Yesterday started off all wrong.
I slept at my lady friends place and right before I went to bed I saw a mosquito and realized I had been bitten several times. I got out of bed and killed it and then I killed two others. I figured that was all of them but I was sadly mistaken. I woke up the next morning with 15 mosquito bites all over me including three on my face.
I only had two things on my calendar yesterday… My Kickstarter for the Dinner With Igor book was ending and I had to shoot Motely Crüe’s last show in NYC later that evening. It seemed like it would be a pretty good day. I was mistaken.
Before I went back to my place I decided to walk my friends dog so I took the puppy out and managed to lock myself out of the apartment. I also left my cell phone in her apartment so I had to find a pay phone. Amazingly there was one a block away but it took all my quarters. There were two cops watching me fail and actually let me use their phone to call my friend. It’s probably the first time in my life that a cop has helped me with anything, so thanks for that NYPD! I got her on the phone but she was in meetings all day so she didn’t know if she could get me her keys.
I went back to my place and got on my old, barely functional, computer (my MacBook was also locked in her apartment) and Facebook messaged her until we came up with a plan. In exactly 30 minutes one of her co-workers would be out front and hand me the keys.
Thankfully Car2Go Brooklyn suddenly exists and my Car2Go Austin account works with them so I was able to get in a tiny Smart Car parked just down the street and drive myself (and a small dog) to my friends job in Manhattan at 4pm and manage to get there right in time, grab the keys and turnaround and drive back to Brooklyn in rush hour traffic.
I did all of this with all my camera gear on my back because I knew I had to shoot Motley Crüe later, but since I had to go all over the place I decided to only take this cheap plastic long range lens that I might have used once in the last 15 years. It’s really light and I figured it would be okay. It wasn’t.
When I finally got to Madison Square Garden I started shooting portraits of Crüe fans and then made my way to the media entrance so I could shoot Alice Cooper. I was a huge Cooper fan as a kid and I was psyched to shoot him. Unfortunately they didn’t know who I was at the media entrance. I checked my email and the publicist told me to go to will call to get my pass which seemed odd but I went. I went through the line and security and I got to will call and they told me to go back to the media entrance. When I got there they still didn’t know who I was and wouldn’t let me talk to anyone so I emailed and called the publicist twice and then texted my editor at the Voice and the woman writing the story. No one could help.
I finally got an email from the publicist and she told me to meet her back at will call… so I went through the line, and security and found her and she still didn’t have my pass. We waited around for about 25 minutes before they told me to go back to the media entrance for a third time. By now I had missed Alice Cooper’s entire set but I was finally in for Motley Crüe.
They put us so far away from stage that I knew I was in trouble. There were people standing in front of me so when the band started playing I had to climb up on a security wall and shoot from there. The stage was too dark for my shitty lens so I was shooting with a slow shutter speed and my photos were coming out blurry. I started “spraying and praying” as they say and just hopped that with the pyrotechnics and stage lights I would get lucky. I finally just switched to my real lens and got some decent wide shots. After ONE song all the photographers were kicked out and I walked away with 200 photos of the band with maybe 5 decent shots. It was probably one of my worst performances as a professional photographer and the perfect ending to a shitty day. I actually told the Village Voice that they didn’t have to pay me for the images.
But as bad as they day was, my Kickstarter made over $5700 and pretty much made the day a positive overall. I can’t wait to print this book. It should be pretty awesome.
Now click here to see 22 portraits of Motley Crüe fans and 9 mediocre photos from Motley Crüe’s last NYC show at Madison Square Garden.