Best Of 2016

Another year down! My photos from 2016 are properly organized and I have already moved on to 2017 although I am only a couple months in. Here is a gallery of a bunch of my favorite images from 2016 that you get to look at if you want. It’s over 200 images so it should last you a while as I travel to Ohio to take a bunch of photos of juggalos like I do every year. I will be back Sunday with far too many juggalo photos, so rejoice.

Meanwhile, let’s see how quickly I can write about an entire year worth of photos so that I can start packing for this trip. 

There are a ton of girl photos in here (even more than normal) because I had started working on my Instaxxx book towards the end of the year. There was also the release of my book Public and a topless bar crawl to promote it. Some of this girl stuff is unpublished even and I have two galleries from 2016 that still haven’t been posted. Coming soon. (One of them is already on Girls of Driven By Boredom!)

Update: I forgot to go through all the photos from my West Coast Road Trip so there’s a ton pics missing. Sorry.

One of the more impactful moments of 2016 was the night that Prince died. Spike Lee went threw a block party in his honor and I made my way to the front right as they played When Doves Cry and everyone was singing a long. It was a really amazing moment and I uploaded a video to my Instagram and somehow Good Morning America found it and bought it which made the day incredibly bittersweet. Just to keep it depressing, visiting Stonewall after the Orlando Pulse Nightclub shooting was incredibly moving for me, and the closing of the bar Jarome’s was another nail in the coffin of downtown NYC nightlife. 

Some events seem to have better photos than others: the Sailor Jerry Fleet Week party, the BBQ Films Ghostbusters party and Fool’s Gold Day Off all have more than their fair share of images in here. One of the weirder things I have covered in my life was the Kid Rock Fish Fry in Nashville (and that’s saying a lot) and even weirder news I got hired to shoot something for Teen Vogue. Oh, and I also shot a halloween party for babies. Seriously. And as always there are a ton of photos from my normal yearly gigs, AVN Awards, SXSW and of course the Gathering of the Juggalos.

Speaking of which, time to go back. See you guys in a few days.

Click here to see a bunch of my favorite photos from 2016.

Best Of 2016

Best Of 2016

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Best Of 2016

Best Of 2016

Best Of 2016

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Garthapalooza – 7.13.18

My friends at BBQ Films are back with another amazing interactive film screening. I met them years ago when I shot their Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles screening for the Village Voice. I had such an amazing time that I actually started showing up at their brainstorming sessions and helped them work on a number of screenings over the years. The entire time I’ve known them I have been trying to get them to do Wayne’s World and they finally did it! (Although I haven’t been to any of their meetings in a long time so I don’t think I had anything to do with it.)

I have a BFA in “Photography and Filmmaking” and while I focused primarily on the photography part of that, I took a ton of film classes. Pretty much every elective I took was a film history class. I loved that shit. I was a huge film nerd and when I was still living in Virginia I was taking a couple of trips a month to NYC just to watch films. One of the main reasons I moved to NYC in the first place was to watch more movies (ironically when I moved to NYC I didn’t have the time or money to keep up my cinephile ways). Essentially, I have spent most of my life as a pretentious asshole when it comes to film. I mean just look how many times I called it “film” in this paragraph. What a dick!

The point of that totally needless paragraph was to explain that despite my art house cinema pretension, my favorite movie of all time is Wayne’s World. I have loved it since I saw it in the 5th grade and I have seen it probably 100 times since. It’s the movie I have seen the most (by far) and I can quote half the movie which happens to be really annoying when watching it with me at my apartment, but really fun when you are in a music venue surrounded by a couple hundred people who are quoting every line along with you.

BBQ Films threw their Wayne’s World party, AKA Garthapalooza, at the Music Hall of Williamsburg, AKA Gasworks, in Brooklyn. They picked a musical venue because they wanted to incorporate the musical aspects of the movie into an interactive experience. They had several female fronted bands play the show before the screening and part of the profits from the event went to Willie Mae Rock Camp for Girls to help inspire a new generation of female musicians. Hit Like a Girl opened the show and were followed by Early Riser.

The interactive experience really kicked off after that with “Wayne and Garth” introducing “Crucial Taunt” aka Young Thieves who covered the Tia Carrere cover of Sweet’s Ballroom Bliz.  The Young Thieves front woman dressed like Carrere’s character Cassandra and it was amazing. They did some of their own songs as well before Wayne and Garth came back out to announce that sadly the headliner “The Shitty Beatles” had canceled. Fortunately they had a back up plan and Calico Cooper of Beasto Blanco was introduced. Calico happens to be Alice Cooper’s daughter and she performed Alice’s song from the movie Feed My Frankenstein. (Hey Stoopid by Alice Cooper was absolutely the album of the summer between 5th and 6th grade.) She didn’t have her band with her, but no matter, a mix of people from BBQ Films and Young Thieves backed her up and it was really amazing. 

