Saying Goodbye To Ross Harman

Last Sunday I was in Richmond, VA to say goodbye to my friend Ross Harman. As  you probably know from reading my site recently my friend Ross passed away on September 6th.  The funeral was in Louisiana and it happened right away so none of his friends got to attend.  A bunch of his friends and coworkers got together and threw a big party in his honor at Cous Cous in Richmond.

It was a very sad occasion but through periodic moments of tears I managed to have a really great time. It was wonderful seeing so many old friends and meeting Ross’ new ones. It brought together so many people and I got to hear a lot of great stories about Ross I never knew. There was a slide show with hundreds of images of Ross and in pretty much every photo he seemed like he was having so much fun.  People brought so much food although I couldn’t really eat anything.  We played a live video of his band The Gaskets and then played his solo material after that was over.

After the party was over a few of his close friends went on to the roof of Sticky Rice, the sushi place he worked at, and set these flaming lanterns off on the roof.  They were paper lanterns that when set on fire they fill with hot air and rise into the sky until you can’t see them any longer. They were very beautiful but I think the best part about them was how dangerous they seemed.  We kept making jokes about setting Richmond on fire or getting arrested for arson. This seems really silly but I think it cheered everyone up a bit as they went home. I know it cheered me up a lot. We actually got stopped by the fire department after one of the lanterns got stuck in a tree. But the fireman who stopped us was really nice and actually suggested we set them off in the middle of the street. He actually lit one of them himself.

Anyway, I just wanted to thank everyone who came out and everyone who helped out. Special thanks to Cous Cous, Sticky Rice and Sticky Togogo who provided food, drinks and a place for everyone to gather. Also I wanted to thank Ryan Jones and Heather Bregman who put the slide show together and possibly most importantly my old friend Kirsten Lewis who organized this whole thing and bought all the lanterns and memorial wrist bands and dealt with a lot of shit that Teddy and I couldn’t deal with. Oh, and I also wanted to thank Ross’ older brother Braden for giving me Ross’ flask. That really means a lot to me.

This is probably my last update about Ross for a while but I am not going to let people forget about him. We have a tribute album in the works and we are going to organize a show to raise money for a scholarship fund set up in Ross’s name. I also just wanted to mention one more time that you can download all of Ross’ music for free at TheGaskets.com.

Now please click here to see photos from the Ross N. Harman memorial party at Cous Cous. Thanks.

Comments (5)

Ross Harman’s Symphony

Teddy Blanks was Ross Harman’s bandmate and  best friend.  In 2007 Teddy compiled an album of Ross’ solo work (aka Ballpoint Pens) called Calcutta. When Ross died Teddy went to work immediately putting together Ross’ work into a second album called Symphony. Teddy then took down the website for their band and put up a brand new site that has free downloadable versions of Calcutta and Symphony as well as nearly every Gaskets release. Pretty soon their feature length concert movie Loose Change Live will be available for free download as well. I also have a pretty obsessively organized scrap book of Gaskets flyers, press clippings and photos that I hope to scan and get online as well. Hopefully the site will become a pretty good archive of the history of The Gaskets.

Anyway, you should click here to download Symphony. It features 17 tracks including his song for my brothers film “Cows on a Popemobile” which was used for the credits of a featurette on the Snakes on a Plane DVD.

Here are two sample songs from the album and make sure to check out The Gaskets website for much more free music.

Ballpoint Pens – I Don’t Need Your Symphony:
Ballpoint Pens – I Don’t Need Your Symphony

Ballpoint Pens – My Lord:
Ballpoint Pens – My Lord

PS. For those wondering who I have not talked to, Ross’ funeral was today in Louisiana and was just a small family only affair. We will be celebrating his life on Sunday September 19th at Cous Cous in Richmond, VA. Any of Ross’ friends are invited. Contact me for more details.

Ballpoint Pens - Symphony

Comments (1)

Ross Harman Rest In Peace

From 2003 to 2008 I managed a band called The Gaskets. They were my entire life during that time period and the two members, Teddy Blanks and Ross Harman, became my closest friends. The Gaskets were one of the best live acts I had ever seen and are one of my favorite bands of all time. The two members had been friends since they were kids and had an amazing chemistry and made amazing music together. They were very different people but worked very well together. I know the Gaskets would have been a hugely successful band if not for Ross’ troubles with depression and alcohol.

On Monday morning was found dead on his roof after taking a bottle of pills in order to end his own life.

