So yesterday I had to get publicity photos done for the album I'm releasing this fall. This is probably my least favorite part of the whole 'promoting a record' process. Everything about it just feels awkward, unnatural, and weird to me. Fortunately, I have had the privilege over the years of working with some amazingly talented photographers who not only make the process fun, but who actually managed to make me look halfway decent (no mean feat).
So Bob, the guy who does my promo shots drove up from Portland today and we spent about 10 hours taking shots in different areas areas around Seattle. The last of these locations was a scrapyard in the industrial district. It was filled with all sorts of giant hunks of rusted metal and decaying old bits of construction equipment. Best of all, it was easily accessible. No fence. No signs warning against trespassing. No cranky security guards. Perfect.
As we set stuff up, in the distance, some sort of loud argument was taking place between a guy in an old taxi and another party we couldn't see. It sounded pretty heated, but it seemed to dissipate fairly quickly, so we went ahead and got our shots. Some cops showed up and interviewed someone off in the distance and left. We loaded our stuff back into the van. I had packed all my stuff up, so I climbed in the driver's seat to wait for Bob to finish taking down his lights.
Just then, a dirty, disheveled-looking guy came stumbling towards us from the area we had just been shooting. He had a large wooden beam slung over his shoulder like a baseball bat. He approached Bob and blurted out something unintelligible (he was pretty plowed). "Huh?" Bob replied. The drunk guy slurred, "I just split that guy's wig." Bob: "Oh?" The drunk guy sighed, "I just wanted to see what was going on over here." Bob said, "No problem, brother." and the drunk guy turned around and walked back in the direction from which he'd come. Not 5 seconds later, two cop cars come screeching into the parking lot where they detained him. No idea if he'd actually hit anyone with that beam of his (we didn't hear any sort of struggle or screams), but I was glad he hadn't decided to brain us with it.
Only in the music industry could something as simple as a photo shoot turn into a scenario worthy of an episode of COPS.