Where were you in ’78? I was 21 years old, trying to make a place for myself in a world of adults. My clients were musicians, but the people who paid me were businessmen, and I had to make a good impression.
That meant button up shirts, a nice pen in my pocket, and the ultimate professional accessory . . . a real leather briefcase. Fifty dollars was a lot of money for me then, but I must have chosen well ‘cause it’s still in good shape today . . .
Outside – quiet and conservative.
Inside – rock and roll passes and sound engineer business cards told the rest of the story. No corporate drone here!
- A card from M Kluczynski, president of Britro, Pink Floyd’s sound company;
- Backstage passes from Phoebe Snow, Duke Ellington, Talking Heads, The New Riders of the Purple Sage, Roxy Music;
- A faded pass for the James Montgomery Band says Manager;
- A pass for the Return of KISS at Madison Square Garden says Crew;
- Stickers for Sola power supplies and MXR special effects.
Underneath, I had a receipt book so I could get money, diagrams of amplifiers I might have to fix, schematics for things I'd just thought up, and bills I struggled to pay. It was a hand to mouth living in those days, but it was a fun time, too. It was a time of sadness, excitement, discovery, and adventure. I probably should have died a dozen times over, but I'm still here. There aren't any pictures from those days because there wasn't any time for photos. I had to work! And work I did.
Those shows were the stuff of dreams for a sixteen year old failure and a high school dropout. Yet they all came true, five short years later. But like all dreams, they changed and evolved.
Ten years later, I’d left music behind and I was an electronics executive
Ten years later, I’d left electronics behind and I was restoring and fixing cars
Ten years later I was photographing performers and thinking about writing a book
I could never have predicted any of that, when I bought that briefcase. I remembered it all when my mother and my wife Maripat found it stored away, and brought it back to life for my birthday. It just goes to show . . . . you really never know . . .