13 memorable backstage moments
The backstage area of a concert venue is an inner sanctum few can enter. Oftentimes, what happens behind the scenes is as fascinating as the show itself.
Here's MusicRadar's All Access Pass to 13 rock icons caught behind closed doors.
Next page: Nirvana
Kurt Cobain, Krist Novoselic, 1991
It's Halloween night in Seattle as Nirvana are about to play the Paramount Theater, but Kurt Cobain and Krist Novoselic are celebrating Xmas early. And no wonder: Nevermind just went Gold, and by January Nirvana would replace Michael Jackson at the top of the Billboard chart. Ho-ho-ho, indeed.
Next page: Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young
With Neil Young now on board, the folk-rock trio of David Crosby, Stephen Stills and Graham Nash had expanded to a four-man supergroup, and their debut album Deja Vu was a No 1 smash.
Here the band get in tune and work out harmonies - a tradition The Eagles would soon borrow.
Next page: Kiss
KISS at Madison Square Garden - if you were a New York City teenager in the 1970s, seeing the group at the famed venue was an important rite of passage. Here, Ace Frehley, Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons prepare to slay 20,000 faithful. But where's Peter Criss? Somebody has to sing Beth!
Next page: Eric Clapton
Eric Clapton, 1967
Murray the K was a popular New York City DJ and grand self-promoter, who put on Murray the K's Music In The Fifth Dimension at Manhattan's RKO Theater in spring 1967.
The bill featured everyone from Wilson Pickett to The Who to Cream, who were making one of their first appearances. In this backstage photo, a pensive, psychedelic Eric Clapton gets in touch with his SG.
(Oddly, the bill didn't include the then-famous band The Fifth Dimension. Go figure.)
Next page: The Sex Pistols
Sid had met Nancy, 1978
Glen Matlock, seated left, was already replaced by Sid Vicious as The Sex Pistols' bassist when this photo was snapped as the band prepared to play London's Electric Ballroom. Muse-from-hell Nancy Spungen is Super Glued to Vicious.
By the end of the year, the band would be no more. Soon after, Sid and Nancy would follow.
Next page: The Godfather Of Soul
James Brown, 1968
During the '60s, Brown publicly proclaimed, "I'm not going to tell anyone to pick up a gun." Still, the US Government - perhaps trying to soothe racial tensions at home - persuaded The Godfather Of Soul to perform for troops in Vietnam.
No word whether his cape made the trip, however.
Next page: Frank Zappa
Frank Zappa, 1988
Sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll? Historically, Frank Zappa had use for only two of them, and by 1988, during his last tour called Broadway The Hard Way, he was pretty much focused on his music.
Here the guitar virtuoso warms up in his dressing room, lost in his artistry.
Next page: guitar porn
The Eagles' guitars, 1980
When your front line includes Joe Walsh, Don Felder and Glenn Frey, you're gonna need a lot of guitars - and make sure the doubleneck's ready for that Hotel California solo.
Here's the array of axes used by The Eagles during their 1980 tour - which would be their last outing before 'hell froze over' and they reunited in 1994.
Next page: Bob Dylan
Bob Dylan, 1966
During his 1966 tour of Europe, Bob Dylan performed his show in two parts: the first half, he played solo, accompanying himself on acoustic guitar and harmonica; the second half was electric, in which he was backed by The Hawks (who later became The Band).
Audiences were still hostile to the 'electric' Dylan - one fan in Manchester, England shouted "Judas!" when the artist strapped on a Telecaster.
Here's Dylan making his way through the crowded backstage at Paris's Olympia Music Hall, with a smiling Robbie Robertson of The Hawks pictured in the background
Next page: Jack Nicholson meets The Monkees
The Monkees and Jack Nicholson, 1968
By 1968, The Monkees were sick of their goody-goody TV show image and wanted to kill it dead. So what better way than to make a plotless anti-war movie called Head and have none other than Jack Nicholson write the, uh, 'screenplay'?
It killed them dead all right - the film played to the ushers. Here, Jack hangs with the boys as they prepare to film concert footage that would figure into the film.
Next page: Jimi Hendrix and friends
Jimi Hendrix in Paris, 1968
Legend has it that backstage at a Jimi Hendrix concert was a non-stop orgy of, well, orgy-ing. Not always so. In fact, Hendrix often loved to relax and unwind with musician friends before a show.
Here's the Strat master in a light-hearted moment with Experience bassist Noel Redding and Animals singer Eric Burdon before playing Paris's Olympia Music Hall.
Next page: Johnny Cash
Johnny Cash, 1959
He wasn't yet wearing black, but by 1959 Johnny Cash was the biggest country artist around, having scored a Top 5 hit with Folsom Prison Blues and a No 1 smash with I Walk The Line. He had also become the first Sun Records artist to cut a long-playing album - they called them LPs back then.
Before taking the stage in White Plains, New York, Cash tunes his guitar, his face a study in concentration.
Next page: Keef and Woody
Keith Richards, Ron Wood, 1979
The New Barbarians were a band formed by Stones guitarist Ron Wood, ostensibly to promote his album Gimme Some Neck. The lineup included Keith Richards, bassist Stanley Clarke, former Faces keyboardist Ian McLagan, saxophonist Bobby Keys and drummer Joseph Zigaboo Modeliste from The Meters.
Before hitting the stage in Chicago, Keith and Ron share a pre-show adult beverage. Wood looks like he's ready to lay a side-splitter on Keef.