TIR 106: Talamon Tells How He Brought Funk & Soul Into Sharp Focus


Brought to you by FUNKNSTUFF.NET and hosted by Scott Goldfine — musicologist and author of “Everything Is on THE ONE: The First Guide of Funk” ― “TRUTH IN RHYTHM” is the interview show that gets DEEP into the pocket with contemporary music’s foremost masters of the groove.

Featured in TIR Episode 106 (2 parts): The first photographer to ever appear on TRUTH IN RHYTHM — Bruce Talamon — one of the most important shooters of African-American music stars. From 1972 to 1982 he compiled thousands of great photos working for SOUL Newspaper and as a contractor for record labels and musical acts. He went on to shoot stills for several top TV shows and feature films, as well as Time Magazine, and released a Bob Marley book.

However, 2018’s Soul, R&B, Funk, Photographs 1972–1982 — a heavy, oversized 376-page coffee table book — has set a new standard for capturing the visual side of that amazing period of music making and legendary artists. It is especially heavy on Parliament-Funkadelic and Bootsy; Stevie Wonder, who graces the cover; Chaka Khan; Marvin Gaye; Donna Summer; Earth, Wind and Fire, who Talamon toured the world with; Aretha Franklin; James Brown; and historic events like the Funk Fest at L.A.’s Memorial Coliseum. Many of the photos had never been seen before. The book is a breathtaking landmark.

Here, Talamon reflects on his photographic journey and the magnitude of his work, with lots of stories about working with music’s magicians in between. Journey back to a time when funk and soul performers were larger than life, a time when there was no Internet or smartphone cameras, to when Bruce Talamon’s lens was one of the only lights shining on music royalty, preserving their grandeur for generations to come.



Scott Goldfine

As a fervid lifelong music & film enthusiast / student, I grew up in and around the Los Angeles entertainment industry. I have worked and held many positions in various media realms, since 1998 serving as Editor-in-Chief and now Associate Publisher for Security Sales & Integration, a trade publication serving the electronic security industry. I love several genres of music & film. The former includes funk (Parliament-Funkadelic, Prince, Ohio Players, etc.); blues (Stevie Ray Vaughan, Buddy Guy, Eric Gales, etc.); rock (Jack White, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Neil Young, etc.); hard rock (AC/DC, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, etc.); jazz (Herbie Hancock, Bob James, Crusaders, etc.); R&B (Stevie Wonder, Chaka Khan, Gil Scott-Heron, etc.); and more. I was a club disc jockey and ran a mobile DJ company (Musical Moods) for more than 15 years, which is where the name Dr. GX originates (Doctor Good Times). Fave film genres include horror (Dawn of the Dead, Evil Dead, Nightmare on Elm Street, etc.); science fiction (Aliens, Terminator, 2001, etc.); action (Warriors, Road Warrior, Die Hard); westerns (Outlaw Josey Wales, Showdown at OK Corral; Wild Bunch, etc.); suspense (Jaws, Inception, Silence of the Lambs, etc.); drama (Apocalypse Now, Goodfellas, Pulp Fiction, etc.); and comedies (Life of Brian, Superbad, Ruthless People, etc.). I have attended many hundreds of concerts and movies (in theaters or screenings). I may as well also throw in a few favorite TV shows to give an even broader taste of my sensibilities. A handful would be Breaking Bad, Walking Dead, Lost, Justified, Fargo, Seinfeld, Sopranos, South Park, Brooklyn Nine Nine, Key & Peele, Monty Python, Inside Amy Schumer, Louie, Modern Family, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Last Man on Earth, Bob Newhart Show, All in the Family and The Office. Fave authors are Stephen King, Clive Barker and Michael Crichton. I am also a big sports fan and lifelong supporter of the Dallas Cowboys (NFL), Los Angeles Lakers (NBA) and Pittsburgh Pirates (MLB). Also enjoy my family of course, electronics/computers/AV gear, and animals, nature and outdoor activities. Graduate of Santa Monica High School, Santa Monica College and California State University Northridge (Radio-TV-Film, Psychology minor). Also studied at UCLA for kinesiology/psychology and earned post-grad Certificate in Accounting from Santa Monica College. Present main occupation is as Associate Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Security Sales & Integration (SSI), which I joined in 1998. I am responsible for overseeing all editorial content in print. online, electronic, in-person and any other media or products for the electronic security industry's leading business-to-business trade publication. SSI is part of Framingham, Mass.-based Emerald Expositions.