Photo by Reggie Ige 1990
I happened upon this old test Polaroid from the photoshoot of 'Upon My Wicked Son'.
There Is A Story Behind This Picture.
Of course there is.
But, long story short? I can't tell it here.
Well, okay. I'll tell you a little bit...
In the photo, I am standing in my home. I am in the dining room.
It's winter, about 8 pm on a small, dimly lit dead-end street in Echo Park.
What You Don't Know:
A thick, sharp, long knife sits on the lamp table in front of me.
I had the knife just in case the crazy people came back with their gun.
It had been that kind of day.
The Night Before:
Let me simply say The LAPD left the house at about 8:30 AM. There was fingerprint powder everywhere.
The day went by in a fog of fitful naps and phone calls. Crazy phone calls. Stalker-y phone calls. Spooky hang up phone calls.
When the photographer, Reggie Ige, showed up for the shoot, I was shot... metaphorically speaking.
The photo below? Another test Polaroid, probably the first of the session.
I used it for my Virtue Triumphs album cover recently. What looks like a nice sensitive rock boy photo is, in fact, a perfect capture of a man who is shocked, dismayed, exhausted and heartsick.
What if the crazy people with guns come back?
So next time you happen upon that old album...
Remember I am packing a chef's knife, guarding against gun toting maniacs while posing for my first solo album.
On a Brighter Note:
Here is where the photoshoot took place.
( A ) I stood in the dining room. Reggie Ige took this picture with his back to the piano ( B ) which was near the front door**.
( C ) My home where the photo was taken ..
By the way, in my late 30s, I had just learned to drive. That is my first car, a 1968 Thunderbird:V-8 Wonder of the Western World.
The photos of the house were taken about 1990. Echo Park at the time was a seedy, gang-y ,forgotten district of LA. It was funky n' forlorn then. It is ritzy n' white-sy now.
I shared this house with an extremely gifted woman, Gretchen Victor. We were strictly brother -and-sister best- friends. She had a fantastic eye for decoration and collecting. So much so, in fact, that I credited her on the album. If you look closely, you will see that she had hung a portrait of the Virgin of Guadalupe next to the front door. Many times I would leave the house and find the local gangsters hanging out, looking up meekly at The Virgin. Talking quietly. Discussing Her.
It was a very happy, productive time for me. When Wall of Voodoo sank and the tormenting Eighties were over, this is the shore I swam to. For the first time in ages, I found a degree of peace, prosperity, and sanity.
Give or take a few rough nights... or weeks... or months now and then.
**(Piano photo by Kim Bacus)