Hi, my name is… David M. Spindel.
I’ve lived in North Phoenix for 17 years and I love it because… the people here are so friendly and down to earth, and the weather is so conducive to creating beautiful photographs. I’ve been a commercial still-life, advertising, and celebrity portrait photographer since 1964 and, before moving to North Phoenix, most of the “magic” took place in my New York City studio for thirty years. (You can see my work at spindelvisions.com.)
A typical day in my life includes… working on numerous book compilation projects of my photography. I’m currently editing three unique books. One contains the photographs I took of John Lennon and Yoko Ono, who I was fortunate to know and photograph, at what is believed to be the last recording session of their Double Fantasy album.
The second book contains photographs and products I created for the New York Yankees, MLB, and other major league teams over a 25-year span. How lucky can a guy be to have been buddies with these baseball icons? Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle, Yogi Berra, Whitey Ford, Phil Rizzuto, Duke Snider, Willie Mays, Ralph Branca, Bobby Thomson and Joe Garagiola are all icons of the game I was able to call friends. When asked about these special relationships, I’ve always said that I felt (and still feel) like I’m “a kid in a candy store,” which is a part of the third book’s title that I’m seeking a publisher for: “Just A Kid in The Candy Store of Life.” It contains my introspective celebrity studio portraits of the “precious people” I’ve cultivated very special relationships with and the funny and serendipitous “small world” stories that are connected to how I met them and the other entertaining experiences we’ve had over the course of our friendships. I also have special friendships with Kate Hepburn, Bette Davis, Eli Wallach, Jerry Stiller, and Douglas Fairbanks Jr., and Vincent Price.
Outside of my books, I can be found preparing photography files for special projects such as exclusive auctions, interviews for TV specials, news features, and magazines, enjoying time with my wife and dog, and helping my wife get things off the top shelf in the kitchen.
My family… consists of my wife Barbara, who I met in college. We convinced our daughter Joyce Rockwood to move here from L.A. She’s a gut health and detoxification expert and health coach. Our son, Jeff, lives in New York with his wife Caroline and their two dogs. He’s the director of an art program for a group of seniors and young adults with disabilities, co-owner of a new and thriving music shop, a musician, and his original paintings are displayed in galleries and available for private sale. I was the second born of four children and have two remaining sisters on the East Coast.
I cannot live without… re-runs of my favorite shows! My top favorite is The Rifleman with Chuck Connors. My wife and I were friends with Chuck for many years. We stayed at his ranch in Tehachapi, California when I was working on one of my baseball books. Other favorites are Perry Manson, Matlock, Quincy, and Columbo!
The perfect day would be…sitting in our backyard with my wife, and dog Sasha (on my lap), relaxing, and smelling the fresh air. Added perfection: taking a long drive with my wife to see the picturesque scenic beauty of this area and other more distant places such as Bryce Canyon, Monument Valley, and Sedona.
My favorite local business to visit is… my local Ace Hardware store. The employees are very friendly and courteous.
My life… is active. When people find out I’m 80 they say, “Aren’t you supposed to be retired?” I just tell them, “Nope.” The only “re” I know is “re-location,” which I did when I moved with my wife, Barbara, from New York to Anthem. Creative people don’t stop doing what they love to do.
The best piece of advice I’ve ever received… was from my parents who shared with me, “Treat people the way you want them to treat you.” If more people took this approach for how they treat others, I believe the world would be an even much more peaceful and harmonious place for us all in which to live.
Photos courtesy of David M. Spindel.