After the Calico Cooper performance the movie began, but a few minutes into the movie the lights came up and the BBQ Films actors playing Wayne, Garth and their crew were sitting on the steps of the stage almost as if they were seated in a car. Young Thieves returned to the stage and the entire crowd sang along to the infamous Bohemian Rhapsody scene. The movie came back on when the Mirth Mobile stopped to pick up their drunk friend Phil (played by my buddy Mike) who if he was going to spew, had to spew into this. They all got back into their fictional car and the band picked up right in time with the movie and we finished the singalong. I actually woke up this morning with a sore neck from all the head banging I did during the climax of the Queen classic.  After that the movie played as usual with everyone in the crowd yelling along to all the classic lines. The whole BBQ Films team came on stage as the credits rolled and the night was pretty much over.

On top of all that amazingness BBQ pulled out all the stops as usual. They had a photo booth set up that looked like the Wayne’s World set and a hockey net set up with a couple of my friends playing throughout the show, occasionally yelling CAR and GAME ON as they played. They had a bunch of extra sticks so people could take shots on goal all night. There was a “roadie training” set up and VIP Passes made to look like the Alice Cooper backstage passes from the movie. They had “Glen” from Stan Mikita’s passing out donuts and you could buy Red Vines for a dollar. They even had Wane’s famous Wayne’s World hat for sale (I managed to escape wth one myself) and of course they had the whole BBQ Films crew dressed up as characters from the movie which was slightly confusing given that half the crowd came dressed up as character from the movie as well. It was all really fantastic.

I am probably forgetting some stuff but this is nearly 1000 words already and nobody has time for that. Just go look at the photos and get on the BBQ Films mailing list so you don’t miss their next interactive movie. I hear it’s going to be spooky…

Click here to see all the photos from the BBQ Films Garthapalooza screening of Wayne’s World!

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Garthapalooza

Calico Cooper

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2018 Elm St. Music Fest

Back in 2013 I photographed the very first Elm St. Music & Tattoo Fest  and had a blast covering it, so I was really excited to get invited back to the 6th annual festival in Deep Ellum, Dallas, TX. The festival is hosted by Elm St. Tattoo owner and by far the funniest judge on Ink Master, Oliver Peck and features a ton of tattoo artists and bands. Plus, it was once again sponsored by Sailor Jerry which means I got to go. 

Now I am going to tell you all about the tattooing part of the fest (and all about the Sailor Jerry meets Harley Davidson activation) tomorrow but for now I am gonna give you guys the music fest photos because it seems like it makes the most sense to break this stuff down like that, plus it’s almost midnight and I want to get something up while it’s still today!

The tattooing happened at the venue Trees, but the music all happened across the street. On Friday, Saturday and Sunday band played at Three Links and on Saturday there was a special show featuring Ben Nichols of Lucero, that was actually Lucero. Surprise! That show also featured Sadgirl and the Vandoliers. I actually missed the Vandoliers, but Sadgirl wasn’t sad or girls and they were a good time. Lucero I have seen a bunch of times and they killed it as always. Halfway through their set I jumped over to Three Links to catch former Rancid singer/guitarist Lars Frederiksen’s band Old Firm Casuals and I have been pretty much listening to nothing but Rancid’s first two albums ever since. Texas punk legends Lower Class Brats played after them and put on a hell of a show considering they’ve been around almost as long as those Rancid albums. Editors note: How the fuck did we get so old?

Jumping back to Friday night, the most unexpected band of the festival for me was Piñata Protest. I walked in to Three Links in the middle of their set and a ton of punk kids were moshing to a band fronted by a dude playing an accordion. Imagine if Weird Al was a Mexican American from a Texas border town and heard the Casualties instead of Dr. Demento. They were fucking amazing live. They opened for Riverboat Gamblers who put on a great show too, but I was expecting that. Days N’ Daze headlined and I made it about two songs into their folk punk set before bouncing. I liked some of their vocals but one of my best friends was in a pretty big folk punk band in the late 90’s/early 2000’s and I’ve just had enough of that in my life. The kids at the show were having a blast though and that’s all that matters.

