Sunday, February 28, 2010



Today was a long anticipated interview with a famous photographer that took many of the most iconic images of Black Flag during their heyday in the early 1980's. I don't want to go to in detail about the event but I must admit that it was one of the most mind-blowing of the interviews for Barred For Life thus far. Not only did this photographer, an icon himself, open up and offer his opinions, but there was so much wisdom in what he said that it was just, well, inspiring..!

So frequently we take things for granted. We take our "things" for granted, our friendships for granted, our projects for granted, and, most of all, we take what we know for granted. Since beginning the Barred For Life project I must admit that I thought that I knew a lot about my subject. I thought, for instance, that there were a lot of people out there with The Bars tattooed on themselves, and that they would offer enlightening information about why they got it, and offer their side of the story as to why bands like Black Flag inadvertently change lives, and I got received that. While the information is stimulating, and the subjects interesting, few of us really get the "dedication" that was necessary to keep a band like Black Flag floating during its most difficult times, and so when a subject comes along that just exudes this dedication it becomes necessary to rethink the word dedication. Probably, and definitely in my case, it has been taken for granted.

More than anything, dedication means going without (more often than not). It means doing without expecting (frequently). And, it means that there is no clear definition of what you will encounter, and/or what you will gain by doing, but you do it anyway because you believe in it.

For religious practitioners this is referred to as faith. For Punk Rockers it is just the way that it is, will be, and always has been.

And so this interview was wrought with insight into doing stuff "in the moment" without any realistic idea of what could be expected on the other side. In fact, there was no other side. If Punk Rock in the 80's could have seen itself lasting into the 2000's, well, it probably would have done some things differently, but it didn't. What we have now (or at least what we are able to glean from it now) is that there was no gold at the end of the rainbow. There was nothing to hope for except to keep moving in the moment. There were goals but in a world where you carve out your own version of "goal," what are you achieving anyway...?

Personally, before I found Punk Rock I didn't know what the fuck I was gonna do with my life. Funny how my life has come full circle in the last 25 years, but at least I had been tempered as a teen not to expect anything and go for the gold anyway. For me a "goal" was simply to make it to a place where I could plan my next leap for just long enough to catch my breath. Then I would jump in again, find a rock in the storm, reorient myself, and then jump back in the water. This is the way that I finished college. It is the way that I got myself into graduate school. It is the way that I approached my first real job as a teacher. And, now, it is the way that I am approaching Barred For Life.

Sometimes it seems like I am the only one out there. I don't always know who to turn to for advice. There are times when I have no money but have to drive or fly somewhere to interview somebody, and I find it somewhere just so that I can make it to the next interview. In doing so I've had a tendency to build up a huge insecurity because I can look at the faces of friends and family and see that they think that I am making a huge mistake by pursuing this project, but sometimes you just need to employ something that looks like faith in order to get to the other side, to catch your breath, and then move on to another project. It doesn't look linear. It doesn't look logicial. It doesn't seem to have an end, but you know that it does.

Anyway, that is what I was thinking about while interviewing this person today. His stories about being so inspired that he "had to do whatever he could to promote this thing," and how he "never thought that 30 years later we would be looking back to those times for inspiration," but somehow there we all were (looking like a professional interview was taking place) talking about why we are all doing the things that we are doing, and how it all goes back to those times. It was pretty amazing.

In the middle of the interview somewhere our subject brought up in passing an television interview with Chuck Dukowski. The set up is this: Black Flag was probably at the peak of their popularity. Their shows were getting busted by the LAPD before they even had a chance to play. Their fans were being threatened and beat up by the LAPD for doing nothing but coming to see their favorite band play. Shit was a mess but Black Flag just kept on booking shows and getting a lot of attention (most of it bad). And just when things seemed dire, Chuck appeared on a Los Angeles talk show and eloquently explained to the host that the problems of the world are with conservatism. Things, some of them very bad, become institutions and we don't question them. We just let them go because it is easier to let things go than to challenge them. And by not challenging them we are not doing a service to "creating change in the world," but are submitting to things that we know are wrong (in essence that is what is being said).

