The Gathering Starts Tomorrow!

12 hours from now I will be headed to the airport and on the way to the 16th annual Gathering of the Juggalos and my 6th straight Gathering. If you don’t know what the Gathering of the Juggalos is I don’t even know what you are doing with your life but The Gathering Of The Juggalos in reverse chronological order. We are talking 10s of thousands of photos. Good luck.

Juggalos are my favorite subculture of all time and I am slowly working on a book with a painter named Jenn Rockwell who has been painting my photos. I hope to release it around this time next year but I we are going to start in earnest on it in January but I am sure after I get back from the Gathering I will be ready to kick it into gear.

Headed to the Gathering to cover it for Rolling Stone as always, plus I picked up work from Vice’s music blog Noisey and I am also spending tomorrow with my friends band Ho99o9 documenting their first trip to the Gathering. The Village Voice isn’t covering it this year which is a total bummer but maybe I can send them a gallery anyway for old times sake.  As always hoping to pick up a few new clients on the road so I guess we shall see…

Anyway as always these photos are gonna be fucking crazy with a bunch of weird people, naked fat girls, huge bands and a lot of great people I have met after doing this for six years. I will be posting on this Road Trip blog every day and then once I get back I will start updating full galleries on the main site again.

Until then I will just leave you with this…

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SXSW Day 1 – 3.7.14

Day one started SXSW slow. My friend Moni Love was in town for some SXSW fun so we did a quick photo shoot before either of us did any fun SXSW stuff. I shot Moni in this guest house/ motorcycle repair garage in the back of my friend’s apartment. It was quick and easy and I am glad I got another chance to shoot her.

After that Moni gave me a ride downtown and we met up with a photographer friend of mine and checked out Robert Rodriguez’ new museum. He was showing some Frank Frazetta art work as well as some other stuff. It was all pretty awesome. There were a couple Drew Struzan pieces which were awesome to see after watching the fantastic documentary on him. I didn’t take any pictures (well, almost none) but it was pretty cool to check out. I get to photograph Rodriquez later in the week too!

Finally I got to do some proper work. I shot the red carpet for “Chef” the opening film of SXSW. Jon Favreau directed, starred and wrote it and it’s probably my favorite of all his films, and I loved Iron Man (and Swingers but don’t tell anyone). It’s about a Chef who quits his job and starts a food truck with his 10 year old kid and John Leguizamo. Honestly I really dug the film a lot. It combines my love of Top Chef with my love of Twitter. You’ll see…

After the film I rushed to meet my brother and my friend Teddy Blanks who did the credits for a movie called Ping Pong Summer. We hurried way over to this movie theater way north of the rest of SXSW and I bought a ton of shitty candy and popcorn because I hadn’t eaten all day and then the movie ended up getting canceled but we didn’t find that out until I had eaten a ton of terrible food. Evidently the projector broke so they did a midnight screening across town.

Ping Pong Summer takes place in 1985 and looks very much like a film from 1985. It’s sort of like an 80’s summer comedy meets the Karate Kid or something. Nothing I will say about this film will do it justice. You need to see it for yourself. I can’t promise that you are going to like it, I certainly did, but even if you don’t like it it’s well worth seeing. PLUS Teddy’s title sequence is nominated for an award and is up against films like the Lego Movie and Pacific Rim and TV shows like True Detective and Black Sails. Super proud of him.

By the time the movie ended it was after 2am so I called it a night. Today is a much more action packed day with four film portraits booked and the premiere of Neighbors plus a party! Good times! For now check out Teddy’s Ping Pong Summer credits and a couple shots from yesterday!

Jon Favreau & John Leguizamo

John Leguizamo

Moni Love

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St. Louis Part Two

Day two in St. Louis started with me meeting up with Theresa Manchester again to get her to fill out some paperwork since she hadn’t the night before. She was staying with a friend who was house sitting in this giant partially empty house so we took some more photos and then all three of us got lunch. At some point a man with face tattoos hugged me.

Later Charlotte Stokely flew to St. Louis and I picked her up at the airport and made her go directly to the zoo with me even though it was raining. We hung out with hippos and elephants and stuff and a peacock rolled up on us and I got in his face with a camera. It was pretty rad. The monkey house was by far the best although the hippos were a close second. Charlotte got topless a few times including around the penguins and then we had BBQ for dinner.

