Tracy Chapman

Tracy Chapman has a greatest hits album coming out. She is using some of my photos from the shoot I did with her in 1988 in the CD book and press. When I shot this photo of her in 1988 the record company had been searching for the right photographer to shoot press pictures. They had already done three photo shoots with some big name photographers but Tracy didn’t like the images and the record company knew she was going to be important. They needed someone who she would get along with and that turned out to be me. She arrived at my studio unaccompanied and we decided to take a stroll through the East Village – stopping at various spots to grab a couple of shots, talking about politics, music, racism in America – I was shooting Tri X film so there was no way to look at what we were getting but I think she felt at ease.We stopped for a coffee in the local diner before going back to the studio to shoot a few photos with her guitar one of which ended up on the 12″ sleeve ‘Talkin’ bout a Revolution’. Tracy grew up ¬†poor in Cleveland, her lyrics on that first album touch on lazy, cops, race riots, wife beating and escaping poverty : “poor people gonna rise up and take what’s theirs” In spite of telling uncomfortable truths about the America she saw, her debut album beat out the likes of Def Leppard and Guns and Roses and rose to #1 in the charts that summer.


3 Responses to “Tracy Chapman”

  1. so gorjass! so young!

  2. Daniel M. says:

    More, more!

  3. Ashley says:

    This is a great photograph. I wish she would tour again. She is the only artist I care about seeing in concert. <3

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