Upon My Wicked Son Photoshoot :The Backstory

                                                                                                                                                                          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.  

Worried, too .

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 .

Say cheese!

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 ) which was near the  front door** .

) 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)