So, in the middle of his band, Black Flag, being given a bad, bad, bad wrap by everybody in LA, instead of kowtowing and asking for forgiveness Chuck essentially says that the problem isn't with Punk Rockers (because they are doing the right thing), but is with people who let bad things happen and don't challenge it. I think (to paraphrase) that,


Now, that is dedication. I, personally, would not have had the balls to say anything like that if my band (or my life) was being watched carefully by the Police. Yeah, that is dedication.

look for the Black Flag reference...

Monday, February 22, 2010


My new favorite Black Flag tattoo

Maybe you have have wondered why i have been delinquent in posting to the blog (?), and you may be justified in your question. So I guess that I owe you an explanation. Here goes.

I am sure that many of you have been in bands, and that your bands have set off for a lengthy tour. While the tour is on the tour is FUCKING ON. However, when you get home the reality sets in that you are no longer on tour, and that you must settle back down from whence you came, and get your life back on track.

Well, ladies and gentlemen, the process of reuniting with my real life took me from couch to couch, and from home to home, until I finally said enough is enough. Now settling back into my life in Philadelphia, maybe I will be able to kick out some more interesting thoughts on the topic of Punk Rock, of its evolution, of how its principals have invaded the popular culture not so much as novelty but as good solutions to persistent problems, and how weird it is for me to hear Punk Rock-ish songs played on the radio. So, yeah, sorry. Lift got out of control there for a minute.



Angela Bennett

Those of you that know me, or if you met me in person on tour, know that I am not the biggest Rollins fan in this world. But, and this is a big caveat of mine, his tenure in Black Flag was undeniably the most profound of all four Black Flag front men. While not my favorite voice, the Rollins version of Black Flag still rings to me as EPIC.

Apparently I am outnumbered, and I am happy to be just that. We don't all think alike in this world, and so for those of you that think that I am lame for thinking that Ron Reyes (aka Chavo Pederast) was the best of the Black Flag frontmen, well, here is your opportunity to get your cut in.

A few weeks ago a talented Canadian writer, Ms. Angela Bennett, contacted me about her project, which includes people contributing their stories of what Henry has done for the cultural underground while in Black Flag, and now as a popular culture talent. When I say "people contributing," I mean, YOU. Read the statement below, and if you feel compelled to reach out to her, then, well, I encourage you to do so quickly.

Like Barred For Life, the Rollins Project demands outside input. The story of Rollins, or of Black Flag is not something that a person can just write because acts and individuals like these are way more a personal thing than a public thing, and so this is your opportunity to have your say.

Project of Love From the Fans of Henry Rollins

Thanks to Hank

WANTED: Personal stories from the fans, a.k.a, ‘fanatics’, of Henry Rollins. If Henry Rollins has moved you, inspired you to reach higher, helped you in some way, or just makes your life better by way of knowing he is out there, living art and inspiration, and you are willing to share your story in a future publication of Fanatic Stories of Thanks to Hank, please send your story!

The target goal is to complete the project by February of 2011, Henry’s 50th birthday. All potential proceeds will go to the charity of Henry’s choice.

Fanatic and novice writer, Angela Bennett, commented on the project, “Henry has made such a profound contribution to the lives of many thousands, perhaps even millions of people around the world. He is an inspiration to so many people regardless of age, race, or socioeconomic class. This is an opportunity for fanatics to share their stories with, and thank Henry.”

During the first month of this project, fans and media are responding from across the world; from 15 year olds to 50 year olds, from the U.S. to Australia. It’s one thing to be a fan of a band, or an actor, but often it’s about more than that when it comes to Henry. Henry moves people, he is a catalyst in people’s lives. There’s a quote from The Gift: Imagination and the Erotic Life of Property, by Lewis Hyde, that captures Henry well, “…the gift we long for, the gift that, when it comes, speaks commandingly to the soul and irresistibly moves us."

