No Rock Mike PhotosWednesday, November 29, 2017
|S.T.R.E.E.T.S., Mazinaw & Tugboat at the Templeton on Granville Street|
In the late 80s Vancouver Magazine writer Les Wiseman and I went to New York City to get work. We thought we were “la mama de Tarzán”, Mexican Spanish for we thought we were terrific.
We were able to see the not yet legendary Adam Moss at Esquire who told us he liked our stuff but that his magazine had no interest in Canada and its Prime Minister Joe Clark.
Before we could go to Rolling Stone I had to make an appointment with the art director by phone. I was asked, “Do you have any pictures of rock bands performing?” I knew this was a trap so I answered, “No.” This was the art directors method of separating those who shot bands singing with microphones and those who got to go back stage. I was given the appointment.
At Rolling Stone, Wiseman and I noticed that there were many youngish men with glasses that looked like Elvis Costello. Ample reason why the magazine always liked him!
The art director and editors looked at our stuff and liked it but told us, “We are not interested in Tom Cochran and Red Rider.
|Kia Kadiri centre at the DV8 with Nardwuar, left and the rest of the guys from the Evaporator and the Front|
We were able to secure some work for a then hip but low paying rag called Trowser Press. With our tail between our legs we left the large pond and back to our small one.
To this day I have the opinion that shooting bands while performing is like looking at pictures of sunsets, fireworks and city scapes. Once you have seen a couple you have seen them all.
Here are a couple of pictures I took for the Straight in 2004 when they expected original photographs and paid photographers not too badly. This was before the handout photo.
For these shots the photo editors expected me to photograph several sets of bands, three at a time at some location that was one of the band’s choice.
Note that in one of the photographs you can see the other. This was before I could handle Photoshop so I stuck a little photo on the right hand corner.
The trick to any of these photographs is to impose your own personal style, demand some posing and look carefully at every face before pressing the shutter.
These days I hardly ever see a rock photograph that makes me think, “wow”. My guess is that many make the motion and no more.