A few years ago, I photographed a Veruca Salt concert at the 9:30 Club in Washington DC. I wasn’t an official photographer, I was just having fun with the then still available Fuji FP-3000b peel apart instant film and my 1960’s Polaroid Automatic Land camera. But it was a great night anyway and I’ll always remember the experience.
Then there was a crazy chain of events that just goes to show that it pays to befriend other inspiring, driven creative artists. Fellow photographer Ben Eisendrath found my blog and revealed that he is Veruca Salt guitarist, Louise Post’s cousin. Ben put me in touch with Ms. Post, who, apparently enjoyed my blog and images. – S W O O N –
For her birthday this past December, I had one of my peel apart photos of the concert matted and framed by The Artist Angle in downtown Frederick, MD. Then I typed up a letter to Ms. Post on my 1940’s Underwood, explaining all the reasons that I think that she is awesome. And, because I enjoy collecting autographs and could not imagine a better person for it, I boxed up the pick guard from my first guitar; a 1994 Fender Stratocaster, for Ms. Post to autograph.
Despite the crazy COVID/election mail issues occurring, my package arrived at Ms. Post’s address exactly on the day of her birthday. So, massive thank-you to the US Postal Office. I don’t care what anyone says, you always come through for me!
Some weeks went by as I bit my fingernails down to my guitar-string-callused fingertips in anticipation.
Then, one fateful day, I opened my mailbox to find a tattered version of the bubble mailer that I’d sent off a few weeks ago.
Not only had Louise Post, autographed my pick guard, but she hand wrote a very kind and encouraging letter to me.
Can you imagine being a rock goddess and STILL taking time to respond to fans with handwritten notes?!
I think about being a teenager when Veruca Salt’s Seether was first tearing up the analog air waves and how the song, the album and other amazing music of the 90’s inspired and guided me through those confusing soul-searching years. The electric guitar was one of the first tools of artistic expression that I tried before my high school girlfriend introduced me to the darkroom and I picked up a Pentax K1000 for photography class. I didn’t become the rock star that Veruca Salt inspired me to be but this whole photographer thing is working out okay.
Anyway, not only did I want to brag about getting Louise Post’s autograph, I think this story is an awesome example of how we can use our photography to connect us to personal history and the people and events that are important to us. Which, at the core is the very reason I got into photography.
Thanks for reading, happy shooting!
Follow, Favorite, Like, Add, Insult, Contact Johnny Martyr
What a great story and a pretty great photograph too.
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Thank you for turning me on to a great band that I almost missed out on. The needed missing link between The Breeders and Tribe…. Good tunes stick, and I had “Victrola” playing in my head on my ride home from work and into the evening yesterday…… You really made that Polaroid bark – I don’t remember these cameras/films making such high dynamic range images.
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I’m happy to bring another fan on board for Veruca Salt! Yeah, you’re right, instant film does not have much dynamic range. The throwaway shots were usually exposure issues. With concerts, I try to watch without shooting for a few minutes of each song in order to get a feel for the pattern that the lights move in, then pick scenes that work with a particular setting and wait for them to come on. The only exposure control you have on the Land is a slider that opens/closes the iris. SS is selected automatically.