My Guitar Is a Camera

My Guitar Is a Camera

My Guitar Is a Camera

My Guitar Is a Camera


The evening of May 10, 1970, found a young Watt M. Casey Jr. standing awestruck, only a few feet from Jimi Hendrix as the legendary guitarist tore into his unique arrangement of "The Star-Spangled Banner" on the stage of San Antonio's Hemisphere Arena during the Texas leg of his Cry of Love Tour. Bemoaning the fact that he had no camera to document the amazing experience or the visionary musicians creating it, Watt promised himself that he would make up for his oversight in the weeks and years to come. Little did he realize at the time that Hendrix had less than five months to live.

Casey made good on his resolution, and My Guitar Is a Camera provides the evidence. With a foreword by Steve Miller, this rich visual history of the vibrant live music scene in Austin and beyond during the 1970s and early 1980s allows Casey's lens to reveal both the stage, awash in spotlights and crowd noise, and the more intimate backstage moments, where entertainers hold forth to interviewers and friends. As Outlaw Country's cosmic cowboys mixed with East Coast rockers, Chicago bluesmen, and West Coast hippies, Watt Casey roamed at will, capturing the people, places, and happenings that blended to foster Austin's emerging reputation as "Live Music Capital of the World."


Just when I thought I had seen all of the best photography of the Texas and Chicago blues scenes, along comes Watt Casey—a modest and sensitive man, a rancher by trade, a photographer by choice, and an artist by nature—with a time capsule full of previously unseen treasures.

Blues fans, photography aficionados, and music lovers everywhere will delight in this powerful and beautiful imagery. Watt captures the light, the mood, and the joy of some of the greatest musicians in the world in their best moments at Antone’s Home of the Blues and the early concert scene in Texas.

Casey’s photos of Muddy Waters, Jimmie and Stevie Ray Vaughan, Buddy Guy and Junior Wells, Albert, B. B., and Freddie King, Eric Clapton, Derek Trucks, and so many more blues masters are full of warmth, intimacy, and innocence. Much of it captured at the height of the ’70s blues scene in Texas, this is a treasure trove of great photography of great musicians at work, shown as naturally as the art of photography can capture it.

An exceptional body of work, this collection is a historical record of the fleeting nature of greatness and the moments when the worlds of the Delta, Texas, and Chicago blues; rock ’n’ roll; and jazz actually came together.

—Steve Miller New York July 4, 2016 . . .

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