Posts Tagged ‘music’

wut

“What? WHO IS THAT?!??”

“The greatest thing you’ll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return.”

Today I was intending on returning here to discuss the largest severe weather event which is known as “The Tri-State Tornado” as it happened on this day in 1925.

But I scratched that idea as it a very bleak and tragic story. So instead I will write about one of the most precious times that has ever happened in my life. Full of hope, love, and in my own opinion, rather funny if one thinks about it.

This happened on the 18th of March in the year 2017.

But for those of you who are not subscribed to this blog and are new, a bit of a back story.

I had effectively stopped writing show reviews some time in very late 2014, with very few exceptions here and there throughout those years. Needless to say that was a bad idea. New show blog coming at some point this year.

But in mid March of 2017, the SXSW Festival was happening. Most importantly what was called “Heart of Texas Rockfest” was going on. The evening of the 18th was the grand finale of the entire SXSW experience.

At this point, I had gone out thirteen nights in a row. Each night of SXSW, and the nights before leading up to SXSW. But the 18th was going to be the last for about two nights before I went out again.

On the 18th I pretty much stayed around Rockfest all day long. One of the bands that was going to be towards the end of the night was Raven Black, a metal band from Los Angeles. I had heard about them from a colleague and since they were coming to town already, I decided that I would check them out.

But as many of you live music fanatics know that when you go for one artist, you end up listening to a different artist that you like. And so you start to follow them. And the cycle repeats.

This was no different with a rock band that I would discover that night.

In all honesty, I just really wasn’t paying much attention to the live music that was happening. I was preparing for Raven Black to get on one of the two stages that was set up. I began to wonder if Raven Black would even have people come to see them.

But there was a rock band on stage, and Raven Black was scheduled to play next.

I recall engaging in conversation with some random gentleman who was enthralled with my skull rings that filled every single finger at the time.

My back was actually turned to the stage. As I said, I was NOT paying any attention at all.

Up until one moment where the music began to play the next song, and the crowds who were there started to cheer and scream and most importantly, began to howl!!!

I wondered what in the world was happening. Was there something crazy going on stage that I was missing? Did some idiot in the crowd get so drunk that they tore off their clothes and started to run? What was the noise about???

I was in mid sentence with my conversation and just stopped to turn around very slowly.

My eyes would behold a sight that would change my entire life forever.

The band that was up on stage? An all female rock band called “The Mrs”.

Mandy on guitar and vocals.
Jenny on bass guitar and vocals.
Larissa on keyboards and vocals.
Andra on drums and vocals.

Four gorgeous and (soon to be finding out) talented women all in black and rocking some choreographed moves on stage to a song that is called “Bait And Switch”. 17388908_10154430023716453_8664476018360684040_o

WHAT? HOLY SHIT!! WHO IS THAT??!????

I pretty much abandoned the poor guy I was talking to right then and there.

I moved cautiously towards the front of the stage as to not to attract attention by the band. But keeping it that way was a failure as I scrambled for my digital camera that I had at the time to take photos of these stunning women who were out there and rocking.

The moment the flash went off, I swiftly received the world’s worst case of “stink eye” from Mandy as she turned her head my direction with the expression on her face like “Do that again!” 17389244_10154430023761453_3235329458273497013_o

It is not a look that you ever want to receive. And one I do not want to receive again. Even though she and I joke about it a lot in current times. So relax, she’s not going to hurt me.

Yet.

After putting the camera away, I had nothing but tunnel vision as I watched the rest of their set play out.

I noticed the large screen behind them kept flashing the band logo “The Mrs” and immediately put two and two and two together. For about five seconds, it equalled about 40 and a half, until six was the right thought.

I thought to myself: This band must be called “The Mrs” and they must be called that for a reason. And I was right on both assumptions. I knew right away to behave and not to engage in any shenanigans.

They played a song called “The Beast” and I just kept screaming out loud : “Wow! Wow! WOW!!! WOWWWW!!!”

Each of them looking at me, then smiled and continued on with the set.

