What, no camera?
For all the years I've irritated, embarrassed, amused, and embarrassed more, my kids (and those around me) with painful amateur photography, there was no camera for me at South By Southwest this year. At times it was a blessing.
Other times it was painfully grueling. Cameras everywhere. In phones, on cranes, pockets, purses, prodding every one around them. Flash, no flash. Credentials, no credentials. You know how much artists like having their pictures taken. Most artists and venues were very lenient.
My favorite pictures have become the ones that never came out, and live in memory only. I tactfully mentioned this to a performance artist (of whom I will speak in a future segment-THE surprise of the fest) when his whole performance was changed because the sun was too bright. No way to for him to use his pre-fabricated slide/video show. It was a sunny afternoon, outside in a courtyard.
He wasn’t comforted much.
The photo-that-didn’t-come-out goes back to spring training in Florida, 1985 – Red Sox camp. Wade Boggs, my son Greg, and I. All together when Greg was a year and a half, and Wade was still innocent. I handed my fellow baseball fan/traveling companion the camera, and knew immediately it wasn’t coming out. It didn't.
That is my favorite photo.
Back to Austin, 2008…
Wednesday afternoon, I decided to camp out for the smallish club show by Van Morrison at La Zona Rosa. Wait in line for 2 hours, just to be sure. It’s an early show with a large line. Up in front, right by me, are two women, each in a wheelchair. The gate opens. Three people pass the inspectors and get inside. The first wheelchair inches up a slight incline, shows her pass, then is turned away because of a camera in her purse.
The second wheelchair knows she’s in trouble and looks to us like we can do something. Of course we can’t. She is turned away, too. Only “official” photographers are allowed.
Van is very keen on who takes his picture.
They waited two hours only to be thwarted by some strange need to document things around them. I can't imagine it. I wonder if this will become their favorite concert.