2022 Gathering Of The Juggalos: Part 2

My second day at the Gathering of the Juggalos was my longest of the four day festival. As I mentioned in Part 1 yesterday, I actually skipped Wednesday and only spent about 4 hours there on Thursday, but on Friday I was there from about 3pm to about 2am. The heat combined with my back injury made it seem even longer. But at least I took a lot of photos. 

When I got down there I walked over to the tent where the Faygo Wet T-shirt contest was happening. That tent is a red abomination of heat, moisture and horrifying color balance so I usually try and avoid anything happening in there. However the Faygo wet t-shirt contest is always absolutely chaotic and has been hosted by my buddy Clownvis the last couple of years so I figured I would deal with the heat and then just make all the photos black and white which is the easy way out of color balance hell. Taji Ameen from Vice was there filming a series called Better Man which I had just watched several episodes of. It was a very weird coincidence. Like literally three days earlier I had gone down a YouTube hole so I made sure I got some good shots of him looking uncomfortable while juggalettes showed their Faygo drenched buttholes to the crowd. Honestly the photos are totally insane but you can only see them on Girls of Driven By Boredom because I still haven’t fixed my gallery system yet. There’s some video from it on my OnlyFans too.  Just give me $4.99 and we can all move on with our lives. 

After the Faygo contest there was some sort of stunt show happening in that tent but I had no interest in taking any more photos in there so I did a lap around the campgrounds. When I made my way back around I heard screaming from the tent and went inside to see some total madness happening including Super Humman doing one of his famous stunts. I just caught the very end though and suddenly everyone went outside for a car stunt. The stunt group and brought a car to destroy and I believe the plan was to have Taji drive the car down a path and aim for a ladder, and a guy standing on the ladder would jump over the car. I can only speculate because while they were setting up one of the security guards started yelling for people to get off the port-a-potties they were standing on to get a better view. The juggalos didn’t appreciate getting yelled at so they did what juggalos do best and threw some Faygo at the security guard, she freaked out and radioed for the police. They showed up and the whole thing turned into a really ugly scene and the cops were totally outnumbered. I thought one of them was gonna do something stupid and things were gonna go really badly, but luckily they didn’t and Violent J’s brother Jumpsteady showed up and got everyone to calm down. That’s when I left to do another lap.

When I came back around the car was flipped over and juggalos were standing on top of it. It had become quite the party around that and at some point someone was selling merch off it The whole thing was honestly pretty fun, unlike in 2012 when someone who got caught stealing had their car destroyed. Eventually the owner of the campgrounds came by with some sort of heavy machinery and took the car away while all the juggalos followed him like the juggalo pied piper. A situation that seemed pretty dark turned out totally fine in the end. Juggalos usually do a pretty good job of policing themselves and glad the cops didn’t intervene more than they did. 

After that we did some more running around until the mainstage music really kicked off. Sir-Mix-A-Lot was the first artist we were aloud to get into the photo pit before and I was pretty psyched about that. After I mentioned his performance he actually Tweeted at me telling me how much fun he had and I think everyone really enjoyed his set.

By the time he was done my friends in Ho99o9 had shown up. The last time the played the Gathering I followed them around for a Vice story. This time they had experienced the Gathering already and were mostly just focused on the show. I went over and just hung out with them while they were sound checking and stuff until I heard Ouji Macc on the main stage. I don’t really listen to any juggalo music except when a random ICP song will pop into my head, but I really like Ouji as a human, his shows are a lot of fun and his managers are friends of mine. He also gave me a pair of his record label’s (Chapter 17) socks which I think I am actually going to wear today. So when I heard him start playing I ran down to the main stage and got there just in time to shoot one of his songs before they kicked us out of the pit.

As soon as Ouji’s was over Ho99o9 launched into their set. They absolutely killed it as always. I have seen them more than a half dozen times, but not in five years or something. They are more polished, and even creepier, but as energetic as always and it was great to see them again. After I went backstage and shot them and Ouji together and then said hi to Dana Dentata who I briefly met at the Gathering in 2019. Esham was playing between Ho99o9 and Dentata and that dude is an absolute legend. He invented horrorcore and Eminem, ICP and everything that came after them wouldn’t exist without him. Finally Dana Dentata went on and I was only going to shoot one song but her set was incredibly interesting and I couldn’t find a reason to leave. Finally when she was over I escaped into the night and got back to my hotel after 3am. I was in an incredible amount of pain and honestly my photos on Saturday suffered because of it, but I had shot a ton of photos and had some fun and it was probably all worth it. 

Click here to see my photos from day 3 of the 2022 Gathering of the Juggalos and come back soon for the final chapter. 

Ps. Buy my juggalo NFTs.

