That afternoon I nervously waited behind the venue with a few dozen fans, hoping to see the band when they arrived.
Although Dave Grohl had been drumming in the biggest band on the planet not long before, Foo Fighters started from scratch, and as such they pulled up in a pretty ordinary band van. Pat Smear got out first, opened the rear doors, and William Goldsmith who was sleeping literally rolled out. He got to his feet and started hauling gear into the club with Nate and Pat.
Dave Grohl was talking to a guy from the venue and fans stared awkwardly. When they finished talking I impulsively walked up to him and said “Hi. I'm Dustin” and he said “Hi! I'm Dave!”
I told him I’d be shooting the show and hoped they’d be interested in seeing the pictures someday. He asked for my info and I handed him my shiny green foil business card. “We’re playing near Seattle in a couple of days if you want to come hang out.”
As for that night in Vancouver, I'll never forget the feeling of Dave and Pat's guitars ripping through my chest while they played This Is A Call. That show left a mark! One of my favourite things is that Pat played in his socks.
Two days later I was in Bremerton, WA and to my surprise there was an all access pass waiting for me at the ticket window. I walked into the empty venue before the doors opened and heard “Hey! You made it!” It was Dave and he had my card in his hand. “I told you I wouldn't forget!”.
Dave became a big supporter of my work from the start and is responsible for a lot of the incredible experiences I've had in my career. Not only shooting Foo Fighters for 25 years, but working with Paul McCartney, Nirvana, Queens Of The Stone Age, The Crooked Vultures, Beastie Boys, and St Vincent to name a few, all happened because of Dave. And all of that because this nervous kid went up to a legend and said hi.
These first two photos of Courtney Love feel so different from one another but were taken just moments apart. I've always presented these photos as a diptych because they tell more of the story together than individually.
On the left is a woman whose state of being is exposed from head to toe. The cigarette dangling from crimson lips, the bandaid, the bandaged arm, the lipstick-smeared fingers, the overall look of utter defiance.
On the right stands the same woman but softer, almost angelic. The catchlight in her eyes gives her an air of old Hollywood glamour.
The third photo gives you a pretty good idea of the vibe during Hole's set that day. I don't think I've ever shown this one before.
These were taken the day after an alleged altercation between Courtney Love and Kathleen Hanna (Bikini Kill) at Lollapalooza in Seattle.
I interviewed singer Kay Hanley at the Town Pump in Vancouver a few weeks earlier and we became pals pretty much right away. Her sister Elizabeth was on tour with them and she's still one of my favourite people and friends to this day.
I saw them again the next night in Seattle. I think that was the time I had to sleep on the kitchen floor in a hostel because they ran out of beds and I couldn't afford a hotel. Wouldn't do it again but back then it was just what you had to do sometimes.
I also shot LTC in Toronto and this photo along with the interview with Kay ended up being my first paid gig in a magazine. I'll never forget how proud and excited I was going into a magazine shop and seeing that issue on the rack. I flipped though the pages in a hurry to find my photo. The internet is fine, but nothing compares to ink on paper.
Their debut album Frogstomp was released when the band members were only 15&16 years old and it quickly went to the top of the charts with heavy rotation on radio and music TV.
This show in Seattle was part of their first big North American tour, and there was a palpable sense of excitement and anticipation before they hit the stage. For most of us it would be our first time seeing them live. Even Krist Novoselic was there to check them out.
There was a get-together put on by the label after the show and they seemed genuinely overwhelmed by the attention so we only exchanged a few brief words.
I stayed in the same hostel but got to sleep in a bed this time.
A couple of months later in Vancouver I shot them again and we got to hang out a bit longer this time after sound check. I just had these new stickers made and gave some to the guys. Chris seemed particularly stoked and asked if he could put one on his bass guitar (see last slide).
The next week they were the musical guests on SNL and to my surprise my sticker was still on Chris' bass! I felt like I'd somehow made it haha.