As they bowed to the crowd at the end, I nearly forgot about Raven Black!!! And so that band started to play. I had to rush over towards that other stage to be front and center and watch them as well for the first time.

Even though I enjoyed Raven Black’s set and became a fan of theirs that very evening. I couldn’t stop looking around to see if the members of The Mrs were still around. I wondered if they were going to hang out the rest of the night or if they, like many other bands during SXSW, were going to up and split. Between checking my digital camera for the next shot of Raven Black and looking around for The Mrs, I can think back and realize that I was no longer focused.

The whole time I was thinking, “Please don’t leave. Please don’t leave. Just lemme get a photo… PLEASE DON’T LEAVE!!”

At the very end of the night, I spotted members of The Mrs walking around, some were talking to other people, and others just hanging out.

I quickly took the opportunity to take selfies with members of Raven Black, talked with them, but kept an eye open for The Mrs to appear some where …. ANY WHERE.

Then Raven Black left the area, and I had spotted Jenny once again. I slowly began to gravitate towards her. 17358882_10154430021006453_2181635018379226095_o

But here I was wanting to take photos with The Mrs, but being scared to death just to ask and lacking the testicular fortitude to do so.

I put myself in a difficult situation by doing that.

Then I saw the rest of the band members. They were all still there, talking to people, taking photos, shaking hands and kissing babies… the whole nine yards.

This was my chance!

I grabbed my digital camera and opened the shutter, so to be ready.

First person to spot me was Mandy. She came up to me and asked, “Did you want to take a picture?”

I…COULD…NOT…TALK!!!

I temporarily lost the ability of speech. So all I could do was nod. What the hell?!??

Mandy said she would gather up the rest of the band and to just wait. Then she disappeared. Like literally, I had no idea where she went.

The next person to come up to me was Andra, then Jenny the same way.

So for as long as I live, I will always remember that three out of the four members of The Mrs… their first words to me were “Did you want to take a picture?”. And bonus fact: Britny Lobas from Corbella (formerly Nomad City) said the exact same first words to me when I met her at SXSW 2016.

And each time I sat there, mouth open, and unable to use verbal communication. Not to any of them.

However with each of them coming up and asking, they were not nearly as quick and successful to fulfill the request. One kept running off, or someone interrupted. Anything you can think of that would have temporarily prohibited getting the photo taken… happened.

With the camera shutter open for so long, I ended up draining my batteries that I had to switch them out….. twice! Yep, I killed two sets of batteries just waiting for the opportunity for a photograph.

Finally at long last the band was assembled and they came up from behind to pose.

Normally while posing for photographs at that time, I would put my arm around the other person. But there were four of them and only two arms. Plus I did not know who these women were at the time and in my absolute fear and awe, I just did not feel like having my arms ripped off of my body. So I clasped them together and prayed for the best photographs to come out of it.

A few photographs were taken and the task was done. Everyone dispersed into different directions. And wouldn’t you know it, that’s the moment that my ability to speak came back to me. But when I spoke up to thank them for taking the photograph with me and for having a rocking show, I was shouting out into thin air and nobody heard me.

Ugh…dang it!!!

I still went home that night feeling accomplished. Also feeling quite stupid that the “cone of silence” had fallen over me like that. I figured that The Mrs must’ve thought I was some kind of jerk.

It would be the last night of going out for a while as my wheelchair broke that Sunday evening. But I made sure that I looked up the band on their website and followed all of their social media accounts. I knew I wanted to see them perform again and didn’t want to miss any opportunities in doing so. And I knew that the second time that I would see them, I would be FULLY focused on them and their music to really see if I liked what I was hearing.

Their next gig was a while later for a benefit. So I quickly looked to see how much tickets were going to be.

$249 a piece!!! Holy crapolita!!!!!

Well, it WAS a benefit. So I couldn’t go.

I struggled for a full year before SXSW 2018 came around. The Mrs was playing during that time at what was being called “Kindnesspalooza.”

It was only at that time that the intimidation and fear had began to disappear because I never attempted to add them individually to social media until the night before that show in 2018.

A chicken… was I!! These four beautiful and talented women had my ticket and punched it without knowing it.