People can contact Angela Bennett with stories, or artwork, at, through the Facebook Group, Henry Rollins – Thanks to Hank Project, or Angela does not work for, or represent Henry Rollins, other than being one of many grateful fanatics in the global neighbourhood.

Thursday, February 4, 2010




If you came to any of the photoshoots while we were on our tour you might remember some faces, some strange, uncomfortable situations, or possibly you became friends with one of us. However, unless you are one of the crew then I don't believe that it is possible to have met us all, and so allow me to do some introductions.

Without this group of dedicated individuals this project, and the tour that allowed us to harvest all of the photos, interviews, and the experiences would not have been possible. While I was able to do a lot of the nuts-and-bolts stuff on my own, let's face it, nobody has all of the skills necessary to put together tours, books, graphics, blogs, and all of that other stuff all at one time. While I am multi-talented, I am not anywhere close to being good at all of the things that I can do, and that is where everybody else comes in. And not only that, I managed to surround myself with a group of people that really know the insides-and-outsides of Punk Rock at many different levels, and that provided me perspective.

Possibly the biggest problem that I have encountered over the past three years that the Barred For Life project has been active is that I have a tendency to approach the topic from a "back in the day" sort of way. So, when I was placed for 7-days in a car with Noe, for instance, I was quickly schooled that there IS an active Punk underground. While it doesn't look exactly like it did when I felt that it was relevant to me, IT DOES EXIST, and these sorts of revelations gave me a new perspective on the information I was gathering.

So, with this in mind, let me introduce you to the cast of characters; me included.

Stewart Dean Ebersole

I am Stewart. About three or four years ago I walked into my friend's tattoo shop in Westerville, Ohio, and that is where the project found its roots. Five of us sat there on that rainy day, and all of us had The Bars tattooed on us, and some had better bars than others. But I'll be damned if the stories that we related to one another about this "cult" tattoo weren't amazing. Naomi, the owner of the shop informed me that the numbers of people coming into her shop requesting the tattoo was on the rise, and about a year later I was working out the plan that would become the book Barred For Life that you should be reading in about a year.

When I am not spending my savings on touring the world to take pictures of you, and interview you, I am just working on the book; writing, researching, communicating with other poeople, an just trying to gain more and more perspective. I have a birthday in a few weeks, and I will be 43. I spent nearly 20 years of the 43 actively involved in the Punk Rock culture between the east coast and the mid west. My favorite era of hardcore happens to be that which came about when Gravity Records started releasing bands like Antioch Arrow, Angel Hair, John Henry West, Heroin, and stuff like that. However, I am pretty sure that that whole thing was inspired by one of my other favorite bands of all times, the Nation of Ulysses.

Jared Castaldi

Jared joined the Barred For Life crew almost as soon as I had decided to tackle the project back in 2006. He was just starting his photography career, was a talented web designer, and was drumming for a band called The Vote. Jared was rather busy, and is now even busier, but he took interest in the project and seemed to grove pretty heavily on traveling around the east coast shooting photographs of Punk Rockers young and old.

Jared set the ball in motion, and he defined the visual aesthetic of the book from his first few shots. His style evolved, in my estimation, directly from shooting the activity of bands, and so his style had this rich darkness to it. I am not totally sure but I think that he settled easily into shooting black-and-white images for the book both because they broke the photos down to their bare essentials, and because it would be cost prohibitive to to produce a book about an element of the Punk Rock culture in color.

Jared's stark black-and-white photography set the standard for the book, and so when I found out that he was not going to be able to tour with me, um, I had to man-up and take over the photography duties. With Jared's guidance, somehow I made it through. His picture of Mike Cummings of Backwoods Payback has become the most utilized image whenever BFL is mentioned in the media, which it has been more than even I know (because nobody is telling me). Let's face it, this project would not have been possible without the input of Mr. Castaldi, who is now the staff photographer for Main Like Today magazine.

