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Photographer captures celebrity snapshots
By Bruce Fessier

  For a former public relations guy, Hal Sloane has an odd aversion to posed photographs.
  That's why the Palm Springs resident's first book of photographs, at age 83, is titled "Mostly Off-Guard: Photos by Hal Sloane, Four Decades of Compelling Images."
  The book is on sale at the Peppertree Bookstore in Palm Springs and through his Web site at www.halsloane.com.
  A hard cover book will be sold in limited editions in art galleries and he's just starting to market the soft cover nationally.
  He'll talk about it at 5:30 p.m.

today at the UC Riverside, Palm Desert Theater in a free "Conversation With Prof. Tom Lutz," the UCR Palm Desert MFA program director.
  He'll discuss another time of his life at 7:30 a.m., Nov. 28, at a Distinguished Flying Cross Desert Flyers Command gathering at the Hyatt Grand Champions Conference Center in Indian Wells.
  During World War II Sloane flew missions over Europe as a Lieutenant in the Army Air Corp, serving as a Navigator on a B-17.
  Sloane, who attended UCLA before entering service and Columbia University after the war, has been a publisher, exposition producer, music promoter and production stage manager, besides being a publicist.
  He said he got into photography by accident.
  "I actually started by carrying a camera with me to more or less chronicle what I was doing," he said. "I spent years doing youth expositions. The biggest was at the Hollywood Palladium. We took over for 10 days and attracted hundreds of thousands of teenagers."
  The Beatles were in Minneapolis on their second American tour and, being in the same city producing a youth exposition, he was invited to the press conference and the photos he took of them became valuable.
  By the time he took his only two pictures in the Coachella Valley for the book in 2006, candids of Diana Ross and the
quartet of Jerry Vale, Mimi Hines, Christine Andreas and Andy Williams, he had a collection that was book worthy, as the photos on this page reveal.

Liza Minnelli
  This looks like a studio portrait, but Sloane never ever took a studio shot. Liza was speaking at a charity fundraiser in Beverly Hills in 1990. She was in a spotlight and there was nothing behind her, making this look like a studio portrait. Liza performs Nov. 29 at the McCallum Theatre.

Itzhak Rabin
  The late Israeli prime minister was attending a conference in Los Angeles in 1979 and Sloane was invited to photograph him in his hotel room. Rabin came out of the bathroom with a small bandage over his lip after cutting himself shaving. Sloane asked, "Do you want to remove that?" He said it was a testament to his guilelessness that Rabin responded, "Nah, go ahead."
The Beatles
Sloane produced a youth exposition in Minneapolis in 1965 sponsored by a local radio station. The station invited him to The Beatles' press conference and no one stopped him from taking their picture.

Ronald Reagan
White House correspondent Trude Feldman asked Sloane to photograph the former President during her interview with him at his Century City office in 1994. He lost his black-and-white shots because the film didn't engage the sprockets in his camera. But the color shots came out fine.

George Burns
Sloane was invited to a photo opportunity for Burns' 100th birthday celebration at the Century Plaza Hotel in 1999. But Sloane doesn't like posed portraits, so he took this picture as the stars were setting up for their portrait. Sloane's only problem with it is he doesn't know who a man in the back row is. The women around Burns in the photo which appears in the book are Sharon Fuller, Betty White, Carol Channing, Rhonda Fleming and Eydie Gorme. The men are Steve Allen, Monty Hall, the mystery man, Steve Lawrence, Alan King and Jan Murray. If anyone knows the mystery man's identity, please leave a comment on mydesert.com.

These images appear in Sloane's book "Mostly Off-Guard."
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