I knew doing this book wouldn't be easy. I've been down this road before. It's never easy. At least with Starart I was just an objective observer. All I had to do was hound the artists I wanted until they agreed to be in the book, then take photos of their art, interview them, assemble a mock-up of their chapter, get their approval, go off to the printers, do a few TV shows, talk on the radio, get interviewed by newspapers and throw a few kick-ass parties. My personal involvement is nowhere to be found other than the "designed and edited by" credit I gave myself.
Oh yeah, and the introduction I wrote. Funny. I remember struggling over that thing, not knowing what to say. The long-winded pages of stuff I wrote about the artists were a piece of cake compared to my introduction. This is what I wrote:
"I find it difficult to introduce you to Starart because I really feel the book speaks for itself. Personally, it has been an amazing experience to work with these six artists over the past three years. They openly gave their time and their thoughts, allowing me to offer you a closer look into their art than might otherwise have been possible. I only hope you get as much enjoyment out of Starart as the artists and I have."
Four sentences. Not very enlightening. Tactfully keeping my voice out. Don't you agree? Oh shit...I forgot, I asked you not to read this post. I bet a couple of you are reading, even though I asked you not to. You're curious to see why I don't want you to read it, aren't you? Okay, I'll tell you. But then you have to promise to stop reading. Promise?
I don't want you to read it because it's too damn personal. Not the kind of thing I want 'out there.' Fuck. It's embarrassing. So, I'd really appreciate it if you stop reading. Right now. This very second.
Now that I'm alone...I have a problem. Actually, a better word would be:
co·nun·drum (k-nndrm) n. A paradoxical, insoluble, or difficult problem; a dilemma; a difficult problem [syn: riddle, enigma, brain-teaser]
A conundrum I've been struggling with for a couple of weeks. Ever since Peter White told me Peter Wood was dead and I had to go back into my Al Stewart pictures and see what I had of him. Originally, I only glanced at the shots as I scanned the negs into little contact sheets. Then I scanned one of the backstage group shots and barely looked at it before I emailed it to Peter White. But as I inferred in my 06/06/06 post, I had an instant recognition when I saw Peter Wood's name in the email Peter White sent back. And even more-so when I actually 'looked' at the group shot but part of that recognition was an indescribable "oh, shit" feeling. As I went deeper into the pictures, the "oh, shit" feeling intensified. I know I'm not supposed to put pictures up here that will probably be in the book...but since no one is reading this post, I guess it's okay.
First there was this:
No big deal. It's a picture of me. I must have taken it in a mirror. Not something I would normally do, but hey, we were partying backstage. Maybe I was bored and...wait a second...that's not me in a mirror. Look at the camera. It's vertical and the picture is horizontal. And the "Pentax" name is not reversed. And I wear my watch on my left wrist. I didn't take this picture.
Then there was this:
A picture of Peter Wood. Wait another freakin' second. The picture of me is horizontal but my camera is vertical and the picture of Peter Wood is vertical but his camera is horizontal. Ah Ha...memory fade in...we took pictures of each other taking pictures of each other. How cute is that? What the...?...I distinctly remember my guitar-type camera strap and that funky flash mount. That's my camera he's using! Then whose camera am I using? I have no idea. And how did I end up with the negatives? No clue.
I admit, my memory is a little fuzzy when it comes to some of the people I shot. There were a lot of bands, in a very short period of time. But some of my memories are crystal clear. Like my Led Zeppelin encounter. And of course, Chris Parker, Paul Butterfield and Michael Bloomfield. And the memories that aren't as clear generally materialize as soon as the pictures come to life. And that's what happened with my Peter Wood photos...partially. I definitely remember him. His voice. The goofing around. It's right there in the photos.
There's an inordinate number of backstage pictures that he took of me, like this:
There's even a more inordinate number of backstage pictures that I took of him, like this:
And that "oh, shit" feeling still hanging over me. So, when I met with Peter White, I had a hidden agenda. I hoped he could shed some light on the backstage hijinx. Sadly, he told me out of all the band members, he was least close with Peter Wood. But as I opened up photo after photo, he did say, "Wow, he was really flirting with you, wasn't he?" I have this nagging feeling that I saw Peter Wood again. Like he came back to Vancouver on his own. Or at least we were in touch, aside from the Al Stewart concert. Fuck. I don't know.
So, that "oh, shit" feeling remains...along with one question...
Did I sleep with Peter Wood?
I am so glad no one is reading this.