When it comes to the local music scene in Los Angeles, music photographer Harold Sherrick is the linchpin that weaves a decade’s long career that has him crossing paths with every well-known act on the music scene and is perhaps the best example of the six degrees of separation theory.
Up until recently, Sherrick was a Valley boy that took full advantage of living in the best possible place in the USA to track and attend top of the line musical acts such as The Doors, LOVE and The Seeds.
Every local show I would go to over the past few years, there was Sherrick with his camera pointed at the stage and shooting away.
One of those shows was The Sloths’ show at Amoeba Records in Hollywood. The photo that he took of The Sloths’ lead singer Tom McLoughlin and I made it into my story about that evening in 2017.
Sherrick has a stunning photo of McLoughlin visiting with former radio and TV personality Sam Riddle. Riddle had his finger on the pulse of what was the happening music scene back in the day and Riddle’s show “Star Search” showcased the talents of many a young pop music icon. Riddle also hosted the teen dance shows “9th Street West” and “Hollywood A GoGo” on KHJ TV and was also a radio DJ. I met Riddle in the 60s from dancing at the Teen Fairs at The Hollywood Palladium which led to gigs dancing on his TV shows.
Back in 1966 Phil Spector directed a rock n’ roll film titled “The TNT Show” featuring an excellent group at the time called MFQ, which is Modern Folk Quartet. The theme song was “This Could Be The Night” which resonated with me at that time and I was in that film and adored the MFQ. Turns out that Sherrick worked with the MFQ to pull together a documentary four years ago about their career. This project is awaiting further funding to put on the finishing touches so it can be released. The MFQ had hoped that their song “This Could Be The Night” would enable them to leave the folk scene and enter the coveted rock genre. It didn’t work out that way sorry to say. “This Could Be The Night” was written by Spector and Harry Nilsson and is a tribute to Beach Boy Brian Wilson.
Sherrick also has worked on several photo projects for Spector from 2000 to 2003 that were the result of Sherrick’s being at the right place at the right time in 1993 to meet up with the once famous music producer and former Teddy Bear.
One of Sherrick’s favorite projects to work on was the documentary about local garage band phenoms The Seeds. This 2016 documentary was titled “Pushin’ Too Hard” after one of The Seeds’ well-known songs and was premiered at The Egyptian Theater in August of 2016. Among those that appeared in the film was local music scene legend Kim Fowley. According to Sherrick, Fowley had a knack for networking acts, such as The Runaways, into lucrative projects. Fowley’s appearance in the film was his last public appearance before passing away in January 2015.
As has been indicated, Sherrick has had a knack for being in the right place at the right time to ensure his getting some of the best footage of important events locally. One event that comes to mind is the night that he was attending a viewing party at Vintage Los Angeles maven Alison Martino’s home for a segment of “Eye On L.A.” titled “Legends of Laurel Canyon” which was a take-off on Harvey Kubernik’s book “Canyon of Dreams.” The special was written and directed by “Eye On L.A.” host Tina Malave and is about the legendary music personalities that called Laurel Canyon their home. Among the attendees to the viewing party were media relations guru Elliot Mintz, LOVE co-founder Johnny Echols and his girlfriend Georgianna Steele Waller, Malave and then Jim Morrison’s house owner Matt King. Echols offers up an interesting take on The Doors and how they replaced LOVE as the hip band of that era in this interesting segment.
King had offered to give Sherrick a tour of the Morrison house when the viewing party was over so off Sherrick went. Because of this incredible timing, Sherrick was able to get some excellent footage of the damage done to the Morrison house when an arsonist set fire to a Mazda Miata parked in front of the house which in turn did damage to the infamous Morrison residence at 8021 Rothdale Trail, AKA as Love Street, in December 2011. Sherrick also co-produced a video regarding The Doors’ “Morrison Hotel.”
Sherrick was also able to get one of the last photos of Rumble guitarist Link Wray in 2005 at his last show just before his passing. Led Zeppelin axman Jimmy Page featured Wray’s Rumble in his rockumentary “It Might Get Loud” as his musical “ah-ha” moment.
Among his more recent work is a recreation of The Strawberry Alarm Clock’s original 1967 LP “Incense and Peppermint” cover and a very recent show in Claremont, CA at Space Gallery and Records. The show ran March 3 to March 26, 2018 and featured music shots from the Post Punk era and displayed Sherrick’s photos of The OffSpring, L7, Joe Strummer, The Cure and Cyndi Lauper. The show also featured a tribute to Tom Petty whom Sherrick said was always warm and very nice to him.
Coming up in June 2018 is a show in Providence, Rhode Island. The venue has yet to be named and is a reworked barn that is still being renovated. In the works is a planned coffee table book titled “Women of Rock” featuring Sherrick’s work.
As I went over the details of Sherrick’ s impressive career I kept asking myself “How is it possible that we did not connect during all this wonderful work era?”
This self-taught photographer’s father had worked for the Herald Examiner which is where he developed his thirst to shoot photos and his timing. His first camera was a Brownie Box Camera that shot black and white photos. Today he owns a vast array of photography equipment that ranges from a 35 mm Nikon to his trusty MIA 120. Sherrick prefers the older versions of cameras to today’s tech versions where the camera is doing all of the work.
Want to see more of Sherrick’s work? Then hop onto your computer and head over to www.thecacheagency.com where you will be blown away by the over 300 photos that Sherrick has on file there. Among the rock luminaries featured on this site are The Bee Gees, Cheap Trick, The Doors, Bon Jovi, David Bowie, Fleetwood Mac, Dave Grohl and Jimmy Page.
In 2011 I attended a group called the LA Fellows to enrich my background as an entrepreneur. L.A. City attorney Mike Feuer had made it pretty clear that we could not rely upon on big business to save us economically…case in point is Toys R Us.
While attending this program it was required that we serve some time working for a non-profit in order to understand the benefits of non-profit orgs, and how they can be a viable option for work.
Without hesitation, I chose to work with “My Friend’s Place” in Hollywood as a volunteer. This non-profit works with the teenage homeless population that come here in record numbers hoping for a better life than the one they are running away from. To me, they are the most vulnerable of the homeless. These kids are victims of domestic violence, molestation and in some cases had to leave home because of their LGBT status.
I had first heard about “My Friend’s Place” from Kelly Osbourne in 2010 and had bookmarked it in my brain for future use. Osbourne had staged a fundraiser for them that included her bevvy of celebrity friends such as the Kardashians.
I enjoyed my time with them and often check in to see what is new and what is needed.
They recently held a gala that was hosted by actor and musician Jack Black, also in attendance was honoree Miley Cyrus and L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti. “My Friend’s Place” offers many valuable services to the youth that find their way to them. Please check out their Facebook page and see what you can do for them if you are so inclined. There is even a quick donation space and your donation is tax deductible.
I donate my clothing to them when I clean out my closet to accommodate newer more trendy items for the concerts and club dates that I attend.
“My Friend’s Place” is in their 30th year of helping homeless teens and are open Monday through Friday 9 am to 5 pm. This address is 5850 Hollywood Blvd., phone number is 888-501-8889. Their website is www.myfriendsplace.org.