Saturday, October 17, 2009



After three less than stellar shoot with rather low turnouts, Columbus came through BIG-TIME. There was this point while I was putting together the plan for this book where I was worried about people hurrying out to their local tattooist to get the bars just so that they could be ready with a story when we got to their town. In fact, I was really interested in turning them away because I saw it as a bit unfair to be a newly barred participant instead of having had the bars for years and years and years. But there was something sort of shitty in that logic. Over the last few years that we've been interviewing people it has become obvious that you cannot have it all one way or another way; YOU'VE GOT TO GO WITH THE FLOW. Plus, after having visited a few cities where the "barred" citizens, those who've had the bars for a while, seemed to either actively boycott my project, or were just TOO LAZY to get out from behind their beers and television to come out to the events, well, it was refreshing to stumble into our next experience on the road.

Scotty Niemet is a Columbus legend. First having been an active part in the Cartwheel Collective back in the early 90's (introducing hardcore shows, food not bombs, and the like to Columbus), then a member of the Neilhouse (one of Columbus' longest running house-show venue), fronting the band Inept, and at the same time vocal in making the "LEGION OF DOOM" house even more famous in the hardcore scene than the Neilhouse, and so much more. When Scotty agreed to run the show in Columbus I was stoked. Very stoked.

We teamed up with the Soverign Tattoo Collective on High Street, which is housed in an amazing building that is both a tattoo shop and art gallery. Soverign signed on and offered a special on The Bars at $40 all day, any placement, any size. We were still in Cincinnati when the tattooing started so we missed a lot of opportunities to shoot live tattooings, but on our way to Columbus we stopped in to Thrill Vulture, the shop where the idea for Barred For Life was born, so that we could shoot Naomi Fuller again. Long story but at the beginnings of this project we had two photographers, Jared and Will. Some fallout over shoot schedules and other silly stuff found Will on the outs. He withdrew his pix and bailed. Naomi was among the shots. I was devistated. So it seemed only fitting to show up to Thrill Vulture unexpectedly, and shoot Naomi again.

Upon entering Soverign I was blown away. There were people waiting to be photographed, people waiting to be tattooed, and people just hanging out listening to Scotty spin old hardcore records. After hours of shooting and interviewing we ended up with 14 new additions to the book. 14 is a pretty good one-day shoot given that we didn't even manage to do that in the last three shoots combined. So, with my confidence up it was time to go back to Scotty's home and get some sleep.

In the past three shoots we've managed to score some pretty delux accommodations, and last night was no exception. Scotty lives in a mansion that was originally built for the aunt of a long dead president. It lies on the east end of town along side a number of other such mansions. There is a long story about the rebuilding of this area a few years back, but we were quite lucky to end up in such an amazing space. Seriously, this place if fucking amazing. At any rate, as Stefan and I wake up and set our compass toward Chicago, I look forward to hanging out with another old friend from my Ohio years and hope to score my interview with Barry Henssler, the former front man for both the Necros and Big Chief. Today, in the words of the immortal Ice Cube, is gonna be a good day.

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