2022 Gathering Of The Juggalos

2022 Gathering Of The Juggalos

2022 Gathering Of The Juggalos

Taji Ameen

2022 Gathering Of The Juggalos

Dana Dentata

Ho99o9 & Ouija Mac

 

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2022 Gathering of the Juggalos: Part 1

In 2010 I Tweeted “Who wants to go to the Gathering of the Juggalos with me?” My editor at the Village Voice* responded and we ended up doing a cover story that changed both of our lives forever. Over a decade later I returned to my 12th Gathering of the Juggalos ready to shoot some more photos of my favorite insane clowns. This year I was hired to cover the festival by The Daily Beast and Brooklyn Vegan so before you read  the rest of this post, check those links out. 

I pretty much start off every post these days talking about my back injury, but this time it’s especially relevant. I hurt it one year ago at the Gathering of the Juggalos. This year I had no idea how I was going to make it through the festival but I had a plan. I would skip the first day (that’s why this update is Part 1, not Day 1) and I would only spend a few hours at the Gathering each day to rest my back. I almost didn’t make it, day 3 almost killed me, but I shot enough photos just on day 1 to make the trip worth it. 

I landed in Columbus Ohio around 1:30pm on Thursday, grabbed my rental car and headed to my hotel. By 3:30 I was headed to Thornville, Ohio and after getting my credentials I was on Juggalo Island by 4. One of the first photos I shot was maybe the best photo of the whole weekend and I despite being down there for only a few hours, I think I might have shot my best stuff on the first day. 

I mostly just shot a bunch of juggalo portraits but I did shoot a handful of bands as well. The first one was Green Jell├┐. I had no idea what to expect, I remember being blown away by the Three Little Pigs video when I was a kid, but I haven’t really thought about them since. But that shit was so wild and so much fun and the photos are absolutely chaotic. Back on the main stage they weren’t letting photographers upfront until 8pm for some reason so I didn’t shoot much of the early stuff this year. I did shoot literally one photo of Cybertronic Spree who dressed as Transformers and played a bunch of weird covers. I didn’t really understand what was happening but I wasn’t mad about it. I also shot a few photos of the Clue coverband that is an inside joke that would take too long to explain it to you. They only played one song. Finally I shot Steel Panther who are a parody of a hair metal band. We have a bunch of friends in common and I have wanted to see them for years so glad I got to see it. It’s such a wild commitment to be doing this joke band for decades, but it seems like it’s a lot of fun.

After I shot Steel Panther I decided to call it a day. I was exhausted from the flight and my back hurt and I knew the next day was going to be my big one so I wanted to get some rest. ICP was playing a deep track set that night, but I knew I would shoot them again on Saturday so I figured I could skip it. I also missed a late night set by Onyx who are incredible, but I have seen them a few times before so it made sense to bounce. In the end I was only there for about 4 hours, but I still got some great shots which you get to look at right now. 

But some housekeeping notes first… I totally screwed up and I haven’t fixed the gallery system on my website. That is an incredible bummer because I am now using Flickr for these galleries and apparently nudity is now against their TOS unless you have a pro account and I am not giving Flickr $60 a year. I will get this fixed, but not this week. So because of that all the nudity is going on Girls of Driven By Boredom and my OnlyFans. I am sorry about that, I wanted to give you guys some random juggalette nudity and then just paywall the really crazy shit, but here we are. I am sorry about that. So far on Girls of DBB we have one gallery of just random toples juggalettes including some outtakes that I wouldn’t normally post. On OnlyFans I have some video from the Wet Faygo Contest and the Miss Juggalette pageant, but more on those in Parts 2 and 3. There will be a lot more content on both sites in the next few days and my sites are pretty cheap.

Speaking of you giving me money, I also uploaded 5 new juggalo NFTs from this year. There are now 55 that have been uploaded over the last year. There will be under 100 images total and they start at just .1 ETH. My other NFTs have done a lot better than these, but I love them and I am not stopping any time soon. 

Okay, now it’s time to look at some juggalo photos.

Click here to see all the photos from my first day at the 2022 Gathering of the Juggalos.

*My editor at the Voice, Camille Dodero,  is featured heavily in the new Netflix true crime series The Most Hated Man on the Internet because of a Voice cover story she did on the subject of that documentary. I shot some photos for her story that also ended up in the documentary. 

2022 Gathering Of The Juggalos

2022 Gathering Of The Juggalos

2022 Gathering Of The Juggalos

Green Jelly

2022 Gathering Of The Juggalos

 

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Ape Fest – 6.23.22

We have a lot to talk about today. Gonna try to make this post make sense for people who hate/don’t care about NFTs and for people who are deep in it, and that’s going to be tough to do, but before I do any of that and get to the photos, we need to talk about abortion. 

