First, I am still so tired, you guys. I am so, so tired. I have a huge bruise-slash-scrapes-slash-lump-of-pain on my right shin from where the sound case fell out of the SUV trunk on Tuesday, I have a new scrape on my right knee from where I fell off the curb into 4th Street, I have an inexplicable and enormous bruise on my elbow where I don’t even know where it came from. My flight home was miserable. I still have 1200 photos to edit, and I’ve already been on a first pass through 2000.
My trip was completely amazing.
First, some thanks:
- Most of all, any of you who donated to my fundraising drive: your support means a huge amount to me. Your contributions meant that I could spend my four days in Minneapolis without worrying about money constantly, and I made better art for it. If you contributed and didn’t get a copy of your extra special mix, please email me. If you didn’t contribute before I went but would still like to get a really kickass covers mix, you can do that here. Photography isn’t cheap, unfortunately, even with the advent of digital cameras, and I can always use a bit of extra cash.
- Second of all, a handful of amazing people in my life have, over the last few years, supported my backasswards breaking of all the “rules” of professional photography while I stomped and bludgeoned my way to where I wanted to be, and there will never be words for how much those people mean to me. Cee, Pam, Michelle, Heather, Martha, Andrea, and the Maternal Unit have all been my rocks, willing to listen to endless whining, willing to always give me a kick in the ass to do something or to tell me that stuff was a bad idea. I love you ladies.
- Second point five, the Axis, Dan Dan the Taping Man, all of Effingham and Slingshot Cash (particularly the Cowboy, because even though the Cowboy and I will always want to throw things at each other sometimes, one of our very early dates was to a Grant Hart show, and JerBlar), Glenn, Rusty, and the rest of the folks at the 506, Frank, Derek, and the folks at the Cradle, Sinful Savage Tigers, Wylie Hunter and all his Cazadores, the Fooligans, the Speakers in Code kids, the Trekky Records kids, and everybody else I know in the scene here in the NC: y’all are bad ass new gods. Thanks for believing in me.
- Third of all, Gorman, the crew of Every Everything — Jan, Sarah, Taryn, Katie — and Grant, who let me hang around and watch them work and occasionally get in their way. Y’all kick ass, and it was a privilege.
It’s hard to talk about most of the magic from my trip, because a huge part of the magic was just listening to Grant talk, tell stories, go off on tangents about everything and anything, and I want to keep those stories close to my heart — those are Gorman’s stories to tell in the movie. But the privilege of this personal tour of Grant Hart’s history, the punk and hardcore scene in the Twin Cities’ history, it was amazing. There were moments and stories where Grant just took my breath and my heart away; he is a funny, brilliant, strange and sweet-tempered man, and he drives like a careful maniac, and the trust that he and the crew gave me in letting me take their photos, I cannot value it enough.
The other part is that for, three days, I got to do nothing but take photos. It is what I want to do; it is the thing in the world that makes my heart and mind utterly calm. I didn’t worry about work, I didn’t worry about my car, I just took photos. I could stand back and frame to my heart’s content, and I did. I got to shoot Grant in a warehouse studio, great light and beautiful floors and leather couches, and I coveted the idea of a studio of my own. (It makes me want to move to Saxapahaw again. I could do amazing things with one of those three bedrooms and still have plenty of room for me and shep. and the cats and maybe a large dog as well.)
I also left the Cities deeply smitten again with both Mpls and St Paul, their music scene, the food, the rush of being in a real city. But I remember: their concert tickets are more expensive than ours, and they also have ~~~WINTER~~~, which I don’t believe in anymore. Still, Minnesota was formative for me in plenty of musical ways (including especially the musical ways we were talking about with Grant, Hüsker Dü and the ‘Mats) and I remembered that, and felt grateful and fond because of it. I have to come visit again, because also Grant recommended several hot dog places for me to try.
A few years, someone asked me what I wanted from my photography: friends, or access. I answered without thinking twice. I wanted access. I wanted the access that would give me the opportunity to make photos that were clear, and true, and intimate. I realized later that the question was asked with malice aforethought — it was not meant to help me clarify, it was meant to be nasty; wanting access is selfish and self-important, but wanting friends is altruistic — but the answer stands. It is great when the bands I work with become friends; it is more than great. I love the bands I’ve shot who’ve become real, true friends, and I would count all five members of the WWWT crew and Grant as friends after this trip. But more than that, I still want access. I want my camera to take me places that other people don’t get to go, and I want to make photos that reveal the clear and true and intimate things in those places for others to see. This trip was the most access I have been given, and I am stupidly, profoundly grateful that Gorman and Grant and the crew gave that to me. I would like to think that I have given them back some clear and true and intimate moments.