But I showed up rather early for Kindesspalooza all dressed up. I was out to make a statement with the band, and anyone else who I came into contact with.

I stopped by the corner store and bought some flowers, because apparently I am so old school that people like me rarely exist any more in the 21st Century.

Does anybody remember that you give roses to a stage performer at the end of the show?? I am guessing not.

I waited most of the morning and much of the afternoon for The Mrs to appear. I went through their merchandise table and picked up their three song sample EP as they were on the verge of releasing their EP “Five Minutes” later that year.

I took off towards a back door and sat in a stair well and plugged the three song CD into my discman and began to listen.

I wasn’t paying any attention to my surroundings and I began to cry when I was listening to a song called “Lullaby”.

Suddenly, arising the stairs came the entire band as they were moments away from taking the stage.

There I was trying to wipe away tears to hide any evidence of them ever being there, Andra asked “What are you listening to?”

I replied, “YOU! The new songs are fantastic!!”

My voice cracked when I said that, and I thought “You dummy!!” But I guarantee that none of them noticed. I barely noticed it after it had happened. I was just more focused on them NOT noticing the tears flowing from my eyes.

I followed the band back inside and forced my way towards front and center of the stage. Ready to put my full attention to this band. Even though I had been listening to their music on the Internet from either download sites or YouTube.

I felt prepared for this.

The Mrs started playing and wouldn’t you know it, I was distracted by some young model who was rolling and crawling around on the floor all around me, posting video clips to her Instagram page and various other social media sites.

I had to finally ignore the flailing woman and focus on the band. There’s a photograph of me floating around on Facebook of me watching very intently that was taken by some unknown photographer.

When the show was over, I had grown more fortitude than I had a year prior. I went up to each of the band members and requested that they autograph the CD. Then as they were writing, I pulled up the digital camera to take selfies with them.

Then I remembered that I had flowers. So I went up to Jenny to hand them to her. And she suggested that I hand them to Andra. She walked me up to Andra so that I could be “re-introduced” to her.

I handed Andra the flowers. Four beautiful roses. And I quickly disclaimed that she could do whatever she wanted to do with them and there was no intention behind them. Andra burst into tears and thanked me.

I thought I had done something wrong. But Andra was rather filled with joy and appreciation.

Throughout 2018, I would start to catch the band at other shows. I was able to build a relationship with the members of the band.

Shortly after that, I had an opportunity of a lifetime. I was invited by two of the band members to take part of their music video for “My Tribe.” But I got intimidated and flaked out. A mistake I still regret to this day. I went back to zero testicular fortitude.

What the hell is it with me and this band and losing focus and forwardness?

I would be there in attendance when they had their EP release show for “Five Minutes” in the fall of 2018. Front and center, baby!! From that point any and all shows that I have been to have been up front, if not front and center.

I attest that I got caught crying when they played “Lullaby” but I am told over and over again by them that they didn’t see it. (I think someone is bluffing!!!)

A few short weeks after that I suffered the fire.

Within hours, members of The Mrs reached out to me to find out what was going on and to ask if I needed any help. Jenny asked if a GoFundMe campaign would help and I allowed her to do that. Mandy came over with a food because I hadn’t eaten anything all day.

I noticed how quickly this band was ready to help out in any way that they could. And they would show this kindness over and over again in their own individual ways. After all, why would they do all of that for “just some fan”? Other than human kindness, that is.

In three years I would go from fan to friend to essentially family. I refer to each of them as “sisters” to this day. And I love them all as such. I am super blessed.

It is just too bad that I have repeatedly come across as some major dork. But I think that deep down, none of them mind.

—————————————————————————————————————————————–

The Mrs can be found on all digital downloading websites across the Internet. Their most recent releases “I Am Enough” and “The Fight” can be found on Spotify.

492 Days

Posted: March 2, 2020 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , , , ,

I thought that I would take some time to create what is the first post of 2020.

It’s been a very difficult time over these recent months. So let me clue you in on what has been going on with me.

