Sunday, October 1, 2017


Spot the music photographer. No, not the subject of this piece but yours truly, since I don't want to remind her pictorially of this unpleasant episode any more than she wishes. First two shots, guest photographer 
© John "Star Dust" Alvarez;
next pic © 2017 Kurt Ingham; 
last shot © Donna Balancia

Photojournalist Alyson Camus of Rock NYC Live, who graciously reviewed my photography exhibit in May of this year LINK*, was threatened onstage by Television's Tom Verlaine this last week. For the story in her own works, click LINK** .

My own response to fellow comrades in photographic arms on social media was the following: Colleagues, we have approximately 5 years left to take pro shots of the music we love until all phones have pro photography features. Then, the present policy of no pro photographers allowed, only phone-wielding amateurs allowed to provide snapshots on the internet for anyone who wants free content will prevail. This is what those representing today's artists want, as their so-called public relations mainly is concerned with preventing real media access than enabling it. Quantity over quality, micromanaging control rather than artistry. 

When I began Public Relations firms knew who was good and who wasn't, so they mainly sorted who got what interviews and gigs, relegating, say, beginners to less crucial ones. Also in my 50 years, I only snuck in cameras once with my otherwise valid press access, and that was for the very inception of today's restricted era, that of Tony Defries barring all photography of David Bowie in 1972. My shots came via telephoto lenses in a false bottom of a purse since I had heard tell of this policy in advance. 

It is the inevitable future of our profession no matter what our focus. I already have encountered security trying to bar my photography of outdoor public statuary in indisputably public places, whining that statues are "an event" not a public installation, no pro cameras allowed! while allowing all cellphoners to snap away. I'm not advising tabloid-type intrusiveness ever, but if you are press and pro and believe in the First Amendment, have some kind of subterfuge techniques up your sleeve ready to go...

Best online response, by Verlaine's former Television guitar-sparring partner Richard Lloyd: "I certainly don't mind people filming me or my band." Lloyd's autobiography Everything Is Combustible: Television, CBGB's and Five Decades of Rock and Roll will be released on Oct. 25, 2017. Richard's science-laden blog and social media sites remain vastly entertaining even minus any music musings, guaranteeing this tome as a fascinating read to come. My copy already is ordered!


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