These photos would have been up yesterday but I didn’t think it made any sense to post party photos during an historically awful day in American history. We have become a much more progressive country in the 50 years since Roe v. Wade was decided and yet here we are being ruled by a hard right fundamentalist minority. Women should be able to make their on medical decisions and this won’t save lives, it will only kill the poorest women. If someone wants an abortion, they will get one. Well off people will just travel to blue states while the poorest most vulnerable women will be forced to risk their own life to terminate their pregnancy. It’s a fucking nightmare. I donated to two things yesterday and I invite you to do the same. The first is a fund that goes to 92 different organizations, just make sure that if you donate that your phone number is not saved with ActBlue because you do not want hundreds of fundraising texts. The second is Brigid Alliance which does direct action to help women get abortions. They get money to travel and even childcare to look after their kids while they are away. They have a perfect rating from Charity Navigator as well. If you are here for NFTs, I am donating 100% of the profits from this photo to Brigid

Now, moving on. Let’s talk about Bored Apes. 

I have very mixed opinions about the Bored Ape Yacht Club and it’s hard to write about this to an audience that has such a wide mix of knowledge/views about what BAYC even is, but I am going to try. Let’s start with the basics. BAYC is a collection of 10,000 NFTs that are made up of randomly generated traits, giving them different levels of rarity and value. They have become one of the most valuable, and definitely the most recognizable NFT collection, and they have birthed several other collections as well. Because of this popularity and massive value, BAYC has become a symbol for everything people hate about NFTs. They see rich crypto bros with stupid monkey jpgs as status symbols and they think the art sucks and they don’t get it and they write off all NFTs as garbage. And the thing is, they aren’t completely wrong. 

I also don’t blame BAYC for this. There are so many garbage NFT projects that have all followed behind BYAC trying to copy their model and have caused so many people to blow so much money chasing the next BYAC. It sucks and PFPs (profile pictures or picture for proof) have made web3 a joke. It’s such a bummer as an artist just trying to make a living with this exciting new technology and people bring up apes and just write the whole thing off. 

And yes, there are a lot of awful people who own Apes. The level of privilege to own a $100k jpg and not sell it is astronomical, but I know many people who have had their lives absolutely changed by these things. They bought them cheap and either sold them for life changing money, or held on to them for the rewards which have also been life changing.  I ran into someone who I knew 15 years ago and he was able to show his artwork in a gallery all because he was given tens of thousands of dollars of “Ape Coin” just for holding on to his ape. 

Okay, so now we need to talk about the claims of racism. There is a professional troll named Ryder Ripps trying to destroy BAYC. I know Ryder a little bit and I actually think he’s pretty interesting as far as an artist. He’s been ripping off NFT collections and changing them a little bit to have a conversation about ownership and copyright and to make some money and PR out of it. I guess you could say he’s the web3 Richard Prince and I am sure both his supporters and detractors would probably enjoy that comparison. He put together a video that went viral recently that was basically a Q Anon video for NFTs claiming that BAYC is a white supremacist organization. It’s really silly and BAYC did a good job of refuting it, and I am sure even Ryder knows it’s all nonsense, but a good troll never admits the troll. They’ve also sued Ryder which is exactly what he wanted and his RR BAYC collection has been skyrocketing in value. 

So no, BYAC is not a secret racist organization, but I do think there is something a little problematic with anthropomorphizing apes, especially when you have traits that are generally associated with black culture. When I first saw BYAC I almost minted one, just because of the Driven By Boredom association, but two things kept me away, the fact that I had just lost some of the first ETH I ever made on a 10k project, and because I thought the apes with grills thing was a little gross. I clearly regret this decision and while I still think Apes are a little corny, the community around them is very impressive and nearly everything Yuga Labs has done as a company has been impressive. 

Which finally brings me to Ape Fest. 

Ape Fest is a festival that takes place around NFT NYC. This is the second one and the first one since the line for Ape Fest 2021 went viral for having a bunch of white dudes making ape noises in line. This year they made the very smart decision to allow plus ones (which is how I got in) and there were a lot more women, and even some non-white people there. A revelation. Web3 clearly skews towards a certain demographic but there are a lot of people trying to fix that and NFT NYC did feel a lot less broy compared to last year. 

I went to Day 4 of the fest, which takes place at Pier 17, down in by the water in the financial district. They had a massive inflatable ape at the entrance and a pirate ship just hanging out with BAYC sails. The party itself was on the roof of a building but the massive amount of money they spent on the surrounding area was not unnoticed. 

The event was pretty impressive and well run and the acts were pretty impressive. There were a lot of real goofy motherfuckers around, but everyone was super nice. As much as I would like to make fun of it, I really did appreciate the invite from one of my NFT collectors who goes by Freecard. He’s a great dude and it was a real experience. 

The party started with an NFT themed rapper named Spottie WiFi. I honestly expected him to look like his Crypto Punk since that’s how I know him. I am not sure his music is for me, but I have been in Spaces and Discords with him and he seems like a good dude. It was very cool to see him perform on this huge stage in front of his people. 

