Born in Madrid in 1961, he emigrated with his family to Australia, from where he returned to Spain at the age of ten. Photographer whose camera has recorded both the best of the ‘movida madrileña’ and the great national and international rock and pop stars since 1979, from the 80s to today, Domingo J. Casas exudes, in triplicate: enthusiasm, enthusiasm, enthusiasm . He has been residing in the Region for 20 years, together with his partner Almudena – “she is the best thing that has happened to me in my life” -. Three of his photographs: ‘Fernando Estrella and Rossy de Palma’, ‘Antonio Alvarado and Luz Casal’, and ‘Antonio Banderas, Pedro Almodóvar and Eusebio Poncela’, all three from the 1980s, are part of the ‘Madrid. Creative chronicle of the 80’s that, organized by PhotoEspaña 2023, can be visited, until August 20, at the Fundación Canal in Madrid. A spectacular image of him by Chris Cornell, from 2003, serves to portray him: he was born to do exactly what he does. “Do you want to drink something?” Almudena asks before beginning the interview. “Eight beers, please!” he replies, knowing that nothing of that. He leads a wild regime.
What do you recognize that you do?
-What isn’t it?
-Neither from associations, nor from political parties, nor from bullshit.
-What do you usually do?
-Don’t beg, don’t be where they don’t want me, and dedicate myself to what I want and at my own pace because I don’t have bosses, I am a free spirit and politically incorrect all that is necessary, and I move on impulse.
«’Be glad you’re alive’, I tell myself, because I’ve had very good friends who are no longer here to tell about it»
-Now they don’t stop asking me for photos every day, what if of Leño, what if of Miguel Ríos, what if of Triana, what if of the ‘Movida Madrid’. Damn, man, I won’t stop!
-What is sadness?
-I only drink water, do you find it a little sad? Well, and some of those naturally fermented crap that they say are very healthy [kombucha]. Very sad, but resisting.
-Where have you lived?
-New York, London, Paris, Madrid…, I don’t know how many places I’ve already lived. I am the son of immigrants, and I have been around the world several times.
-What is key?
-To have talent, without that we are screwed. And it didn’t hurt me to know excellent English and Italian, which was also widely spoken in Australia.
-How did you start in photography?
-I have always had a camera close by, because from Australia we sent many photos to the grandparents, although I started painting and drawing. I remember that, at the age of 18, in the Faculty of Psychology, I began to take passport photos of the students, and it was a complete success because what I took of them were portraits that hallucinated. And he took bitches, mate. And I was buying better and better material, and photography books, and the nights began at Rock-Ola and Sala El Sol, and I had drinks to drink and so on; We were going to have a good time, without being aware in those years of the great time we were living, especially since we came from another of unfortunate memories. I started going to concerts because I liked music, like Rick Wakeman in 1979, King Crimson in 1980, Roxy Music in 1982… We live the 1980s very intensely, but do you know what happens? That no one is ever happy with the time they live in, and you always think you missed a better one.
-What do you say to yourself sometimes?
-‘Give yourself to be happy that you are alive’, because I have had very good friends who are no longer here to tell about it.
-Naughty, bastard, joker, but not a bad guy. With the people who go forward, who speak clearly to you, no problem.
-I took photos of him the other day in Murcia and I went to greet him in the dressing room; I saw it well. He gave me memories for my mother, whom he met before he hit the big ball and that one day, when she had already hit him, she advised him not to become an asshole with fame. [risas]. My mother is 93 years old and continues to paint, she signed up for an electricity course and gets along with some of my friends better than me.
“The best thing of all is getting home, that’s what really matters”
-What have you decided?
-I don’t plan to retire, and I also plan to die even older than Chuck Berry [90 años tenía cuando falleció]. I still have what I sadly don’t see in too many young people, enthusiasm. You have to eat the world!
-I am a kind guy, and I respect the work of others a lot, especially those who do it well and are also kind. The people who clean the bullring in Murcia, for example, have more photos of me than my mother!
-Two types of musicians: those who were already there when they arrived, and those who were already there when I arrived. There are many who know and appreciate my dedication: that I didn’t sleep, that I went on tour with them, that sometimes I told them ‘no, baby, this shit, because if you don’t you’re going to go without sleep for two days and see what happens! you’re going to give a concert.!’…; there are so many concerts in so many places and with the best musicians in the world, so many album covers, so many jobs jumping from one country to another for 40 years.
-Which musician did you like?
