The Wailers’ photo always had a certain classic, but noir, elegance to me. Actually, when compared with other band photos and album covers of the day, it is not very artsy, provocative, or romantic. It is just five guys and their instruments who look like they are having fun.
Later today, the Lava Pups will gather at the Doghouse to work on one 2014 (sorta) “resolution” -- a photo shoot. In an earlier post, it was described this way: “We could have a photo shoot with some cool looking shots. That would be an excuse for a new suit and skinny tie.”
For Robert and Sue, a photo shoot should be easy. With a Bachelors of Fine Art, Sue is an accomplished artist. She understands, knows, and visualizes composition, color, and perspective. She is imaginative, creative, and possesses artistic flair.
Robert is a veteran of several bands and, at one time, was a graphic designer. Band photos are old hat to him. He too understands, knows, and visualizes composition, color, and perspective.
Given our lack of artistic or band experience, Glenn and I are disadvantaged. Glenn, however, has an unflappable calm that allows him to adjust to almost any situation. I have watched a drum stick fly out of his hand and across the stage. But Glenn just grabs another stick and keeps going. No panic. No stress. Not even a change in facial expression. A photo shoot will be just another adjustment to him.
Unflappable (internal) calm does not describe me. Blessed -- and cursed -- with a versatile mind that switches between detailed analysis and scattered creativity, a photo shoot is an opportunity for a seemingly unending internal debate. A photo shoot may be an excuse for a new suit and skinny tie. But we have to look like what we are while keeping in mind the Madison Avenue adage that “image is everything.”
What image fits our band description? We describe our musical recipe as traditional surf plus a healthy dose of Northwest garage sensibility, a heaping spoonful of Link Wray edginess, and a pinch of punk irreverence. We let everybody know that we do not take ourselves too seriously and have fun making music.
With that description, we certainly not cannot be portrayed as looking aloofly aloft. Or as four super serious sophisticates. The four of us dressed alike and having eyes uplifted as if contemplating some divine insight disconnects from our personalities and our music. Something that conveys perfection also is far afield.
Beaches, bikini-clad bimbos, bare-chested bravado, and boards seem a bit incongruent with four older folks from Sacramento. Waves and woodies? Not really. We practice in a warehouse in West Sacramento’s light industrial zone in the midst of severe drought conditions. Writing that conjures up thoughts as rechristening our music as “industrial surf.”
As the internal debate rages, I will stand in the closet, hand to chin, and contemplate what to take out for the photo shoot. Hawaiian shirt? Shorts? Hawaiian jacket? Paisley? Black? Flannel? All of the above? None of the above? All the while, I will question whether this is as good an idea as it seemed a week ago.
Maybe we will have photos for you by the end of the day. After all, this is the digital age. In none of them will we be aloofly aloft!