Author interview: Richard Galbraith

Richard Galbraith is a rock band photographer who has recently published a book of KISS photographs. I got a chance to interview him for the Lulu blog.

How long have you been taking photos of rock bands?

My father had sent a 35mm camera while he was overseas, so my first attempt at taking pictures at a concert was around 1971 at a Bloodrock and Grand Funk Railroad concert. Guess I was around 13. Next Alice Cooper, but it was a few years after that before I really got anything decent. We lived around 100 miles from Oklahoma City so it was a bit of a challenge getting to concerts at that age. I shot a lot of shows in the 2nd half of the 70′s, but by the time the 80′s hit, it was a lot harder to get passes for shows. By the time the 90′s got here it was very seldom that I took pictures unless Ronnie Dio had
a concert in the area.

Is this your first photography book?

I’ve had pictures in books by Garry Sharpe Young, Martin Popoff and Greg Prato but this is my first book project.

Why did you choose Kiss?

The writer I was working with suggested doing the Kiss book after seeing my list of bands and offered to help put it together since I had helped him out with some pictures for his Tommy Bolin and No Schlock Just Rock books.

Has Kiss seen your book?

Not that I know of. I know Ace Frehley did an interview with Greg at his office, but it was right after the interview that the book came in the mail…… so almost.

What has the response to your book been like?

I’ve had a lot of emails from people saying they can’t wait to see the book, as well as people wanting to get copies to review, but since the book just came out I’ve not really had any feedback from buyers.

Have you thought about publishing more books?

Over the past few years, it has come up from the different writers that have used my pictures for their books but just never got in gear to do it or were really not in a position to do it. I started scanning my slides and negatives a few years ago, which takes a lot of time, plus cleaning up if needed. But most of my Kiss stuff had already been scanned which made it more of a possibility to pull off. At the moment, I’m not sure about doing any other books. I guess I’ll wait and see what happens with the Kiss book.

Why did you choose Lulu to publish your book?

Greg Prato has a few of his books on Lulu and seemed to be happy with the results, so I thought it would be a good idea to give Lulu a try.

How did you lay out your book design?

Well…… I’m not much of a tech person so I left that up to my writer Greg and he worked with a designer, Linda Krieg to finish up the layout.

Have you been surprised (in any way) by the Lulu publishing process?

I have looked through some of the information on the Lulu site and seems that it would be fairly easy to put a book together…

What’s one thing you’d change about publishing with Lulu?

A few days after putting in an order for 8 books to ship here I considered adding more and it was kind of hard to find an answer as to how to do that. Finally, I found something that said since it is an automated process that orders could not be changed or added to. But I thought just maybe there was a way to save on shipping if I could combine orders somehow, but I can see how that would turn into a mess with doing so many books. I just thought there might be a way to tap into that order and update it before it got to the printing part.

and finally… Make up or no make up?

Kiss became famous for their music with their makeup on and I think that is still what old and new fans want to see. It makes the pictures more interesting… and perhaps the make up makes the shows a bit more timeless. Also, the make up smooths over the debate over current and past members.

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2 Comments

  1. Good interview – as an ex pro photographer myself I found it fascinating…

    Just working on my second book with Lulu myself and I would have to say my experience of them has been equally positive…

    Sullivan the Poet

  2. Sam Mitchell

    I am a new author on Lulu. I THOUGHT I published my book, “Peruvian Plunge” (ID#7489357)on Aug. 16. It is showing as available; unfortunately, when you punch the “Buy this Book” icon, it simply says “Your Cart is Empty.” If you punch the “Add to Cart” icon, you get a message saying: “We’re sorry… missing or invalid product id.” “Support” is being ZERO help. Is there ANYONE out there in Cyberspace who can help me work through this glitch? I have put A LOT of my life into getting this book on Lulu to hit this snag. Gracias, amigos! — Sam “Hambone Littletail” Mitchell

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