Matt Smith

Matt Smith has a rather impressive Punk Rock pedigree, but that isn't the only reason that I asked him to be part of the project. Matt, besides being something of a walking encyclopedia of the history of the Punk Rock culture, he is a solid Graphic Designer as well. If you saw a flier or an advertisement, or you've seen a copy of the manuscript that we were shopping to the media and publishers, then you've invariably seen the work of Matt Smith. From day one Matt and I seemed to share an interest in making Barred For Life look more like a zine, or an album insert, then a cut-and-dry documentary about a very active and colorful cultural phenomenon. Together with the photographic contributions of Castaldi, Matt was able to produce a manuscript that read my mind. It was pretty cool the day that I saw it in print, and I knew that it was gonna be an amazing finished product just as soon as I was able to take the project across the country and Europe to get the goods, the pictures and interviews.

Beyond all of that book-related stuff, if you've ever heard of Rain on the Parade or Shark Attack, these are two mighty impressive bands that Matt played in, along with an early manifestation of Terror. Yup, all of that and recently married, when you finally get a copy of Barred For Life in your hands you will be looking at the design of Matt Smith.

Todd Barmann

Todd is the newest member of the Barred For Life crew, and meeting him was kinda whimsical. About two years ago I was invited out for drinks on a Thursday night with a lawyer friend of mine. When I finally made it to the bar I was introduced to Todd. I had no idea that he had any association with Punk Rock, but that would all change later. My first impression of Mr. Barmann was that he was smart to the point of genius, one of the most articulate people that I've ever met, and so sarcastic that at times I was actually scared of him.

After a few drinks, however, while watching folks perform many a Punk Rock classic care of a karaoke band, I realized that Todd Barmann is a Punk Rocker of the same school as me; that of the early 1980's. Similar in age, I also learned that we are both Aquarius', which means that we shall remain brilliant, broke, and defiant until we die, and we Aquarians are fine by that.

Todd is a wordsmith. Todd is also, like Matt, a walking encyclopedia of Punk Culture. Part of the famed North Jersey scene, Barmann was a staple of New Brunswick and Trenton. Now a freelance editor, Todd was an instant in, and logical choice as editor for the book. Proving to be a faster writer (albeit, a bit messier) than me he also took over the interview duties during the early group photo shoot for the book. What you will be reading upon your purchase of Barred For Life next year will invariably be his crafting of my information, and so if you disagree with it you can try to kick either of our asses (yeah, good luck with that...)..!


So, yeah, getting the book finished is one aspect of Barred For Life, but there is another aspect that I refuse to overlook; The Barred For Life tours. Between the months of October and December, 2009, we took to the road. Fifty photoshoots and 300 people later, here I sit at my computer trying to make sense of what just happened to me (us, really), and it is difficult.

For me at least, I quit a job, gave up an apartment, spent almost 5 months calling and reaching out to promoters trying desperately to make them understand (1) I am not a band, (2) I was coming to their town to shoot photographs of people with Black Flag tattoos, and (3) they needed to figure out a way to get people to come out and allow us to shoot and interview them for this mythical book. Well, it worked and as of October 1st, 2009, I set off for 40 shoots with my trusty companions Stefan, Jorge, Noe, and Audrey. Allow me to introduce them to you, won't you..?

Stefan Bauschmid

Go back one blog entry and there I laid out a pretty solid rundown of the events that led to Stefan accompanying me across the country. I will cliff note some of the information.

I met Stefan a bunch of years back in Wasington, DC. he was hosting an event called Indie Tea (see last blog for details), and I was invited as a friend of a friend. It was a cool vibe. Over the years we had a bit of contact but not a ton of it, but I was always excited to greet he and his wife Amy whenever they were spending time in my home city of Philly.

Stefan is a drummer with an obsession with the Minutemen. His obsession is not a bad obsession, but his obsession drives him to know more about that band than anybody else that I know in the Punk Rock scene. While on tour in LA, every time that he saw a sign for San Pedro (the town of origin of the Minutemen) he would let out a rebel yell. I never found out the root of his obsession, but it sure was interesting to the point where he had decided that the Minutemen anchor would be his second tattoo; his first being the Black Flag Bars scored in Buffalo, NY, on this very tour.

