Brad Elterman a pratiquement inventé le concept du « paparazzi », sauf qu’à ses débuts de photographe, il parcourait les boites et hauts lieux du rock à la mode entre 60 et 70 et en profitait pour rencontrer les artistes qu’il aimait tout simplement. Ses images candides de célébrités ont fait le tour du monde.
En 1980, sûr de son succès, Elterman a fondé deux agences de photo, une d’entre elles ayant été revendue à Getty Images en 2000 et l’autre, première agence dédiée aux photos de célébrités : California Features Agency.
A 57 ans, Brad Elterman possède un graal a faire palir les magazines « people » du monde entier avec des images désormais mythiques de Madonna, Michael Jackson, David Bowie, Bob Dylan ou encore les Beatles, plus toutes celles qu’il a gardé pour lui. Car rappelons le, avant d’être dénomé « paparazzi » Brad Elterman était surtout un fou de musique et de culture rock, considérée aujourd’hui comme le summum de l’underground.
Party Girls At Norman’s House 1980: This photo was taken at producer Norman Vane’s home in the Hollywood Hills. You can see my friend Barbara with some chick we met as the bash. Everyone was so free and cool back then. Glad I had my camera with me that evening!
SThere’s A Sex Pistol In My Pool! 1978: My first apartment was on Doheny, right off the Sunset Strip. It was the coolest building in town. Full of wanna-be actors, models, groupies and hookers. Everyone passed through here. Shortly after the Sex Pistols broke up, Rory Johnston, who worked with Malcolm McLaren and the Sex Pistols and was part of the local punk scene, brought Steve Jones over to my apartment for some photos. Steve stripped down to his underwear, took a swim, loving all the attention by shocking everyone. He is my neighbor and still a friend today.
2014_03_25 Jacob Dekata and Prince Chenoa of Galore Magazine on Larchmont Blvd.
1980 Matt Dillion photo session in Brad Elterman’s living room.
2014 _02_01 Mac DeMarco photo session in Echo Park. Exclusive.
Boogie Nights at Brad’s House 1980: One of the fringe benefits of being a photographer covering the scene back in the eighties was that you got to meet some really beautiful girls. Well, I had a steady stream of beautiful young girls coming to my pad. During this period, I rented a house on Canton Drive in Studio City. It was just over the hill from Mulholland Drive. I could be at The Starwood or Art’s Deli in a flash. I think I paid about $1,200 a month for this amazing party house. There was an incredible pool and space in the living room to set up a photo studio. I had wild relationships with several Playboy Playmates; but for the most part, I was fairly low key. I did toss a few incredible parties. At one party, my friend Kim Folwey got two girls to make out on my living room floor in front of a hundred invited and uninvited guests. It is interesting that even to this day I sometimes meet people who were at that party and ask me when I am going to throw another one. That was like three decades ago! I am sure that these wild pool parties still happen today on some level, but I think there was more freedom back in the eighties. I used the pool for photo shoots as much as possible. Friends and models would come over and I kept my camera close by. The topless girl floating in my pool is Kari Klark. I met Kari through my friend and fellow photographer, Julian Wasser. She was an actress and model and she loved being photographed. On warm summer days, Kari would come over, peel off her clothes, jump in the pool and smile for my camera!
Joan Jett Hollywood Blvd 1977 Photo by Brad Elterman NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT PRIOR PERMISSION!!
The Day I Shook The Hand Of Bob Dylan 1976: Actress/singer Ronee Blakley knew I was a huge Bob Dylan fan. I lucked out and obtained first row tickets at his 1974 Los Angeles concert. I sold my first photograph from this show and it was the start of my wonderful photo career. Ronee was performing at the Roxy and told me Bob was coming to the second set. He sat in the VIP section and was escorted backstage. Ronee got me back there and introduced me to Dylan. He was very friendly, remarking that I looked a bit like him. He gave me a really limp handshake that was not too impressive. Ronee grabbed him and we did this amazing set of photographs. I was in heaven. After this set, Bob set up another group shot of him with a new actor named Robert De Niro and other friends, including musician David Blue, actress/singer Lanie Kazan, actresses Martine Getty and Sally Kirkland. I did not have a clue who any of these folks were, but sold the shot to « People » and « Rolling Stone, » to name just a few.
1976 David Byrne of Talking Heads at a free UCLA concert
Z Berg at the Reception for 20 Years Of Freedom in South Africa with a performance by Z Berg at the Chateau Marmont in Los Angeles