Rolling Stone magazine published an article in 2003 listing their choices for "The 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time." Eric Clapton ranked fourth (behind Jimi Hendrix, Duane Allman, and B.B. King) and Jeff Beck appeared at number fourteen. These two guitar legends, now both in their mid-sixties, performed together February 18 at Madison Square Garden. Photographer Angela Cranford was on hand and twenty of her images are now available on the MSG website.
Three images (1, 14, 20) show both guitarists on stage together as they might have been in the early years with The Yardbirds had they been in that historic group together (Beck actually was Clapton's successor). Our heroes are shown in a casual moment with some mutual banter or perhaps sharing an inside joke (3 and 4). One of the few really tight shots (5) has Beck at the mike. I especially liked the lighting in shots thirteen and fifteen. These two images are not only stunning concert shots, they document Cranford's virtuosity with the camera.
A quick search on the web turns up numerous credits for Ms. Cranford's work for both NBC and MSG.
Anyone not familiar with her work will quickly notice her skills with low-light photography as well as scenes in which there are areas of bright light and those in total darkness. Photographing a live event requires both experience and skill at composing through the viewfinder. Anticipating the performers next move allows the experienced pro to get shots others miss. With just twenty images we can readily see this photographer's talents fully displayed.
There are several shots that appear redundant and the set could have easily been pared to fifteen. Also annoying is the inclusion of advertisements throughout the slideshow. This collection of images documents two of rock music's best enjoying themselves to the delight of their fans in one of the world's most recognizable venues.