The festival ended on Sunday with a couple tribute bands. The Thin White Dukes were a Bowie tribute and Whiskey Jar was doing Thin Lizzie. Olde Heavy Hands opened the show and played their own stuff. I ended up missing the Thin White Dukes because I hadn’t slept much all weekend and as has become increasingly clear in the last three paragraphs, I am old. I do love a good tribute show though (shit, I used to front a punk cover band) and I was really enjoying Whiskey Jar when I decided to go back to my hotel and edit all these photos.

Lastly, I should mention that on Saturday there was also live band punk rock karaoke at Three Links and while it was pretty fun I decided not to post any of the pictures because no one wants to look at random people reading lyrics off a music stand. 

Anyway, the music part of the Elm St. Music & Tattoo Fest was a blast and it was really awesome to see that Dallas has a punk scene. I’ve been in a couple punk bands in my time living in NYC and I was always super disappointed by the scene. There’s a lot of people my age and older that like punk and would go to shows but it didn’t seem like there were people actively involved in the culture. That doesn’t seem to be the case in Dallas and that makes me really happy.

Now click here to see the photos from the music part of the 2018 Elm St. Music & Tattoo Fest in Dallas, TX.

Elm St. Music & Tattoo Fest

Elm St. Music & Tattoo Fest

Elm St. Music & Tattoo Fest

Elm St. Music & Tattoo Fest

Elm St. Music & Tattoo Fest

Elm St. Music & Tattoo Fest

Elm St. Music & Tattoo Fest

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Best Of 2014

These “Best of” posts keep coming as I slowly get all my images organized. The 2013 best of gallery was a bit of a turning point though because at some point during 2013 I got a little more organized and so a lot of the work is already done. It goes a lot faster. I am actually done with 2016 too but I will wait to post the best of 2015 first. But, not one bit of this is interesting so let’s start talking about the reason we are here: 2014.

I think I peaked as a photographer in 2014. I lost my favorite client in the middle of 2014 over some shit that I had very little to do with, and then my life sort of detonated in 2015. I have shot a bunch of stuff that I am fairly proud of since then, but looking back at the first half of 2014 I really shot some stuff I loved. My shoot with Raven Rockette at Rock-a-Hoola and my shoot with April O’Neil and Shay Laren at Murphy’s Ranch were two of my favorite shoots of all time and they happened in the same week! 

Some other highlights of 2014 included following Hannibal Buress when he opened up for Aziz Ansari at Madison Square Garden, hanging out with Iggy Pop in Miami, and watching Joey Chestnut propose at the Coney Island hot dog eating contest. I got to shoot Motley Crue from a million miles away on their “last tour” and I got to shoot Miley Cyrus which was surprisingly enjoyable. I shot MIA and a hologram for a tequila and a ton of fun stuff for Sailor Jerry including the Sailor Jerry House at SXSW

I shot a ton of stuff for the Village Voice including two of my favorite assignments of all time, Antiques Roadshow and the Westminster Dog Show. I shot some festivals for them as well including 4 Knots, Fool’s Gold Day Off, and of course the Gathering of the Juggalos. The girl I was dating for a bunch of 2014 was a writer for the Voice and we covered a bunch of stuff together, but the one thing we did together that didn’t end up in the Voice was our trip to the Creation Museum in Kentucky. It was so fucking insane. 

I feel like I got a couple more things left to mention before I let you guys get to the 300+ photos. 2014 Art Basel was the last time I went down there after I managed to somehow lose money. It was still a great trip though and I got to see a Dolphins game so I shouldn’t complain too much. I got to shoot John Amos for an article that I don’t think ever ran, but it was great to meet a legend like that. Speaking of legends I also got to shoot Robert Rodriguez, Robert Duvall and a bunch of other actors and directors not named Robert during the SXSW Film Fest including the cast of Silicon Valley. Oh, also I should mention that I shot this Rockabilly convention in Vegas incase you are wondering what all the insane haircuts are all about. Fair warning. 

The one thing I hate about looking back on all these photos is seeing the people I will never see again. The last photo I ever took of Dust La Rock is in this gallery. My really good friend DJ Jess died three years ago this week. I feel like I don’t have a ton of photos of Spam because he was usually behind a bar working but I found a couple and included one in this gallery. My brother from another mother Denny is in this gallery too. Too many people gone.

Lastly, I  should mention that I only found one naked girl gallery I hadn’t published. That’s a good thing because I have way too many that I still need to publish. The one I did find was of a girl named Alison Faye who left the adult industry shortly after we shot and I just never got around to posting them. The set was fairly small anyway, so I just decided to upload the whole thing to Girls of Driven By Boredom so it’s there if you want to see it. 

