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Pro News › Who Apperances › A Dose of Rock ‘n’ Roll

Keith's aged so much. Once, if I felt ageing, I could look at Keith and steal some of his youth.

-- Pete Townshend
Melody Maker March 26, 1966

Who Apperances
A Dose of Rock ‘n’ Roll

We received the following Press Release and found it interesting:

“Ringo Starr wasn't the first Beatle in my life – that place is held by John Lennon.”

Thus begins the text about John Lennon by photographer Nancy Lee Andrews in her new book, A Dose of Rock 'n' Roll, a photographic essay about her life with Ringo Starr. Andrews met Ringo through Lennon who introduced them in May of 1974. The photographs, taken over a decade starting in 1970, are a personal journey through her life at the peak of pop culture history.

The book is rich in photos of tender moments with Ringo, his loving relationship with his children, his playfulness and their travels around the world. Her years with the famous Beatle drummer brought Andrews and her highly original and perceptive camerawork into the world of some of the greatest rock and roll and pop icons of the time, along with the women who loved them. Among many others appearing in the images and text of the book, in addition to Ringo and the late, great John Lennon and George Harrison, are Keith Moon, Bernie Taupin, Arlo Guthrie, Hoyt Axton and Eric Clapton, to name a few

A Dose of Rock ‘n’ Roll is being issued by Dalton Watson Fine Books ( in a limited edition of 2,500. Priced at $69, it contains 292 pages, 207 color and 98 black and white photos, numbered and signed by Andrews, in a slipcase. A regular edition will be released in June, 2008 for $39.

Nancy Lee Andrews grew up between Jersey City and Alabama. She has worked notably and successfully on both sides of the camera. As a Ford model, she posed for legendary fashion photographers Richard Avedon, Milton Greene, Burt Stern and Irving Penn. Over the years of modeling she became increasingly interested in how the camera “captured the moment.” Greene, realizing her potential, gave her a Nikon camera and some film and told her to “start shooting.” Under his guidance, and from that first roll of film, she was hooked.

According to Andrews, “Ringo Starr was also ardent about photography. It was a huge part of our life.” They collaborated on two album covers, Ringo the 4th and Bad Boy, as well as the advertising shoot for his “Ringo” special.

In her book, Andrews captures the moment in words as well as images. Here’s a brief sample, about a day in George Harrison’s house. “George looked at me and said, 'Nancy, I want to give you something.' He took out a bowl of Indian cabochon blood rubies and told me to take as many as I wanted and design something for myself. I was astounded and asked for paper and pencil and started sorting through the rubies. Some were small and others ranged to the size of quail eggs. As George strummed the guitar and chatted with Ringo, I feverishly drew a design and showed it to the boys. George smiled and looked at Ringo and said, 'Alright, I've given Nancy the stones, now you can give her the gold.’” Later, Ringo had a necklace made by Aspreys, the Queen of England's jewelers.

An exhibition of Andrews’s photo portraits of musicians from the 1970s selected from A Dose of Rock 'n' Roll will be on view at Rock Star Gallery in Scottsdale, Ariz. April 12, 2008; The Ingleside Inn and Melvyn’s in Palm Springs, Calif. April 13-14; the June Kelly Gallery in SoHo, New York from June 11-14 and at the Tennessee State Museum in Nashville from July 13 to August 31. A national gallery and museum tour is being planned.

Andrews is married and lives with her husband Eddie Barnes in Nashville.

The following is a passage from the new book, A Dose of Rock ‘n’ Roll by Nancy Lee Andrews.

Keith Moon had a continual movie playing inside his head, and the rest of the world unwittingly became his supporting cast.

Every time I saw Keith, it seemed as if he was in character. I remember once Ringo and I went to his house for a party and he answered the door dressed as a Pirate. Not only was dressed for the part, but like a good method actor, he responded to everyone as if he was in Treasure Island.

“Yeoman Lassee, what can I fix you to drink, matey?” he'd say, then add, “arrggghh” at the end of every sentence. He was a riot. Once again, the lucky girl with my trusty SX70 Polaroid camera.

Keith had a serious side, too, and it didn't matter what state of mind he was in, he was right there with you. He would look at you with those big black eyes with so much compassion and really listen to what you had to say. We connected on a very basic family level and he knew that I adored him. The adoration went both ways because he knew that I loved Richard and wasn't there for my own gain. He showed me such respect and treated me like I was the lady of the house.

Sometime in the summer of 1977, Richard and I visited him at his Trancas Beach home in Malibu. This time, we encountered what I call, “The Great Philosopher.” Keith had cut a hole in a sheet, wrapped a rope around his waist and instant toga! He rounded out the costume with a goblet of wine and a large book, made grand gestures with his hands and espoused philosophical pronouncements on life.

His interaction with Richard was incredibly intimate. I've noticed over the years that drummers have a shorthand language – they don't need complete sentences to convey their thoughts. Richard and Keith could say two or three words to each other and they'd be in hysterics or agreement.

That particular day at the beach Richard and I brought his kids to see Keith. All of us sat on blankets, made sand castles, ate sandwiches and caught up with each other's lives. After a while, Keith and I took a walk down the beach, away from the group. He was talking about how much he loved the ocean and turned around and looked at me. I still had the camera up to my face and I took a picture. Looking back, I can’t for the life of me remember what he was specifically saying but the result was my favorite unguarded moment of Keith. Most of my pictures of Keith he's either laughing, he's putting on a show or he's in character. But that beautiful picture I took that peeped into his soul is my favorite picture of him.

Keith was all about friendship and his big Lion heart. He was on loan to earth for thirty-two years and then it was time for him to go.

A Dose of Rock ‘n’ Roll is a special limited edition. Each of the 2,500 editions is signed and numbered by Nancy Lee Andrews and available through

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