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Veteran Photographer/Tour Manager Harry Sandler Joins OnStage Magazine
OnStage Magazine is proud to announce that veteran tour manager/photographer Harry Sandler has come on board as our Director of Photography. Harry brings a wealth of musical history to the table, and we are certain that this partnership will help us develop the magazine in new and exciting ways. Harry plans to contribute both published and unpublished photos from his time in New York during the late 60’s early 70’s right up to the present day. Together with our writers, he will also recount his experiences working with some of the top talent in the music industry.
Originally from Atlantic City, New Jersey, Harry Sandler was discharged from the military in 1964 in San Francisco as the counter culture movement was gathering momentum. There he fully assimilated himself into the culture, experimenting with the libations of the day and attending as many concerts as possible. After leaving San Francisco, he was further exposed to music in the Philadelphia music scene where he was the road manager/sound engineer for The Edison Electric Band (featuring Freebo, T.J. Tindall and Mark Jordan). After that stint with Edison he went on to work with The American Dream (featuring Nick Jameson).
Sandler moved back to New York around 1967 to work toward his goal of becoming a professional photographer. However, at the request of a friend, he ended up working as a stagehand at the Fillmore East. After his stint at The Fillmore East he got his first photography job processing film in a New York City photo lab and soon went on to become a first assistant for a New York City advertising photographer, where he honed his technical skills. He soon started photographing music events at Madison Square Garden and the Academy of Music, where his portfolio of high-profile artists started to grow. He captured images such as Dylan at a benefit in Greenwich Village with another seminal New York folk artist Dave Van Ronk (with whom Sandler later took guitar lessons). His freelance work for Rolling Stone and Circus afforded him a studio in Manhattan, where he was able to photograph Roger McGuinn, Leslie West, LaBelle and Peter Frampton among others. He also shot some of the biggest live acts of the period, including The Who and the Rolling Stones.
In the late 70’s he became disenchanted with his day job in commercial photography and moved to New Jersey, where he worked as a sound engineer in the burgeoning rock club scene. In 1979 he made connection that led him to work for The Records (Starry Eyes) and later Ellen Shipley, who was managed by a woman who worked with Jon Landau. When a job opened as Road Manager for Bruce Springsteen, he asked for a four-week trial with no money involved. He was kept on. The tour was in support of The River; it catapulted both Springsteen – and, by proxy, Sandler – into a whole different position in the music industry.
In 1981 he met Eagles manager and music mogul Irving Azoff who was handling several artists, including Stevie Nicks. Azoff hired him to manage two tours for Nicks. After Nicks, he moved on to Billy Joel. Then, in 1985, John Cougar Mellencamp hired him based on a telephone call. This sparked a long-term tenure with Mellencamp that lasted until 1997. In the late ‘90s Azoff hired Sandler to tour manage Don Henley, which led to the same job for the Eagles and eventually a full time position at Azoff’s Los Angeles-based Frontline Management.
Over the years, Harry has served in various tour management and film production roles, working with elite acts such as The Bee Gees, Barbra Streisand, The Eagles, Billy Joel, Van Halen, Bruce Springsteen and Stevie Nicks. Sandler produced John Mellencamp’s Falling from Grace, The Bee Gees’ One Night Only, and co-produced the Eagles’ Live from Melbourne DVD. Over the years, Harry’s advantageous position has also allowed him to amass a collection of concert photography, offering a rare look behind the scenes of the music business.
Currently based in New York, Sandler has continued to document music through his camera lens when he isn’t building his vast portfolio of landscape photography capturing images worldwide in Australia, Ireland, Scotland, England and Iceland. Devoted to preserving what he calls “disappearing America,” Harry continues to work toward visiting each of the national parks in the United States.
Regarding Harry’s decision to team up with OnStage Magazine, he has this to say: “Music and photography have always been part of the fabric of my life. I am thrilled at the opportunity to join forces with OnStage Magazine to explore unique and refreshing approaches to music, as expressed both visually and textually.” Harry shares the magazine’s vision of a cutting-edge online publication that re-imagines the relationship between text and image in music journalism. It is bound to be a fruitful and creative collaboration.
Welcome aboard, Harry!
Photo Credits: Portrait (top) Marc Hauser