A THOUSAND WORDS - Alex Waterhouse-Hayward's blog on pictures, plants, politics and whatever else is on his mind.


Monday, March 03, 2008

When Buck Cherry, a.k.a. John Armstrong called me in late 1985 to ask me if I wanted to take a band photograph, "No," came up immediately. Band photographs for the then popular album covers (before they were done in by the small image on a CD cover) could be classified as follows:

1. A one member band was relatively easy. You only had to cope with one ego.

2. A two-member band. Not so easy but easy enough.

3. A three-member band. This setup was one of my favourites it was nicely symetrical for a square album shot.

4. A four-member or more band became a boring group shot. One could imitate (usually on the request of the band!) a Rolling Stones or Beatles album. I hated these jobs with a passion. They all wanted to look different but yet be recognizable by their mother. They never had a decent budget and would trash my studio.

When Armstrong told me it was five member band I simply said, "No." He insisted and I finally gave in when he told me the band had a star female singer.

The band (The Lost Durangos) called the album Evil Town and it included one of those quintessential Vancouver rain songs, I've Seen The Rain. Someone should compile Vancouver rain songs. Another would have to be The Young Canadians's Hawaii.

Inga Vollmer did her wonderful makeup and with some complex 40s lighting we made the band look like film noir stars. Lead singer Kelly Brock reminded me of a combination queen bee and Scarlet O'Hara.

When the five clustered for my group shot I felt it was magical. It was. As I see the record cover today and look at the individual pictures, I feel the sadness of lost youth. They were so young.


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