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Prince performs at his birthday party at First Avenue on June 7, 1984
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Backstage With Paul: Prince’s Birthday Party

By now Paul Natkin’s work was speaking for itself. Gone were the days of calling EVERY magazine on the planet to get an assignment. Getting into a local Chicago concert as a photographer for the evening was no longer in doubt. What Paul captured through his lens was in high demand and there were times […]
Microphone on Stage
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Engineer Spotlight: FOH Engineer, Cliff Brothers (KSM8 on Test)

Disclaimer: The following interview contains references to the interviewees past work with Prince, and was conducted before his untimely death on April 21st 2016. Cliff is a live sound, touring, and production specialist with comprehensive experience covering many well know acts, including Prince, Rebecca Ferguson, and Laura Mvula. Armed with a shiny new KSM8, a heap of expertise, […]
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Backstage With Paul: Dolly Parton

In 1977, a local country music magazine asked me to do a photo shoot with a country star by the name of Dolly Parton. They gave me her hotel information and room number. It was a much calmer time in those days! I showed up at the appointed time and knocked on her door. She […]
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Live Sound & Life on the Road with Engineer Liam Halpin

Understanding the fundamentals of sound reinforcement from the start can make the difference between success and failure on the road. To give you some insight into the life of a touring live sound engineer, we teamed up with Liam Halpin, who has worked with some of the industry’s biggest names.
Backstage With Paul - All Access
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Backstage With Paul: All Access

In 1976, I was breaking into the business, but I didn’t know how to get access to shows. One night, I went to the Ivanhoe Theater in Chicago to try to talk my way in. I figured a small place would be easier. I went to the backstage door and started talking to the guy […]
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Backstage With Paul: Location, Location, Location!

Like in real estate, location is what it is all about in photography. Often I am given about two minutes when I walk into a venue or hotel to find a location to shoot a portrait. Sometimes it just comes to me. Walking around on stage during a television taping with Count Basie, I looked […]
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Backstage With Paul: The US Festival

In 1983, I decided that it would probably be a good idea if I started branching out from just shooting in Chicago. My first destination was the US Festival in Ontario, California, on May 28th, 29th and 30th of 1983. I called a publicist that I knew was working with the festival, which was organized […]
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Backstage With Paul: On Tour With The Stones

Early in 1989, I read an article in Rolling Stone that said that the Stones were going out on tour later in the year. I sent the same letter to Keith’s manager that I had sent the year before, “Heard you guys are going out on the road. Call me if you need a photographer.” […]
Backstage With Paul: On The Bus With Keith Richards
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Backstage With Paul: On The Bus With Keith Richards

In August of 1988, my next door neighbor, Don McLeese (who was the music critic for the Chicago Sun Times), asked me if I would like to go to New York with him the next day to shoot pictures while he interviewed Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones. As Keith was one of my only […]
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Backstage With Paul: Chicago Blues

When I was a kid, I started listening to Blues music and grew to be a big fan. I always wanted to meet the guys making the music, and getting in this business made that come true. In 1977, I went to a concert at the Auditorium Theater in Chicago and photographed Muddy Waters and Johnny Winter. The next […]