Sunday, October 28

Photographing Michael Diamond

Last Saturday, my girlfriend received a frantic call from our friend who had given us the CMJ passes. She couldn't find any photographers to photograph a movie screening at Tribeca Cinemas, of the new Joe Strummer documentary by Julien Temple and supposedly a few celebrities where scheduled to show up for the event. (I'll review the movie at a latter date.) She asked if I would be able to do it. Now event photography isn't really my thing mostly because I'm not much of a people person and I've never done it before. I'd much rather go out to an open field and photograph a blade of grass blowing, in the wind. She did get us the free passes and you should always help out a friend in a jam, whenever possible so I happily agreed to do it. So she sent a car to pick us up since we wouldn't of been able to arrive there in time if we took mass transit.

Well when I get there, I'm told that Steve Buscemi and The Beastie Boys are scheduled to show up to the movie. This is going to be interesting, I thought not only would I be photographing The Beastie Boys but also Mr. Pink. So it's getting closer and closer to the start of the movie and no one has showed up yet. Finally, just as the movie is starting I'm told that it doesn't look like either one of them will be making an appearance and I should just go in and watch the movie. Fifteen minutes into the movie, I see a silhouette of a skinny guy with an afro walk into the theatre and I instantly recognized him as MIke D.

After the movie, Mike D is cajoled into standing in front of a CMJ backdrop and having his pic taken, by me of course. When I looked thru my viewfinder I couldn't believe what I saw! Mike D looked like an old man, he looked way older than his 42 years of age. Now granted this wasn't a professional photo shoot, there's no retouching done to smooth out the lines and the flash I used was a bit harsh but still. Gone was the image of the beer swilling, trucker hat wearing young punk hip hopper that I first saw when I was 14 years old during the Licensed to Ill tour. I know that they've matured and have grown out of that phase along time ago but for alot of people that is the image of The Beastie Boys that they hold in their minds. Yet for me, the moment I looked thru that view finder it was washed away for ever. Now I had wanted to somehow tie in some Neil Young lyrics "It's better to burn out than fade away" and The Who lyrics "I hope I die before I get old", but I just wasn't sure where I wanted to go with that. It's just at some point should musicians and actors just fade away from the public spotlight when they reach a certain age and appearance so as not to destroy the fans image of them. Take for example Jimi Hendrix, Marilyn Monroe, James Dean and Kurt Cobain(who unfortunately took Young's lyrics to heart) . As tragic as their too soon deaths were and the fact that they will never be able to create more art for us to enjoy and to enrich our lives, we will forever have these lasting iconic images of these artists when they were young and in their phyisical prime, burned into our psyche. Now don't get me wrong I'm not saying that when artists reach a certain age that they should stop what they're doing. There alot of older established musicians still making great music, but maybe they should do it in seclusion so as to not destroy the public's iconic image of them. Am I just being selfish and shallow in thinking this way? Maybe I should stop here so as not to have my argument misconstrued and dig my grave any further. I guess what it comes down to is that I prefer young Elvis to old fat bloated Elvis. I'd love to hear your views on this topic.

Related Posts: CMJ Music Marathon, Brad @ Highline Ballroom
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19 comments:

nursemyra said...

hmmmm... don't know if I want to comment on that. I'll have to think about it a bit harder.

but I do have something to say about the joe strummer doco. for those of us who didn't know who all the interviewees were, the experience would have been more enjoyable if their names appeared on the screen at least once when they were talking.

msquared said...

Yeah I really haven't thought out my arguement to well for this and it's logic is really flawed, oh well.

It's funny that you mentioned the fact that there were no names that appeared to go with the interviewees. My GF and I had the same problem with the movie. I was going to mention this issue when I do a review of the movie

Meany said...

Sounds like your stuck in the eighties.

3 words:

"The Mix Up"

msquared said...

oh no don't get me wrong I'm not stuck in the eighties. It has nothing to do with their music. They are still creating great timeless music but we or maybe I should say I tend to forget that the artists that create this stuff aren't timeless.

What do you associate the Beastie Boys with and their music. It's young, fresh, generally ahead of the curve and forward thinking in it's outlook but when I saw Mike D in person his appearance just didn't jive with that. He really looked liked he should eat a nice big steak or something. He just looked really unhealthy and old beyond his years. Myabe it has something to do with him being a vegan.

