This is a blast from the past! My first promo shoot, with The Limit
Club. Like most of my first bands, the lineup has changed since then
(new drummer,) but this one will always have sentimental value. I’d
scouted this great location, and did some test shots with beautiful
sunlight on the church, turning the sky almost black and the white
church practically glowing.
But of course, it was rainy and overcast THAT day. Here in "The Valley of the Sun."
One the things I’ve always done is push myself out of my comfort
zone, again and again. I had no idea how to do a promo shoot, or direct
people — especially people I really didn’t know at the time — but I
just sort of…did it anyway.
Glad it wasn’t too much of a disaster. Aspiring photographers: make
sure you pick good subjects. They’ll save your ass and occasionally
make you look good.
"The Gag Reel" is going to be a new category of outtakes and behind
the scenes shots, and will go up…whenever I feel like it. And have
And oh LORD do I have material from Sunday night. And some of it I can even show in public. 😉
We went to the Kats’ hotel after the last stop on the
Nekromantix/Koffin Kats/Chop Tops tour. Several locals in attendance,
including Johnny from Stitch Hopeless and the Sea Legs, and their
manager, who graciously hosted all of us drunken buffoons; Nick and
Juan from the Limit Club; and Paul Roman from The Quakes. Sinner from
the Chop Tops popped in for a bit, and of course, the Koffin Kats and
their road guys Joey and Michael (E-Ball Walls little bro.)
Let me explain what I didn’t know before this. We had a band in
Tucson named the Demon City Wreckers, whose singer, Jason Blood, passed
away about a year ago. Apparently one of the ways the boys pay tribute
to him (and there are many) is to drop their pants? I don’t know why,
as I never met the man — DCW were on my list of bands to see…but I
never made it in time. But suffice it to say there’s a hella lot of
love for the guy around these parts. And that it is often expressed in
very strange ways still a mystery to me.
So, here are a few of my favorites of the night:
Oops…just realized Tommy was sort of exposing himself in the deleted photo. My bad.
A few observations:
This was just wrong. You have a beautiful girl on the bed, posing
provocatively, and the boys are…horsing around, oblivious.
Guys…what’s up with that?
Vic was really impressed with the strength of the guy lifting him. None of the rest of us were.
Every time I get out my camera, someone in the Koffin Kats starts taking clothes off.
And I think we know the REAL reason Vic likes to head butt things
and make himself bleed — chicks dig it. And he digs that they dig it,
from the look on his face.
Here in Phoenix, not only are we lucky enough to have The Quakes
come through on their rare tours, but to have Paul Roman as a resident.
That means seeing him at pretty much all the local psychobilly shows.
He comes out to hear — and support — all the local and national
psycho acts coming through, and we had a brief discussion last night
about how many people came out for the Nekromantix…that we never see
at the other shows.
For those who love bigger bands like the Nekromantix, and only go to those shows, remember this:
At one time, those big bands were little unknowns, playing shitty
dive bars for a handful of people. But somewhere along the line, they
must have found a group of people who came out to see unknowns, liked
what they heard, and supported them through the tough years.
This is important people — you MUST come out and
support the smaller acts. Without doing that, there will be no new
bands you like. Without the diehard local supporters, there would be no
Nekromantix, or Tiger Army, or whoever the hell you like. And think
about this: think about what it would have been like to discover a band
like the Nekromantix or Tiger Army before anyone else really did. To be
able to see new bands and get to know them in intimate venues, and
follow them through their rise to a national audience.
Support your local music scene. Or it will die, along with the next…[insert name of your favorite band.]
For those of you who think that being a rock and roll photographer
is "glamorous," let me tell you a little story…a story about the Mad
Sin show. Not that it was that much different than any other, but
somewhat more… intense. And lengthier.
We had a lineup of what, about 8 bands? Now, this is a small venue,
and they did set up a barrier because it was an all ages show, and they
needed the barrier for the bands to have beer on stage. The width of
the distance between said barrier and the stage was about, oh, foot and
a half…two feet, tops. Those who know me know I’m kind of a big gal.
Of course, I could stretch a bit between sets, but I spent the better
part of 6 or 7 hours crammed in that space, sitting on the floor so as
not to block fans’ view as the stage is really only a slightly raised
platform. If I put my feet under the rails, they got trampled, so I was
sort of twisted up like a pretzel trying to shoot, or on my knees.
(This is why I now own a pair of kneepads.)
Also remember we are talking about Phoenix. And a whole lotta people
packed in a tiny bar. It was HOT. I was sweating so much, that it was
rolling down my back most of the show. I ended up getting so
dehydrated, that the next day I felt like I had a hangover, but without
the benefit and fun of getting drunk.
On top of the that, the always rowdy Phoenix crowd was in rare form
for Mad Sin, and the whole damn venue was the "pit." When I’m shooting,
I get into a sort of weird, zen-like state, and was only vaguely aware
of getting kicked and a few people kind of…falling on my head. But
apparently it looked a lot worse to some of the fans. A few people I
know were like, "Di! You’re fucking amazing! People are falling on you,
and you just brush them off and keep shooting!"
So I’m down in front, sweating like a pig, getting kicked in the
head, and then the band decides to throw confetti glitter. Please note:
Glitter really sticks to sweaty bodies. Someone told me afterward I
looked like I had been to a David Bowie concert, but I think the people
at the Jack in the Box drive-thru afterward really enjoyed my new look.
Think a big vanilla ice cream cone with multicolored sprinkles. A big
wilted one, after sweating for about 6 hours.
BTW…colored glitter stains you skin. Bad.
And oh yes, my knees hurt afterward for a week.
I’m going to try to start putting more previously unposted photos up
here from shows, and this is one of locals Creepsville 666 when they
opened for the Nekromantix here in Phoenix Dec 16 at The Clubhouse.
When I first saw this band about a year and a half ago, they had a
very different line-up, with a different bass player and one less
guitarist. But Dez Cadaver left the Grave Slaves and joined the band,
and they’ve been sort of clawing their way up the ladder since.
One of the most interesting things I’ve discovered in the
psychobilly scene is how many people grew up with the same records I
did. When I first went to Geno’s myspace (pictured above) I was quite
shocked that his profile song for that particular day was Marty
Robbins’ "El Paso." I grew up on Marty Robbins, Waylon Jennings, Johnny
Cash…all the old country stars. And Elvis, of course. (Can’t forget
my mother’s Sun label Elvis singles.)
I can’t always hear those influences in most psychobilly, but I
guess they are sort of an underlying framework for the music for many
people I run into these days. Shortly after discovering Geno is a huge
Marty Robbins fan, The Chop Tops were playing here in Phoenix for the
Mad Sin show, and Sinner mentioned Marty Robbins, too. Small world. Who
What is even weirder to me is how much I "hated" my mother’s music
then, and how much I love it now. It’s a shame she’s not here to share
it, because maybe we would have finally found some common ground.