PLACES TO GO AND THINGS TO DOWhat a fucking ruckus. Once we hit the south, southwest to be exact, it seemed as though every shoot was a full 9 hour drive from the last. Austin to New Orleans, New Orleans to Tampa, Tampa to Atlanta, Atlanta to Richmond. Long, all-nighter drives that made camping out in any one place kinda not likely. As a result I am kinda lost in a most general sense. I don't remember when is the last time I sat down and wrote a blog so while sitting in an Atlanta coffee shop I figured that it was time to do so.
Traveling is pretty cool in that it kills the will to know exactly where you are, what you are supposed to be doing, and how you are supposed to do it, and it forces you to kinda work with what you have. Since I've left Philadelphia on October 1st my hair has gotten longer, my beard has grown to jesus-proportions. There have been a few days where brushing my teeth was a luxury. There were many days where showers were nonexistent, and simply splashing water on my face from a well-used faucet in a rest area served as "quite refreshing." Oh, yeah, and let us not forget the hundreds and thousands of people that have come in and out of frame, and many I forget for a mintue and remember when in another state. Yeah, so to keep oneself from going absolutely nutty you just have to be there for you, and that is it. Down the road a piece, once you are settled into some "known" place it will be possible to give thanks properly. But for now it is the road of the "self" that I must focus upon. The rest of you get cred in a few weeks.
Okay, a brief summary. A brief summary is all that I can offer since I haven't had a lot of time to take too many pleasure pix. So here goes.
NOLA could have been a big blur had it not been for the antics of our host Lacey. Local promoter, DIY activist, and awesome person in general, Lacey took us out, entertained us, introduced us to the many amazing tastes of New Orleans and general vicinity, and made our stay there one of the most awesome stays of the entire trip.
Night one was spent in Baton Rouge. Lacey's house was this amazing amalgam of what appeared to be two or three houses, replete with a big-loveable bulldog. There was a cat, a television, some cushy chairs and couches. It was awesome. Making our way to a 24-7 collegiate eatery, we were intrduced properly to the Po-Boy sandwhiches and grits. Baton Rouge would have been good enough for me, except for that the next day we were on our way to New Orleans.
Once in New Orleans we found our way to many a tourist spot. I encouraged it so I got what I wanted. Funny drinks, drinking during the day, walking down the Quarter with a drink in my hand, Cafe Ole at Cafe du Monde, weird shit, yummy food, pastries, strange people, some folks wanting to get naked for the camera, and all of that. It was surreal to say the least. But it was surreal in the best possible way.
Making our way to the R-Bar we set up shop and shot some VERY interesting characters with the bars. One dude with the bars on his ass (the first person with them there that I shot), and antoher guy with them tattooed on him no less then three times. Once the night really got going there was a lot of interst in the project and a lot of interest in getting naked (others more so than me). So, one guy fully intent on being photographed offered up his bare ass to the camera. My caveat; only if you let one of your buddies spank you. He agreed. I took the pic. It was weird but not unexpected. I have a good set up and don't think that I should just shoot any-old-person when they want it, unless they want to give me $$, or sex, or something like that.
And as soon as it was over it was over. Stefan and I packed up and we were off faster than you could say, "hey, wait, you forgot to pay your tab...!" No, really, we did pay our tab. Then we were out.
Long fucking drive through the night. We handled it in a few shifts. On my morning shift, after a brief nap in a Florida rest area, we were merged into by an old man from Alabama. He left a black racing strip on our white car, and this marked our first acciding in 40 days. Police faulted our old friend and off we went.
Atomic Tattoo, and Tommy Johnson (our host) were giving free tattoos all day. It was a pretty extraordinary concept. So, we got a lot of good shots in on very little sleep, and I got my bars ammended with a quote from a song from the Black Flag album that made me not like Black Flag very much. See picture. Anyway, I though that it was fitting because MY WAR is a song that means a lot to me personally, based on the fact that EVERYBODY seems to be one of THEM, but the album, especially side B, was where I kinda let that band go. I was over BF by 84. Yup, I said it, and now Ironically I was getting lyrics from that record recorded onto my skin for the rest of my life. Like I always say, "Humor, there is not enough of it in my life..."
In Tampa I bid Stefan, my faithful travel associate, a farewell, and picked up Noe for the last week of the trip. While my first day without Stefan didn't seem so strange, I must admit that our strange synergy worked very well for this tour. We both were able to chill for long periods of time and make the most of long stretches of time where there just wasn't anything else to do. Now I feel like I have to make things happen when there really isn't anything to do. Oh well, there is just on more week.
The drive to Atlanta was long and boring, and full of construction. We arrived in Atlanta and instantly got lost. Once we found our way to Lenny's Bar we set up shop and shot some pretty solid shots of a bunch of local old-heads, and some new-heads to boot. Atlanta has a long history of Oi and Skinhead bands, and so we shot a few cats that kinda started the whole thing up here in Atlanta in the early 80's. Having not known much about Atlanta punk culture, I was quickly schooled. It was a good time, and then it was over.
Went back to the home of a friend and got a very good night's sleep. Now, um, I dunno. I have two days off. What to do with them..? Hmmm, I dunno. Anyway, I guess that I am about to explore that...