We all have certain images in our heads that we equate with our favortie musicians or actors but when we're confronted with the reality of who and what they are really like it can be somewhat jarring, especially when your not prepared for it. Thats all that I was trying to say.

Meany said...

I think his sweater is "fresh"

msquared said...

All right wise guy thats enough out of you.

bry said...

Ah your only 8 years away from 42 yourself dude. Don't hate on the old cause your right behind them. and the sweeter is fresh.

Meany said...

Paparazzi Sucks!

msquared said...

Bry-Hopefully I won't look as old as Mike D does though.

Meany-Don't make me Ban you!

Meany said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Meany said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Meany said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
msquared said...

Too late Meany I already read them and all I have to say is I know you are but what am I.

I didn't realize that this would rile you up so much.

Meany said...

I'm Sorry, I was in a drunken stupor as you can tell from the photo. (day351)

Anonymous said...

fuck you msquared ok who gives a shit how someone looks mike d is mike d and nothings going to change so top hating if you didnt enjoy the way he looked then why did you kiss his ass and ask for a picture

msquared said...

Dear Anonymous,

Those are some pretty strong words but I guess you didn't have the balls to leave your name.
As far as this post goes I don't think you really read it. I'm not hating on Mike D. This post was really just about how you don't expect or are prepared to realize that, dare I say someone you idolized when you were younger is getting old and aging. It was just strange to see him like that specially since I can remember seeing him on The License to Ill tour(that was probably way before your time and you didn't probably starting liking the Beastie Boys till Ill Communication).
As for kissing his ass, I didn't say two words to him. I was hired to take his photo at an event and that was that. Nothing more nothing less.

Anonymous said...

Dear Mc^2,
I too was struck by this picture when i google imaged Mike D. This afternoon i purchased Some Old Bullshit at the mall today. i had a ten dollar budget and the golden retreiver on the cover was more than enough to convince me that that was the way to spend it. looking through the liner notes I couldnt stop looking at the pictures of teenage [mutant ninja] beastie boys. i am currently one of those beer swilling punks, and these fools are actually younger than me in these pictures.(and cooler) i guess thats why im startin to think about the whole aging nonsense, and i think you raise a good point.
imagine Jimi Hendrix in the eighties, or Kurt Cobain today. it just doesnt seem possible and im glad i dont have the image to taint their existances; it just wouldnt seem right. you are right in the sense that theres a time to step out of the stoplight.. however. lets take a look at Bruce Springsteen. Maybe you have a predjudice against him (idontknow) but i thought his superbowl performance was illnasty, and he is still rockin harder than most young performers today. i beleive that he truly has not lost his touch and puts everything he's got into every thing he does..
so where do the beastie boys fit into this whole equation? i dunno. they are gettin old and he looks old as fuck in that picture. but they still rock hard core and prolly better than most of the fools tryin to make new music today. your friends are right, your gonna look like that before you know it, and so am i... and then you die and it doesnt matter anyway. you still have everything you ever did so buck up and and kick it, cause thats what Mike D is doin.
A.
: my favorite color is red no blue

msquared said...

Anonymous,
Thanks for the comment of for also kind of seeing where I was coming from. I just want to state that in no way am I hating on Mike D or the Beasties. I still love. It was just a strange experience seeing him upclose like that.
and no I don't have a prejudice about Bruce. In fact I think the older I get the more I actually like his music and he seems to be still creating vibrant and fresh music.
I like how you called me Mc^2 I think I might steal that.
: my favorite color is black even though technically black isn't a color

Scooter/Scottie D./SMD said...

HOW WAS MIKE D DESTROYING THE 'ICONIC IMAGE' OF HIMSELF SHOWING UP TO A MOVIE 15 MINUTES INTO IT? YOU ARE TRYING TO SAY SOMETHING HERE COMPARING LIVING MUSICIANS/CELBS WITH ICONIC CELEBRITIES WHO PERISHED FROM OD'S ,CARE WRECKS, AND SUICIDE.

...WHAT'S YOUR POINT?