After that Lil Wayne performed and as much as I used to love him, I am not sure that getting the rapper most associated with the MAGA movement is an ideal way to let people know that you aren’t a secret white supremacist group. I still like a ton of his music though so it was at least enjoyable. Towards the end of his set my hurt back started killing me so I sat down and then someone managed to drop an entire whiskey drink on my from above. So that was fun..

After that Snoop came out with Eminem and they debuted their new song which isn’t about NFTs, but features the Apes that they each own. It’s actually a pretty good song & video and the comments on it make me feel that most people don’t even know what BAYC is. Eminem didn’t perform but Snoop did. He mostly was just DJing but he rapped some too. He had a song about Ape Coin which was a little cringe, but otherwise it was pretty fun. I think I’ve seen Snoop 4 times now and you can’t go wrong with that. That being said, he did have a couple strippers on stage with him, and despite most of my friends being strippers or former strippers, I still think it’s kinda a bad look for BAYC when they are trying to let people know they aren’t just a bunch of pale dudes. 

Lastly, and maybe most importantly outside of the whole Handmaid’s Tale situation, is that I didn’t shoot this like it was an event. I didn’t have press access so I didn’t shoot any of the music except a couple wide shots. I didn’t bring my flash so once it got dark I didn’t really shoot. I really just took my camera out because I didn’t want to carry it on my back anymore. My spine is completely fucked so it’s much less painful to hold my camera than carry it on my back. I also was rocking a terrible plastic lens because it’s way lighter than my normal one. So yeah, there aren’t many photos. I took a few of people I met, and some photos of people taking photos because I am working on a phone themed zine. I took some photos of a limbo contest but it was pretty dark at that point and a few other shots randomly here and there. It’s not great coverage of the event, but it did give me a chance to write this 1600 word article about all this stuff.

So TL;DR, abortion should be a woman’s choice, NFTs aren’t all animal jpgs, BAYC is a little bit corny and a little bit problematic, but they have changed lives, have done a lot of great stuff and threw some amazing events. 

Now click here to see a couple dozen photos from Day 4 of Ape Fest 2022 at Pier 17.

Ps. Something is fucked up with my gallery system because my website is archaic, so until I fix it I am using a Flickr gallery like it’s 2007. 

Ape Fest 2022

Ape Fest 2022

Ape Fest 2022

Ape Fest 2022

Ape Fest 2022

Ape Fest 2022

I Swear Snoop & Eminem Are In This Photo

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2021 Gathering Of The Juggalos Day 3

This is it! My last Gathering of the Juggalos post of 2021! But don’t think you will stop seeing juggalos from me anytime soon because my juggalo NFT series will continue and I am sure I will keep bothering you guys about that stuff. Sorry about that. Anyway, day three was my most chill day. I “only” have 160 photos for you guys today. I sort of felt like I had everything I needed and planned to photograph the bands and shoot some more portraits and shoot ICP and then be done with it but my day got sidetracked a little bit.

My first sidetrack was meeting the owner of Legend Valley, the campsite that the festival is on. I was photographing one of the giant dinosaurs that are on the lot and he started talking to me about them. Apparently they are for a EDM fest called Lost Lands that’s happening in a couple weeks. He told me he had 40 small dinos just sitting at his house. They apparently all move and I realize I had actually seen them on Shark Tank. He let me back to a place beyond the security fencing to photograph some of them. It was very cool. I even made a dumb TikTok. 

My next sidetrack was taking some photos with Ouija Macc. As I mentioned before he’s the #2 artist on Psychopathic Records after ICP and he’s managed by a friend of mine so we set up a quick shoot. I went backstage and they were loading huge pallets of Faygo for ICP’s set onto the stage with a forklift and I had an idea. The dude driving the truck looked like Stan Lee if Stan Lee were a biker and loved the idea and lifted Ouija up into the air as high it would go and I grabbed a few shots. He put it down before I was finished but I wasn’t gonna complain and I still got a couple of good ones. 

After that I finally shot a musical act. (I actually took a couple photos of Free Will too.) Lardi B performed and I knew nothing about her except her name sounded pretty funny. Apparently she went viral for doing a WAP parody. She had a set with donuts and candy behind her and as soon as she started playing the crowd started throwing food at her. I honestly couldn’t tell if they were doing it to support her or boo her but either way she took it in stride and it became one of the more memorable performances of the festival. People were throwing entire boxes of snacks at her. I got hit in the neck with a bag of cookies and just caught it, opened it and ate the cookies while shooting her set. It was really fun. There was also a unicorn. 

My next distraction was a pinata. I had shot a juggalo pinata event once before and it was pretty insane. This dude Poncho and his friends go around with the pinata to every campsite just collecting stuff to put in there. So yeah there is candy but there was also a quarter pound of weed and ton of other drugs plus every sort of weird thing you could imagine. I put one of my Driven By Boredom enamel pins in it, so shout out to whoever got that. 