Okay, now click here look at this massive gallery of the best photos I took in 2014.

Miley Cyrus

Westminster Dog Show

Chelsea

Diarrhea Planet @ SXSW

Alia Shawkat

Nina Hartley At The AVN Awards

Gathering Of The Juggalos

Hannibal Buress & Chris Rock

Raven Rockette

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SXSW Slugfest – 3.17.18

On the last day of South By Southwest I got to photograph a boxing match. My friend Keith Underwood is a tattoo artist and a boxer and he started a boxing promotion company called Underwood Promotions. They had this idea of doing a boxing match during SXSW called SXSW Slugfest that would feature both boxing and live music music. It worked out and became an official SXSW event taking place at the Moody Theater the home of Austin City Limits.

I know Keith because of my work with Sailor Jerry. He apprenticed under Mike Malone who worked under the Sailor Jerry himself and took over Jerry’s shop after he died. Keith has continued the legacy and we have done a bunch of tattoo events together for Sailor Jerry.  It only made sense for Sailor Jerry to sponsor the event and the tattooed ring girls wore Sailor Jerry shirts. Musically the event featured a rockabilly band called The Octanes who played before the boxing started. Between matches hip hop artists MC Doughbeezy and Young Jay performed. Zach Blair of Rise Against played the National Anthem before the main event.

As far as the boxing goes, I am just gonna post all the info from the website.  because I don’t know a goddamn thing about boxing outside of watching every movie about sports ever made. I mean, I loved Tyson back in the day but my love of boxing ended right around the time he bit Holyfield’s ear off. I do own a George Foreman grill though…

Carlos Trevino vs Manuel Rubalacava – Manny Mondragon vs Tyler Pacheco – Prisco Marquez vs Tanner Dodd  – Iskander Kharsan vs Richard Munoz

The main event was Reshard Hicks vs Adan Ahumada for the World Boxing Bureau Intercontinental Title. Check out the official results here.

Hicks pretty much destroyed Ahumada and only the first match went the distance but all of the matches were pretty entertaining. I had never photographed boxing before and honestly I had a blast. I was so close that a couple times I got hit with the ropes when the boxers would crash into them. I had some blood spatter less than two inches from my arm which was pretty great too. I mean as long as didn’t get in my face right?

I took so many damn photos and I edited them down to just over 100. I don’t think I got any shots that were the perfect boxing shot that I imagine when I think about boxing photography but I got a lot of shots I was pretty happy with. I would love to shoot more boxing. I think if I knew the sport better and had more experience shooting matches I could get pretty good at it. Sports photography in general is so specialized but with boxing you sort of have to just “spray and pray” a bit because you never know when that big punch is coming. I feel like those big moments would be a little more intuitive if I watched more boxing.

Anyway, the boxing was a blast and I hope I get to do it again. I hope you guys click through this gallery because some of this stuff is really fun.

Click here to see all the photos from Underwood Promotions: SXSW Slugfest at the Moody Theater in Austin, TX.

SXSW Slugfest

SXSW Slugfest

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Brooklyn Bowl Family Reunion

This is going to be a massive post. In one single update I am going to be posting over 400 photos from six parties over a three day period that account for nearly everything I did at South By Southwest. I thought about breaking it up with a separate update for each party or each day, but I am exhausted after a week in Austin and I have one of the biggest gigs of my week tomorrow and then I am headed out of town to see my family so I wanted to get everything up as soon as possible. So let’s break this down!

Every day from Wednesday through Friday Brooklyn Bowl threw two parties at the Scoot Inn on Austin’s east side. The parties started at 1pm and went to 1am every night. The whole event was sponsored by Harley Davidson and Sailor Jerry who just happened to be my clients for the event. Aside from photographing the bands I was on hand to photograph people getting free haircuts from local barber Teddy Sloan thanks to Sailor Jerry and free air brush tattoos from Harley Davidson. Harley also had a bunch of bikes on hand and a training bike so you could learn how to ride a Harley. I should also give a shout out to High Brew coffee who sponsored the “Roadie Lounge” which was air conditioned and had free coffee. They aren’t a client of mine but I am pretty sure I would have not survived without all that caffeine.

Now let’s go through this party by party! Day one featured the Brooklyn Bowl party during day and the This Song Is Sick party at night. R&B artist Son Little and indie/folk Hop Along were the highlights of the day party but I honestly enjoyed all of the bands. The night party was mostly DJs. The absurd Party Pupils were, if nothing else, highly entertaining. They got the crowd both dancing and laughing. Louis Futon brought out a trumpet player to play along with his DJ set and Classixx headlined with a DJ set of their own.

