” in 1971 which included cameos
from Eric Clapton and Mick Jagger and 1973’s “In The
Right Place,” which contained the chart hits “Right
Place Wrong Time” and “Such A Night.”
Dr. John garnered Grammy award wins in 1989, 1992, 1996 and 2000.
In 2004, his musical love letter to the city of New Orleans, “N’awlinz
Dis Dat or D’udda,” was awarded the prestigious Académie
Charles Cros 57ème Palmarès award in France. It was
the first time since the 1970s that an artist from North America
received the award.
He has also received six other nominations over the years. In 2007
he was nominated for a Grammy for “Sippiana Hericane,”
his Hurricane Katrina benefit disc. Other awards include the American
Society of Young Musicians 2007 Trailblazer Award.
After Hurricane Katrina and government bungles bashed New Orleans
in 2005, Dr. John immediately stepped up to the plate with both
generous relief fund-raising concerts and recordings and angry public
words of protest. In 2008 he released “City That Care Forgot,”
an album winning him a Grammy for Best Contemporary Blues Album.
2010’s release, TRIBAL, has Dr. John revisiting that classic,
swampy gris-gris style that put him on the map. After a half century
of creating music for others and himself, Dr. John continues to
write, arrange, produce and interpret with a passion that has yet
to wane. He continues to dazzle and delight audiences across the
globe touring consistently.