I hated photo sessions, and there were so many of them – or, I started to hate them after the first few, when the only thing going through my head was I’m in the band! I’m in the band!
Is hate too strong a word? I’ve never been the sort of person who likes seeing themselves in a photo, or on film, but I got used to it. And I got pretty good at it, I guess. You’d show up at somebody’s loft ( a lot of those photographers lived and worked in real-deal lofts, carved out of old factories and warehouses ) and just get on with it. Posing for pictures was a lot like working a job that you don’t love – if you don’t watch the clock, the time goes by faster and you can go home.
Things are certainly different now, where your friend with the Canon 5D can flutter around your band for 2 minutes, take hundreds of photos, edit on their laptop and give you a few good shots, pretty much instantly.
Back then, in the 1990s, the photographer, after much puttering and adjusting of lights, would shoot a couple of Polaroids to get an idea what was going on. Then, they’d drop those Polaroids on the floor, where they’d lay until getting swept up at the end of the day. I always made a point of grabbing and putting them into my pocket, and I have a tidy little stack now.
They’re finally out, and more are coming soon. The first batch includes reissues of some classic designs and a few new / old designs. Here!
I found this in a little album of snapshots, given to me by a fan, most likely. I’m putting this in 1993, based on various clues – cheap boots from the army/navy, my blue Jackson with the gold hardware ( never should have sold it ), my hair, art on the bass drum. We were still using our own lights, power strips all over the stage. Still in a van, for sure.
Shit, I played in countries that don’t even exist anymore.
Windshield of White Zombie van, Summer 1991. Although mixed and finished, La Sexorcisto would not be released for another eight months.
@SeanYseultWZ My brain still hurts. So many riffs!
— J.Yuenger (@JYuenger) June 15, 2013
High quality reissues of the early White Zombie shirts, and some new ones too. And vinyl! And other stuff!!
Yangon, Myanmar. I said ” OH SHIT! “ pretty loud. This is a big, noisy city, so nobody heard. I would have been too shy ten years ago, but not now, and , anyway, I look like a big scary Viking to these people. I roll up and start taking pictures of this guy, who is, of course, completely mystified. ( Look at the dude. I’m sorry, dude. )
I just got here last night, and I haven’t even learned to say ” thank you ” or ” can I have the bill, please? ” in Burmese, so, after I’d taken a couple of photos, I pointed at his shirt, and then I pointed at myself, and I said, ” that’s me, that’s my band ” in English. It was all I could do, and I knew he wouldn’t understand, and I knew there was no way to explain it. He looked around at all the other people cooking on the street and laughed and shrugged. It would be cool if he had one of the albums and looked at it tonight and said, ” Oh “.
In the 90s, you were going to, for the most part, take bad pictures. With your little point n’ shoot, and the color ” Good For Snapshots ” film you’d get at the drugstore or 7-Eleven, and your crappy built-in flash. On a day off, you’d go to a shopping mall, and you’d spend an hour browsing at Sam Goody Or B.Dalton ( whoah, that does take me back ), and you’d pick up a plastic envelope full of prints and negatives. Full of anticipation. And they always looked like shit.
You meant well, and you carried that little camera around and you tried to document what was happening, but all the photos had the same small, flat look. Indoor flash made garbage, but if you turned the flash off, your snaps would turn black. Famous people looked the same as random people on the street, because you couldn’t capture charisma, or aura. ” Here we are at the hotel in Germany “ was identical to ” Denny’s parking lot, Tucumcari NM “. Pretty soon, you just took weird, bad pictures of odd things, or old things which were going, you could just tell, to disappear soon, or things that you found amusing, like vintage silhouettes of guitar players.
The left one is from a sports arena we played in upstate New York. Utica, maybe? Jimi, on the right, was, I think, on the window of a music store. Somewhere.