Shippensburg photographer's work appears on newly released Jeff Beck CD

SHIPPENSBURG >> Daryl Bughman's life has had its share of ups and downs, but these days he's adding more positives than negatives to the ledger. When the Shippensburg native learned that two of his photos were selected to appear on Jeff Beck's newest CD "Live+," released May 19, he had reason to celebrate.

Fans throughout the world view Geoffrey Arnold "Jeff" Beck as a guitar virtuoso who gained international fame after joining the Yardbirds. The talented musician went on to form The Jeff Beck Group, whose members included Rod Stewart and Ron Wood.

Later, "Rolling Stone" magazine ranked him number five on their list of the top 100 guitarists of all time.

So how did a Shippensburg native land a gig shooting Beck and then proceed to have his photos selected to appear on a newly release CD?

Bughman describes a circuitous route where, in the end, all the pieces fell into place.

His early years

Back in the 1960s, Bughman pursued his passion for playing drums.

"I made a living at it and played in several bands," said Bughman, describing his days at the Cheetah Club in New York, where he played with headliners like Larry Davis and the Marvelles, and opened for The Temptations, The Four Tops and Sam and Dave. His career thrived until 1975, when he turned his attention to alcohol and drugs.

"I then did things like managing bands and concert promotions — things that didn't require me to appear on stage," said Bughman, who, moved around a lot during that period. "I was what you call a 'geographic drunk,' which means that when I'd wear out my welcome, I'd move somewhere else."

A fortuitous encounter

Bughman's travels eventually landed him in Nashville, which led him to a fortuitous encounter with Jimmy Hall, lead singer of Wet Willie. The band is best known for the hit, "Keep on Smilin'," which reached number 10 on the Billboard Chart in August 1974.

"He had another hit band called 'The Prisoners of Love,' and I shot some videos of him. He's worked with Gregg Allman and countless others throughout the years and we became close friends. His wife, Karen, works in Nashville with drug addicts and alcoholics and so he understood my issue," said Bughman.

Getting clean

Bughman eventually decided it was time to clean up his act, choosing March 7, 1993, as the day to turn his life around. "I have been clean and sober since," said Bughman.

Life didn't suddenly turn into a cakewalk after Bughman made the fateful decision. He found odd jobs to pay the bills, but he was once again adrift, without a clear vision. "I still couldn't figure out what I wanted to do. My priority was to stay sober," he said.

And then, like the Hall encounter, serendipity stepped in. Bughman's mother-in-law gave him her 35 mm camera and that started the ball rolling. "I started taking pictures as a hobby in Fort Worth and in Vegas before returning home to Pennsylvania."

Shooting the Beck concert

ZZ Top was to appear with Jeff Beck at Harrah's Resort last summer in Atlantic City, but plans came to a screeching halt when a ZZ Top member fell and broke a hip. Beck decided that the show must go on and appeared anyway, after offering a refund to those who decided to opt out.

Jimmy Hall then called Bughman and asked if he'd be willing to shoot the Beck show; the rest is history.

"I shot it, edited the pictures and sent the good ones to Jimmy in Nashville. When he found out there was going to be another tour in the spring, he advised me to send them to their management in the UK," said Bughman, who sent a total of 140 pictures and received an email receipt.

And that was the end of that, or so Bughman thought; that is, until he received another email two weeks later.

"Rhino records said they selected two of my pictures that Jeff liked and they made me an offer. I didn't have an idea at the time how the pictures would be used, until a friend of mine told me I got the back cover and a full page on the opposite side of the front cover," said Bughman.

Pursuing his passion

Spurred on by his success in photography, Bughman is, once again, pursuing his passion. "I do a tremendous amount of boxing coverage and NCAA football and I'm shooting two concerts this summer," said Bughman, whose goal is to make a full-time income in photography.

"What I like about getting my photos on the Beck CD is that it's timeless. You can sell a picture to a magazine, or a website and it's here today and gone tomorrow. That CD will be sold forever. I got very lucky and have to thank Jimmy for that.

As my second sponsor used to say, 'You're always where you're supposed to be.'"

To see more of Bughman's work, visit darylbughmanphotography.com.

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