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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 […]
Michael Jackson at press conference at the opening of the Victory Tour
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Backstage With Paul: The Jacksons & Kansas City BBQ

In early July, Rolling Stone called and asked me to go to the Jacksons’ Victory Tour opening in Kansas City. Turns out, they liked the Springsteen and Prince photos, too. I flew down the night before the first show and went to the press conference at the Hyatt in downtown Kansas City. What a circus! […]
Bruce Springsteen and Courtney Cox at the filming of the video for Dancing in the Dark
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Backstage With Paul: Dancing In The Dark

At this point in time, one thing lead to another and another and another for Paul. People began to take notice of his work behind the lens and they wanted a piece of what Paul was capturing for their artists, too… “When I got back from Minneapolis for Prince’s birthday party, I sent some of […]
Backstage With Paul: The Beginning Of Farm Aid
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Backstage With Paul: The Beginning Of Farm Aid

During the MTV Live Aid broadcast, Bob Dylan made a comment. He said, “We need to do this for the American Farmers!” Willie Nelson was watching the show, and he agreed. So he called his friend Jim Thompson, the Governor of Illinois at the time, and also called his friend John Mellencamp and said, “Give […]
Live Aid… No One Knew What To Expect
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Backstage With Paul: Live Aid… No One Knew What To Expect

Now while it may be true that you need talent and timing to make it in this business of rock n’ roll, it also helps to have some friends in high places. Today, Paul Natkin has friends of all types of status all over the world… I’ve witnessed greetings from rock stars, management, club owners, […]
Backstage With Paul: The Shot Seen Around The World
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Backstage With Paul: The Shot Seen Around The World

Now, I’ll bet money that you’ve seen this image before. Even if you’re not a fan of Ozzy or metal music, you have seen this image before. It has appeared in many sizes on all types of collectible material. The cover art for the Ozzy Osbourne Randy Rhoads Tribute album, posters, t-shirts, even those cheap […]
Those 80s Bands That Had A Lot Of Hair
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Backstage With Paul: Those 80s Bands That Had A Lot Of Hair

“At this point in his career, Paul Natkin was starting to make a name for himself as a rock photographer… enough experience to shoot with the best out there, but still young and crazy enough to actually tour with these bands as their official camera man…” In the early 1980s, metal bands realized that by […]
Creem Covers with Paul Natkin
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Backstage With Paul: CREEM Magazine & Monetary Reality

Paul was on the fast track to fame and fortune after that fateful night with Bonnie Raitt… or so he thought. Turns out that a picture may be worth a thousand words, but not necessarily thousands of dollars… “After my photography career started, I had to figure out how to make money at it. One […]
Backstage With Paul - It All Started With Bonnie Raitt
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Backstage With Paul: It All Started With Bonnie Raitt

As promised, here is the first installment of our new Backstage With Paul series. For those of you paying attention, the Artist Relations team has been a little busy… Grammys, NAMM, local shows. Well, the smoke has cleared and we’ve got things under control… kind of. Anyway, to refresh your memory, Paul is our legendary […]
What makes a legendary performance?
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What makes a Legendary Performance?

I was thinking about our tagline on the way home from the American Country Awards in Las Vegas.  This topic is wide open for interpretation and discussion, so I hope you join in. In my opinion, I had just witnessed a Legendary Performance when LeAnn Rimes sang a tribute to Patsy Cline, who had passed […]
Rock and Roll Photographer Paul Natkin
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My Day With Rock And Roll Photographer, Paul Natkin

Last week I thanked our good friend Paul Natkin for providing me some awesome pictures for My 5 Favorite Music Venues in Chicago blog post. “Who is he?” you ask? Well, if you’re a fan of music, and a fan of photography, Paul Natkin is a name you must know. Not only has Paul shot […]
Shuremobile at the Riviera Theater
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My 5 Favorite Music Venues In Chicago

Being born and raised in the City of Broad Shoulders, there are many reasons to hold your head up and be proud – from it’s fiery history survived by a limestone tower on it’s magnificent mile, which serves as a symbol of the City’s endurance and grit, its imposing skyscrapers and resplendent downtown architecture that […]
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Updated: #CampShure Week 4 – The Big Show

Winner Wow, you all know how to rock. And there a ton of pics tagged with #CampShure to prove it. Congrats to @david_sillas for winning the #CampShure Big Show badge and a Special Edition Super 55 Microphone! We had a great time at Summer Camp. Thanks to everyone who participated! Honorable Mentions Week 4 Theme: […]
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Updated: #CampShure Week 3: Field Trip

Winner Congrats to @davidplat for winning the #CampShure Field Trip badge and SRH840 headphones! This week’s entries really raised the bar. Get your phones prepped for our final week. A picture of your talent could win a Special Edition Super 55 Microphone! Honorable Mentions Week 3 Theme: Field Trip For this week’s theme, show us […]
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Updated: #CampShure Week 2: Spirit Day

Winner Congrats to @trol_bridge for winning the #CampShure Spirit Day badge and a box FULL of Shure swag! Everyone’s pictures this week were amazing. We’re looking forward to seeing your travels in this week’s Field Trip contest! Honorable Mentions: Week 2 Theme: Spirit Day Shure Summer Camp is in full swing. For this week’s theme, […]
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Updated: Announcing Shure Summer Camp: An Instagram Contest

Winner Congrats to @saysay148 for winning the #CampShure Bonfire badge and a SM58+X2u! A big thanks to everyone who participated in this week’s theme. Keep up the good work campers; we’ll see you at Spirit Day! Honorable Mentions: Where will your musical adventures take you this summer? Show us while we ride shotgun on a […]
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2010 Latin Grammys @ Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas

11/11/10 Showday!!! Woke up and ironed my suit for the Latin Grammys. I ate some breakfast with one of my co-workers and went to the venue to catch some of the dress rehearsals for a bit before the green carpet opened at 1pm. The doors opened to the general public at 3pm and wow was […]