After that a band called Black Raven played and I missed the start of their set so I couldn’t get in the photo pit so instead I shot their mosh pit. People were covered in chalk dust or something and it was a pretty fun scene. I actually went on IG live and filmed it which was fun since I never go on there ever. It just seemed like a good time and people could see what the Gathering was like first hand.

I spent a little while taking portraits during their set but then it started getting dark. I went back to the car to get my flash and realized I didn’t bring it. I made a calculation and decided it was worth trying to go back to the hotel. It took longer than it should have and by the time I got back it was pitch black outside and Big Hoodoo was almost done playing. Fortunately I made it back for Danny Brown.

Danny Brown is a dude I have photographed a ton of times. I actually had a meeting about doing a video for him off his first album but that didn’t ever happen. I still fuck with his music and his performances have always been fun. During his set juggalos seemed to be really vibing with him but after I left the photo pit something must have happened because he started talking shit to the crowd and kinda walked off stage at some point. I have no idea what happened and he didn’t mention it on his social media but he just threw his mic in to the crowd and walked off. Real bummer. 

Finally the festival ended with ICP and I have photographed ICP a million times now including 2 days earlier so I don’t really have anything to say about their set but I am gonna talk gentle smack to my girlfriend who was supposed to go on stage for the final song for the “Faygo Armageddon” and she chickened out and we ended up leaving before their set ended to beat traffic. I’ve done it twice and it’s the most fun thing ever. Just running around on stage throwing soda. Also shout out to Ouija for giving me his backstage pass so she could do it. 

Okay, so that’s it! Another Gathering of the Juggalos in the book. Gonna link some stuff below so you can see all my coverage. I actually have some photos in an article on Insider coming soon so I will link that here too when it’s out. (Update: It’s out.) Thanks for coming and I will see you juggalos next year!

 – Daily BeastRolling StoneBrooklyn VeganInsiderJuggalo NFTsNSFW Juggalettes – 

Now click here to see all the photos from Day 3 of the Gathering of the Juggalos in Thornville, OH

2021 Gathering Of The Juggalos

2021 Gathering Of The Juggalos

Lardi B

2021 Gathering Of The Juggalos

Danny Brown

Ouija Macc

Insane Clown Posse

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Remembering Ross Harman 10 Years Later

10 years ago today one of my best friends died. I have had too many friends die, but Ross Harman was like a brother to me. I managed his band, The Gaskets, for six years of my life and when he died I promised myself I would make sure people remembered his music and I sort of think I failed at that. I set up a crowdfunding campaign and we raised a bunch of money and were able to put out three records in his honor. We released his solo album and another compilation of songs that were on his computer when he died as well as a double length LP of other artists covering his music. It was truly incredible, except that after selling the first 100 or so those records have sat in my apartment for the last 9 years gathering dust. 

We built a website to honor him with a bunch of his music that existed up until last fall when my website got hacked and it was easier just to build the site again than fix it. But here we are on the anniversary of his death and the site doesn’t exist. The Gaskets site is down too which now links to a Wikipedia full of dead links. 

Last night I saw someone Tweet about the band Sparks and I went to an old hard drive to see if I could find a video of the Gaskets covering one of their songs. I loved that cover and I was sure I had it somewhere. I ultimately couldn’t find it, but in my search I pulled out the live concert DVD I produced way back in 2006. It is to this day my greatest accomplishment even though I still have a few hundred copies taking up space in my apartment as well. I watched a few minutes of it just to see the beginning and I ended up watching the whole thing. It made me miss that time in my life so much and it made me miss Ross even more. It was such a great feeling to be working with your favorite band every day and seeing how much people loved them again really moved me. 

I didn’t even realize I was watching it 10 years to the day after Ross died.

I woke up to a Facebook notification reminding me today was the day. I am certainly not one to believe in any sort of spirituality but I couldn’t believe the coincidence. It really was incredible. I don’t think I have watched it since Ross died and suddenly I am watching it on his anniversary. I don’t cry very often, but when I went back and reread what I wrote about Ross on here 10 years ago tears spilled down my face. I loved that motherfucker so much. 

Despite my failure as a manager to make the Gaskets a household name or to do more to spread Ross’ music since he passed there are some very good things that came out of the Gaskets. The other member of the band, Teddy Blanks, has gone on to great success as both a graphic designer and a director after blending design and film doing credits for countless movies and TV shows. His first credit sequence? That live concert DVD. His solo music has scored many films including Tiny Furniture, the breakout film from Lena Dunham (who in college directed a Gaskets video) and Red Flag made by his current directorial partner Alex Karpovsky. For me the Gaskets turned out to be the beginning of my photography career. I always thought I would work in music, but I went to school for photography because I thought it would be a good skill to have in the music industry while I as at the same time trying to figure out my place in the world. Music didn’t work out for me but all the first photos I ever published were for the Gaskets. I am not sure I would have ever made it as a photographer if I hadn’t managed that band. 