Stefan kept the tour together. By the end I was just a tired mess and burned out organizationally. Yup, he kept it together. While there was some bickering and so forth toward the end, I will have to go on record to say that for two people that didn't really know each other that well in the beginning, we made it almost 50 days together squeezed into a tiny, white, Hyundai Sonata, and no punches were thrown. In my book, that is pretty fucking amazing.

Stefan resides in Arlington, VA, and from what I have gathered his band now has a singer.

Jorge Brito

I met Jorge while a bicycle messenger in the city of brotherly love, Philadelphia. He had never been to Canada, and I am not sure the exact set of circumstances, but he was adamant about being my travel companion, half the driving team, and principal interviewer on the Canadian leg of the tour. Who was I to say no..?

Hailing from somewhere in Virginia, Jorge went to school in Richmond, VA. In VA I'd imagine he was influenced by bands like Avail and Municipal Waste (which he was), and so by the time that I had met him he was road hardened by touring with bands and traveling to see shows. Jorge met up with Stefan and me in Buffalo where Stefan trained him in the art of conducting an interview, and in no time Jorge was pulling people aside and getting their information. Not that I could read any of this formally trained "school teacher's" handwriting, but it all worked out in the end when I forced him to read his own writing and pull the quotes that you will see later in the book. But I refused to judge a man by his insane handwriting, except for that I think that it is a sure sign of a serial killer instinct. But what to do I know..?

Beyond that, Jorge was my party partner. I am not much the party guy (unless I am really drunk), and so having Jorge pulling me onto dancefloors, crashing wedding parties, and making me crack up until milk ran out of my nose, was definitely a necessity on the Canadian leg where just about everybody (except for those crazy straight edge kids in Ottawa) was drunk when we interviewed them. So, yeah, Jorge stands out as the person that brought me out of my shell, if only for a few days.

Noe Bunnell

Noe is the first Hawaiian Punk Rocker that I've ever spent a lot of time getting to know. I know her roommate Jackson, who is also a former Hawaiian Punk Rocker (now also living in Philadelphia), but that is about it. I, seriously, didn't know that Hawaii had a scene, so in our many conversations on the topic I was continuously made aware that I didn't actually know everything. I know most things; just not everything.

Before the tour I had only met Noe one or two times, and one of them she had just gotten her bars done, was drunk, had just finished a bike race, and showed me her ankle while I shot some pix of the tattoo. While on tour Noe and I stayed in contact with one another and I think that it was in Chicago that she reached out and asked if she could share a leg of the tour with me on the West Coast. Unfortunately we weren't able to work that one out, but soon we had her on board for the trip from Florida to Philadelphia, and covering a lot of states that she had never seen.

On day one Stefan took off for home and I trained Noe on the interview protocol, and like that she was doing the interviews. After a mad rush of seven folks in a few hours Noe settled into the chair for her second, pink, set of Black Flag bars on her other ankle, while I got some updates to my bars as well.

Our trip up the coast was enlightening in that Noe schooled me in a lot of "what is new in Punk Rock." While I know that there is still a scene in existence, I wasn't sure just who occupied it and what young Punk Rockers did, and this profoundly effected how I would approach the writing of Barred For Life afterwards. Seriously though, the average age of a person with The Bars tattooed on them is 25, and Black Flag broke up 24 years ago. So, I have to blame that bands legendary status for half of this, but if you didn't have some necessity to connect to this band and their legacy why on earth would you get the tattoo..? Because, you want to connect to the beginnings of the scene that you are living in. Simple, but I was a bit resistant to that idea at first. Yup, I was pulling a "back in the day" episode until I got Noe on board.

Audrey Dwyer

Audrey is awesome. I met her at a photo shoot in Philadelphia, where I interviewed her. From Audrey I got the craziest answer for the "favorite singer" question part of the interivew (promised that I would never tell anybody her answer), and we became friends over time. She is a hair stylist and is constantly putting up stickers that scream, "I GOT DONE BY AUDREY." Maybe you've seen them.