Day two had the Consequence of Sound party during the day and the Brooklyn Vegan showcase at night. The Consequence of Sound party was actually my favorite event even though I am not sure the bands made any sense together. A band called Hinds from Span opened up and they were on their 7th of 14 SXSW shows. That is madness and it’s the kinda thing that leads to some terrible shows, but even for a 2pm set they were really enjoyable. Even their soundcheck was fun when they started covering Beatles songs they didn’t know the lyrics to. Chicago rapper Kweku Collins played next and put on a great show, but I was just happy because he dropped his beer so I ran and got him another drink in a Sailor Jerry cup so I could get some good branded photos. Is it weird that nailing a branded shot is a highlight? Sunflower Bean were really fun to watch. It’s weird that I don’t even remember what they sounded like, but I really liked photographing them. Photography has broken my brain. Headlining was Dr. Octagon which is the alter ego of legendary rapper Kool Keith with music by legendary producer Dan the Automator and legendary DJ DJ Qbert. It was really amazing to see them all together on stage. I remember my friend Keith shoplifted Dr. Octctagonecologyst from Tower Records for me when we were in high school and I had that CD in my car for years. Also, I got a shot of Dan and Just Blaze together which was pretty iconic even if it’s just a mediocre party photo. The Brooklyn Vegan party was headlined by Ted Leo and Wye Oak but the highlight for me was this band Bully who gives me a nostalgia boner for every female fronted band I listened to in the early ’90s i.e. anything with a Deal sister in it.

Day three was all about Relix Magazine. The magazine started out many years ago as a Grateful Dead newsletter so it’s day party “Tribute to Jerry Garcia” makes a lot of sense. Aside from the bands that played, the day party featured a bunch of exclusive clips from a documentary about Willie Nelson’s roadie Ben “Lovey” Dorsey called King of The Roadies. Willie Nelson’s daughter Amy Lee Nelson co-directed the movie and was on hand to show the clips and talk about the film. There was also an auction to raise money for Live Like Lovey, a charity that helps roadies founded after the death of Ben Dorsey by the fellow roadies who took care of him late in life. The afternoon ended with the Texas Gentlemen doing a Grateful Dead cover set with a bunch of guest musicians stepping in to play. It may come as a huge shock to you guys that I am not a huge Grateful Dead fan, but I did own Skeletons from the Closet when I was 10 and I was totally singing along to about a half dozen songs.  Bonus: My friend Sam and I sang Truckin’ karaoke at a fair when we were in the 5th grade. The parties ended with another Relix event that featured Hiss Golden Messenger and headliners Okkervill River.

Okay, that’s all I got. The rest of my SXSW was spent eating BBQ & mexican food and trying to avoid going downtown. I did photograph And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead for Rolling Stone, but I didn’t take enough photos to justify a post.  The only other post I will have from SXSW is a great one and should be up tomorrow: SXSW Slugfest! Until then go look at this massive gallery from the Brooklyn Bowl Family Reunion!

Click here to see all the photos from the SXSW Brooklyn Bowl Family Reunion at Scoot Inn in Austin, TX.

Bully

Brooklyn Bowl Family Reunion

Kweku Collins

Texas Gentlemen w/ Nicole Atkins

Dan The Automator & Just Blaze

Brooklyn Bowl Family Reunion

Hiss Golden Messenger

Brooklyn Bowl Family Reunion

Hinds

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Insane Clown Posse In Brooklyn – 10.23.17

Not sure if I have mentioned this yet, but my next book is going to be photos of juggalos. I have been talking about it forever but I think it’s finally time to do it. It’s not going to happen right away or anything, my living room is still filled with boxes of books, zines and shipping supplies from my last book, but it’s going to happen sooner or later. So when I saw that the Insane Clown Posse was playing walking distance from my apartment in Brooklyn clearly I had to go.

To be honest the show was exactly what you would expect an ICP show in Bushwick to look like. It was a bunch of juggalos being gawked at by a bunch of hipsters playing juggalos for halloween. My favorite game is trying to figure out who the actual juggalos were vs. the hipsters pretending to be juggalos and usually I am pretty good at that game as one of the handful of people on earth who is both an aging hipster and down with the clown. Amazingly enough a bunch of the people I thought were fake juggalos knew a bunch of lyrics. I wonder if they listened to em when they were kids or if maybe ICP has been hated long enough that people are ironically listening to them earnestly. Or is it earnestly listening to them ironically? I am not sure either makes sense but you are going to have to deal with that.