I had no idea what this blog was going to be about when I started writing it this morning. I actually took a break after the first sentence because it hurt too much to write. I don’t even know what the point of this was, but I had to write something. And I figured I could use this as an excuse to promote Ross’ music again even though not that much of it is online right now. 

First of all Handstand Records still has all the Ross “Ballpoint Pens” records in stock. They also have the concert DVD and even the Gaskets second album. I could not more highly recommend this stuff. 

Secondly, The Gaskets YouTube channel has not been updated since a few days after Ross’ death when we uploaded a fun interview they did with Blender in 2007 but it’s still a pretty good place to see some of the Gaskets music. A bunch of it is on Spotify and things like that but The Gaskets were one of the best live bands I have ever seen so it’s a good chance to see some of that.

Thirdly, please listen to this Teddy Blanks song. It is the only song on the tribute album that isn’t a cover. This song Teddy wrote about Ross using music he found on Ross’ computer. It makes my eyes water every time I hear it and it’s been in my head all day today. 

I also promise that in the near future I am gonna get his website back up and I will do another post about that when we do. His tribute album has never been made available digitally and we need to make that happen. Hopefully it and the Gaskets site will return soon.

Lastly I am going to leave you with a couple of videos. The first is for the Gaskets song Left Hand. Teddy wrote it about Ross’ drinking problem that ultimately lead to his death. Ross never talked about what that meant to him but he spent weeks by himself painting and animating this video. It means a great deal to me. The second video is from the Tribute album by Ross’ favorite artist Matt Mahaffey aka sElf. I couldn’t believe he said yes to recording this when randomly I reached out to him out of the blue. I have no idea who uploaded this but I really appreciate it. 

Please take a second to listen to Ross’ music. He was a brilliant fucked up man who I will never stop thinking about. I love you man.

Ps. I managed to find this Mp3 I uploaded of Ross’ solo song Symphony.

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2004 RNC, Punk Rock & Other Old Images

I am leaving NYC tomorrow for the first time in January. I honestly am the most excited about any vacation I have ever been on despite the fact that I am not really taking a vacation from anything but sitting on my couch watching 8 hours of Netflix a day. I am just kinda losing my mind. Because of this trip I have been quarantining so I can hide out in Delaware with some friends from childhood and see my parents who retired there. That’s why I spent last night watching the fucking Republican National Convention instead of out taking photos of the protests for the attempted execution of Jacob Blake. But watching the RNC gave me an idea for an update before I left town that has (almost) no nudity in it.

When quarantine first happened I had this idea of being productive and trying to better my life, which I obviously gave up on, but one of the things I did was buy a negative scanner and start scanning a bunch of old 35mm negatives I found in a box. It was a range of eras of photos, but pretty much high school and college. I think the earliest stuff is from the mid 90’s and the latest stuff is photos from the 2004 RNC when it was in New York. I wouldn’t move to the city for two more years but I was managing a band at the time and we booked a show in New York so we could join the protests. The photos aren’t very good, and the scans are worse, but it is very cool to see photos of Union Square before I even knew what Union Square was. 

After a couple of hours of scanning I realized that the scans were pretty garbage and gave up. I probably shouldn’t have bought a negative scanner for $100. I posted a few of the images to Twitter and then moved on with my life. But the RNC reminded me I had this folder on my desktop and I figured this would be a good post before I skipped town for a week. So let’s break down what you are looking at… 

The first group of photos I didn’t even actually take. I started a punk record label when I was in high school and our first, and by far most successful release was a 7″ compilation of DC punk bands called Raise The Flag harDCore Volume 1. Someone actually uploaded it to YouTube if you want to hear it. I was only 15 when we put the record together. Raise The Flag 2 was in the production stages when my business partner’s car broke down. Without telling me he spent all the money we had for the record on fixing his car. That ended the label and our friendship. (We did actually reconnect in college and are still close friends. Check out his new band!) These photos are from the Raise The Flag 2 cover art photo shoot. I am not sure who took these photos or why I didn’t do it. The whole reason I picked up a camera in the first place was to shoot DC punk bands but I guess I wanted to be in it. The actual label of the record was going to be a photo of me wearing only a DC flag so I sort of spun around while you listened to the album. Oh, all these photos were taken at the very steep stairs made famous by the movie the Exorcist

Up next in the gallery is the RNC protest photos, the only stuff color in the group, followed by some of the earliest nudes I ever shot. I had an assignment in college to shoot something with infrared film. For some reason it makes veins look really pronounced so I shot some nudes of a friend of mine and I think somewhere I still have the prints of these that I made for the assignment and they actually look pretty cool. An old Polaroid I took of her is actually on the inside cover my Instaxxx book and might actually predate these photos by a few months. 