All of it was a good time but we called it an early night so we can set out on my road trip again. Charlotte is going to be with me for a few days and she flys out of Oklahoma City. Should be a good time.

Here’s a quick video of Charlotte hanging out with a lemur.

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Sidney Scarlet Day Three

I made it to St. Louis. Just one state down and many more to go to get to the end of Route 66. But with the end of one state comes the end of my time with Sidney Scarlet. I dropped her off at a bus station on the way back to Chicago. It took us three days to get here but it only takes 5 hours to get back.

Today was a ton of fun and I took a ton of 35mm photos and a bunch of video. We met the son of Bill Shea who is running Shea’s Gas Station while his dad is recovering from an injury in a nursing home. He told us all about the history of the place and his dad. It was a pretty amazing experience. We went to Lincoln’s tomb and rubbed Lincoln’s nose for good luck. We got Sidney naked a bunch and checked out another of the Illinois Muffler Men as well as a Giant rocking chair, the Ra66it Ranch and went antiquing for a bit. We even saw the worlds largest catsup bottle and an antique store with an ice cream store in front that is shaped like a giant ice cream cone. I was sort of in heaven.

We got to St. Louis a few hours before I had to take Sidney to the bus station so we hung out in the airport Econo Lodge pool which was disgusting and awesome at the same time which describes all the food I ate today as well. I ate at Charlie Parker’s in Springfield where I consumed a pancake the size of a pizza and a breakfast “horse shoe” which is some sort of ungodly sandwich that is just two pieces of bread covered in meat, cheese, eggs and hash browns. It was amazing. For dinner we had some St. Louis BBQ at some chain restaurant by the airport. It was pretty damn delicious.

Unfortunately the internet at my hotel isn’t working very well so I can’t upload any more of the video I shot today but here is a video that I uploaded the other day to the secret blog for people people who donated to support this trip. It’s pretty hilarious and there are some boobs so be warned.

The video was recorded at a Target in Joliet, IL when the power went out while Sidney was shopping for a swimsuit.

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Sidney Scarlet Day Two

On day two of my adventures with Sidney Scarlett we awoke in Pontiac, IL where we immediately headed to a restaurant with a giant bull sign in front. It was pretty awesome. I had a bunch of meat and eggs and stuff in a skillet. I tried to put Sidney on the bull out front but it was too tall and she sucks and climbing. We stayed in Pontiac a bit longer so we could check out the Illinois Route 66 Hall of Fame. It was very worth it and there is a war museum upstairs where we talked to the son of the man who founded it. He told us stories of his father in WWII and his horrible experiences in Vietnam. It was very moving.

We then headed straight for the Beer Nuts factory where all the Beer Nuts in the world come from. Then we ate Beer Nuts. It was pretty awesome. Then we went to Funk’s Maple Sirup and bought maple sirup and yes, that is sirup with an i.

From there we went to Atlanta, IL which is pretty much the best town ever because they have a Paul Bunyan statue that is holding a huge fucking hot dog. Seriously, it’s my favorite thing ever and there is like a 60% chance I am going to get it tattooed to me by the end of this trip… perhaps tomorrow. They also have a water tower that has a smiley face on it and we ate at a really awesome diner that had amazing pie and a bacon wrapped filet mignon.

After that we hit Lincoln, IL for the watermelon statue that commemorates the time that Abe Lincoln toasted the town with a glass of watermelon juice. It was amazingly unimpressive. The world’s largest covered wagon on the other hand was fucking awesome and Abe is riding it.

Sidney got naked in front of a lot of this stuff so there was a lot of pulling boobs out and then running away. You’d think I would be the one convincing Sidney to do this stuff, but on a few occasions I was the one who didn’t want to risk it. When we ran into an FBI office in Springfield, IL we recorded a pretty hilarious (and NSFW) video of Sidney trying to convince me to take photos of her naked infront of the FBI. Check it out after the break.

Our night ended with a trip to Cosy Dog the birthplace of the corn dog. It was fucking amazing and really delicious and I bought two stuffed animal hot dogs that hug each other. Best shit ever. We then checked into a Travelodge with the promise of a swimming pool but it was broken so Sidney took a bath instead and I took photos. I mean why not right?

Check out the video of us at the FBI and I am gonna get some sleep so we can make our way to St. Louis tomorrow. There is another Giant, a lot of Lincoln stuff and a rabbit ranch on the way! Get pumped!

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