The goal probably seemed simple enough to a young Darren Balch. "I wanted to photograph every major rock band in the world."
Never mind that he lived in rural Eastern Washington, about as far as you could get from the glitzy rock capitals of L.A. and New York without actually leaving the country. Never mind that he had no formal training, no bankroll and no connection to the Byzantine and bizarre concert world.
Photographing 444 bands and hundreds of shows, damned if Darren didn't do exactly what he set out to do.
Over two decades he shot Van Halen, Nirvana, James Brown, Pantera, Alice in Chains, U2, The Scorpions, Robert Cray and Pearl Jam - just to name a select few. In Sacramento he photographed skinny-longhaired kids billing themselves as City Kidd. Those kids became Tesla and soon were rockin the arenas just like Darren was. In upstate New York he was elbow-to-elbow with tens of thousands of his closest friends to document Woodstock 1999.
He shot bands you've never heard of in dives you've never been to - bands like Black Happy, The Idiots, Sweaty Nipples, Charivari and Euphoria in places like The Cavern, Shakers and Outback Jacks - and he had just as much fun when he photographed bands like U2, Pink Floyd and The Rolling Stones in stadiums.
Chris Grygiel - 2007