2017 is the 20th anniversary of the album The Great Milenko. It’s the album that put ICP on the map when Hollywood Records pulled it after just a few days on the shelves. Hollywood was owned by Disney and worried parents threatened a Disney boycott over the record. Remember when parents used to worry about lyrics before you could ask Siri to see prolapse porn? (Don’t do that.) I remember Kurt Loder talking about the album on MTV News and my punk friends would be rapping the lyrics on the Metro (that’s what they call the Subway in DC for whatever reason). I ended up getting the record and a bunch of us painted our faces and went to see the Milenko tour at the 9:30 Club in DC. Somewhere there is a picture of a bunch of mohawk sporting punk kids in clown make up in my parents suburban VA driveway and to be honest I would pay a lot of money to find that photo.

By the time I went to college I had stopped listening to ICP but 20 years later somehow my life has come back to this, one of the foremost experts of juggalo anthropology, surrounded by music bloggers, everyone who has ever worked for VICE, and three different girls I met on dating apps, singing my lungs out to every word of Great Milenko.

Other things of note… RA The Rugged Man opened for them and he is really good at rapping. I got hit in the face with a full bottle of Faygo which fucking hurts. I actually was knocked unconscious by one once. I didn’t take any photos of ICP because I actually wanted to enjoy the show and this book is about juggalos, not the band. This is not the first time I have seen ICP play an album back to front. Shout out to Ouija Macc from Swag Toof for putting my bag back stage during ICP’s set. I think he opened the show. He was the first person I saw at least. It’s possible Surfbort opened because they were on the bill and were giving people clown make up during the show. I actually really want to see them now because googled them about 10 minutes ago and I’ve been listening to them since. I’ve listened to their 7″ twice now and aside from the infinitely too long Hideaway with the Pixies outro it’s pretty much exactly what I want to be listening to.

I’ve rambled enough and these photos are a day late because my server was down yesterday. Time to look at juggalo hipsters.

Click here to see the photos of Brooklyn juggalos at the Insane Clown Posse’s  Great Milenko 20th anniversary show.

Brooklyn Juggalos

Brooklyn Juggalos

Brooklyn Juggalos

Brooklyn Juggalos

Brooklyn Juggalos

Brooklyn Juggalos

Brooklyn Juggalos

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Juggalo March On Washington – 9.16.17

At 3am on Saturday I got on a train headed for DC. My band had just played and I was wired from the horrifying 5 hour energy and rum cocktail I down 20 minutes before I play a show. I didn’t sleep a wink on the train. It was 7am when I arrived. I ended up getting about 90 minutes of sleep before heading down to the Lincoln Memorial for Juggalo March on Washington.

I have been photographing juggalos since 2010 and in that time I have grown very protective of them. Juggalos are the most mocked subculture on the planet but if you spend a day with a bunch of juggalos you will come away with a completely different opinion of them. They are the nicest, most accepting, down to earth people you could possibly meet and every journalist I have met covering juggalos comes away with the exact same feeling.

So in 2011 when the FBI classified juggalos as a gang I was mystified. It made no fucking sense to me. Yeah of course some juggalos commit crimes but so do fans of every genre of music. The Insane Clown Posse is a horror movie in music form. Should we be locking up the millions of people who watched IT last weekend?

At the Gathering of the Juggalos in 2012 ICP held a talk to discuss the FBI designation. They had their lawyer come out and talk as well. They then set up an area of the festival where people could come and tell their stories about how this bullshit designation had fucked up their lives. Here’s how I covered it at the time.

Eventually the ACLU got involved and it seemed like this was such an easy to fix mistake but the mistake was never fixed. ICP had their lawsuit thrown out two times and even though they won an appeal in 2015 the lawsuit doesn’t even start until October! It’s been 6 years since this started and they still haven’t had their day in court.

When the Juggalo March on Washington was announced it was met with mostly mockery and not much else. Just a couple months ago when I was at the Gathering of the Juggalos even juggalos didn’t seem to be taking it that seriously. It was sort of an attitude of “this won’t change anything”. It wasn’t until the blog Metal Sucks wrote about the Juggalo March being held at the same time as a pro-Trump rally called the Mother of All Rallies (MOAR) that people started paying attention.

Once the Metal Sucks blog came out I saw people on Twitter making joke after joke about juggalos fighting nazis and these (truthfully hilarious) memes about some sort of progressive mob of juggalos rising up and murdering nazis with hatchets in league with Antifa. People kept Tweeting me about these things over and over because they know me as the juggalo photographer, but I wanted to take this seriously.