Anyway, Audrey wanted to join in on the fun in North America but that just never worked. So, after some thinking we agreed that maybe she would come to Europe with me and be my assistant. I was broke as a joke and she offered to pay her own way, and with that gesture she was in. Featuring the best hand writing of all of my interviewers, Audrey was my party surrogate. When I wanted to sleep but our hosts wanted to party, I would sleep and allow Audrey party enough for the both of us.

Having Audrey along made the last leg of the trip interesting. By the time we got to Rome, a city where I'd been a number of times before, it had become a vacation. I showed her around the ruins and, then, all of a sudden she was gone and I was on my own.

Thursday, January 28, 2010




I met Stefan a few years ago through two different friends who were both camping out in Washington DC. I was friends with both of them, but neither of them were really that close, and so on my trips to DC I had to choose carefully how I spent my time so that I could hang out with both of them.

One day, while staying with my friend, William, I was invited to an interesting event called INDIE-TEA at Stefan's apartment in the city. INDIE-TEA was a simple event orchestrated by Stefan whereby he served tea, asked others to bring deserts, and one person was chosen to spin new music of one's choosing. Immediately, upon entering his home, I was struck by Stefan's laid-back attitude and his ability to bring lots of people together for a rather "off the beaten path" sort of event. Not that hanging out and drinking tea is all that crazy, but the event wasn't just some ironic DC hipster event, but was a really cool way to start the week. It was like a reading circle and potluck stirred together with a liberal dose of Independent Music being played while people commented, sipped tea, and ate yummy pastries. While still just a bit on the foggy side, this memory constitutes my first meeting with Stefan.

Fast forward a few years and I meet up with Stefan in Austin, Texas at the wedding of our mutual friend William, who was marrying another mutual friend, Stephanie. I am not sure that Stefan remembered me that well, given that we had only had contact once or twice after INDIE-TEA, but I remembered Stefan. The wedding was pretty fucking cool but, well, by its end we all parted ways and I didn't run into Stefan again for a little while.


Stefan marries Amy, a beautiful and talented cellist, and on a trip to Philadelphia they find their way onto my floor after a show, and that, I believe, constitutes the beginning of our more formal connection. There was most certainly another meeting in there somewhere, and it ended up in a short hang at another club in Philly with me wearing a suit after a formal event, and then everything starts blending together.

Now this is where my memory goes a bit out of control. Somehow we end up FaceBook friends, and realize that we have another mutual friend, Joe McRedmond, and after a BFL-related trip to DC I was invited to Stefan and Amy's house to eat and reconnect with Joe after about 13 years of separation. The event was chill, and I was on a juice fast, so I sat and watched everybody eat and drink and be merry, while i shot pictures with my new camera.


What is significant about this event is that Stefan, at that point, knew that he was losing his job, and either I asked or he committed, and next thing that I know I have a partner to help me with the Barred For Life tour, and I couldn't have been happier. Somewhere along the way I just didn't think that I would need a partner for this tour so his commitment allowed me to do a bit more advanced planning because it would both lighten all of the things that I would have to do at each event, and I would have capable help driving across the continental United States.

After more and more planning via FaceBook it became clear to me that Stefan was not only an ambitious tour advocate, but was also very good at getting shit done. Now understand that I have a number of people on my crew working on the book (and I will illuminate them in future posts), but for reasons beyond any of our control, none of them could make the tour. In fact, the idea of somebody traveling for 50 days in a car in late Autumn with me was not only remarkable, but was sort of unbelievable. I thought that I was the only one foolish enough to take unpaid leave of my work, open up my wallet to the forces of the tour, and not know what was going to face me upon completion, but Stefan manned up.