The next photo is of this band the Infertil that were on that first Raise The Flag album. They ended up getting in a fight during their set and their drummer jumped over his drum set and into the crowd. I didn’t want to stop taking photos, but obviously I wasn’t gonna let fellow AV PUNX crew members get fucked with, so I am actually kicking someone at the same exact time as I am taking this photo. It was the first, but not the last time I had to fight with a camera in my hand. Twenty years later that same drummer actually ended up playing drums for my old band Fucking Bullshit. After that we have some photos from the Rolling Thunder bike rally in DC. I believe these photos are from the 2000 rally. And then there is a single photo from a WWF Monday Night Raw taping I went to in college.

From there there is a mix of band photos and protest photos (Edit: I realized after I posted this that there’s only one protest shot here. There were more scans but I guess I didn’t include them in the gallery) which is pretty much 99% of what I shot in high school. We  got a Leonard Peltier protest, photos of Rancid, Mot├Ârhead and Nashville Pussy, plus some shots of my friend Crazy Willy and a single self portrait! Check 16 year old me out! The gallery ends with some photos from Warped Tour 2002. These photos were actually on a CD I found in the box with the negatives. I covered Warped Tour ’98 for the zine I ran in high school and I think I went in ’97 too, but I got invited in 2002 by a girl I worked with at Ben & Jerry’s. I didn’t really want to go, but I did want to hang out with her so I requested a press pass so that I could at least shoot some bands at the same time. The CD had shots of the Casualties, Bad Religion and NOFX, but the BR & NOFX photos sucked, probably because I don’t like pop punk. I shot digital photos of these too and some of those are better but the camera was such garbage that they aren’t really worth looking at.

Okay, this is a weirdly long post for some shitty scans of some decades old photos. I still need to plug the shit that is paying my rent right now. If you like 35mm work you can check out my latest gallery on Girls of DBB which is all the NSFW 35mm stuff I have shot since February. I also uploaded a 3 minute compilation of old Vines from when nudity was allowed on Vine. You can buy that whole clip for $5, or you can see the three parts that make up that longer video on my OnlyFans. You can get access to everything on my OnlyFans for $5 so that seems like the better value, but you gotta make your own decisions. Oh, and speaking of OnlyFans I queued up posts for the next week so while I am on vacation you will continue to get content. Gonna try to find a gallery for Girls of DBB to upload when I am gone as well.

Now, if you wanna see all the old 35mm photos, click here!

2004 RNC Protest

 Nashville Pussy

Rolling Thunder 2000

Raise The Flag

Motorhead

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Music At The 2019 Gathering Of The Juggalos

I gotta check out of another hotel in a minute so I am going to try and make this quick. I am just going to give you a full list of musicians I photographed at the Gathering of the Juggalos in chronological order and maybe when you go through this gallery you can figure out who they are. I think will hit you with some quick notes at the end about some of the sets. Ready?

C&C Music Factory, Ouija Macc, Morris Day & The Time, Gwar, Clownvis, Skylar, Butcher Babies, Suicide Boys, Soopa Villainz, Esham, Ghostemane, Bone Thugs N Harmony, Inner City Posse, ABK, KRS-ONE, Geto Boys & the Insane Clown Posse.

The highlight for me was KRS-ONE. I have seen him a half dozen times in my life but not in the last 15 years or so. He was supposed to play in the middle of the night and I was bummed I was going to miss it, but then he came out on the main stage and I was really far away and pretty much sprinted over to take photos from the crowd. Seeing Morris Day & The Time was pretty cool as well. C&C Music Factory was just the one guy doing karaoke and that was depressing as hell. I wish I caught more of Clownvis’ set but the first day we were there we were on no sleep and had to bounce. I took terrible photos of Gwar and still got Gwar juice sprayed all over me. Seeing the Geto Boys without Bushwick Bill was really sad. All the GOTJ Crew shirts had memorial patches for him on them which was really nice. And lastly it was a cool surprise to see ICP preform as Inner City Posse and do their first record Dog Beats, but they did it in a red tent in the middle of the day so the photos were pretty much unsable. I included a couple anyway. 

Okay, that’s it. More updates coming soon I hope. I actually have no idea where I am even going when I check out of my hotel so that should be fun.

Click here to see all the photos of music from the 20th anniversary of the Gathering of the Juggalos. 

ICP

Ghostemane

Clownvis

Suicide Boys

Gathering Of The Juggalos

 

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Untold Festival – Part 3

I attempted to get the final photos from the Untold Festival up yesterday during my layover in Istanbul but, surprise, my website was blocked. I then had a 10 hour flight from there on two hours of sleep and then we got stuck on the runway for two hours and by the time I got home I was barely alive and I fell asleep and woke up 14 hours later. But here I am, functional once again, and ready to give you the final photos from my trip to a Transylvanian rave.