At the Gathering fellow juggalo journalist Camille Dodero and I were talking about how we thought leftist groups should really get behind the juggalos because it’s a civil rights issue. This FBI think is such bullshit and this feels very important even if you don’t care about juggalos. So when people started making juggalo antifa memes I figured I had to explain to my followers why juggalos were actually marching. They weren’t fighting nazis or protesting Trump… they wanted the FBI (and local law enforcement) to leave them the fuck alone.

I started a thread of Tweets that got a few likes and then nothing, but whenever I would see memes I would respond and link them to my Twitter thread. A couple days later as I was going to bed someone retweeted them, and then a few more and when I woke up my phone had exploded and thousands of people were liking and RTing them. People from both sides of the political aisle were retweeting them and it actually became an official Twitter Moment. It was pretty crazy for me, but the really surprising thing was that the responses were overwhelmingly positive.

For the first time in the history of the Insane Clown Posse people were on their side. (Side note: I am not taking credit for this, I just wanted to talk about my small part in it.) Article after article came out about ICP and editors started assigning the march to journalists. Playboy reached out to me about covering it and DCist interviewed me for a story. Former juggalo clients of mine like Vice and Rolling Stone sent teams of people instead. Time and the Guardian and the Washington Post took notice. People started paying attention to this travesty of justice.

So that brings us to the march and me on 90 minutes of sleep getting out of an Uber 100 yards from the Lincoln Memorial. I get out of the car and see hundreds of juggalos gathering around the stage set up in front of the Reflecting Pool on the Mall. The event hadn’t even started yet and there were juggalos everywhere intermingling with tourists.

But it wasn’t just tourists, there were random punk kids and a sprinkling of Antifa (I didn’t shoot them because they had journalists interviewing them at all times).  I met middle aged people wearing juggalo march shirts who didn’t know anything about juggalos but wanted to support. A big group of Democratic Socialists were out handing out flyers and Faygo Not Fascism signs. There were all sorts of people who were just there to back up the juggalo cause.

As far as the juggalos, I saw so many people I knew from Gatherings and ICP events. There were juggalos from every type of background, color and age. There were babies and old men in wheelchairs and veterans and priests and even cthulhu. I met people from all over the country and everyone was hugging everyone, meeting strangers and having a blast.

After everyone gathered in front of the Lincoln Memorial the speeches started. We heard from juggalos across the country who had their lives turned upside down from this FBI gang designation. There was woman who had lost her job as a parole officer and a woman who had been kicked out of the military. It was just story after story of completely unfair consequences all because of this absurd gang list. ICP’s lawyer spoke and read a letter from the ACLU and a bunch of my fellow juggalo journalists spoke. Camille spoke, as did Mitchell Sunderland, Nathan Rabin, Steve Miller and Scottie D. Mitchell has covered juggalos for Vice and Broadly and Nathan and Steve have both written books about juggalos. Scottie is the founder of Faygo Luvers the biggest juggalo blog on the planet and someone who has always spread the word about my juggalo photos.

Finally ICP got on stage. They gave an impassioned speech about the gang designation and brought their families and friends out. The stage was packed with everyone from Psychopathic records and their families. After getting the crowd going they had everyone assemble and we begun to march.

I took a ton of photos as we walked around the mall but at some point I just got really into it. I have spent years of my life trying to explain juggalos to the world and this seemed like this really magical moment where people were actually listening. Random onlookers seemed really interested in what was going on and everyone I talked to seemed to support what the juggalos were doing. I even started leading chants and getting involved in the protesting as much as the documenting.

At some point during the march I ran into Anna Merlan a journalist I know (her work on conspiracy theorists is incredible) and she had left the MOAR event because it was completely pointless and decided to check out the Juggalo March. She said it was a couple hundred people and a total bust which made me really happy. As the day went on I heard more and more about how pathetic the MOAR event was and that contrast with the really successful Juggalo March made the juggalos look even better. It was perfect.

This article is getting really long and I feel like I have so much to say but let me just pause to mention that I grew up in DC going to protests and the DC Police are so good at crowd control and not letting things get out of hand. I have seen protests in other cities go haywire so quickly, but in DC the cops know exactly what they are doing. And I point this out because there were almost no cops at all at the juggalo march. There were a few spread out mostly blocking traffic. They clearly understood what was going on with the march and just left everyone alone. I didn’t see a single police interaction or any negative event at all to be honest.

