A Man Who Has Worked With The Rocket Man And The Doors

Written by Chief Editor.

James Fortune has photographed stars like Sir Elton and the Doors. He has shared his thoughts about his experiences with this website. . . .

EJW: Your first assignment was photographing the Doors. How did that come about? 
JF: I was a college student in L.A. and on the photo staff of the school newspaper. I got an idea while in the darkroom: If I contact some record companies, I might be able to photograph and interview rock stars. So I contacted Electra, who had the Doors. They called me back within a couple of weeks and invited to meet the band at Sunset Recording Studios. I spent five hours in the studio with them. I was nervous. I didn't use a flash because I didn't want to disturb them.
EJW: You went on to work with Elton quite a few times. That includes a charity tennis tournament in 1974. Who was the beneficiary?
JF: It actually wasn't a charity event. I was assigned a photo shoot at Helen Reddy's house and she had a tennis court in the backyard. Billie Jean King happened to be there with her; Elton was there as well (he was good friends with King). The photo became the cover of Zoo World magazine.
EJW: You've also done concerts and award shows with the performer. Which stand out for you and why?
JF: I loved photographing Elton. I was a fan of his music.
I vividly recall two shows in L.A. on October 31 and November 1, 1974. The photos from those shows became a best selling poster three weeks later.
EJW: You have around 150 photographs at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland. Who is featured in them, and do any depict Elton? 
JF: There are a lot of different groups, including several Elton John.
EJW: Are you still involved in the rock scene today? What are your future plans?
JF: I am retired and archive my photos. I constantly get requests to license them out for books, TV shows, and magazines.
The artist currently has an exhibit at C. Parker Gallery in Greenwich, Connecticut:
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