Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Self Deprecation

Update - 7/8/09
The lithograph, Limited and Open Editions are on sale
for a short time...check them out .

The Tom Waits poster and limited edition photographs
are, don't walk to

Update - 4/11/07
The Tom Waits prints will be for sale by the end of next week.
Check out what's available

9/25/06 UPDATE
The new old photos are up. After you check
this post out click over to:

9/9/06 UPDATE
Thanks to RadicalWacko over at
Tom Waits For No Man
for the linking to this post.
I hope you all will visit the rest of the blog and
enjoy the photos of other musicians I've put up.
And as a special thank you for your
visit I am planning to post some more
shots of T.W. from the troubadour gig .
So please check the recent posts section
in the next week or two.

Back when I scanned my Frank Zappa negs, I was hit with a little surprise. There were five shots between his backstage pics and his onstage shots. Five pictures of the opening act. Of course, I recognized him but I had absolutely no recollection of him opening for Zappa. It was Tom Waits.

I didn't have a clue who he was at the time. Well, maybe I did because I took pictures of him. Five. Yup. That's all he warranted that night. Five measly pictures.

In the Billy Joel post yesterday, I gave myself props for how great my pictures look after all these years. I felt bad about that. Propping myself is not my job. I should be more humble. Practically broke my arm patting myself on the back. So, today, I felt I should turn that around and be self deprecating. How can I do that? Easy. Here are the awful pictures I took of Tom Waits when he opened for Frank Zappa. All five of them. No cropping. No retouching. Just the way I shot 'em. Badly. Or should that be poorly? Maybe sadly.

See? I suck!!!

Fortunately, after I moved to Los Angeles, I had the opportunity to redeem myself. Tom Waits lived at the Tropicana and was a regular in the Troubadour bar and on the stage. I was a regular at Dukes - the greatest breakfast place ever - at the Tropicana and also at the Troubadour, where I hung out at the bar and could shoot in 'the room' whenever I wanted. And by this time, I knew who Tom Waits was. I shot a lot more than five this least a whole roll. Here's one to balance out the crap above:
I like this one.

Oh, and I almost forgot. I pulled out my Chicago pics last month. I shot them twice. Indoor night show in Vancouver and outdoor dayshow in Calgary. Went through the slides and the only shot I found of Terry Kath showed half of him. Couldn't really see his face. I was very disappointed. Not happy to represent Terry Kath with only a group shot in the book. When I found the Tom Waits shots from the Troubadour this afternoon...right behind his was a contact sheet and negatives for Chicago...with SIX solo shots of Terry Kath on guitar. How great is that? From 0 to 6, out of the blue. Thank you, Tom Waits.


Harry Funk said...

I'm sure you weren't alone at the time for not knowing who Tom Waits was.

I love the "redemption" picture, but I'd say that three out of five of the Zappa openers would turn out pretty good once you cropped them, etc.

Not as good as Grace Slick at the Polaroid, though!

blackrider23 said...

Those are some awesome photos! Thanks for letting us take a gander :)

matt rosemier said...

Dang! Great shots!

Anonymous said...

Thanks from raindogs everywhere for posting these...

Chesher Cat said...

You're very welcome.

Guess I should have posted more of the good ones from the Troub. Maybe later.

Hope you find the rest of the blog of interest and stick around.


Steve Harvey said...

Tom Waits was managed by the same guy as Zappa. That's how he got the gig.

bigshoulders said...

very nice!
i'll definitely be back, Chesher.

hubbub said...

These are fab. I love the movement of the first few shots.

Who knew (or remembered) he ever looked so young.