The 17th of October 2018 is where I will start. I already wrote a post shortly after this date that my apartment caught fire. Everything was lost. But thankfully nobody was seriously hurt.

I spent two full months homeless, living in a hotel and living off of donations that were graciously provided from friends and strangers alike.

In early December 2018, I had found an apartment complex who had taken the last two people who hadn’t found something more permanent. Myself and another neighbor.

It took some adapting to and eventually I would meet people and build relationships with a few of those who lived in the sixteen story high rise.

After the brutal Texas summer had passed and autumn was creeping in, I started not to feel very well at all.

Imagine being in warm weather and still having your body shake and shiver. I knew something was going on.

I thought that it was “just another infection” as I get them commonly because of the Spina Bifida.

By the 11th of November, I could no longer withstand whatever was trying to keep me down. It turns out that whatever it was… was not trying to keep me down, but rather it was trying to take me out. This infection that I had was trying to kill me.

So I went into the hospital that evening on the 11th of November.

After at least a dozen surgeries, the infection had eaten a hole on my body and was going deep towards the spine. Doctors said that just by looking at the wound, that they could barely see the bone of my spine because the hole was that deep down.

A dozen surgeries and all of them done within two weeks. The last one being an attempt to close the wound with a skin graft. And it was serious. The plastic surgeon continued to threaten to amputate my leg so that he could use the skin to cover the wound.

The amputation however did not happen.

My last surgery was on the 26th of November. Then began the difficult task of basically being in bed for 30 days without getting up or even sitting up. I had to be flat the entire time. Not a very easy thing to do.

I think that I was more upset about the fact that I was starting to spend holidays away from home and either a hospital or in a rehab hospital.

I had only been in the hospital for a week before I received a call from my brother that the apartments that had been rebuilt. ONE week!!!!

Christmas was difficult. And my birthday in January was coming soon. I had made plans for that day to go to San Antonio, Texas that day. And I was afraid that all the money that I had spent would go to waste.

In early January, I was sent to “skilled nursing.” But don’t get me started on that because I will bitch and complain from start to finish.

But I did receive some medical and wound care there. Then finally, on the day of my birthday this year, wound care said that my wounds were all gone and they had nothing to tend to.

And yet I missed my trip to San Antonio, Texas. In order to save myself from financial destruction, I had to sell the tickets to the concert that I had. I lost about $60 USD in that adventure.

Finally in the month of February, I started pushing staff about a discharge date. While I was there, I was receiving physical therapy and occupational therapy as well as the nursing care.

I pushed and I pushed hard. Asking just about every day when I would be released from both types of therapy. And I had done so until I was given a date for discharge.

I was focused to do whatever it was that I needed to do to make sure that I did in fact LEAVE on that date.

Family flew in from Atlanta to give some extra help in those first few days but after 492 days since the fire, the apartments were rebuilt and I finally returned to a brand new apartment.

And at the time of this being written, I am on my second week of being here and still trying to get used to things. I am happy to be out of the care of any medical facility and back to a life of independence as much as I had before.

I’ve learned so many things about my own personal health and I learned about how other people in my life, no matter how big or small, actually love and care about me.

But for now, it is very slow. I cannot be sitting in the wheelchair for very long. After a few hours, I have to lay down. And I am hoping that soon that I will heal from the inside as well as the outside and I can get passed this current situation and get on with life.

Going to shows for a while, are going to be very few and far between. I’ve been to two already and heavily paid the price for doing so with fatigue and pain.

Also moving forward, I’ve put out a poll on social media. The response is that I should go back to doing show reviews. So every show that I attend locally or whatever, I will be doing blog posts. But I will start fresh and create a new blog specifically for that purpose.

I’m looking forward to putting all these days behind me and leaving them to be nothing but a faded memory.

 

depression-720x540
“An error doesn’t become a mistake until you refuse to correct it.”~ Orlando Aloysius Battista

Another year, another GRAMMYs Award show that I did not watch. Come to find out that if I had, I would have been rather pissed off.

The 60th GRAMMYs Award show happened. I haven’t watched it in I don’t know how long, but they have a pattern in which the show is displayed on television across the world.

