Monday, September 9, 2013

Twenty feet from the boys in the band

I've been trying to photograph Melissa since I first saw her at the Paladins concert at El Casino Ballroom last month. She was with her boyfriend Gabe Sullivan who I didn't know. I gave her my blog address and never heard from her. Then I saw her in the Tap Rm at Hotel Congress. She was there with Gabe Sullivan who was playing in his band, Chicha Dust, in Club Congress  for a cd release party for Live at the Dust Ballroom. Gabe got my friend Jim in, who got me in. At first, it was too crowded for me to buck the people but after an hour I threaded along the left wall and got to where Jim was shooting. The boys in the band were now in white after being in all black (miracle). I noticed Melissa in the front row dancing to the sounds in line with 4 or five other young beauties including  Molly, Christina and Elizabeth.
The lights changed and the five seemed to respond in unison. It was a front line of liquid sensuality as the gyrations kept coming. The lead guitarist, with early Robert Zimmerman looks, turned out to be Brian Lopez and he was ripping it.

 Every once in a while I could break away from photographing the audience and shot the drummer visible from where i was shooting, Elren Cruz,

and the organ player, Jason Urman

or Gabe doing a solo.

 and the line up of Brian Lopez, lead guitar Gabe Sullivan and bassist Geoffrey Hildalgo.


After a time Gabe called up rapper Dj DirtyVerbs (Logan Philips) whom I had seen do a performance piece at Pima College alongside Heather Grey.

Then the guitar dialogue between Brian and Dave

 I couldn't see drumer Winston Watson from where I was, but I could hear him.

The women. Sometimes they seemed insync or, at least, having the same reaction to a particular tune. Other times working, in pairs. Other times firecely independent.
The girls sometimes glowed in response to the music of Chicha Dust. In my ealy twenties, I became a photographer after watching Antonioni's Blow Up. Maybe, if I had seen this display of passion for music, I would have become a rock and roll star...or maybe not.

and then it was over. the body language, the expressions, the colors...GONE. 

My friend, Tucson John, was taking up the rear...I mean, was standing just behind the female front formation.

epilogue- received an email from Gabriel Sullivan dated 5:18 pm (several hours b4 I posted this) today:

Don't you ever show your fat ass at one of my shows. 

F..k you. Enjoy jacking off to your photos.

13. Fin

† Gabriel Sullivan 

I wonder if that is an endorsement or

I sent him the blog addie and he came back with:

 Have some class. And respect for women. Not every girl wants an old man putting a camera in their face while trying to have a good time. Please do not ever photograph Melissa again. That simple.

humm. I was shooting a row of young women dancing to the music of a band, in adulation. I wasn't isolating Melissa.  I wasn't "in their face".

Got a softer email from Gabe: apologies for such an aggressive email. but you must understand that you had Melissa and her friends, including one who is currently doing modeling, upset yesterday knowing that you had take "over 700" pictures of them without their permission. we were at a friends party and after a few drinks the idea that you had upset my girlfriend did not sit well. melissa does not like having photos of herself on the internet. i hope you take that into consideration.

I wrote back: i didn't take over 700 photos of them. as you can see i took what i took and since it was a public event I felt fine doing what I did. I had no idea the ladies would act so much like a chorus (almost in unison). I'm a photographer. I take that which i think is interesting. their response to your music was what I was shooting. when my fat ass was thinner I saw the Stones at the Academy of Music on 14th st in Manhattan in 1964. Many young women fainted and some fell out of the short balony. i wish i had shot that. when i shot at your cd release party i kept thinking about the crowd-women- reaction- to a young frank sinatra singing in new jersey or the beatles when they arrived in the US. if you jerk off to my work, you know i am serious about taking photographs of people. peace and performance

i think things ended ok. email from Gabe: I suppose it amounts to a poor miscommunication in a far too public time. Peace and performance indeed.

No comments:

Post a Comment