4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

Sprucing up the Arena — that's a wrap

Valley View spruced up its walls with arena history — in vinyl.
Valley View spruced up its walls with arena history — in vinyl.

“They wanted Eric Clapton from the ’70s, and they wanted the Who, and they wanted Led Zeppelin,” says photographer Rick Gould. In recent months, Valley View Casino Center management has been sprucing up the interior walls with a series of floor-to-ceiling vinyl wall-wraps made by enlarging vintage concert and sporting-event photos. Gould was one of the local music photographers they tapped for images.

Place

Pechanga Arena San Diego

3500 Sports Arena Boulevard, San Diego

“The irony of the whole thing is that, back then,” he laughs, “they didn’t even want to let me in.” The Vista photographer has been shooting rock concerts since his teens. He remembers being told to wait outside the Sports Arena’s rear stage door, not unlike the child reporter in the film Almost Famous. Quite often, he says, entry was denied. “Now that they want those images, they probably wish they’d given me better access.”

Gould says that the now life-size Clapton/Santana shot on the wall was taken by a fellow photographer named Ralph Hulett and was actually shot from the general admission seats. “Back then, security would let you come in [the front door] with a 35mm camera, but no telephoto lenses were allowed. You’d sneak them in your pants and hope not to get patted down.” In the ’70s, he says, the photo pass had not yet been conceived. “If you had a sticker that said you were with the band, you could shoot anything.”

Ernie Hahn has been the arena’s general manager for 17 of his 22-year involvement with the facility. He says he conceived the project and that, from start to finish, it has taken almost a year and a half to complete.

“There’s nothing cooler than vintage concert shots, especially when they are from your own building.” Hahn calls the venture a means of “putting a flip on the Sports Arena being called ‘old.’ ” He says he wants visitors to understand the significance of the 46-year-old building. “Most San Diegans saw their first concert here. And they can tell you who it was and when it was.”

Hahn curated the images from a wish list of concerts that he compiled in part with the aid of a hometown concert history published in the Reader by Jay Allen Sanford. Hahn also spent a lot of time in the archives of the San Diego History Center. “The deeper I dug, the more excited I got.” But he wasn’t able to get everything he wanted.

“The images I would love to find,” Hahn says, “are Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin from 1969 or 1971.”

Gould explains that concert photos from that era are surprisingly rare. Why? The expense: today’s digital photography is essentially free, he says, “but back then, you had to be willing to spend as much as $300 per show on film and developing.”

The high-definition vinyl wraps cost more than $50,000 to produce, but Hahn considers it money well spent. “It almost seems like you’re making it up when you talk about it, but you’re not. All those concerts?” he says. “They really happened here.”

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

Acoustic entertainment and catered meals

Cathyrn Beeks, The Lyrical Groove, Ed Kornhauser, Tori Roze, Black Market III
Next Article

Mic’d singing not for me

No fault with the San Diego Opera whatsoever
Valley View spruced up its walls with arena history — in vinyl.
Valley View spruced up its walls with arena history — in vinyl.

“They wanted Eric Clapton from the ’70s, and they wanted the Who, and they wanted Led Zeppelin,” says photographer Rick Gould. In recent months, Valley View Casino Center management has been sprucing up the interior walls with a series of floor-to-ceiling vinyl wall-wraps made by enlarging vintage concert and sporting-event photos. Gould was one of the local music photographers they tapped for images.

Place

Pechanga Arena San Diego

3500 Sports Arena Boulevard, San Diego

“The irony of the whole thing is that, back then,” he laughs, “they didn’t even want to let me in.” The Vista photographer has been shooting rock concerts since his teens. He remembers being told to wait outside the Sports Arena’s rear stage door, not unlike the child reporter in the film Almost Famous. Quite often, he says, entry was denied. “Now that they want those images, they probably wish they’d given me better access.”

Gould says that the now life-size Clapton/Santana shot on the wall was taken by a fellow photographer named Ralph Hulett and was actually shot from the general admission seats. “Back then, security would let you come in [the front door] with a 35mm camera, but no telephoto lenses were allowed. You’d sneak them in your pants and hope not to get patted down.” In the ’70s, he says, the photo pass had not yet been conceived. “If you had a sticker that said you were with the band, you could shoot anything.”

Ernie Hahn has been the arena’s general manager for 17 of his 22-year involvement with the facility. He says he conceived the project and that, from start to finish, it has taken almost a year and a half to complete.

“There’s nothing cooler than vintage concert shots, especially when they are from your own building.” Hahn calls the venture a means of “putting a flip on the Sports Arena being called ‘old.’ ” He says he wants visitors to understand the significance of the 46-year-old building. “Most San Diegans saw their first concert here. And they can tell you who it was and when it was.”

Hahn curated the images from a wish list of concerts that he compiled in part with the aid of a hometown concert history published in the Reader by Jay Allen Sanford. Hahn also spent a lot of time in the archives of the San Diego History Center. “The deeper I dug, the more excited I got.” But he wasn’t able to get everything he wanted.

“The images I would love to find,” Hahn says, “are Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin from 1969 or 1971.”

Gould explains that concert photos from that era are surprisingly rare. Why? The expense: today’s digital photography is essentially free, he says, “but back then, you had to be willing to spend as much as $300 per show on film and developing.”

The high-definition vinyl wraps cost more than $50,000 to produce, but Hahn considers it money well spent. “It almost seems like you’re making it up when you talk about it, but you’re not. All those concerts?” he says. “They really happened here.”

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

San Diego Unified announces plan to judge winners of athletic contests based on “mastery” instead of scores

Point(s) Taken
Next Article

McDonald’s sauce gun trivia

At what point does quirky hipster knowledge become so obscure its essentially useless?
Comments
2

Great to see such an important local concert venue paying tribute to their own stellar history with such great wall art!

Dec. 19, 2012

Note to Ernie Hahn--you want to understand the significance of the 46 year-old building? Originally, it was built for ice hockey. That's the main reason it was built--the San Diego International Sports Arena, built for the San Diego Gulls. Get a hockey team back in the building.

Dec. 21, 2012

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Art Reviews — W.S. Di Piero's eye on exhibits Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Best Buys — San Diego shopping Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits City Lights — News and politics Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Famous Former Neighbors — Next-door celebs Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Here's the Deal — Chad Deal's watering holes Just Announced — The scoop on shows Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Of Note — Concert picks Out & About — What's Happening Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Pour Over — Grab a cup Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Set 'em Up Joe — Bartenders' drink recipes Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Sports — Athletics without gush Street Style — San Diego streets have style Suit Up — Fashion tips for dudes Theater Reviews — Local productions Theater antireviews — Narrow your search Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Waterfront — All things ocean Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close