Then this happened.

The GRAMMYs have never been kind to the hard rock/heavy metal music community even though the category has existed since 1989. (And do I even have to go off on a tangent about who won that first year? I think not.)

But for a Memoriam, one would think that the GRAMMYs would have their shit together.

I have never been more wrong!!

Again, I’ll say that the hard rock/heavy metal community isn’t very well liked by the GRAMMYs and it shows. But to constantly omit those who are pioneers in their respective fields and genres is a disgrace. More reverence and credence was given to those who passed away in the last year that aren’t so much legends.

This legend was on the program, but not in the FINAL program.

Seriously, how much effort does it take to add one person? This happens all the time with award shows. Why isn’t there some body hired to make sure that everyone is included?

As I said, I don’t watch these idiotic, circle-jerking, self-absorbing television programs. And for good reason. Forgetting a legend is one of them.

Hollywood, step up your game!

1150058

“I want chicken
I want liver
Meow Mix Meow Mix
Please Deliver”

Just when I thought I was done  writing blog entries about concerts and shows that I have recently attended, I became eyewitness to the weirdest thing I have seen on stage.

I know that there are some bands out there that have done stranger things, but this was something I personally saw.

September Mourning was the touring headliner. But local band, Resisting Vegas, was the winner of the night.

Costumes and props are the standard, but this will take it to the next level.

41290246_10155833686531453_3603438949588008960_n

Rico Kallirgos of Resisting Vegas

Resisting Vegas was in the middle of a lengthy guitar solo, and lead singer Rico Kallirgos stepped off stage briefly and when he emerged again, he was struggling to lift a very large bag of what looked like to be pet food of some sort.

It was dry cat food.

He knelt down and began to tear into the bag to open it. When he got it open, his fist plunged down deep inside of the bag. The audience was intrigued and some where terrified as they did not know what was going to happen next.

Fistfuls of cat food were then placed into a plastic container.

Then he stood up with the container in hand and he reached for a large wooden spoon, and proceeded to eat it until the end of the guitar solo.

He ate so much of it that when it was that final moment to say thank you to crowd, he still had cat food in his mouth.

One band stole the entire show.

After it was over, many people said that they were scared that he was going to throw the cat food. But none of them had expected him to actually eat it.

He admitted that he never told the rest of the band of what he was going to do. Some of them not really knowing what was going on when it was happening.

“Keep Austin Weird” they say.

Well done, Resisting Vegas. Mission accomplished in keeping that city tradition proud. The bar has been raised.

To the other local bands out there: It’s your move!

 

 12ded702fb8e8ffd6668954c095cbec4

“More people will come if they think we’ll have punch and pie!” ~ South Park: Bigger, Longer, and Uncut (1999)

I am going to share with you a tale of humor and humility.

I suppose that I would have to admit that with my love for live music, I’ve been kind of a super troll lately towards local bands whenever they are promoting/announcing an upcoming show.

They are only doing what they can in order to get people into the venues. It’s their job. I know that. But whenever I see something like that, I always ask if there will be “punch and pie”.

This past weekend I went out to see several bands play live. One of which was “Skunkfest 2018”. Ten glorious rocking bands at one venue. One of those bands is “Inch of Dark”.

In the days leading up to the event, the band would just promote, promote, promote all over social media. And I kept messing with them about having “punch and pie”.

Well, I think the promotions worked because there were so many people there. It was so hot outside in the Texas summer heat that I wanted to go back inside, but there were so many bodies inside that it drove me almost crazy.

I had received a message several hours from one of the band members of Inch of Dark, and they said that they had a surprise for me when I showed up. punch

Inch of Dark wasn’t playing. They called me out to the max!

As I arrived at “Skunkfest 2018” I saw so many people that I knew that it was hard to say hello to all of them.

Then I saw members of Inch of Dark and they began to laugh and said “Wait here!”

They LITERALLY bought a pie and a bottle of Hawaiian Punch!! And they had saved me some. (I do wonder what happened to the rest of it.)

I was busted….

I was grateful for the surprise, even if it was a joke.

