Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Kodak Moments

It was driving me crazy. I knew I had pictures of my days driving the rock n roll tours someplace. I was sure of it. My father had given me his Nikon camera to use while on the road. I did not take as many pictures of things, events, and people as I probably should have. But in the rare moment when I was clear headed and aware, I did manage to squeeze off a few pictures.

Today I tore into several dark nooks that had not seen the light of day for at least 20 years. I found some slides. The many prints I took are still missing in action. At least there is some photographic record of my time behind the wheel of a rock n roll truck. It really was not a fig newton of my imagination.

The above picture is my truck backed up to some stage somewhere and either unloading or loading. It looks like a stage call (unload). Many of the halls were able to accommodate our rigs inside.

What was interesting and challenging about getting this picture and many more from slides to digital is the rube goldberg way I did it. The end product gets the point of the picture across, but lacks the rich color and sharp focus of the original pictures.

How I did it-

I plugged in the floor lamp with the 3 power light bulb. Took the shade off so just the translucent glass globe was exposed. I set up my tripod and screwed my digital camera on it with the camera about 6 inches from the light. Using a single slide viewer, I put a slide in and then held it up to the digital camera. I snapped the picture. It worked better than I expected.

Now that I have found the slides, I am going to pick the best of the bunch and have them digitized professionally. Until then, this is as good as it gets.

I do believe this is the Electric Light Orchestra Show at The Spectrum in Philadelphia. Looking from the stage into the crowd. Tough tour. Long - 3 months long. 70 shows or so in 90 days? I also jack knifed on some black ice heading into Erie, Pa. Went over a guard rail and down into a ravine. I still made the show though. Hired every wrecker I could find and we yanked my truck out of there. The show in Erie started 2 hours late, but it did happen. I went from being a scum sucking loser to hero in the space of a few hours. The Green Shingle Truck Stop just outside of Erie had a great 6 egg omelet. I insisted we stop on our way out of town. The other drivers were impressed.

I also found what remained of the thousands of slides my father took not ruined in the "Great Basement Flood of 1964". Below are some samples.

My dad in Alaska in 1954

Main Street - Anchorage, Alaska - 1954

Yours truly decked out in his finest and whupping up on the Mann's daughter in a game of cards. Probably at our house in Hawaii around 1957 or 1958. I had to adjust the color to B&W as this slide really did not take kindly to being copied as crudely as I copied it. Please take note of the careful and correct use of the holster lashing.

My mom at one of the many cocktail parties she enjoyed so much. There are few pictures of her without a butt in her hand or in her mouth. She eventually quit in the 1970s, but this is how I remember her. Colorado Springs around 1953 I would guess.


Randal Graves said...

You hauled gear for ELO? How cool is that. Well, save for the Black Ice Experience.

Gary ("Old Dude") said...

seeing the pic of your mom circa 1953 Colorado Springs, was kinda a nostalgic flashback---I was living 40 miles down the road going to Central High School in Pueblo, Colo. ('53' would have been my sophmore year)

Demeur said...

You sure did get around in those days. Do you remember the back aches and your hands swelling up from keeping them on the wheel for so many hours? I do.
I vagely remember driving around the east side (not the way I wanted to go) of the DC beltway because I was asleep at the wheel.

El Cerdo Ignatius said...

Crum, these are great photos from yesteryear. Nice work getting them onto your blog.

My mother recently gave me a shoebox full of old photos. If I ever find the time, I'm going to scan a few and post them.

And as Demeur said, you sure did get around back in the day.

MRMacrum said...

randal - Yeah I did a torture tour with ELO. What was odd though, the tour manager was a complete jerk. That was not unusual. But that he gave all of us serious bonuses at the end of the tour was. I guess he really did not hate me.

Old Dude - I remember very little of Colorado Springs. My dog Dewey, the high fence in the back yard, and watching thunder storms roll over the east face of the Rockies outside my window. Oh yeah, and Hank Williams on the radio.

demeur - Oh Yeah, I remember the back aches and swollen hands from gripping the wheel too tight. I learned to drive trucks in the Baltimore-DC area and I do know what you mean. There was and in my opinion no worse highway Hell than the Beltway around the Capitol.

el cerdo ignatius - Finding those old pictures was wonderful. The rock n roll ones were a sure score, but the old family pics really brought back memories.

Snave said...

Thanks for sharing those pics and stories! Those are great! I wish I had some rock and roll stories like that! I did have some odd things happen to me at every Grateful Dead show I went to, but I think that is/was just a normal part of the Dead experience.

MRMacrum said...

snave - I did a a couple of gigs with the Dead fronting for the Who and someone else I cannot remember. It was always interesting. The rumors about getting tabbed backstage were true. You never left your drink unattended when they were on the bill. It was not them we had to worry about, but the flounders they brought with them to the gigs. They didn't care really if there was a big audience or a small one. They just loved to play. And play for hours.

In the industry one of their nicknames was "The biggest local band in the World". Any act going into the Bay Area could almost always get them to front for them if enough of them were in town. If any group ever personified the idea of music for music's sake, they did. Odd though, I never was really a Dead Head. I guess the Blues had me by the short hairs by then.

J. Marquis said...

Cool pictures. Isn't it funny how every little boy from that era had to dress up as a cowboy or Davey Crockett at some point?

Apertome said...

Cool photos, and I love your cobbled-together digitization method. The lofi look has something going for it. Obviously some things deserve the professional job, but these have character all their own.

Stickthulhu said...

Love your "slide digitization" technique. My dad opened a photography studio in the late 70's and I remember spending time with him in his darkroom watching him develop negatives, make prints on the enlarger, all that cool old wet film stuff that's lost.

I'm particularly taken with the Anchorage pic. It has a great "frontier civilization" feel to it.