On day three I had this idea to walk to the festival with the two other American press people there for the fest. It was an under an hour walk and we got to see a little of the city. We got there and ate food and hung out a bit, but I didn’t shoot a ton of photos. Suddenly I realized it was 5:30 and the fest was taking us back to our hotel at 6 so I only took a few photos during the day. We went back to the hotel, packed up and took a little break because we all had stupid early flights the next morning and would be out late.

I got to the festival in time to see the Black Eyed Peas who were one of the few non-EDM musicians to perform. I was a pretty big fan of them before they became huge pop stars. Before Elepunk was released in 2003 they were sort of considered “Backpack Rap” and was a white college student I of course loved them along with groups like Jurassic 5 and all the Native Tongues stuff.  I was notably not a fan of the Fergie era BEP, but I was really surprised how much of their set I knew most of the words to. Fergie is no longer in the group, but they have someone doing her parts. Also, for the record Fergie was super nice to me when I met her and on two different occasions nearly a decade a part Will.i.am has completely ignored me when I asked him if I could take his photo. I am respectful enough to not do that paparazzi shit and the least you could do is make eye contact and tell me no. Okay, enough bitching.

After the BEP I went out and walked around checking the rest of the festival out and I sort of hit a wall. I don’t know if it was the jet lag or just three days of walking around a massive festival, but I was pretty beat. I still shot a bunch more photos because there was madness everywhere and it’s super easy to do it, but I also spent a bunch of time sitting on a hill just observing the whole thing. I also happened to eat the best cannoli I’ve ever had which is impressive given that I live in New York City and love cannoli and have gone to all the famous bakeries just to try their cannoli but fuck this thing was made with Nutella somehow and I would go to Transylvania again just to eat another one of those. 

Anyway, this whole thing was an incredible experience even if I don’t really care about dance music. Seeing 80k people listening to music together is amazing no matter what kinda music it is. Everyone was super nice and I think my only regret was that it wasn’t a super terrifying experience full of vampires, but instead a family friendly good time. And although I didn’t see any vampires, I did get bit by something and now my arm still itches 4 days later so it’s entirely possible that my arm is filled with vampire eggs that will hatch while I am sleeping and devour me in the night. Hey, you never know.

Click here to see my final gallery of photos from the Untold Festival in Transylvania, Romania. 

Untold Festival

Black Eyed Peas

Untold Festival

Untold Festival

Untold Festival

Untold Festival

Untold Festival

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Untold Festival – Part 2

My second day at the Untold Fest was a lot longer than the first. It’s 24 hours but during the day it’s a bit slow with nothing going on on the main stage but plenty of things to do. I wanted to get some daylight shots in but I wanted good light so I went down just an hour or two before sunset. I think I am going to go down early today and then maybe come back to my hotel and finish this post because it’s 6am in NYC as I type this and 6am on a Sunday is not an ideal time to post content on to the internets. I also got a super early flight tomorrow so I don’t know if I am gonna stay out late tonight. Whatever the case part 3 of the Transylvanian rave photos will have to wait until Tuesday unless I can find decent WiFi on my layover in Istanbul tomorrow. 

Yesterday I actually took advantage of my press access and shot some of the main stage stuff from the photo pit. I didn’t bring a long lens because I hate carrying it and I wanted to focus on the crowd a lot more than the DJs. Still I got some shots of The Prodigy performing and some shots of Steve Aoki headlining at 4am although they kicked us out of the photo pit before he got into the crowd and did the fun stuff he does smashing children in the face with cakes, etc. It was crazy seeing Aoki play for a massive arena full of people. There are something like 70-80 thousand people who go to Untold every day and most of them were watching him DJ. I’ve seen the dude DJ for a couple dozen people at a pool party in Miami, so it’s pretty fucking insane to see a million kids holding up “Cake Me!” signs and going absolutely insane. 

Another thing I should mention is that I broke out two flashes last night for the first time in years. I have been organizing old nightlife photos and realized I was way better in like 2009. A big part of that is that I am not shooting party photos every day of my life anymore, but part of it is that my technique changed. I used to use two flashes. I would use the pop up flash on my camera as a fill light and then I would have that trigger a hand held flash which was my main flash. But when I bought my workhorse 24-70 lens it was too long for the pop up flash and would cast a shadow so I just stopped doing that. This trip I brought a second flash as a back up and I just decided to put one on my camera and have the other one trigger the flash and it honestly worked pretty well. I might have to stop being so fucking lazy and start shooting with two flashes again. I guess we will see…

Okay, that’s about it. I am gonna try to do some daytime stuff and come back and hit send on this post when I get back to the hotel. Check out these photos and I will see you guys when I get back to NYC (or at least when I get back to the Istanbul airport). 

Click here to see the photos from Saturday at the Untold Festival in Transylvania, Romania!

Untold Festival

Untold Festival

Untold Festival

The Prodigy

Untold Festival

Untold Festival

Untold Festival

Untold Festival

Untold Festival

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