Many times in my life I have said that I hated Ross and I probably did. He caused me more pain that pretty much anyone I have ever met. But one thing I have found in life is that the only people who can hurt you like that are the people you love the most. The last two fist fights I have had were both with Ross andI have screamed and yelled at that kid more times than I can count, but I fucking loved that kid and I am just so glad that he and I were back on good terms after several months of not speaking to each other.

I have tried several times to write this post but I haven’t been able to do it. Every time I try I just start to cry. Even now tears are rolling down my cheeks. It’s so much easier to think of all the bullshit he and I went through than to think of the good times because whenever I think about the Ross I loved it makes my chest seize up. I have had a lot of friends die in my life but no one anywhere near as close to me as Ross and I don’t know how to deal with it. Even before Ross died I couldn’t listen to some of his old music without getting tears in my eyes thinking about the kid I knew before the drinking really took hold of his life.

Ross was a brilliant musician but he was also just an amazing guy. He was so fucking charming and when he was on point everyone loved him. I think that is why it was so hard for everyone to deal with the other Ross. He was so fucking smart and knew as much about music and film as anyone I have ever met. He was funny and so much fucking fun. Probably too fun. When Ross was happy everything was a party and no one ever wanted to stop partying with him.  And when people started to worry about him he could always find a whole new group of people who were ready to party with him.

I haven’t really been a big part of his life the last two years but I thought he seemed a lot better. When I would talk to him he actually seemed happy and had been working the same job for years. He had a lot of people around him that loved him. But I knew he would never really be happy. He had too many demons in him and I know there is nothing anyone could have done to help him. I know, because Teddy and I tried fucking everything.

Right befoe Ross died he sent Teddy a text message telling him he loved him and I know Ross loved me too and I really hope he knows I loved him. Of all my friends Ross is one person I know would have always had my back and even if I couldn’t count on him for a lof of things I know he would be there for me if I really needed him. I just wish I could have been there more for him in the last few years.

I have so much more to say about Ross but I gotta stop crying. I haven’t cried like this in probably five years, the last time I though Ross killed himself. He managed to pull through that time but I guess it was just a matter of time before he finally followed through.

I am going to end this now with one of the last photos I took of Ross, a music video Ross directed and my favorite one of Ross’ solo songs. The video is for a Gaskets song called Left Hand. Teddy wrote it about Ross, their friendship and Ross’ drinking problem. Ross was really upset at first when Teddy wrote the song but grew to love it. Ross was an amazing painter and created this video completely himself by hand. My little brother put the video together, but everything else was all Ross.  The song I am posting is called Nine Times Out Of Ten. It is not only my favorite song by him but so appropriate. It’s about his drinking problems and even though it is written to a girl, I think it is a little bit of an apology to his friends for what he put us all through.  At the end he asks us to celebrate with him. And I guess from here on out I will try to celebrate with Ross and celebrate the life of a kid that meant fucking everything to me. I will be posting more of his music soon so you can enjoy just a little bit of what I did in the 7 years I knew my friend Ross Harman.

I will miss you forever you fucking selfish asshole. I love you with everything I have.

Ross Harman – Nine Times Out Of Ten: Ross Harman – Nine Times Out Of Ten

Comments (24)

SXSW Film Portraits

When I got a pretty decent gig working SXSW Music I realized that I could afford to spend another week in Austin and check out the film festival.  To do that I would need to get a film badge.  I asked the Village Voice if they would hire me to shoot SXSW Film and Interactive for them and they agreed. Originally I thought I could just shoot a film party or two and just watch a bunch of movies, but then I got all these press junket invites and realized I could do a pretty cool portrait gallery for the Voice.  The odd thing is that the Voice still hasn’t run these portrait yet, although they tell me they are going to.  A lot of the people in the gallery you might not have any idea who are, and frankly I don’t want to explain it all, but I will link the Voice gallery when it’s up and it will have all the captions.  Also if you mouse over the photos below it will give credits for my favorite shots.

The highlight of course was shooting the Get Low junket.  I got there late due to the cabs in Austin being the worst things ever so I was worried I was going to miss my chance to shoot Bill Murray, Robert Duvall and Sissy Spacek.  Luckily they squeezed me in, unluckily I only had 2 minutes with them and they weren’t so excited about posing for me.  Bill Murray made fun of me, Robert Duvall was mostly trying to just eat lunch and Sissy Spacek was worried about me shooting with a wide angel.  But when I showed Sissy the photo on my camera and she loved it and later on the red carpet for her movie she came over and hugged me and told all the other photographers that I was amazing. Speaking of amazing, while I was waiting to shoot the cast of Get Low I got to shoot Sissys daughter Schuyler Fisk, who is a musician, actress and totally rad girl, not to mention absolutely stunning.

