After the Beastie Boys show in Vancouver in '98 I did a phone interview with Mix Master Mike for SODA Magazine, and at the end he asked if I'd come down to Oakland to shoot the last couple of shows on the US leg of the Hello Nasty Tour.
I went, of course. I brought prints for all the guys which is how Yauch ended up using one of my photos in the Beastie Boys Anthology: The Sounds Of Science. I never got to know Adam super well but he always seemed genuinely excited to see what I brought, which I thought was really cool.
The next time I saw Mike was in Victoria, BC. I showed him around my hometown, we went for dinner at Pagliacci’s (my favourite restaurant) and went to the barber for a haircut.
Mike ended up using one of my shots from the show for the cover of his record Eye Of The Cyklops. It was my first album cover and man did it look great on vinyl! It was also a big confidence booster for me just when I was thinking about making the move to Toronto to pursue this as a career.
Mike and I have gone on some adventures over the years, some of which you'll see later sections of this site.
Before they were Tegan and Sara, they were Sara and Tegan. In 1998 I saw Juliana Hatfield at the Starfish in Vancouver, and was really impressed by the duo who opened for her.
I was hoping to introduce myself and see if they'd be interested in working together but I found out they weren't allowed back in the venue after they played because they were only 18. I did buy their really great 5 song cassette though!
A year later they played a tiny venue in Victoria, BC and I brought my friends Mike and Shirley. There were maybe 5 other people there including Sara and Tegan's mom. Small crowd but really good show!
Afterwards I told them the story about Vancouver and asked if we could do a shoot while they were in town. They said they would but they had to take a bus to the ferry early the next morning. I offered them a ride to the ferry if it meant they could stay an extra hour to take some pictures, and they (perhaps reluctantly) said yes. I'll always be grateful because they became two of my best friends. More on them later.
Sloan had been one of my favourite bands for years, and less than a week after moving to Toronto the first gig I got was shooting them for Smug Magazine out of New York. Right away it felt like I'd made the right move.
We shot in and around their space at the Rehearsal Factory in Toronto. I never asked why Andrew was wearing yellow hip waders. What he going fishing in a river? Did he wear them just for the photos? Did Toronto have a really heavy rainy season that no one told me about? Who knows, but they looked great.
The most interesting supergroup of all time; Mike Patton (Faith No More, Mr Bungle), King Buzzo (Melvins), Dave Lombardo (Slayer) and Trevor Dunn (Mr Bungle).
I'd shot Patton a few times at Faith No More and Mr Bungle shows, but hadn't done portraits with him. When I saw Fantômas in Vancouver in 1998 I asked him about doing band photos and he said they weren't going to do any.
In December '99 they came to Toronto and I called their manager and Ipecac Records co-founder Greg Werckman to see if they'd changed their minds and he said the band still doesn't want photos. But he really needed some because there was a lot of media interest in the band. The other thing that made it difficult is that when they aren't playing shows they live in different cities and play in other bands so it's hard to get them all in one place.
Greg finally twisted their arms right off and they said I could come down and take a few pictures after sound check just to get it over with. I shot one roll of film and considered it a win. I had in my possession the only portraits of all 4 members of Fantômas together in existence.
On my way to pick up the film I got a call from the lab “I hope those photos weren't very important... the roll got stuck in the machine and it's ruined.” My heart sank. They said this had never happened before and offered to pay for a reshoot. I knew that would be impossible and I was destroyed. But I couldn't help but find the humour in it because the band never wanted photos in the first place and this was proof that it just wasn't meant to be.
Being stuck in the chemistry for so long basically burned any images off the film... except for ONE frame in the middle of the roll. Miraculously this single frame only had a bit of damage but for the most part came out unscathed. And that became the one and only press shot of Fantômas for the next two years. Stay tuned for more...