Inch of Dark is a bunch of great guys.  And I think even greater music. But I warn you, don’t mess with them because they will mess with you right back!!

I look forward to seeing them play live once more.

Check them out:

Inch Of Dark

 

 

 

 

dscn34691“A healthy social life is found only when, in the mirror of each soul, the whole community finds its reflection, and when, in the whole community, the virtue of each one is living.”~ Rudolf Steiner

On the fifteenth of November, which is this week, there will be a board meeting by Capital Metro, which is a bus public transportation here in Austin.

They are proposing some changes to a number of routes that, if passed, would take place in June 2018. They are claiming to want to make bus routes more efficient and faster to get to those people using the service.

Out of the many routes that have proposed changes, TWO of them will be of great importance to me personally.

One of the routes happens to run just outside the apartment complex. And that has been a personal convenience. The other is in the neighborhood down the street by a few hundred feet. And it is the latter route in which I take to get to places into the downtown area for whenever I want to go see live music. Essentially the core part of my social life since 2014.

The proposed change to the route that runs outside the complex will be re-routed to where if I need to ride that bus route, I will have to make a walk of about a half of a mile up a steep hill and then down the other side. Depending on how much stamina I have at that time or how fatigued or not fatigued I am, that could take me up to twenty minutes just to get to the bus stop.

It is not a route personally often, but it causes a great deal of distress and loss of stamina if there came a time if/when I need to use it.

All for the sake of making wait times shorter.

The other route that I use VERY FREQUENTLY and is my link to the social life that I have created for myself (from what I am reading) will go into effect at the same time.

IF YOU KNOW ME FROM LIVE MUSIC, THIS WILL BE IMPORTANT!!

If I am understanding correctly, that bus route that connects me from my neighborhood into the downtown area will NOT RUN during times that public school is not in session. So, essentially during the summer there will be NO bus!!

These two routes are the closest to where I live and if they are gone (seasonal or permanently) then I honestly will not be able to maintain what social life that I have today. Unless I want to travel distances up to a mile just to get on a bus, or to get off of a bus and return home.

My physical health over the past two years has deteriorated, and I am unsure if I will have the strength and stamina to make such a journey.

The two routes in this neighborhood will effect over 1,500 city residents in this neighborhood. With a daily ridership across the ENTIRE CITY of 130,000 people, these changes will most likely cause that number to drop significantly. And usually that will mean that bus fares will go up again in price.

When I started riding in 2014, I could go downtown and back for $1.00 but in recent past, they did change the fare to go up, and now going downtown to catch a live music show is a round trip cost of $2.50, so even if you are in a band and there is NO COVER to your show, there’s always a cost of transportation, at least for me.

So I do have that concern or fear that if these changes are approved by Capital Metro, then my social life as far as enjoying live music and entertainment will die. And those relationships that I have made will eventually fail. And without having the stamina I once had, this board meeting has me completely on edge.

Ride share programs and taxis are either expensive or not an option in my personal case. And that stinks!

Yet I am unsure of any proposed changes for the Night Owl routes, which I actually discovered just over a year ago which run six nights out of the week between midnight and 3:00 AM. And since I learned about it, it has allowed me to actually stay where I am at, without having to leave or bail early to catch a bus back home. I do not know if any of those night time routes are a part of this or not. I am hoping not. If I am out and about and these night time buses are a part of it, I won’t have much choice but to call for a taxi.

I am facing a very harsh reality however that if these changes are approved that life as I know it will cease to exist. I will either have to find another way or find a totally different social life. And hope that I do by the time these changes kick in by June 2018.

selies“Life moves so fast. You gotta document the good times, man.” ~ Big Boi

According to Wikipedia,The first partially successful photograph of a camera image was made in approximately 1816 by Nicéphore Niépce.

In just over two centuries through the constant development of technology, we have been able to capture our favorite moments with our most beloved people in our lives.

In the 21st Century, we take photographs of anything and everything that crosses our sight. In the press of a button, people upload an average of 1.8 BILLION images every single day!! That’s billion… with a B.