The other thing really worth mentioning was that I went down to shoot portraits at the Tiny Furniture premiere.  Tiny Furniture was directed, written and starred in by my friend Lena Dunham and my boy Teddy Blanks did the score. Their film won best narrative feature and I was so excited for them.  I am going to do a full review of it right before it screens in NYC so you will get to hear more about it, but it was amazing and I am so proud of those kids.

Anyway, I shot people from the movies Get Low, Tiny Furniture, MARS, Monsters, Helena At The Wedding, and fucking Lemmy from the movie Lemmy.  Amazing.  Click here to see all the portraits from SXSW Film 2010.

lemmy-motorhead.JPG

robert-duvall-sissy-spacek-bill-murray-get-low.JPG

lena-dunham-tiny-furniture.JPG

kinky-friedman-mars.JPG

scoot-mcnairy-whitney-able-monsters.jpg

Comments (1)

Let’s Dance

So I have mentioned it a million times on here before but I used to manage a band. I did it for 5 years.  And before that I ran a small record label and ran a punk zine.  I shot nothing but bands for the first 8 years of my photography career.  Music was my life.  I have been booking shows since I was 12 years old and booking my friends grunge cover band, Manly Stanley, at classmates birthday parties. That being said, although I have promoted some parties over the last few years, its been at least two years since I booked a legit show.  That drouth is over.

Saturday so many good things came together at once.  I had been trying to get Teddy Blanks the lead singer of that band I managed a show that my friends could come see for a while.  He has had lots of shows but they all cost money or were in some weird place.  I also had been trying to book everyone’s favorite Theodore Grimm a show because they are making me DBB buttons and I needed to return the favor.  On top of that one of my favorite bands, Gang from Philly was asking me about shows because they hadn’t been to NYC in ages. All of this came together and I realized that all three of these bands are super dancy and needed to play a show together.  I added another awesome dancy electronic band called Great Tiger who feature the guy who designed the DBB Productions graphic.  It was a solid bill.

Then I just needed a location.  I went to 200 Orchard first but the had to cancel the show two days after it was booked because the cops were cracking down on there cabaret license.  I posted a help call on my Twitter and the awesome Bob Bland responded.  Bob is a lady believe it or not and she designs a clothing line called Brooklyn Royalty and she was just opening a venue called Kingdom in Williamsburg on N. 4th and Bedford,  just 3 blocks from the Bedford L. The grand opening is tomorrow night actually for the Brooklyn Royalty fashion week party.  (Its free, you should go!)  Bob is looking for a way to introduce people to her place so we worked out a deal where some of the bands could get paid but we could still keep the show totally free.

The show is going to be great. Sean MF Roberts is DJing in between bands and after the show so you won’t stop moving all night long.  You can check out the Facebook invite here. You have to come, it will be awesome and I will be taking lots of photos. On top of that I will have new Driven By Boredom stickers I will be giving out and I will probably give out a few DBB Tshirts & Tote bags.  Don’t miss it!

Here are videos from each of the bands.  I will be posting the flyer on Friday.  I can’t fucking wait.

Comments (0)

Teddy Blanks & Happy Endings – 10.20.09

So it’s CMJ week and it’s looking like I may skip most of the festivities this year, but I did make it over to Pete’s Candy Store to check out my boy Teddy Blanks.  I am not sure why CMJ picked Pete’s Candy Store as a venue because you could probably play a better show in my bedroom.  Teddy doesn’t have a very big draw so I didn’t mind the small room, but he had to go home and get speakers from his stereo because they only had two small speakers and a monitor.  Teddy doesn’t use amps or drums, so the sound was inadequate.  On top of that the “sound booth” was a mixer nailed to the wall.  Teddy had to do his sound while he was on stage.  It was a very strange set up. Teddy overcame however despite that fact that he had only the right channel working and ended up playing a pretty good show.

