I feel very lucky to have had the privilege to work with so many incredible muses. Ones who brought out the best in me. Often helping me to develop and visualize my artistic goals. No matter how awful or uneducated my ideas may have, and may still be. These people nourished whatever artistic or photographic ideas I might have had. Even comforting me when they didn’t produce the best results. As time has passed, I’ve come to realize that this kind of chemistry and artistic vision will, most likely, never happen again. Still, I remain forever grateful to have had the opportunity to explore my creative ideas and and quench the thirst that often comes with them.
Aside from music, photography has been the longest and most constant passion in my life. Over more than thirty years, countless rolls of film, and thousand and thousands of digital images, I’ve learned and decided that in the end, less is more. Instead of taking and keeping a million images I might like or look back on with lessened enthusiasm. I’d instead take, save and share the ones I carefully composed and maybe planned. Learning to shoot on manual and TV modes while arranging and carefully composing my shots has given me the knowledge and the ability to take the kind of pictures I want. Proving that you’re never too old to learn new things, and there’s always plenty of room for improvement. Therefore, keep shooting, keep learning, and aspire to shoot the pictures you always wanted to.
I recently had the opportunity and pleasure of interviewing Vision guitarist Peter Tabbot. Co-founder of the legendary hardcore band Vision. We talked about the band Vision, the death of the bands singer and close friend Dave Franklin. His contributions to the City Gardens rock – doc “Riot on the Dance Floor.” and his work as a health officer and teacher. You can read and learn more by clicking the link below.
I have a habit of overthinking. When I get something in my head or get passionate for something, I go all in. Being that I’ve suddenly decided I wanted to get back to taking pictures, (Not that I ever really stopped.) I’ve been spending a lot of time watching videos about composition, lighting and long exposures. So, as I lay in bed last night, I began to think of that box of matches we have. The ones we use to light candles when our farts are particularly foul. There I was, unable to sleep because I couldn’t stop thinking about how I wanted to capture those matches. So, after I got up this morning, showered and enjoyed my first cup of coffee, I got to work. After a few, less than satisfactory attempts, I finally captured the matches as I had imagined as I lie awake the night before.
As we sat and chatted over Summer Rolls and Rice vermicelli Rosie asked me “What do you want to do?” We had been talking about photography and marketing our work. Something I have forever struggled with. Her question was a good one and hit me like a bullet. I’ve been asked that question countless times since before I can remember. I can recall my Mother relentlessly asking me what I was going to do with the rest of my life since my Freshman year of High School. (Can you imagine the pressure?) Her question, as much as it may have rattled me was a very good one. As much as I want to emerse myself in every aspect of photography. I do need to focus on my strengths. As much as I love the idea of keeping myself busy with weddings, babies, travel and every other thing there is to photograph and inspire me. Portraiture is what I’m best at and what inspires me most. It’s where I feel I am at my very best. That’s not to say I don’t want or won’t do those other things. Just to focus on my strengths. Thanks Rosie. You finally got me to focus. Now if you can only get me to stop talking with my mouth full.
Last night me and Brian headed to New Brunswick’s Court Tavern for what would be an awesome show. Brian had called me about a week earlier with the lineup and it seemed like a can’t miss show. So last night we headed South armed with my keen sense of direction and Brian’s 20/240 eyesight. Along the way I must have missed an exit ended up a bit lost. Earlier I had scribbled the directions to the club on a piece of paper. It was pretty dark out so I handed it to Brian and said “Hey Buddy, can you read this to me?” putting the paper directly to his eye “No, don’t you know I’m fucking blind?” Until last night I didn’t know how fucking bad. Finally with the help of some Corzine campaigners we were on our way. The bar itself isn’t as much of a hole as some of my friends had described. Pretty good bar with the performance space downstairs. The doorman who was collecting the cash on the other hand was a complete asshole. The Gerrunds featuring Peter Courtner formerly of Dag Nasty opened. Really good stuff musically. This was my first time hearing them and was pretty impressed. They played a good energetic set and even closed with a Dag Nasty tune. I’ve been around a while and had the opportunity to see a lot of great bands. I’m not much for idolizing of hero worship but seeing Pete perform considering the lasting effect Dag Nasty has had on me was pretty amazing. In between sets I met a few cool people and ran into some familiar faces. Vinny from Generation Records was there and though I only know him casually from shopping there, we recognized one another. I was already in a deep photography conversation with someone I had met when Vin came over and blew my mind with some of the pictures he showed me from his recent trips to Vietnam and Cambodia. I had no idea we shared such a love for photography. He invited me to stop by the store and talk shop anytime I wanted. Next up were the great Fire Still Burns. I had just seen Alf and Nate a few nights before here in Hoboken. This was a sort of combination reunion and last show for them. Kinda sad I missed the boat on these guys. Aside from getting their “Keeping Hope Alive” disc I had never seen them live. They were without a doubt my favorite band of the night. Great songs, great energy and a responsive crowd. I kind of regret not loading up on the merchandise they had at the table. It’s always a no brainer to help support the bands you go see. I was just low on funds on this particular night. Jeff Pezzati’s (Naked Raygun) new band The Bomb followed and played a short set that seemed to end abruptly. They were okay but a little disappointing. As I said in my prior blog about Naked Raygun, Jeff looks sick and seems to have contracted Parkinson’s. Headlining the show was a band I had not scene in twenty years. I remember hearing about Vision for the first time while hanging out at a CBGB’s matinee. Dave Franklin doesn’t look or sound a whole lot different than he did those twenty years ago. Great personality, charisma and interaction with the crowd. They tore through a set of old classics that everyone seemed to sing along and dance to. To quote the man “Not too bad for a Monday night.
The old man who was pumping gas at that Hess station was without a doubt the funniest/angriest person I’ve encountered in years.
Ran into that girl I kept elbowing at the Naked Raygun show. I owe her a beer.
I run into Ted Flatus wherever I go. I’ve known the guy forever and have not once had a memorable conversation with him or cared about his band.
I think the NJ/NY Punk/Hardcore scene needs to anti up and do a James Unite needs a GPS system for his car” Benefit. I think they owe me at least that much.