While I would be the only one pulling all 50 days, Stefan was on board for about 35 of them, while his stints away for weddings and recitals were covered by a few other capable hands (also illuminated in future posts) by the names of Jorge Brito (did I get the spelling right), Noe Bunnell, and the lovely Ms. Audrey Dwyer, who so amazingly came to Europe with me to take care of BFL business there (and keep me from going absolutely crazy). At any rate, I was just floored by his commitment and, well, I thought him both the most awesome person in the world and, possilbly, the biggest fool in the world for agreeing to go anywhere with ME for 50 days. I am not the easiest person with whom to share a travel. Just ask my former tour partners and they will tell you, I am a bit of a demanding dick. Oh well, I felt that Stefan was capable of kicking my ass if I stepped out of line, and so I agreed 110% to have him as my partner.


The kind and organized Mr. Bauschmid sent to me a list of rental car options, with one of the major suppliers as our best price/value for the tour. We laid our dates on the table, booked a car, and went for broke. Stefan in DC and me in Philly, FaceBook chat, email, and text message got us where we needed to go and the decision to rent either a mini-van or a big car seemed to be our sticking point; a sticking point that we would work out the day that we left.

So I quit my job and he lost his, and on our first day of tour we converged on the AMTRAK station in Wilmington, Delaware to pick up our car. An idea of doing a blog was put on the table, and with a title of "GET IN THE MINI VAN," had a nice ring to it as a parody to Rollins' book GET IN THE VAN. However, the minivan weighed in about about 500 dollars more expensive than the full sized care, and since it was just the two of us, I made the call for the full size.

The disagreement over the choice of rental would not be the only argument that would ensue on our tour of the continental US, but if I must say so I think that we pulled it off very well. I won't bore you all with details since there are 40-some-odd posts from the tour you can look at and glean our experiences, but Stefan's participation on the tour changed me a bit. Of all of the things that I have done in my short lifetime I do believe that my trip across the US with Stefan will stick out to me as one of the most ambitious things that I've done, and will safely admit in retrospect that without his help would have fully fallen apart.


Thank Stefan for this blog. After spending a few days touring it seemed as though with a bit of boredom in Boston, and his asking me for some quick pix of the various shoots, he had the Barred For Life blog up and running in what seemed to be no time. Fighting it out with a prisoner's blog of the same name, Barred4Life found its way onto the list of accomplishments that I will credit to my design-savvy Austrian partner. After a while I grabbed the reins of the blog, but I could not have started it without his git-r-dunn attitude, and so I am humbled.

Beyond everything that would be expected on a photographic and interview tour of people with Black Flag tattoos, Stefan excelled as my gray-card model, my photographic assistant, the man that encouraged me to stop at McDonalds to eat a Filet-o-Fish every now and again, my "get the fuck in the car" guy, and the man that could do just about everything. Stefan was the McGuyver for the Y2K(+), and a DIY mastermind.

At any rate, I could never say enough good things about being on the road with Stefan, and so I will just let the picture speak to you (and the memories speak to me).

Stefan, thank you for signing up for a Ulyssean adventure. Thank you, unfortunately, won't do justice to your contributions to Barred For Life, but they are the best that I have to give for now.


Monday, January 18, 2010



R.I.P. Michael; It was my pleasure to meet you...

I've been home now for about two and a half weeks. To make a long story short, after the shoot in Rome on December 27th, I discovered that somebody in Bulgaria was kind enough to steal my debit card info, and my pin, and then tank my account to the point that I as a good bit over $2000 in the hole. I was in Italy, the most beautiful place in the world with the most awesome people in the world, and I was broke, broke, BROKE. And so I decided to come home a week early.

For those of you that believe that your book is already written, and that your job is to simply stay on the path without stumbling, falling, or trying too hard to follow somebody else's path, you might understand my dilemma. TOO MANY THINGS WENT WRONG ALL AT THE SAME TIME, and so I decided that the powers that be were calling me home, and I will spare you the details, but I somehow managed to slip onto a flight from Rome to NYC on December 31st.

So, here I am in Philadelphia. After three weeks of laying low and trying to get this book started/finished, I guess that it is now time that I keep everybody posted as to where I am in relation between the start and finish of Barred For Life.

Starting this week I will try to post once or twice a week and keep you all abreast of the progress of the writing, the publishing, the work that is being done behind the scene, and will make sure that you are all in the loop.

Thanks for reading.