Photos by Chester Simpson
It’s been my pleasure to know photographer Chester Simpson for roughly 23 years now, all the more so because he has colorful stories to share from his days in the ’70s and ’80s as a shutterbug for Rolling Stone, NME, Melody Maker, and other big music publications.
While by no means all he has photographed in his long and memorable career, Chester was at ground zero for the punk and new wave scenes in San Francisco after his art school days, and I love to hear about his encounters with Debbie Harry, Duran Duran, Nick Cave, Siouxsie Sioux, and a host of other favorite musicians of the day.
You can hear some of those tales too, as Chester hosts a solo exhibition of his photographs at Principle Gallery in Alexandria, Virginia, on Friday, Oct. 15, and Saturday, Oct. 16.
Jimmie Vaughan performs at The Hamilton Live on July 20, 2019. (Photo by Chester Simpson)
“Worth the price of admission,” said the woman sitting next to Parklife DC photographer Chester Simpson after legendary Texas blues guitarist Jimmie Vaughan finished his solo on a piece by Slide Hampton.
Los Lobos performs at The Hamilton Live on April 16, 2019. (Photo by Chester Simpson)
Los Lobos performed at a benefit concert for JusticeAid, raising money for the Immigrant Defense Project, recently at The Hamilton Live.
Ian Anderson (center) celebrates 50 years of Jethro Tull at MGM National Harbor on March 11, 2019. (Photo by Chester Simpson)
I first saw Jethro Tull on the Aqualung Tour at Civic Center in Roanoke, Virginia, on April 18, 1971. I most recently saw Ian Anderson and company at MGM National Harbor when they visited to celebrate 50 years of the band.
Marty Stuart and Watermelon Park owner John Miller Jr. at the Watermelon Park Festival in September 2018. (Photo by Chester Simpson)
Watermelon Park, located in Berryville, Virginia, on the banks of the Shenandoah River, is a local haven for camping, tubing and kayaking all summer long. It hosted the 15th annual Watermelon Park Festival recently, and we’ve got pictures of the performing bands to prove it!
Chris Isaak performs at The Birchmere on Aug. 27, 2018. (Photo by Chester Simpson)
Chris Isaak’s fans are in love with him, and he loved them right back at The Birchmere on Monday!
Joe Ely and Alejandro Escovedo perform at City Winery in DC on Aug. 21, 2018. (Photo by Chester Simpson)
I had a personal reason for attending and photographing the show of Alejandro Escovedo and Joe Ely recently at the City Winery in Washington, DC, I knew them in the ole days of the ’70s.
Cy Curnin fronts The Fixx at The Birchmere on Aug. 15, 2018. (All photos by Chester Simpson; Words by Mickey McCarter)
The Fixx showcased Reach to the Beach, their remarkable second album, to mark its 35th anniversary in a sold-out show at The Birchmere on Wednesday. In doing so, the band’s classic lineup demonstrated the talents that gave them cross-genre success over the course of 10 studio albums.
The Steel Wheels – Red Wing VI Roots Music Festival July 14, 2018
The Steel Wheels perform at Red Wing Roots Festival in Natural Chimneys Park on July 14, 2018. (Photo by Chester Simpson)
Year after year, The Red Wing Roots Music Festival just keeps getting better and better! And the latest edition, on July 13-15, in Mount Solon, Virginia, was the best yet.
The peerless English Beat performs at the State Theatre in Falls Church, Virginia, on June 21, 2018. (Photo by Chester Simpson)
The English Beat have a brand new album out! The indefatigable Dave Wakeling and company published Here We Go Love earlier this month via Here We Go Records to very strong reviews. And Dave and the band dropped by the State Theatre in Falls Church to play a few of the new songs long with some old favorites on Thursday.