This site has now been up and running since 2002, the year I retired from productive toil. Nearly 35 years following a career path in the photographic retail trade, that mirrored a game of Snakes and Ladders, had finally taken its toll. Retired hurt, physically aged 60, mentally struggling towards 20.
The updating of the 'Biography' is simply to state that, subject to double-checking, I'm still pro-active (a wonderful word) as of today's date.
I have always enjoyed photography. Then, in the early sixties the beautiful sounds of Stan Getz and Charlie Byrd playing Desafinado gradually lead me into the world of jazz. My education was also assisted by being a member of the Frank Sinatra App. Soc. A debt is owed to the many people I met there, especially one Stan Britt who has his own gallery in the Catalogue section.
In the seventies my photographic efforts began to be concentrated on the music, thus combining two hobbies in one, and occasionally a third when sipping a glass of malt whilst carrying out the first two.
2016 saw the self publication of my book, Brian O'Connor's images of jazz. A selection of images taken between 1971 and 2016. The biggest difficulty was who to leave out. Errors all around in that respect, but still managed to include over 400 names. I had hoped to make it to 50 years before attempting this task, but finally decided to do it whilst still in almost full possession of my faculties.
Now, 14 years into retirement, my hours are spent playing golf, badly, continuing to enjoy and photograph the artists performing my favourite music, and travelling. Yes, I've just reached the famous three score and ten (plus 5).
Finally made New Orleans. An amazing city and lifestyle, but incredibly so much renovation still to do. On a slightly different note, also made it to Memphis. Went to purchase a beer on Beale St., and was asked to give proof of age. As the person making the request was 8ft tall and weighed 300lbs I, upon due reflection, decided to acquiesce to what I suddenly discerned as being a perfectly reasonable demand.
My long suffering manager still accomodates my hobbies, and as a special treat I do sometimes take her to a jazz gig. I'm all heart.
2017 sees the commencement of my 47th year taking the pictures. Hopefully after another 33 years I'll be doing an update on 80 years of jazz photography. I won't be holding my breath (probably quite the opposite), but I'll give it my best shot.
A great thank you to all the musicians, clubs and venues that keep the music alive and have permitted the photos to be taken. They all deserve a medal. To quote from the ancient sayings of a certain Ronnie Scott, 'It's easy to make a million out of jazz. Just start off with two'.