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New book captures photographer's life with Ringo Starr

"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 book, A Dose of Rock 'n' Roll.

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. It will debut at The Fest for Beatles Fans 2008 at the Meadowlands Hotel in Secaucus, New Jersey from March 28-30, 2008. The author will be on hand at the hotel to autograph books on Friday, 5pm-midnight; Saturday, noon-midnight; and Sunday, noon-10:30 pm. A regular edition will be released in June, 2008 for $39. ISBN # 978-1-85443-235-3.

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.

Published March 11, 2008

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