It sounds so simple – get the band together, look cohesive, find an interesting location, and get a photographer to take some pictures. But somehow a band photo shoot is never so easy. Just about every band I was in attemped a photo shoot at some point, either to promote the band itself or a CD release. Sometimes it just went well … sometimes, well, it just went.

The Dark’s lack of a band photo was the least of its issues, but we always felt it was one of our biggest. Our first round-up consisted of us just gathering in the main lobby of our rehearsal studio complex (i.e. dump) and getting a friend to take a picture. John and Doug are wearing all black and nearly disappear into the background, and Ernie, who *is* black, wore all white. We’re on a staircase, and as photos go, this one should never have been considered for any press kit.


So we tried again, this time against a purple wall, because … well … the wall was purple. By this time we had a new drummer, so Ernie was replaced with Dan #2. Again, there is nothing good about this photo, and I think the Exit sign at the top was a hint to the band what they should be doing instead of posing. Sadly, this picture was the only one that ever made it into an article about the band. And I’m not sure why it looks like everyone is about to fall over.


Not ones to give up, we tried another shot, this time outside The Tank, after a show. Perhaps a little better this time, but still, this ain’t no photo shoot quality stuff.


So … we opted to get a real photographer and select a real location. The results came out a wee bit better this time. The first one was going to be the press photo, and the second was going to be the back cover of the CD. It was my idea to have us all looking away, and I think it came out pretty good. Damn, I’m smart! You can see that this was more like a press photo than anything that came before. I remember that being a very cold October day …



With Language of the Mad, we regressed. Our first press photo was to advertise our debut gig, so we all hopped onto a conveyor belt in the dump we rehearsed in and had a friend take a picture, though it looks like it was taken through a screen. Would we never learn?


Soon after that horror, we tried a couple times for good old authentic photo shoots. In this case, we opted for appropriate locations such as burned out railroad trestles


and an abandoned slaughterhouse – fitting, eh? By this time, John had left the band, and Steve joined.


We also ended up in a field that day, carrying flowers for some reason, and here you can witness a rare light moment in Language of the Mad:


When LOTM was done, and I was in Thought Brigade, our photo shoot was probably one of the precious few times we all got along really well. Since taking the shots had been such a burden in both previous bands, I was relieved to see that some bands actually make the most of it. Here’s the official promo photo for Thought Brigade.


The Invisible Beatniks were next, and this time we had a photographer in the band, so we had access to all kinds of wonderful photo goodness, yet we still managed to only plunk down in front of a brick wall, and crooked at that.


Fortunately, we put together another photo, comped from various sources, which did a better job of characterizing the band.


Local Radio was the last band I was in on the East Coast, but we hired the photographer from the Beatniks to do our shoot, and I have to say that these were some of the best. Good color, good location, and very high resolution. And I think I look pretty damn good 🙂 My expression in the railroad tracks photo seems rather unique for me.

DCF 1.0

DCF 1.0

On the West Coast, there has been only one band, ever. And that band is 49 Fingers. We did a shoot to promote (and have artwork for) our CD, and since our photographer was a school bus driver, we took a lot of shots aboard a school bus. Hey, why not? Here are the CD cover and the CD face artwork.



When a friend of ours started getting into photography as a hobby and then business, he offered to do a photo shoot for us. Bill had left the band by then, and Loren was on board. We don’t have a good picture of us as a unit, but Charlie picked the best shot of each of us and lined them up. It’s neat in that you can tell what each band member does based on the picture.


And that is the history of my various bands’ photo shoots!


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