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Tuesday, November 10, 2009

••◊ I wear my sunglasses at night

I thought it would be appropriate to give this blog entry a historical perspective by using the title of an 80's pop song (ala Corey Hart). Will tie it in later in the post. Saturday evening I had an opportunity to attend a local gallery showing for Dave Stewart, normally of The Eurythmics notoriety. Little did I know until recently that Dave is involved in many aspects of art, both musically and visually. He has produced feature length films and currently acts as a new media consultant for Nokia. A brief introduction of his work can be seen here. Of course, being a celebrity, Dave has coerced quite a few celebrities into his work such as Bjork, Isabella Rossellini, Sinead O'Connor, and Carla Bruni just to drop a few names. Then there's the obligatory portrait of Miss Nekkid-ness herself, Demi Moore. As if anyone needs to see that...again, despite the rumored $600k pre-Charlie's Angles bodylift.

Getting back to the point, Dave was in town to show his photos at the Morrison Hotel Gallery and to promote his book, "The Dave Stewart Songbook Volume 1." The place was packed. I mean, wall to wall people with people lined up outside looking in through the windows. Not bad for a musician whose last big hit as a headlining act was in the 80's. To me this is a sign of a person who really connected with his audience when the time was right and they've stuck with him since. All I could really see from the sweaty gallery mosh pit is the back of people's heads. The best I could do to get a picture is pre-focus, put my camera into live view, and try to extend my arms up as high as they would go to get a picture while hoping someone didn't actually start slam dancing. Thank goodness for live view, but next time I know the semi-secret location to squirrel myself away in before the presentation starts. Henry Diltz, one of the gallery owners and a well know music photog, evidently had the inside line because he was perfectly placed. Maybe I should just shadow Henry next time.

The evening started out with an introduction from Rich, one of the gallery owners, followed by a short greatest hits set of Dave and a violin player he used in one of his photos. The sound system was horrible; I mean the vocals were complete mud and the normally warm acoustic guitar sounded like a lap steel. We could only understand about every fifth word between cringe-worthy strums. At least the violin sounded decent. Dave made the best of it and the crowd didn't seem to care. I soooo wanted wanted to jump in and take over the PA (...my precious...) and start EQ-ing. Sometimes I feel like no one understands the horrors audiophiles face.

Afterwards, Dave autographed copies of his book that attendees had just purchased along with a promotional photograph. People were pulling on his sleeves like it was 1986 again. Surprisingly no one was wearing ripped jeans or a fishnet tank. Dave kept wearing those sunglasses all night. Somebody should tell him it's OK to look old. We're your fans and we're old. Then again, maybe that's not such a good idea after all. People have already tried the "bald is beautiful" approach with the Edge from U2 and we can see how far they got.

I was surprised to see my co-worker Max and his girlfriend Andrea there so I asked if I could take a picture of them together. Max is a fellow engineer, but you wouldn't guess it from girlfriend (I salute your woo-ing skills Max - plus she's a photog - bonus cool points). It begs the question, does she have a sister?

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