After Teddy’s show I headed over to Happy Endings and pretty much hung out outside for the rest of the night.  I did go inside for a bit but I was out of there by 315 and home full of crepes by 345. It was a pretty uneventful way to start CMJ week, but there are a bunch of pictures.  You can click here to check them out of course…

cm-joke-24.JPG

cm-joke-56.JPG

cm-joke-101.JPG

cm-joke-110.JPG

cm-joke-137.JPG

Comments (0)

Teddy Blanks CMJ Showcase

The last time Teddy Blanks played CMJ he was fronting the Gaskets and they were opening for a huge band at the Blender Theater. Well, Blender is out of business and so are the Gaskets, but Teddy is kicking ass on his own and he is playing a CMJ showcase tomorrow. Pete’s Candy Store is just slightly smaller than the Blender Theater, but I think it will be a good time just the same. I think you should come out. He plays at pretty much exactly 11 Tuesday night. Flyer with all the info below…

Also, I should mention that Teddy redesigned his website, because that’s what he does.

teddy-blanks-cmj-2009.jpeg

Comments (0)

Rebecca Schiffman & Teddy Blanks – 9.22.09

I am almost caught up with old stuff although I shot a ton of stuff yesterday, and today is going to be nuts as well.  I probably shot three galleries yesterday and I’ll shoot three more today.  So it may be another few days before we are fully caught up, but just know I am trying.

Last week my friend Teddy Blanks played with Rebecca Schiffman at some bar in midtown called Bar Nine. I am not sure why they play there, but it’s their second show.  I have talked about Teddy relentlessly, so all I will say is that during his set three girls started doing choreographed dances and by the end there were about 6 or 7 people doing the same dance through his entire set.  It was very weird.

Rebecca is this little adorable girl who makes some sort of singer/songwritery acoustic folk type jams.  She is pretty much nothing like Teddy musically but evidently they have a lot of friends/fans in common.  Rebecca is not just a musician but an artist and writer as well. Her website has music, links to her zine and jewelry line as well as her writing and her fine art work.  My favorite of her work is paintings she has done of photos from ebay auctions.  I am really into net based art, and I have done my fair share of ebay pranks, so that stuff is really up my alley.

Anyway, I have to go shoot photos for about 14 hours now, so just check out the pictures from Teddy & Rebecca’s show last week.

rebecca-vs-teddy-2.JPG

rebecca-vs-teddy-15.JPG

rebecca-vs-teddy-26.JPG

rebecca-vs-teddy-104.JPG

rebecca-vs-teddy-35.JPG

Comments (0)

Teddy Blanks @ Coco 66 – 9.4.09

As promised I am finally getting the Teddy Blanks photos from Friday up.  I think one of the reasons it has taken me so long to get these up was because I sort of blame the show on blowing out my knee.  Teddy left his TV in my brother’s car and my brother was at work.  I have the other set of keys so Teddy asked me to steal my brother’s car and drive us all to the show in Greenpoint.  I walked all the way to the car (about a 20 min walk) before I realized I didn’t have the keys on me.  I ran a few blocks to find a cab, then ran up my stairs as fast as I could and ran back down so the cab would wait for me.  By the time I got to the car my knee was killing me.  I took the car into the city for the night before dropping it back off at my brothers and starting the walk home.  I didn’t get two blocks from his apartment before I collapsed and had to call a car service to drive me back home.

Speaking of my injury… evidentially it is not as bad as I thought.  I went to a specialist today who saw me for a total of 90 seconds but he told me that my knee seemed okay.  I have to get an MRI soon, but I have to get approval from my insurance company which could take a week. In the mean time he said to rest and ice it, but that I can walk on it.  That being said, I have never been to the hospital before and I decided this merited a trip to the ER. I broke my finger in high school and didn’t even put a splint on it.  The point is, despite what the doctor deduced in under two minutes, until I get that MRI, I still think I am fucked. I got some pain killers and a pretty sexy brace to wear in the mean time. So, I am going to attempt to shoot some fashion week stuff in the next couple of days, but I am going to be moving… very… very… slooowwly…

Moving on… Here are the pictures from Teddy’s show. I was mostly having fun at the show and just fucking around with the photos.  I was dragging the shutter so the TV was all over the shot.  Anyway, enough with the excuses.  I will be back tomorrow with some surprise NSFW shots and new excuses for why they suck too.  See you then.

blank-slate-15.JPG

blank-slate-22.JPG

blank-slate-27.JPG

blank-slate-63.JPG

blank-slate-71.JPG

Comments (2)

« Previous PageNext Page »