2007, I hardly knew ye (originally posted 12/24/07)

One week left in 2007, and what a year this has been for me. Quite the rollercoaster ride.

Even as a child, I was obsessed with photography, and with my love
of music, dreamed of being a photographer for Rolling Stone. But as far
too many of us know, we often get sidetracked from those dreams, and
I’m sorry to say, I have not been an exception.

I almost found my calling when I got involved in photojournalism
back in the 80s, but that was definitely not a kind field for women
back in those days, to say the least. (Maybe still isn’t, for all I
know.) Without dredging all the details of that up, let’s just say I
became very disillusioned with the newspaper business and tried
corporate PR.

Definitely not the right fit.

After a convoluted path that lead me through nursing school, I hit
that classic wake up call that eventually gets us all – the ol’ midlife
crisis. That was 2006, and I bought my first — and only — digital
camera. I started shooting local bands, which was very hard to begin
with, to say the least. Here I was, the poster child for Social Anxiety
Disorder, and old enough to be the mother of most of the bands and
fans…I felt like an idiot out there. The fact that I kept going out
and shooting, despite my discomfort, is a testament to how much I
loved…love…the photography and the music.

This year in particular has been full of highs and lows more than
any other year of my life. I had the first thrill of seeing my photos
in a cd, as a poster and on a t-shirt. (I still get giddy like a little
kid when I see my work used.) I had my first major magazine credit in
Girls and Corpses magazine. This year will see my first cd covers
(Koffin Kats and Stitch Hopeless and the Sea Legs so far.) I’ve met
great people and people who weren’t so great, but the former far
outnumbered the latter, I’m happy to say. I’ve "partied with rock
stars" and discovered said "rock stars" are just real people like you
and me. Sometimes better, sometimes worse, and just as human.

I also damn near imploded here the last few weeks and nearly blew it
all by attacking those closest to me  during my Annual Holiday Blues
Meltdown ™. I’m damn lucky — and grateful — that they have
weathered the storm I created, and I’ve taken that wake up call to
heart. There are a lot of people in the music biz — and any biz —
that will use you and exploit you for their gain. But there are a lot
of good people, too. People that are friends and have your back. And
for them, I am eternally grateful.

What a long, strange trip this year has been, and I can only hope
that 2008 continues the highs, but with a hell of a lot less lows.
Having said that, I have my work cut out for me to top 2007. There are
so many things I could count as favorite moments of 2007, but I think
the winner is clear, hands down.

Seeing the Koffin Kats naked. Definitely. How the hell am I going to top that this year?


Photo of the Day – Glass Heroes


Not too much to say about this one, except it’s one of my favorites
of the band. One of my favorites, period. These guys are pillars of the
Phoenix punk community and have been around a long time. They put on
the annual Joe Strummer benefit here each year, which is happening Dec
27 at the Rhythm Room. They are also getting ready to release a new
album, with some photos by yours truly.

Check out the new music and details about the Strummer benefit at their website.

Photo of the Day — The F-Holes


The F-Holes are based in Flagstaff and Chris, pictured above, is
about the nicest guy on the planet. When there’s a show in Flagstaff,
the bands always have a floor to crash on and beer to drink, and he
always invites the rest of us along, too. As a bonus, you are
guaranteed a rowdy crowd, as their other specialty, besides music, is
"f-ing" shit up in the pit. But that will be an upcoming post for The
Gag Reel.

Several, actually.

These guys have been opening for a lot of bands like the Koffin
Kats, Three Bad Jacks…and pretty much anyone who comes through
Flagstaff. (Hopefully Tiger Army?) They are definitely a band to watch,
and listen to.

Photo of the Day


This is Luis — those Dollyrots are nice kids. You really should go check them out when they come through town.

Zombie Ghost Train at Club Red, 2007


Captain Reckless and Stu Arkoff at Club Red, Tempe Arizona, 2007.

I always have a dilemma when I shoot — the question of color vs
black and white. I started out shooting black and white, processing and
printing everything the old fashioned way, and that sort of stuck with
me. Plus I developed a love for the great documentary photographers,
such as Henri Cartier-Bresson, Robert Frank, Diane Arbus, James
Nachtwey…an image in black and white has such a timeless quality to

And yet, when people wear vibrant red coats like Stu’s that night,
or when I have beautiful colored stage lighting, I get a little
intoxicated in all that color. But I eventually go back to my roots.

I had Vic Victor put in a word with Stu about shooting some stuff
for Zombie Ghost Train, when they played together shortly after the KK
naked shoot for Girls and Corpses and shortly before this show. So Stu
calls me to chat about doing photos, and asks me, "we don’t have to
take our clothes off, do we?"

I’m never gonna live that shoot down.

Stu and Reckless trade a lot of banter on stage, and they are one of
the funniest bands to catch live. Also of note: Stu has quite a hard
time keeping his tongue in his mouth, as anyone who has seen photos of
him can attest to. And Reckless is one of the fastest damn bass players
I have ever seen.