I posted this picture because last night at the Black Cat, after 16 years of taking photos, for the very first time, someone told me midway through Frodus’ set, that I wasn’t allowed to use flash photography. This of course is about the dumbest rule ever in the history of dumb "rules". The employee that asked me to stop pulled at my shoulder and then, when my finger slipped and took this well framed shot, started to get all agro on me. Way to act like a cop. So this photo will be the last time I shoot a band at the Black Cat. Since they do not feel what they do is worthy of documentation I will no longer extend the offer.
The older I get, the LESS tolerant of clubs I get. The rules they impose on patrons add to the division between band and fan and help to facilitate the rock hero worship bullshit that kids grow up to have. Add the barriers to the alcohol consumption and there you have less of musical journey but a typical act of consumerism.
I know and have known many people that work at the Black Cat and it has historically always been a place I have felt welcome and because of that been treated very well. And despite the fan boy poses, I feel like what I do with my camera offers a service at NO CHARGE to that club, the bands and the fans. While I am no Glen Friedman, people do view these photos and ask me about them. People want to remember the shows and see the bands they love captured by the lens. It helps feed the economy of independent music. This extends to the venues that hold these types of shows. I have never been, nor will I probably ever be paid for what I do. It’s a labor of love, one part of an awesome whole that makes up the community of punk rock. But last night I no longer felt that way, again after 16 YEARS of taking pictures. You will no longer see photos from me at this venue.
If anyone from the club would like to have a dialog with me, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.