I have done my fair share of that. And I am unapologetic for many photographs that I have uploaded. And some will never be uploaded or shared because they are taken for personal reasons. (Get your head out of the gutter!)

In 2011, I started traveling. Many of you will remember the countless blog posts of shows that I attended in Houston. I started doing so because I was so excited about traveling that I wanted to share. I have spent a lot of money buying disposable cameras to document my travel, fun moments, and loved ones. And I have spent even more money getting that film developed.

Three years later, I found myself attending events locally. Particularly in the downtown area. As you can imagine, I have met some people and made some friends along the way.

Within those three years, I received an Olympus digital camera as a gift. And since then I have been using it extensively ever since. I didn’t ask or beg for it. It came from the kindness of that person’s heart.

Yet bringing it into the world of smart phones, it seems a bit ancient and archaic. But it still functions as it is supposed to.

Yeah, the flash is super bright. I am aware. People seem to think I don’t know that. I HAVE HEARD MANY OF YOU WHEN YOU THOUGHT I COULD NOT. Gossip-1

Throughout this summer, I have heard people mumbling about me wanting to take photographs. A majority of it actually are people who are complaining and bitching about it behind my back and they don’t think I know about it or even think that I actually heard them as the words actually came from their lips.

If it comes down to you not liking your picture taken, that is your choice. But 99.99999% of the photographs I have taken, that has not been the case. Plus you simply will not receive the benefits. Again, that is your choice.

So it is time for me to set this record straight. Even though I was not asked to, nor do I feel that I should. If I have ever taken a photograph of you, and/or taken a photograph WITH YOU…. you will see that this is for YOUR benefit.

As I stated already, photographs are taken when I wish to document a special moment. Or if I am with people that I have deemed special to keep in my life that I would always want to remember those moments.

Think about for a moment. I WANT to remember that time when I was with you. Flattery should fall upon you, not loathing.

Over the last three years, a majority of my social life has involved entertainment in music. Live music mostly. The Olympus coming right along with me.

So I sit there right up in front of the stage to be able to feel in the moment when the music is playing. I take my photographs to the best of my ability with what I have.

And at the end of the night (by way of habit) I take selfies or pose for pictures with the musicians that are participating. After that I take more pictures of those who also attended. Mostly those whom I have grown to have a personal relationship with.

Then those photographs will obviously be uploaded. And just about everyone whom I have taken a photo with knows it and knows just where to find it.

Good or bad. Pretty or ugly. That is all subjective. They serve a higher purpose than your self-image based opinions. (I don’t like how I look in pictures either. But oh well!)

I have never charged any person or public entity for the photographs that I have taken over the years. It is not a business to me. Other people use photography for business and profit. Kudos to them! If they can make a living from it.. good for them! I wish them all success.

It would be very nice for people to think the photographs that I take are for the following reasons. Because it is 100% true:

  1. Promotion. 100% FREE promotion. People that you do not know are going to see these photographs. If they are ever curious as to what I am doing or what I like, they are going to look to see who and what is there. Musicians and entertainers in particular, if you want the message of what you are doing and saying to be spread to people who don’t know, the photographs I take act as that kind of promotion. And it has been more successful than you think. Just think of the different people’s faces that you see at your events that you never saw before.
  2. Personal documentation & reflection. Many entertainers share the same common dream: Making it big in the business. If nobody knows your product, nobody is going to buy it. And yet personally for those that I believe have the ability and potential to fulfill those dreams, I can hold these images dear to my heart to have the ability to say that I knew you. Chances are that I won’t be able to do so again if at some time you “made it” in your chosen field.

If you are in the entertainment industry, you should have been well aware that people such as I are going to ask to take photographs of you. If you didn’t think about that before, or don’t like your picture taken, you should probably leave the business.

“Graphs” ARE your business.  They are your life. PhotoGRAPHS and autoGRAPHS.

And finally the most personal reason of all. If by now you still are not understanding of why I do what I do, hopefully this will sink in.

In these most recent years, I have had so many people expressing their “concern” about how they wished I would do something more than just sit around the house. I made the choice to go and enjoy music. It was something that for most of my life I never thought that I could do.