-Good? I am friend of [Joaquín] Sabina, from ‘the Crazy’ [Loquillo], of so many… Paul McCartney, for example, I liked him very much. I photographed it in 1989 [durante su histórica visita al ‘estudio invernadero’ de LOS40]. He asked me to take photos of his wife, Linda, too. [Linda McCartney, compositora, activista en favor de los derechos de los animales y fotógrafa estadounidense fallecida en 1988]. When we finished the job, he asked me to take a souvenir photo together. Nothing divo, super friendly; it is clear that the bigger the musicians, the more normal in their treatment. The problem is the entire circle that surrounds them, which makes it very difficult to access them. Another one who is a lovely guy is Keith Richards, who I’m friends with.
A place to have a beer
International Restaurant, in Archena.
Solsbury Hill, by Peter Gabriel.
A book for summer time
‘The Snail. The never written real story’, by Jose Caracol and Nacho Serrano.
What advice would you give?
Never forget that you are born, you grow, you screw up and you die, so take advantage of life.
Would you like to be invisible?
Sometimes it would do me good.
Your fictional hero or heroine
What would you like to be when you grow up?
What do you hate the most?
A perfect bathroom
In the Archena spa.
Jack Daniels (green label).
He never gave up.
– What a gulf! [Risas] One day the police stopped our car.
– Were you with Keith Richards in the car?
-No, Keith Richards was with me in the car.
-And what did Keith Richards paint on his car?
-We had already made friends for a day and a full night on another occasion. When the car thing was in Madrid with one of his solo concerts. Every god knows this guy, both for his musician and for his Jack Sparrow character. If you want to go unnoticed, don’t take a walk with him through the downtown bars. It is not so strange to know them beyond the concerts; Who did the musicians who went to Madrid in the 80s or 90s go out with? Well, with the photographers, that we were rascals, that we spoke English, that we knew what they wanted… A collector wanted to buy my car, not only because of Keith Richards, it’s because Iggy Pop also got into that same car, and I don’t know what was going on, but again the police stopped us!
-Wow, they never stopped him taking a cousin of his as co-pilot.
-[Risas] On another occasion, when AC/DC was playing and we arrived a little late because we were lost, a few colleagues were in the car, all of them very crazy except me, who was driving, and it turns out that since the cops were fans of AC/DC we escorted to the concert venue.
-That is dangerous?
-No limit with alcohol and drugs. We had no limit…; I admit that I was very lucky. I remember a singer who always said that he never had a hangover; Well, of course, son of a bitch, you never have a hangover because you never get out of it!
«I did not go to my own wedding; the night got complicated and I decided that it was better to stay single »
-I haven’t had a beer since November, but I even drink aloe! And my kidneys and my liver begin to thank me. What times when you spent your nights working and drinking, and your days sleeping! Now I get up early and made a bull. I have I don’t know how many projects underway.
-It is not the same?
-Be 22 years old than 62; the good thing is that you have arrived [risas].
-Of course: handsome, smart, talented, with a car, with money…; At 18 years old I could already afford my bachelor apartment.
-Photographers, models, singing actresses…; My sexual orientation was always clear to me.
-What step did you take that seems like a movie?
-I didn’t go to my own wedding; the night got complicated and I decided that it was better to stay single.
-I give them a hand, I help them in what I can. Everyone respects me. I remember a Los Lobos concert that I attended with my accreditation a bit, let’s say, ‘happy’. When they were saying our names to enter and mine was heard, Domingo J. Casas!, a photographer from those in line shouted: ‘Me!’. I thought: Damn, what a fart I’m going to be seeing visions! [Risas] But when I reacted, I took the boy by the arm and took him with me to the concert, without problems, when he was honest and told me that he did not have accreditation.
-Which artist did you find most photogenic?
-Who would you like to photograph?
-To Nastassja Kinski.
-Madonna. One of her most powerful portraits of her.
-One day we were on our way to meet her, [la periodista] Beatriz Pécker, a contestant on a television show who had won the award of meeting the star, and me; But it turns out that her uncle was in love with Pécker, and since only he and I could agree to meet Madonna, he wanted to keep Pécker! ‘But, man, let’s go to the nougat man, to the nougat!’.
–What is the best of all?
-The best thing of all is to get home, that’s the really important thing.
-What is a bad sign?
-Today everyone is Taliban or dove [risas]and on top of that the extreme right has returned.
How is the regimen going?
-Since November I have lost 38 kilos, and I still have another 35 to lose. At a recent concert a security colleague told me: ‘You and I are going down slowly, on our way to the sound table.’ Did you think he wasn’t going to arrive or what? When he saw me move around the room, he exclaimed: ‘You son of a bitch, you’re not that lame, you’re not fat, you’re bald, you’re not deaf!’ [Risas].
#Domingo #Casas #Keith #Richards #car #police #stopped #god #guy