Peter Simon

"I have had chronic candidiasis for over 20 years. It came on through repeated courses of antibiotics.For a few years I struggled with memory, energy, indigestion and depression before I finally self - diagnosed my condition after reading "The Yeast Connection." Since the early 90's, I have had good days followed by bad. As hard as I try to adhere to the strict diet involved, I stray either knowingly or inadvertently. Within two hours I'll know I ate something "wrong" as my stomach will gurgle and people want to leave the room for obvious reasons! The next day I'll be nauseous and lethargic and foggy brained. That may last for a few days until I get "back on track."

On my "candida days," every task seems like a major effort. I'll constantly put things of until I feel better. Then on my "good days" I'll zoom around like a lunatic to accomplish all the projects I had avoided - from taking out the garbage, weeding the garden, answering emails and returning phone calls to taking new photographs or generating a new book project. I often call off social engagements when I feel lousy, and people just think I'm hard to make plans with.

I know there are plenty of chronic illnesses that are far more debilitating than systemic candida (try multiple sclerosis, ALS, Parkinson's or fibromyalgia), but living with this illness is particularly galling because (1) Western medicine doesn't recognize it, (2) It is totally preventable in the first place, (3) It is almost impossible to cure, (4) I really miss eating so many things I used to love - such as a hot fudge sundae. Despite my constant battle with it, I have managed to live as productive a life as possible - maximizing my days of good energy, then recognizing my bad ones and just not beating myself up for feeling so unproductive. I have learned to "live with it," but it's no walk in the park for myself, friends and family.

Despite all that I have accomplished over the past 20 years, and despite a five year bout with alcoholism - partially as a result of self medicating the symptoms and giving into the cravings of the yeast within - I probably could have been 50% more successful and creative (and wealthy!). But such is the hand of cards fate has dealt me, and thus this is now the life I am forced to lead as best I can, one day at a time. "

About Peter

Peter Simon, is a nationally acclaimed photographer, photojournalist, author, music historian, and instructor who has turned his unique collection of enthusiasms into a highly entertaining and insightful career of articles, books, cd's, fine art prints, and calendars.

Over the course of his nearly 40 year career he has covered an eclectic range of subjects documenting everything from the spirit of the free love and protest-filled 1960' and the greatest names in rock 'n' roll, reggae and pop music to the scenic beauty of his beloved Martha's Vineyard, the action of major league baseball, and stunning portraits of people from the everyday to the most celebrated personalities of our time.

A rare appearance of the entire Simon siblings: Peter, Carly, Joanna and Lucy

In 2007, Peter's latest book, "Reggae Scrapbook" was published by Palace Press and has received rave reviews. In 2008, Peter, with his wife Ronni, fulfilled a decade long dream and opened up his own gallery. The Simon Gallery is now located right on Main Street in Vineyard Haven. The gallery offers an "in person" look at many of the products that are offered on his web site.

Peter and Ronni Simon

Peter and his wife Ronni at the Simon Gallery on Main Street in Vineyard Haven, at Martha's Vineyard

Peter Simon's work has been in many newspapers and magazines throughout the years, including Time, Newsweek, People, Village Voice, Atlantic Monthly, Cape Cod Life, Boston Magazine, New York Magazine, The New York Times, and Rolling Stone. A resident of Martha's Vineyard since 1973, he has been a contributing photographer for the Vineyard Gazette for twelve years, and the Martha's Vineyard Times since 1984. In 1980, he published On the Vineyard (Doubleday), which was the start of a series including On the Vineyard II (Simon Press, 1990), and On the Vineyard III (Simon Press, 2000). In addition, among the other 9 books Peter Simon has published are Decent Exposures (Wingbow Press, 1973), Carly Simon Complete (Knopf, 1975), Reggae Bloodlines ((Doubleday, 1976), Playing in the Band (St. Martin's Press, 1983) and The New York Mets: 25 Years of Baseball Magic (Henry Holt, 1987). In 2001 Little Brown published a comprehensive retrospective of his life work as a handsome coffee table book, I and Eye.

©Peter Simon

His photographs have appeared at various island galleries over the years, including On the Vineyard gallery, The Field Gallery, The Old Sculpin Gallery, and off-island, he has had one-man shows at The Nikon House and Niekrug Gallery in New York, and the Kiva Gallery in Boston. Peter's Lecture Series Today, Peter Simon is doing lectures at colleges, corporations, and various other organizations. His topic is: "Through the Lens: A Life Filled with Friendship, History, and Addiction"

Peter's Lecture Series:

"Through the Lens"

©Peter Simon

Peter Simon is now spending his time doing lectures at colleges, corporations, and various other organizations. "Through the Lens: A Life Filled with Friendship, History, and Addiction" is a personal and entertaining journey of stories and anecdotes, some photographic instruction, and a very personal account of his own ups and downs.

Peter has recently become more active as a entertaining and informative lecturer on the college and corporate circuit. His power point presentation of over 230 images covers most aspects of a 50 year career as a photojournalist. He was a major proponent and captured much of the 60's alternative hippie culture. Many of his images of the music, celebrities and the lifestyle are iconic. His subject matter also includes nude beaches, the new age spiritual scene in the 70's, reggae and Jamaica, baseball and the New York Mets, the breathtaking beauty of Martha's Vineyard, and pictures of lifestyles spun out of control by substance abuse.

Some of Peter's Photos

Reasoning with Bob Marley

Bobby and Carly, New York City, 1985

Walter Cronkite aboard the Wyntie, 1982

Jerry on the pedal steel, M.I.T., 1970

Gordon Lightfoot, in the summer of his years, Hawaii, 1972

John Kerry and Christopher Reeve in casual conversation, Boston, 1994

Keith, Mick and Peter, SNL 1979

Mike Wallace, 2003

Bob Dylan alone/together, San Francisco, 1975

Carly Simon at the Orpheum, 2005