I was wrong. I was totally wrong.

Man in wheelchair_0

YES I CAN!!!

Photographing and documenting gives me a reminder that I CAN do these things and that I should do them as much as possible. Life is too short to do nothing!

It is proof positive that I am living a more fulfilling life.

I recall a conversation with a colleague a few years ago. I told them that I was going out to see a particular event and I asked that person if I would see them there.

Unknowingly that person had broken their toe (or foot, I don’t remember specifically) and therefore stated that they could not go anywhere.

I expressed some sympathy towards their most recent plight as I was totally unaware of that happening to them and ended the inquiry and conversation altogether.

Then I was very discouraged and filled with frustration. This person was choosing not to go out because of their temporary situation.

On the other hand MY SITUATION is very permanent. Someone with the worst and most severe form of Spina Bifida, a birth defect is willing to make the choice to go out and have some fun while someone who has more physical ability 99% of their life decides to whine and moan over a temporary setback.

I bring along my digital camera and use it to show to the WORLD that even though I am living with the most severe of disabilities, I make the choice to get out. My photographs are my proof that I have done so. And I hope that it brings encouragement to those who sit at home alone.

So instead of whining about me “always asking to take pictures,” understand what the real reason to it is.  Even if I ask again and again and again and again.

And finally, I want to address something about the selfies that I have taken in the past. A lot of people are thinking incorrectly about them. index

If you already follow me on social media, you know that a vast majority of selfies that I have posted include other females. Not ALL, but a lot of them. That’s my choice.

However more than just a few people have told me that they are jealous of those women. And when I ask them why they are jealous, they say:

BECAUSE THOSE WOMEN ARE SITTING ON YOUR LAP!!

As fun as I think that might be, the only person that has ever sat on my lap in order to take a selfie with them, is Kimberly Freeman from One-Eyed Doll when they are in town on tour. But the last few times she has not done so. I am guessing maybe only two times in all. I also had a friend of mine do so to take a photograph together but she only agreed to do so after a lengthy explanation as to why it would look better in the photograph.

The others have stood close by me to make sure that they are within the shot and they have to squeeze in close to do so.

The truth is that other than Kimberly Freeman, two other women have sat on my lap to take a photo. But those photographs are not uploaded for a purpose. Nor will they ever be. Mainly because at the time they were extremely drunk and it could come back to bite them. So I don’t publish as I refuse to put myself in a situation to be blamed for consequences they could receive for their decision and action.

I think that the truth of the matter is that people in general are afraid to sit upon my lap. Of course again, the exception of those who are extremely intoxicated.

I hope that clears the confusion. There’s no need at all to be jealous.

I still stand firm in the opinion that a person SHOULD sit on my lap for a selfie because it is for their personal benefit so they don’t hurt their back or their legs or knees from squatting or bending over just to make sure they are within frame. But I can not convince the world of it.

And lastly I will end this post with a bit of self defense from what I touched on at the beginning.

A majority of selfies I have taken by myself. I have long arms and can stretch out a digital camera enough to get two people (maybe three) in frame. I honestly would prefer someone else to take the picture for me. I simply just don’t ask any more.

But for those who offer, whenever I hand over the camera I constantly hear comments and remarks about how the camera is a “dinosaur” or outdated technology or whatever. And remarks about the flash being “bright and blinding.”

I am a personal believer in “if you can fix it, you should.”

If you don’t like the flash on the camera or if you cannot figure out the button on the top of the camera is what you press to make the camera function or if you think it is too old, then why don’t you step up and offer to help upgrade it? I don’t have much disposable income as many other people do.

Should I just start another GoFundMe campaign to find a camera in which I can use without a flash and the photos turn out just as well?? Or am I just really stupid in believing that could really be something that someone would want to do???

If you can fix it, you should. So allow me to start you on your journey to help out everyone involved…………………………………

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00RKNND2W/_encoding=UTF8?coliid=I1QJMCDBR7M5ON&colid=14ORUMN2Y06CD

I started out small, I can upgrade and grow as we go along. Does that help???