As the march wrapped up back at the Lincoln Memorial I was pretty much destroyed. I was running all around the route trying to capture everything on 90 minutes of sleep the day after my band had played a show where I had beat the hell out of myself. I chugged a gatorade and chased it with a bottle of water and walked around the Lincoln Memorial with some punk girls I met when we both happened to notice that Ian MacKaye was watching the juggalos. One of them gave me a bunch of stickers with her boobs on them which I appreciated.

As we walked around some bands played and I took it easy waiting until ICP would finally headline the post march concert. After the girls dipped I talked to some more journalists and juggalos and ate some cold McDonald’s cheeseburgers that Psychopathic TV had laying around backstage. All I could think about was passing out but I couldn’t miss this set. Finally around 9PM, more than 8 hours after I got there ICP started to play. I tell everyone who hasn’t seen them that no matter what you think of their music you need to see one of their shows. They put on this wild set and it’s like a religious experience to their fans. That combination makes for an incredible moment even if you don’t like their music, but after all the shows I have seen, it was still surreal to watch them with the Lincoln Memorial on one side and the Washington Monument on the other.

When I finally got back to my parents apartment I was just done with being alive but I had to send images to my clients that night. I dumped the images and took a bath and washed the Faygo, sweat and sunblock off me while they transferred. One of my old friends came over and he and his girlfriend hung out while I edited. He and I liked ICP back in the 90’s when we were kids so it was cool to hang out with him while I worked. I finally finished editing around 3am and got a couple hours of sleep before I headed back to NYC for a hurricane Irma fundraiser I had to host in the afternoon. That night I slept for 10 hours. It was a hell of a weekend.

The best part of this whole thing was that nearly all the press coverage was super positive. I really think this is a big moment for juggalos. Maybe people will finally respect them a little bit or at least just leave them alone. So before I get to my coverage I wanna share with you a couple videos I thought were particularly good. Both of them feature my friend Chris AKA Mankini who to be honest is the perfect subject for a video about the march. He’s from the area so he let dozens of people stay with him, he is super nice and of course he’s a giant dude who wears a bikini all the time. You can’t beat that. So check out the Reason video about the march and then check out the Guardian video which I am actually in the background of a couple of times.

Now finally we get to my coverage…

First check out my Playboy article. I wrote the (heavily edited) intro, and interviewed juggalos and took all the photos. It’s almost as if I am an actual journalist.

I also did a big gallery for Voice Media Group who I always shoot juggalos for. Here’s just the LA Weekly gallery since they are all the same even though it was published via a bunch of alt weeklies.

And now finally here’s my huge gallery:

Click here for all my photos from the Juggalo March On Washington!

Juggalo March On Washington

Juggalo March On Washington

Juggalo March On Washington

Juggalo March On Washington

Juggalo March On Washington

Juggalo March On Washington

Juggalo March On Washington

Juggalo March On Washington

Juggalo March On Washington

 

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The Lot – 8.19.17

On Saturday I went to a party/show/classic motorcycle rally. My friends at Sailor Jerry were sponsoring the event in the Broadway Stages parkinglot in Greenpoint and asked me to come by. A bunch of bands were playing and there were some solid food trucks and a ton of vintage motorcycles. Seemed like a good time.

I got there pretty early so I was in time to see Julia Haltigan go on and then I photographed a bunch of the bikes and hung out with the Sailor Jerry crew. They were giving away a hand painted Harley and the had someone live painting a helmet with classic Sailor Jerry flash. I hung out with the homie & SJ brand ambassador Gravy Thomas who never stops moving throwing these SJ events across the country. Every time they do one of these motorcycle events I wanna buy a bike but am 100% sure I would wreck it in a week in NYC traffic.

As the sun started to go down Sharmuffin started playing and they were great. Their front woman got in the crowd and finally turned the block party into a rock show which I appreciated. I was actually supposed to be somewhere else after that but I wanted to stick around for Daddy Long Legs. I shot them at the Beauty Bar 20th anniversary party and they were really fun and I am glad I stuck around.

I did have to leave before Dirty Fences played but the party was 10 hours long and I had to get a bunch of stuff done by Monday (which is why these photos didn’t go up until today.) But I’ve shot them before too and they are really fun. Wish I could have stuck around.

Anyway check out these photos because even if you don’t care about old motorcycles and rock bands you will care about the photos of adorable dogs at the party.

Click here to see all the photos from The Lot vintage motorcycle party!

Daddy Long Legs, Andy Animal & Gravy Thomas

The Lot

The Lot

The Lot

The Lot

The Lot

Daddy Long Legs

 

 

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