The above photo of Nick Hexum of 311 is from November 11, 2000. I was a senior in high school at the Ben Franklin Academy in Atlanta, GA, and had been granted an amazing opportunity by way of 311 management. I was going to photograph 311 in Cleveland, OH. I, along with three friends packed into my mom’s SAAB like sardines and made the journey north
On the way we encountered a tornado in Kentucky, the SAAB getting towed in Cincinnati, and the Motel 6 in Cleveland. The latter had a sign that read “Bobtails Only” under which a woman with the most amazing mullet I’ve ever seen stood. I can only assume that she was a bobtail
I unexpectedly landed a photo pass for the Columbus show on November 10, through the tour manager of the opening band, Zebrahead, which was a blessing in disguise. I took the time to get the photos developed to find that shooting under a professionally designed lighting rig was completely different from shooting local venues on the GA Tech campus. Only three of the photos turned out. I was thus, more prepared when I picked up my photo pass from the 311 guest list at the Agora Theater in Cleveland on November 11. However based on the previous night’s disaster I was terrified, I felt the best compensation was to shoot as much as humanly possible. This show was a dream come true, I shot somewhere in the neighborhood of 15 rolls of film in three songs. I was frantic and moving as fast as I could. The local press photographers had about 30 years on me, and didn’t appear too happy to see a 17 year old in their pit.
It was these first 311 shows where I really began to learn about available light, and that I had truly found a home, and the beginning of a wonderful relationship between my camera and five men from Omaha, NE that I’m very grateful to have had the opportunity to document for the nine years that have followed.
(Blog originally posted on previous site version on April 23, 2009)